Tag: useful

Life Hack: Using Clips to Improve Your Life

I don’t usually find a lot of videos that have a wide appeal, but this bad-boy is really good.  Except for his use of unsafe technology (apple) in his demo and their nasty proprietary adaptors, this is a very inspiring and useful video.

USEFUL VIDEO TO USE CLIPS EVERY DAY

I had some challenges replicating his ear-bud trick because my ear buds have a rigid mute button section but I’m sure there is a way to make it work with that, too.

I’m definitely going to go and buy myself a bag of clips and I bet the clip industry just got a nice boost in annual revenue thanks to this dude.

I also found this article to build further on your already-excellent repertoire.

Hope you enjoyed as much as I did.

 

 

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A Better Brainless Way To Rip CDs with Ubuntu

Want a simple, automated and graphical way to rip cds and create FLAC, Ogg, Mp3s and other formats?  Read on.  Of course, we assume that you are using Ubuntu for this tutorial because heck – is there anything else?

I was reprimanded and dragged through the coals and beaten like a rented mule the other day by a blond Ubuntu fanatic for publishing a post which is essentially a complicated command line way of doing exactly what I was trying to do. I submitted and agreed that this post would probably scare people away from Ubuntu rather than attract them.  It was kind of a eureka moment as well about how it is probably better to keep command lines as a last resort tool for ‘regular people’.  Fair enough. It’s kind of like a scientist who over explains photosynthesis to a child when he could have just said ‘the sun makes it grow’.  If the child wants to know about photosynthesis and the related vocabulary, they’ll probably indicate that.

But I digress.

To rip your old-skool CDs into a format that you can actually use (and I’m not talking cassette tapes, here, kids) just do this (warning – contains one optional command line!):

1. Go to Ubuntu Software Center, search, and install Asunder

001-software-centre

2. Type ‘Asunder’ into the dash and open it, or, click it from the launcher

asunder-in-launcher

opening-asunder

 

3. Insert CD

chuh-chunk. Boo-yah!

4.  Click ‘preferences’ and then ‘encode’ and choose the formats to which you would like to encode.

Note my screenshot below shows ‘wav’ but I meant to click ‘MP3’ so you don’t likely need two uncompressed formats like FLAC and Wav…. sorry bout that.

asunder-wav-flac

5. Optional Step: Install Lame to encode MP3s

If you got a message that you need to install ‘lame’ then read on.  If you didn’t skip this step and move to step 4.

MP3 is a dying format.  It’s restrictive and it’s not the best sound. It will die so it’s best to make sure that you aren’t relying on it.  FLAC is much better.  And Ogg.  But if you have a device that will only play MP3 than you might want to encode BOTH formats.  Asunder can do it automatically.   But to do MP3s, open a terminal window and type ‘sudo apt-get install lame’ as follows, then press enter, your password, and it’s done.

opening-terminal

apt-get-lame

 

6. Click ‘ok’ and then in the lower right side ‘RIP’

asunder-rip

7. Wait and watch exciting progress

asunder-rip-progress

Done.  Smiley.

The files will be waiting for you in your Home directory if you didn’t change the defaults.  You can also, somewhere in the settings, click a box that tells it to spit the CD out when it’s done.  You might like to do that.  It also seems like it dumps all formats into the same folder at the end so maybe there is a way to sort that out so that it rips, encodes and dumps into folders separated by format…

Enjoy!

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How to Stamp PDF Documents in 10 Easy Steps

Need to stamp a PDF with a ‘confidential’ stamp (or any other stamp?) for FREE?  Not only is this free but it’s freedom software as well.

You may have already read my tutorial about how to watermark and stamp documents using PDF chain.  This turned out to be an amazing tool for doing a bunch of PDFs and pages with the same confidential stamp in the same spot on the page.  For example, if you have a 50 page contract letter size, followed by a 20 page business plan letter size, this would be the best tutorial because you just click a few times and the software dumps the confidential stamp on all pages in seconds.  Then you open the next document and do it again.  However, it’s slightly cumbersome if you just need to do a page here and there, or a one off, or an unusual page size.  My toolkit I provided will let you do legal and letter with ‘confidential’ but you’re on your own for setting up anything else.

Okular has turned out to be a very amazing free and freedom piece of software.  Since anyone reading this is already using Ubuntu, the rest of the tutorial is easy.  Let’s start a tutorial on how to slap a confidential stamp on a simple one page PDF.

1. Go to the Ubuntu Software Centre

001-ubuntu-software-centre

2. Search ‘Okular’ and click ‘install’

Note: seems you need the one with capital ‘O’.  Some extra packages may have slipped in there. See image:

002-okular-install

3. Go to Launcher and launch Okular

okular-in-launcher

4. Click ‘file’ and ‘open’ and then drill down to the PDF you want to muck up.

(if you need an image for this, just shut your computer off and cry yourself to sleep)

5. Click on ‘Settings’ and “Configure Okular”

004-okular-settings-config

 

6. Click ‘Annotations’, click Stamp, click ‘edit’ which will show you all the cool kinds of stamps you can slap on them there PDF

005-okular-anotations

7. Choose your stamp.  There are just oodles of noodles here.

007-okular-stamp-confidential

 

8. Click OK and get back to your PDF.

9. Push ‘F6’ on your keyboard which will bring up all your annotations (which are all very cool and useful by the way!)

008-okular-annotation-toolbar-f6

10. Click the stamp icon (third from bottom) and start dragging and dropping your stamp wherever you like on the document and whatever size you would like.

Note: back in the settings you can mess around further with opacity, I believe and other things.  I bet there is probably a way to load your own stamp as well, which would be dope, but I’m way to busy to figure that out now.

Please reply with other useful things you found from this.

 

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Why Pay for an Accountant When No Legal Duty of Loyalty?

That first page called ‘Notice to Reader’ that comes with your accounting stuff would be better named “Don’t look at me if you get sued for your numbers” because even if you pay an accountant and they screw it up, that page washes away all their liability.

One day last year, I found myself stuck in a Canada Revenue Agency audit for a company I stopped using years ago.  During the painful process of having to dig all this stuff up and prove our numbers I got into a conversation with the auditor.  I suggested to him that since my former accountant had done a poor job on one part that I could make him responsible for the pain.  The auditor was very quick to say ‘I doubt that.”   Then he explained this story to me, roughly paraphrased:

“A long time ago, in a land far away there lived a man named John Doe.  John was very tricky so he decided to take a bunch of cash from his business and slide it into his personal bank account.  On the business books, it looked like he was failing so taxes were low, and on the home tax account he also declared poverty.  John handed the books over to Albert the Accountant. Albert noticed that there was a lot of cash growing in his bank account.  Of course, the accountant saw that there was little money in the business, and much money in the home.  But because Albert gets over $2500.00 guaranteed each year just for filing a stack of paper with the CRA, he just filed it as provided by John.  He didn’t question John his client, but just filed it.  One day, Andrew the Auditor decided to audit John and asked to see his personal bank account and business bank.  Andrew noticed this big discrepancy and asked what’s up.  John looked at Albert and asked what’s up and what to do.  Albert pulled out the ‘Notice to Reader’ page at the front of the filing and said ‘Good luck with this and call me when it’s over’ and left the room.”

True story with names changed.

Not very cool.

And just to cement this with a real life story, a close friend of mine had an accountant who was put in jail for sliding money out of a university bank account into his own.  And if the fact that his accountant was a full time criminal wasn’t bad enough, all of his books were locked up/tossed from his office when he went to the slammer after he got caught!

So then I asked the question that will forever change the way I view accountants and their role in my life and my role with my own books. Ready for the question?

“Don’t Accountants have a fiduciary duty to their client like a lawyer or a real estate agent?”

“No.  They don’t.” was the shocking answer, and I almost fell out of my seat.

“So why should I pay my accountant $2500/year to file my corporate taxes and another $400.00 for my personal taxes?”

“I don’t know.  Other than convenience of having someone else input the numbers, they have no legal obligation to you according to their basic job description.” was his response.

From that point forward I started researching free bookkeeping programs and making a rough plan to learn accounting for myself.  How could it be that an accountant is not obligated to stand before a judge in defence of his work for his client?  But oddly, he’s not.

If you want your accountant to be legally obligated to you in front of a judge you have to pay for a *full audit*!  And the reason why you won’t be doing that is – well, ask your accountant for a quote for fun.  That’s why.

As for me, my five year plan is to learn how to file personal and corporate taxes alone and use accountants for full audits if/when necessary.

Hopefully this posts saves a lot of people the pain of thinking that their accountant will defend them legally in court if they get sued.  There is no guarantee of that at all.

Disclaimer: I still think accountants are very valuable for their knowledge of *tax law* and how it applies to your situation.  If you find an accountant who is ethical and highly knowledgeable they are great.  But be very cautious about the fact they don’t have to defend you in court if that notice to reader form is delivered.

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How to Change “My Location” in Kijiji

“My location” setting wrong on Kijiji?  Trying to post in an area but you can’t find how to change to that area?  The solution is so hard, yet so easy at the same time! 🙁

1. Confirm you’re logged into the correct account (lol?) and your ‘my location’ is wrong.

01-wrong-address

2. Click the big fat Kijiji icon top left

02-click-kijiji

3. click the ‘my location’ drop down and choose your sub-location as detailed as possible for post

03-click-my-location

4. You will note your location updated

04-location-successfully-changed

5. Click ‘post a classified ad’ and finish off your post as usual and Bob will quickly become your uncle.

05-click-post-a-classified-ad

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Great Tutorial on Difference Between and Usage of i.e. and e.g.

This tutorial written over at wikihow.com is an absolutely amazingly clear lesson about how to use i.e. and e.g. correctly.  It seems as though my school system never taught me about these two bad boys and life was too busy to bother so I always defaulted to ‘eg’.

Turns out I was wrong to do so and probably looked a bit un-edumacated.

So, enjoy their post and remember that it’s never too late to teach an old, mangey, stinky, street dog new tricks.

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