Poor man’s router with wedge fail

I tried making a Paul Seller’s style Poor Man’s Router plane. It worked quite well but I couldn’t get the chisel’s blade edge to be really perpendicular to the surface of the wood. As an alternative I thought I’d try cutting a slot into the piece of timber and making a wedge to fit it to hold the chisel in place.

 

As much as I tried I couldn’t get the wedge to hold the chisel firmly enough that it wouldn’t slide up once I started cutting into wood with it. I think this was partly to do with it being a bevel edge chisel. This meant there was less surface area in contact with the wood, so less friction and easier to slip.

I might try making a hardwood wedge for it. I also need to try a firmer chisel instead of a bevel edge one. The extra surface area might be enough to hold it.

Xero’s Paypal feed is crap

I’ve been setting up a new paypal account and I thought it would be nice to get the feed of transactions directly into Xero. Unfortunately Xero’s PayPal feed doesn’t understand how PayPal initially puts your transactions on hold until your account is fully verified. This leads to having your transactions incorrectly imported twice (with incorrect values) into Xero.

I showed the error to Xero and after quite a bit of nagging them to follow it up, giving them futher evidence of the error whey they tried to deny it they eventually came back with a solution of “just manually delete the extra transactions”. This defeates the entire purpose of the feed. Well done Xero! *slow clap*

Here is their support response for your viewing pleasure:

Hi Jason

It appears that PayPal are putting a hold on these transactions when they occur and releasing the funds to your account at a later date.

What this means is that the feed is correctly importing the Gross amount and Fee amount at the correct date and when the net amount has been released to your account later in the month by PayPal, the feed is picking this up as a new transaction.

We’d suggest deleting the incorrect Net amounts that have imported. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Xero Help Centre: Delete a Bank Statement Line

Kind regards
Michael

One of the major selling points of Xero is their feed integration, but if they can’t even get PayPal right, what’s the point?

Uniquify your Buffer Names in emacs with use-package

Recently I have been working on projects that often have multiple files of the same name. By default emacs doesn’t give much information to help you switch between the buffers of open files of the same name. At the same moment that I was thinking I need to find a solution to this Pragmatic Emacs posted a nice little solution using uniquify.

This is how do the same using use-package:

(use-package uniquify
  :config
  (setq uniquify-buffer-name-style 'forward)
  (setq uniquify-separator "/")
  (setq uniquify-after-kill-buffer-p t)    ; rename after killing uniquified
  (setq uniquify-ignore-buffers-re "^\\*") ; don't muck with special buffers
  )

 

FreeTDS is a bag of razorblades use, Microsoft ODBC Driver for Linux instead

According to @mst FreeTDS is a bag of razorblades.

That’s right folks, don’t use it. The new way to go is Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server on Linux.

Unfortunately its a nightmare to install on debian. Luckily some very smart people wrote a lovely little howto: Install and Configure the MS ODBC Driver on Debian.

BPay View feedback

Dear CommBank,

While I think NetBank is great, the BPayView part seriously lets it down. I tweeted my feelings about this and you asked for feedback, so here it is:

1. It silently lets the biller prevent you from viewing older bills. eg. I cannot view Sydney Water bills older than 6 months. but you don’t know this until you try to view the bill, you seen the “This bill is unable to be opened at this time.” and then you call tech support and they inform you that Sydney Water prevents bills older than 6 months from being viewed.
2. It auto archives bills after 18 months. This should be at least 2 years if not 7 in my opinion
3. if you open a bill and try to save the PDF, the PDF is not named something sensible so you can quickly save it and move on to the next bill, making saving bills a tiresome slow process.
4. There should be an option to email the bills to you as a PDF as and when they become available.
5. The archived bills view is useless a it does not show the date of the bill or anything useful about the bill except the amount. This is maddeningly annoying.
6. You cannot open archived bills. well this wouldn’t be such a problem if points 2,4 and 5 were taken care of.

Letter to the minister for small business about slow Internet in Australia

Today I wrote to the minister for small business complaining about the crap Internet in this country. I urge you to write to your MPs also if you think the lack of NBN is a problem.

Dear Mr Billson,

I’d just like to express my concern over the woeful state of Internet in Australia.

As a small business owner, I’m finding it prohibitively expensive to get a decent Internet connection for my business and since the government scuttled the NBN its looking increasingly like fast Internet is basically only for big businesses or people with a lot of money.

Please can you do something to get cheap fast Internet for small business?

I did write to Mr Turnbull about this and the best he could come up with was to blame Labor. I’m sick of hearing excuses. I need action in order for my business to remain viable and continue providing employment to Australian Tax Payers. Fast and cheap Internet is part of what I need to do that.

Thanks for listening

Clock Part 3

I finally finished the outer case of my clock. Only 19 layers of 3mm acrylic stacked on top of each other.

IMG_5445
Laser cutting the rear panel and finger slot
red perspex box with clock electronics showing, rear lid off
Rear panel with finger slot and barrel jack holder
rear panel of clock with wire going into the finger slot
Barrel Jack inside the finger slot

I built a finger slot into the back of the clock so it’s easier to carry, but also to house the barrel jack for mounting the clock flush to the wall, allowong me to hide the power cord in the wall (oneday)

pile of acrylic sheets neetly lined up
This is the pile of acrylic I had to cut out of the inside of the clock.

That pile on the left was cut out to make the cavity in the case.

 

Launch emacs from cygwin

I have written about about using emacs in cygwin and how to launch emacs from cygwin, but I had some problems with the batch file approach in that emacs’ path differ from bash’s. Then ack fails to work from within emacs which makes me sad.

After googling around a bit, I saw a few suggestion that trie to fix the path in emacs, but I think a better approach is to launch emacs from within bash so it inherits the bash environment.

Here is my attempt using vbscript:

Dim WinScriptHost
Set WinScriptHost = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

strCmd = "C:\cygwin\bin\bash --login -c '/usr/local/bin/emacsclient -c -a /usr/local/bin/emacs.exe"

    If WScript.Arguments.Count = 1 Then
        'strCmd = strCmd & " " &"""" & WScript.Arguments(0) & """'" 
		wScript.Echo strCmd
	else
		strCmd = strCmd & "'" 'close single quote
    End If

WinScriptHost.Run strCmd,0 
Set WinScriptHost = Nothing

Save that script somewhere and then make a Windows Shortcut to it but incle the wscript.exe in the target:

C:\Windows\System32\wscript.exe C:\Users\jason\launchemacs1.vbs

You can then launch it from the Start Menu in Windows 7.