How to Sell Zip Files Online

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Every few months someone asks to buy a license to some old course notes I wrote. Usually it takes a few days for me to get around to invoicing them, packing up the zip files, and e-mailing them. I’d like to make this more automatic.

What services do folks recommend for selling basic files? i.e. zip files? I don’t need DRM or anything fancy. However I do want it to be hands off after I upload the files. Also, my sales volume is low so no monthly fees is a must. I am willing to pay a reasonable percentage of the transaction or per-megabyte sold charge.

I’m not looking to make a great deal of money, or become an online store, just automate the delivery and download process a little more so it’s a bit easier to buy from me. Any ideas?

Shayna 1997-2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

December 1, 1997-September 17, 2010
We will miss you.

Planning for Iceland

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Just found out I’ll be in Reykjavik or Keflavik (not sure which we’re staying in yet) in mid-October. Not the ideal time to visit for nature, I know, but it’s when my wife has an excuse to go to Iceland for her work. Two questions: where to go and what can I see? It looks like I will have missed most bird species by then, but any that are left would be of interest, and it seems like there are maybe 60+ possibles including several life birds. These range from certain (Iceland Gull) to longshot vagrant (Bohemian Waxwing, Chiffchaff).
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#509 Mourning Warbler

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I wasn’t initially planning to go out to Prospect Park on Labor Day. Given that I live right at the end of the route for the West Indian Day Parade, the crowds of the noise are usually quite excessive. It’s just too much trouble to get up and down Eastern Parkway. However, when I heard from Peter Dorosh that a Mourning Warbler had been seen at the south end of the Vale of Kashmir, right near where I usually enter the park, it was just too tempting.

I headed out just after 11:00 AM. Fortunately the start of the parade was just beginning to reach the end of the Eastern Parkway, and the crowds are not too excessive yet submitted to the park fairly quickly and got to the Vale about 11:15. I promptly ran into Tom Stephenson who was also out looking for the bird and hoping to photograph it. We wandered around a bit, later being joined by Phil Malek, and kept looking for the Mourning Warbler. We had some tantalizing possibilities but nothing that looked definite, especially given that there were at least two and probably more Common Yellowthroats wandering around in the vicinity.

The Mourning Warbler is not an especially uncommon bird around here, but it is one that is relatively hard to find because it is a real skulker. It likes to get down in the leaf litter and below the leaves and not come out very much where it can be seen. Tom played the calls and the song of the Mourning Warbler but we didn’t get any responses. That’s not too surprising in the fall when birds are generally not singing and not paying much attention to their song.

Round about noon, Tom decided give up the search and headed home before the parade traffic got too disastrous; and as often happens about 10 minutes later as I was walking along the fence down toward Nellies Lawn, up popped the bird. It was a small brown bird with a completely yellow underside. It was considerably thinner and pointier than a female Common Yellowthroat, the most similar local species. However a Yellowthroat is a much fatter bird. It usually looks like it swallowed a ping-pong ball. This bird was much skinnier and showed complete yellow underneath, not just yellow on the throat and the undertail coverts. The bird also had either a thin eye ring or eye arcs — I didn’t have quite long enough look to tell whether the eye ring was connected or not. On the Mourning Warbler you’d expect that it wouldn’t be connected; on a Yellowthroat you’d expect that it would be. I couldn’t definitively say one way or the other. However, given the expensive yellow on the underside of the bird all the way down to the undertail coverts, and especially given the shape of the bird which was very slender not at all yellowthroat like, I’m very confident in saying that this was a Mourning Warbler.
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Comparing the 50D and the 60D

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

The newly announced Canon 60D SLR is shockingly not necessarily an upgrade from the 50D, and even less so from the 7D. Here, briefly, is an outline of the key differences between the cameras:
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