tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Payment gateways

I've been investigating e-commerce payment gateways for one of my clients today. Usually you get a merchant ID for your business bank account and then choose between a range of service providers for which best matches how your website is doing. EROL has a handy payment service provider comparison chart to help you work out which service matches your needs.

However, my client wants some options if they don't get a merchant ID. The only ones I've found at the moment are Paypal and WorldPay's Payment processing and internet merchant account. Looking at the costs of both, at the moment Paypal is looking more attractive for them. At my last freelancers meeting someone had a client who is trying to get a load of money back from Paypal after his account was frozen, which doesn't fill me with confidence, although I've used their service for small amounts in the past. I've also heard complaints that WorldPay can take many weeks to pay a completed transaction to the client, which doesn't bode well either. I'm going to recommend SecPay whose service seems to match their needs the best, and if they don't want the merchant ID, Paypal seems the next best system. Still, I'll make the complaints I've heard about them known so the client can decide with their eyes open.

What file extension are you?

There are so many 'what xxx are you?' quizzes around now that I ignore most of them, but being a techie I couldn't resist this one:

Which File Extension are You?
You are .doc You change from year to year, just to make things tough on your competition.  Only your creator really has a handle on you.

Strange graphic

A very strange graphic you can zoom in or out of... plenty to see if you go through it a few times.

Client quotes

Clientcopia has a good collection of silly quotes people have got from their clients. To be honest, some seem to have been caused by the suppliers as much as the clients, but there are some great classics in there. This one reminds me greatly of working for one of my old employers. It could be a direct quote.

Friend getting published

My friend Richard is getting published again soon, in two new Doctor Who books (one being 2040) and he's just been commissioned for another short story - big congratulations his way.

Google popularity

I went up to London yesterday to attend a clients' meeting where all the members of the site would get to 'meet the webmaster.' I hate talking through microphones, especially when I wasn't really sure why I was going up there, but hey ho, and it's wasn't too bad - some useful comments about the website that I will be putting in.

Near the end of the website part of the meeting the organiser asked everyone what search engines they used. Apparently when she asked a year and a half ago the French were using Yahoo, the Italians or Danish Lycos, generally a varied mix. Yesterday everyone replied 'Google' in a variety of different accents. Now it is always Google first, something else later if it was needed, which it usually wasn't. Yahoo and MSN may be trying to improve, but it's going to be difficult to shift people from a search engine as efficient as Google, especially when it's gaining new visitors all the time.

New site for Matt

Becoming old news, but while it's still quite fresh: congrats to Matt for his new design of Malevolent, his website design company. Very cool.

It reminds me even more that I keep meaning to find a logo for my freelance site which can also go on my invoices. At the moment heavy use of Arial really isn't floating my boat.

Adjusting a LCD TFT monitor

I've been having some problems with weird effects on my TFT monitor. Recently I found out if you show the right sort of image when you use the 'auto adjust' setting, it can help, and it cleared up my problems. Here's a short article about it and access to a page you can use to adjust your own monitor if it's playing up in similar ways:

Adjusting a LCD monitor

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