Interview with Ryan Smith from [Interviews]

A week or so ago, Ryan Smith from SpendOnLife had stumbled across some posts I had written about dealing with Collectors. He asked if I’d be willing to mention him in this blog, and I offered to plug his website in exchange for a brief interview.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and your company? What does your company do?

“ is an online resource dedicated to helping consumers achieve healthy credit. Your credit rating can make an enormous difference in your life. By smartly managing your credit, you’ll qualify for low interest rates on new loans and lines of credit. provides you with up-to-date, accurate information and advice about credit reports and scoring

We also educate consumers about the dangers of identity theft and how you can protect yourself from this fast-growing crime. Our goal is to help consumers and students build and maintain a positive credit rating, while raising awareness about the risks of identity theft and credit fraud. We offer knowledge and power: Discover the benefits of developing an advantageous credit history today!” (From

Our goal is to be a complete and accurate source for people to get information on credit reporting, credit scores, debt, and identity theft. We try to present this complex information in a way that is useful and applicable to everyday personal finance decisions.

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Aptana Studio [Tech Review]

Aptana screenshotA few days ago, I reviewed the web content development software called “Quanta Plus”, and had mentioned an upcoming review of another development application aimed more at doing real coding.

That program is called “Aptana“, and is based on the Eclipse development environment. It is absolutely terrific for doing web development. Continue reading

How the TV / Film Industry can take advantage of P2P

If you are a frequent Internet user, you have undoubtedly watched a video online somewhere.


Ok here, watch this:

That video happens to be from Youtube, but as you may or may not know, there are many other places to watch videos online. Some of them are questionably legal. The legitimate sites, however, show advertisements before, during and/or after the videos they display. A 30 minute show typically has 2-3 minutes of commercials — a far cry from televisions 8-12 minutes!

You can also walk the wild side and attempt to find your shows using BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a terrific distributed model for dispersing media across the Internet. But the television and film industry just don’t get it. Well I’ve got a solution. Continue reading

Quanta Plus [Tech Review]

Quanta ScreencapA while back, when I first got the awesometop, I had been looking for some free GUI web development environments. Adobe has yet to release a Linux export of their powerful Creative Suite software (I’m not holding my breath, either), so without the industry standard, I am compelled to look at alternatives.

Fortunately, in Linux-Land there are quite a few alternatives for doing HTML/CSS coding. Unfortunately, not all of them are all that good — there are no direct homologues to Dreamweaver. The programs tend to heavily favor either straight coding or WYSIWYG; I have yet to find one that goes both ways decently. (To be fair, Dreamweaver’s WYSIWYG editor isn’t exactly perfect — I really only ever use it for quick content creation — never for actual designing.)

That said — after playing with a couple, I’ve found two that are pretty dccent, and the first is Quanta Plus. (The other one I like will be reviewed in a few days) Quanta is available through the general repositories (Add/Remove Programs) and alternately through the Quanta website. Continue reading

Castle [TV Review]

castleA few weeks back, I flipped on the television while I was folding some laundry. Most of the TV shows I watch anymore are watched online or on DVD, so I’m pretty out of touch with what shows are showing right now.

When the TV came on, it was some crime drama, and I immediately saw Nathan Fillion, who starred in both “Firefly” (as Mal, reprising that character role in the theatrical “Serenity” release) and  “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along-Blog” (as Captain Hammer). My boss, John, had mentioned to me that Nathan Fillion was in a new show called “Castle”, about a writer that tags along with a police squad. As an actor, Fillion is pretty entertaining — he is pretty versatile and does (IMHO) a solid character delivery — perhaps they keep giving him roles that fit his personality and he’s just acting like himself (see: “Charlie Sheen” :) ), hard to say.

Anyways, I caught about half of the episode that was playing and decided I liked it enough to look into it some more. Hulu to the rescue! Continue reading