Monday, January 21, 2013

Living off ad revenue

I have been testing ad sense from google. The way I do it is to provide a service that I myself have actually needed and was unable to find. Let me explain. If anyone knows of a better paying ad service, please leave a comment, but I don't want any blinking banner or crap ware.

My number 1 service is, which as the domain states, merges pdf files. Every month I need to give my accountant a bunch of receipts which I need to scan and then send her, by using mergepdfs I am able to upload a bunch of files, any number, and download a single file, which I then send to her. For me, I actually love my own service, I really do. I needed to use such a service and I googled it, like everything else I need and I found quite a few but most of them wanted me to pay for it, others were useless in the sense they were free for small files, but had an extremely difficult to use payment system for larger files. So I built my own, and it is free, completely free as it costs you no money and don't upsell anything. I could give you lower quality for free, but I don't.

This service has had thousands of people to check it out with many hundreds who actually use it. According to Google analytics, almost 50% of visits are recurring, which means people use the service again and again. I am happy.

But can you live off ad revenue with hundreds of active users every month, in short NO. So far, over 6 months I have made something less than $10. But this is one such thing where waiting and improving the service will benefit me. I don't think I can ever live off this, but it would be cool to get at least enough to purchase books from amazon. But hey, the service is fast, easy and free and will continue to be so.


My other service is which as the name implies adds watermarks on every page you upload. I made this service just for fun. This service is also free.

Use it, enjoy it.

Both services are made with Play! Framework and uses JQuery with backbone.js. All in all, pretty cool services, which I had fun making. I learnt a lot and totally fell for Backbone.js library. It is just so cool.
More on that later.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Why I can't quit stack overflow

I think stack overflow website has done more good than any other website out there, including facebook and anything google has done (the jury is still out on Wikipedia).

It has collected incredible amount of knowledge which is distributed for free, completely free, you don't even have to login and they play search engines in such a way that any problem I have with any programming project, the search gives me the answer on stack overflow.

It is pretty addictive to answer questions and watch as the points roll in, but it is also extremely demoralising to be awarded a negative point, which means you answer a question which someone, anonymous, don't like or agree with, he gives you negative points, so it actually hurts your high, and has damaging effects, no matter if your answer is actually correct.

I answered one question about which books and information someone should read to get better at Core Data. I listed the books that helped me, with Amazon links to follow, and I used amazon link shortener because amazon links are very long and very ugly. The results were that I raked in negative points and lost the important points that at the time pushed me above the very much sought after 1.000 points and left me at 997 points, like it was mocking me.

This has happened a few times and every time I vouch to quit answering questions on Stack overflow only to see a question lingering to which I know the answer and I say to myself, oh man, Stack overflow is actually so good, it is worth while even if you get punched in the stomach a few times, here and there.

I do understand why you could get negative points, lets say there is a C# question, and I would chime in and tell the person this problem did not exist in C++, which is totally trolling and unhelpful.

I suggest here inside my /dev/null nothingness, my empty wasteland of blog that if you vote down a question so that it gets a negative rating that you have to write a comment on why you did such heinous act, it could even be anonymous to the victim, but then the victim could fix the issue you have or even delete the post. You should at least know why your answer was so bad that it required you to be beaten up, why your score high was cut short and you would get a way to appeal this and the voter who voted you down would be forced to justify his deeds. You are not required to do so if you vote down, only when you vote down below zero.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I was going to name this why I left dropbox but the title did not tell the truth, I did not leave dropbox, they lost my account and don't answer support emails.

I have been a user of dropbox and a cheerleader for the service for many years, they truly do deliver a fantastic service. I got so many users to use them that I had many extra gigabytes of storage added as a thank you. Then without a notice, puff, my account wasn't available and when I tried to log in and change my password, the answer was simple, no such account. Their support site almost requires you to log in only mention it in a passing that

For me making my own dropbox or dropler service isn't that hard, and I am contemplating on doing so, but this teaches me a lesson, not to become dependant on 3rd party solutions. The worst of it is that dropbox actually is great.

I have now installed skydive from Microsoft, got 25 GB free space, works the same way and lets face it, Microsoft is not going to go bankrupt or end up being bought. They might though kill the service, but hey, they will not close my account without closing everyone else down as well.