Monday, March 17, 2008

Internet Sales Tax

It looks like the California government is finally trying to grapple with Internet sales tax.

As I stated a few months ago I had to prepare my sales tax reports and for about the 10th year they came out to $0.00 owed. I think I've owed a dollar or two a couple of those years, but basically $0.00. I don't think this law would effect me since I do all my sales through Digital River and they are considered my vendor of reference. Since they are in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it it is just like an out of state sale which I wouldn't pay sales tax on anyway. If there is any tax to collect, which there is when something gets sold to the UK, they collect it and deal with it. It alleviates a lot of headaches for me and I really love Digital River for that. Even though they do take a pretty large chunk of my sales. It makes me think I should use paypal for 1.9% of the sale and just deal with the tax! But then I wouldn't have access to the affiliate system and changing my website is something I always resist. If something is working, leave it alone!!!

As for paying taxes, I wouldn't mind. I use the roads, I appreciate the police and fire departments, programs for the poor, I used the county health department when I got bit by a dog in Africa, I like after school programs and the such. Paying it hurts and I whine like everyone else, but I do appreciate what my tax dollars do. I just wish it was a little more efficient and government officials took a little more pride in their duties. Sometimes a lot of those positions look very cush from the outside and could be done with about 10% of the current size and the rest could go to other programs. But I'm not expert, I just think the good outweighs the bad of a smaller income. As long as we are all taxed equally (which we are not and is a whole other matter) I'm fine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Edit Window

I "finished" the new edit on Monday. This has been a huge effort and glad things are still moving along. Here is a screenshot.

It is fully functional at this point. The biggest difference is that all card elements are on this one window. To change the title, card number and category you used to have to click a button to open a dialog which slowed the card creation process. I've also made the card styles and tabs single click "buttons" instead of pull downs in the previous version. This will cut down from two click to change card style or card side to one click speeding the card creation and editing process.

I've also added fixed sizes for the cards (3x5,4x6,5x7,6x8) as well as the Max setting which maximizes the card size for the edit window. The previous version always maximized for the window size. This caused problems when people maximized to full screen the cards were just too large. At least now the card size can be easily set to a specific size. One concern I have is that 3x5 is in inches which is very American. If you know how the metric world sizes index cards please contact me, I could use the help.

My friends don't link the green buttons so I'm probably going to go back and rework the button colors, but that is just are and doesn't change the functional working of the window.

Now I'm back to working on the standalone quizzer and will finish that and come back to working on Memorize-It 5.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Good Progress

I made really great progress last week on the new version. Remember, if you think you should wait to purchase because you just learned I'm working on a new version, don't. I offer free upgrades to anyone who purchased in the last 6 months and everyone else is $10. Compare that to the minimum $199 for Adobe Photoshop which seems to only be available to people who purchased on the sixth Tuesday of the previous month. The $299 price is for those who purchased on the fifth Tuesday and everyone else is full price. I spent way to much time trying to upgrade a version 4 copy of Photoshop and it was a very unpleasant experience. Dealing with Adobe always seems to been unpleasant (and very expensive) to me. Okay, I'm a little off topic.

Also, this upgrade has been in progress for at least 4 years now, but the past six months have shown that it is finally going to happen. Last week I made extremely good progress on the new edit window. Even so, don't hold your breath, I still have a lot to add. I finally saw a hint of light at the end of the tunnel last week.

Last week I added fixed card sizing. The previous version tied the size of the card to the size of the edit window. This had problems when people maximized their screens and the cards were huge. This was not a problem until they went to print and a small font on that giant card was resized to a microdot when printed on a 3x5 card. Now you can fix the card size to 3x5, 4x6, 5x7 or the existing full window size.

I'm also almost done with a system that puts ALL the information for the card on the edit window. Previously the title and category were on a separate dialog box and required a few extra clicks. Having this all on a single window will help speed the card creation process.

I changed the card sides to use tabs above the card edit area. Previously this was a pull down menu box and required two clicks to change the card side. With tabs it only requires one click.

I changed the card style choice (Honor System, Multiple Choice, True/False, Type-In and the not yet released Scrambled Multiple Choice) to use radio buttons to choose the card type. This was also a pull down menu box and now only requires one click. Every click counts and this release is going to offer a lot of stream lining.

When I get the edit window done I will post a screen shot. Then it will be on to the list window and another new feature called an image library which I can explain later.