Sunday, May 8, 2016

Update on eBay

After about a month of email arguments with eBay about their apparent policy of profiting from criminal activity, something unexpected happened - not only did they refund my seller fee (something they had said repeatedly they would not do), they also returned the amount of money the item sold for to my bank account. So, the buyer got a refund, but I got the (now broken) item back, and the amount I sold it for. Financially, this is a good outcome for me, and I do thank eBay for their (eventually) generous response - but I still won't be using eBay or PayPal again, because this wasn't really about the money. The problem remains that criminal activity is not only condoned, but also rewarded, in their business model.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mutt e-mail client

I think this one may only appeal to programmers, but I've just switched to the mutt e-mail client, and it's great. It's a text-based email reading and writing program that runs in a terminal window. I find it's a lot faster way to deal with email than the webmail or Outlook-like mail clients I've been using since about 1998. In a way, it's like a really powerful version of the old pine client from the 90s.

The reason I say it may only appeal to programmers is that it takes a while to set up initially, involving writing some configuration files and setting up two other programs (offlineimap and msmtp). But it's worth it in the long run and, also, msmtp looks like a great way to automate the sending of email -- something I think could save a bunch of time with university admin jobs.