Twitter me this, twitter me that….

OK, I’ve done it.  I’m now on twitter.

You can see me at

Why: I really don’t know.  These days it seems to be one of the things that you need to be part of, so I thought I’d have a look. 

I’m really not all that impressed.  I’ll give it a but more time and report back. Maybe I’m no longer in the right generation.  People like me who were around when the home PC and the Internet  were just beginning to take off are no longer with it! (Well, just maybe).

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Is selling on eBay really worth it?

Over the last couple of months I have starting selling all items that we no longer require around the house.  I started selling books and then moved onto the kids and wife’s old clothes.  Now I’m starting on the the kids old toys.

I’m at a point now where I am wondering is the time and effort really worth it. Let me give you a scenario that is pretty typical.

We listed some clothing and have a starting price of 99 cents (as recommended by eBay to get more buyers).  Typically there is only one bidder with the occasional 2 or 3 bids on some items which push the selling price up to about $2.50, but typically with one bid the item sells for 99 cents.  With clothing weighing in more than 500 grams you need to send the item in a 3 kilogram parcel for $9.90.

So the person pays 99 cents for the item plus $9.90 for postage, totalling $10.89.
It will cost you 30 cents to list the item on eBay.  If the buyer then payees by PayPal then there is a  56 cent fee (commission) involved.

So that 99 cent sale just made a profit of 13 cents.

Wait a minute, you meant I made 13 cents that cost me in time about 20 minutes to list on eBay.  Now there is a really good hourly rate.  By the time I take photos of the product, crop them and make it look presentable, select the correct category to list the item in eBay, select and entered all the detailed category information, and then write a description about the product I can make 13 cents.  WOW.  That doesn’t even include the cost and time of driving to the post office and then waiting in line to post the items.

I also forgot to take into account of the commission that eBay charges for selling an item.  On a 99 cent item they take a further 5 cents which leaves only 8 cents for me.

Sure this is the worst  case cenairo (but most typical).  Unless you can list items that are going to be popular and there is going to be a lot of interest I think you are wasting your time.

What really gets my goat is when you add $2 for Postage and Handling how people get upset and feel they are getting ripped off.

Don’t even get me started on how people pay 99 cents for a couple of items and they want to come around to pick them up. They expect you to bend over backwards to accommodate their needs and having to put up with the bull shit of them changing the times.  When you have to deal with a few pickups at the same time it becomes a full time job just for a few cents.

I have had some success selling on eBay.  The biggest was a split system air conditioner that I listed for $200 which  ended up selling for $470, even though I paid $600 and it was never used.

I think unless you can sell an item for over $10 plus postage with a small handling fee it is not worth the hassle.

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Amazon WEB Servies (AWS)

Some time ago I came across the Amazon WEB Services but I did not do anything about it. Recently for one reason or another I have revisited AWS offerings. It’s not so much AWS but more so the EC2 product that is so interesting.


Using the CE2 services that AWS have on offer allows you to have hosted servers.  These hosted servers can be anything at all.  So what I hear you saying.  The big deal is that you only pay for the time the server is operating, typically around US10 cents per hour.  Not only that you can configure load balancing, clustering and more.  This is ideal for test environments as you can quickly and easily bring up 5 or 10 images (instances as EC2 call it) and do what you need to test a particular feature or function.


I’m currently in the process of documenting the process that I have taken on my Wiki.  I have created an AWS category that may be worth a look.


My plan is to get Asterisk hosted and have a play.  I am thinking of building an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to host on the EC2 and offering paid support.

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Over the last month I have been working on a bash script that would install Asterisk with all the required core components.

I have multiple reasons for creating the script but the top reasons are:

  • The ability to quickly and easily install Asterisk (typicaly in a virtual environment) to test a new feature or function or to simply run a test.
  • I have a friend who runs his own consultantcy business and he liked the idea of a procedure that could install Asterisk in a minimal period of time.

The script and details are available on my wiki at aster-install.


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I am now Blogging

Hi All,

I hope to see you here on a regular basis.  My plan is to let people know what I am currently working on and announcing events.  With my blogging, Forums and Wiki pages I hope to give much back to the community.

The forums are still work in progress but I hope to get it up and going in the next day or so.

All the best.
David Klaverstyn

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