GnuCash-Einstellungen für Skatbank

… und wieder GunCash-Einstellungen, diesmal für die Skatbank:  Ein Teil der Informationen steht auch bei der Skatbank online (HBCI mit PIN/TAN).

Vorsicht: Bei der falschen HTTP-Version friert GnuCash einfach ein!

  • Bankinfo: Wird automatisch über BLZ 83065408 gesetzt.
  • Benutzername und Benutzerkennung sind beides die VR-NetKey
  • HBCI-Version: 3.0
  • HTTP-Version: 1.0
  • SSLv3 erzwingen

Viel Erfolg!

Dijkstra – The Three Golden Rules for Successful Scientific Research

For personal reference posted here:

“Raise your quality standards as high as you can live with, avoid wasting your time on routine problems, and always try to work as closely as possible at the boundary of your abilities. Do this, because it is the only way of discovering how that boundary should be moved forward.”

“We all like our work to be socially relevant and scientifically sound. If we can find a topic satisfying both desires, we are lucky; if the two targets are in conflict with each other, let the requirement of scientific soundness prevail.”

“Never tackle a problem of which you can be pretty sure that (now or in the near future) it will be tackled by others who are, in relation to that problem, at least as competent and well-equipped as you.”

Source: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~EWD/transcriptions/EWD06xx/EWD637.html

NUK Reinfall

Eine schöne Möglichkeit für Unternehmer zur Validierung ihrer Geschäftsideen sind Businessplan-Wettbewerbe, wie der NUK-Wettbewerb, zum Beispiel.  Ärgerlich ist es nur, wenn nur ein Teil der Regeln öffentlich bekannt ist.

Ich habe bei NUK einen Haufen Arbeit umsonst investiert, da ich eine Überarbeitung meiner Einreichung vom letzten Jahr noch einmal eingereicht hatte.  Das dies nicht zulässig ist, erfuhr ich nicht aus den offiziellen Unterlagen, sondern erst nach der Einreichung durch einen Telefonanruf von NUK.

Gerade in der Gründungsphase gibt es mehr als genug zu tun!  Es ist eine Sache, die Regeln nicht ordentlich zu lesen.  Aber dass die Regeln nicht veröffentlicht wurden ist nun wirklich nicht meine Schuld!  Ziemlich unprofessionell.

Bad Experience with Afian File Manager

I recently installed the Afian File Manager for a customer.  All they needed was a simple way for safely sharing large files with customers.  There are plenty of web file managers available (free and commercial), but surprisingly few support uploads beyond what the web server allows.  Afian was one of them.

Turns out they realized the big file upload with a Java Applet that chops the file into small chunks that are sent one by one and then reassembled by a PHP-Script on the back end.  So far so good.  It worked in their life demo, but it didn’t work on our server.  The difference?  We used SSL.  I didn’t consider this an issue, as the Q&A page stated:

"Does it work with SSL?
Yes, you can use it with SSL, and there’s no configuration involved. It’s just a matter of running Afian under a https (secure http) address. Our personal opinion is that this method would be a bit excessive. But we all know that it puts people at ease about security…"

When I contacted tech support, they told me that the Applet-Upload doesn’t work with SSL.  What the… didn’t I just read something else?  So I revisited their Q&A page, which now read:

"Does it work with SSL?
Yes, you can use it with SSL, and there’s no configuration involved. It’s just a matter of running Afian under a https (secure http) address. The drag&drop upload method however, will still be using HTTP."

In fact, they changed  this within minutes of my support question regarding SSL. But fortunately, the Google Cache still held the original text.

Afian has a strict refund policy (something that actually made me nervous before the purchase).  But I thought okay, let’s give them the benefit of a doubt.  So I requested a refund without mentioning the Google cache page.  Had they just refunded the money, then I wouldn’t have written this blog entry.  Instead I got this:

"Please review the agreed refund policy: http://www.afian.com/refund-policy
We did not claim that the drag&drop upload feature works over HTTPS."

After I pointed out that the feature was offered at the time of purchase (proving it with the Google Cache link), they withdrew and issued the refund.

But this left a sour aftertaste, that is just no way to treat customers.  They are free to do business as they see fit – even though changing the web site for not having to issue a refund is borderline, to say the least.  But ultimately they are hurting themselves.  With a little more generosity, they may trigger positive blog entries.  And let’s face it, with a product like this, positive reviews are by far the best marketing – and bad reviews are poison.

Validating a buisiness plan – Sramana Mitra meets Seth Godin

One of the key tasks for starting a business is validating the idea – a task that is, unfortunately, often neglected.  Therefore, Validation is a key ingredient of Sramana Mitra’s EJ Methodology. Sramana even provides support for validation in the form of a list of "Clarify your story" questions.  I was still struggling on how to engage potential customers in validation.

I found support in this Seth Godin post regarding business plans.  It didn’t look like much, but when I tried to restate my ideas in terms of Truths and Assertions, I realized that the Assertions were a great starting point for validation.

Xing deletes my profile

I have always been suspicious towards social networks.  Still, I have a profile on most networks.  It usually points people towards a place that I control myself (my web presence and my email).

Yesterday, I got a notification by Xing that they deactivated my account.  After some probing, they finally tell me why (because I have two accounts there).  Fine, delete the older one.  Except… that they delete the wrong one.  Answer from Xing: "Sorry, can’t be undone!"

Whatever.  Just another warning to everybody to be careful on how deeply you are willing to invest into a platform that you don’t control.

This is not the first unpleasant encounter I had with Xing, I will probably keep the (barely connected) profile there, until they decide to delete that one too.