Lots of post from Halifax

December 22nd, 2012 by Richy B. No comments »

I’ve just closed my ISA Investor with Halifax (well, now it’s HBOS Investment Fund Managers Limited) as I’ve been unhappy with their service since the Lloyds TSB takeover (who I actually left, after 25 years, about 6 years ago as I was unhappy with their deteriorating service!). So Halifax/HBOS sent me “contract note[s] for the sale of shares from your ISA Investor”.

One for each of the individual investment trusts. So that’s 13 contract notes.

All in their own envelopes.

All with their own (UKMail) postage paid.

All with the sale deal reference number, deal date, deal time and customer account number.

And they still hadn’t updated my name correctly from early September when I went into the branch and mid-November when I telephoned them (one of the reasons for closing the accounts I have with them is their inability to be update things accurately).

I honestly don’t think Halifax will be around in 10 years time if they continue like this.

Techy: rSync and scp over different ports

December 21st, 2012 by Richy B. No comments »

If you want to copy a file over scp using a different port number than usual, the syntax is:

Assume 1234 is the port number
scp -P 1234 user@remotehost:/folder/file.txt .

And if you want to do the same in rsync over SSH, then the syntax is:
rsync -av --progress -e "ssh -p 1234" user@remotehost:/folder/file.txt .

Note the different capitalisation of the port specifier (“p” is rsync’s ssh connection and “P” in scp).

Techy: Linux Mint: Where now?

December 20th, 2012 by Richy B. No comments »

For just over the past year, I have been running Linux Mint 12 (“Lisa”) 64bit on my HP Pavilion dv7-6103ea laptop. The only problems I’ve had are the graphics drivers (installing and upgrading the drivers for the AMD Radeon 6545G2 card gives me a black screen and I have to somehow boot Linx, remove the Catalyst drivers, reboot, try and install them and hope), the AVerMedia USB TV card not working at first (it’s working now and I don’t think I changed anything: although the remote doesn’t seem to work) and the fingerprint scanner not working.

Anyway – it’s time for me to upgrade my Operating System, but what to? The choices for the OS I have are:
* Stay on Linux Mint 12 and slowly get out of date and be disappointed that Steam (for Linux) and World of Warcraft (under Wine) won’t work. It’ll become obsolete in April 2013.
* Upgrade to the latest version of Linux Mint : 14 “Nadia” which only be supported until April 2014, but was only released in November 2012. Will require entire reinstall, but a new upgrade will be available in around April.
* Upgrade to the latest “long term support” version of Linux Mint: 13 “Maya” which will be supported until April 2017, but was released in July 2012. Will require entire reinstall, but a new upgrade will be available sometime before 2017.
* Switch to Linux Mint Debian edition which has “rolling updates” (so no need to reinstall on updates), however might not be so stable as the “Ubuntu based Mint”. Meant to be more responsive/faster, but less desktop ready. Will require entire reinstall, but just once.

But then I’ve also got the choice:
* Reinstall over the existing Linux Mint install – giving me “no way back”
* Make a new partition on either my “Linux hard drive” or “Windows hard drive” and put the new OS there
* Replace an existing hard drive with an SSD card (I’m currently using 83G of space on my Linux drive). A 128Gb card will cost £70+vat, 256Gb, £125+vat and 512Gb £253+vat.
* Get a new internal hard drive. For a straight-replacement of the 750Gb HD, it’ll be £65+vat

Any suggestions?

Full machine specification for the record
» Read more: Techy: Linux Mint: Where now?

Magento: Get customers ordered by order value

December 17th, 2012 by Richy B. No comments »

Want to know which of your Magento e-commerce shopping cart customers have ordered the most this year? Well, I’ve written the following SQL query to help:

SELECT SUM(sales_flat_order.base_total_invoiced) AS totalvalue,sales_flat_order.customer_firstname,sales_flat_order.customer_lastname,sales_flat_order.customer_email,sales_flat_order_address.street,sales_flat_order_address.city,sales_flat_order_address.region,sales_flat_order_address.postcode FROM sales_flat_order,sales_flat_order_address WHERE sales_flat_order.state='complete' AND sales_flat_order.created_at>'2012-01-01' AND sales_flat_order_address.entity_id=sales_flat_order.billing_address_id GROUP BY sales_flat_order.customer_email ORDER BY totalvalue DESC

Cold call from AON

November 7th, 2012 by Richy B. No comments »

Just had a cold selling call from a company called AON asking for me by name (using my old name) and asking when our Professional Indemnity Insurance was due for renewal. The woman I spoke to was nice and polite and did say she would remove us from their calling list when I requested.

Caller ID showed 0800 635 00666, but looking on the internet doesn’t show them up – but I assume by the spelling of the name and the services that they are http://www.rewritinginsurance.aon.co.uk/.

We are more than happy with our current professional indemnity insurance from Policy Bee – who have only called us when we contacted them (just to confirm legal details) and came with good recommendations.

My view is that in this day and age, if you need to cold-call then you aren’t a very good company as people should be recommending you and you should have good ranking well designed website (I’m not saying AON are a “bad company”, but that’s my viewpoint: I’ve never purchased anything from cold-callers and won’t in the future: however, I may well waste your time)

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