Random Pieces

Recently, Flickr, which is part or Yahoo, decided they were going to do away with integrated authentication (OAuth, SSO, whatever you want to call it), meaning you had to have a Yahoo login instead of logging in with a FaceBook or Google account.  Curiously, Microsoft Live wasn’t included in the SSO program, even though Yahoo has a good working relationship with Microsoft.  But none of that matters now.

Predictably, people are up in arms that they have to have a Yahoo login.  I’ve had a few Flickr accounts over time, two still current, but will probably drop down to just one.  That remaining one was integrated with FaceBook, so I had to go through the process of creating a new Yahoo account.  I didn’t like doing it, but what I do like is having 1TB of free picture hosting that I can access via API.  Let me explain that value a bit more.  Hopefully, Yahoo doesn’t read this post and figure out how to stop it.

I have a virtual server with GoDaddy that I can use to host whatever web sites I want.  It’s certainly not the fastest server in the world, but then again, I don’t host the biggest sites in the world.  As part of this bare-bones plan, I have about 30GB of drive space, 20 of which is used up by OS and system applications.  So, space is definitely at a premium. 

If I’m going to host a web site that has a photo gallery, which I do as part of a side project I’m involved in, things get a little tense.  But, with a little clever coding, I can host all the photos on Flickr and use their API to display the albums and photos on my website.  You’d never even know the images are on Flickr unless you look at the URLs, and what normal web user does that?  So, even with a free account, you can have 1TB of photo hosting – with no advertising.  Sounds a little too good to be true.  But I’m grateful.

And for that one reason alone, I can tolerate having a Yahoo account.  And I’d have to tell any of the people all upset about having to create a Yahoo account:  You’re late to the game, guys.  Flickr used to have its own login before Yahoo bought them and before SSO became a “thing”.  Would you have been upset that you had to create a whole new Flickr account to use their service?  Of course not.  Get over it.

In other news, for the afore-mentioned side project, I just purchased a vinyl cutting machine and heat press machine.  It seemed like a good purchase at the time because of all the team jerseys that were always needed on short notice.  And also, I am a big proponent of doing as much myself as possible.  When you control everything from end-to-end, your costs and timelines are more predictable.  (It’s almost like dropping login support for other parties and doing it all yourself, eh, Yahoo?)  Outsourcing the printing of the jerseys had previously resulted in different costs, sometimes due to rush jobs, sometimes due to the printer’s whim.  One job resulted in an incorrect name printed, with no time for correction since we paid out the nose for rush processing and shipping anyway.  So bringing the shirt printing in-house was, to me, the best solution.  Par for the course, both machines had to be rush shipped so we had enough time to print jerseys for the next game.  Even so, buying entry-level equipment only cost about $600.

Now that I own this equipment, there is a serious potential to make that money back and then some.  I have to say, the setup and operation of this equipment was really simple.  If you can: use any graphics program, print a document, follow directions, and count, you can probably run a t-shirt business.  And I have to say, watching a vinyl cutter, which is just a plotter with a knife instead of a pen, is mesmerizing.

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