Affiliate Programs | Scripts & Components

Where we finish what we start

Inkblood Writers' Guild is an online community devoted to helping speculative fiction writers commit to and finish a manuscript. We welcome writers of all ages and skillsets and projects at all stages of completion, from first to final draft.
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Cut price work by redditors, for redditors

Get jobs done well below market rate. Any task (within reason) can be completed here for pay. Find casual online work. Earn a few dollars here and there completing small tasks. It will soon add up. Employers can outsource tasks instantly. Please use Old Reddit to see the full list of rules and sidebar to participate here.
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I made a spreadsheet with all kitchen essentials, including links to recommended products at three price tiers

This new 110-character title limit is a challenge...
Here is the spreadsheet
There are no referral or affiliate links here, I am not benefiting in any way from this. I just enjoy helping others.
Let me explain my intentions a bit more
I was bored one day week, and I decided to write up a list of all essential items that any kitchen should have. This was meant to help beginners who don't have much or any kitchen hardware, or for those who are looking to upgrade their existing hardware. I decided to also include an "expanded" and "expert" level of hardware that you will eventually need as well (see the separate tabs on the bottom of the spreadsheet).
I hand-compiled 95 items, and used product recommendations from America's Test Kitchen and Serious Eats to come up with three different options for each item, at three different price points. So there are currently 279 individual items with prices and links to purchase.
I feel pretty good with the range of items, I'd say it's about 95% inclusive. If you spot anything I have missed, feel free to let me know and I will add it.
Edit: Just wanted to highlight this great suggestion from BrooklynNewsie
If someone here is planning to move out of their own, it’s worth printing out a list like this and posting it on the wall of your new kitchen, add a check mark every time you want to use something from the list you don’t have yet. Highlight it if there is no available substitute to get the job done without that tool. (Obviously make sure you have the absolute basics [pan, spatula, knife, cutting board, grater, fire extinguisher]) When you hit 3 check marks, add it to your shopping list.
Edit 2: Wow! So much great feedback, thank you all so much!
I have made a few updates to the spreadsheet; I added a mandatory column, per many of your requests, which is just what is sounds like, things that are absolutely mandatory and you can't live without.
I added some little pictures as well, because why not.
Next I will be adding some descriptions as to why each item is considered essential, or basically why I think it deserves a spot in your kitchen. I will try to keep my bias out of this.
I will also be creating a list of baking essentials as well. Look for that in a new post within the next week or so.
Lastly, if any of you still reading this have any software programming experience, I am looking for some assistance setting up a Python script or Visual Basic code, or whatever, that will auto-update the prices from Amazon. I know Java and some C++, but that's it. Please DM me if you would be willing to help!
submitted by 96dpi to cookingforbeginners [link] [comments]

Conference changes for 2020–21

It's July 1st, and you know what that means: time for the annual conference changes list! Thanks to Sir_Superman for letting me take over this year, and for helping fill in some things I missed.
Schools with football (including those adding or dropping it) are in bold. Note that I'm not including schools that have canceled football or other fall sports for 2020, since those presumably are temporary changes.

Division I

Seven schools are in the process of reclassifying to Division I. Their projected completion dates (after which they become eligible for the postseason) are as follows:
Future changes: Bethune–Cookman and Florida A&M from MEAC to SWAC; North Carolina A&T from MEAC to Big South. St. Thomas (MN) is applying for a waiver to reclassify from Division III to Division I beginning in 2021; if this is accepted, UST will join the Summit League, but no football destination has been announced.

Division II

Six schools are in the process of joining Division II. Their projected completion dates (after which they become eligible for the postseason) are as follows:
Future changes: Anderson (SC) adding football (2024; South Atlantic); Ashland from GLIAC to GMAC (2021); Converse adding men’s sports (2021; Conference Carolinas); Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke from Peach Belt to Conference Carolinas (2021; UNCP football unaffected).

Division III

Several schools are in the process of joining Division III. Beginning with this year's entrants, the provisional membership process lasts only three years instead of four. However, under the old system it has been common for schools to obtain a waiver to skip a year (usually the third year). Because of that, these projected completion dates are tentative:
Manor is beginning an exploratory year and likely to enter provisional membership next year.
Future changes: Iowa Wesleyan from SLIAC (UMAC football) to NAIA (2021); Louisiana College from ASC to NAIA (2021); Macalester football from MWC to MIAC (2021); Mary Baldwin adding men’s sports (2021; USA South); Pine Manor is absorbed Boston College and drops sports (2021); St. Mary's (MD) from CAC to NEAC (2021); St. Norbert from MWC to NACC (2021); St. Scholastica from UMAC to MIAC (2021); St. Thomas (MN)from MIAC to likely Division I (2021); Southern Virginia from CAC (ODAC football) to USA South (2021).

NAIA

Future changes: Columbia (SC) adds men’s sports (2021); Iowa Wesleyan joins from D3 (no conference affiliation announced); Johnson & Wales (FL) closes (2021; currently in Sun Conference); Louisiana College joins from D3 (will likely join SSAC with football in the Sooner); Mount Marty adds football (2022; GPAC).

Other notes

submitted by Inkblot9 to CFB [link] [comments]

Frontend Web Developer Roadmap: Everything you need to know to get started

If you're feeling lazy and would prefer to watch a full video summary, one is available here. Let me know if you have any feedback!
What is frontend web development?
It is using code to create the visual part of a website. The content, the colours and positioning, as well as the logic that is on a page, such as submitting a form. That's frontend. The other part is 'backend', which is everything related to the database and network; the non-visual things that are going on behind the scene.

Different routes to learn web development
CS Degree: The first is a degree, through either a university or college. This offers strong foundational knowledge in computer science, which can be very helpful, especially in certain areas of programming. However in my experience, this understanding of computer science is not necessary in order to get your first web development job and you can learn all of the theory and nitty gritty details of computers while on the job. Additionally, getting a degree is also a very long process, so 3-4 years, it's also extremely expensive - and the majority of it won't be focused on web development.
Bootcamp: Next -3-4 month coding bootcamps (offers good structure and forces you to be fully immersed, but expensive and must be full-time)
Self-taught: Finally -Self taught. What the focus of this guide is. This route offers a flexible schedule and inexpensive, and as long as you have the right set of online courses and curriculum set up for you, I believe it is the best option. Getting your first web development job is not about what certificate or degree you have. In most cases, it is a meritocracy - that is, if you have the skills to do the job, you can get the job.

How long does it take to be job ready? 4-12 months.
Outline a timeframe which you are able to dedicate towards learning web development(3, 6 or 12 months) and create a schedule around it. This way you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable if you set a specific date to, such as finishing a specific course or start apply to jobs. Whether it is 3 or 12 months, the only thing that changes is how much time per week you are able to dedicate towards learning this craft. If it is 3 months, you'll need to be working 12+ hours per day, and for 12 months, maybe 2 hours per day. The key is coding daily, so you can immerse yourself.
It's also important to stick to one programming language, based on the job you're wanting to get. Don't get distracted by other languages. They're fantastic, but your focus needs to be on the core frontend stack. You don't want to be a Jack of all trades, but master of none. You need to get vertical proficiency, not horizontal - and you get that by practicing that one thing, daily.
What do you need to learn?
HTML (the content - the text, images, links), CSS(the styling - colors, positioning and responsiveness), and JavaScript(the logic for your website, when you click a submit button - what happens?). Once you have learned those three and have a strong foundation in JavaScript, then you'll be at a crossroads; React, Angular or Vue. These are JavaScript libraries and frameworks, which act as wrappers around vanilla JavaScript, giving you additional functionality that would take longer to code otherwise. It is important that the first thing you do before getting too deep into one of these, is to look on job websites (LinkedIn, Glassdoor or Indeed) and ensure that there are a lot of jobs for all of these in your area. Search for titles including "frontend developer and frontend engineer", as well as the words 'Angular, Vue and React' and see how many listings there are. If there is more of one of these technologies in your area, it may be better to learn that one. You'll likely find many of each. Personally I would recommend React as it is easier to learn than a full framework and there are usually a ton of jobs out there for it.
As a bonus, I would recommend looking into TypeScript and Redux. In JavaScript, you don't have to say that variable x is a number. It will infer that x = 5 is a number type. This however can sometimes lead to hard to catch bugs. TypeScript is still JavaScript, but it allows you to add strong typing to your application, where you define that variable x will be a number.
Redux is a state management library. Angular, React and Vue all have their own variations of Redux. When your application gets bigger and there are lots of different parts with their own data, Redux acts as a centralized memory for all of your different UI components to read from. It acts as a single source of truth so that everything stays organized.
Also need to be familiar with the version control technology Git (allowing you to 'save' your app at a specific point, roll back to it if necessary, and share the code online to others using Github or Bitbucket).
May also be helpful to know the basics of SASS (CSS wrapper, giving you more utility. It is still CSS, but just some extra tools which can be huge time savers). Along the way, you'll also need to learn basic terminal commands, using NPM packages and the build tool Webpack. You should also be familiar with the basics of Agile methodologies, which is a management style that a lot of development teams work in. If you're familiar with the very basics, then it will be an easier transition for you to join a dev team, and hiring managers will know that as well.
Learning resources
So, what resources can you use to learn all of this? I found that between YouTube and Udemy, you can learn everything required. I am going to leave a list down below with a list of Udemy courses you can pick up for $15 (when on sale). Each course is about 20-30 hours and it will teach you the required fundamentals. I'm not affiliated with these courses and make no money on it. I simply know the instructors are excellent and am sure they are high quality courses.
https://www.udemy.com/course/modern-html-css-from-the-beginning/
https://www.udemy.com/course/javascript-the-complete-guide-2020-beginner-advanced/
https://www.udemy.com/course/modern-javascript-from-the-beginning/
https://www.udemy.com/course/complete-react-developer-zero-to-mastery/
https://www.udemy.com/course/vuejs-2-the-complete-guide/
https://www.udemy.com/course/the-complete-guide-to-angular-2/

Once you've completed a these courses and have built a few projects
After that, it is all about getting your first job. I am going to create posts (and videos) on each of these points, because they deserve a post of their own.
In short, you'll need to have a great resume which highlights your love for web development, while also emphasizing how all of your previous job experiences has guided you towards this new career path.
Have a GitHub with your own projects on it, as well as some of the work you've done while learning along the way. Build out a portfolio website which highlights the projects you've build and the skills you have. You can host your portfolio and projects for free on GitHub Pages.
Consider doing 1 or 2 freelance jobs(even if it is just for friends or family), where you're working with a real client, with a real deadline. This will be good practice for you, and will show your future employer that someone has already trusted you, and that you delivered.
Familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor - and start applying for 3-5 jobs per day. I did this for an entire month, had a few interviews and then landed my first job. It can take a few weeks, or a few months - eventually you will get your first opportunity. Getting your first job is the most difficult. Once you have worked somewhere and have some experience, finding your next job will be a lot easier.

Conclusion
On a final note, learning code is not easy. There will be roadblocks and it can be a difficult grind at times. Remember that the path you are on now is worth it and can get you to the place in your life where you really want to be, whether that is career satisfaction, ability to work from anywhere in the world, or financial freedom.
Thank you for your time! Consider checking out my YouTube channel, as I'm posting weekly now with videos specifically for frontend developers who are just starting out. Available here.
submitted by ProgrammingWithPax to learnprogramming [link] [comments]

Build to learn - tame your shiny object syndrome.

It sounds simple, yet, it's challenging.
"Build to learn."
It's a fantastic tool for chaotic minds.
A way to benefit from your shortcomings.
If you ever fell for the shiny object syndrome (chasing new cool thing, instead of focusing on the present project), then this is for you!
And the best part - you can turn it to your advantage!
Turn it to build momentum, to become a better, wiser, fuller person.

When you fell for the shiny, new, better idea, you could've gone through the guilt and growing anxiety for not finishing things.
For some of us, this could end up in depression oand quitting the whole "maker" realm.
In this post, I will provide you a valid solution to make the most out of the shiny object syndrome. If you have it, at least you can get something positive out of it.
The method, disguised under many names, sometimes called "build to learn," "build to fail," "ship to learn," is meant to make the most of your nature of jumping between the projects.
It's also a way for you to grow as a builder and founder.

I first started flirting with the idea independently - then, I found out that there is a micro-movement of sorts doing the same.
Two main places are hubs for this, New York and Silicon Valley. Only there you could try to hack success and look for possible anomalies to benefit from, and still get support from your social circles!
It's evident that financial capital (New York) is much less flexible about it (cross the border and you are gone) than Silicon Valley (cross the border, let's hire him, he might know something we don't).
And then, culture and social conveniences are limiting this movement elsewhere, causing people to quit.
Sadly - if you are from outside of those areas - how can you explain to people around that success is not your goal, and failure is acceptable?
It's easy to treat people trying this method like fakes or daydreamers.
When you go to college and spend 3-5 years learning, then you are a smart person.
If you do the same, but in real life, you might be seen as an outsider.

Let's get to the point, though!
The idea is quite simple but might be tricky to pull it off.
It's based on you abandoning the goal of achieving success while focusing on educational aspects.
To create projects that you will stretch and experiment to gain knowledge with a slight chance of success.
So next time you see great opportunity, instead of wondering how you can ride it to the top, wonder what you can get out of it short term.
Will it give you more knowledge?
If so, then how?
Is it worth "educational" wise?
Will you learn new tech/marketing/business knowledge that would be difficult to obtain otherwise?

The worst part of working on a project and then quitting it is to get nothing from it.
Sure, we can read a lot of post-mortems, but many say the same things. They ignore the whole process and often end up in a cliche, like "a startup doing exactly this opened at the same time."
And how can you learn from reading the same things over and over?
Going through the process while closely observing everything that happens is key to extensive experience.
Practical knowledge always beats the theoretical.

"Build to learn" is about being practical - using theory as a ground, and then build using practical knowledge.
But instead of building a castle, or a palace, we create a set of small constructions first to learn the basics.
Once we can handle the basics, we move to more advanced stuff.
Sooner or later, we will be building the mentioned castles!
If you think you might end up building dozens of projects in search of your success story, you might accept that instead of lying to yourself, and get the most of it.
There is nothing worst than wasting your talents on something meaningful.
Try to push forward; you might finally realize what your real goal is. What's behind your deepest intentions.

"Build to learn" is meant to fuel your creativity, not to kill it.
The first step of it is to put a clear goal:
"I build this to learn."
Assume that trophies and achievements are secondary goals.
After all, every major player like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson started with small projects (sometimes failing), then used the knowledge to build something big!

Force yourself to break your ego-infused box and look outside of it, to see what are real reasons for you to fail. Learn and keep trying to understand the events happening around you.
You might find out the shortcomings that were unnoticeable!

With this reasoning, don't be afraid to keep trying (as long as you won't bet everything on it). Fail, embrace the knowledge you get from it, grow your own self, and be a better person.
Don't fall in the trap of glorifying the failures though - praise the experience instead.
Don't build another shiny project to be the next unicorn company. When you are ready to make the next big thing, you'll know it (and feel it). There will be no guessing, no wondering (at least in the way you see now). There will be calculation and logic behind it.

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." - Oscar Wilde.

World culture is critical of repeatable failure, even for a good cause.
Fail once - at least you tried, fail twice - you are a fool.
The social pressure is probably the most challenging part of this method.
If success (or at least how people perceive success) is not achieved, you will be labeled as an outsider or even a loser.
Missing a common goal (becoming wealthy) is perceived as an overall failure.
You cannot really translate the perception of failure to make it look normal.
You risk getting your close ones to be skeptical and even cynical of your journey. In extreme cases, I know situations where close circles would turn aggressive against the "rule breaker."
The more "failures" you "achieve," the more negative the overall attitude of the society around you will be.
It's not an easy road, but it's fruitful, to say the least.
You can achieve a level of understanding, where you will see ALL the mechanics behind the money-making machinery.

There are some risks when doing this method (as with everything).
Do it for not long enough, and you can get overconfident and biased.
Do it for longer than you should, and you will need months to get out from the trap of setting yourself impossible challenges.
Out of around dozens of people following this method (that I knew directly that is, I assume there are thousands globally), only a few completed it.
Some of them quit due to social pressure (even from their partners). They still got something out of it, and all but one run a small business now (they are unable to scale/grow though).
The rest created profitable companies, often one of the key players in their industry.
From the original group, I was the one that took the longest to complete the road. This is because of the opportunity given to me. My partner was studying, so I did not need to focus on sorting our life as of yet. And I felt that I needed to learn more (programming, viral growth) and to make sure that my ego is under control. I needed more time because my whole life was bumpy, and I thought that some scars could affect my business sense.
I did miss a deadline, though, where I could complete this process without the substantial side-effects.
I knew from conversations with others that by doing this method for too long, you would need to unwind. I thought it would take 2-3 months, but I am in my 9th month, and I feel that I need 2-3 more. Don't get me wrong, I still make money online, but focusing on a small project that's growing slowly is critical to prepare myself mentally for starting massive projects.
I am working on Almost Cake, which quickly turned into my full-time job.
Almost Cake is a reanimation of one of my old build-to-learn projects that performed well. This is another excellent part of this method - you have a set of field-tested projects, where some might prove to be moneymakers when you decide to come back to them.

It took me a few years, and over 30 projects completed to get where I am now, but as said, I did the extreme version of it.
One of the guys that now run a massive operation did 4 "build to learn" projects and spent 1,5 year before he moved ahead (he had some business background though).
Another person with no business experience and with no business-oriented parents completed it with 7 projects and 3 years. He now runs a company that's one of the USA's leading players in his niche.
So, it's hard to say how long you need this run, but the timeframe should not be of the importance here.
The whole point of this method is to tame yourself and start getting somewhere with yourself.

The key concerns of "build to learn" are:
-Can you finish the project before you get bored of it? Don't invest in long term projects, when you have a track of abandoning them. You don't need to ship the product or make thousands of dollars. Focus on your initial goals first.
-Can you determine small goals before starting to work on the product? Can you identify a few realistic things you want to get out of this project?
-Will working on this project help you to move forward in a space you want to? If you will learn things you don't feel you need, then maybe it's better to focus elsewhere for now.
-Do you really need to work on the project, or should you turn around and do something completely different? Something that is far beyond your comfort zone?
-Do you have significant chances of achieving your goals with this project? Try not to pursue goals that you assume you will fail. You need to take care of your mental health and not put to much strain on it.

Using the "build to learn" method should not become an excuse for you failing to ship. Either you build to learn, or you build to achieve something. You should never go in the middle of the project and say, "just kidding, I was doing it to learn."

Sure, if you are already in the middle of the project, then change your goals. But don't do this for future projects. Otherwise, you might lose the ability to ship ever. You will always be hiding behind the "it was just a project" excuse.

So here is an example of goals I would set for myself when working on a project:
-learn about the branding niche
-create a solution that relies heavily on JavaScript (whenever possible)
-build a simple theme from a scratch
-research affiliate programs for monetization, learn more about making money as an affiliate
-try to get your first conversion

And that's that. I will follow achievable goals, focus on growth, and learn. All the goals are somewhat easy to achieve so that I won't get stuck somewhere.
Once I get through those goals, I can either continue with the project or scrap it for another shiny object without feeling guilty.
And down the road, I will get to the moment when I will say "enough" and build something great.

I hope this can help people that are jumping projects often and cannot settle. I managed to settle on Almost Cake, which is a transition project (for the next few months until I will start slowly working on something big). I encourage everyone having difficulty sticking to one thing to start writing a list of small goals whenever starting a new project. Good luck!
submitted by bartboch to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Neumi BS5 Bookshelf Speaker Review

Neumi BS5 Bookshelf Speaker Review
First off, here's the link to the review via my site. There is additional information there that I am not including here. I am just covering the highlights here. If you want more details look at the review page here: https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/neumi_bs5/
Intro
I stumbled on talk of the Neumi BS5 speaker recently in the context of a potential high-value speaker. Out of curiosity, I went to the product page on Amazon to check them out and liked what I saw. I then pulled up the Neumi’s BS5 manual here is the link where I saw placement recommendations, and some other bits of information which all gave me the impression the manufacturer cares about how the user listens to their product rather than the old “sink or swim” attitude low-cost products leave you with. Generally, when this information is laid out for the user it also implies the product is worthwhile. At least, that’s the impression I am left with in those cases.
At any rate, Amazon had them listed for $90/pair (at the time of purchase) and I figured they were worth buying to review and pass the information on to the audio community so you all could either avoid them or feel comfortable spending your hard earned money on. So, I did.
Ultimately, while these aren’t the best performing speakers I’ve tested or heard, I do believe these provide a good value to the budget-limited audiophile. And, with a few engineering alterations, could be made into an even better value. Read on for more detail.
Product Specs and Photos

https://preview.redd.it/uyp1gni4wp751.jpg?width=1504&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=436dbf77633f61c634c699ad633dd3a4ddc0747f
https://preview.redd.it/3ggnpri4wp751.jpg?width=1504&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9d23636faf4fe4e4e3e46bbdc44bf1116e124c51
https://preview.redd.it/vn861ti4wp751.jpg?width=844&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8a17ba643db055a2244390afecbf5dd8d154f228
Impedance Phase and Magnitude:
Impedance measurements are provided both at 0.10 volts RMS and 2.83 volts RMS. The low-level voltage version is standard because it ensures the speakedriver is in linear operating range. The higher voltage is to see what happens when the output voltage is increased to the 2.83vRMS speaker sensitivity test.

https://preview.redd.it/2t44fz36wp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=80db20356e272283aacef4d7a58c237c449e76ce
Frequency Response:
The measurement below provides the frequency response at the reference measurement axis - also known as the 0-degree axis or “on axis” plane - in this measurement condition was situated in-between with the woofer and the tweeter per the product manual. While the manual does do a good job of directing the user how to set up the speakers, I emailed Neumi to ask about listening angle and the grille use. I wanted to make sure I used the speakers the way they were designed to be used. Below is our email exchange:
I purchased your BS5 bookshelf speakers and was wondering:
Are these designed to be listened to on-axis (with the speaker aimed directly toward the listener) or at some angle off-axis? I assume the former.
Are these designed to be listened to with the grilles on or off? I assume off, as most speakers perform worse with the grilles on. Thank you.

Hi Erin, Thank you for your inquiry! The BS5 are designed to be listened to pointed straight forwards. If you like to have a slightly brighter response, you can point the speakers more towards the center position. We also tuned the BS5 without a grill. The grill was made afterwards to minimize its effect on the speaker output. It is fairly transparent but does change the response slightly.

If the speakers are to be aimed facing forward, that would be approximately 30-degrees off-axis in my room. I can toe them in or out if you recommend using a different positioning angle than this.

Hi Erin, Thanks for the additional information. I would start out pointing straight, then try it with 10-15 degree toe-in and see how that sounds to you, more than that, the toe-in would be pretty extreme and is not recommended.
So, per Neumi’s direction I listened to the speakers both on-axis (0°) and off-axis (≤30°) horizontally. I found the best angle to be directly on-axis. Otherwise, the treble was too subdued. When it came time to measure the speaker, I verified that 0° gave the most linear response and conducted the rest of my analysis with the reference axis being at 0° horizontally and between the mid/tweeter vertically.
Also, per Neumi’s direction, the grille was off for these measurements. I do have comparison data of the grille on vs off in my Miscellaneous section below.

https://preview.redd.it/tbf12uztwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=c403d03232c8937df57601230d91fc9e53172155
The mean SPL, approximately 84dB at 2.83v/1m, is calculated over the frequency range of 300Hz to 3,000Hz.
The blue shaded area represents the ±3dB response window from my calculated mean SPL value. As you can see in the blue window above, the Neumi BS5 has a ±3dB response from 64Hz - 20kHz but only if you ignore the dip in response around 800Hz. Neumi claims a ±3dB window of 50Hz - 20kHz (typical in-room). I don’t believe their spec is a reach but obviously the notch at ~800Hz throws things off. Unfortunately, this notch is pervasive and is brought on by the port, as far as I can tell (more discussion in the Near-Field measurements portion further down). A tighter window of linearity is provided in gray as ±1.5dB from the mean SPL and this speaker does a decent job of trying to stay within that range but the port noise at 800Hz and ~1600Hz make things fall out of that window fast. The treble above 8kHz also begins dipping/peaking enough to keep it out of the tighter window.
The speaker’s F3 point (the frequency at which the response has fallen 3dB relative to the mean SPL) is 64Hz and the F10 (the frequency at which the response has fallen by 10dB relative to the mean SPL) is 43Hz. For a small, and super light bookshelf speaker with a 5-inch woofer this is on par with what you would expect. You’re going to need a subwoofer if you want low bass and/or decent output below 100Hz.

https://preview.redd.it/wgsppcqhwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=098ed79ee00a07be00b08bc8e076587280edcd13
https://preview.redd.it/w7qq6bqhwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=6476c6d6a2d2f08a46d04cf6af250f067628ed6d
https://preview.redd.it/8cprzaqhwp751.png?width=3333&format=png&auto=webp&s=4de3016d81d8791c7bec880a7ba855e872d6b1e8
https://preview.redd.it/w5yb0dqhwp751.png?width=3333&format=png&auto=webp&s=e7011a9aa7bf059ddeaa221dbf03ed5459b145a5
https://preview.redd.it/nmqic8qhwp751.png?width=3333&format=png&auto=webp&s=69016a22d7cacadcc790395243c0d8d388f8c97a
https://preview.redd.it/4y5269qhwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=e2f551b06cb545d6067fd3a19cae5ecf31dec387
CEA-2034 (aka: Spinorama):

https://preview.redd.it/m9s6taujwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6914a5c1f86d2135f4a0315f9c82065998746f1
What we can learn from this data is that this speaker has significant directivity problems thanks to the deep nulls at ~800Hz and ~1600Hz. You can see it in the above spectrogram and globe plots as well as in all the measurements in the above graphic. The crossover is stated as 2.1kHz by Neumi and the nearfield data backs this up. Therefore, in this region you can see the directivity mismatch. Looking at 1kHz you see a rising DI until approximately 2.5kHz where the Early Reflections DI dips back down again. This is a sign the transition from mid to tweeter is occurring as the woofer is beginning to beam (radiate more forward than omnidirectional) and the tweeter is taking over, omnidirectional until approximately 6.5kHz (calculated based on dome size of 1 inch). The DI flattens out a bit through here but as the tweeter begins to radiate more directionally the DI increases again above ~7kHz. The tweeter rolls off sharply above 16kHz, causing directivity to increase further. What does this all mean to you? Well, mismatches in what is coming directly at you, on-axis, vs what is reflected around you can cause issues in stage and tonality cues.
Below is a breakout of the typical room’s Early Reflections contributors (floor bounce, ceiling, rear wall, front wall and side wall reflections). From this you can determine how much absorption you need and where to place it to help remedy strong dips from the reflection(s). Notice the strong dips again at 800Hz and 1600Hz.

https://preview.redd.it/dnr8dzomwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d9ed016da5220dbdbae7502739579014f5fa9b7
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and Compression:
Using the 93dB measurement tells you the measured low-frequency distortion at about 80Hz is near 3% THD and 6% at 40Hz. Will you hear that? Pure distortion is more subjective and depends not just on the listener but also no the program material.
I typically use distortion to tell me where mechanical failures are because the distortion I hear is typically either a rattle, buzz, plop from a woofer extending too far, or something along those lines. The bass is usually the problem. But in this speaker the midrange exhibits distortion at higher output levels and was also audible in my listening (primarily with male vocals).

https://preview.redd.it/wmgclbfwwp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=f8e6babdf1b88bb2af527783b9807f6023ad419a
The compression effects shown in the image below are a visual way of seeing just what happens as the volume is increased. This one is straight-forward. Take the legend’s SPL value and add or subtract the data from the graphic. This tells you if you’re losing or gaining output (yes, you can gain output from compression; as un-intuitive as that seems). Mostly, the compression results in a loss due to temperature increase in the voice coil of the drive unit. Let’s look at a specific example. Take the 90dB at 4 meters target listening volume provided above. Again, you need 93dB’s (7.62vRMS) data. At that volume, the highest amount of compression measured is about 1dB at 40Hz and about 0.25dB at 50Hz, decreasing until about 200Hz. At some points the speaker suffered >2dB compression at 40Hz with 14vRMS. Overall, the compression results tell you what common sense would tell you: don’t try to use this speaker in place of a subwoofer at anything other than lower volumes. Otherwise, at louder listening volumes you lose over 1dB of output. And it is audibly present as a very grainy and “limited” sound; there are no dynamics at this output and that’s exactly what I heard in my listening tests when I pushed the speaker to uncomfortable levels.

https://preview.redd.it/475o4icywp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=064fdedd9cfabeae16ba1861d2c5674092e84f4b
Extra Measurements:
These are just some extra sets of measurements I completed. Some, I didn’t process through my MATLAB scripts so they’re kind of raw. But I know some would like to see them so here you go.

Grille on vs Grille off at 0° and 45°.
The grille on case results in an increase in comb filtering (higher amplitude peaks/dips). Leave the grille off.

https://preview.redd.it/bbyxcf11xp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=696542e4958025335e1fa448c05ec815d6e19ae8


Nearfield measurements.
Mic placed about 0.50 inches from each drive unit and port. While I tried to make these as accurate in SPL as I could, I cannot guarantee the relative levels are absolutely correct so I caution you to use this data as a guide but not representative of actual levels (measuring in the nearfield makes this hard as a couple millimeters’ difference between measurements can alter the SPL level). Got it? Good.
There are a few noteworthy things here:
  • Port resonance is very, very strong and clearly contributes to the on-axis response dips at ~800Hz and ~1600Hz.
  • The area between 300Hz to 700Hz (just before the 800Hz dip) is elevated slightly. This area also lines up with the increased THD levels I discussed earlier. This could be coincidence. But I believe they are related. Maybe the port is having more of an effect in this region than it needs to?
  • Woofer break-up contributes to a few on-axis resonances we see. Particularly, 4.5kHz.
  • There are other things going on here but I don’t have the time to reverse engineer this speaker. Not that I could.

https://preview.redd.it/257wf855xp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=3c1722fa7d1d372bf5c34b96bd11c027a2c5b46a

Plugging the port (making the speaker sealed).
To test whether the ports were, indeed, the culprit of the deep nulls I took my socks off and plugged the ports. Don’t worry, I had only been wearing the socks for 3 days. Sure enough, plugging the ports filled in the nulls. But it also decreased the low frequency output by about 2dB below 300Hz.

https://preview.redd.it/sbuex7d8xp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=7f111cacbd0712f1ad8d13015549f490ff1d6dd4
Objective Evaluation:
Much of what I am about to say I have already touched on under the data. But to recap:
Impedance:
  • Minimum load of about 4.6 Ohms. But mostly > 6 Ohms. Check your receiver or amplifier’s spec to make sure it can drive a 6 Ohm load without issue.
  • Wiggles around 200Hz and 280Hz indicate resonance which also shows up in frequency response.
Frequency Response/Spectrograms/Globes/Spinorama:
  • I measured an average of 84.2dB @ 2.83v/1m.
  • I measured a ±3dB response from 64Hz - 20kHz but only if you ignore the dip in response around 800Hz. Neumi claims a ±3dB window of 50Hz - 20kHz (typical in-room). Buy a subwoofer if you want to listen loud and low.
  • Numerous resonances; most caused by the port. Woofer breakup shows up in a few places as well.
  • Directivity shifts caused by inadequate crossover order and resonances from the ports and woofer.
Distortion/Compression:
  • High distortion at 40Hz but understandable given woofer size.
  • High levels of compression at high output below 100Hz.
  • Elevated midrange distortion (audible at higher volumes).
  • These are both audible effects when listening full-range as I did.
  • Don’t expect much bass below 80Hz out of these speakers. Buy a subwoofer for that.
If more time/money were spent on taming the resonances and break-up modes I think this speaker could be markedly improved. But, for $90, you kind of expect these things. Namely because higher order crossovers are not cheap and take up real-estate.
Subjective Evaluation:

https://preview.redd.it/d41xvse9xp751.jpg?width=1504&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6dc14f40f174741d903189ec5eeaafe60f0bec51
Subjective Analysis Setup:
  • The speaker was aimed on-axis with the tweeter at ear level.
  • I used Room EQ Wizard (REW) and my calibrated MiniDSP UMIK-1 to get the volume on my AVR relative to what the actual measured SPL was in the MLP (~11 feet from the speakers). I varied it between 85-90dB, occasionally going up to the mid 90’s to see what the output capability was. In a poll I found most listen to music in this range. Realistically, 90dB is loud for long-term listening volume and I find most overestimate their listening volume until an SPL microphone is used to determine the actual level.
  • All speakers are provided a relatively high level of Pseudo Pink-Noise for a day or two - with breaks in between - in order to calm any “break-in” concerns.
  • I demoed these speakers without a crossover and without EQ.
I listened to these speakers and made my subjective notes before I started measuring objectively. I did not want my knowledge of the measurements to influence my subjective opinion. This is important because I want to try to correlate the objective data with what I hear in my listening space in order to determine the validity of the measurement process. I try to do a few listening sessions over a couple days so I can give my ears a break and come back “fresh”. I also want to be as transparent to you as I can be so below are my subjective evaluations made before I began any measurements.

https://preview.redd.it/vfe8iygdxp751.png?width=5000&format=png&auto=webp&s=98c08f0155dedaafcb2613b05dbe6b193ecf389f
Here’s the rundown of my subjective notes (in quotes) and where it fits with objective:
  • Overall, I found the max SPL I could drive the speakers to was around 90-92dB at my listening position, depending on the music. That’s loud. But once I got past this point the compression was very audible and all the dynamics went away. This was most evident on the opening bass notes of Lauryn Hill’s song. It was very evident that I had reached the “brick wall” output here, even though the woofers weren’t mechanically falling apart like I would have expected.
  • In my listening tests the main thing that stood out to me was the high-frequency balance being off. In some cases it sounded about 1-3dB too low. In a few cases I heard some ‘sizzle’ on instruments that I do not believe are correct (I didn’t make the album; I can’t know for sure). The data tends to agree with that in relation to the rest of the spectrum. There are some hot spots here and there discussed previously.
  • I felt room ambiance was lacking in some recordings. For example, I noted this in “Higher Love”.
  • I made a few notes about resonance in lower vocals and questioned if I could “hear cabinet ringing”. I noticed this primarily in “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Tell Yer Mama”.
  • I noted midrange distortion at ~ 90dB (at 11 feet) in both Jim Croce’s and John Mayer’s tracks. I wasn’t sure what this was when I listened the first time, but the data clearly shows an increased level of distortion smack in the middle of the midrange. I went back through a final round of listening after I saw the data and on the “He Mele No Lilo” track, at the end, I could hear distortion in the singer’s voice. It seems I noticed this distortion in male vocals.
  • I noted some things that I hadn’t heard or wasn’t used to hearing with other speakers. For example, Chaka Khan’s voice as background singer in Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” was more present. I don’t know what to attribute this to… is it a distortion in the midrange? Is it the breakup from the midwoofer at higher frequencies? Is it a relative thing; the dips at ~800Hz and ~1600Hz causing other areas to be more noticeable than a more flat speaker?
  • The bass was punchy; the harmonics of kickdrums and synth sounded good. But there was no weight to those because the speaker just doesn’t play that well below about 100Hz.
  • The stage width was a weird one. In some songs it didn’t seem wider than 10° outside the speakers (so, about 40° total) where with other songs it was wider than this. Each recording is different, and you do want a stereo system that expands and contracts proportionately with the music. But I believe the variance in this case is more attributable to the directivity changes caused by the crossover and resonances.
I also turned the speakers to be about 10 to 30° off-axis to see if I could get rid of the harsh treble. That didn’t help much at all and when you view the data you can see the off-axis response has low directivity around 4kHz (meaning, the sound is more omnidirectional at this frequency) which indicates the bright 4kHz region would be noticeable through a wider region of angles. I believe this explains the “biting” noise I was hearing as well.
I didn't have a chance to run Dirac Live so I can't speak to what the sound would be post room correction.

Bottom Line
This speaker doesn’t measure perfectly. And, for the most part, I was able to match areas of concern between my subjective listening session and my measurements. Though, I didn’t have any significant gripes about the sound. The one main dislike for me was the reduced treble compared to the midrange. The bass is pretty well blended to the midrange despite the moderate bump in response around 100Hz. There is not much output below this at higher levels, but I can forgive the shortcomings in the bass department because the BS5 isn’t trying to pretend that it can play like a subwoofer. I have seen other 5-inch woofers with higher linear excursion than what these woofers are seemingly capable of but just one of those drive-units alone costs more than this pair of speakers. The midrange distortion is an issue if you’re going to listen at high levels; for me being at 90dB at 11 feet (which is about 93dB at 8 feet per this awesome calculator). These aren’t reference level speakers. But I think anyone buying them understands the implicit output limitations. Under 90dB at 11 feet, the sound is more balanced and undistorted.
Personally, I think these speakers would be better suited as desktop/computer speakers sealed (stuff the ports) and against a wall. The wall would give you a +6dB increase on the lower end to help make up for the plugged ports but plugging the ports would get rid of the nasty resonances that plague this speaker. I would not place these in a corner in a small room, though. Doing so creates a combing effect you do not want. Alternatively, you can use these as small satellite speakers for a budget-minded home theater. However, if you want ultimate hi-fidelity at reference levels on a shoestring budget then these speakers are not it. The frequency response deviations and distortion keep it from that goal. But, when used within reasonable limits, this is a “fun” little speaker that is enjoyable and a great entry into the hi-fi realm at $90/pair. I hate using the “but it’s cheap” argument but, really, this is a $90 pair of bookshelf speakers. More than that, though, there’s no marketing language by Neumi to suggest they are the best speakers ever. Nothing that overstates their capabilities that I have seen. I think Neumi had a target in mind with this price and performance and I believe they hit it.
I’m going to plug my Amazon affiliate link one last time just in case you want to buy these. I know, I know… I’m a sellout.
https://amzn.to/2Abda9w
The End
If you like what you see here and want to help me keep it going, you can donate via the PayPal Contribute button at the bottom of each page. Testing and reporting the data and analysis takes me approximately 8-10 hours each. It’s definitely a labor of love. That said, there’s no fame or fortune in this and all my test speakers are typically purchased and paid for by myself with help from contributions or purchases made through my affiliate links (which is negligible). Your donations help me pay for new test items, shipping costs, hardware to build and test, etc. Even a few dollars is more helpful than nothing. If you don’t mind chipping in a few bucks now and again it would truly be appreciated.
Here's a direct link to contribute.
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/contribute/
Again, any bit is really appreciated. I would love to be able to fund a remote controlled turntable for my measuring. As it is, I walk about 2 miles (literally) between my computer and the DUT to spin it about 150 or so times (ground plane measurement + free-field measurement) at a distance of 40+ feet one-way which adds up.




Edit: Neumi BS5 Bookshelf Speaker video review is now up! https://youtu.be/NnGbd9hxZe8
submitted by hardisj to BudgetAudiophile [link] [comments]

Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Tech Podcast, Remote SSH Tool, Windows Utilities & More

Each week I thought I'd post these SysAdmin tools, tips, tutorials etc.
To make sure I'm following the rules of sysadmin, rather than link directly to our website for sign up for the weekly email I'm experimenting with reddit ads so:
You can sign up to get this in your inbox each week (with extras) by following this link.
Here are the most-interesting items that have come across our desks, laptops and phones this week. As always, EveryCloud has no known affiliation with any of these unless we explicitly state otherwise.
** We're looking for tips to share with the community... the ones that help you do your job better and more easily. Please leave a comment with your favorite(s) and we'll be featuring them over the following weeks.

Popular Repost: Free Tool
Everything is a command-line search engine for Windows that instantly locates files and folders by filename. Unlike Windows search, it initially displays every file and folder on your computer and then filters what is displayed as you type. Because it only indexes file and folder names, it generally takes a few seconds to build its database (e.g., a fresh install of Windows 10 (about 120,000 files) will take about 1 second to index). Recommended by odirio and Sekers as an "instant file searcher by name (slower if searching content)."

A Podcast
TechSNAP is a podcast on systems, networking and administration with a focus on best practices and helping listeners solve problems. It features topics of importance to those in the tech industry, with a segment dedicated to audience questions in every episode. New episodes are released every 2 weeks.

A Free Tool
OpenSSH is a connectivity tool for remote login with SSH. All traffic is encrypted and it also provides a suite of secure tunneling capabilities, authentication methods and sophisticated configuration options. falsemyrm recommends it as the best alternative to PuTTY.

Another Free Tool
PowerToys includes Windows system utilities to help improve productivity. TimeRemove especially likes, "PowerRename, PowerToys Run (ALT+SPACE is a universal shortcut for search/run/navigate) and Keyboard Manager (Rebind keys to other keys). There is a lot of other stuff too, and it is still evolving. It is pre-1.0 so might contain bugs (e.g., running it as admin was breaking PowerToys Run last week)."

A Tip
OhkokuKishi shares a shortcut: CTRL + SHIFT +
“Opens an instance of selected program with elevated privileges. This also works on non-pinned open programs on your taskbar. (E.g., I have Windows Terminal pinned to my Taskbar, which I regularly need to open PowerShell or Command Prompt with elevated privileges to run some scripts or stop services. This is one of the fastest ways for me to do it.)"

Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions.
u/crispyducks
Enjoy.
submitted by crispyducks to sysadmin [link] [comments]

Tales from Eiriel

I very recently found this sub. I have never known another person with a taste for DPH. I have never been able to talk about my experiences or relate to others in this space. I want to tell my story, such as it is. I'm probably going to jump around a lot. I'm already coasting on tonight's entertainment. Also...this an excessively long post. Im partly venting for my own sake.
tl;dr: I have a LOT of experience with DPH and, as a public service of sorts, would like to offer my knowledge to anyone who may need it.
Disclaimers: Clearly, I can only speak from my own personal experiences. I am also not a medical professional of any sort. Your experiences may be radically different. If it feels like my intention is to lecture, it isn't. I'm not trying to climb onto some soapbox to try to tell anyone not to do what they are doing. I'm not that hypocritical. I'm also not looking for a pity party or trying to humble-brag. I promise only brutal honesty and candidness. Ours are not sugar-coated pills.
Let's also throw in some content warnings for mentions of familial neglect, childhood trauma, and medical abuse, since that shits all the rage these days.
I ask, in return, that anyone who reads this refrain from telling me how stupid/juvenile/pointless this habit is. Believe me, there is already enough shame wrapped around my use of this particular substance. In my eyes, it's right up there next to abusing duster or huffing glue. I'm a grown-ass lady! What the fuuuuck am I doing, right?? I could easily just take up drinking. Or use any other number of more useful, mind-expanding substances that wont turn me into a dumpster fire. And I do. But I eventually come back, full circle, to DPH and the shadow people who raised me to be the brave little psychonaut I am today.
My hope is that my story may help less experienced users be as informed and as safe as possible. I wholeheartedly believe in harm reduction practices. At best, I hope to offer my knowledge as a resource; One that I never personally had. If you push boundaries with this drug, there WILL be lasting consequences.
Be me: 36-year-old single mother and a full-time undergraduate student. I study human evolution, behavioral ecology, and primate cognition. From the ages of 14 to 20 I used DPH almost daily. Recently, after 16 years and several lengthy side missions with other chemicals, I have reunited with my eldest fling (drug fling that is). This led me here to DPH and for the first time, I'm not a lone weirdo. Youz are my people, for the most part
I can't really tell you how I found or started using DPH. My mother suffered from a pretty severe mental illness and I am an only child. There was stress. Lots of it. On good days, I was neglected. On bad days I was raged at and belittled for existing. My home life was pretty abusive. I was also bullied consistently throughout school. I was a super geek, noticeably smarter than my peers, and emotionally volatile. I've always been maladjusted and eccentric. Being as isolated as I was in my abuse, it makes sense, in retrospect, that I turned to the medicine cabinet rather than smoking weed or drinking as escapism like a "normal" teenager would have. I didn't have many friends in school; I had no friends outside school. I had no access to other recreational drugs. I was severely emotionally traumatized and had little to no impulse control. I was also a pawn to the medical industry so pill-popping came very naturally.
When I was in my mid-teens, my mother doctor shopped me into a diagnosis for a highly medicated mental illness which I now know I don't have. The older I got, the angrier I became. I started defending myself against her constant belittlement. It was explosive and unbearable for everyone. She wanted me chemically controlled and used my supposedly defective brain to gaslight me into believing I would be forever dependent on her. Our relationship was highly detrimental to me, and I am still dealing with the fallout from never having been allowed to develop my own sense of self. I haven't spoken to either of my parents in three years. They continue to stalk and threaten me and my chosen family to this day.
I was coached from a young age to be hypercritical of my thoughts, feelings, and the effects of the rainbow of psych medications I was on. I was groomed to keep reporting that the meds were ineffectual so that my doses were raised at most of my med check appointment. And honestly the meds weren't working because I was being treated for the wrong issues. At one point I was spending upwards of 5 hours a week in various counseling sessions. My mother repeatedly replaced my therapists when they caught on and started questioning her about our home life. I was a minor and could do nothing to stop her. These factors greatly contributed to my fixation on altered states of consciousness.
It also left me with the belief that my mind was irreconcilably different and incompatible with the outside world. Doing piles of drugs seemed reasonable if I was already a lost cause. I was good at managing my body like a chemistry set.
My DPH habit started with Tylenol pm. I jumped straight into the deep end of the pool. In my sophomore year of high school, I was eating a bottle every couple of days. At 24 caps a bottle, 25mg each; I'd estimate on average I was taking around 300-400 mg of diphenhydramine at a time. I was dosed all day at school and most nights as well. I was a disgustingly good student so I flew right under everyone's radar. What could possibly be wrong with a straight-A student? And besides, she's already in therapy. Clearly, she's being managed, right?
Obviously, that much acetaminophen is god awful for your body so I eventually switched to dramamine. It was far easier to steal, had double the DPH content, and the original formula had fewer active ingredients.
I coasted like this through the end of high school and graduated at 17. When I got to college, shit got real. At that point, I was averaging just under 2 full bottles if dram a day. I was stealing them from the grocery store where I worked part-time. 2 bottles at 12 tabs a pop, 50mg a tab; I estimate I was consistently doing at least a gram a day. As much as 1.2 grams on the regular. On top of my recreational chemistry experiments, I was also on fairly high doses of risperidone, zyprexa, and ambien.
I have always staggered my dosing. I was methodical. I built a set of ritualistic habits to deal with the significant memory loss I was experiencing. My first dose of the day would be about 200mg, followed by 200 more as soon as I started coming up. This helped prevent me from shocking my system and straight up dry heaving for hours while the drugs bum-rushed my neural pathways. Through the day, I'd stack 200 more every two hours or so. I ALWAYS wore a watch. I kept obsessive track of my dosing. I'd regularly keep a running account if my dosing schedule on my arm. (Foreshadowing: this system failed in the end)
At night, I would take a slightly higher dose and spent most of my time aimlessly drifting in and out the ether, living in a disassociated fantasy world. I believed I was making connections to another realm. I openly believed that I had psychic abilities which allowed me to contact energetic entities, explore other levels if existence, and perceive and manipulate other peoples energetic states. I believed I was possessed. I'm still not entirely convinced these things aren't true. The shit I've experienced is close to irrefutable in my eyes. Or my actions caused brain damage. Prolly that.
The first 3 years, while I was in high school, I was still surprisingly functional. I had horrible sleep issues and super vivid and disturbing dreams, though very few "bad trips" in waking life. I had persistent visual and auditory hallucinations.
Around the time I graduated high school I was living in Eiriel almost full time. I existed on the margin between two dimensions. As my life at home was growing steadily worse, so did my habit and the impacts of using. As my use progressed, I would regularly lose control of my dosing schedule when I was real fucked up and often took more than intended. I regularly found myself passed out on random bathroom floors around campus. I have no idea how I managed to hide what was going on. I was like a walking mad-lib. I was eating the shit like candy. DPH became a food group.
I know what you might be thinking by now: How did she sustain over a gram a day for more than a year without fucking herself up hard? Is she full if shit? And I have no reasonable answer for that, aside to say that my lasting injuries are, for the most part, psychological. Frankly, I'm shocked I'm not a drooling imbecile.
First I lost the ability to read. My eyes were unable to focus and I was no longer able to interpret symbols. I couldn't identify letters. I couldn't interpret street signs. I totalled my car. I eventually completly lost the ability to drive. I had significant issues with my coursework at school. My disassociation grew into full blown derealization and at times I would fail to recognize every day objects such as the toaster or my own shoes. I also struggled with depersonalization. I became convinced that I no longer inhabited my own body. I was trapped in the astral plane. My body was merely a golum. A stand in. A puppet. A toy to play with and abuse.
I experienced SIGNIFICANT aphasia. I lost all ability to communicate. I could understand speech and could think in clear, full sentences but lost all semblance of thought when I tried to speak. I was only able to get out one or two words at a time before my speech processor shorted out. I couldn't write coherently.
This is the point where I became seriously concerned. My mental state had deteriorated to the point where I was living in a dissociated dream world 24 hours a day. I had no meaningful relationships or interactions outside of my own mind.
At some point during this time, my psychiatrist found out about my habit. I assume I let it slip to my therapist while I was high in a session and subsequently she shared that information with my shrink. He pulled a "tough love scare tactic move" and told my parents that he would no longer see me as a patient if I did not go into a drug rehab program. He happened to be affiliated with a local rehab facility so I was put into an intensive outpatient program fairly quickly.
(On an interesting side note, years later he lost his medical license after a pharmacist reported him for potential drug trafficking and refused to fill his scripts. That's how much he over medicated his patients...)
So I got shoved off to rehab. To be clear, I dropped clean at my intake appointment, and all my weekly drops after. I didn't even smoke cannabis at this point. I didn't drink. When I told them I abused diphenhydramine they didn't even know what it was. My presence there was highly resented by both the other patients and the staff. I was taking up space that could have gone to someone in a more urgent situation like a homeless pregnant crackhead or any other number of people with Real drug habits. As far as they could see, I was a privileged little white girl who was being punished my parents in an extravagant way.
I was declared Recovered® and let go from the program fairly quickly. Year's later, when I was opiate dependant and banging an 1/8th of crack every day, I would laugh hysterically at the irony of having been to rehab before I even took the training wheels off my addiction.
The same year, when I was 17 I made 2 suicide attempts, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for several weeks, and was kicked out of my house after I was discharged. After that I was taking significantly lower doses due to lack of access, but I was still using daily. It was still not unusual for me to take as much as a gram several times a week. I went off all my psych meds and withdrew from treatment.
I was taking enough days off that I could hold a coherent conversation from time to time. My vision was still significantly damaged. I couldn't read or focus my eyes and I experienced visual distortions and auditory hallucinations even when I wasn't high.
When I finally stopped altogether, the damage I had done was pretty apparent. My speech issues resolved first, thankfully. I regained the ability to focus my eyes within a few months but was not able to really comprehend any text of significant length for several years. I had crazy emotional breakdowns and great difficulty interacting with people. I had issues swallowing without choking on my own spit, which persist to this day. It's a difficult sensation to describe. It's as if my muscles are not coordinating with each other. It feels sorta like half of a hiccup, of that makes any sense.The auditory hallucinations and visual distortions never completely went away, though eventually they lessoned to the point where I was, for the most part, able to tune the noise out. It became my new normal.
I spent my 20s cultivating, nurturing, and subsequently killing an IV drug habit. I settled into my recovery like a good little stoner, landed a great job, met a man, and had a baby. Moved across the country. Managed a kickass music store. I cut all ties with my abusers. Things were looking up. Turns out I wasn't totally broken after all. Sure, I was fucked up from my abusive upbringing, but I thought it wasn't anything a little Buddhism and some radical acceptance couldn't fix. 8 years went by. Last year I quit my job and returned to university full time.
Cue the 2020 Shitshow®. I was dumped late last year and abruptly became a single mom. Then came COVID. I've been isolated in my house with all my demons since early March. In my boredom and distress, it made sense to resume my chemical experimentation. So I'm right back at it like Icarus flying straight into the sun, getting raped by shadow kin all night.
As far as lasting effects, I mentioned most of them already. I still struggle SIGNIFICANTLY with dissociation and derealization. I have had several psychotic episodes over the years. I have long bouts of major depression. I struggle with executive dysfunction and self-care. I chain smoke. I have severe insomnia. At times I'm still trapped in the delerium. My sex life is essentially a game of roulette; I have a tendency to disassociate and slip into into a feral state. I've been known to attack my partners.
I don't know for certain if these things are the result of my substance use or childhood trauma and emotional neglect. Likely it's both. Now that I have read many other people's experiences on this sub, I suspect that DPH is, at the very least a significant contributing factor.
If you read this far, thank you for bearing witness with me. I've never told this story in its entirety. It feels so immature and shameful to "party" like a 14-year-old.
Feel free to ask me anything you're curious about in regards to long-term use, high dosages, or after-effects. Again, I can only speak to my personal experiences so don't take my word for shit. YOU and only you are responsible for your own use and safety. Don't trust strangers on the internet kiddos. /end
submitted by puddlenymph to DPH [link] [comments]

A step-by-step guide of how I would build a SaaS company right now - part 2

This is part 2 of 5.
Part 1
LET'S DO THIS!
Big thank you to everyone that upvoted and commented on the last post.
I’m pumped, this is part 2 of 5 for those keeping track at home.
  1. Start with your revenue and monetization plan (are you targeting a sector that has money and can/will pay - Part 1)
  2. Align yourself with others in your space (cheapest way to get traction/credibility)
  3. Work on road mapping your product to align with what complements your partnerships (cheapest distribution)
  4. Work on building a marketing strategy that can help expose and align your brand while strengthening its recognition with your partners (will this make us both look good)
  5. Build customer advocates along the way, tell their stories (lead with examples)
Early traction, everyone wants it, very few people know how to do it effectively. Hell I’ve seen it all, run all the experiments, all the tests and I can tell you from experience if you have the patience, slow, steady, and surgical is the way to grow. Especially in the beginning.
In part one we spent a lot of time asking some basic fundamental business questions. Including, an exercise in the importance of being able to niche down.
We’re going to expand on the niching down because it’s how you gain clarity and find people to align yourself with early on.
The goal of this will be to understand:
  1. How to niche down
  2. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
  3. How to position within that market
  4. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
I’ve chosen to outline these in all our steps for niching down.
You’re going to see these steps move from research to market evaluation to list building stopping just short of outreach. We’ll touch on this in part 3.
Last week I took a call where someone told me their target market is males 25-45 that like sports.
This is the most important part of your entire business. I’m serious.
Let’s rock through this together so we can get you super focused and know where and how to spend your time and money.
(The below was laid out in part 1 and was the layered niching exercise)
LEVEL 1: We’re a helpdesk product.
How to niche down
The big question is “for who”?
So you’ve picked the type of product you are building and a use case, the problem is there are lots of people like you out there and this doesn’t tell me much about your market, it’s too broad.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Because this is so broad, it’s impossible to actually target a market and without being able to do that, it’s not possible to recognize opportunities, there’s just too many of them.
How to position within that market
Competition is good and bad, but it’s always better to be a big fish in a little pond, the best way to reduce the size of your pond is to niche down as much as possible while still understanding a large enough TAM (total addressable market).
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
No wasted effort. Every idea, concept, must have a small goal attached to it.
It’s too expensive to try to be everything for everyone and when you take this approach you end up failing at doing any one thing well enough for people to switch.
Let’s build on this.
LEVEL 2: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies.
How to niche down
Pick an industry or trend that is on the rise - look towards a shift or something that relates to changes people are making in their daily routine.
In this case we picked eCommerce because it’s on track to hit over $7 Trillion worldwide this year and has steadily been increasing across all brands. So we have an industry with a large enough economic driver to let us start niching down.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
We now buy things online that we never would have thought to do so even just a few years ago. Amazon is selling Tiny Homes now, seriously, if you can buy it, odds are you can do it online. There are massive opportunities to bring goods and services to people through convenient online shopping. And with that increase they will all need a help desk platform to provide the best experience for their customers.
Customers today don’t want to speak with people, they want answers quickly and easily. It’s all about reducing friction.
How to position within that market
Narrow down within the market. eCommerce is a good starting point, there are different industries, subsets, and categories. Go narrower. Start thinking about where the friction exists in the industry and for what subsets.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
In the beginning, it’s going to be an uphill battle, picking the right trending industry will give you the best chance of success. Something that is rising up to the right in popularity is way easier to sell into than a trend that is declining.
Know your competitive landscape.
Everyone has a competitor, whether direct, partial, or mildly related. Spend a lot of time on understanding this and knowing that your product is part of a very large landscape or landscape of potential competitors. Any one of the existing partial or mildly related competitors may be building something to more directly compete with you down the road.
Practical advice
Most companies stop here and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a go to market plan or a sustainable business model.
There’s an important bit worth mentioning here as it will become a theme of this entire post.
Great products enhance workflows through features, the focus isn’t on the product but what the product enables people to do. Success in the software business is all about understanding existing workflows and simplifying the experience.
As you do this exercise to niche down ask yourself:
What does the current workflow look like?
What are they currently using?
How are they currently using it?
Where are the gaps?
What are the best practices for creating workflows?
Always seek to understand how your product works in a workflow - what role it plays, how it best optimizes - this is the data play referred to in Part 1.
What are the things that matter most to people in the eCommerce space?
That’s a lot of questions with even more answers, when you peel everything back it becomes very clear that it’s not possible to answer all of them without going deeper.
Too many people to talk to, too many industries, too much everything.
Let’s take a different approach - how I got to Shopify in the next niche down.
No successful new SaaS company today launches without an integration.
So let’s find an eCommerce platform to integrate with.
We have to look for a stable player that has an app store and is a market leader.
As a starting point, my goal is to be a help desk for ecommerce companies.
  1. I need a list of all eCommerce platforms
  2. I need to understand which help desks they already integrate with
  3. I need to understand what people like and don’t like about them
  4. I need to find out which platform is going to be the best fit for my product
There are lots of sources for this and even more articles, google and read.
If you’re looking for numbers though and data, use BuiltWith and run a search on the platforms after you have your list to figure out which is the most popular.
Ok so we have our list of eCommerce platforms, we’ve analyzed the data, made sure they tick all the boxes and we’ve run our reports and found that Shopify powers 1.2 million stores.
Let’s lock it in as our next step in niching down.
LEVEL 3: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify.
How to niche down
It’s more than just market size. Going with a market leader is always a safe bet but it also provides the most competition. Sometimes going with a smaller platform that doesn’t get all the attention is a worthwhile research project.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
There are two sides of the opportunity and this is something that I didn’t touch on in the original niching down. Shopify and BuiltWith categorize the types of stores that are on the platform, so you can niche down to a certain type of store, for example just cosmetics or just apparel.
The other side of the opportunity is putting together your list of companies currently operating in the ecosystem.
How to position within that market
Smart people are really good at collecting data and interpreting it.
Let’s get some data.
  1. Go to the shopify app store
  2. Type in “Support”
  3. Click paid on the left margin and click the “Support Category”
  4. Use something like Simple Scraper ( a great chrome plugin, no affiliation)
  5. Get your scrape on, this shows 87
  6. Time to get busy - categorize them
  7. Pick the ones most similar to your offerings
  8. Click on them, look at their reviews - all of them on shopify Scrape them
  9. Go to G2 and Capterra and look through all those reviews as well
  10. Put them all in a spreadsheet, read them all, highlight those that stand out
  11. Find the ones that are popular, others that have features people like etc.
  12. Document, and integrate the baseline features into a trello board on your product roadmap
  13. Take all the bad reviews and complaints - look for gaps that you can fill
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
So take a look above, we went from a bunch of questions to being able to do a ton of market research to do product research and understand the current market offerings and where we might be able to gain some ground and offer something people might be interested in and ARE PAYING FOR.
How do you stand out?
You need to have a workflow that is 10x better than a current competitor in the market with a strong roadmap that lays out how you intend on optimizing this workflow. Features are built to augment the workflow and simplify the work of your clients employees, less work, more data, better understanding.
Ok so we’ve narrowed it down to eCommerce and Shopify and we have a list of other products that are currently playing in the space. We’re now looking at workflow - let’s figure this bit out.
LEVEL 4: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation.
How to niche down
Add another variable - it doesn’t have to be Shipstation, but it’s a good example as for eCommerce you’re likely shipping products places. By adding another variable, we’re shrinking our population to target.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
The biggest problem for all companies these days is combining different one off services and getting them to play nicely together. Stand alone products usually outclass all in one products as stated above because the focus is better. This is generally always going to be where you can find a gap in the market as the integrating of products is an afterthought rather than something contemplated in the very beginning.
How do you decide on the technologies you want to work with?
How to position within that market
Don’t guess. Understand the workflow of an eCommerce company and how it relates to support. For instance, most support tickets relate to order status, tracking, and returns. These all involve the store, transaction, the service desk, and the shipping carrier. Look for ways to streamline the experience for the service rep - for instance if refunds require approval, build a system that allows for all those tickets to be queued up with an easy interface for approvals or different color tagging to allow for them to be easily sorted by type.
By focusing on two technologies you can start by creating a better visual collaboration between tools to improve overall experience.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Stack the deck in your favor.
Focus on where you can drive early alignment between your product offering and the audiences of your now two products. When you reach out to both companies especially the smaller ones like a Shipstation, you can collect more information about who they are catering to, volumes etc.
Most companies have a partner program - look into connecting with the lead.
When the time is right you might even get a shoutout on their social or blog or you can decide to co-publish some research report together. Lots of options.
Let’s double down on what being niche allows us to do:
  1. Know our audience
  2. Research with purpose
  3. Personalize outreach with early feelers
  4. Better understand a realistic TAM (total addressable market)
  5. Understand overlap between products
  6. Early alignment with bigger names
This whole topic is about alignment, alignment with partners, customers, and your product.
We have a list of potential customers now, but we need to segment them down further.
LEVEL 5: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus.
How to niche down
Why less than 100 skus?
This means they are small enough to try a new product. It also means you can see what works and what doesn’t work on a potentially smaller store. When you’re managing a store with more than 100 skus, things get a little complicated, it’s an arbitrary number but changing internal processes and workflows when you get to that level means that your staff is coming from a place of having used a system before that could handle the volume and trying out something newer or unproven is a tall order.
This process can be applied to anything, if your product does better project management look for people that run less than 20 projects at a time or projects that are less than 6 months, whatever it may be. We’re starting small.
Always default to the path of least resistance. Work smarter, not harder.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
I’m sure this could be automated, but in lieu of it being automated, you should start by manually figuring this out for yourself.
That list you have from BuiltWith that has urls, yeah we’re going to use that one.
Put the websites in the spreadsheet you downloaded, then create a new column and add “products” to the url - so you have the website in cell A, the word “products” in cell B then in blank cell C write “=CONCATENATE(A:B)” congratulations now you have cell C that will take you straight to the product page to see how many skus they have.
Update this hack doesn’t work on all shopify websites like I had hoped and after some research it seems like this is a bit of a struggle point for others as well.
I’m sure someone could write a script to scrape this information.
Go find an intern or hire someone to do all the lookups for you or find someone to write a script to automate the results - remember always work smart.
Run this and you’ll come up with your go to target list.
How to position within that market
The best helpdesk for stores on Shopify using shipstation with less than 100 skus - all of a sudden this starts to sound like something someone would almost search for. That’s the point.
We’re working our way down where it becomes a simple checklist if someone was searching for things.
Shopify - check
Shipstation - check
Built for smaller stores - check
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Remember you’re not building a product for everyone yet, your goal is to dominate a niche. You can always expand from there.
So we’re about half way through and we have figured out our potential partners and now we’re working on narrowing down this customer list. Before we dive in and start reaching out we need to really understand who we’re targeting and we need to start small.
Let’s narrow this down even further.
LEVEL 6: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue.
How to niche down
Why the less than $10 million in annual revenue? The only reason I would say this in the beginning is that they won’t have as much traffic and ticket volume, they make for better early clients, you can learn a lot more from their use cases and improve the product without worrying about something going wrong and a larger client really getting mad and churning. You also usually have greater access to work with their staff to improve your product.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Unless you’re currently on the front lines, you need to find some early providers of feedback that are on the front lines. In essence, this is the starting point of a community and information play.
There aren’t a lot of data points available about companies in the early stages. People always have questions and there are limited resources in the early days, even across similar companies.
(Just look at reddit there are tons of repeat answers and questions.)
Someone answering tickets all day is the last person that wants to provide feedback, as much as they would like their job made easier, they don’t have the time.
How to position within that market
“But I need a big logo to let people know that I’m real.” You don’t, not in the beginning. All you need is a few good customers that are open to lending you the feedback you need to get better. A lot of smaller brands do a good job of branding, play the long game, find brands that are growing and try to get in early - grow with them.
Logo hunting has its place but you need to find product market fit before you can really make that happen.
By now you have probably figured out that whenever possible you should automate things. The way you do this is through data collection.
Using logic, math, and a spreadsheet you can do enough to be dangerous.
Use a service to figure out what their unique traffic is, take a look at their products and assume that their cart value is around 2-4 products per order then take the conversion rates by industry - you can find these online they are openly listed.
Your sheet will look something like this:
Company, Traffic, Conversion Percentage, Order Value, Sales Percentage, Revenue
eCommerce blended average is 2.2% - go use a spreadsheet and some formulas and bam you now have the revenue numbers. We’re not looking for exacts here, but more generally a good estimate.
I’ve actually run these numbers, if the products are sold through other channels, Amazon, retail, etc, then a rough estimate would be around ~33% of the revenue will come from the ecommerce store.
Factor in a range based on the size of the brand and it’s channels this should give you a rough estimate of the revenue even if they don’t publish it.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Provide value - the most overhyped phrase but still true - the question then becomes, with something as subjective as “value” rather than just create, instead ask and create. This part is coming up, we’re almost ready to turn this on.
We’ve started to move from who are partners are to who are our potential customers. This is on purpose - my stance is that your first customers are really your partners and you should work on aligning yourself with those that are the best fit for your product.
You want your first clients to buy into your vision and invest the time to help shape it.
Ok on to the next -
LEVEL 7: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people.
How to niche down
So now we’re getting into the easier stuff - this is just a simple LinkedIn Search - small teams are usually before the real deep process point, they are also really good at providing feedback on tools that can actually help them out.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
If you have less than 5 people on a team, it’s a small enough number to target the entire team - multi prong approach to product awareness.
For customer support they are often the least paid and they have the most stressful jobs - it’s an all around shitty position to be in, so if you can provide them joy, you’re going to make fans quick. Also, they aren’t usually sold into, they are rarely asked their opinion, etc.
How to position within that market
Give them a voice. The same goes for any lower level positions as well by the way. When people are getting started in their careers they are looking to hear about the jobs people have even at the lower levels but the resources just aren’t there. Even for more senior roles, it’s hard to get a beat on what the current status is of their projects, people don’t like sharing - I still don’t know why.
We’re seeing communities around Sales popup SalesHacker, sales, Bravado etc. We don’t see as many for other roles, there is a wide open space in this. I don’t see any places for people to better understand customer support/success which is THE ONLY INBOUND TOUCHPOINT WITH CUSTOMERS POST SALE.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
This is part of the philosophy and psychology of understanding human dynamics. Find a persona that you can relate to immediately and build your product around fixing their problems, be obsessed with this.
They get paid nothing, but they’d like less tickets, how do you reduce that ticket count, how do you bring other parts of the business that they may need to have access to more prominently in your support system so they don’t have to have multiple windows open. How do you build something to maximize their efficiency?
Better yet, how do you tag someone in the CRM and flag it over to the sales system to see if they purchase more product as a result of a good interaction with support - this is how you turn a cost center into a revenue generator. This is a killer feature that I’m not aware of out of the box.
This could unlock a commission structure and reward system for what is arguably becoming a dealbreaker for most companies.
Which is a great segway to the next drill down - you should be starting to see how this all really blends together if done correctly.
LEVEL 8: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes.
How to niche down
They have to be looking to automate their process or improve their workflow. When people find a tech stack that works, oftentimes new technology doesn’t stick around very long, we’re all creatures of habit.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
You’re only looking for people that are talking about processes or a company that has something related to the pride they take with their process - you can check out BuiltWith and see a list of products they have tried over the last 18 months.
When a company is testing a bunch of different products it means they are looking for a better process. This is your sweet spot.
How to position within that market
You’ve seen me sprinkle “workflow” into this post. This is pretty much a preview of Part 3 and the importance of product design.
Your product must improve someone’s existing workflow. If it doesn’t it’s not a viable product.
There are two parts to this, does your product improve an existing workflow AND how easy can your product be inserted into that workflow?
Remember, this is their business and they need to make a transition as smoothly as possible with as little disruption as possible. This goes for any product you’re selling. Change is hard.
Understanding a company’s process really is everything.
If people aren’t looking to automate or improve their process, there’s a good chance you should change your approach immediately and work towards more of an education campaign and double down on what it would take to let people quickly switch over from an existing platform. Focus on reducing friction.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Looking for people that are interested, not those we need to educate early on.
Data migration and implementation is one of the main reasons people don’t want to switch or entertain new products. There is always a fear of lost productivity.
Everyone is looking to automate right now, but the price has to be right, and that includes not the subscription amount, but the training, the migration, the new workflows, the time to adopt, the willingness to adopt, etc.
During almost any transition, the company will be paying for two systems at the same time during that handoff. This is rough, not enough companies actually address this in a meaningful way.
The argument is that a pure SaaS play doesn’t exist or shouldn’t exist for an early stage company, there should always be a service and consulting component. Hold everyone’s hand, understand their problems and make them feel like you’re building a product just for them.
Ok we’re almost there -
LEVEL 9: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes who are currently using Zendesk.
How to niche down
Let’s spearfish.
Zendesk - great platform - but has its limits that only show up based on workflows. Zendesk will work great until you have a workflow that incorporates other tools - then it starts to struggle.
This is true of most large legacy platforms. As legacy platforms moved up market to Enterprise for revenue reasons, they usually forget about smaller teams. Instead relying on dev house partners to do customizations.
This is where industry experience really comes into play - knowing the goals of a company or team, their workflows, and where you can create a better solution for those with those workflows for things that the legacy platforms prefer to source out to their dev house partners.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Your calls can now go from generic to focused with questions that can hone in on workflows and gaps. For example, Zendesk’s UX/UI sucks for partner integrations, we’ve seen companies like Kustomer, Gorgias, and others become more popular because of a better UX/UI that supports the whole customer experience and journey. This is a fundamental switch in approach.
From one of our earlier research steps we found 87 companies that people were using for support with shopify, we have them in a spreadsheet, we then could take those and put all the competitors in builtwith to run some reports to understand market penetration (you can do this with number of reviews as well by the way if you’re lazy - don’t be lazy).
Download your list - populate your CRM - you now know what people are using, how long they’ve been using them.
Narrow down your list to the top 20 clients - yes only 20.
Even if you have 100 clients or a thousand clients at this point, this process works for every single Sales rep you have - and I’m going on a 95% chance none of them are doing this stuff. And if you tell me they are, I know from the amount of generic ass emails I get regularly spewed out to me they aren’t doing it well and I guarantee you money is being left on the table. (Topic for another day)
How to position within that market
You know what software they are using, you know their tech stack, your goal is to figure out their workflow. If you don’t know, ask. You should understand the general business workflows for the industry - again industry knowledge is required.
Engage them with conversation and find out. Base your questions on conversations you’ve had with other people in the space and be a source of information about how other people are doing it.
The above is completely able to be put into a human measurable process, one based on quality over quantity, relationships over transactions, and geared towards long term growth.
Be about the things that other platforms are not. Focus on changing the narrative from cost center to revenue generator.
The helpdesk for Shopify and Shipstation customers looking to streamline their processes and free up their support teams to become revenue generators in an organic and measurable fashion.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
It’s all about workflows, data, and automation.
Niche down, learn from the inside out, follow the trends and work on being able to tie back data to creating more revenue no matter what your product does and you’ll be able to start conversations with people actively looking to create more optimized workflows.
Focusing on a legacy product and small businesses usually allows you to find a sweet spot, they don’t find value in all the features because they won’t use them all. But they do want the more advanced features like automation and workflow help. These are usually cost prohibitive in the platform.
This is why you focus on workflow over features, you’ll never catch up with the big guys in terms of features, but there are always ways to compete on workflows, because everyone has their own independent goals around them. There aren’t standards, only best practices.
Side note - there are entire companies that are hired to implement systems like Zendesk and build integrations on top of it and it’s a market leader. The same goes for any market leader.
LEVEL 10ish: You can add location to the end of our narrowing down. A company physically local to you (at least this was the case prior to COVID-19) can allow for an in person visit which has been massive in building trust with early clients. Makes it easier to have a conversation as well.
That’s it. Go through this process, substitute your values, keep drilling down and recognize opportunity along the way. When you do it correctly you’ll see massive improvements for your initial outreach.
Emails go from:
We’re a new helpdesk company.
To:
We’re a new helpdesk company for customers that use Shopify and Shipstation. We help agile support teams that are looking to better automate their workflows. Our integrations also allows your support team’s interactions to be directly tied into future revenue generation.
___________
I can tell you from experience I’m visiting the url for the second email even if I’m not looking to make a change.
This is a good place to stop, we hit question 2 of 5 and we’re almost at the halfway point.
If you have more specific questions about this part just drop them in the comments and I'll respond to them.
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Part 2: A great tip for Brazilians, Venezuelans and other nationalities which choose to play Tibia as their main income

Hello,
I have gotten so many replies and messages since my last post in this thread, that I can't answer them all individually. Previous topic:
https://www.reddit.com/TibiaMMO/comments/h8tu5u/a_great_tip_for_brazilians_venezuelans_and_othe
It has been shared on multiple subreddits so I have no idea where to even post this. But I'd like to come up with a follow-up thread with some more information. The internet is the most powerful tool that mankind has ever invented. You have the ability to reach thousands, millions and even billions of people with just a computer and some internet access.
If you're on this subreddit, chances are you're already playing Tibia and you already have a computer and internet access. It doesn't need to be the best internet, but as long as websites will load (eventually) you are good to go.
In this topic I will go more in-depth on web development and software engineering. If you have a very slow internet connection, you may want to look into web development instead of software development. An application/software is much heavier (larger file size) than a website. And most developer jobs require that you send and download files, back and forth, between you and your company's server. So if you feel like your internet is too slow to send a lot of files - do not worry! There are plenty of jobs.
First, I will go through some more details on how to learn web development and software development. After that, I will list a few other kinds of jobs that you can do remotely. These types of jobs can be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access.

Part 1: Some languages you should learn
What is web development? Well, it can be a lot of things. You perhaps make websites for shops/restaurants/hair dressers/dentists, or you work for a big company and work on their web application, like Outlook, Discord or Spotify (which can all be accessed via a browser: their web app). You can also work with design and user experience, instead of programming. Being a web developer can mean so many different things, it's impossible to name them all. But most web developers are just developers: they program. They make websites, and they either sell the websites to companies (as a consultant) or you work full/part-time for a company.
I can not provide in-depth information about every single thing, but I can give you some pointers. The very basics any web developer should know is this:

Part 2: Technologies and useful tools
To become a web developer you will need a few tools. You need a text editor, a FTP client, a SSH client and some other things. Also a good browser.

Other things you may want to look into:
Web services, SSL certificates, Search Engine Optimization, Databases, API, Algorithms, Data Structures

Part 3: Learning platforms

If you want to learn in-depth about algorithms, data structures and more. Then you can take a look at the curriculum of the top-tier universities of USA. Such as: UC Berkeley, Harvard and MIT. These courses are very hard and are specifically for people who want to become experts in software engineering. You can enroll some of them for free, like the one on Harvard. And by having a such diploma (which costs $90 extra) can get you a lot of job opportunities. You can enroll those courses if you want, but it can have a fee. But just take a look at what they are studying and try do their exercises, that is 100% free. Get the knowledge. It's mostly on video too! These course below are the very same courses that many of the engineers at Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Uber, AirBnb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc. has taken. It's what majority of people in Silicon Valley studied. And it's among the best classes that you can take. These course are held by some of the world's best professors in IT.

UC Berkeley: CS 61a & CS 61b:

Harvard University: CS50 (free enrollment --- 90$ to get a certificate).

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): 6.006

Part 4: Finding jobs
Portfolio / Code Sharing / Source Control:

Part 5: Other types of jobs you can work with (remotely) - with/without coding experience

You can find information about all of the things I have mentioned by using YouTube or Google search.
Hope it helps.

And I hope that in 1 year, there will be at least some new web developers in Brazil, Venezuela and other countries in South America.
submitted by International-Unit-8 to TibiaMMO [link] [comments]

Learning Paths Series: Javascript

I'm starting a little series of good learning resources that I encountered. Each article will be dedicated to certain technology and divided into 4 categories:
  1. General - resources that should accompany you through the whole learning process.
  2. Beginner - Your entry point. The first stages into that world.
  3. Intermediate
  4. Advanced
There are many resources out there. This is an opinionated list of selected ones, meaning, these are resources I deem as good or important for learning, and I hope most of you would be able to learn better using this guide.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with any of the resources and am not about to receive any type of compensation for including any of them here. This is an objective guide.
General:
  1. The Coding Train - YouTube Channel, good to follow, he touches many topics and is fun to watch as well as educational and informative.
  2. CodeSandbox - Online IDE for Rapid Web Development
  3. JSFiddle - Code Playground
  4. awesome-javascript - A collection of awesome browser-side JavaScript libraries, resources, and shiny things. You can find neat gems here.
  5. learnjavascript - you know what it is
  6. javascript - this too...
  7. Modern JavaScript Tutorial: - simple, but detailed explanations with examples and tasks
  8. Stack Overflow Javascript - Stack Overflow forum javascript tag
  9. CodePen - An online code editor, learning environment, and community
  10. WebStorm - An IDE by JetBrains. The one I personally use.
  11. VSCode - A popular free IDE

Beginner:
Both courses are good entry point courses. You can choose one or do both if you wish to practice more.
  1. The Complete JavaScript Course 2020: Build Real Projects! - A Udemy Course
  2. Interactivity with JavaScript - A Coursera Course

Intermediate:
Various coding games and challenges can be played and practiced at the beginner stage as well. It depends on your level of programming maturity. It's not a must resource but a nice addition. If you come from another language you would probably want to check it at the beginner stage of Javascript. If this is your first language, you might wish to develop some programming maturity first.
  1. JavaScript: The Advanced Concepts - Udemy Course
  2. CodinGame - Coding Games and Programming Challenges to Code Better. Practice what you learn.
  3. Programming JavaScript Applications - A great book with a deep dive.
  4. JavaScript (ES2015+) Enlightenment - In depth JS tutorials.

Advanced:
  1. Learning Javascript Design Patterns - Free Online book
  2. Project Euler - A website dedicated to the fascinating world of mathematics and programming. High-level riddles.

Some advice:
Couple Javascript with CSS + HTML so you'll be able to start playing with it and see nice results. Do a quick scan of some HTML tags and CSS, just enough to be able to build small things.
Practicing is super important, start practicing at the beginner stage. The coding game challenges can be approached then, and if it's too much for you, then practice on what you learned. Tweak it, tune it, play with the material, and don't be afraid to break stuff.
Devote the needed time! There are no shortcuts. There's no magic. I'm not a believer in super-learning or fast-reading. Make sure you know how to implement before jumping to the next topic.
Distribute your learning and practice across the weak. 1 hour every day is better than 10 hours every Sunday.

Good luck to all the Javascript learners.
submitted by Yarduza to learnprogramming [link] [comments]

MSP Resources - Tech Podcast, Remote SSH Tool, Windows Utilities & More

Hello msp,
Just sharing a few resources to make an MSP's job a little easier. I have no known affiliation with any of these.

A Free Tool
Everything is a command-line search engine for Windows that instantly locates files and folders by filename. Unlike Windows search, it initially displays every file and folder on your computer and then filters what is displayed as you type. Because it only indexes file and folder names, it generally takes a few seconds to build its database (e.g., a fresh install of Windows 10 (about 120,000 files) will take about 1 second to index). Recommended by odirio and Sekers as an "instant file searcher by name (slower if searching content)."

A Podcast
TechSNAP is a podcast on systems, networking and administration with a focus on best practices and helping listeners solve problems. It features topics of importance to those in the tech industry, with a segment dedicated to audience questions in every episode. New episodes are released every 2 weeks.

Another Free Tool
OpenSSH is a connectivity tool for remote login with SSH. All traffic is encrypted and it also provides a suite of secure tunneling capabilities, authentication methods and sophisticated configuration options. falsemyrm recommends it as the best alternative to PuTTY.

One More Free Tool
PowerToys includes Windows system utilities to help improve productivity. TimeRemove especially likes, "PowerRename, PowerToys Run (ALT+SPACE is a universal shortcut for search/run/navigate) and Keyboard Manager (Rebind keys to other keys). There is a lot of other stuff too, and it is still evolving. It is pre-1.0 so might contain bugs (e.g., running it as admin was breaking PowerToys Run last week)."

A Tip
OhkokuKishi shares a shortcut: CTRL + SHIFT +
“Opens an instance of selected program with elevated privileges. This also works on non-pinned open programs on your taskbar. (E.g., I have Windows Terminal pinned to my Taskbar, which I regularly need to open PowerShell or Command Prompt with elevated privileges to run some scripts or stop services. This is one of the fastest ways for me to do it.)"

As always, you can find a searchable, full list of every item I've ever shared here. Enjoy!
Have a fantastic week!
Graham
submitted by crispyducks to msp [link] [comments]

Ponzi schemes, MLM, 'business partner' opportunity and pyramid schemes in Adelaide

***UPDATE:**\* Come to realise 'Team 1 Global' or Team1Global is affiliated with Amway. Hence when they promote that their venture has helped companies such as Harvey Norman and Telstra, these are partner stores listed on the Amway Australia website: https://www.amway.com.au/partner-stores
Other reddit posts about this in Australia: https://www.reddit.com/antiMLM/comments/h9skod/amway_affiliated_mentorship_program_in_australia/
https://www.reddit.com/Scams/comments/6tz6r1/linkedin_business_opportunity_meetup/
Original post:
Has anyone had any experiences with being approached by MLM/Ponzi/Pyramid schemes in Adelaide? Mainly being approached on socials such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn?It's not always a product. It can be an 'educational program' 'mentor and leadership'.
A few people I know have been approached during this pandemic selling a marketing "Marketing and Business development project" "looking to build a successful team of leaders with similar core values"by "helping businesses' move online and get a share of the profit"
The people approaching them are friendly, and make a bit of chit chat until a script comes out, firstly asking for a quick chat over the phone - taking your personal phone number - and then eventually inviting you to meet in person and/or at the next group meeting.
They give no details as to what company or organisation they work for (red flag #1), no website or information available to be send via text or email (red flag #2), and cannot tell you specifically what businesses or industry they work with for the fear of "miscommunicating the business model" (red flag #3).
We've noticed that they're using LinkedIn as a tool to approach The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia business students who have 'looking for - a job, an opportunity, entering the workforce' in their title.

submitted by reddoh77 to Adelaide [link] [comments]

35 F With a lot of questions. Sorry for the long post.

I am joining this "adult" self harm sub because I feel the problems I am having with self harm are in the realm of grown up problems. Simply put, I can't find a doctor to help me and I just dont know what to do, where to go, or how to manage this sickness. This is long, and you don't have to read it! But if you are a grown up living successfully with a self harming habit, can you maybe give me some advice? I'm feeling trapped and out of options.
I have called more than 30 therapists leaving some version of the following message:
"Hi... uh....my name is ______ and I was referred to your office by (my insurance provider). I am 35 and am seeking immediate therapy for bereavement counseling and swlf harm. Two years ago I would have told you I am a healthy, normal, active 35 year old woman. But after the loss of my mom, my world sort of fell apart and I have started hurting myself and I don't know why and I just can't stop on my own. I need help. Please call me back to schedule a consultation. If you aren't accepting new patients, please call me back to tell me that you received this message. If you know anyone in network who is accepting new patients I would really appreciate the information. Thank you so much for your time." I list my phone number at the beginning and twice at the end.
You know how many have returned my call? Not a single one. I went through this same battle a year ago in January. By March I had gotten one person to finally return an email, but none of the 27 calls I had made. I wasn't totally thrilled with the experience, but I trusted this young man with a LOT. Six months into therapy he relocated. We continued online sessions until he just stopped asking me to schedule them. It's like the care plateaued and he had other, more important clients to deal with. I'm sure that is the, "crazy woman who lives in my head" talking but... I felt like an inconvenience to him. He was tired of hearing the same problems and symptom week after week. He never reached out again to see how or if I even was anymore. It has taken me a year of procrastinating to start the process again. I hate it. Almost as much as I hate me.
What do you do, when you share such an intimate part of yourself with someone and they don't care/don't respond? How are you guys keeping it together? How do you get affiliated with professional help when no one will return the repeated calls for help?
I'm not a cutter. (No shade... it's just not something I have ever done) Instead, I repeatedly and forcefully punch, scratch, and slap myself in fits of fury and rage. In the middle of a normal day, seemingly out of nowhere, I will realize some stupid fucking thing that I did or did not do that I should have and I totally lose my shit at myself. I use foul language either out loud or to myself. I flagellate until marks appear which sort of brings me back around to myself again. Then I am despondent and tired for hours or through the next day. I have gained 60 pounds in a year. I will have weeks or months where I am normal and then it starts up again. I am sad a lot, but mostly I am just really, REALLY pissed off.
My partner knows. My immediate family knows now, because it's pretty hard to hide. I often have a black eye hiding under many layers of makeup. I currently have two large scratches on my cheek that when asked by outsiders, I'll blame on the cat. My thighs have bruises all over them from digging my nails into them through my pockets when the feeling overwhelms me in public. I have permanent ringing in one ear from a really good punch last summer. There are light scars from scratches that drew blood on my forehead and neck. I know this is wrong. I know that it is ridiculous. I know that I am jeopardizing my job, my relationship, and my friendships. I just don't know how to control it.
I have sought professional help. I really, truly have. But none has come through yet. I made the terrible mistake of sharing the problem to my PCP last summer when I came in for a weird lump in my neck and she would not stop lecturing me about my weight gain (it was about 25 pounds gained then in the wake of my mother's recent death.) I explained that I had other more pressing issues to deal with than my diet, but that I acknowledged and understood the health risks of being obese and knew how to go about losing the weight. (I weighed more than 300 pounds during my 20s, and successfully lost 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. I was about 190 lbs at 5'9 during this appointment) She wanted me to join weight watchers immediately. I declined. When she asked what could be more important than my physical health I explained that I was going through some mental health issues after a debilitating injury that resulted in recent spinal surgery and losing my Mom unexpectedly was traumatizing and that I was worried starting a new diet would lead to new bad behaviors like starvation and deprivation. I broached the topic by saying I was having hard time being kind to myself and that a diet wasn't going to help things at present. I was open to exercise, which I was doing at the time. I explained that I knew how to count calories, owned a beautiful food scale from William Sonoma, had a fitbit to track my activity, but that I just wasn't at a mental place to get going yet. I did not deny that the weight gain was bad, I expressed that I was more overwhelmed with other aspects of my mental health.
She wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and said I was clinically depressed. She matter of factly said that once I got over my little bout of depression with this medication I could "start on that weight watchers program pronto." I left the office quietly stunned. When I went to have the script filled, two things happened. 1) the pharmacist pulled me aside because I also filled my script for meloxicam (an anti inflammatory for injury related pain) and 2) she asked me some disturbing questions. The pharmacist said that taking the zoloft with meloxicam would totally destroy my kidneys. She also said that if I had any history of suicidal thoughts or self harm this medication could increase the risks of suicide ideation. Greeeeat.
I then talked with my therapist (still local at this time) about deciding between the medication for my pain or the one for my brain... and he said loudly to toss the pills out and that depression was NOT my issue. I have a lot of ups. I have a regular range of emotions. I make my bed every morning because I have ambition. I look forward to many things. I am sad and angry at myself a lot, but not what you would describe as "clinically depressed". He said my symptoms were more similar to coping with ptsd than anything else and that Zoloft was not only NOT going to fix the self harm behavior it was probably going to add the risk of suicide when my ups were no longer so "uppy" from the medication.
At a follow up two weeks later with the PCP she became irate when I admitted to not taking the zoloft. I explained the pharmacist's warning about the meloxicam and the advice from my shrink. She asked what I was so afraid of by taking the meds? Upset and overwhelmed, I began to cry. I said, "I don't want to kill myself and I am afraid that taking this medication will be the thing that tips me in that direction." She asked what I meant. I showed her the bruises and explained that I had been self harming for several months and seeing a psychologist for it but that I would prefer any medications for mental health to come from an actual psychiatrist or specialist whom I could talk with regularly, not my general physician I see only once a year. I begged her to just give me any referral if she thought I needed depression meds and asked if I could just please, please have an ultrasound on the weird lump I made the appointment for in the first place?
She dropped me. She fucking dropped me as a patient. Amid my sobs pleading for the care I came in seeking she told me that I obviously had no faith in her as my doctor and that she could no longer trust me as her patient because I would not follow her advice. I asked if there was anyone else in the office I could see and she said she did not feel comfortable referring me to anyone else there. I asked about the psychiatrist and she scoffed that no one was taking new patients and the waiting list would be months long, which was why she had tried to help me with a script in the first place. I understood all of that too well and begged her to reconsider. I told her I would take the medication if that was the problem. It had taken me years to find an office where I could see the same doctor each time and I didn't want to start using urgent care for maladies again. It made no difference. I didn't even know that my doctor "firing" me as a patient was an option before then.
It was 3 months later when my psychologist stopped scheduling me. I have no urge to contact him and I dont really trust him for leaving me out at sea. I probably am depressed now. I have gained all that weight my doctor was so afraid of. My boyfriend of 6 years has been great through it all, but he is exhausted from doing damage control. It's like he's living with an abusive partner... but instead of me abusing him, he has to watch me do it to myself.
I teach 10th grade English. I look like a normal put together adult. My friends think I am just your average 30 something woman who loves gardening and her pets. I refer students who show signs like mine to see professionals all the time. But I can't seem to get help for myself. I am trying to handle it on my own in the interim but am busting at the seams. Working from home is a whole mental clusterfuck. I feel like a lazy piece of shit for sitting on my ass in front of a computer all day while my house is in shambles around me. When I try to do housework, I feel like I am neglecting my students who need (and deserve!) constant attention. The district I work in canceled our Spring break because they were worried about losing engagement. I have been in disaster mode for months and am frazzled and tired and especially hard on myself. We get one week off next week and then summer school begins. The program is even more rigorous than the last 13 weeks and I'm just not sure how I'll do it.
If you made it this far. Thanks. Thanks for listening. Not sure what I'm looking for or why I'm here, but it feels kind of good sharing my secret. I don't want it to be a secret because I want to stop. I am trying. But I am not succeeding. How are you doing it? How are you getting better?
submitted by orangejuicenopulp to AdultSelfHarm [link] [comments]

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