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Because all the cool kids want to feel like they’re writing posts in the Matrix. (Inspired by Zen)


        
        

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A final word and a thank-you | Slave Lake Book Auction

Well folks, that’s a wrap for the Slave Lake book auction.

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While the auction was an unbelievable amount of hard work, it was also a lot of fun. I LOVED watching the bidding wars going on and all the fun comments between bidders, egging each other on (yes Angie, I’m looking at YOU!). I loved that some of the books were hand delivered to the winners. I loved that authors offered up a SECOND copy to auction losers who wanted to pony up the same amount as the winners. I loved that up until the last post I was still getting donations in.

So thank you all so, so much for making this auction a roaring success. Because of you Slave Lake Library now has $4,909 to put towards rebuilding their library.

And that’s just freaking awesome.

Despite not winning any books, this is still beyond awesome. Great job Colleen!

On the failures of Online Banking

It seems to me that with every upgrade or enhancement, online banking (in Canada) get less useful and far more difficult to use. Having had a 4-month co-op stint at a bank (doing QA for the Online Banking team), I know all about the red-tape involved, plus the antiquated mindset, skills, and technologies at play, so I’m not really surprised; just disappointed.

Some highlights:

  • One bank no longer lets me view my statements online but rather forces me to download a PDF.
  • Several banks don’t actually let me download PDF statements.
  • One bank fails to list the actual statement date when viewing a statement.
  • Two banks limit their passwords at 6-8 characters.
  • One bank has two separate systems: one for their credit card and one for regular banking.
  • One bank forces me to indicate the fact that I’m from Canada every time I visit their site (because the domain on their cookie isn’t set correctly).

Banks should spend less time on building peripheral money management webapps, and focus instead on the core experience. They could pick up about a million cues from mint.com.

As skeptical as I was about the idea of BankSimple, I now wait with bated breath.

Photo: Toronto City Centre Airport

Scenes from the airport on May 24, 2011 before heading to New York.