ethereum

Getting started with NFTs and Crypto? Here’s a beginners guide to NFTs and Cryptocurrencies

Crypto currencies. NFTs. Web 3. Smart contracts. Bitcoin. Ethereum. There’s something completely fascinating about these things and we need to at least learn the basics because it is shaping the future of humanity. I’ve written this post for those of you who are interested in getting your toes wet. Keep in mind, I am not an expert nor am I offering financial advice. I am simply sharing my enthusiasm with you and will continue to do so here on my blog and on Twitter (@annemarieinsf).

Digital Wallets

First you will need a crypto wallet.

Your wallet is your portal to the decentralized web. But, what exactly is it?

Wallets might seem like complicated new tech at first, but using them is similar to simply sending an email or adding a file to a folder. Let’s think of the blockchain as a community-owned cloud storage service. Within this cloud, you have your own digital folder. And like any digital folder, this one has a name.

This digital folder is your crypto wallet, and its name is your public key.

Your public key, which appears as a long string of letters and numbers, acts similar to an email address. Instead of sending and receiving emails, though, your wallet is used to send, receive, and store digital assets like NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Anyone who knows your public key can send a digital asset directly to your wallet. In the same way it is generally safe to give someone your email address, it is safe to give someone your public key.

ref: unstoppabledomains.com

 

Now that you know what a wallet is, you’re probably thinking, “where do I get one?” MetaMask is the most popular one that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain. It’s super easy to use and has a Chrome plugin. Go to metamask.io and sign up to get a wallet.

You can either transfer money from a crypto currency exchange platform like Coinbase or you can buy through Wyre, Transak or a direct deposit.

You can move your NFTs to your wallet.

Another wallet is Phantom. It’s a popular wallet for Solano marketplaces. The cool thing about Solano is that the gas fees are way lower than on the Ethereum blockchain. Phantom has a Chrome plugin too: phantom.app

At one point it is a good idea to invest in an external wallet like Trezor or Ledger, to keep your crypto currencies and NFTs safe.

 

Crypto Exchange Platforms

If you are in America, Coinbase is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange platform. With a Coinbase account, you can purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and even Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). And lots more. If you sign up using this referral link, we both receive $10 in Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 or more (on Coinbase): https://www.coinbase.com/join/ward_yf5

I found a great app to keep track of profits and losses on Coinbase — It’s called CoinTracker. Not only does CoinTracker show the percentage increases and decreases (which Coinbase doesn’t do), apparently it also has a nifty tax option where it gives cost basis & capital gains. CoinTracker has a free version and you can sign up using this referral link: https://www.cointracker.io/i/xmomdo1LECGC
Some coins are not found on Coinbase. And, Coinbase isn’t available in every country. An alternative cryptocurrency exchange platform is KuCoin. Its interface is not as simple as Coinbase. It gives candle charts and a lot more options, like Coinbase Pro does. I still have yet to figure out all the features. If you’d like to sign up for KuCoin, head over to this referral link: https://www.kucoin.com/ucenter/signup?rcode=r3L6S5J

Lastly, check out the Learning section on Coinbase. You can earn coins if you watch short (interesting) videos.

Apps & Sites

One iPhone app I really like for creating watchlists is CoinMarketCap. They have lists of top performing crypto currencies as well as a list of airdrops. I’ve been playing their rewards and collecting diamonds every day. Check them out using this referral link: https://coinmarketcap.com/invite?ref=GUV5092T We will both get 20 diamonds when you accumulate 100 diamonds. Once you have a certain number of diamonds, you can claim rewards.

Eventually you will use and you may want an account on Etherscan.io. According to an article on Yahoo!:

Etherscan was created to facilitate blockchain transparency and accessibility, Etherscan is the go-to resource for users wishing to discover, verify and approve transactions that have taken place on the Ethereum blockchain.

Etherscan is known as Ethereum’s leading “block explorer”. It is essentially a search engine that lets users look up, confirm and validate transactions on the Ethereum decentralized smart contracts platform. By entering an address into the search box, you can view the balance, value and all the transactions made through that address.

Etherscan is not wallet service provider, it does not store people’s private keys and it has no control over the transactions that take place over the Ethereum network. It is also unable to troubleshoot transaction failures.

What can Etherscan be used for?

Users can register and create an account in Etherscan. Normal users can add an address to the “watch list” and be notified by email for an incoming transfer transaction. Developers can access a set of API services that can be used to either build decentralized applications or serve as data feeds for Ethereum blockchain information.

Since Etherscan doesn’t provide wallet services or have access to your private keys, addresses on the watch list can only be used for portfolio tracking or monitoring. To send or transfer Ether or tokens from your account, you’ll need a compatible wallet such as Ethereum Wallet, Parity Waller, MyEtherWallet or Metamask.

Exploring Ethereum addresses

You can use Etherscan to search all transaction histories, including token transfer and contract execution, of any address at Etherscan.io. You simply paste an address into the search bar and the address details will appear.

Domain Names

You are going to want to hop over to Unstoppable Domains or another place to buy domain names that end in .nft, .crypto, .x, etc. The reason I chose Unstoppable Domains over ENS is that there are no renewal fees, ever. Here’s the referral link to get your domain names: https://unstoppabledomains.com/?ref=daf8d4bc126b40e Their competitor ens.domains offers domain names ending in .eth. Their domain names need to be re-registered every year.

Earning Interest

If you are interested in earning high interest rates on your coins, check out this referral link for Nexo: https://nexo.io/ref/6hrl4jc7ro?src=web-link They say “For every friend who tops up $100 or more, we’ll reward both of you with $25 in BTC.”
>>MATIC earns 20% interest
>>AVAX earns 17% interest
>>NEXO Token earns 12% interest
What you can do is send currency from Coinbase to Nexo. And then sit back and watch your money grow 😉

Gaming

You may have heard gaming is taking off. Giancarlo loves tokens is a great YouTube Channel if you want to be plugged into the crypto & NFT scene. He was a stock analyst for the gaming industry and focuses a lot on popular games that are coming out. You can check Giancarlo out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPC2iE2Yuj20m5Dimn-vVBg
Gala Games is one of the biggest in the scene. You can sign up using this referral link: https://gala.fan/IaB3bDSGI The referral code is: 61a2e6365b560c0774d6fa64
Other popular games you might want to look into include:

NFT Marketplaces

There are several places you can mint NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Some of the most popular ones are:

And then there’s secondary markets like:

The most popular marketplace for NFTs that you can purchase with Solano is:

And there is a well-known marketplace for buying fractions of NFTs:

Note that you will be charged gas fees for the processing of the transaction. ETH gas fees are getting high and that is why people are favoring Solano.

Giancarlo has great suggestions on which NFTs to keep an eye out on. He has a beat on this space altogether.

Metaverse

It’s interesting how Mark Zuckerburg and Vitalik Buterin both came out with impressions about metaverse around the same time. We are moving fast into a world where reality and virtual reality are combining. Check out this video explaining Vitalik’s vision of a metaverse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdBpE6FDw9k

Coins

Which crypto currencies should you keep an eye out on? Who knows. They are highly volatile and their prices fluctuate rapidly. This is a good thing when you buy low and sell high. But not so good if you bought on a high and suddenly the market drops. The best thing to do is keep an eye out for what’s happening with BTC and ETH. Oh, and tweets from Elon Musk, who ends up driving some of the shit coins up at times.

Talking about shit coins, since its conception SHIB has gone up +2,426,891%. I read that if you invested $1 when it got started, that you would be a millionaire. Crazy, right?

Here are other coins that have done really well since their inception:
ETH +585,655%
MATIC +64,400%
AXS +63,217%
BTC +45,981%
GALA +35,071%
DOGE +30,475%
SOL +21,437%
MANA +19,031%
QNT +14,087%
LINK +12,708%
XLM +9,163%
ADA +5,919%

Other coins you might want to start researching include: AVAX, SAND, NU, DOT, COTI, CRO and AMP. Keep in mind that most of the ones listed in this section aren’t stable. My friend who runs a hedgefund in the city for millionaires says only buy BTC and ETH via Coinbase. I have a less conservative take on this whole scene and say dive into these other crypto currencies and see what happens. But that’s me.

Community

One aspect that’s so beautiful about this space is that people and the groups behind projects are truly interested in creating a community. And many projects include in their smart contracts ways they are going to give back to the community.
The two most popular social platforms where you can find out about the latest news is Twitter and Discord. Follow people like Pak, Larva Labs, Art Blocks and GOOP Troop.
And be super duper careful of scammers!!! I’ve run across two in my fairly limited time in the scene.

Learning

There’s a ton of great videos on YouTube where you can learn about crypto currencies, NFTs, blockchain, metaverse, smart contracts, ERC-1155, etc.

My favorite channels are:

Coin Bureau: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqK_GSMbpiV8spgD3ZGloSw  (videos are about 20min long)
Whiteboard Crypto: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsYYksPHiGqXHPoHI-fm5sg (videos are about 8 min long)

Other channels that I learn from include: DeFi Tutorials with DeFi Dad, Dapp University, Brandon’s Drawings, Simply Explained

Lango

And here’s some words and phrases to keep you in the know by @punk6529:

Ser – means “sir.” It is a way to respectfully introduce oneself or perhaps share an alternative point of view
Fren – means “friend.” Because we are all friends here on a happy mission quest together
GMI / WAGMI – “Gonna Make It” / “We All Gonna Make It.” The happy future state when everyone understands our JPGs the way we do.
“MOMA just bought a punk.  WAGMI”
NGMI – Not Going To Make It. Best used in a self-deprecating way about one’s own personal bad decisions
“Sold a Fidenza for 5ETH.  NGMI”
McDonald’s – Our backup career plan in case the NGMI scenario comes true
“Sold a Fidenza for 5ETH.  Applying now to McDonald’s”
LL – Larvalabs, the creators of punks, autoglyphs and meebits
“LL rarely tweets”
AB – ArtBlocks, the most important platform for generative art in the world, that has three collections: “Curated” (ABC), “Playground” and “Factory”
“Her ABC collection is”
Generative Art – art that is algorithmically generated, ideally in real-time when minted.
“She is a bright new star in gen art”
PFP – Profile Picture.  The punks, apes, cats, dogs, skeletons and so on, that we all use in our proto-metaverse of Twitter and Discord.
“That golden snail PFP is sick”
Looks rare – rarity is often a driver of value in this space. Used ironically.
[posts picture of steak]
“Looks rare”
Cope – the opposite of FOMO. Failing to buy an NFT because one is coping with one’s earlier error of not FOMOing at 1/10th the price.
“I know Golden Snails are up 50x and heading to Christie’s, but I didn’t like the launch so staying out”
“OK, LOL, cope”
1:1 Art – art where each piece is unique (1 of 1).  This can be thought in contract to PFP and Generative Art collections that range from 200 to 10,000 pieces typically.
“1:1 szn is coming soon”
Szn – means season which means market cycle. Crypto szns are accelerated IRL seasons.  NFT szns are accelerated crypto seasons.  Might last as little as 1-4 weeks.
IRL –  In Real Life, otherwise known as the world beyond OpenSea, Twitter and Discord. It is not recommended to spend too much time there.  IRL does not have sufficiently good JPGs.
Probably Nothing – “probably nothing” means “probably something”.  It is the polite way to FOMO, with just barely some plausible deniability.
“Visa bought a punk.  Probably nothing”
Up Only – Originally popularized by @CryptoCobain for ETH this year (I believe).
It is everyone’s desired direction of NFT prices, certainly preferable to the less popular alternative of “Down Only”
Liquidity – available ETH to buy JPGs.  This is an impossible state of being.  Any available ETH converts into JPGs immediately so everyone is a state of perpetual illiquidity.
Mint – the act of initially issuing a piece of art on the blockchain, either by the artist or the collector.
“Wow, beautiful picture.  Mint it!”
HEN – an absolutely infuriating marketplace for art issued on the Tezos blockchain that combines: a) huge amounts of interesting and inexpensive NFTs and b) the worst UI made by any marketplace website in decades
1/1 of X – the way to think about PFP and gen art collections.
Punks are 1/1 of 10,000.  Fidenzas are 1/1 of 999.
Each one is unique, but they belong to a coherent whole collection in contrast to 1:1 art.
Right Click Save As – every non-NFT person’s first “gotcha” move when learning about NFTs – demonstrating their vast technical capacity to download an image from a web browser.
Civilian: “I Right Click Saved 6529 and now it is my PFP”
6529: “Go right ahead”
This is the way – a way to commend socially positive behavior
“She never shilled her project”
“This is the way”
Floor Price – the lowest available asking price on OpenSea / Larvalabs/etc either for a collection as a whole or for a subset of the collection.
“Golden Snails have hit a 3ETH Floor, but Golden Snail Nerd Glasses are 12ETH floor this morning”
OG – original gangster.  First become popular through 1990s hiphop, the super-Lindy term just flows through community after community. It means the folks who were here early and earned respect.
“He is an OG punk holder”
Alpha – term from the investing/hedge fund community representing the outperformance generated by the skill of the asset manager vs beta (the market’s performance).  Most people’s alpha IRL and in crypto is beta in disguise.
“She dropping serious alpha today”
Its Money Laundering – this is meant to suggest that NFT prices are not real because people are using NFTs to money launder.  The exact mechanism of how this works in highly liquid markets is never described.
This is a specific form of IRL and crypto twitter coping about NFTs
JPGs – JPGs refers to our NFTs that might be JPGs or GIFs or PNGs or audio files or video files or computer games.
It is reclaiming a cope/insult for the community given many normies think “but you are just buying JPGs, are you mad?”
“They will never steal our JPGs”
Whales – Big collectors
DYOR – do your own research
DeFi – decentralized finance – anything having to do with moving traditional financial services to the blockchain, like exchanges, lending, and payment processing.
Stake – to lock up your tokens for a set amount of time, usually with the goal of earning more tokens as interest, and/or to become a node in a proof-of-stake network
DAO – decentralized autonomous organization – code that runs by itself when certain rules are met. Code is law (this is very simplified and worth a deeper dive).
Goat – Greatest of all time – “Crypto Punks are the goat NFT”. Unless it’s an actual set of NFT goats… probably literally a goat in that case.
Shill – promoting a project to get eyes on it in a tactless manner. Imagine 10k people watching a Cancer Foundations livestream and some guy in the chat keeps spamming
“Elon Muskrat NFTs gonna MOOOOOOOOON!” That guy is shilling.
Swap – swapping one token or coin for another, usually via a DEX (decentralized exchange) like Uniswap.
Burn – tokens are permanently removed from the circulating supply, thus making the remaining supply more limited.

Disaster Hack: Prepping Your To-Go Kit for an Earthquake or Fire

Receiving an “If you have to evacuate” email from Senator Skinner made me consider more seriously “What if there is an earthquake or wildfire? After all it’s 2020!” Since I’m not traveling due to COVID, I took my Osprey travel backpack and my eBag carry-on and filled them with necessary items.  Below is a list of what you can consider to put together for an emergency evacuation.

To-Go Kit

  • solar hand held portable radio w/led light
  • emergency sleeping bag (mine came with a whistle)
  • small flash lights
  • headlamp
  • first aid kit
  • fire proof bags & document holders
  • batteries (aa & aaa)
  • germicidal water purification tablets
  • soap bars
  • paper & pen
  • contact list incl phone numbers & email addresses
  • liquid soap
  • ziplock bags
  • trash bags
  • toilet paper
  • sharpie to write your name on belongings
  • travel toothbrush & toothpaste
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • razor
  • gloves
  • jeans
  • long sleeve cotton shirt
  • jacket
  • rain jacket
  • wool socks
  • change of undies
  • yoga pants
  • floppy hat
  • face mask
  • glasses
  • sanitation supplies such as hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, soap and disinfectant wipes
  • feminine supplies
  • sleeping bag
  • travel pillow
  • sleeping mat
  • rope
  • duct tape
  • charging cable for cellphone
  • portable cellphone battery pack
  • cash because credit cards may not work due to lack of electricity
  • water: one gallon a person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  • copies of important documents (birth certificates, licenses, insurance policies)
  • back-up of computer files on external hd
  • three days of nonperishable food – high energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail mix
  • all-purpose knife, scissors and non-electric can opener

Apps You’ll Want to Install on Linux/Ubuntu/Xubuntu

tl;dr: Type sudo apt-get install followed by the name of one of these apps to install it:

gedit, rar, libreoffice-common, vlc browser-plugin-vlc, mplayer, audacity, inkscape, youtube-dl, gparted, id3v2, lame, regexxer, gnome-do, udisks, terminator, arora

For example, to install Inkscape type:

$ sudo apt-get install inkscape

Before you go crazy installing apps

In case you missed my last blog post, the first thing you need to do is make sure your system is up-to-date with the online repositories by running the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

Once you’ve done that, you are good to go and can start installing apps. Below is a list of the best apps to install on Xubuntu/Ubuntu/Linux. They are all free. Big hugs to open-source engineers!

For most of the apps listed below I explain how to install them via the terminal. A shortcut to open the terminal is ctrl-alt-t. Once it’s open type the command that you see in the grey box. Lets get started.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is an open-source GNOME text editor.  It includes tools for editing source code and structured text such as markup languages.

$ wget -qO – https://download.sublimetext.com/sublimehq-pub.gpg | sudo apt-key add –
$ echo “deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/stable/” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
$ sudo apt-get install sublime-text

gEdit

gedit is another open-source GNOME text editor.

$ sudo apt-get install gedit

Mozilla Firefox

There are many reasons to use Firefox as opposed to Chrome.  For one, it’s a browser and simply a browser.  It’s run by a nonprofit organization and isn’t out solely to make money.  It embraces the open source mindset, which is the main reason to install Linux in the first place.  It cares about user privacy.  Also, Firefox is better for battery life.

Install Ublock origin, which is a Firefox plug-in that blocks tracking and ads.  It’s open source.

$ sudo apt-get install firefox

Rar

Rar is like a guy slut. It unzips everything it can get its hands on. For example, it can decompress CAB, GZIP, ACE and other archive formats.

$ sudo apt-get install rar

Calibre

Calibre is a powerful and easy to use e-book manager.

$ sudo apt-get install calibre

VLC

VLC is an open-source cross-platform multimedia player and framework which can also stream audio and video in a number of formats.  VLC offers support for advanced subtitles, full SSA compatibility, multi-track audio and playback speed control.  It rocks!

$ sudo apt-get install vlc browser-plugin-vlc

Shutter

A powerful screenshot tool, which not only allows you to take screenshots, of any part of screen, but also allows you to edit the captured image, adding text, hiding private content by pixelating, and upload an image to a hosting site.

$ sudo apt-get install shutter

Inkscape

Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that can be used to create and edit vector graphics including illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos and complex paintings.  It’s the open-source equivalent to Adobe Illustrator.

$ sudo apt-get install inkscape

Gimp

GIMP is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.  It’s the open-source equivalent to Adobe Photoshop.

$ sudo apt-get install gimp

YouTube

YouTube is… Shit, if you don’t know what YouTube is you need to get out from under that rock.

$ sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an open source office suite forked from OpenOffice.org, which I actually like better. But the developers dised it. So LibreOffice it is. The LibreOffice suite includes programs for word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams, drawings and databases. It’s the free version of Microsoft Office and even opens Microsoft generated files.

$ sudo apt-get install libreoffice-common

Skype

Skype can be found in the Canonical Partners repository, which makes it possible to install it without downloading the package from Skype.com.

$ sudo dpkg –add-architecture i386
$ sudo add-apt-repository “deb http://archive.canonical.com/ $(lsb_release -sc) partner”
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install skype

SimpleNote

Simplenote is the best note-taking app for Linux right now. It provides all the features that a modern and professional note-taking app must have. This how it becomes the best Evernote alternative app for Linux. This simple and elegant app is designed and developed by the same company who developed WordPress – Best Blogging open source platform, Automattic, Inc.

Download it at simplenote.com.

FileZilla

FileZilla is one of the best and secured FTP client for all the major platforms like Linux, Unix, Windows, and MacOS. It supports large file transfers. There are lot more intuitive features available like bookmarking, drag-drop support, transfer queue and site management.

$ sudo apt install filezilla

Kupfer (optional)

Kupfer is an interface for quick and convenient access to applications and their documents.

https://kupferlauncher.github.io

Audacity (optional)

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use it to record live audio, record computer playback, convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files, cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together and change numerous effects including speed or pitch of a recording.

$ sudo apt-get install audacity

ID3v2 (optional)

ID3v2 is a tagging format for MP3 files.

$ sudo apt-get install id3v2

LAME (optional)

LAME is a high quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder licensed under the LGPL. That sounds really complicated, right?  Simply, it is considered the best MP3 encoder at mid-high bitrates and at VBR. I feel so geeky even copying and pasting this paragraph. On a more serious note, it is an encoder for MP3s. It turns .wav files into .MP3. .wav is always the middle man.

$ sudo apt-get install lame

mPlayer (optional)

MPlayer is an open-source media player. I like this explanation on ubuntuforums.org as to how it is different from VLC:
“I use both. Mplayer on my Mythbox since Mplayer can use CoreAVC which allows for multi-core video decoding, great for 1080p. I use VLC to play videos on my desktop. Mplayer seems to be like a swiss army knife, as in can do almost anything if you know how, and VLC is a normal knife, it is simple to use, but doesn’t come with a toothpick.”

$ sudo apt-get install mplayer

gParted (optional)

gParted is a free partition editor for graphically managing your disk partitions. With GParted you can resize, copy and move partitions without data loss.

$ sudo apt-get install gparted

GNOME Do (optional)

GNOME Do allows you to quickly search for many items present on your desktop or the web, and perform useful actions on those items. Wikipedia says “like other application launchers, it allows searching for applications and files, but it also allows specifying actions to perform on search results. GNOME Do allows for quick finding of miscellaneous artifacts of GNOME environment (applications, Evolution and Pidgin contacts, Firefox bookmarks, Rhythmbox artists and albums, and so on) and execute the basic actions on them (launch, open, email, chat, play, etc.).” So that’s it in a nutshell.

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-do

udisks (optional)

udisks is an abstraction for enumerating block devices and performing operations on them, such as creating file systems or mounting.

$ sudo apt-get install udisks

Terminator (optional)

Terminator is a GPL terminal emulator. It’s an efficient way of filling a large area of screen space with terminals. Basically, you can have multiple terminals in one window and use key bindings to switch between them. This is one my smart computer friend, Super K, says to install.

$ sudo apt-get install terminator

regexxer (optional)

Straight from SourceForge.net, regexxer is “a nifty GUI search/replace tool featuring Perl-style regular expressions. If you need project-wide substitution and you’re tired of hacking sed command lines together, then you should definitely give it a try.” Do what they say, mate.

$ sudo apt-get install regexxer

Arora (optional)

Arora is a cross platform web browser built using Qt and WebKit. It is what my school runs their knowledge base in.

$ sudo apt-get install arora

Python3-tk (optional)

This is for people who are running an app that my school offers because it needs python3 and tinkter.

$ sudo apt-get install python3-tk

zsh (optional)

The Z shell (zsh), according to Wikipedia is “a Unix shell that can be used as an interactive login shell and as a powerful command interpreter for shell scripting. Zsh can be thought of as an extended Bourne shell with a large number of improvements, including some features of bash, ksh and tcsh.” My friend Super K says “ditch bash and go to zsh!”. I do what he says. If you are curious how it works, check out this YouTube clip. I say it’s optional because it changes the terminal a bit.

$ sudo apt-get install zsh
$ sudo apt-get install git-core

According to this article on Github, you need to take further steps to get zsh to work on Ubuntu.

The article recommends you do this to install zsh:

wget https://github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/raw/master/tools/install.sh -O – | zsh

Change your shell to zsh:

chsh -s `which zsh`

And then restart:

sudo shutdown -r 0

Note that when I tried this, it gave me an error. I ignored the error and it worked.

fasd (optional)

If you use your shell to navigate and launch applications, fasd can help you do it more efficiently. With fasd, you can open files regardless of which directory you are in. Just with a few key strings, fasd can find a “recent” file or directory and open it with command you specify.

Here are two references to check out:
https://github.com/clvv/fasd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur81Y-mV5Us

Google Chrome

Installing Google Chrome is a little bit different. First you need to download the .deb file on Google’s site and then install it from Ubuntu’s Software Center. Here’s how.

1. Go to google.com/chrome
2. Click Download Chrome
3. Choose either 32 bit .deb (for 32bit Ubuntu) or 64 bit .deb (for 64bit Ubuntu)
4. Click Accept and Install
5. Download .deb file to a folder (Downloads is the default folder)
6. Open up your Downloads folder
7. Double-click the .deb file you just downloaded
8. This will launch Ubuntu Software Center. Click Install

Apps to download from the Ubuntu Software Center

There are some apps that are easier to install via Ubuntu’s Software Center. For example, Dropbox, FileZilla and Stellarium are the few that I prefer to install using the instructions below.

1. Click on the Xubuntu icon on the top left of your monitor
2. Choose Ubuntu Software Center.
3. Search for the app.
4. Click on the app’s image.
5. Click Install.

And there you have it. The most useful apps to run in Xubuntu/Ubuntu/Linux!

Craigslist Hack: Selling a car on Craigslist

There are a couple things I didn’t read anywhere on the internets about selling a car on Craigslist.  Here they are…

  • If you are a member of AAA, they can handle the transaction at a local office, free of charge.  They offer the same services as a DMV without the lines!
  • The pink slip is the title.  You do not need both.
  • You don’t need to take the license plate off when you sell the car.
  • The buyer pays for a smog test.  I went to the place where I last had a smog test to ask for the certificate and was told the certificate is only valid for 90 days, even though smog checks are required every two years.

Posting an Ad on Craigslist

You should easily be able to shoot 24 good photos of your car. Here’s how we recommend breaking down your shot list:

One overview from each angle of the car; think front profile, rear profile, side profile (times two), a 3/4 shot from each corner.
Detail shots of any exterior damage and a shot of the wheels and tires showing about how much tread is left on the tires.
Photos of the front and back seats, the dashboard, and the odometer showing current mileage.
Open the hood and take an overview photo.

Documents to complete (if you are not an AAA member)

The seller submits a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability to DMV within 5 days of releasing ownership of the vehicle, trailer, or vessel. The Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability may be filed online at www.dmv.ca.gov/online/nrl/welcome
To process an NRL, you must have the:

  1. License plate number
  2. Last five digits of the vehicle identification number
  3. New owner’s name and address

The Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability relieves you of responsibility for parking and/or traffic violations and civil or criminal actions involving the vehicle after your date of sale. Your name, however, will not be removed from the DMV’s records until the new owner submits the vehicle title to the DMV for transfer of ownership, and pays the appropriate fees, and completes all transfer requirements. This form should be submitted by you directly to DMV; if you give this form to the new owner, the new owner may never submit it to DMV on your behalf.

Finalize the Sale of Your Car

Once a sale has been agreed upon, you’ll need to finalize all the paperwork. If you accept a cashier’s check, go with the buyer to his or her bank to get your money. When payment has been completed, you’ll need to:

* Complete the bill of sale.
* Sign over the title.
* Fill out the Release of Liability.
* Submit this form to your state DMV if required.
* Provide warranty documents, if applicable.
* Provide copies of maintenance records.
* Be sure to black out personal information to avoid identity theft.
* Include any additional transfer paperwork your state may require.
* Hand over the keys!

Don’t forget to remove your vehicle from your insurance policy.

When can I turn the vehicle and keys over to the buyer?
You may safely turn the vehicle and keys over to the new owner when you do all of the following:
* Provide the buyer with all the appropriate documentation, signatures, and certifications noted in this brochure.
* Submit a completed Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability to DMV.
* Receive payment from the buyer.

FAQs

Will I have to pay for anything after I have sold my vehicle?
All of the transfer fees are the responsibility of the buyer.

Should I keep any papers after the vehicle is transferred?
Keep a copy of the completed Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Rideshare Driver Hacks: Picking up Uber/Lyft riders at the airport

If you end up dropping someone off at or near the airport, it’s beneficial to go to the TNC lot and wait for a rider. Here are some things you need to know.

First, the app will tell you that you need to leave the airport to receive rides. Head to the designated TNC lot to be put in a queue of available drivers. The one at SFO is currently off the Millbrae exit. As of Friday, it is going to be off the San Bruno exit.

Once you get to the lot you will be out of the airport range and will be put in a queue to pick up a rider. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not set your destination. If you do, you won’t be put in the queue and will not get a rider. If you have your destination set, remove it via the app. Then you will see the number of cars waiting ahead of you. That’s how you know you are in the queue.

There are porta-potties in the parking lot. The one for men is really gross. They know that and provide one just for women. You have to ask the guard for the key.

When I arrived to the lot, the Uber driver app said there were 150 UberX cars ahead of me. I thought I was going to be there forever but the line moved relatively quickly. It took 28 minutes to be connected to a rider. Luckily the rider was going in the same direction I wanted to go. (You never know at SFO which direction you will be taken. You could end up in the South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, SF or ???)

The app will tell you which parking garage level and zone to drive to. I simply followed all the Uber and Lyft cars from the TNC lot to the garage parking lot and then drove to the appropriate zone. It takes about 10 minutes to get out of the Millbrae TNC lot and to the parking garage. So it is a good idea to send a text that says something like “Hi! Due to traffic, it is going to take a little longer than the app suggests. See you in about 15 minutes!” This is important because riders could get angry otherwise, as the app tells them you will be there in 4 minutes. (Thank you Lyft driver in the TNC lot for telling me this.)

Once you have your rider(s), head out of the parking garage to the freeway. It’s streamlined and easy peasy.

If you are not a Uber or Lyft driver yet, be sure to use an invite code when signing up. The reason is that you will get a BIG bonus when you do. Here are invite codes for Uber and Lyft:

Uber: ANNEMARIEW14
Lyft: ANNEMARIE869065

Rideshare Driver Hacks: Read this before signing up to be a driver for Uber or Lyft – Get a bonus and more

If you want to start driving for Uber and/or Lyft, here are a few tips.

First, go to their website and sign up.

IMPORTANT: When you sign up, use an invite code. When you do, you will get a BIG bonus. Here are invite codes for Uber and Lyft:

Uber: ANNEMARIEW14
Lyft: ANNEMARIE869065

It takes a few days for Uber & Lyft to run a background check and approve you as a driver.

You can download the driver app, which is different from the rider app.

Renting a car through Uber or Lyft

If you don’t have a car or don’t have one that qualifies, you can rent one through Uber or Lyft’s app (once you are approved as a driver). There are a few things to know about this.

Uber will not accept a car rented through Lyft’s program. Lyft will accept a car rented through Uber’s program. So if you plan on driving for both of them, rent a car from Uber.

Uber has partnered with rental car companies. The main two are Hertz and Fair. Depending where you live, it might take longer to get a car from Fair. I’m in the Bay Area and waited 2 business weeks, called in and wasn’t given an ETA or even where I was in line. Because I wanted to get started, I cancelled my reservation with Fair and went with Hertz. I rented a car from Hertz (via Uber’s Driver app) and had a car in 2 days. It was a smooth process to sign up, get the car and drive away.

Hertz’ policy is much more flexible than Fair’s. You rent by week and can cancel at the end of any week.

You will get a reminder text from Uber asking to renew your car. Within three clicks, your rental agreement is renewed for the week.

As of June 2019, the weekly payment for renting with Uber is $214. You have to pay a one-time only refundable deposit of $200. The weekly payment for Fair is ~$30 less.

If you drive 80 trips for Uber, you will earn $125, which can be used towards the rental car payment. If you drive 90 trips, you will earn $185. If you drive 145 trips, you will earn $265. I have no idea how one can possibly do 145 trips in one week. If you do it, let me know.

When I rented a Hertz car through Uber’s program, I received the welcome package from an Uber employee who is stationed at Hertz. Included in the welcome package are stickers, information about driving, best driving hours, etc. Ask for an airport certificate so you can do pick-ups and drop-offs at the airport.

Add rideshare protection to your automobile insurance

When you rent a car through Uber and/or Lyft you will get the necessary rideshare auto insurance. If you are using your own car, you will need to add rideshare protection to your auto insurance. This will cover the gap while teh app is on but no riders are in your car. USAA offers rideshare protection for $26.99 every 6 months (or $4.50/mo). You only need to add this to your insurance policy if you have purchased or leased a vehicle. If you have rented a vehicle, you don’t need anything extra.

Tax deductions

You’ll want to use an app to track your miles for tax deduction purposes. I use Stride Tax. Here is my referral link: https://stride.app.link/jviC2B5fJX.

Download the app and sign up. When you start working, click on “Track my miles.” When you are done, click that you are finished for the day. When you are done, the app will give you an amount to deduct.

Accessories

Here are a few accessories that are worth getting. You’ll be taken to Amazon via my affiliate link.

Phone Mount

I have a phone mount that goes on my window. My phone overheated. So now I understand the importance of one that goes on the air vent. This one is a good buy and works well: Kenu Airframe+ | Vent Car Phone Mount.

Charging Cables

It is a huge plus to have charging cables for all types of devices!!! This is the one I got: [2 Pack] USB Charging Cable, 4 in 1 Multiple USB Charger Cable Adapter. I rider called it an octopus of cables. Not a bad description.

Audio Cable

I keep my radio on AUX and when young people come into my car, I ask them if they want to listen to music. I’ve listened to a lot of disco!!! Here’s the audio cable I got. 6 feet is a long cord and guaranteed to go to the backseat: CableCreation 6-Feet 3.5mm Braided Audio Cable.

In-app navigation system

Consider setting Uber/Lyft’s in-app navigation system to Waze. The default app for Uber doesn’t always get directions right.

Mark favorite spots on Google Maps

When I’m starving in the city, I want places I can go to fast that I know are going to be good. So I researched all the good sushi restaurants around and put them as my favorites in Google Maps. I did that with cheap gas stations as well. I also do that with places where there are a lot of people and head there when I get taken to a quiet neighborhood.

Hacks for making more money with Uber or Lyft

When I first started driving for Uber I was averaging $21/hr.  Then I did a couple things to increase my average to sometimes as much as $37/hr.  The main thing is that I started driving during the morning and evening promotions.  I’m not a morning person and end up getting out around 7:30 am or 8:00 am.  It starts slowing down around 9:30 am.  But if there is a run to the airport or a lot of little rides while a consecutive promotion series is going on, it adds up.  So in 1.5 hours, I can make as much as $75.  Not bad.  The same goes for the afternoon.  I start at either 4 pm or 5 pm and to until 7:30 pm or 8 pm.  If there are surges on top of the consecutive trip promotions, it adds up quickly.  When it starts slowing down, I log out and call it a day.

Bay Area drivers need FasTrak

If you live in the Bay Area, you are going to want to make sure you have FasTrak. If you already have it and are renting a car, call them to add the license plate number. FasTrak’s phone number is +1-415-486-8655.

Conclusion

I enjoy driving wayyyy more than I thought I ever would. It is getting something moving in me that was previously stuck. Plus, I love meeting new people and seeing new places.

Again, you will want to use invite codes to get a bonus when you sign up to drive for Uber and/or Lyft. Here are codes you can use:

Uber: ANNEMARIEW14
Lyft: ANNEMARIE869065

Wait to sign up until you are serious about driving. Because they will give you a bonus for driving 300 trips in 90 days.

Happy driving!

Travel Hacks: Osprey Farpoint 40L to Bali & Australia: What to bring and how to pack your Farpoint40

I just got back from spending one and a half months in Bali and Australia.  I lived out of my Osprey Farpoint 40 liter backpack and loved loved loved it (after I managed to figure out a system for packing it)!!!

Below is what I brought and how I packed it.  There are a couple things I had no idea about, which I’ll give you tips on below.  And, there are a few things I purchased which were a really good idea.  The links to them are below.  They are affiliate links so I get commission if you buy them here, which I’d totally appreciate.

 

 

If you have any questions, lmk.

I hope you have as great of a time traveling as I did!!!

Love,

AnneMarie

(Shelley Beach overlooking Manly Beach.)

 

Before you pack, consider this…

So, here’s the first thing you need to consider before piling a bunch of things into your Farpoint… If you plan on having it as a carry-on, the weight limit is 7kg/15lbs.  Mine weighed 20 pounds so I zipped up the straps and sent it on its own as luggage.  It ended up getting along well with the big suitcases and boxes.  They didn’t smush it. Whew.

If you end up meeting the weight requirement, the containers for your shampoo, conditioner and lotion can’t be over 3.4 ounces/100ml.

Packing the Farpoint is wayyyy easier if you use packing cubes.  The ones that fit perfectly are the eBags Slim Packing Cubes.  They come in a pack of 3.  I have other packing cubes but these eBags Slim ones are really meant for the Farpoint.

 

Aside from my Farpoint, I couldn’t live without my Outlander 20L Waterproof Backpack.  The size is perfect and it feels really great on.  It is extremely lightweight yet really durable.  It fits perfectly under the seat of a scooter (in Bali you will want to rent a scooter to get around.  They are only $4 a day.) and are truly waterproof (it rained a day in Bali and nothing in my backpack got wet).  At the airport, I wore my Farpoint on my back and my Outlander on my front.  It was perfect.

Necessary purchases…

Initially I bought one Master Padlock for my Farpoint.  Later, I decided to get another one.  The reason is that there are two important compartments in the Farpoint backpack: one for your computer and one for your clothes.  I kept my backpack locked at the airport and in hotels.

My friend let me borrow his travel adapter and I ended up getting one of my own.  Find a travel adapter that has 4 USB ports AND is a power adapter for UK, EU, AU, US and 150 other countries!  If you go to Bali and Australia, you will need something like this because they have different power outlets.

When you are not near a power outlet, this small candy-bar sized Anker Portable Battery Power Bank is a necessity.  I charged my phone a lot with it because Google Maps eats up a lot of battery life. The bigger Anker portable battery power bank is a bit heavier but it lasts longer (I used it tenting for 2 weeks and didn’t need to charge it the whole time I was out.)

My friend turned me on to Bendedetta The “Best” (Organic) Deodorant.  After hearing it worked on her husband and teenage son, I had to get some.  It even works on stinky meeee.

During my travels, I kept my passport and wallet in an RFID blocking neck wallet.  My digital nomad friend recommended that I get one.  I was resisting a little because I didn’t want to look like a tourist but honestly it is a crafty thing to have.  I’m glad I got it.

I got a travel-sized laundry bag, which really came into use.  I thought it would be too small and it was perfect.

Optional purchases…

I bought two pricey items and am sooo glad I did.  One was a Kobo Clara touchscreen e-reader and case.  The reason I chose Kobo as oppose to the Kindle is that I didn’t want to be locked into Amazon’s system.  I downloaded a whole bunch of electronic books (.epub) before leaving and they were so very easy to put on my Kobo.

The other item I was really super happy to have was my Sony Cyber-shot HX80 compact digital camera. It took amazing photos!  Totally beats the photos I took with my iPhone.  The zoom capability is phenomenal and as prints the photos look beautiful.

Practical things to pack…

Havaianas flip flops are always a good idea to pack.

I would never ever leave home without my North Face Thermoball puffy jacket.  It is light weight and doesn’t take up much space in my backpack, yet it kept me so warm at night.  I also packed my Marmot Minimalist rain jacket, which was a good idea because I was stuck on a scooter in Bali during a rain storm.

Packing Thermasilk long underwear is always a good idea.  Especially on cold nights.

My guy friend said pack Imodium softgels so I did.  Luckily I didn’t need them.  Grapefruit Seed Extract kills everything so I always carry this wherever I go.

Soap.  (They didn’t have any at the place where I stayed in Bali.)  Rope & pins for drying laundry.  Small bungee cord. Duct tape.  (I didn’t pack any but needed it twice.) Small keepsake bags from Diaso to put things like a travel toothbrush, toothpaste & dental floss in.  A drain stopper.

Items for girls…

In Australia, the summer sun is really intense.  I bought a wide-brimmed foldable sun hat and love it!!!  It’s actually really cute.  And I like the strap because when the wind blew hard, the hat stayed on my head.

If you are a female and prone to UTIs, try D-Mannose by Now.  I didn’t need it on this trip but one of my friends did.  It took care of her UTI in two days.  She took 3 capsules 3x a day.

The list…

Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack

eBags Slim Packing Cubes

Outlander 20L Waterproof Backpack

Master Padlock (buy two for the Farpoint)

Candy-bar sized Anker Portable Battery Power Bank

or Anker portable Battery Power Bank

Bendedetta The “Best” (Organic) Deodorant

RFID Blocking Neck Wallet

Travel-sized Laundry Bag

Kobo Clara Touchscreen E-reader and Case

Sony Cyber-shot HX80 Compact Digital Camera

Havaianas Flip Flops

North Face Thermoball Puffy Jacket

Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket

Thermasilk Long Underwear

Microfiber Travel Towel

Dental Floss

Pantene Pro-V Travel Size (dump out their smelly stuff, rinse it out and fill with your own)

Drain stopper (My sister says “it’s handy for hand washing in a sink or tub when a washing machine isn’t accessible or you just need to wash one or two things.“)

Imodium Softgels

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Etc…

Daiso is the best place to go for cheap bags to put loose things in.  Pantene Pro-V Travel Size offers the biggest sized travel containers that are just a tad under 3.4 ounces.  Empty out the smelly Pantene product and put your own in.  Always travel with GSE.

 

 

 

Building Evaluations: Assessing a bedroom for a cancer patient before surgery (case study)

 

A client just got diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is purchasing a new bed for the room she will be moving in.  Before she does, she wanted to make sure the room was energetically okay and that the bed wouldn’t be on a noxious zone.  This is the bedroom she is going to stay in during her recovery.

Luckily, the room turned out to be A-okay.  The electromagnetic field (EMF) readings indicate there are no major frequencies in the room.  And, the earth line crossings are in optimal places away from her head or body.  The most noxious area of the room is in a corner that we had already discussed putting a plant in.

During the assessment we felt an area where she could rest peacefully.  And how she could let go in this room without having to worry about anything but recovering.

 

 

 

Building Evaluations: Assessing a newly purchased home (case study)

Clients of mine just bought a 4-bedroom, single-family home and hired me to assess it for geopathic stress zones.  They are planning to gut the inside but wanted to know what I felt before signing off on the architect’s plans.

One of their main concerns was the bedroom.  They want to find a good place for the bed where it isn’t on any geopathic stress zones.  This is important for good sleep. It is also really important for health, particularly because the husband has heart problems.  The less stress his heart is put under, the better for his overall wellbeing.

Below is a photo of the earth lines in their bedroom.  Where the horizontal and vertical lines overlap is an earth line crossing.  There are three shown in this photo. It is important not to sleep on a crossing.  And, in this man’s case it is important not to have an earth line running across his heart.

An interesting find was an energetic wall in the room, labeled #1 in the photo.  It is not an earth line but felt like one at first.  Also, there were mucky spots in the room, which I labeled as #2.  These spots ran in a line and felt like water could be flowing beneath the house.  The wife had been sleeping on this line and I recommended that she move the bed over a bit.

One comment about the overall house is that it felt separated into three parts:  1. pool table room & front room 2. kitchen & living room 3. bedrooms.  There wasn’t a meeting point so it felt like if the husband spent more time in the pool table room and the wife spent more time in the bedroom, for example, they’d be living separate lives and not able to feel one another.  This could potentially lead to marital problems.  I spoke with the architect and she is planning to redesign the house so it doesn’t feel disjointed.  She is also taking into consideration other findings from my home survey.

 

What to do after installing Xubuntu / Ubuntu / Linux

You just installed Xubuntu / Ubuntu / Linux on your machine. Now what?

The most important thing is to update your system via the apt-get update command in your shell. The reason is that you need to keep your system up to date with the latest packages.  I’m going to explain how to do this using Xubuntu as the sample operating system.

I’ll also tell you how to change the size of the terminal.

How to update your system

1. Open your shell/command prompt

a. Press ctrl-alt-t. Or you can click on the Xubuntu icon on the top left and choose Terminal Emulator.

2. Update

a. In the terminal, type sudo apt-get update.

$ sudo apt-get update

b. Press Enter.

See what happened below when I typed apt-get update instead of sudo apt-get update?  I got a “permission denied” error.  To fix it I included sudo before the command. Sudo means Super-User DO.  This tells the system “you will do this because I said so.”

c. Enter your password and press Enter.

d. Watch Xubuntu update like a speedy mofo…

3. Upgrade (optional, not recommended)

If you want to upgrade, type sudo apt-get upgrade.

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

I don’t recommend upgrading, as it is better to replace the whole operating system than patch upgrades together.

How to change the size of the terminal

a. Press Ctrl + Alt + t to open a terminal.
b. Go to Edit -> Preferences.
c. Click the Appearance tab.
d. Set the default geometry. I set mine to 165 columns and 40 rows.
e. You can also make the font bigger here.
 

extra somethin’-somethin’: wget

You can use the wget command to grab files from github and other locations if you want to use scripts that others have created.