spacer.png, 0 kB
Personal Blog

My Camera Equipment

« Music | Main | NeatStuff »


Regina's Personal Blog

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Mostly, working software issues...

The latter part of this week was busy. The following list shows some of the things I worked on or happened, starting late Wednesday, 24 April 2024.

  • Became a member of Reddit (my profile link).
  • Finding, debugging, and correcting a problem with the Yelp application I maintain on the WiredPages Dining & Travel page.
  • Unboxing an Amazon order.
  • Preparing to update my ZipCode applications to use the Developer API USPS tools because the USPS Web Tools I currently use will retire in January 2025.
  • Happy, I received the $50 reward for opening my new Mastercard account.

So many online services and offerings are changing including my advertising resources. Some of these include Google Adsense, Google Ad Manager, and Amazon's Unified Ad Marketplace (UAM) which I use in conjunction with Google Ad Manager for header bidding. I also have various affiliate and marketing partnerships and relationships, however, on related site areas I use mainly Amazon's UAM header bidding resource.

Because I do all of my own integrations where advertising is concerned, I have to keep up with new services being offered and sometimes it is a little overwhelming. I found a forum on Reddit that seems to cover a lot of ground in this area and I decided to join.

On Thursday, I noticed I had a problem with the Yelp application I maintain on WiredPages. I had errands to run on Friday, and thought I would get to it later in the day. I did not get to it until today, and happy to report the quick fix I decided on is working.

Recently, I ordered several items from Amazon which arrived today. I am very pleased with everything however wanted to talk about two specific items, the new lids for my glasses and a set of shawl scarfs.


Sometime ago, I ordered the popular coke can glasses with the bamboo lids and glass straws. I loved the glasses and straws, however wanted a lid I could put in the dishwasher. I decided to try the silicone lids referenced above and photos of the set I received today.

The shawl scarfs I ordered were a great price and I am going to find all sorts of ways to use and wear them.

The last item, the USPS Developer API updates. Sometime ago, I developed two applications using the USPS Web Tools APIs. Both applications are found on this QiSoftware demonstration products page. As noted from the email shown below, the USPS Web Tools resource will retire in January 2025.

I set up new applications with the USPS Developer service to allow calls to the new API resources. I do not foresee problems with this changeover, however, as of this date, I have not fully completed the task.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Another Software Issue Down The Road

Yesterday, I ran around town doing the weekly shopping. I only went by two stores- Costco and Food Lion. Normally, I also stop by Safeway, however, I only needed one item the others did not have, so decided to wait.

Before I left yesterday, I did not check my emails, however, later in the evening I did review and research issues related to the email (shown below), I received at 9:09 AM earlier that day.

As indicated in my last post, I am having too many issues with the APIs, XML, and RSS feeds I use to create my applications. The services are mostly being retired.

Highlighted in the illustration below, the application, Who Are My Representatives? affected by the latest "end of life" notice for a resource I am using.

Refer to this February 2017 post- New Political Officials Interface, which discusses the development efforts related to the application.

Research provides, I should be able to update my application by April 2025 to use a new resource that should be available in September 2024. As indicated by the email, the resource "downturn" (their term), will not go into effect until April 2025, however this is a big deal to me if all does not go as I hope.

All of this noise about my applications, do you want to know what I purchased from Costco? Are you worried about Mother's Day? Things I will get to next time.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Do you think I should smile more?

Lately, I have been trying to update my look, however, I have been distracted with a number of issues related to my software applications and sites.

Thursday evening, I noticed a problem with the FCC application I developed for the WiredPages Media page. I think I have a solution, however I am not happy about the number of recent problems with my applications. In most cases, the API, XML, or RSS feed I am using has changed or was retired.

In addition,, the site I use to host most of my software applications has gone down too many times in the last week. When it rains it pours.

Now, why am I working on my personal appearance? Earlier this year, I noticed I had lost quite a bit of weight (due to physical exertion), so I made a determined effort to lose more.

This has not exactly worked out as planned, in that I am not losing at the same rate. A bit slower.

A week ago, I was pleased with how my hair turned out- so yesterday, I thought I would look through my makeup bag and try somethings in hopes of reigniting my efforts insofar as my diet.

I am not sure if that red lipstick is going to do the trick, and I am really not sure why I would want a darker lipstick as we approach summer.

Maybe I should smile more, however right now I am rather annoyed with each new problem.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Back to the Drawing Board

I have been working a number of projects, mostly business related.

  • Integrated an AliExpress/Amazon plugin to my OpenCart e-commerce shop (WiredShops). The interface allows me to automatically add products from Amazon or AliExpress to my shop.
  • Integrated another OpenCart plugin to enable live price updates based on options selected by the buyer for each product.
  • Applying to AliExpress for access to the Drop Shipping API to allow more control of how products are added to my shop.
  • Added a new category to my e-commerce shop, Digital Products.
  • Preparing to offer my first digital product (MS Publisher Bank Check Template) for purchase. Ordered labels, flash drives, packaging and began the product brochure.
  • Responsible for several tax return filings and happy to report I completed those tasks last week.
  • Several business related filings to the State of Maryland to update records and access new services that became available at the beginning of the year.

I am very pleased most of these projects worked out well, however I have run into several problems with shipments and access to the AliExpress Drop Shipping API.

Allow me to backup. My order for custom flash drives (40), labels (210), and packaging (100) came to $63.84. Because of my past experience with business related projects, I wanted my initial investment to justify any failings I might incur.

During the checkout process, PayPal offered a $50 reward if I applied for the PayPal Cashback World Mastercard. (Link provided does not include the reward. Reward I was offered- provided through the e-commerce organization I purchased from, via PayPal.)

I was approved almost immediately and thought the $13.84 investment to experiment with my digital product offering was something I could afford to risk.

What about my FICO score? I did not think it would be affected as much- because of the limit offered by the new card. I only had about $13,500 in overall credit before I applied- with no liabilities. The new card provided an additional $9,000 in credit. I also justified the new card in case I wanted to acquire more on-hand shop inventory with a great cashback offering if I checked out through PayPal.

Credit ratings are based in part- on the overall amount of credit a consumer has versus the amount owed. It is also based on the number of creditors, i.e. credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, etc.

In my case, I did not want to apply for more credit, that is until the incentives became worth my while, as was the case with the one presented in this instance.

I received the labels and packaging on Saturday, April 6, 2024, however was issued a refund for the custom logo flash drives for $49.61 because the shipper did not ship.

I researched and this was a great deal for 40 custom logo flash drives for just under $50.00. To add to my dismay, the $50 I was going to get from PayPal for opening the credit account is probably not going to be credited because of the refund. I wanted to scream.

My other annoyance, AliExpress has not yet approved my access to the Drop Shipping API. Something about, I am stuck in their legal department.

Friday, March 22, 2024

MS Publisher Bank Check Template Video Demonstration

I have been researching delivery and marketing options for digital products I wish to offer, specifically the Microsoft Publisher Bank Check Template I developed several years ago.

In light of obvious security concerns, I have decided to ship rather than enable download of the Microsoft Publisher template for bank checks.

There are several required files that will ship with the package including the template file, setup files, and the readme (instruction) file. The files will be stored on a USB flash-drive and I am thinking of offering several pages of a security blank check stock that most banks prefer.

Note, Microsoft Publisher is not part of the package and is sold separately.

Yesterday, I put together a short video providing a first look at the usage of the template using the MS Publisher software.

I am still researching marketing, investment options (paper-stock, flash-drives), and the legal aspects of this offering, however, hope to be able to make available this digital product in the near term.

FYI: I have been using these templates for personal and business checks for years (since 2016) and have never had a problem with either of my banks (Bank of America and Wells Fargo).

Years ago, I researched correctly the requirements for development of this type of template. My research provides, sometimes this type of offering (bank check template) does not always work as expected.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Upcoming WiredPages Employment Page Outages

I power the applications and tools I develop for online consumption using a myriad of different Application Program Interfaces (APIs) from different sources.

One of the more popular pages on the WiredPages News Service is the Employment Guide.

Listed below are the APIs and XML feeds used on the WiredPages Employment Guide.

  • CareerOneStop APIs
    • Jobs Board
    • Occupation Wage Data
    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment Rate
    • U.S. Employment and Training Administration, Initial Claims
  • FRED Per Capita Personal Income By State
  • FRED Military Employment Stats Graph
  • Google Career News Info
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -JOLTS XML Feed

On January 27 & 28, 2024 the CareerOneStop API site will be down for maintenance so the two applications (Jobs Board, Occupation Wage Data) on the Employment page that use the corresponding CareerOneStop APIs will also be unavailable.

What does FRED stand for? Federal Reserve Economic Data.

In addition, certain areas of the FRED site will be down for maintenance on Friday, January 26, 2024 which will affect different graphs on not only the Employment page, but several other WiredPages that use FRED graphs and/or the FRED API. The WiredPages Business & Markets page also relies heavily on FRED data.

Upcoming downtime notices from different resources used on WiredPages.

Monday, January 08, 2024

CIA World Factbook Quick Reference Tool, Why Now?

In November 2023, I obtained a JSON formatted data file containing the 2020 CIA World Factbook.

The World Factbook data I maintain in my local development environment is a MySQL database from 2013.

When I first downloaded the 2013 data it was stored as a MySQL compressed (GZ) database file. I did not want to maintain all of the data in my local development environment so I went through each table, only extracting and importing the data I wanted to use with my application.

Though I completed work on the JDBC Java Servlet for the World Factbook Quick Reference Tool sometime ago, the amount of work I had to do to get the data I wanted was no minor task. Therefore, I never installed the online version of the application fearing those with access to my servers would want to use the data elsewhere.

The following video, produced in August 2022 demonstrates the World Factbook Quick Reference Tool running in my local developmental environment starting about 1:21 minutes into the video.

Because the CIA World Factbook data I am using for demonstration purposes is now over 10 years old and I have more recent data in my possession, I decided to install the World Factbook Quick Reference Tool on the WiredPages Reference page.

I have some minor cleanup work on the servlet and I also need to upload the custom World Factbook database to my site, however I think I will have it up and running by the time I finish this evening. It is about 4:20 PM my time and I have one or two other minor chores to take care of before I complete work on this project.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Do you need a custom contacts database?

This holiday season will be memorable because in the week before Christmas, I was at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) center in Columbia, MD on the Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the 25th, and on Tuesday, December 26, 2023. Why? Legal issues with transferring an automobile title.

A week prior to all of that, the automobile in question had to have emergency repairs. I thought the repairs were going to be about $1000. The repairs came to $250 plus my very first Uber ride to pick up the car for about $11.00.

Needless to say, along with preparations for the holidays and other business projects, I have been very busy.

Another successful project related to the holidays- getting my mother's holiday cards out the door.

Last year, I gave my mother a new HP Laptop for Christmas. In April 2023, I installed a new version of Microsoft 365 on the laptop. The version of the software I installed on her laptop did not include Microsoft Access, so in November (2023) I installed the Microsoft Access Engine (currently a free program) which allows users to run MS Access applications without the full MS Access installation. Now her contacts database is accessible from her new laptop.

This year, I convinced her to let my program print the recipient addresses on Avery labels I keep in my business stash.

Below, photos of the Avery labels I had on hand and the holiday cards in the mail box ready for pickup.

In November 2022, I ordered 100 USPS Forever postal stamps for about $48. I used 21 of the stamps for this mailing- costing about $10 for postage. The cards were cards she had on hand from earlier years, so the cost of each card was negligible. The return address labels were also free because various charities provide them without charge.

Research provided the following estimates for sending the 21 cards my mother sent out and that of a 200 count order using an outside professional service.

In 2024, I am going to be looking into any number of ways to cut costs. I decided to get started right away.

Hope you are enjoying the holidays.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Added New Fields to my Amazon Stores Database

Since August 2023, I have been tweaking the new MS Access Database that maintains affiliate links and data for my Amazon Stores.

Yesterday, I added two new fields to each "store" table of the database:

  • Video - if available the video I created demonstrating the product
  • RelatedPost - if available the post where I discuss the product

The following graphic shows one of the forms with the new fields and the raw HTML output of the WriteHTML VBA module.

The second illustration shows the new fields on the store page.

I was going to provide a video of how the new database features work, however at this time I am just too overloaded with issues. A family member's unexpected health issues has left me scrambling to come up with alternative ways to handle errands that cannot go unattended.

I keep thinking, I just need one more me. No worry, I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8- Worth Every Penny

For about six months, I have halfheartedly looked for a new android since the case on my old one is cracking due to an enlarged battery. I tend to use my iPad Mini when not on a PC.

In late September (2023), a Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM went on sale at Costco with a savings of $100.00 (Original Price: $299.99). I opted out at that time, however noticed on Monday, November 13, 2023 the same unit on sale for $110.00 off (my cost: $189.99), so I ordered it.

Some of the specs on the unit I purchased.

The android arrived, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, however, because of other plans, I noticed problems with my sites and the Chrome browser that came installed on the new unit, however, did little else.

On Friday, I began playing around with the Samsung Chrome browser settings without much success. Keep in mind, my sites and the many applications I develop and use on my sites, all render correctly on all of the old equipment and browsers.

Long story short, to get the Chrome browser on the new Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 android to render my sites correctly, I had to reinstall the CORS Filter to my Tomcat/conf web.xml file that for some reason had been removed by my web host.

In addition, I had to change most of the calls to my applications and update and recompile many of the Java servlets I use on my sites. Below, some of the Java source files I had to update.

The research, updates to site pages, and update & recompilation of the Java source files which execute my programs- took most of the weekend and I still have a bit more clean up.

I am happy I decided to purchase the new android, and very happy I was able to see problems that I previously had not known existed.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Content Creators, Researching the Numbers

I have added a new category to this blog, WiredCreators. Posts to the category will provide statistical updates in the form of subscribers to the channel and annual revenue numbers for the Youtube channel being researched.

In addition, new content creators will be added to the growing list, so that I might continue my research for the project.

Learn more about the WiredCreators business plan and project in this earlier discussion.

Youtube Channels I Visit

ChannelDescriptionSubs (Orig. Tracking Date)Subs (Current Date: 10/16/23)Annual
Amber BaldwinYouTuber & Entrepreneur73.2K (05/13/23)73.2K$21,6352
Athan WrightLiving life at Duke University1.68K (05/13/23)2.34K$2622
Caitlin BlueSmall business owner10K (10/7/23)10K$1,441.751
Cherissa LindsayLifestyle / College / Fashion / Travel 2.04K (05/13/23)2.07K$3392
DominiqueSachseYouTuber / Author1.84M (05/13/23)1.85M$248,7812
Ellen MillerLifestyle videos about building a lovely life. 📍England4.96K (10/7/23)7.5K$6,610.151
Erin ByrdReal Estate / Lifestyle / Education287 (05/13/23)301$ 25.551
Hannah Elise24 Y/O College Grad Living in NYC758K (05/13/23)781K$99,9542
Hannah MelocheTravel, Lifestyle, Fashion2.05M (10/16/23)2.05M$154,6842
kesaltBrooklyn-based professional illustrator11.2K (10/16/23)11.2K$1,872.451
Leah MeganVideo Diary / Final Year at University36.1K (05/13/23)37.8K$3,697.451
LetsTurnItUpWorldTanya and Dave from ‘Turn It Up World’62.7K (05/13/23)82.9K$61,2632
Life UncontainedTexas Dream Build Debt-Free Off Grid Shipping Container Home1.37M (05/13/23)1.45M$407,4792
LivinFearlessFashion / Lifestyle / Travel111K (05/13/23)117K$75191
louVideo diaries of anything and everything31.8K (10/7/23)33.3K$2,106.051
Marcos Rico PengCal Men's Swimming Team. Recent Grad. 61.2K (05/13/23)92K$15,888.451
Ox In The ShopDrew & Woodworking16.5K (05/13/23)16.9K$1,9772
NatalieBennettCozy, Simple Living327K (10/7/23)327K$52,1212
Overthinker ApparelUps and downs of running a small business200K (10/7/23)202K$15,052.601
ROSA GOLDMobile Home / Tiny Home Renovation / Online Shop 📍Germany30.3K (05/13/23)43.9K$25075.501
Scout The CityFashion Content Creator51.9K (05/13/23)53.4K$14,2282
The Simachew ShowPersonal finance platform264 (10/16/23)264-1
Shealyn Ari'elHome / Lifestyle / Self Care1.1K (05/13/23)2.24K$419.751
Simply NikkiLifestyle / Beauty / Decor / Mum Life529K (05/13/23)527K$30,3972
Tech Mentor MariaTech, Career, Personal Finance, Healthy Habits, Travel 📍NYC6.85K (05/13/23)10K$1,098.651
Young Lady BusinessLifestyle Vlogs / Decorating155K (05/13/23)159K$56,4602

Saturday, October 07, 2023

Been Busy- This Is Only A Summary

Lately, it seems I have been working one project or another. Quite a few of the issues involved updates to existing software or applications, like the recent changes to programs to handle my Amazon affiliate links.

In addition, with all of the research related to content creators I have also noticed some interesting ideas I thought I would look into.

I like business, so I tend to checkout what other small businesses are doing in as far as income streams or side hustles.

One area I thought interesting, Youtubers discussing their in-depth financial situations and offering their Microsoft Excel templates via Etsy shops to help maintain budgets. Some of these Youtubers appear to be doing very well in this area.

Years ago, when I wanted to cut more operating costs, I decided I would no longer order bank checks which I seldom used. Instead, I created Microsoft Publisher bank check templates for both my business and personal checking accounts. I discuss this in this July 2016 blog post.

After I began using Microsoft 365 I converted the templates to the later Publisher version (discussed here), so I now have templates in Microsoft Publisher 2000 & 365.

Earlier today, I created a more generic Publisher bank check template and automated the update of the check numbers. The versions I use, require manual update of the check numbers, however as I have already indicated, I seldom write checks.

I will discuss this project later in more detail- after I finish with the video.

Yesterday, after lunch, I worked on perfecting my banana split.

Also watching videos from these creators...

I have more projects and videos coming up....

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Draft Business Plan- WiredCreators

I continue to research a new business idea, WiredCreators. Earlier this year I registered the domain, created Facebook and Instagram accounts using the same name and began thinking about how to make the idea unique.

I continue to think should have worked, however decided the naming convention may have been limiting and not reflective of the type of content now being created. I wanted content creators from Maryland not just bloggers.

How am I trying to make WiredCreators unique? The business areas my plan covers.

  • Promotion
    • Creators
    • Related Service Areas
  • Service Areas Include
    • Video Production
    • Photography
    • Writers
    • Digital Editing Experts (Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, Active Presenter, etc.)
    • Unique Content Ideas For Specific Clients
  • Worldwide Base

This evening I was playing around with PowerPoint and put together a draft business plan for WiredCreators. I exported the plan as an animated gif.

I am looking at the numbers and researching quite a bit for this project. I think I have a plan that can work. I need to find experts and professionals in some of these areas however, I do tend to generate a lot of notice.

Areas I can cover, software for a searchable database of service related experts. Competent individuals that can really go in and look at what makes a client unique and marketable, seems a little hard right now. Sometimes it seems people are being told who they are. This business needs to ask who you are. What makes you different? Does anyone do that anymore?

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Labor Day Research

Yesterday, while researching for the WiredCreators project I noticed two videos I thought interesting so I decided to share.

The first video, an Instagram reel- demonstrates a useful PowerPoint trick that I think is handy for content creators.

I tested this trick and found I had to make a small adjustment to handle irregular spacing with the original proportional font I used, instead using a fixed width font. The results of my test...

The second video, is about a DoorDash delivery guy who is using an electric e-bike for the first time to make his deliveries.

The guy is funny, however what I really liked was his e-bike. So much so, that I researched and found a lighter, folding version by the same brand and added it to my Just Want store. The e-bike was rated so well- that I also added it to the Gift Ideas store.

Items discussed in this post (showing the entire Microsoft Professional Suite of Office Tools which includes PowerPoint):

Microsoft Office Professional 2021 | Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, PowerPoint, Outlook

LECTRIC XP™ Lite Electric Bike | Adult Folding Bikes - Weighs Only 46lbs | 40+ Mile Range w/ 5 Pedal-Assist Levels | 20mph Top Speed - Class 1 and 2 eBike

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Friday, September 01, 2023

Owning My Shop - Salad Spinner

When I first decided (September 2021) to go online with my own ecommerce shop WiredShops I was very excited about the prospect. The entry I posted as a new shop owner.

I had several limiting factors:

  • Website cost
    • Domain Registration Costs
    • Hosting
    • Custom Site Design
    • Listing Products
  • Inventory Costs
  • Time Available For This New Business Activity

I cannot say this online shop is a failure, because I love the fact I own it and my cost to own is/was very low.

The time it took to populate the shop was expensive and I use the API service offered by my drop shipper which is not as straight forward as I would like. I did not use a service like Shopify, which in most cases has an associated cost, whereas the API does not- other than my time. Coming up to speed on the OpenCart software was not as time consuming.

That said, I have only had one sale and that- because I asked a relative to ensure my cart/payment hookups were working. They are.

I also tested with the Paypal sandbox cart however, sometimes the results seemed to vary, the reason I tested with an actual sale. I believe there is unlawful interference with this business venture. I have asked DOJ to look into this.

  • I registered the for about $10 a year. was available, however a lot more expensive.
  • I installed the custom OpenCart site design myself.
  • I decided drop shipping- at the time, was a more cost effective solution.
  • The actual inventory acquisition costs were low.

So why have I decided to revisit my efforts in this area?

Lately, I have made a lot of garden salads and decided I needed a salad spinner.

I checked with my drop shipper and found a spinner I thought would also be perfect for my online shop. Now, keep in mind, I have done some research since the pandemic and knew shipping costs had been affected by the global issue and then more recently- inflation rates. So I was sort of prepared for the new shipping rates. Are you, if you are thinking about opening a shop?

I also found the salad spinner I liked on Amazon. I think I am going to place an order with Amazon for my personal use and to ensure the quality is what I expect.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Love It- When Plans Come Together

I have been working several projects, including:

  • Integration of a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP) to all of my sites and subdomains, i.e., WiredPages, It's Personal (this blog), etc.
  • MS Access Database to maintain my Amazon affiliate links & stores
  • Researching and setting up a new Certificate of Deposit (CD).

The first project listed above- was actually completed earlier today so let's start there.

For several months, the home screen of my Google Adsense account has shown the following notice.

Several years ago, I integrated the CloudFlare interface to all areas of my sites to handle the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law that came into effect in May 2018.

CloudFlare is not a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP), the reason the notice began to appear several months ago on the homepage of my Adsense account.

So from the above list of certified CMPs, I chose Quantcast because I have been using the service for years on all areas of my sites to track traffic and other statistics, and thought it was the natural choice for my needs.

Quantcast allowed the option to show the popup message and dialog options to only EEA and UK visitors to my sites, so those in other areas including the U.S., will not see the message nor options.

The second project listed above, MS Access database to handle affiliate links was completed on Sunday. I am pretty pleased with how this project turned out, and happy I have a more efficient way to maintain and provide my Amazon affiliate data. See the upper sidebar of this blog (under Amazon Stores) or the WiredPages Libraries page for illustration of what the new database provides.

The last project, setup a new savings CD- was actually completed on August 22, 2023 when I noticed the APY on a 16 month term CD jumped from 5.10% to 5.25%. I had transferred the funds from two of my checking accounts a few days earlier and hoped the APY would increase. It did, and I set it up.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Tweaking New Amazon Affiliate Database (MS Access)

Part of the day Sunday, I spent tweaking my new Access database which stores the Amazon affiliate links for my stores. I ran into a problem with the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module that generates the HTML code for each Amazon store. I spent at least two hours resolving this issue.

Okay, I started this post with how I resolved an issue without explaining what led to the problem.

Below, an illustration of how the Gift Ideas products were rendered on the page before I decided to use a Microsoft Access database to maintain my Amazon affiliate links.

When I first started updating my stores to use product links rather than the Native Shopping Ads resource (feature retiring), I simply used Amazon's SiteStripe to copy the product affiliate link information for each product- for inclusion to my pages. For those unfamiliar with how the Amazon affiliate resource SiteStripe works- the graphic below provides illustration.

Because I wanted to add descriptive information about each product, I added a field to the database which I included in the HTML generated for each product. The problem, initially the descriptions were a bit lengthy and took up a lot of "real estate" without the corresponding link. Only the image had the link.

To overcome this, I decided to parse the AffiliateData field (example shown below) for each product, only retrieving the actual link, so I could include the link around the descriptive text without creating a new field for just the link.

This was not as straight forward as I thought it would be, however I did come up with a solution, and I am happy with how I have decided to maintain my Amazon affiliate links.

Below is an illustration of the new Gift Ideas page with the new links, images, and linked descriptions for each product- as provided by the Access database.

I liked this exercise because it allowed me to work with Visual Basic again, and I always want to stay up to date with the latest issues with software areas I support.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

MS Access Database to Handle Amazon Affiliate Links

Yesterday, I developed a new Microsoft Access Database to handle Amazon affiliate links I use throughout my sites.

The rather involved illustration below shows what the new database accomplishes.

Do you want to ask, why not use Amazon's Product Advertising API to pull my affiliate links? Years go I created an application (quite frankly, several) to pull Amazon affiliate links for use on WiredPages.

The problem with using Amazon's Product Advertising API you must generate a number of orders to be able to use the resource. I never have any sells. If you think otherwise because you have clicked and purchased from my Amazon affiliate links (any link that points to on any part of the and related domains) then contact IC3.

When my access to the API was suspended (no orders, several years ago), I integrated Amazon Native Shopping Ads into the programs. When the API was unavailable I provided the Native Shopping Ads.

Recently, it was announced Amazon's Native Shopping Ads resource is being retired so I am coming up with new ways to show data and ads I think are relevant to the areas on my sites where I place them.

I am a software developer who likes demonstrating the type of custom applications I can provide using popular APIs like Amazon's Product Advertising API. Some of the APIs I have worked with are found on this page.

Sunday, August 06, 2023

First Week in August 2023...

It has been hot and humid in the Baltimore/Washington area and I am thankful I can do most things from the comfort of home. That said, on Wednesday of last week, on my way to Costco- I ran into a problem with a dead car battery.

I so seldom go out, that when things like this happen I am momentarily thrown off my game and cannot seem to understand how a dead battery could happen on a car I rarely use and continue to recondition with a battery amp charger/meter.

In this case, it appears the battery simply could no longer be reconditioned and on a hot summer day- I was happy to have another car I could use to both pick up needed supplies from Costco and to purchase a new battery from Autozone.

On Thursday morning, I tried to remove the negative terminal connector without success (positive easily loosened), so I called my brother to ask if he had a battery terminal remover tool. He said he would come by and look at the problem. After going through most of the ratchets in his set he finally found a small enough adjustable wrench in the tools here, to grab and loosen the nut holding the bolt.

The car started right away after putting the new battery in. I would have taken the car to the repair shop to replace the battery, however the battery was completely dead and could not be jump started.

The other project I have been working is going well and getting only good reports.

I am losing weight (project requires a lot of physical activity), and I think that is showing my age. Lately though, I have started to eat more of the foods I used to eat, however, not because I want a rounder less lined face. More because I am getting back into the sync of things.

Other recent purchases I am pleased about are shown below.

In my spare time, I continue to research content creators for a new venture I am thinking about (

Discussed in this post...

Porkus Glass Cups with Lids and Straws 4pcs,Glass Iced Coffee Cups with Lids

EasyTime Watch Repair Kit - Watch Battery Replacement Kit

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Content Creators- Who Are Your Regulars? (Stats Update)

On May 13, 2023, I posted about a new business project which relates to the online world of content creation.

In the earlier post, I discussed some of the content creators I follow and provided channel subscriber numbers and annual income data for their channels.

I updated the following table to show the May 13, 2023 number of subscribers for each channel versus the number of subscribers as of today. The estimated yearly revenue of the channel according to or is also provided however are the same numbers from May 13, 2023. Why? Though I did find differences as related to income for two or three of the channels, most of the revenue reports remained the same. Note, Google provides a Youtube channel revenue API for developers who may wish to explore this data, however I am not sure how often the data is updated.

Youtube Channels I Visit

ChannelDescriptionSubs (05/13/23)Subs (08/4/23)Annual
Amber BaldwinYouTuber & Entrepreneur73.2K73.2K$21,6352
Athan WrightLiving life at Duke University1.68K1.78K$2622
Cherissa LindsayLifestyle / College / Fashion / Travel 2.04K2.06K$3392
DominiqueSachseYouTuber / Author1.84M1.84M$248,7812
Erin ByrdReal Estate / Lifestyle / Education287311$ 25.551
Hannah Elise24 Y/O College Grad Living in NYC758K769K$99,9542
Leah MeganVideo Diary / Final Year at University36.1K37.1K$4,339.851
LetsTurnItUpWorldTanya and Dave from ‘Turn It Up World’62.7K72.6K$61,2632
Life UncontainedTexas Dream Build Debt-Free Off Grid Shipping Container Home1.37M1.42M$407,4792
LivinFearlessFashion / Lifestyle / Travel111K114K$6,522.551
Marcos Rico PengCal Men's Swimming Team. Recent Grad. Now Software Engineer in NYC61.2K74.2K$12,541.41
Ox In The ShopDrew & Woodworking16.5K16.7K$1,9772
ROSA GOLDMobile Home / Tiny Home Renovation / Online Shop 📍Germany30.3K38.6K$18,874.151
Scout The CityFashion Content Creator51.9K52.6K$14,2282
Shealyn Ari'elHome / Lifestyle / Self Care1.1K1.83K$94.91
Simply NikkiLifestyle / Beauty / Decor / Mum Life529K529K$30,3972
Tech Mentor MariaTech, Career, Personal Finance, Healthy Habits, Travel 📍NYC6.85K8.87K$1,887.051
Young Lady BusinessLifestyle Vlogs / Decorating155K158K$56,4602

Earlier this year, I setup a new site- Though, I have not promoted the site as much as I wanted, my stats indicate it is noticed.

In April 2023, I registered two more domains; and I think I am going to release the domain and concentrate on a business plan for What will make my efforts different than other influencer sites? The sites I want to promote.

Business Directory

spacer.png, 0 kB

Contact | Accessibility | Products | CSS and XHTML
Disclosure Policy
© Copyright 2011-2024 QiSoftware
You may not copy this work.

    Things I Heart
    Computer Electronics/Home Office
    Items I Have
    Just Want
    Gift Ideas
    Home Furnishings & Kitchen
    Back to School

    Shop My Sale



    My Instagram Feed


    Powered by
    Thingamablog 1.5.1

    Regina Thomas

    Subscribe To My Channel

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

spacer.png, 0 kB