E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Selling beat-up stuff on eBay


Despite my periodic criticisms of eBay (1, 2, 3) I remain a devoted user. One thing it's great for is selling things that require a lot of explanation -- because, unlike with a tag sale or classified ad, you don't have to repeat that explanation to every potential buyer. You write it up once and eBay does the rest.

I'm pretty tough on my hardware, so when I sell things the "explanation" is often a laundry list of defects.

The trick for me in writing up these items is to be completely candid. I lay out every flaw. I make it sound worse than it is. I attempt to be funny.

My number-one goal when selling stuff on eBay is to have a buyer who feels like he got what he paid for.

With that, I present: the Palm Tungsten T, Mad Max style with Super Fun-Pak.

Update: Sold! Final price $29.32, plus shipping. Not a bad deal for either party.

Sunday, January 8th, 2006
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