Importing Amazon Kindle Paperwhite to Croatia

Every year I try to surprise my wife with some extraordinary birthday gift. Last year I bought her a nice looking designer dress, an e-book and ordered the Kindle so she can read the Ender’s Game once more. I opted for the newest Kindle, the Paperwhite one. So, ordering this kind of stuff to Croatia is not that easy. We did enter the EU, but for some reason I couldn’t have ordered it from UK, Germany or Italy. Go figure.

As I was a bit late with organizing the delivery, I didn’t have the time to go through 4 people to deliver Kindle like it is a reactor-grade plutonium. So it had to be the States. I placed the order on Wednesday, got charged $160 + $20 shipping. Amazon said that it would take five days to deliver. Two days later, I got an email from local DHL that the package arrived and that I should reply to them with my EORI number.

What is an EORI number?

An EORI number is a unique number throughout the European Community, assigned by a Customs Authority in a Member State to operators (businesses) or persons Economic Operator (EO). By registering for Customs Purposes in one Member State, an EO is able to obtain an EORI number which is valid throughout the European Community. The EO will then use this number in all communications with any EC Customs Authorities for appropriate customs declarations.

Ok, time to find a customs office and request the number. Things in Croatia work a bit different than in more western parts of the world. Namely, to request the EORI number you have to fill a form. And send it via mail. Snail mail. The mail that travels three days from the post office to its destination 6 km away. The mail that my Kindle, which is freezing in some cargo area, derides, having traveled from Nevada over Frankfurt to Zagreb in only two days.

Customs receive my request next Wednesday, and I wait a day to get my EORI number. Needless to say, it is Thursday, my wifes birthday, and all she got was an e-book she can’t read :). Now, EORI requests usually return the same way, via snail mail, but I decide to be assertive and hurry the procedure. Later on I realize that the EORI number is just your PIN prefixed with the country code, and all they needed to do is an INSERT statement to The Great Database Of People That Import Stuff™. Great. Now to pay the cargo “handling”.

DHL, after receiving my EORI number, charges me with $57 (ouch) and delivers Kindle on Friday.

Reading Kindle is great, wife and I share it, buying books is fun and less expensive (money- and space-wise) and I don’t regret one buck spent! Just, what sould I do with this EORI now :)

I got the (mt) hosting

I’ve seen a lot of hosting servers. Really a lot, I’m a developer. 99% of the time, they had cpanel, 99% of the time, one couldn’t optimize and setup his hosting place to meet his needs. That’s not because of the cpanel, of course, but because of the hosting company. My appetite for features and freedom of configuration got bigger over the years, so I got myself the  (gs) Grid-service hosting plan on Mediatemple. Upon sighting the /etc directory in my root, I got excited.

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Not enough time

5 or so years ago I wanted to make an audio amplifier. This year I finaly came around to doing that, only to be stopped, again, because of my schedule. We never have enough time. A day could have 48 hours, you’ll still be late for something, would forget to do some things you had to do. I don’t know. Where’s the catch? Do less?

Ubuntu + Palm = Something Completely Useless

 

Palm showing my CPU usage
Palm showing my CPU usage

If you, like me, own a Palm III and also use Linux for your OS, then you are a complete geek. My excuse of owning a Palm is that my friend gave it to me, what’s yours? But that’s not the point of this post. The point of it is to show what ELSE is Palm good for. It is hard to take notes, people look at you as a complete stranger, you can’t connect it to the internet (it’s Palm IIIc we’re talking about), there’s no GPS, so what’s it good for? Well, let’s assume you have a program and want to see the CPU and memory usage while you play use your program. One way to do that is to load System Monitor. But that’s not geeky enough. No, that’s for people who still have a life, not to mention a girlfriend. For us, über-geeks, with no life, external display is the way to go. And Palm is a really good looking external display :). Let’s start.

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How I Learned to Stop using Windows and Love the Linux

AT THE BEGINNING: WINDOWS

Ok, not windows, I have used DOS 6.2, great OS. Move to dir, type command, play game. That’s it. Then installed Win 3.1. Lol. Nice windows. Now what? Windows 95 came out, and I thought “Great, now we’ll have the abilities of DOS and nice interface of Windows”. Errrr. Soon the 98 came out, and the ME. Nope, not there yet. With XP things changed. It worked, was stable (kinda), but ever so often, I had to reinstall my system. Then Vista came out, and after installing it, I was content. Not all programs worked, but that’s normal. I hoped for it to be more compatible, more lightweight.

Past month I decided to let go of the MS operating systems, and go for Linux. Linux always intrigued me. I downloaded my first “flawor”, Red Hat 9, a couple of years ago. Downloaded, burned, installed. Didn’t recognize all my hardware, installing new software was a pain in the ass, and finding good software that was alternative to windows platform was hard. I learned to compile stuff, search for dependencies, uninstall, this, that, but that was not something a normal kid would go for. No games. Sorry. Fedora came out. Ok, nice. A couple more encounters with Linux (System rescue cd was a good find) couldn’t convince me to turn over to open-source. Well, Microsoft did. Vista is just too hungry for RAM. And I don’t wanna buy more RAM. I think 1 gig is enough (if you’re not gaming). The latest Ubuntu was downloaded, burned and ready for install.

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