Saturday, November 08, 2008

On being less self centered

The elections are over, my HCI 440 class is coming to an end. My next class is in January so I plan on talking about "being less self centered".

In the end we need to take care of each other, the trickle just wont get us to where we want to go. So my next few posts will focus on the things I do on a regular basis and how over a period of time I have learned to do it smarter.

The Do It Yourself online store: We all have something to sell. So why not own a store, that you call your own and sell. It could be ideas, products or even advice. The point is you need a store and here is how you can set it up and maintain it for $10 a month.

1) Pick an ISP to host your website, this should cost you around $8 a month. Register your domain name for $2 a month, I think you can get it cheaper. Total for ISP and domain = $10. That is the extent of your hard costs.
2) Point your domain name to your ISP's name servers. Or follow their instructions to park your domain there.
3) Install OsCommerce (2.2 rc2 is the one that I installed the other day) using "Simple scripts", Bluehost my ISP has this available for free. I am not affiliated with Bluehost, It just happens I picked them instead of many comparable ISP's out there.
4) For ease of getting OsCommerce developer plugins to work, install OsCommerce in the /Catalog folder. For example, I installed mine as a test here
5) Once installed, login as admin, and change the machine generated password to your choosing
6) Change settings in the configuration submodules, go through each one of them and customize, if is fairly self explanatory. You can always come back here and tweak it further so dont go overboard in this step
7) Install the Easy populate module. You will need this to upload inventory, Later on you will find this really useful for mass updates. Trust me you need this feature, unless you like doing boring stuff manually. I installed "Easypopulate v2.76f-MS2 (with attributes) r1". Modules are easy to install, follow the readme and install documentation and test.
8) Install the Page Editor module, You need this to add pages or modify existing pages, again trust me on this. I installed PageEditorv1.6. Please note that this module requires you make changes to the DB, but the sql script is provided. I followed the install instructions which requires you to copy a few files and update a few. This is a little tedious, but if you want to know what is being modified, follow the manual editing process. If you trust this module, go ahead and copy the files provided. Test the module once installed.
9) Install the PayPal express check out module, you will need to get a paypal API access with the UID/PWD and signature, follow instructions on paypal for this, fairly easy to get it working. The payPay express module for OsCommerce I used for this is: paypal_express_checkout_IPN_v0_4_1. There is a module already installed in the default install, you will need to disable that, install this one and then enable the configuration
10) Install the USPS plugin. Again this requires you to get a UID/PWD from USPS. I installed version USPS Methods 4_1_4. Follow the readme file to get your account created, it takes about a day to get that going.

There you have it. Easy 10 Steps to setup your own online store. Why is this attractive? Simply becuase Amazon will charge you $99 a month to do the same thing and give you attitude to boot. So you dont need Amazon's charity trickling down to you any more!!

No comments: