This is a great set of slides from John Allspaw when he was at Flickr. Really good overview on basics of DevOps.
So I was riding the “T” to work the other day and I was reading my email as I always do during my morning commute and I see a twitter follow from a web host called AlienLayer. I go check out their site and it looks like some ultra low quality hosting provider. I was actually interested in finding an ultra cheap VPS so I could do some basic linux project testing on an always-on server. I see that they are featuring an “abduction” plan for only $19/year and the twitter account had a discount code of “low” that drops it by $5. The VPS was then only $14 a year or a little over a dollar a month. For that price, this thing could have one nine of uptime (90%) and I would be happy with it. Continue reading AlienLayer’s $1.17/mo VPS
I found a cool web site for completing 1099 and w-2 forms for only $2.95 each. This site is great for small businesses who need to file these forms and it enables you to easily get the job done affordably. www.QuickEmployerForms.com
From their website:
Quick Employer Forms is for small business owners who have employees or use independent contractors to help them get their work done.
If you operated a business (including a Schedule C/Sole Proprietorship, an LLC, Corporation, S-Corp, or Partnership) and you had employees or independent contractors, you need to send a W-2 to employees or 1099 to independent contractors before the end of January. Quick Employer Forms makes it a lot easier to create and file these forms with the IRS. There’s no need to buy forms or worry about special printing requirements, including colored ink.
Quick Employer Forms is an online tool that allows small business owners to quickly and easily create W-2s and 1099s (as well as other required forms). It asks you easy questions, and then completes the forms for you automatically. It even e-files the forms and can mail required copies to your employees and contractors (you can of course mail them yourself if you prefer). It also creates other forms required by law, such as quarterly (Form 941) and annual (Form 940) payroll forms.
Unfortunately, the deadline for filing these has passed for 2009, but you can definitely bookmark this url for next year.
Let me preface this discussion by saying that I am not offering tax advice, I am just commenting on my experience with the following tax preperation products.
Over the past several years I have done my own taxes using one of the online products available from Intuit, H&R Block, or TaxSlayer.com. This year I set out to find the cheapest deal I could, while confidently preparing my taxes. Since I do independent consulting work, I need to use a product that supports Schedule C and can handle self-employment taxes. I didn’t review Tax Slayer this year, but I had a good experience with it in the past. It was very cheap, using the free-file link from the IRS. Tax Slayer was not as pretty or intuitive as the other apps, but it got the job done at minimal cost. Continue reading H&R Block At Home Premium vs. TurboTax Home & Business