I can't claim to be a software developer. I've built some plugins and an extension, and a few other little things here and there. But I still don't feel like I am a developer. Perhaps I never will. Nonetheless, I feel I have at least a bit of insight into the process. Or maybe that I'm a little entitled to it. With that in mind...

The perception, from my side of things, is "Hey - that's cool. Thanks for the effort!" (or at least something along those lines - it doesn't have to be exact, and more groveling would certainly be nice, as well as monetary rewards and everlasting fame).

Reality, however, is very different. It's more like "Moron. It needs to do something else." or even "I can't figure it out. Tell me how to do it because I can't understand. Pay you for your time? Why should I have to do that?"

What I really don't get is why. Perhaps I should charge for everything. At least then there would be something for the trouble. Give it away and people always want more and get upset at you if you don't give it to them. That's just too much hassle. Perhaps this will just take a backseat to other things. It just isn't worth it.

Those of us who are last in line for the free credit report service have almost made it. September 1 - Thursday for those of you who are calendar-challenged such as myself - brings free credit reports to those of us in "region 4", which is pretty much the Northeast US and other US territories.

Apparently you have to go through this site to get it, and not to the credit bureaus themselves, and each credit bureau requires a separate application. That means you could get all three at once, but because they all are supposed to be pretty similar, it might make sense to spread them out over the course of a year - getting a free report every four months or so - instead of getting them all up-front. Unless you're buying a house or something, that might make the most sense, so you can keep better tabs on things throughout the year.

I'll be there bright and early Thursday morning to order ours. What's your plan?

Update: Okay, it's not really free credit, it's a free credit report. Sorry for anyone who thought otherwise.

Update: Remember that credit bureaus are also a big source of junk mail - especially those pre-approved credit card offers. If you're trying to clean up your life, make sure you opt-out of them at 888-567-8688. You can opt out for one year, two years or permanently. But if you don't return the consent form they send out to verify the permanent choice, you'll only be set for two years.

Update: Residents of North Carolina, at least, can take advantage of this now. I just ran my report through Equifax without incident. I would assume that the others will also work.

The newest Google Maps mashup gives us the answer to all our childhood dreams. No longer must you locate a suitable shovel and perform backbreaking work for hours on end. No, Dig to the Other Side (quite possibly from here) allows you to select a location on the map and start digging, plotting the ending location on the map, so you can see where you would come out if you chose to dig and dig and dig and, well, keep on digging.

Luckily I never completed my own hole, or I would have flooded the Pacific Northwest (heh, that's funny) with the Indian Ocean. Or so the application is telling me. And assuming that I could dig straight all the way through the planet, when even my two-foot deep hole was horribly crooked. In any case - where does your hole lead?