Category Archives: Tools

Is Payoneer Better Than PayPal?

PayPal has worked for me for several years and, while they have been mostly good to me, when you do need help, their customer service is practically non-existent. I had a horrible experience with them recently that has made me decide not to use them any longer for a while. I'm almost exclusively a seller and almost never a buyer which makes PayPal a poor choice for me it seems now. I have never had a dispute in all the years I've used PayPal until recently and I can not forgive the way PayPal handled that dispute. If you want to hear my story, read on, if you want to get right to using Payoneer as I suggest if you are a seller of goods or services like me, use this link to sign up for Payoneer now:

My Experience with PayPal

My bad experience that makes me want to completely stop using PayPal has to do with a former client of mine that filed a dispute after I had to inform them that I had to quit working for them because another client needed me(the other client that needed me has been a client for many years and the client I quit working for was new). When I quit working for the new client, he still owed me roughly $200 in my opinion. He had paid me a deposit of $200 when I started working with him because I always get a deposit to protect me from newer clients. I had completed a total of $400 worth of work before I quit working for him however, so really he still owed me $200. I was going to forgive the money he owed me however, since I had quit because I figured he wouldn't pay it anyway. So, for being a nice guy, the new client rewards me by filing a dispute on PayPal asking me to return $95 to him! I was shocked, but had confidence that PayPal would see it for what it was, an attempt by a client to get his money back even though I had completd the work, Fraud. So I refused to return the money and he escalated his false claim. To my surprise, without doing any investigation what-so-ever, PayPal made a decision in his favor. Okay, so I lost, I could have handled that without closing my account, but the kicker is that they didn't just reward the client the $95 he was asking for, they reversed the entire $200 payment he ad sent me! After losing the dispute, I first tried to call PayPal's "customer support" and was told I would have to wait on hold for over an hour! I waited on hold regardless of the ridiculous amount of hold time, but the call was never answered so I gave up after over an hour of waiting for a human to speak with about my issue. Then I sent them sent an email asking them why and got a computer reply that had absolutely nothing to do with the questions I asked in the email. So obviously, I was getting nowhere and it is clear now that I just got ripped off for $200 by PayPal and my former client. So, hello Payoneer! I'll let you all know how this new payment method works for me. Hopefully better than my experience with PayPal! Again, here's the link for Payoneer if anyone else wants to check them out:

My experience with Payoneer

So, while I am new to Payoneer, I will post my experiences here so others can benefit from them. First off, if you want or need to get your money immediately(Like you could with a PayPal Credit card if you were lucky enough to be approved), then Payoneer might not be the best service for you. I sent out my first invoice several days ago, on a Thursday to a client I completely trust and that client informed me that he paid the invoice immediately that same day, so the invoice was paid on Thursday. It is now the following Saturday and the invoice is yet to be even marked as paid in my Payoneer account. That kind of worries me. I read in their F.A.Q. that it can take from 3-5 business days, so luck me, it's the weekend! Right? Oh well, so that means it has only been one business day so far and the fifth business day would be next Thursday. I have to say that it it in fact takes that long, I won't be happy with the services at all. On the other hand, it the payment is in my account by Monday or Tuesday, I will be satisfied, not perfectly happy, but barely satisfied. I currently hate PayPal so much that I don't mind waiting a few days to get paid another way. However, a week is too long, so I'll let you all know asap when I can actually get the funds that were sent to me last Thursday. FYI, here's an image from Payoneer's website regarding information about the billing service I used to send my first invoice to my long-time trusted client:


How to Search and Replace File Names

A lot of times I am required to rename large quantities of files according to various rules. Sometimes this task can take hours to complete. Today I had a job requiring me to rename all files in a program that contained "xi" with "nap". The program had thousands of files in a dozen different directories. It would have taken days for me to go through them all manually and replace ea. occurrence of "xi" in the file names with "nap", so I tested several tools to help me do the job. The most capable tool I found was named simply "ReNamer" and can be downloaded from:

I downloaded the "portable" version of ReNamer version 6.7 Here is a screenshot of ReNamer's simply UI:

How to Download and Open ReNamer for First Use

First things first, so here is how to get started:

Use the link to download the portable version of ReNamer and it will download a zip file to your PC. Place the file on your desktop and right click it and select "Extract All". Windows will extract the files and probably open the folder for you. Then click on renamer.exe to start the app. You will see the UI as in the above image. I like using this portable version because it is very light-weight and can be used on any PC. When I'm done using it, I simply delete the entire unzipped folder but I save the .zip folder I downloaded so I can use it again when needed and it doesn't waste any space on my PC when it's not in use. Next time I need it, I simply extract the files again and use it. Then I delete the folder when done again.

Find and Replace Text in File Names of Many Files at Once

It is easy as pie to use too! It only took me a couple of test runs to achieve the renaming rules I needed to do the job at hand. Just  click where it says "Click here to add a rule" and add a rule. I needed to find and replace text in the file names, so in my case, I clicked on "replace" in the left panel so the add rule screen looks like this:



All I had to do was simply enter "xi" in the "find" field and "nap" in the "replace" field and click the "Add Rule" button to save your new rule. Then all you have to do is drag the folder containing all the files you want to rename into the UI as in the first image above, where it says "Drag Your Files Here". Then it gives you a preview of what files it will rename. Once you are happy with how it's doing the renaming, click the "Rename" button in the upper right corner of the UI and it will rename all of the files just like it showed you. If you have tested any of the other features of this tool, please comment below and describe your experience!

Enabling Multiple Domain Names and Sites on Apache2 Server

Today I set up a new server and I am documenting exactly how to set up multiple domain names, sub domains and websites on a new Apache2 Server. I am using Ubuntu, but I believe these directions are similar for any Linux Apache2 web server.

Pointing your domain or sub-domain

It is a good practice to point your domain name or sub-domain first, before you set it up on your server which I'll cover afterwards below, so let's go ahead and point our domain. Whether you are using a new domain name or a sub-domain on one of your existing domain names, the process is similar for pointing the domain name or sub domain name to your server IP address. You will need to go to your domain management console and create a Type "A" record. This will normally be done in your DNS provider's advanced DNS settings or zone file settings. Use the following settings to create two new records:

  • Name: if there is a name field, enter the domain name or sub-domain name(most require you to follow the domain with a "." so for my sub domain I entered "".
  • Type: "A" for both records.
  • Hostname field: enter "www" in the first record and "@" in the second.
  • Destination IPv4 address(sometimes just called Address): Use your server's IP address for both records.
  • TTL: use "14400" for both records.

That should be enough information for you to figure out how to create your two host records on just about any platform, but if your platform differs, ask your provider for assistance or google the providers name followed by DNS instructions or "How to point a name with Provider Name". You are creating two similar records, one for WWW and one for @. That way visitors of your site can access with either or just The Hostname of @ makes the record for the domain without "www" in front of it. If your provider's DNS settings do not include the Host or Hostname field where we put either www or @, then you probably need to create two records with different names instead. For example, name one record "" and name the other "". If you're using a sub domain then name one "" and the other "" You don't really need a www record for sub domains usually, but you can use one if you want, it won't hurt anything and might help some users find your site.

Steps to adding  a second domain name to your server

Here I am going to explain how I set up a sub domain as as second domain name pointing to a second website on my Linux/Apache2 web server:

Note: My first site was already set up in var/www/html. Most people prefer to set up multiple websites under the var/www directory, but to keep things simple, I'm going to use the var/www/html folder and not var/www. It really makes no difference. It's just a preference.

  1. Create your directory structure for your new website that will reside on your new domain or sub-domain. I'm creating a sub domain like, but these directions are the same as if I were using just instead. First, create the directory /var/www/html/ Then create /var/www/html/ and /var/www/html/ If you are logged into FileZilla as root, you can create these from there, otherwise log in with putty and create them using the sudo command.
  2. Create your log files. Simple make two empty files named access.log and error.log and upload them to the logs folder you created in step one above.
  3. Create a VHOSTS file named after the domain or sub-domain followed by .conf, so in my case, I'd name my file THen copy and paste the  content below under the heading "VHOSTS Example File Contents" into it then change all instances of my sub-domain name with your own domain or sub domain and upload that file to /etc/apache2/sites-available.
  4. Next, use the a2ensite tool from the Linux command line to finalize the new site with the following command(replace with your domain or sub-domain):  sudo a2ensite
  5. Reset apache2 with: sudo service apache2 restart

VHOSTS Example File Contents

<Directory /var/www/html/>
    Require all granted
<VirtualHost *:80>

    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/

    ErrorLog /var/www/html/
    CustomLog /var/www/html/ combined

Automating the process of setting up domain names and sub domains

If you have to do this often or alter DNS records often and create lots of virtual hosts, you should probably look into automating the process. I provide such a service and have done so for several of my clients. What I do is create a simple user interface in a secure admin web page on your own server where you can simply enter the domain name or sub domain name into a form field and press GO and it does all the above work for you! A real time saver if you have to do this more than once in a great while! IF you are interested in this service, contact me, Ian L. of for a fast, free quote by email or Skype. My email is and my Skype name is ianlin11. Or use the contact link on this site.


That is how you do it!

Get IP Address from Domain Name

Here is a simple little tool written in PHP that will return the IP address of any given domain name or if there are more than one, a list of IP addresses will be returned.


Get Domain Name's IP Address

Returns the IP address associated with the domain name you enter into the form. It will return a list of IP addresses if more than one is associated with the given domain name.

Get Domain Name's IP Address

Returns the IP address associated with the domain name you enter into the form. It will return a list of IP addresses if more than one is associated with the given domain name.

Domain name: