Archives / 2006 / January
  • PayPal API: what a nightmare!!!

    I've been trying to get up and running with the PayPal API, see a complete nuisance that is!

    The test accounts you create (on the sandbox, actually need to be verified, before you can request an API cerificate. I finally managed to complete 2 out of the 3 verification steps but setting up the bank funding just fails:

    I can add a US bank account, and according to the documentation (PP_Sandbox_UserGuide , page 22), you will see the 'Continue' button after adding an account which will take you to the overview page. Well, there is no 'Continue' button, and no 'Confirm Bank Account' link in the Activate  Account box either, which means I cannot complete that step, and can't request an API cert. to start using the API.

    I have tried to add a UK bank account, using the sortcode prodived in the same user guide, but it always fails saying that it's an incorrect sort code and incorrect 8 digit account number.

    Why the bloody heck is their documentation inconsistent with the behaviour of the sandbox? And why on earth do people have to jump through so many hoops to use their API?

    Have you used the PayPal API? Any thoughts on this?

  • Public available data - FREE screenscraping or pay for API

    Been working on a semi-commercial pet project of mine, for which I need a data feed.

    A decent enough subset of this data feed is publicly available from this content provider's main website. However, the full dataset (though I won't need all that) is available through an HTTP GET XML API... For a flat fee of over 500 dollars per year.

    What would you do? 1) Roll it yourself in about 20 lines of .NET code (using HttpWebRequest & Regex's) and scrape it; 2) Pay for the API...?

    Needless to say, I went for 1)...even for just the fun.

  • Hack: turn your optical mouse into a scanner

    Why? Because it can be done. :-)

    "Ever wonder what your desk surface looks like up close? No. No one has. Not even [Sprite_tm], but upon disassembling his optical mouse and discovering its 18x18 CCD he decided to put it to use (well, a different use). The optical chip outputs serial information to the USB chip in the mouse. [Sprite_tm] wired the optical chip to a parallel port and wrote a simple program to interpret the data. Not really useful, but it does generate some interesting pictures. Program provided, natch."


    Very cool, indeed.