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More site stuff
Dec. 19, 2004, 9:56 AM

Some reported a Firefox error with the quick-order system (was due to a cached file), but we threw together an on/off check anyway. It will remember your preference for this visit using a cookie. If in doubt, refresh.

Off to Japan for lunch in Tokyo...

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website update
Dec. 18, 2004, 6:08 PM

The v.4 beta website, AKA “hot bath and a scrubbing” is online, as you'll have noticed. It's shiny clean and smells good. It's not 100% done, so let's play it safe for now and merely say that it appears to be working. Click the buttons gently.

We were going to say something about a prize for ordering first, but about one minute after going live, Matthias from Vienna already had an order in. A free scooter cover will be included with your order Mathias - a nice new version, not even listed yet.

What's new beside the obvious?

  • 3 stocks to order and ship from: Asia (that be us), North America (that be him, as before), and now also European stock. That will help with shipping costs for mothers in the motherland - as well as fathers in Deutchland. Choose the stock to order from at the top of the product pages. Once we get Africa sorted we'll be sitting pretty for world domination and random premptive-strikes.
  • View prices in your own currency while shopping. You still pay in dollars - sadly for us these days - but will see your approximate currency total in the bottom of the cart. Must feel good to click that £ button.

  • For zippy browsers, you will order in the background, no more back-and-forth to the shopping cart. Click to order something and you'll see what we mean. (Sorry, Safari, you can't handle it, but we'll do something for you in the new year.) When ready to checkout, just go to the shopping cart.
  • The whole checkout biz has been straightened out. It went from, what?, 17 pages to 3.

  • Some parts have been better organized, some have been changed slightly, some have been added.
  • We also removed a few of the cheapo options. Our new hydraulic disc brake version uses much better original Japanese hydraulic components, though it costs more. When ordering a scooter you are now required to choose a restored motor option unless choosing no motor at all.
  • Oh, yeah, we released this little thing, too. More on that later.

As to the design, some things haven't been cleaned up yet, a few hacks are needed for IE6, and there will inevitably be hideous errors rearing their hideous heads. Changes will be made - after an interlude of convalescence and even a little skiing -, so if you see any issues, please let us know the browser and problem. We've only tested in Firefox, Opera 7, and IE6, so if you're on Explorer 5, well, jeez, go get a new browser, they're free. If on Mac Safari, we like you, so send in a screenshot please.

Note to self: where are the nice shiny images for the front page?


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New website
Dec. 15, 2004, 11:33 PM

If everything goes well, we should have the first draft of the new website up for the weekend, your old accounts will still work fine, and all will be sweetness and light. Or it could just go horribly wrong like a visit with Bad Santa. Stay tuned...

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Spammers
Nov. 27, 2004, 8:56 AM

People talk about the digital divide, yet 3rd World/Eastern block scammers are perfectly able to fire off automated scam emails with inserted Western names and currencies for anyone who auctions a Vespa scooter:
Dear Seller, My name isDAVID I am interested in buying your item for 1000,00.POUNDS and I want to know if you will accept a certified cheque so that i can ask my associate to issue the payment to you as soon as possible. I want you to get back to me if it is acceptable by you so that we can conclude the transaction soonest. Thanks. DAVID
A cheque from the First Bank of Lagos perhaps? Sorry, DAVE-O.

With just a little more work it would be perfect, though. Jeez, if even guys selling little old scooters get these, imagine what hot ticket category sellers get inundated with.

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Motorbike laws in the US
Nov. 14, 2004, 8:38 PM

Are you required to have mirrors? Turn signals? Motorbike laws in the US, by state.

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Firefox
Nov. 12, 2004, 7:56 AM

Do you use Internet Explorer to surf the web? Can we offer some friendly advise? -Don't. The thing is ancient and buggy and spyware and virus ridden and never improved and all-around poor.

And now you officially have no reason not to start using a far better browser. Firefox 1.0 has just been released after 2 years development. Free, tabbed browsing, easy searching, customizable, etc. - we promise you'll never go back to IE after using it for a week. For example, every morning we use “Open folder in tabs” to start the day browsing the same group of bookmarks/favorites we always visit. All at once they all open in separate tabs. Nice, simple, easy, smart. Looking for a word in a page? Simply start typing on the page and it finds the word for you! And so on.

Easy setup: 1) download and install, 2) afterwards go to tools/extensions/“get more extensions” to add whatever extras you want, but we only use “IE View” which allows you to right-click and select “View this page in IE” if we ever encounter a page that doesn't work right in Firefox.

Try it out and see for yourself what you're missing.

(Why do we care, you ask? Simply because we know you'll like the change, but also because IE is so buggy and old now that it makes designing a website a nightmare, whereas modern browsers like Firefox are a dream.)

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Scooter wheelies and rap
Nov. 4, 2004, 11:52 PM

Like scooter wheelies and rap? You'll be in heaven shortly after downloading (WMV 7.4mb). -And so might these guys for wearing no helmet.

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Traffic court
Oct. 29, 2004, 3:09 PM

From a post:
So, I'm in traffic court last night. I made a left turn on a red light about a month ago. I blew it off cause I'd never get the turn arrow anyways and I get pulled over. The officer ends up giving me a ticket for no proof of insurance. It's a 4 point violation, but if you go to court, prove you had it, they let you walk.

So, I go before the magistrate, I go up to bench the to show him my papers and the conversation goes something like this.

Judge: “Vespa huh?”
Me: “Yes sir, it's a motor scooter.”
Judge: “I know, I have one, it's a 1978, the largest one they made.”
Me: “It's a P200? Those are nice bikes.”
Judge: “I just bought it off a guy, It goes real fast.”
Me: “I know, but my bike is only 125cc and tops out at about 45 mph.”
Judge: “Mine goes 60 or 65, great bike, lots of fun. You're free to go.”
Me: “Thank you Your Honor.”

It was almost surreal. Coupled with the fact that an earlier defendant, when asked if he had anything to say shouts “GO RED SOXS!”

Oh, and apparently, all the hotties go to traffic at 7:30 on Wednesdays.

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Scooter GPS and webcam
Oct. 14, 2004, 4:20 PM

A scooter with GPS and webcam:
The VEPSA-PUTER built by Luca Barzelogna, president of the Italian VespaOnline Association, is the ultimate traveling vehicle. Luca fitted his vintage Vespa with a VIA EPIA MII12000 mainboard to provide computing power to withstand the rigors of long distance sightseeing travel. The system with its 8” touchscreen monitor and dual solid state HDD's functions as a gps map navigator giving him the correct traveling route as well as directions to the nearest gas stations and motels. The VESPA-PUTER is also equipped with a USB web cam and wireless Internet connection that allows him to upload pictures to an ftp server in Italy, providing his friends back home with a live minute-by-minute postcard of his trip.

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Payment
Oct. 9, 2004, 9:59 PM

UPDATE Oct. 10: seems to be working fine again.

°°

Having problems paying onsite right now? Our c.c. processor writes about a Denial of Service attack:
The payments industry around the world has been subject to similar attacks over the past month and unfortunately many large payment processors such as ourselves have been targeted. [....]

[The] payment system, merchant's area and servers are working and remain secure but the networks around them were being flooded with huge amounts of data causing “service denials” that prevent a legitimate user's access to our services. Our systems are intact and customer data remains secure.
So, if you are checking out and trying to pay on our site and the page stops responding, please choose offline payment by card for now.

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