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Alex Chapman
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How to count how many photos you have in Google Photos
I'm in the process of copying all my photos from over the years to Google Photos. They currently reside in Apple Photos, which reports exactly how many photos I have. But this seems to be a feature missing from Google Photos. I'm using the Google Photos Bac...

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How to draw a travel time boundary on Google Maps
If you have a specific destination in mind, then Google Maps is perfect for estimating how long it will take to get there, by various modes of travel. But if you just want to know how far you could travel from a given address in an hour, then it isn't much ...

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Should I Rent My Vacation Home?
Beach House or Mountain Home, the Answer is Probably "Yes" Whether you’re one of the 717,000 people who purchased a vacation home in 2013 (up 29% year-over-year), or one of the nearly 4.5 million people who has owned a second home for some time but does not...

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Handheld Vibrating Timer Prototype using Trinket
There are times while exercising when it would be useful to have a simple one-button hand-held 30-second timer that vibrates. At least that's what my wife tells me. This seemed like a good excuse to play with Adafruit's mini microcontroller called "Trinket"...

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Vacation Rental Income in the Off-Season? Avoid the “O-fer”
When I was a college and minor league baseball player, the thing I always wanted to avoid was the “O-fer,” which is baseball slang for a hitless game in which someone may go 0-4, or no hits in 4 at bats. I had my fair share of “O-fers,” however, so my caree...

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How to make a $30 internet connected door alarm
We run a vacation rental and have always wanted a simple way of knowing when our guests have checked-in. Some owners have a security system or electronic door lock that notifies them. But these often come with a subscription fee and seemed overkill for our ...

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Calculating Distance between two locations in Google Spreadsheet
Google Spreadsheets provide a lot of useful functions, but unfortunately nothing that calculates the distance between two locations. However, this is easy to add as a custom function using the Maps service available in Google Apps Script. Most of the other ...

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Yet Another LED Gmail Notifier using a Nanode
This year we've begun having an "unplugged" day once a week - with no-one in the house using iphones, ipads, chromebooks, tvs, kindle, etc. But we still run a vacation rental business, and need to respond promptly to inquiries. So we wanted a way to be visu...

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How to record daily portfolio values in a Google Spreadsheet
In another article I described how to automatically record the history of a row of values in a Google Spreadsheet . Essentially, it describes how to create a History sheet into which a new row is added each day capturing the values of some row that is elsew...

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Why you should create your own mobile-friendly vacation rental website
It’s not a secret anymore that the vacation rental market has been growing at an amazing pace despite the economic downturn. And nothing suggests that it will slow down in the future. Various trend reports indicate that an increasing number of travelers are...
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