Setting up our Marketplace account

I finally got around to setting us up an account on the Windows Phone 7 marketplace and thought I’d share some of the experience as it might help others and i’ll update this post if i’ve done something incorrectly.

I mainly followed the following blog posts:

http://codejoker.com/2010/08/06/windows-phone-developer-account-guide/

http://notgartner.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/a-disappointing-windows-marketplace-mobile-developer-experience/

There’s some good points to note in these to help you not have to do this process twice.

For me I got stuck on the SWIFT number. For years my bank gave me a 9 digit number that I’ve given to people to pay us from overseas. When I entered this on the site I received a “Incorrect Format” error. Thanks to Nial, it’s apparantly just your normal BSB number. So I tried that and it seemed to like that much better. Only when I build an app that costs money and get paid will I know if this is correct Smile

I set our account up as Tax Entity Type : Business and when I looked at the other forms needed for the W8-BEN it seemed that the ITIN form was only for individuals. After consulting twitter I was pointed to the EIN forms to complete for a business. After reading stories from others on the cost and effort it took them for this step I almost submitted the form and was content to lose the 30%. When I read a bit more about the EIN, the process for this seems, at the moment, to be fairly simple.

  • Download and fill out the SS-4 form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf
  • As we’re outside the US there’s a dedicated number to call: +1 267 941 1099 which is DIFFERENT to the number stated on the instructions http://www.irs.gov/instructions/iss4/ch01.html
  • The first time I called this number I was on hold for an hour only to be told that the people that could help me were on training all day. Luckily I was using Skype so it didn’t cost me that much
  • The 2nd time I called I was told to complete the form and fax it..they don’t accept it by post or email. After having a bit of a whinge about not having a fax machine I discovered they can fill it out for you over the phone if you’re prepared to spell (literally) out the form to them. The lady I got was pretty good considering for some reason I usually have trouble with Americans understanding my Aussie accent but here’s a few tips for completing the form:
  1. a. Stick to the basics..after I got off hold and was given the ladies name, operator number etc. I opened with Hi, how’s your day going…which is normally what i do when phoning call centres to refocus my anger of being on hold away from that person. This completely stumped her. “Do you have a tax question” was her response. Fair enough, she has a script she must stick to..so forget the pleasantries apparently.
  2. b. Spell letters like you’re American. So for me, spelling my last name as Zed, A, N, D, E got a bit tricky. “Is that like a Zee”?
  3. c. Spell each letter out. When I spell/give out numbers that have duplicates I say double <insert item here>. So for Queensland when I spelt it “double E”, she had no idea what I was talking about and wanted to know what key that was. So had to remember to just spell it letter by letter.
  • You get your EIN number there and then which you can then put straight on your w8-ben form to send off. The official paperwork takes about a month so see how we go with that.

 

Let me know if I’ve done something wrong or you’ve set yours up differently

 

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2010 in review

Each year we sit down and look at all the work-related activities we were involved in throughout the year and reflect on a few things like: the effort involved, the monetary return, the level of grief/pain, the level of enjoyment . When I thought back on all the things I’d done this year, it turned out my top 3 were activities that didn’t directly earn me money doing them, and in fact I gave up my own time and days away from paid work to do. It’s good that we’re in an industry and in a position in life where we can do work and then can afford to give time and effort to things that are rewarding. So my top 3 rewarding activities for the year:

  • Imagine Cup – This year I was really fortunate to be involved in Imagine Cup. Many thanks to Andrew Parsons for getting me involved. This wasn’t around when I was at university, but I really wish it was! This year I was involved in judging two rounds of Game Design and the finals of Software Design. The game design was very cool. It was amazing the quality of the games that had been entered by students in their own time on top of their studies. If you want to check out the top 3 Games Finalists for 2010 have a look at these:

By Implication’s Wildfire: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/07/wildfire-preview-power-to-the-people/

NomNom Productions’ Shift: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/07/shift-preview-staring-at-the-sun/

Green Gear Studios’ Island of Nazeth: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/07/island-of-nazeth-preview-taking-out-the-trash/

The Software Design finals, held in Poland in 2010, was an awesome experience! The energy, enthusiasm and the actual solutions that were presented were overwhelming! Here you had finalist teams from over 100 countries truly tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. Listening to the students presentations, motivations and how their software had actually changed people’s lives was really a touching experience.

  • Technology Takes You Anywhere – This was our 3rd year at this event where we entertained 500 school girls between the ages of 8 and 15 with our surface geography game. We got some great pics of the girls collaborating here. What we love about this event is the energy and enthusiasm to learn the girls have.  It’s amazing to watch them pick up the technology so quickly and how they teach each other like second nature.  The day is lots of fun, with heaps of questions and interaction but by the end you are totally exhausted!

 

  • Microsoft Australia Evangelism Academy – We were lucky enough to be selected in this 12 month program, named EvangelOz by the group, which aims to take a small group of enthusiastic technology geeks and turn us into awesome presenters. The first 3 days were intense but totally awesome! I can’t wait to do more of this program throughout the year and improve my presentation skills.  Many thanks to Andrew Coates and Sarah Vaughan for getting us involved in this.

 

So fingers crossed I get to be involved in such awesome things again in 2011!

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Girl Geek Dinner 14-LCA 2011

linux.conf.au is on in Brisbane this year, from 24-29 January: http://lca2011.linux.org.au/

It has become traditional to hold a Girl Geek Dinner during the week of LCA to allow the visiting girl geeks to meet up with the local crowd, even when the locals might not be attending the conference. This fosters a greater sense of community amongst women in tech across the country and the world, and further supports the central tenet of Girl Geek Dinners.

The dinner is fully sponsored by Red Hat, and will be held at the Red Hat offices at North Quay. Come along to meet some new faces!

Date: Monday, 24 January, 2011. From 6-8pm. Nibbles to be provided at the venue, and a restaurant/bar (to be announced) to be designated for people who wish to carry on later into the night .

People: We must cap the attendees at a maximum of 50. The usual GGD rules apply, so boy geeks are more than welcome to come, but must have a girl geek escort.

Food: Platters of nibbles and soft drink/juice will be provided by Red Hat at the venue. Alcohol and more substantive meals can be purchased at the bar afterwards.

Where: Red Hat Brisbane, Level 1, 193 North Quay, Brisbane. We will have someone at the door to let you in. Parking is very limited in the city, so catch any public transport to Roma St station, it’s only a 5 minute walk from there.

When: Monday 24 January, 2010, starting at 6pm. At Red Hat offices until 8pm, and a venue to be decided afterwards.

If you wish to bring children with you to the official part of the dinner (at the Red Hat offices), then you are more than welcome. There will not be any alcohol served at the event. If they are over 6, please make sure you arrange a ticket for them (so we can cater). However, the event is likely to be fairly crowded and could be noisy, so use your discretion as to whether or not you feel it is suitable for your child.

Also, if you haven’t already ordered your bootleg Haecksen shirts, you can do so here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/kattekrab/t-shirts/6479224-2-haecksen-miniconf-lca2011-bootleg-shirt  Just make sure you order in enough time for it to ship before the event!

 

Many thanks to Lana (Girl Geek Dinners Canberra) and Alison who are organising this event on our behalf!