[solved] ‘Because of billing requirements, it is currently not possible to disable auto-renewal’ (1and1)

tl;dr I was within 24 hours of domain renewal, so had to phone +44 333 336 5691 to cancel

I have a bunch of domains that I used at one point but no longer have a need for. I used to handle my domains with 1and1, and they sent me a reminder about an .eu domain which was expiring soon (tomorrow). I looked at what it had been used for — a ranty blog, if you’re wondering — and decided thta since it hand’t been used since ca. 2008 it probably wasn’t worth keeping.

Side note: Getting rid of things like domains is tricky for me, but something I’m just biting the bullet and doing. Tracking my expenses is helpful as well, an worth a bit of exposition at some point.

I went to cancel via the 1and1 admin page but couldn’t through the domain itself or the contract options:

Because of billing requirements, it is currently not possible to disable auto-renewal

Clicking around in an increasingly-frustrated manner didn’t seem to be getting me anywhere, so I phoned their tech support. Their rep told me that helpfully since it was within 24 hours of renewal, I was unable to change the option (?!); but he was able to manually cancel the domain itself.

Which he did:


Better Learning With Anki

Having recently gone through the rigmarole of yet more exams, I’m in a good position to talk about learning things*.

Spaced repetition has been around for ages, as has the wonderful program Anki. Based on the SM2 algorithm, it’s a valuable tool in the would-be reviser’s arsenal. I’m not here to convince you to use Anki in the first place, as that has been well-discussed elsewhere (eg this Reddit discussion or this recap of 10 000 flashcards.

The ’20 rules’

It’s a good idea to start off with SuperMemo’s Twenty Rules of formulating knowledge; this turned me on to Cloze deletion (which can be achieved Anki with a dedicated card type and shortcut for adding them) and better card formulation.

Recognition and two-way connections

I use reversed cards extensively now- wherever possible, basically. It help solidify connections, eg:

Front: What is the Warburg Effect?
Back: What is the name for the process whereby malignant cells gain energy by glycolysis (rather than oxidative phophorylation)

So if a discussion comes up about the Warburg Effect, you know that it’s very roughly about cancer cell metabolism (unless the people discussing it are plant scientists); and if you’re thinking “hey, what’s that thing called where cancer cells get energy differently”, you can easily recall the name too.


When you see hundreds of cards in the ‘due’ column, finding motivation to sit down and work all the way through can be challenging. So, instead, set a time limit.

You can do that via the ‘timeboxing’ setting in preferences:

Knowing that you’ll only be at it for ten minutes (or less) helps you stay focused. I’ve found myself trying to get as many done in the time limit as possible…

Well, see how many you can lick in an hour. Then try to break that record.

*: Check back in a couple weeks to find out if I did indeed actually pass

Why Won’t My GIMP Python Plug-in Show Up Under Filters?

tl;dr: Did you put it in ~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins and set the executable bit ?

It’s been a while since I developed a script to automate tasks in GIMP. I figured I would do one for the repetitive tasks for creating a custom YouTube Thumbnail (more on that later perhaps). But my script wasn’t showing up in the Filters menu.

I had found the preference for setting the directory: Edit ? Preferences ? Folders ? Plug-Ins (not that GIMP treats python as plug-ins, not scripts); with the default user folder being ~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins. But the plug-in dind’t show up.

Restart GIMP. Still nothing.

Ask on IRC. Double check the documentation (always a good idea). Aha!

Scheme and Python plug-ins are readable text files. C-language and Python plug-in files must have permissions set to allow execution.

chmod +x myscript.py later, and it registered!

Hope this saves someone the twenty or thirty minutes it took me to find this out!