Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy 2007

I have been waiting for 2007 because 2006 was really bad. Not as bad as 2005, but it is up there in the top ten worst years of my life.

Not to say that the good times were absent. Oh! Yes there were good times. Just not as many as I would have liked. I lost a few friends that turned out not to be really true friends. I also found great friends that stood by me when I had troubles and gave me the support to continue to go on. I met new people and made new friends.

A young soldier I knew came back from Iraq. Before Iraq he was stationed in Afganistan. I am happy he is home safe. Which started a conversation among my friends, and his, that went like this, "If the draft in put back in place will President Bushes daughters names be on that list of future draftees?"

That is not what I really want to write about. I am sure many many people have lost people (friends) in their lives and found new ones or just appreciated the ones they have. No, what I want to talk about is what is usually on peoples minds right about now. You guessed it, those New Years Resolutions. I made up a few I know I can keep:


Treat myself to ice cream for no real occasion.

Check out pretty women to exercise my eyes.

Use my imagination and pretend that I am my own reality show just for fun.

Make sure I go to at least one fast food place, like McDonalds or Burger King etc.

Go to the Mall and make a silly purchse that makes me feel good at least once.

Hug my grandchildren, my friends and any body else I feel needs a hug.

Spend time on my computer and just have fun.

Ride my motorcycle with my friends and enjoy the feeling I always get when I do it.

Believe in Aliens, ghosts and anything else I want to believe in.

Drink chocolate milk and make milk shakes with chocolate ice cream and whip cream when the mood calls for one.

Listen to music in my car or home and sing along with the tunes, or just sing even without music playing.

Only throw the finger once at drivers that make me mad. Twice if they really really make me mad.

These are just a few I KNOW I can keep. How about you? Let me know what resolutions you can think of that you will have no problem at all keeping.


Anne Blythe said...

Do you mean you don't do these things now?

Lovely blog. I don't know why but your blog makes me think of a warm house in the middle of heaps of snow with a cosy fire flickering inside.

Wayward Wayfarer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wayward Wayfarer said...

Hello there! I don't know where to post my response to chumly so I chose to post here. Just updating my write up.

Thanks chumly for a comment. Yea. Review Review Review. I used to read a lot a day.

Steps are shown at the end of this message for you to buy laptop. It is for your reference only, and it will do you good.

Rule of thumb, read seller's feedback from previous customers at least a page. Customers complain if they have defective/fake products, poor packaging, shipping mistakes etc etc.

Frankly, I haven't been buying laptops on ebay, BUT usually I buy computer components on ebay and tigerdirect. I buy laptops on dell direct, toshiba direct websites because of (1) warranties (of some people yes but not me) (2) options of earning triple points with a credit card is what I am after. However, I bought my desktop a year ago on tigerdirect.com and assembling the components myself. (3) I want to get the laptop first hand so that I know the problem is directly from the manufacturers (one layer), not the retailers, resellers etc (many layers to get through).

So I can only tell you about how good are the computer components deals on ebay base on my experience.

Computer components on ebay are most likely okay. There is a risk, but let's if see buyer protections helping ebayers for irresponsible sellers.

Used Components: If it is used, you got to be careful. Make sure it is returnable and even refundable. Be careful if the used components because they are not tested.

Refurbished components: I had Igo 90 a year ago and it didn't do good to me. I haven't read enough review. I bought an open box HP PSC2175 all in one, and poor shipping.

Brand new components on ebay: Usually they are good deals. As of December 26 2006, I may buy a 1Gb ram for $129US for new my Tablet PC if I want (may be two years later). The same thing will cost $200US on toshiba direct now. Look at the warranties though.

**Begin Important**
You mostly cannot upgrade the refurbished laptops to Windows Vista unless they say things like "express upgrade to Windows Vista".
**End Important**

First of all, auction website are giving you a cheap price. Ebay Sellers sell older models than the manufacture direct stores (e.g. Panasonic, Gateway) does, and usually cheaper. You cannot customize model to the way your want. You may not get a good warranty. Read the fineprints carefully. Look at the auction is refundable/refundable or not. To be safe, please do read online reviews and recommendations.

==Buy a laptop that is extendable, and don't be so mean to yourself==
Make sure you have your candidate laptops have a free RAM slot, so you can add RAM and don't waste any RAM that you owned when you upgrade. (I bought 1*1024Mb RAM in my Tablet PC, so I know there will be a free RAM slot for new RAM.)

As of Dec 2006, I myself recommend to reserve at least 30Gb for Windows XP and all your various applications. You will need more if you store media files, but if you have big external harddrive then save most of your documents and big files on the external harddrive then. (Laptop harddrive space cost more than an big external harddrive because Laptop harddrive spend less energy to read your data, lighter, and smaller in size.) 512Mb of RAM is the minimum or you are going to wait an IE or Firefox for a long time (10+ seconds is probably annoying).

If you predict your needs of software is increasing, and you can afford it. Don't not buy a laptop that fit into your current demands. Remember softwares updates may demands more of your laptop but updates are necessary to maintain your laptop. I know that for those who considered refurbished laptop will not buy a laptop every year. It usually cost more (I think) to buy two laptop every year than a laptop that last 3 to 4 years, and your time and energy spend on reading review are considerable too. Not only this will apply to laptop, but any computer components.

Please remember that components and laptops drop in prices, so you should know the market.
Please read my Rules of Computer Investments to see how exactly I justify any computing investments.

It has been a tough decision for me to decide buying such a Tablet PC because it costs $2500US now (Dec 24 2006). It was a decision of an entire week. I am not a big spender but sure I am a big spender on computing stuff.

==Steps to buy computers== (same theory applies to buying any computer investments.)
No matter where you are going to buy computers, these steps apply. It is for your reference only. It will do you good. That is exactly what I have followed to buy my Toshiba Portege too.

0.1 Why do you need a laptop? Why not a Desktop? Why not a PDA? Cellphone? Slate Tablet PC? Convertible Tablet PC? Again, do you really need a new laptop? Or, upgrading you currently have will do you good? (Like upgrading the hard drive.)

0.2 What kind of computers? Read wikipedia topics like "laptop","desktop computers". There are a lot of form factors like "Ultra portable","small form factor", "ATX", and perhaps "Big mama" (joking). Are you anywhere between high-end to low-end buyer spectrum? Don't feel bad if you are low-end buyer. Everyone just get what they need. Sometimes I buy low-end product just because I don't think I use it frequently or I care about the quality and just get my job done.

1 Rule of thumb, read seller's feedback from previous customers at least a page. Customers complain if they have defective/fake products, poor packaging, shipping mistakes etc etc.

2 Read manufactures' specifications and presentations of your candidate computers.

3 Ask your friends and especially techies for advice about reputation of computer manufacturers. Your friends and techies may sell you computers. Who knows?

4.1 search review online and read.
4.2 Read review about manufacturers
4.3 Read wikipedia about the manufacturers and laptop models (e.g. Toshiba Portege, if possible)
4.4 reviews on cnet, amazon.com, overstock, bizrate, tabletpcreview, laptop magazine, PC magazine, and epinions.
4.5 Read user support forums on manufacturers' websites (so you know the computer's problem well enough).

5.1 Customize the laptops on websites (for wherever apply). Compare prices with bizrate, pricegrabber. Usually you need to compare prices yourself.
Think about the shipping too. It is possible for ebay sellers selling you a supercomputer for $0.01 and $99999 as your shipping.
Think about the balance between prices and reviews. Don't let the reviews make you down. Remember: No laptop is perfect.
5.2 If you want to earn points from credit cards, ask to credit card companies and/or inquire their websites. You may be able to earn triple points. Patrick encourages only healthy credit card practices.

6 Ask your friends and techies even if you are sure what you are going to buy. (I am a techie, so I ask another techie!) Cool down! Think again. Attack your decisions and reasoning. Why not this? and why not that? Don't be too impulsive. Either you will regret your choice or you will get mad for any of your excessively impulsive buying. Don't be thrilled about your final choice. You might change your final answer! You should be able to explain everything by now.

7 Buy it! Review shipping date, REBATES, credit card/bank account balance that you are going charge on. Do not feel bad because you can explain to your friends and yourself why you need this such a thing and explain the price if they ask you. Well, most of them won't care. You have your reasoning.

8 Review your order again, so that nothing is missing. Don't forget the rebates, and keep track of the order. Test thoroughly once you receive the item. Get support and user forums. You may have to register and activate software products like office/windows. You may have to register your computers (for your warranty good sake). You may have to update the software through the manufacturer website*, install softwares you like.

*if you buy on third party auction sites like ebay, you should be able to get your software update drivers from manufacture website. You can still register your computers.

Buyers are getting smarter Huh!?

cinamuse said...

Happy 007, Chumly.

Thanks for making my night with your kind words and surprise visit, leading me to this friendly realm. Your sincere style conveys your warmth, clever wit and intelligence so well. I'm enjoying your entries.

One of the things i'd like to do this year is touch you as you've touched me, maybe share bits of the tragicomedy of living as we get to know each other better in the new year.

USpace said...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says

ignore the threat of Jihad
just keep sleeping like sheep