Archive for October 2012

The iPad Mini – Is it Worth $329?

image The new iPad mini is a tough sell at $329 when there are tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD priced at $199.  But there ARE some reasons why you might want to consider Apple’s entry into the smaller tablet market.

Becky Worley (who knows her stuff) has a nice impartial video review of the iPad mini that you should take a look at if you’re considering a one of the 7” class of tablets.  Here’s the review:

Facebook Tips if You Find Yourself Suddenly Single folks at eHarmony have a few Facebook do’s and don’ts for those who have broken up with someone:


1. Facebook is not your diary. Just because you’re on an emotional roller coaster doesn’t mean that those ups and downs should be available for public consumption. Journal in private. Cry with close friends. Just stay away from your computer when you’re tempted to chronicle every stage of the breakup.

2. Don’t post sappy breakup songs. Put them on your iPod and go for a jog instead.

3. Avoid denial. Take down that profile pic with you as a couple. Don’t post a message on his wall as if you’re still friends. Remove your relationship status (with as little fanfare as possible).

4. Resist the Facebook rebound. Don’t post photos of you with cute members of the opposite sex. Don’t message other exes or cute single “friends” out of discomfort for your new singleness. If you catch yourself posting anything that you hope will make your ex jealous, don’t do it. It’s a transparent move that will only make you look bad.

5. Don’t post cryptic notes about your ex or your emotional state. In fact, as a general note, don’t post cryptic notes on Facebook ever. If you don’t want people to know why you’re sad, don’t insinuate that you’re blue.

6. Don’t get friends involved. Don’t comment on wall posts by any of his/her friends. Don’t force mutual friends to defriend him in order to stay in your good books. If you have to hide statuses for a time, do so.

7. Don’t betray your ex’s trust. Keep it classy. Repeat this motto: No slander, no revenge posts — ever.

8. Don’t try to convince him to return, or publicly beg for forgiveness. If the two of you need to talk, do so in person.

9. Don’t use statuses and photos to announce that you’re having the best or worst time ever. Don’t try to make your ex miserable. (Nor should you be assuming that she/he’s reading your Facebook wall. You shouldn’t be reading his/hers.)

10. Never admit to Facebook stalking. If you find yourself checking out his Facebook page, never comment that you’ve been there. Better yet, don’t check his page. Don’t write a status about the picture he just posted or the life he’s leading without you.

Buy a Modem For Your Time-Warner Internet and Save $4.00 a Month on Your Bill

Last week I wrote about how starting next month our Time-Warner Internet was going to start costing us an additional $4.00 a month since they are now going to be charging us a fee for leasing the modem that previously was just included in the monthly charge.

Since then I’ve purchased a modem and today replaced my Time-Warner owned modem with a modem that I own, meaning I won’t have to pay the additional monthly fee going forward and my modem will be paid for in under 18 months.  I have to say, it was just about as quick and easy as Time-Warner said it would be.  There are a few different modems to choose from depending on your level of service:

If you have their basic Internet service (with or without phone), then you can get the Motorola SB5101U at Walmart for $55 (it will pay for itself by Christmas next year.)  If you have their Turbo, Extreme or Ultimate service you’ll want the Motorola SB6141.  You can get it at for $130, but I found that the older model SB6121 (which is what I bought for myself) for $80 from works just fine with my Turbo service and the speed is the same.  Walmart has it for $90.

It’s a slightly different process if you also have phone service through Time-Warner, so I’ll cover both below:

If you have Internet only (no phone service) with Time-Warner, then all you have to do is disconnect the old modem and plug in the new one.  There is the cable wire from the wall to the modem and the Ethernet cable that goes from the router to the modem.  Just disconnect them from one and connect them to the other.  Then you call Time-Warner at 512-485-5555 and talk to tech-support.  On the bottom of the modem (and also on the box) is the MAC address, give them that address and they will activate your modem and you’re in business (see the photo at the bottom of the article.)  Return the old modem to Time-Warner and you’re free from the additional fee.

If you have phone service along with Internet from Time-Warner, then the good news is you won’t have to return the modem, rather, you’ll have to get a splitter similar to the photo to the left, and split the cable so that the signal goes to both your old box (for the phone) and your new modem (for the Internet.)  You can get a splitter at Radio Shack, Home Depot or Lowes.  Be sure to pick up a couple of short lengths of cable to connect the splitter to your boxes.  The cable from the wall goes to the “IN” side and the cables to your boxes connect to the “OUT” connectors.  Once you’re hooked up, call Time-Warner at 512-485-5555, and give the tech-support people the MAC address from the label on the bottom of the modem or the outside of the box (see the photo at the bottom of the article.)

I checked with Time-Warner (a gal named Rachel) and she told me that when your new modem is activated, then even though you are keeping the old modem (for phone service only) you will NOT be charged the $3.95.

So if you’ve had enough of being nickel and dimed by the cable company (the phone company isn’t any better so don’t suddenly jump ship to AT&T), then get yourself a modem and save yourself some money.


It’s the 2nd Tuesday of the Month. Do You Know Where Your Updates Are?

imageThat’s right boys and girls, Microsoft has published a few new updates for your Windows and you want to be sure they get installed.  Hopefully you’re set up for automatic installation, but if not you’ll see either the yellow shield (XP) or blue icon (Vista and Windows 7).  Click on them and install the updates.

And of course, throughout the month always be on the imagelookout for updates to Java and Adobe’s Flash and Acrobat Reader.

These are SECURITY updates and the bad guys are hoping you WON’T apply these patches.  Do yourself a favor and disappoint the bad guys by installing the updates as soon as you see the icons in your task tray.

Time Warner Cable Increasing Charges

imageIt hasn’t made the news, and you probably didn’t notice it, but on this month’s bill, Time Warner announced that starting next month, they are going to start charging $3.95 a month for the Internet modem that previously you were just paying for in your monthly fee (that’s $47.40 a year additional for absolutely no improvement in service.)  If you’re a cable TV customer of theirs then the charge for your converter will go from $8.99 to $10.00 a month.

It is possible to purchase a modem yourself and depending on the level of service (speed) you’re using, a new modem can cost between $55 and $90, but it’s a one-time cost and you won’t have to pay the extra charge, meaning you’ll start saving money between the 14th and 22nd month.  I’ll be looking into them and let you know what I find out.

Do You Spend TOO Much Time on Your Computer?

Holy Moly: 23” Dell Monitor $90 – Today Only!

imageSears has a NEW 23” Dell monitor on sale for only $90 today (according to my info).  This is a great deal, and if you’re thinking about replacing that old monitor or adding one to your existing system – stop thinking.

This has a full 1920×1080 HD resolution, VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs so it will connect to just about any system.

This sells for over $150, and the next best price I could find was $118 for a refurbished one with a scratch on the screen.  Here’s the link:

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