Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Price Gouging on Generic Drugs:

Pricing on a 90 day 3 month supply:

And yet Walgreens happily sells 400 Generic drugs/doseages at $12.99 now for 3 month supply to compete with Walmart, CVS, Kroger and HEB. At an $8.97 wholesale price $12.99 is a reasonable mark-up. I think paying Walgreens $12.99 is better for me than paying Aetna a $60 copay, so that is what I now do. CVS is apparently ashamed of the price differential so doesn't list their plan online.
No wonder Aetna tries to stall transferring a prescription (my experience).

Wholesale prices seen here: Read also here.

Retail prices as quoted to customer by Company

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Symantec Rebate: 10 days after mailed in they say : "Your rebate is valid and is scheduled for final processing." Translation - We're going to sit on it for 30 days now.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Kaspersky followup: My credit card online is now showing a full refund for Kaspersky Anti Virus. See the April 10 and 11th posts for the reasons for that. And actually my April 4 post about credit cards is also relevant here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quicken 2008 : I had to give up and stay with MS Money 2007. It was easy to set up Quicken as it downloaded data from financial institutions ( but each institution had a different time frame it supplied from 3 months to 18 months, making historical calculations with Quicken worse than useless) , and after doing it the first time, subsequent times, it claimed no new transactions from Bank of America (untrue), and totally bollixed up transactions from TIAA-CREF. Then its built in graphics were flat unacceptable and unuseable with the "My Accounts" window refusing to stay as top window, but with elements of underlying window being redrawn on top of it. Also it kept nagging me to use their pay services that I get for free through my banks. All-in-all I grade it a D-; and can not recommend it.

Followup: I went to add this review to those Amazon has for Quicken, and discovered most folks think worse of Quicken than I do.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some folks get too used to a GPS: and don't use common sense. Item - 11 foot tall bus ignores sign warning of a 9 foot high overpass. Story here.
More on Garmin GPS: Amazon's customer reviews of Garmin GPS are the most consistantly glowing of any product I've ever seen. One reviewer rails against Magellan Support in India, maybe the same crowd that does Symantec. The "2009" (translation: April 2008) maps by Garmin for updating your existing Garmin GPS can now be obtained at discount here they are not yet available from Garmin.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Comcast Fiction: The quality of their cable HD broadcasts has just gotten worse so they can offer a couple more HD channels (still under 1/3 of what DirecTv has). Story here

Friday, April 18, 2008

Norton isn't so good either: My Internet Explorer 6, and my Firefox 3.0b5 started crashing multiple times a day. Googling shows this to be a known issue, but no help in online FAQs, 90 minutes in chat with "analysts" from India whose command of English is seriously wanting (I'd be asked questions I'd already answered continually); and then without a resolution, they terminated the Chat. They said make sure Internet Explorer was in the allowed list; it was. I've just turned off the "Personal Firewall" altogether, hoping my Router and the rest of Norton Internet Security will keep me safe. Certainly my browsers now work, and faster.
In order to get a Virus Scan to complete, I had to turn off scanning of compressed archives (Zip files, etc). Norton is unacceptably very poorly error trapped. If it had a problem, it stopped and exited, rather than giving one the option of skipping the problematic archive.
Symantec at least (in theory) makes it relatively easy to get a refund should you decide the above is too much grief. Go here. The web address for refunds given on product package doesn't currently exist.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lowest prices yet on GPS Quality Garmin GPS units at close out prices at Amazon as units with the "new" 2009 maps are coming out in 3 weeks. The Garmin nĂ¼vi 360 and the 660 are very good automotive units and now at prices 20% less than Black Friday sale prices of last November.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Comcast Fiction: It's bad enough Comcast has TV commercials that say they have more HD than Satellite, when they have 27 HD channels and DirecTv has 95, but today USPS delivers an advert for Comcast Business Class Solution of Voice + Internet + TV for $99/month.

I call the "800" number provided and after being on hold longer than makes sense if they want to sell something, I ask, "What can you tell me makes Business Class any different or better than Residential Service with its known abysmal service?" the answer I got was: "I don't have that information".

Friday, April 11, 2008

Time to ditch Kaspersky ?: An older Dell 4400 has Kaspersky Internet Security 7.x installed, and it has problems of its own. Internet Explorer and Firefox decided not to connect with the Internet, but Opera and Safari would. Again Kaspersky didn't fix the problem, just secretly posted a workaround here. Are the Russians just testing ways to shut down computers in the rest of the world by knowing how to sabotage Kaspersky ?
Next time Fry's has Norton on sale "Free After Rebate", guess what I'm doing? AntiVirus software is supposed to make your computer safer, not more vulnerable. (Note also my grief on April 10).
And I forgot to mention that Norton/Symantec is more reliable and much quicker about paying rebates, although I just received a rebate from a Drug Company in 10 days, so timely payment of rebates can be done if they want to.

FOLLOWUP: Kaspersky uninstalled, a request for refund made, and Norton 2008 installed.
I picked up a Norton Internet Security 2008 Premier 3 User", for $69.99 + tax, minus $60
mail in rebates at Fry's. So for a net of $10 I get 3 copies of Norton System Works Basic, which is what makes what I bought "Premier". Installation was relatively easy, and only configuration changes I made was not to scan outgoing email, and to upgrade to Yahoo Messenger 9 (beta) so the AntiVirus would watch over it, as it doesn't work with current version 8.1 I also got rid of or hid all those distracting, annoying Norton Taskbar icons.

FOLLOWUP 4/22 : Element 5, the folks I had bought Kaspersky AntiVirus from online, now claim to be processing a full refund to my credit card. Kaspersky Internet Security, I didn't ask for refund, as it had been "Free" after rebates.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back to Normal ! I was wondering why my Windows XP Pro SP3 was slowing down to a dead stop, and gmail stopped working in Firefox. Finally figured it out. I had earlier re-done my XP on a larger Hard Drive in my MacPro, and all was well at first. Finally traced my problem to Kaspersky AntiVirus I use and its a known problem that Kaspersky makes you search their database to find. They say uninstall, download previous version, and install that, then make other changes so it won't update. So I did; and all is well; as long as I have "ProActive Defense", and scanning of outgoing email turned off.
Any more grief from Kaspersky and its back to Norton AntiVirus for me.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Always buy stuff with a credit card. Four main reasons.
1. You don't have to pay for it right away. I haven't paid interest on a card in 27 years,
but its nice not to have to pay for it till next month.
2. Infinitely easier to return for refund. I've had a (TV Personality) Furniture store owner
refuse to take back an unassembleable trundle bed, until I mentioned I had charged it.
3. You may get credits for using your credit card. Airline miles, free gas, 5% off your next
car, etc.
4. Most important, you have leverage if something goes wrong.

ATA Airlines just went belly up, cancelling all flights. A story about them said:
"The defunct airline's Web site tells people who bought tickets with plastic to contact their credit card companies for refund information. The will be no refunds for passengers who used cash or a check."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hewlett Packard sales : Most curious. Consider the aimed at business OfficeJet 6310. It's currently selling for $199.97 at Office Max, $144.99 direct from HP, and $139.99 from MicroCenter.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Best April Fool's jokes for 2008.

GMAIL Custom Time - Pick a time stamp for your email, wait, Blogger already allows this
Use "Post Options", and you can pick a date and time..

I'm saved from looking for more as someone's done it already. Story here.