Friday, October 29, 2010

Engineering for Prosperity: Seems like all too many items are now only "Made in China" and are of poor quality, designed to fall apart in a few years so they can sell you another.

Case in point: A 40 year old Rival Electric Can Opener Model 765. Sturdy, Solid, large thick chromed metal lever, weighs enough to stay put; made in the United States (K.C., Mo). Was starting to act like it had a problem with the gears moving, making sounds like it was struggling. I went to a local High End Hardware store, and all they had were the same cheap $20 Can Openers one could find in Walmart; light weight, plastic piercing lever, small blade, or as I describe it: JUNK. I expressed my displeasure to them and kept looking, but never found an Electric Can Opener even close to the quality of my old one. So I unplugged my geriatric unit, removed 6 screws from the back to reveal the insides, and as I had finally guessed the grease on the gears had congealed over the years. So I sprayed everything in sight with WD-40, reassembled, and tested. It was acting almost as good as new! So then I re-removed the back and put some Lubriplate grease on the gears. Now acting better than new, Good for another 40 years I figure. In the meantime, I have an instant savings of $50 plus tax and shipping.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Check is in the Mail: I was notified today that my payment for trading in my 2006 MacPro is on its way from Powermax. I wasn't pleased with their taking 6 plus weeks to process my trade, but all seems to be ending well. They offer trade-in values exactly inline with eBay values, so it saves the grief of the eBay process to sell to them. When I Googled to see if anyone had any complaints about Powermax, I found none, although when someone asked how they could afford to offer relatively high trade-in prices, the answer was "Have you seen their selling prices for used Macintoshs?" Indeed their selling price is like 20% off new, and roughly double their trade-in price. Must be more of a demand for warranted used Macs than I knew. I however am in no position to warrant a used Macintosh of mine for 3 months when I sell it. I had upgraded over the years (more memory, 2nd Optical Drive, better Video card) that had increased its value.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Windows 7 Service Pack 1: Release Candidate 1 is now available for downloading here:
If you installed the earlier beta version it needs to be uninstalled first before installing the Release Candidate. Instructions here. Thank goodness for Google as Uninstalling the Beta is not at all intuitive. I have a 6 Core 3.33 Ghz Intel Xeon processor, but it still, as Microsoft warns you at beginning of the Release Candidate install, takes over an hour to do the install.

Followup: Windows 7 SP1 RC is set to expire on November 30, 2011. The platform will begin to highlight the coming expiration date on August 30, 2011.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MS Office 2011 for Macintosh : When a reviewer (David Pogue, NY Times) who 90% ++ of the time writes glowing reviews writes a scathing review of a product, it has serious credibility.
The review in question is MS Office 2011 for the Macintosh. The review is so well written that
my copy of MS Office 2011, due in today from Amazon, will be returned unopened for refund.

Followup 10/27: Office 2011 has now been shipped back to Amazon. Thank you David Pogue.

Followup 11/1: Amazon has now issued a full refund, including shipping.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Staples giving you Spyware ? I received a $20 off coupon in the mail from Staples. Valid only today, only at a new Staples. So I went online to double check the address as the map on the back of the coupon was poor. I entered my zip code, and up came an error message telling me to enable cookies. However I HAVE COOKIES ENABLED. What is disabled is 3rd party cookies, and Adobe Super Cookies, usually used only to leave behind spyware or tracking cookies.

So I conclude STAPLES needs to track me it thinks. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

FOLLOWUP: After several emails back and forth to Staples, Staples confessed to using Spyware: Read it and decide:

To further improve your shopping experience, Staples partners with third party vendors to evaluate how the Website is used and to provide continuous improvement for our services. Like most websites, we use "cookies" for a variety of purposes to improve your visits to the Website.