Consolidating My Credit Cards

Times are tough for everyone, especially if you have a lot of credit card debt piling up. And with the Holidays coming up you are tempted to put yourself further into debt to keep your children happy on Christmas morning. But you don’t have to keep paying these high interest fees from the credit card companies.

Consolidating credit cards is your way out of a tough situation. You will have 1 bill every month and you only have to pay interest on one bill, not 4 or 5 credit cards (if that is the case). Help lighten the burden once and for all and get yourself out of debt.

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Nook Update v1.5

Nook had a software update yesterday from version 1.4 to 1.5 and I am so happy.

I got the email yesterday from Barnes and Noble saying the new update is finally here so I quickly turned my Nook on, went to the Daily and as soon as it connected to my WiFi network, it began downloading immediately. It took about 10 minutes or so to download and I was very thrilled with the results.

They said that the page turns are 50% faster and boy is it ever. I loaded a book and turned the page and it was instant. I mean, you still see it flash like before but it shows the next page really fast. Page turn speed was never really an issue for me but considering it’s faster I’m probably going to notice it more now and appreciate the new speed.

One of the things that I’ve wanted since I got my Nook is an easier way to store my books. For example, I wanted to be able to have folders for all of my books so I can find them easier. Like a folder named Xanth so I can click on that to find the next Xanth novel at the top of the list instead of having to scroll through pages and pages of books.

They finally gave me that feature, although it’s not exactly a folder but it works just as good. You can create shelves then add specific books to those specific shelves. It works in the “My B&N Library” and the “My Documents” libraries. When you are in the Library, look at your touchscreen and click Shelves, click go to shelf and you can see the shelves you have created.

You have many shelf options like creating a shelf, reordering a shelf, renaming a shelf and removing a shelf. I like reordering because you can alphabetize your different shelves either by author or by book name like Xanth would go at the bottom or you can rename the shelf to the authors name and then it would be in the P’s for Piers (or A’s for Anthony, if that’s how you alphabetize).

I have a shelf called Sookie Stackhouse and I see all 3 of the Sookie Stackhouse books that I bought from the Nook store in that shelf. It shows the one that I am reading on the top of the list and it even shows what page I’m on. How cool is that? It says I’m on page 28 of 200. I guess that’s how they make the cross-platform feature work. Since it shows what page you are on in a certain book in the library then that is how it lets your other gadgets know what page you are on so when you load your account on your iPhone or Blackberry (or whatever gadget you have) then it knows what page to automatically turn to.

The email talked about a longer battery life and that I can configure it so my battery lasts longer. Well the battery for me is a real issue because they said that it lasts 10 days with WiFi turned off. Well, it really only lasts me a couple days with WiFi turned off. I don’t know where they got this 10 days crap but that is so way off. Hopefully it will last longer than 2 or 3 days now but I have to figure out how to configure it the way they said you can. And what am I supposed to configure to make it last longer? Am I supposed to make the screen’s brightness 10% so I can barely see it to get 10 days worth of battery life?

They graduated the web browser from Beta to regular browser but to me it’s the same. I don’t see much of a difference. I do use it from time to time only because I can. The only thing different is that it no longer says Beta on the icon but if you load the browser, the website that shows up still says it’s in beta so they’ll have to fix that too.

I wish they would add more games, that would’ve been nice but I see they didn’t. I know they can’t add animated games but I’m sure there are more games that don’t require a lot of animation. Sudoku is a good paper puzzle game which I’m sure is the reason they added it. Well, crossword puzzles are the same, it’s pen and paper. Anything would be nice than just Sudoku and Chess lol. I don’t even play chess.

Well, I’m very happy to have this update because I love how fast the pages turn and I love that I can create shelves now. I think it would be great if they gave us little updates every so often instead of making people wait for a major update like this. But I’m not complaining because I’m thrilled with what I have now.

My Newly Reformatted Computer

I reformatted my computer yesterday and it went better than I thought it would.

I typed out my check list in Open Office and printed it out so that I could check things off as I went which was a very good idea because I think I would’ve been lost without it. My checklist was files/folders to back up, drivers, programs and my browser extensions to install etc.

I had a few video DVD’s that I had to burn to get off my computer first before I could burn all the backups. The backups were about 4 dvd’s worth which were my home movie files that were still in mpg format, all my documents, pictures, mp3′s… you know, the basics.

One of the things that was very important to me was my Microsoft Money file. I did a backup in my Documents folder and put that on a dvd but after I reformatted the computer and installed MS Money and restored the file, it came up with nothing. I did it wrong. I’ve done it before in the past when I had to reformat and never had that problem so I don’t know what went wrong.

But that’s ok because when have I really ever needed to use that old information? Never that’s when. So, I can start fresh from my current balance and continue from there. The only reason I use it is so I always know my balance so I don’t overdraft.

One of the reasons I wanted to reformat was because my computer was so slow to load so I just left it running 24/7 to avoid having to wait to read my email. Also, when I load TweetDeck it can take up to 20-25 minutes for the columns to load. Now it’s instantaneous like it should be.

One thing that I wasn’t expecting was the Georgia font to be missing from my browser. For some reason, whenever I load my blog admin area, it forces me to type using the Georgia font. I don’t know why, it won’t allow me to change it, or at least I can’t figure out how to change it so I just had to deal with it. That’s why I liked Windows Live Writer, it used a default font like Arial which is easy to read. Georgia is very difficult to read, especially when you have eye problems like I do. You get used to it after a while but still. I just checked and Georgia is installed but I’m seeing something else, it’s not Arial but it’s easier to read than Georgia.

I have only installed half of my programs that I wanted to install so I still have work to do today but I’m sure it won’t take too much longer to get it all done and over with. I’m pretty sure all the Windows updates are complete. It’s been a few hours since it did any updates so I think it’s done for now.

I have a love/hate relationship with reformatting. I love how fast my computer is when I reformat but I hate all the work that goes into it and the risk of losing certain information. But you know what? When your computer is as slow as mine was, it’s worth the headache. I’m glad it’s finally done and over with.

I Can Finally Reformat My Computer Soon

I bought my new DVD burner earlier this week and it arrived yesterday. I was looking at it while it was still in it’s OEM packaging and I looked at the back and all of a sudden got very upset. I bought the wrong one.

I should have known to check whether I was buying IDE or SATA but I guess it’s been too many years since I built a computer or even bought computer parts that I just forgot to pay attention to that kind of thing.

I went into a complete panic attack. Things started going through my head like “I can’t return this, they have a no return policy on OEM” and “I wonder if I can sell this on Yardsellr” and “Well, I hope someone needs a new DVD burner for Christmas.”

Then it came to me. My motherboard is from 2007, it has SATA on it. So I went to the closet and dug out the box for the motherboard, found it, opened it and the first thing I see are the SATA cables. WHEW!

I turned off my computer, unplugged everything, installed it and turned the computer on. Instead of installing the DVD burner, my stupid webcam decides it needs to be installed. After about 20 minutes of looking for the drivers, I decide I don’t have time for this so I unplug the webcam and start installing the DVD driver and software.

So far I have burned 4 dvd’s and gotten at least 16GB off my computer and deleted it all so I wouldn’t re-burn things. I still have a ton of other things to burn today, maybe another 4 dvd’s worth, who knows. I got a lot of crap on my computer.

One thing that I did notice is the whole Smart Erase thing, it only works on DVD+/-RW discs. It doesn’t work on DVD+/-R. So that was disappointing. I said I must be behind the times but I guess I was wrong because my old dvd burner did that but you know, only with RW. I just thought they must’ve upgraded their technology to erase dvd-r’s.

I’m going to Chips cousins “Celebration of Life” in a couple of hours. Darrin bought me a new dress shirt since the neck of all of his are too small for my thick neck. So I better get ready now just in case I get picked up too early. I wouldn’t want to be sitting in my PJ’s when the doorbell rings.

Save the Dollar Menu

It has recently come to my attention (via a comment in my KFC Dollar Menu post) that there is a website out there claiming the dollar menu is going away. ”Save the Dollar Menu!” has names, addresses and phone numbers of McDonald’s executives. You can call them and beg them to keep the dollar menu.

After a little research, I have found out that this is false information. The “Dollar Menu” is not going anywhere.

I came across a news article in the Media Post news website saying McDonald’s Considers ‘Tweaking’ Dollar Menu. The problem is with the increasing prices of food ingredients, they are going to lose money so they will probably raise the price of everything in the dollar menu but they aren’t getting rid of it entirely. In fact, they are even keeping the name “Dollar Menu” even though it’s going to be more than $1.

I know I’m gonna get comments from people saying that I’m advocating junk food and I’m a fat slob blah blah blah. Well, I’m not. I’m just setting the record straight.

I think there is a pro and a con to having the dollar menu. Wanna hear them? Of course you don’t but I’m gonna tell you anyway.

Pro: Groceries are very expensive. Try going to the grocery store and buying all the ingredients just to make 1 double cheeseburger or 1 chicken sandwich. It’s expensive! If you go to McDonald’s it’s only $1. That’s what I like about the Dollar Menu, it’s inexpensive and very convenient. You don’t have to buy the ingredients for many and you don’t even have to dirty any dishes in the process. It saves time and money.

Con: The problem with the dollar menu is that people take advantage of it and end up overeating because it’s so cheap. You can buy more than just 1 double cheeseburger or chicken sandwich, you can buy 10 if you like and sit there in your car and binge on fast food. Then you get fatter and fatter. That’s a reason people are so fat but not the only reason but it’s a reason.

You can blame McDonald’s for getting fat but the only real person to blame is yourself. You don’t have to order more than 1 burger you know. The dollar menu isn’t a challenge, it’s there to help people who can’t afford to pay $4 for everything else in their menu.

So the dollar menu isn’t going anywhere any time soon. There’s no reason to panic people with stupid websites like the “Save the Dollar Menu!” website. I’m sure there are better things to do with your time than to put people in a mass fast food panic.

Lite-On Smart Erase Technology

Yesterday I bought a brand new dvd burner to replace the one in my tower that doesn’t work anymore. I was looking at it at the Tiger Direct website and I noticed something that slipped by before. Smart Erase.

I guess I’m behind the times once again because this is not something I’ve ever heard of. I don’t have to explain what it means for you folk that are current with technology but for those of us who have been hiding in a shell for god knows how long, I will try to explain it as best as I can.

Say you have burned some highly classified information onto a disc and you are afraid that someone might find it and use it against you. Well, if that is the case then you live a very dangerous life my friend. For those of you who just want to delete files that are obsolete and you don’t want to keep the discs but you don’t want anyone else to access them either then this is for you.

You put the disc into the drive, select quick or full erase and it makes the disc totally unreadable. Quick erase is fast and it makes the disc unreadable but it doesn’t eradicate 100% of the data. If you are that paranoid then use Full erase. It takes a lot longer to completely erase a disc but for you it’s worth the time.

How it will work for me is when I do my dvd backups for reformatting my hard drive, when I’ve put all the backups back on my computer then I can erase the discs and toss them out. I’ve made backups for reformatting in the past but ended up either keeping the discs out of fear that someone might find them or breaking them and risk cutting myself. This will make it easier to just toss them afterwards.

I’m glad that I found that in the description for my new DVD burner. I just wish I were more informed than I am about new technology. I guess since I stopped reading PC World magazine years ago I stopped learning about all the cool new things available. But, I have PC Magazine now on my Nook so that will keep me better informed. Maybe.

UPDATE: When I wrote this I was under the impression it worked on DVD+/-r’s but it doesn’t.  So if you use a RW disc then there is no reason to “toss it out” as I said 2 paragraphs ago.

New DVD Burner

Well I finally did it. I finally bought a new DVD burner. I don’t know what happened to mine but it won’t even read discs let alone burn them anymore.

The DVD burner that I have is a Lite-on lightscribe DVD burner that I bought in January 2007. After only a couple of years it decided that it wasn’t going to open easily anymore. When you press the button it makes these clicking sounds but doesn’t open. You had to keep pressing the button until it would open.

Eventually it got so bad that you’d have to put a paperclip into the little hole that allows you to force the door to open. Now, that doesn’t even open it anymore.

I don’t care about burning music or whatever, I just want to back up my files so that I can reformat my hard drive. My computer is so slow because of all the crap that I download. I’ve deleted more than half of what I’ve downloaded only because I knew I wouldn’t be able to back it up but that doesn’t help me if I can’t burn the rest of the stuff onto discs.

My DVD burner that is in there now was $50 at TigerDirect.com back in 2007 and I checked the computer store in town and they sell the same one for $46 and I went to TigerDirect.com again and they sell the same one for $19.99 now. I thought, I’d much rather spend $25 (with shipping) and wait until the end of the week for it rather than spend double and get it today.

So hopefully by the weekend my computer won’t be so slow. I can finally burn the crap I’ve been downloading as well as all of my documents and images and start fresh with a new Windows installation.

About friggin time!