I have an HP Photosmart 2610 all in one printer. It prints photos/text, faxes, scans and copies. I love it! I bought it about seven years ago, so it’s probably time for an upgrade soon. A couple of aspects I hope to improve upon are to get a printer that supports wireless connections. The other improvement would be to find a great printer with cheap ink cartridges.
I hate buying ink. One time I almost ordered ink from Amazon because they had a great price. After reading reviews I realized they were not genuine ink cartridges. I only buy original ink cartridges manufactured by HP. Every time I buy new ink cartridges, it costs me $70 for both the colored and black and white cartridges. They come as a set, which is cheaper than buying them separate. Genuine toner cartridges are also expensive. You definitely have to be careful when buying ink online if you are only interested in original ink cartridges. RetailBlue.com is an online retailer that sells only genuine ink cartridges.
I recently read an article in the newspaper by Al Fasoldt, who writes for The Post-Standard in Syracuse, NY, about printer recommendations. He offered a few tips to save on ink prices.
The first tip is to buy a cheap laser printer, if you are only going to print in black and white.
The second tip is to get an ink jet printer designed to use less ink than other printers, if you need a color printer. Apparently, Kodak ink costs about half the price as Epson or HP.
The third tip involves getting an ink efficient printer with Air Print capability, if you need to print from an iPad or iPhone.
Top brand printers include HP, Epson, Kodak and Canon. I may have to look into the second tip and check out the printers offered by Kodak. My brother has a Kodak and my mother has an Epson, both of which work good.
I appreciate the guest post, Emerson Moses
It is amazing what we have access to online. I am seriously considering canceling our cable service because all of the shows that I want to watch can be seen online for free. Many of the channels show most or all of their shows online, and for only a few dollars a month, we can have access to movies as well. With our internet provided through CLEARtvbundle.com, and with a membership to a website that shows movies, it would cost half of what we pay in cable alone. The truth is that my husband and I rarely watch television, and we spend most of our time together outside camping, hiking, etc. We both work full time, and his job is very stressful. My husband’s stress release is to go do something active, such as a bike ride. We have discussed for months the possibility of canceling our cable because we just never use it. The only thing that would be a problem would be major sporting events, such as the World Series, Super Bowl, and the major college bowl games. My husband is unwilling to miss these sporting events. However, I am going to try to convince him that we do not need cable television.
It’s amazing how cheap data storage is these days. Ten years ago I received a 64mb thumbdrive from my boss for Christmas. They were fairly new at the time, so it was a really big deal. It was a pretty cool little device to save a few files on. lol. Nowadays, thumbdrive sizes are in gigabytes rather than megabytes.
I have a 250gb external hard drive that I need to upgrade someday, since you can now buy one with available space in terabytes.
Cloud storage is a great storage option since you don’t have to worry about having a physical device to store the data on. You can also access the data from any computer, provided you have an internet connection. There are quite a few web sites out there that offer a certain amount of free cloud storage. Amazon even offers 5gb of free cloud storage.
There is a company called Nexsan that offer huge amounts of high end storage. They sell Flexible Storage Platform systems which may contain between 14 and 60 drives and can be expanded with additional units. The NEXSAN E5000 family of data storage systems can hold up to 720tb. That’s a lot of data. Drives use Nexsan’s anti-vibration design, cool drive technology and active drawer technology.
Nexsan also offers web-based storage system software with features such as disk provisioning, RAID hardware management, host data path services and automatic RAID set rebuild.
Nexsan’s storage application software includes features such as file services, snapshot, replication and archiving to storage system hardware. Archiving services id files for integrity, store two copies for added protection, continuously repair files, use WORM on disk, and provide data encryption and key management.
Nexsan was formed in 1999 and are based in Thousand Oaks, California.
Back up’s are really important. You never know when a disaster might happen and your data will be wiped out.
The other day I was working on a file in PHP. An example file I was following contained a call to unlink. Unlink was an unfamiliar function to me, but I found out the hard way what it does. Since the example file I was using called it, I included it in my test file. I ran my test file, and it suddenly disappeared. Yeah, unlink deletes a file. Luckily I was able to recreate my test file without too much trouble. I also downloaded an application called Recuva. After doing a deep scan and running all day, Recuva found the unlinked file, and I was able to restore it.
Craft fairs are very popular in my area of upstate New York during the summer time. You can buy a lot of very nice handmade items ranging from towels to large wooden furniture. Crafters set up booths at county and state fairs, and fairs featuring crafters only. At the county and state fairs you can also find trade show booths set up. Some of the trade show booths involve politicians trying to get your vote, companies advertising their products or non-profit organizations advertising their cause. The trade show and craft booths are the only part of fairs I like. A lot of times you can pick up a bunch of free things too. Pencils are a big item. Last year I picked up a nice ruler with photos of all of the past presidents along with their names and years. I also picked up a notepad of pre-filled forms to use for child school absences. With the large crowds that fairs draw, setting up a booth to get your message out is a great way to advertise.
There is a company called Post-Up Stand that sells Trade Show Displays. They sell curved and straight trade show displays. The curved trade show display has three or four panels that piece together to form a curved display. The straight trade show display has three or four panels that piece together to form a large straight display. Prices for both the curved and straight trade show displays range from $980 to $1440. Trade show displays include a frame, three printed banners, two halogen lights and a hard shipping case. The displays are easy to set up.
Post-Up Stand also sells Vinyl Banners. A lot of the trade show booths also have these attached to tables or hanging up at the back of their booths to advertise who they are. Vinyl banners are also great for restaurants, lobbies, school events or to hang outside your business to advertise a big sale. Prices range from $12 for a 2’x2′ banner to $192 for an 8’x8′ banner. Grommets and sewing are included. Banner stands and table top displays are also available from Post-Up Stand.
Post-Up Stand is located in Cleveland, Ohio. They offer a 48 hour turnaround for custom banner stands, trade show displays, and vinyl banners. Orders are shipped via FedEx and UPS.
My real world job is as a software developer, an applications software developer. I develop applications for the desktop computer using programming languages such as C, C++ and Java. For the majority of the past year, I have been gaining experience in web development using PHP and MySQL. It is very interesting. With HTML5 you can do just about anything in your web browser that you can do with a desktop application. Mobile development is another direction I would like to move in. Learning to develop a mobile application is my goal for next year. I’m going to start out with Android, since the Java based sdk is free.
I prefer to write programs that perform a specific task. That is why I am an applications programmer. Another avenue of programming is systems programming. Systems programmers write programs to maintain and control computer systems software, such as operating systems, networking or compilers.
Cyber-security software is a hot area where I live in upstate New York. Local colleges offer degrees geared towards cyber-security development. Many of the companies in this area also specialize in cyber-security. It is not really an area I am interested in. However, the safety of your computers and networks is very important. With the increase in mobile internet usage, cyber-security is becoming even more important.
There is a company called Milestone Systems, Inc. that specializes in network security. They offer project consulting, installation and implementation, staffing, operational training, renewals service, and managed services.
One of their product partners is called F5 networks. F5 Application Delivery Controllers ensure that your application will not encounter downtime or loss of productivity. One service offered is F5 auditing to ensure all F5 devices in your network are running smoothly and efficiently. If any problems are discovered, Milestone Systems, Inc. will offer a solution.
Another product partner is Cisco IronPort. Cisco IronPort offers email security. It helps protect your network from within. You control access to networks, servers and applications based on certain criteria such as machine and user identities, while Cisco IronPort reports all successful access attempts.
Milestone Systems, Inc also offers many training courses, including many different F5 training courses, such as F5 Networks Global Traffic Manager, F5 Big-IP Essentials and F5 Networks Troubleshooting Big-IP LTM. Cisco IronPort training courses are also offered. Some of these courses include Securing Your Web with Cisco IronPort S-Series, Securing Email w/ Cisco Ironport C-Series Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, Virtual Securing Your Web with Cisco IronPort and Cisco Advanced SSL VPN Administration.
If you are in need of systems software, Milestone Systems, Inc might be worth a look.
I’ve been doing just about all of my Christmas shopping online. Orders I have placed have been mainly from Amazon and Walmart. When I order from Amazon, I prefer to order new items from Amazon themselves. They sell a lot of items from third party retailers. Sometimes the price is a little cheaper. I picked up a Star Wars Clone Trooper laptop for my seven year old for $26 through a third party retailer. Normally it sells for around $40. It was too good of a deal to pass up. I know my Star Wars fan will like it, so I took a chance and bought it from a third party dealer.
A few things to note when ordering from Amazon. If the description says “Ships from and sold by xxxxxx”, the third party retailer sells and ships the item. They are just using Amazon as a platform to sell their product. If the description says “Sold by xxxxxx and Fulfilled by Amazon”, the third party retailer sells the item, but has Amazon ship it. They have shipped the item to Amazon, who stores it for the third party in their warehouse. I discovered that when I clicked on the ‘have one to sell’ button.
I went through the process of listing an item, but didn’t submit it. It seems like Amazon charges pretty high fees. I think you pay less fees selling on ebay. Amazon takes out .99 per item sold, a referral fee which is a percentage of the sale price based on what the item is, and a variable closing fee which is based on the referral fee. If I sell an item for $27, I will end up with $26.63 minus what it will cost me to ship the item. In the end what you make turns out to be slightly less than the sale price, plus whatever it costs you for shipping.
With their own inventory and inventory from third party retailers, Amazon must have quite a system of storing items. I’ve ordered from them for years and have only had one order with a problem. They sent the right item, but the wrong invoice. They must have some sort of warehouse management software that they use to keep track of all the inventory. One such third party logistics software is from a company called 3pl. They provide web-based warehouse management software to companies to help them run more efficiently. Since it is web-based, there are no installation fees, no software upgrades, no new hardware and no consultants. The software helps provide customers with real time information. Profits are increased thanks to the automated process. Billing is more accurate. The 3pl software costs less than $500 per month. You can pay for what you use with no long-term contracts. You can also add and inactivate customers and warehouses as needed. The software can be customized to use your company logo.
Even though I will be sticking with ebay for selling, I still prefer to buy from Amazon.
This time of year, all the retailers are trying to get your business. They are offering lots of sales. Many online retailers are also offering free shipping. I picked up seven bottles of cabernet at wine.com for $78 with shipping/handling fees of a penny.
I picked up the Samsung Stratosphere for free during Best Buy’s Black Friday sale. My contract expired the day before, but I was going to wait until 4G is available in my area before upgrading to a new phone. Free was too good of a deal though, so I went with it. It would have cost me $149 to order the same phone from Verizon. The Stratosphere is Verizon’s only smartphone with a physical keyboard. At the moment, that’s a requirement for me. The virtual keyboard is ok, but the keys are kind of close together, so it’s easy to tap the wrong key.
Another retailer called Cymax is offering a month long holiday sale of up to 50% off with free shipping and no sales tax (except VA). They sell furniture and home decor. They have been in business since 2004. In 2010, they broke the $100 million sales mark and were officially listed as one of the world’s Top 500 online businesses by Internet Retailer. They pride themselves on offering great customer service, a wide variety of items, and low prices. They carry only brand-new merchandise from top manufacturers. All brands carry a full manufacturers warranty.