Skip to content

I love shop vacs

May 24, 2011

Compressed air – $4.00 at cheapest. Lasts a week or so, anything you spray with it smells like chemicals, you need to wash your hands if you get any on you.

Shop Vacs – $35.00. Lasts virtually forever, has a suck and blow function, and when you are sweating, you can quickly just aim it at yourself and cool yourself off. This is how it’s done!

Advertisements

How to avoid fake Facebook posts

May 17, 2011

All over Facebook, people end up clicking on links that look like this:

  • “Wow! I can look at who views my profile! Click here to do it too!”
  • “Facebook releases a “Dislike” Button! Click here to get it now!”
  • “Someone said you were attractive on (Insert crappy app name here). Click here to find out who!”
  • “Hack into people’s Facebook profiles! Click here to find out how!”

Let me put a few things to rest here.

  1. You CAN NOT find out who views your profile without actually having prior access to someone else’s PC or unless Facebook dramatically changes their privacy policy (not going to happen).
  2. You CAN NOT get a dislike button from an app. Even if you did have it, the only people who could use it are the ones who subscribed to the app.
  3. Nobody thinks you are attractive, so there is no chance some app will post on your wall luring you to subscribe to it.
  4. YOU CAN’T JUST HACK PEOPLE. Hacking tools, hacking apps, phrases like “I’m going to hack you” are just bullshit. You can’t hack anything without gaining some information from someone first. If anything, the apps are ironic because when you install them, you are probably giving someone else access to your PC.

Also, cheesy Facebook apps are made for data mining. Whenever you install an app, you have to agree to give all your personal information to the people who made the app. They can keep this information in their basement server and make credit cards in your name for all you know.

SOLUTION?

Don’t install Facebook apps. Go outside and go for a walk, go to a park. If you are spending too much time on your computer, you have a problem. Solve the American obesity problem by going out.

Running Windows Vista? Here is how to speed yourself up!

April 29, 2011

Ok, everyone and their mom complains about Windows Vista.  When it came out, here were the biggest problems with it.

VISTA PROBLEMS WHEN IT CAME OUT

  1. It did not automatically defragment the OS
  2. The system restore points would corrupt, and mess up the data around it
  3. User Account control would make the PC run slow, and it would ask you to confirm every single execution you wanted to do.
  4. The indexing service would be constantly using the hard drive, so file transfer slowed to a crawl. Indexing is basically making searches take less time by constantly reading the hard drive for changes. It’s pretty ridiculous when you are just on a home PC. Maybe for searching long lists of documents for work, but home applications it makes little sense.
  5. Al of your old menus and settings were just thrown around in different places, making less sense and causing you to search more to change advanced settings. They even broke up all the tabs in the menus like “Display Properties” into different categories and strewn them across a screen under “Personalize”. Nonsensical.

VISTA PROBLEMS AS OF NOW

  1. It now automatically defrags (After the release of windows 7 and Vista Service pack 1.) (Most important thing they could have done)
  2. The system restore points are still trouble
  3. User account control is still trouble
  4. The indexing service is much better, but I still recommend you disable it to keep your HDD living longer (less work = longer life)
  5. The menus still suck.

So, with this in mind, here is how you compensate for that junk…

PART ONE -DISABLING USER ACCOUNT CONTROL

  1. Go to your Start Menu
  2. Control Panel
  3. User Accounts and Family Safety
  4. User Accounts
  5. Turn User Account Control on or off.
  6. Turn it off.
  7. Now, at the bottom right of the screen, the PC will yell at you about he security settings. We will put it in it’s place by clicking on the notification icon.
  8. Look to the left of the screen and there will be and option that says “Change the say Security Center alerts me” and click it. Click “Don’t notify me and don’t display the icon (Not recommended)”.

PART TWO – CLEANING YOUR SYSTEM RESTORE FILES

  1. Go to your Start Menu
  2. Right – Click My Computer and select Properties in the drop down menu.
  3. On the top-left, click System Protection
  4. Un-check the C: and any other drives there. Click Apply
  5. Re-check the drives that were checked before and click Apply
  • This process gets rid of your old system restore files, and creates a brand new one. This will clean up anywhere between 2GB and 40GB of space off your hard drive (Depending on how old the PC is)!

PART THREE – DISABLING INDEXING

  1. Go to your Start Menu
  2. Click My Computer
  3. Right-Click the C: – click Properties
  4. Un-check Index this Drive for Faster Searching, then click OK, and Continue (If “Continue” comes up.)
  5. Let it finish the process, if an argument comes up, hit Ignore all

PART FOUR – CLEAN YOUR TEMP INTERNET FILES / STARTUP FILES

  1. Open up Your internet browser, go to http://www.ccleaner.com
  2. Run the file, install it.
  3. Close all browser windows, Click Run Cleaner
  4. After this, go to the Tools menu and select Startup look at all the stuff!
  5. Here is the complicated part, each of these items takes up some RAM, and they are all loaded the PC starts.  Some are important, some arent. Here’s a few off the top of my head to get rid of.

THINGS TO DISABLE (NEVER DELETE THINGS, ONLY DISABLE)

  • Quicktime
  • Realplayer
  • Anything involving a toolbar
  • Anything involving Bing, Yahoo, Aol
  • Digital Line Detect
  • Viewpoint
  • Any “Search Optimizer” like Mywebsearch
  • Vongo
  • Anything for a brand of printer you don’t own anymore (Lexmark, Canon, HP (Unless you own an HP computer)
  • Any “Security Scan” Software like “McAfee Security Scan” or “Norton Security Scan“.
  • Anything about Safari or apple products (besides itunes)
  • Anything with the word “notifier” in it (Except Java updater)

THINGS TO KEEP

  • Wireless Assistants
  • Anything related to your current printer
  • Anything related to your current security software
  • Anything Itunes realted
  • Java updater

How to professionally haggle

April 27, 2011

Ever need to buy something from a private party? A car, some kind of electronic appliance, a computer? Here is a few things to consider when you want o buy something from someone.

Knowing how to deal with the situation you are in. There are 3 different real-life situations I can imagine. Each one has it’s quirks and things to look out for!

Retail store

You can hardly haggle unless you are owed something from them. (defective product, poor customer service, etc.) I always say to look and try out the product in a store, then shop online.

Outlet/ lot

You can usually haggle, but they are very well-versed in how to shoot you down. They are professional salesmen and they know what makes you (the buyer) tick. They can offer warranties and professional service on top of your car. Using leverage that eliminates their “perks” works quite well. “Well, I really don’t need this extra stuff, I’ll pay (a few hundred less). Go there, find what you like, use it, inspect it all over physically and don’t be afraid to ‘abuse it a little’ by being a little rough with controls, handling, merely to test it’s durability to a bit of force. Call out every little detail to the salesperson and make a mental list of the biggest flaws it has. Don’t bring a notebook. It makes the salesperson feel less in control or intimidated. Write down your findings in your car if you need to, or type it in your phone.

Every little mannerism helps tailor a conversation in your favor, from sighing, the way you stand, the way you greet someone, etc. I will get more into professional (positive) manipulation in another thread.

Private Party

It is best to go to a person’s house to purchase something from them. The salesperson feels comfortable and empowered in his/her own house. You want the ‘haggled’ to be comfortable when you talk them down.  They are selling it because they want to get rid of it, and fast. They want two things. They want to get rid of it fast, to get as much money as they can for it.Use the rules below to gauge their desperation. Sometimes someone will want to get rid of something more than they want the money for it (an old engagement ring) or they want to get the money above all else and don’t mind waiting because it will not depreciate soon (A retail packaged iPad 2).

First and foremost, follow these rules wherever you go!

BRING CASH.

  • Flashing cash can make or break a deal. Use the cash when you make an offer. “I have $750 I’ll give you right now for this and we can call it even”. Don’t pull out more cash than your offer or the seller will feel insulted and could back off.

Make an offer that doesn’t upset the seller!

  • Don’t lowball the seller. It’s insulting to their assets, to their ability to price an product, and it can be interpreted as a personal attack. People take it very personally when you call into question their pricing policy. Haggling can be illustrated out as a trip across a frozen lake as the thinner ice (edgy haggling) leads to the shorter way across (lower price). When you fall in, the deal is over and he won’t even sell it to you.

Gauge / manipulate the desperation of the seller, ask a few questions!

  • “How long have you been trying to get rid of this”?
  • “Where did you get it””
  • “Are you the original owner””
  • “Is there anything about it that I should know about?” 
  • “Was it ever serviced?”
  • (If it’s a car, get a CARFAX. Don’t believe the seller EVER)

Find and Exploit Flaws to your advantage.

  • Look at he product for anything you may find as a “flaw”. Make a mental note of everything that could be wrong with it. If the sale will be more than a few hundred dollars, you should bring a notepad. This notepad will keep track of your purchase and it will intimidate the seller (in a good way). I carry a notepad to big sales and I make it very clear to the seller that I have been looking for a long time, I have seen other deals, and I know what I’m looking for.

If you don’t know about it, bring an expert!

  • Everyone has a friend who knows about cars, computer, electronics, sporting goods equipment, etc. Find that friend, pay them for their time (Or buy them a beer, it’s cheaper and more fun for the both of you).

When you are buying something, knock off it’s worth by pointing out the flaws you found.

  • Look at the product with scrutinizing eyes. Imagine you are judging a dog show. After getting everything together on your Notebook, bring each item up to the seller individually. After one item is resolved, note the resolution and go onto the next. Don’t recite everything you found at once or they will become overwhelmed and they could refuse to sell it to you and look for another sucker.

With that being said, here’s how to actually talk someone down!

Category of Product matters a lot. Depreciation of the product’s value has a lot to do with what it is! Here’s just a few that have varying depreciation rates. Each category has a ton of FORUMS, BOARDS, and FREE INFORMATION applied to it’s operability and value. Just look for it on the internet.

Cars depreciate heavily on a new car (purchased by some idiot) by a few thousand dollars . The next thing people look at is how many miles are on the engine / drivetrain. At 200,000 miles without an engine swap, most cars are worth less than $1000 and are not worth looking at, no matter how nice they were taken care of. Next thing to knock people down on are the price on the Kelly Blue Book, or Edmunds. Look the car up and print out the value of the car, use it to your advantage. If it doesn’t work to your advantage, don’t whip it out. It can be a double-edged sword if you are planning to lowball him further. Just don’t let a price on a piece of paper reinforce his argument.

Motorcycles hardly depreciate and hold their value if serviced regularly. They require less work than a car and many users work on their own.

Handguns / rifles don’t really go down in value unless there is a flaw publicly pointed out. Guns, especially rifles and shotguns go down in price depending on gun law leniency. Handguns are usually stable prices.

Computers (My Forte!) Depreciate HEAVILY after purchase, and every few months. Dual core computers with at least 2GB RAM are worth buying if you need a PC. Anything else had better be ultra-portable otherwise, don’t buy it.

Making an offer that benefits you and the seller

If they want $1000 and if it’s worth $1200, and you can point a few flaws out, call it $800. They will either shut off or try to reason with you. They may try to make it $900. Depending on what you are willing to pay, you may take it. You can ask for perks if you pay full price, or you can give him something to sweeten his deal that you don’t need. “I have an ipod at home that’s doing nothing. Want it?”

That’s it so far. I will edit this as people ask me to. Feel free to comment or question anything here.

April 27, 2011

ELECTRONICS

Know your current technologies! If you don’t care just scroll below for tips, you lazy bastard.

Cables

  • HDMI (Copper digital cable for A/V)
  • FIBER (Fiberglass/glass digital cable for data)
  • CAT7 (Copper Digital cable for data /alarms)
  • DVI (Copper digital cable for Video)
  • COAX (Copper analog cable for A/V)

Technologies

  • DTV (480p)
  • HDTV (720p-1080p)
  • LCD TV (An array of liquid crystals that change color as current is applied on a grid)
  • Rear Projection TV (A miniature projector shoots an image backwards to a screen from inside the TV showing a stright picture.
  • Plasma TV (A negative-pressure space filled with gas that arcs across an element to the screen to produce different colors.
  • Progressive scan (60 lines of resolution shows at every 1/60th of a second)
  • Interlaced scan (30 lines of resolution shown every 1/60th of a second.)

Types of TVs

LCD TVs

Look for artifact, color blemishes on the screen. Look for dead pixels, and check the date when it was manufactured. You shouldn’t pay any more than $200 for a 32″ and no more than 900 for a 50″. It has a vibrant image, high resolution, and compatibility with PCs.

Rear Projection TVs

While a show is playing, walk to the left and right angle of the tv and see how much the picture fades. If it fades too much, it doesn’t have a good “Wide Viewing Angle”. This is indicative of an old TV. Also gauge the view from above and below. Your living room needs to have space for the back end of the TV too, as they are about 2-3 feet thick. The price for a big TV may be attractive ($400-$500 for a 52″) but it is probably old and the bulbs need replacement. Look up how much a bulb costs on Ebay before you buy it.

Plasma TVs.

Avoid all plasma TVs made before 2007. The old TVs started to go fuzzy after about a year or two when the ‘bulb elements’ lost their ‘charge’. The newer lineup of TVs are designed to work a lot longer, and are cheaper than and LCD. Their picture is more vibrant that an Rear Projection TV, but in the end they are just a bulb of fragile glass that wiimotes can penetrate easily without protection.
I’ll continue my electronics stuff another time.

Computers: What to buy

April 27, 2011

First and foremost, look at the Processor type. There are few to AVOID COMPLETELY and some to LOVE!

AVOID THESE PROCESSORS

  • INTEL CELERON (Slow, small l2 cache)
  • INTEL CELERON M (Slow, small l2 cache)
  • INTEL CELERON D (Slow, small l2 cache)
  • INTEL CELERON X2 (Slow, unreliable, hot)
  • AMD SEMPRON (Slow, unreliable, hot)
  • AMD SEMPRON M (Slow, unreliable, hot)
  • AMD TURION 64 (Dated)
  • AMD SEMPRON X2 (unreliable, hot)
  • INTEL PENTIUM M (Dated)
  • PENTIUM 4 PRESCOTT CORE (Ranges from 2.6GHz to 3.2GHz and fits in a 775 socket. VERY HOT)
  • INTEL PENTIUM D (Dated, runs VERY HOT)

LOVE THESE PROCESSORS

  • Intel Core Series (light, fast enough)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo Series (Very cool, quite fast)
  • Intel Pentium T series (Many are Re-branded core2 duos)
  • Intel Pentium E series (Core2 duos, renamed)
  • Intel Pentium i3/i5/i7 (Newest in the lineup)
  • AMD 64 X2 (Old, but powerful. A bit hot)
  • AMD Turion X2 (Old, but powerful. A bit hot)
  • Intel ATOM (New, runs very cool)
  • Anything that has an NVIDIA ION II running in it! (Because it’s awesome! That’s why)

Other things to consider:

  • Don’t buy it if there’s less than 1GB of RAM in it.
  • Dont buy if the hard drive is 80GB or less. This could indicate age. Hard drives are the #1 part in PCs that die.
  • Don’t buy if it has food or a sugary drink spilled on it, EVER. Sugary drinks coat copper contacts and can mess with normal electronic functions, it can burn out / unbalance fans, etc.
  • Don’t buy if the screen has artifacts or a lot of dead pixels.
  • Try to get a warranty out of it in writing. Even 60 days is good from a used PC. (Of course I offer all those things in my shop!)

Virus scans taking too long?

April 27, 2011

Every PC needs antivirus if it’s connected to the internet. It scans your protected operating system files (POS for short, lol) and goes through your temporary internet files too. If you clean out your temporary internet files by using CCleaner. Use Defraggler to defrag your drive for optimal performance. (Note, you should backup your data before performing a defrag.)

I’ve seen virus scans down to a fraction of what it used to take. 20 minutes to 5 minutes if your data is clean and organized! Heck, I recommended you two programs that AUTOMATICALLY DO IT FOR YOU. So… what are you waiting for?

Crawsome