2012 in review

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Never Trade-In Electronics to Amazon [Updated with Amazon Response]

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Please read to the bottom where I updated with Amazon’s customer response.

I’m not happy with Amazon at all today. We have an iPad 2 and a new iPad in our household which left the original iPad useless.  After “shopping” around I found the best route would be just to trade it in, and after looking at several options Amazon was offering the most money for it.  I was quoted $240 for excellent condition, and I around $216 for a “good” condition.  This was a 1st generation iPad 32GB wi-fi in excellent condition.  This was in the original box, with accessories, and not a scratch on it.  It was always in a case and cleaned regularly. It met the requirements perfectly:

  • Item is in perfect working condition
  • The original manufacturer packagingand all original accessories are intact
  • There is no visible wear or personalization (markings or engraving)
  • Suitable for presenting as a gift

The next category was “good” which they will assign it to items with minimal signs of use.  I figured even if they nitpicked about something it would fit into this category and around $216 was still better than what I would end up with if I was to sell it on eBay.  Yeah…so much for that. I packed the iPad up and shipped it off.  It was received and even though they say you will receive confirmation and payment within 2 business days, it ended up being about a week.  I sent an e-mail off to customer service just to inquire and they gave the usual canned response that it will be processed soon.  About 20 minutes later I received the payment e-mail, and to my surprise it was only for $127 as the condition was downgraded to “acceptable”.  Looking further they said it had “minor cracks or dents”.  Pure BS.

amazon trade-inThe mistake I made was choosing not to have it returned if it wasn’t in the like new condition.  I opted for that because as I said before, the worst I figured it could have been was in good condition and a bit of decrease in price wouldn’t be a big deal.  As you see, a price of $127 is ridiculous.

These are the images I took as I was packing it:

The iPad was nearly flawless and should not have been downgraded to “acceptable”.  They either rushed the processing just to get it done, or lied about the condition.  Either way, there doesn’t seem to be any way to have it looked at again.  I’d really like to see what “scratches and dents” they supposedly found.

Needless to say, I will never trade-in electronics – and probably anything else – to Amazon.  I’m a regular customer and Prime member, and I might also have to reconsider that as well.

Update [October 18th]:

I also sent this blog post to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.  My intent was only to express my experience as I thought it was unfair that there wasn’t a way to challenge the determination of what is acceptable.  Less than a day later I received an e-mail from a member of their Executive Custom Relations team explaining that they will investigate my issue and get back to me within a week.  Just that lone made me happy knowing someone at Amazon was looking into my experience.

After just a few days I received a response back that the item was checked and had a dent in the back.  I still deny this as I detailed above, so I can only guess it was dented when they unpacked it.  Regardless, Amazon apologized for my experience and offered some promotional credits as a goodwill gesture.

I appreciate the response Amazon gave and have turned an unhappy customer into a happy one again.  Great customer service like this is what makes me purchase from Amazon.  Although I still say be cautious when trading in, be sure to elect to have the items returned to you if you don’t agree with their pricing conditions.  Even though I had a rough experience, I would still give them another shot at trade-ins in the future just for their great customer service.


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2011 in review

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Didn’t Find My Last PC, I Built It!

Posted by on Aug 3, 2010 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

I really enjoyed the question of this months Clubhouse Challenge as it made me think of when I actually last found and bought my last desktop PC.  Thinking back, it really has been quite a few years since I bought a fully assembled PC to use.  After I built my first PC, there was really no going back to buying an off-the-shelf or configured PC from a major manufacturer.

Couple of reason why.

  1. Customer support and quality is horrible.  I’m the family and friends “IT guy”, and I can’t recall how many times someone’s name brand PC was turned to junk because of faulty and cheaply assembled motherboards and parts.  Watching them go back and forth with customer support only to be told in the end they couldn’t do anything because “it wasn’t their fault” was enough to decide never to buy like that again.  Building my own PC I know exactly what parts are in it, and if one fails I can easily replace it without having to worry about propriety cases or parts that cost an exorbitant amount of money just to get.
  2. Cost effective.  By taking the time and doing a bit of research I can find some fantastic deals on quality PC components.  Why pay an extra $100 for generic RAM when I can get quality for half the cost just by researching? 
  3. No bloatware.  Take a tour through pretty much any tech forum or social site and you will see countless complaints about the amount of bloatware installed on a “new” PC.  Some manufacturers even charge you just not to include it!  I get a clean copy of Windows, which I can install and reinstall anytime without tons of bloatware, and without having to use special “recovery discs”, just to install the operating system.  It might cost a bit more in the beginning for a copy of Windows, but it is well worth the time spent not uninstalling 20 applications you don’t need.

I’m really not trying to knock big PC manufacturers, but in my experience building your own PC is a rewarding task that I always recommend to anyone with at least a small amount of technical knowledge and understanding. 

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Syncing OneNote 2010 with Office Web Apps

Posted by on Jun 9, 2010 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I made a quick post about the release of Office Web Apps this week, and I have been playing around with it ever since.  My impression so far is WOW!  There’s a lot to talk about, but I wanted to focus on my favorite so far, and that is working with and syncing OneNote notebooks.  OneNote has always been a great piece of software, but it’s one limitation was that it could not easily sync with the web.  OneNote 2010 and Office Web Apps changed that!

Setting up and using syncing was fast and easy, and here is how to do it:

Open OneNote 2010, click File and then select New.  Here you will have the choice to create a new notebook either on the web, your network, or as a local document.  You want to select Web.

6-9-2010 7-23-43 AM Now just enter the document name, and you will be prompted to enter your Live login credentials.  After a moment you will be logged in and viewing a list of your SkyDrive folders.  Select where to store the notebook, and click Create.

I created a notebook for my work notes, and added some text and an image.

6-9-2010 7-28-40 AM

Without doing anything else the notebook is syncing with Office Web Apps.  Now I fire open my browser and head over to office.live.com.  Find my notebook and select it, and my notebook has been synced and I can edit it on the web from any location with web access.

6-9-2010 7-30-40 AM 6-9-2010 7-31-04 AM

That’s it, in just a few minutes I have a notebook synced with Office Web Apps, and no matter where I am or what type of computer I am using, I can access and edit it at anytime!


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Office Web Apps Available on SkyDrive

Posted by on Jun 8, 2010 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Microsoft has made available Office Web  Apps on SkyDrive to everyone in the United States, UK, Canada, and Ireland.  You will be able to create, view, and edit files in Word, OneNote, Excel, and PowerPoint right inside your browser.


Another nice addition is you can view Word and PowerPoint document on many smartphones as well.  I have been playing with it all morning, and already I like this much more than Google Docs.

officeweb_word officewebapps_iphone

Lots more info is available at the Inside Windows Live blog, which can be found here.


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