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Cutting the Cord with a Raspberry Pi 3 (10-9-18)

If you've been paying attention these days, you know that it's harder and harder to find a DVR that will record Over-The-Air (OTA) TV without subscription fees to some online service. This is in addition to the $170 to $400 cost of the DVR. Being the cheapskate that I am, I wanted to see how cheaply I could do this. So, at the beginning of August, I spent a couple of weeks cutting the cable using a Raspberry Pi 3. That's not exactly true. I don't pay for cable. What I actually did was attempt to use a Raspberry Pi 3 coupled with a Hauppauge 950Q model 72001 TV tuner to watch and record TV and watch Netflix and other things online. The results were mixed... Read More

Why I Love the Idea of Community File Sharing and Mesh Networks (10-7-18)

As it ages, the internet has begun to develop some significant health problems. The problems I'm referring to are well known--more government control and censorship through regulation, less freedom of speech, more centralization into the hands of giant companies, more restrictions on individual initiative, less privacy, more cost to individuals. Unlike our bodies, which will eventually get old and die, the internet can be healed. But, whether it will be healed depends entirely on us... Read More

What is Wrong with a Cheap Cell Phone? (10-5-18)

About two years ago, I saw a Hauwei Union Y538 Android smart phone on sale at Best Buy for $20 (regular price $30), so I bought it... Read More

How to Avoid being Tracked and Spied-On while on Line (10-3-18)

There are legitimate reasons to want to avoid being tracked and spied-on while you're online. But aside from that, doesn't it feel creepy knowing you're probably being watched every moment that you're online and that information about where you go and what you do could potentially be sold to anyone at any time--to advertisers, your health insurance company, a future employer, the government, a snoopy neighbor, even? Wouldn't you feel better not having to worry about that on top of everything else you have to worry about every day? ... Read More

7 Neat, Free Things You can get on the Internet (10-2-18)

Amazing amounts of free things exist out on the internet. Here are the ones I appreciate the most... Read More

Should You Pay for Email? (9-27-18)

Given that you can get Gmail for free with a huge amount of storage space for life and two-factor authentication, why would you want to pay for email? Well, if you're a cheapskate like me, you wouldn't. But there are reasons that you might choose to shell out the money... Read More

Why You Probably shouldn't Bank on Line (9-27-18)

These days banks want their customers using electronic banking, because it's cheaper for the banks than teller transactions or telephone transactions when an actual human is involved. The problem is that it probably isn't in your best interest to do your banking on-line. Here's why... Read More

There's no Such Thing as a Secure Computer--How to be Relatively Secure. (9-27-18)

Giant companies spend millions of dollars a year on computer security staff to keep their computer systems "secure". And, as we've been hearing for years, data is still stolen out of their computers all the time. The bottom line is this: no matter what anyone tells you, there's no such thing as a secure computer. It's inherently impossible. There are only more secure computers and less secure computers. And computer security is really, really hard. So how does the average person who isn't a computer security professional go about having a more secure computer without spending millions of dollars? ... Read More

The Cloud is a Scam (9-26-18)

In the early days, before the mid-eighties, we called the cloud by another name: "mainframes". That was back in the days when computer computation time and storage were extremely expensive, before "microcomputers" became useful as a tool in industry. We're talking a hundred thousand dollars in inflation-adjusted dollars to rent a computer for a month and a million dollars to buy a megabyte of storage... Read More

Why You should absolutely be using Linux! (9-26-18)

These days, everyone should be using Linux! I know that isn't going to happen any time soon, but I just have to say it again. Everyone should be using Linux! Being a cheapskate, I can't help being in love with the Linux operating system--even though at times, it's a painful kind of love. Here's why... Read More

How to lower Your Monthly Internet Bill (9-25-18)

These days consumers can find themselves in the position of paying exorbitant prices for bundled communications services, including internet. This article tells you how you may be able to reduce your cost for monthly internet service... Read More

How to get a Cheap Laptop (9-25-18)

The first steps in successfully obtaining an inexpensive computer that you will be happy with are: 1) knowing what you need, 2) knowing what you're buying, and 3) knowing quality when you see it. This article takes the process from there to show you where to shop or how to otherwise legally acquire a cheap laptop... Read More

Why used Computers can be such Good Deals (9-24-18)

You hear a lot of trepidation out on the internet when the question of buying a used computer comes up. It seems that most articles don't recommend it. The fact is that you can easily make a mistake. But as you make yourself more knowledgeable, your risk goes down. The risk never goes away completely, but you can learn what to look for and what to avoid. But why risk it? The reason is simple, the right used computer can be a really great buy... Read More

Buy a Computer at the Knee of the Cost Versus Time Curve (9-24-18)

If you can live without the newest computer, you can almost always find the best value by buying at the knee of the cost versus time curve. Time is the time since the technology first appeared on the market, and cost is the cost to you to buy that technology today. The reason you may want to buy there is that this is where you can get a great deal while still getting a computer that is eminently useful... Read More

Know a Quality Computer when You see It (9-24-18)

Being able to identify a quality computer is an important skill to develop over a lifetime of computer buying. Unfortunately, it is also a difficult skill to develop. Fortunately, there are some key features of quality computers. Most of these are more important to look for in laptops, because desktop computers tend to stay put and have more replaceable components: ... Read More

Know What You're Buying Before You Buy a Computer (9-22-18)

The better you understand any computer you're considering buying, the more money you'll save and the more satisfied you will be with your purchase. Most consumers of computers know little about what they're buying. The common result is that they experience significant buyer's remorse when they get their new computer home and discover that it is low quality, frustrating to use, and/or doesn't do everything they want. The way to not fall into this trap is to do your homework before you buy... Read More

Know what You Need Before You Buy a Computer (9-22-18)

Knowing what you need before you buy a new computer may save you a substantial amount of money and will greatly improve your chances of getting the computer you really want. Now, you may be thinking, "Of course I know what kind of a computer I need!", but do you really? Is the computer you're thinking of buying really the one you need? Or is it just the one you want? ... Read More

Laptop Beauty is only Skin Deep, but Functionality goes all the way to the Bone (9-21-18)

Many people like their laptops like they like their women: thin and beautiful. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, as with many women, there are disadvantages to laptops that are thin and beautiful... Read More

Why are there so many Lousy Laptops? (9-21-18)

There are so many really, really, awful, horrible laptops (and desktops) around. The question is why? And what should you do as a result? ... Read More

When Buying a Computer, More Knowledge Equals Lower Cost (9-20-18)

It seems that very few consumers of computers understand this one simple rule: the more you know about computers, the less you pay for them... Read More

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