28 Tips & Tricks
             to
Save $$ Using Your Computer
          Steven Kieley
           July 7, 2009
Revive your Old PC
• It still might save you some money
• Older PC’s, while too slow for speeds that
  we’ve gotten used t...
Revive your Old PC
• Wipe the hard drive and install Linux
  – Makes an old Pentium feel like a dual-core PC
• Convert it ...
OR….
•   Plug your old PC into a router
•   Add a TV tuner card
•   Install MediaPortal software
•   Record your favorite ...
Buy Big Ticket Items Online
• HDTV’s can be hundreds of $ cheaper online
  vs. big box stores, like Best Buy
• 46” LCD as ...
Buy Little Items Online
• Bought a cable in a store recently?
  – 6’ HDMI cable can be $60-70
• Monoprice.com sells same f...
Stop Buying Music CD’s
• Mall prices run around $15
• Deepdiscount.com sells for $11
• Amazon.com MP3 store sells for $9
 ...
Buy Refurbished Hardware
• Dell’s Outlet Store (dell.com/outlet) discounts
  some laptops by 25%
• May have some cosmetic ...
Wait!
•   Don’t do anything
•   Just go to wishradar.com or pricegrabber.com
•   Register and select an item
•   You’ll be...
Sign Up
• If you routinely shop at certain retailers, sign
  up for their email newsletters
  – Borders, eReader, others p...
Save on Shipping
• Go to freeshippingon.com to see which
  retailers are currently offering no-charge
  shipping
• Or go t...
Live Search for Savings
• Go to search.live.com/cashback for price
  comparisons on item you want
  – Sponsored by Microso...
Don’t Print
• “Print” only to PDF instead
• Cutepdfwriter.com
• Free download
• Save your paper and ink by “printing” to a...
Print in Economy Mode
Printing
• Print two sheets on every page
• Fonts are large enough to read easily
Print Both Sides
• For most programs:
  – Go to “print”, “properties”, “finishing”, “both
    sides”
Use Third Party Ink
• Often has been shown to yield more prints per
  cartridge than brand names
• OK for printing text; m...
Get Rid of Cable
• Download your shows via. the internet
  – Many are already on TV network websites
  – Other sites inclu...
Forget the TIVO
• Use your computer
  – Windows Media Center already installed on newer
    PC’s
  – TV Tuner card costs $...
Free Text Messages
•   Usually about $.20 per message
•   Telco plans cost about $5-$20 per month
•   GizmoSMS.com one-way...
Manage Your Money
           without Spending it
• Quicken and MS Money need periodic
  upgrading, if for nothing else, to...
Pay Bills Online
• Use automated bill pay through your bank
  – Most are completely free
• Use Quicken or MS Money
  – May...
Worried About Security?



                      Check for this
Internet Security




                                               And this




Also check for this
                    ...
Internet Security
• Use a virtual credit card account
  – Good only for single use or single vendor
  – Handy when you don...
Internet Security
How the https Protocol Works
Encryption
Internet Security




    Better yet….
 Take our course on
  computer safety
Laptop Batteries
• Don’t Overcharge
  – Constant charging reduces battery life
     • Will need replacement sooner
  – Pul...
Cut Your Landline
• Use VOIP instead
  – Skype.com
     • Free computer to computer calls anywhere in world
     • Include...
Dirt-Cheap International Calls
• Truphone.com
  – Check it out via. the internet
  – Use your current cell phone without a...
Add a Second Line
• Save on phone company charges
• Magicjack.com
  – Free voicemail
  – Caller ID
  – Local & Long Distan...
Free Slingbox
• What’s Slingbox?
  – Watch your TV or computer files everywhere
• Go to orb.com
• Enjoy all your computer’...
Create charts, diagrams, floor plans?

•   Microsoft Professional Visio costs about $559
•   Standard version is about $25...
Use Open Source Software
• OpenOffice takes the place of MS Office
• Paint.net can replace Photoshop
• Linux can replace W...
Try It Before You Buy It
• Such as cutepdfwriter.com can be obtained
  from cnetdownload.com
• One stop shopping for downl...
Burn CD’s If You Have to
• Don’t buy Nero or Easy Media Creator
• Use InfraRecorder.org
• Open Source software
Want to Learn More?

 Check us out at www.ewingsnet.com

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing
       999 Lower Ferry Road
30 Tips & Tricks
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30 Tips & Tricks

  1. 1. 28 Tips & Tricks to Save $$ Using Your Computer Steven Kieley July 7, 2009
  2. 2. Revive your Old PC • It still might save you some money • Older PC’s, while too slow for speeds that we’ve gotten used to, can still be useful and save us from buying other technology • Fitted out with a new operating system and used as a single-purpose machine, you won’t notice its age
  3. 3. Revive your Old PC • Wipe the hard drive and install Linux – Makes an old Pentium feel like a dual-core PC • Convert it into a DVR by adding a TV tuner – Install MediaPortal for free – Save the cable box monthly rental
  4. 4. OR…. • Plug your old PC into a router • Add a TV tuner card • Install MediaPortal software • Record your favorite TV shows or download Netflix movies
  5. 5. Buy Big Ticket Items Online • HDTV’s can be hundreds of $ cheaper online vs. big box stores, like Best Buy • 46” LCD as much as $500 cheaper • Check sites such as Nextag.com, Amazon.com • Sales tax savings alone may be as much as $200
  6. 6. Buy Little Items Online • Bought a cable in a store recently? – 6’ HDMI cable can be $60-70 • Monoprice.com sells same for $10 • Meritline.com sells two for $11 • PC World tests confirm same quality
  7. 7. Stop Buying Music CD’s • Mall prices run around $15 • Deepdiscount.com sells for $11 • Amazon.com MP3 store sells for $9 – Individual tracks as low as 99¢
  8. 8. Buy Refurbished Hardware • Dell’s Outlet Store (dell.com/outlet) discounts some laptops by 25% • May have some cosmetic blemishes, but 90 day warranties • HP, Lenovo also have similar sites • Blu-Ray players, GPS devices, universal remotes all available (Buy.com, Newegg.com, ecost.com)
  9. 9. Wait! • Don’t do anything • Just go to wishradar.com or pricegrabber.com • Register and select an item • You’ll be notified when the price drops
  10. 10. Sign Up • If you routinely shop at certain retailers, sign up for their email newsletters – Borders, eReader, others provide exclusive discounts for registered subscribers
  11. 11. Save on Shipping • Go to freeshippingon.com to see which retailers are currently offering no-charge shipping • Or go to dealtaker.com – Click on “stores & coupons” for alphabetical listing – Or type in “free shipping”
  12. 12. Live Search for Savings • Go to search.live.com/cashback for price comparisons on item you want – Sponsored by Microsoft – Cashback from participating stores – Actual site name has been recently changed to bing.com
  13. 13. Don’t Print • “Print” only to PDF instead • Cutepdfwriter.com • Free download • Save your paper and ink by “printing” to a file in your computer • Then send as an email attachment • Recipient does not need to have same software as you
  14. 14. Print in Economy Mode
  15. 15. Printing • Print two sheets on every page • Fonts are large enough to read easily
  16. 16. Print Both Sides • For most programs: – Go to “print”, “properties”, “finishing”, “both sides”
  17. 17. Use Third Party Ink • Often has been shown to yield more prints per cartridge than brand names • OK for printing text; may not be good for photo printing – Quality and fade-resistance probably less than name brands, but for printing short term documents, is adequate
  18. 18. Get Rid of Cable • Download your shows via. the internet – Many are already on TV network websites – Other sites include: • Fancast.com • Hulu.com • ESPN360.com
  19. 19. Forget the TIVO • Use your computer – Windows Media Center already installed on newer PC’s – TV Tuner card costs $50-$100 – TIVO costs $150-600 plus monthly or annual fee
  20. 20. Free Text Messages • Usually about $.20 per message • Telco plans cost about $5-$20 per month • GizmoSMS.com one-way or two-way premium • Cherple.com two-way
  21. 21. Manage Your Money without Spending it • Quicken and MS Money need periodic upgrading, if for nothing else, to get tech. support • Gnucash.org imports Quicken files, does online-banking, imports stock quotes • Other web-based apps include: – Mint.com – Rudder.com
  22. 22. Pay Bills Online • Use automated bill pay through your bank – Most are completely free • Use Quicken or MS Money – May cost $9.95/month – Breakeven with 22 bills paid each month • Automated reminders may save late fees
  23. 23. Worried About Security? Check for this
  24. 24. Internet Security And this Also check for this Check for the green background in IE 7 & 8 (not just http)
  25. 25. Internet Security • Use a virtual credit card account – Good only for single use or single vendor – Handy when you don’t want to have to remember to cancel a subscription • Use a card with a lower limit • Avoid using your checking account card – Credit cards allow more time to discover fraud – Important payments (mortgage, etc.) could bounce if overdrawn • Don’t shop over an unencrypted wireless network (including your own)
  26. 26. Internet Security
  27. 27. How the https Protocol Works
  28. 28. Encryption
  29. 29. Internet Security Better yet…. Take our course on computer safety
  30. 30. Laptop Batteries • Don’t Overcharge – Constant charging reduces battery life • Will need replacement sooner – Pull the battery and use without it when possible – Fully discharge before recharging
  31. 31. Cut Your Landline • Use VOIP instead – Skype.com • Free computer to computer calls anywhere in world • Includes video • Low charges for calling a landline phone – Viatalk.com • $199/year ($16.58/month) • Keep existing number • Caller ID, voicemail, call forwarding
  32. 32. Dirt-Cheap International Calls • Truphone.com – Check it out via. the internet – Use your current cell phone without any changes – Currently for i-phone, Blackberry and Nokia users only; others being added – Eliminates Skype phone charges to landline phones – International calls costs a few cents per minute – 97% discount over AT&T charges
  33. 33. Add a Second Line • Save on phone company charges • Magicjack.com – Free voicemail – Caller ID – Local & Long Distance – $20/year
  34. 34. Free Slingbox • What’s Slingbox? – Watch your TV or computer files everywhere • Go to orb.com • Enjoy all your computer’s files on any other device • Watch your TV on other devices • Save the cost of a Slingbox ($179 & up)
  35. 35. Create charts, diagrams, floor plans? • Microsoft Professional Visio costs about $559 • Standard version is about $259 • Gliffy.com is free • $5/month for ad-free version
  36. 36. Use Open Source Software • OpenOffice takes the place of MS Office • Paint.net can replace Photoshop • Linux can replace Windows
  37. 37. Try It Before You Buy It • Such as cutepdfwriter.com can be obtained from cnetdownload.com • One stop shopping for downloads • Judge the quality of the download by the number of previous downloads • Steer your way past numerous misleading attempts to pay for more costly alternatives
  38. 38. Burn CD’s If You Have to • Don’t buy Nero or Easy Media Creator • Use InfraRecorder.org • Open Source software
  39. 39. Want to Learn More? Check us out at www.ewingsnet.com The Computer Learning Center at Ewing 999 Lower Ferry Road
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