Cheap Computing

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January 30, 2014  8:43 PM

A Great Deal on a 7″ Google Nexus Tablet – $129

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, mobile, sale, tablet

nexusIt’s an actual brand-new Asus Google Nexus 7 32 GB for $129, including shipping. This is the lowest price I’ve seen on this well-reviewed tablet brand-new, although I’ve seen a few refurb ones for $110 or so. The deal is on NewEgg’s eBay site, and they say “supplies are limited,” so if you want an ultra-cheap but really good Android tablet, you’d better move fast! (And while you’re on eBay, check out other NewEgg discount items listed there. NewEgg’s eBay site is a fine source for ultra-bargains and super-reduced refurbished items year-round.)

January 24, 2014  3:54 AM

Be Careful Not to be Too Cheap When Buying Electronics

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, buy, free, mobile, work

CheapSometimes being too cheap costs me money. I’m not talking about putting off an oil change or other car maintenance too long and blowing up the motor, but about buying electronic devices that look like good deals at first, but aren’t good enough to do the job I need done. Then I end up buying another device that *will* do the job. This often costs me more than it would have cost to buy a more expensive device in the first place…
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January 17, 2014  4:24 AM

Cross-Platform Applications Save Time, Therefore Money

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, Apple, buy, cloud, data, email, enterprise, free, GPL, graphics, iOS, iPhone, IT, laptop, LibreOffice, Linux, Mac, Microsoft, mobile, office, PC, software

chromeI use Google’s Chrome browser in Windows, Mac, and Android, and I use the (essentially identical) Chromium browser in Linux. Yes, I’m trusting Google with passwords and other important data, but the convenience is exquisite. I have the same bookmarks on all my computers, from my biggest desktop to my smallest cell phone. Some of my work is done for hourly pay, and some is done by the job (i.e. I get a flat price for each Cheap Computing post, no matter how long it takes me to write). When I’m working by the job, speed increases my hourly rate. So yes, time is money. And fast, cross-platform apps save me time, which means they save me money.
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January 6, 2014  10:33 PM

Why I’m Becoming Obsessed with Android

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, Apple, buy, cloud, free, iOS, iPhone, laptop, mobile, online, PC, sale, tablet

android-nexus7The Android OS, aside from (Yay!) being a Linux variant, may be the fastest-growing operating system in the world today. Add a bluetooth keyboard to a 7″ Android tablet, and you have a mini-notebook computer for less than $200. Add a wide-angle lens to that tablet or an Android phone with a decent built-in camera, and you have a pocket camcorder that may not be very good in low light conditions, but is fine for recording interviews at trade shows and other common video tasks. Apple’s iPhone and iPad are unquestionably the BMWs of handheld devices, but look at the cars on the road. You see a whole lot of Hyundais and Fords and Toyatas for every BMW you spot. The reason for this is price. You can now buy a decent Android phone for well under $100, and good Android tablets currently cost $150 or less, with the price point for a name-brand Android tablet with a 5MP (or better) camera heading rapidly for $100.
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January 2, 2014  5:04 PM

Acer Closing Out ‘Limited Stock’ of 7″ Android Tablets for $99

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, sale, shopping, tablet

A110_mainI’m on a lot of “deals” email lists, including Acer’s. Today I got an email from Acer that said they had ‘limited stock’ of their Iconia A110-07g08u Android Tablets on sale for $99. I’ve seen less-expensive tablets, and I’ve seen tablets with better specs, but this Acer deal is about as low as I’ve ever seen a “name brand” tablet. I bought a new Asus tablet last week, and everyone in my family who is old enough to use a tablet has one, so I (sigh) can’t take advantage of this deal. But maybe *you* can, if you move fast enough.

December 30, 2013  7:21 PM

The Online Subscriptions Are Too Damn High (and other leftover thoughts from 2013)

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, business, buy, free, iOS, iPhone, New Year, read, software, tablet

2013-Calendar-Printable-38When the Washington Post first talked about setting up a paywall and asked readers what they thought, I said that their projected price of $79 per year was too damn high, and that I’d probably become a paid subscriber if it got down to $5 a month or less. I knew a way to read any article on the Post website without paying for it, but it was tedious. I was willing to pay — but not a large amount for an out-of-town paper, even though it was from the area where I lived before moving to Florida and was one of the most politically influential newspapers in America — and one that has paid me to write (freelance) for it, too.
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December 24, 2013  6:33 PM

Between Now and the New Year is a Great Time to Buy Cars — and Enterprise Computers

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
automotive, business, buy, Christmas, sale, work

buy-now-blueYes, there are after-Christmas sales at virtually every big box and department store. And there are gift return mobs, too. It takes a special kind of person to shove through those crowds, and I am not that person. The same items will be on sale, probably at deeper discounts, in early 2014. So let’s talk about cars and enterprise computers, both of which are often discounted in the last week of the year.
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December 16, 2013  9:53 PM

Will Android Laptops Ever Dominate the Market?

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, business, buy, Christmas, cloud, email, iOS, laptop, Linux, software, Windows

google-android-tabletYou’ve read articles about how PC and notebook computer sales are dropping. So have I. And there are corresponding articles about how smartphones and tablets are selling like crazy. I’m willing to go along with this trend and make a tablet my next computer purchase, along with a keyboard for it. I’m so ready for a tabputer (a word I just made up, but probably isn’t original) that my wife laughs at me when I try to touch my current laptop’s screen as I would my phone or tablet screen, and how (or so she says) I look puzzled when nothing happens.
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December 9, 2013  9:09 PM

Tech Gifts Don’t Need to be Expensive to be Appreciated

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
audio, buy, Christmas, gift

41tTRrnHCEL._AA160_Christmas is upon us once again, along with many other solstice holidays, so many of us are in a gift-giving mood. Being tech-oriented people, we are likely to buy tech-type gifts for at least a few family members and friends. Expensive ones? Possibly. The stores are full of laptops and tablets and HDTVs and other items that run $400 or more. But what if we’re on a pinched budget? Or looking for small, simple stocking-stuffers instead of “major” gift items. There are still many tech gift possibilities out there.
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November 27, 2013  9:45 PM

Happy Christmas Shopping Season!

Posted by: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, Apple, audio, book, coffee, customer service, free, gift, graphics, sale, shopping, tablet

99cent‘Tis Black Friday, Let’s run to the mall,
Trample or get trampled, one and all.
Buy the specials — and some items
That are seriously overpriced,
Fa la la lall.


Ah, yes. It’s Christmas time — or “the solstice holiday” or Hanukah or whatever time your religion or personal preference dictates. In any case, it’s the season when Americans run out and buy lots of… stuff…. for family and friends.
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