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February 10, 2015  12:02 AM

Give a Little Now, Save Big Software Bucks Later

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Free software, GIMP, libreoffice, Linux, Windows

I recently downloaded the latest version of LibreOffice, the free, open source office suite I use when my work requires print-style text formatting, a slide show or a spreadsheet. Or, more often, to read and work with a document prepared in a proprietary office suite like the one Microsoft sells. And after I finished my download, I donated $10 to The Document Foundation, which maintains LibreOffice. I didn’t have to pay $10 for the latest version of the software, but I did because it’s the right thing to do — and also because it’s almost always less expensive to support a free software project than to buy commercial software.
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January 31, 2015  7:49 PM

Only a Short Time Remaining for HDTV and Low-End Laptop Deals (Until June)

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Chromebook, laptop, Uncategorized, Windows

Save 30%!Here comes the Super Bowl! And there it goes! Suddenly, there is no compelling reason to buy an even bigger HDTV than you already have, especially if you’re an American male. And low-cost laptop prices seem to be rising slowly after their annual post-Christmas slump. But they *are* rising, and once tax refunds start hitting there will be more buyers for both laptops and TVs, so if you want to buy either one you’d better get moving, at least if you want to get the best deals available before the end of the tax refund spending season, which we can loosely call June 1.
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January 13, 2015  6:03 PM

Fun with Android ~ and a $149 Microsoft 8″ Tablet, too

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Android, Microsoft, Tablet

Tablets keep getting cheaper. Today’s bargain, courtesy of my LogicBuy newsletter subscription, is an ASUS VivoTab 8 M81C-B1-MSBK Signature Edition Tablet running Windows 8.1. Not a bad deal for a tablet with Windows and — Wait! There’s More! — a year’s subscription to Office 365 personal edition, supposedly a $69.99 value. We don’t know how long this deal will last, so if you’ve always wanted a tablet running Windows, you’d better move fast. But enough about Windows. Let’s talk about Android.
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January 6, 2015  4:42 PM

2015: The Year Laptops Took Over — With Help From the Cloud

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Chromebook, cloud, laptop, Mac, MacBook Pro, Server, SSD, Video, Windows

Once upon a time there was a little computer you could carry around with you in a briefcase or in a smaller, specialized piece of luggage. You could open this little computer up so that its keyboard sat on your lap and its screen faced you, although it was usually more comfortable to use if it was on a desk or table. In any case, it was small, expensive, and underpowered. It was something you used because you didn’t have access to your ‘real’ computer. But this has changed. Laptops, even Chromebooks, are becoming primary computers for a growing number of people, especially those who use their computers for business.
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January 1, 2015  12:46 AM

Looking Forward to 2015: Security, Security, Security

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Hackers, Security, Sony, Windows

This is a short post, because it is the one that says good-bye to 2014 and hello to 2015. I am not a big fan of year-end posts, but all my journalist buds are doing them so I might as well do one, too. And the three main things I see happening to us in 2015 are security breaches, security breaches, and security breaches.
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December 29, 2014  11:18 PM

Time to Shop for TVs, not Computers

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Uncategorized

We are now into the post-Christmas TV sales hiatus, which experts in the consumer electronics field tell me lasts until about a week before the Super Bowl, which is February 1 this year. It seems that a whole lot of men feel the Super Bowl is a good excuse to buy a 240″ ultra-HD Supervision(TM) TV. So if our old TV is getting blurry, we only have a few weeks to glom onto a new one at an out-of-season discount price.
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December 26, 2014  7:53 PM

Good Bye Christmas, Hello Year-End Bargains

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Servers, Vendors

Finally! The pre-Christmas shopping madness is over. From now through the 1st of January — and often beyond — we’re into gift return madness, which can be as irritating as shopping madness. Go to a store? You’re kidding me! Both the local Walmart and Best Buy have packed parking lots. Hopefully, you don’t have any gifts to return. I only have one, and it’s from Amazon so returning it is a breeze. But that’s not what makes this time of year special. This is the last week of the year, and is traditionally the best time to get great deals on high-cost items *not* bought through big box retailers.
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December 12, 2014  10:11 PM

How Not to Get Ripped Off on Electronics Buys at Christmas

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Uncategorized

Actually, these “how not to get ripped off” tips are valid any time of the year, not just at Christmas, Hannukah, Festivus or whatever winter solstice holiday you hold dear. The impetus for this post comes from colleague Preston Gralla, but at the end I’ve included an instance in which *I* got ripped off by basically not believing a company could do something as sleazy as this one did.
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December 1, 2014  5:14 PM

Instead of Saving Money, Increase Your Income

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
Employment, Job, Linux, Search

The best thing of all is to save money and earn more of it. And now that December is upon us, it’s a great time to look for a new job even as you save money by getting your family and friends thoughtful — as opposed to merely expensive — holiday gifts. You may have heard that this is a bad time to look for a new job because many hiring managers take time off around the year-end holidays. What you don’t hear as often is that many applicants go into hibernation from now until after January 1, too, so the odds may actually be more in your favor now than in “better” parts of the year. And the work situation is almost always better for people in I.T. than for people in other fields year ’round — including December.
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November 28, 2014  11:40 PM

Thankful for Modern I.T.

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller
battery, Cellular, Computers, laptop, Modems, phone

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and as I sat at our supper table I thought about how many I.T. advances we’ve enjoyed in the last few decades, and how we should be thankful for them. So that’s what I’m doing today, on Black Friday, instead of shopping.
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