Buying Local at Amazon Prices

Near me is an Office Depot. I like buying there when ever I can, because I want the local resource to stick around.

However, I’m not always keen on their prices.

I discovered a while back that my Office Depot store will match the price of the same item found on and sold by Amazon.

When I need something, I frequently will look on Office Depot first, then see if I can find the same item on Amazon. If there is a match, I printout the Amazon listing or bring it up on my phone and head to Office Depot with the information. Once the Office Depot staff confirms the match and that the item is sold by Amazon, they’ve always given me the Amazon price.

Dealing with Flash Drives

Over the years I’ve accumulated a LOT of flash drives. So many drives here and there that I had completely lost track of what was on what drive.

I finally decided to take control of this assorted mess by designating a container for the devices and looking at the contents of each one. However, there is really no room add a label or write on the drive to indicate what was inside.

After some thinking, I decided to get a box of #3 coin envelopes. Each envelope is easily big enough to store a single drive and there is enough room on the envelope to write notes. There are bigger envelopes, but I decided on the #3 in part to keep the storage size down. The minimum number of envelopes I could purchase was 500. So, with a lot of envelopes, using new ones when content changes is not a problem. Now I can easily see which drives have bootable Linux operating systems and which drives contain files with content.

Interval Timer

For a very, very long time I’ve been searching for a digital interval timer. I wanted the ability to set a timer that was beyond the simple countdown timer. I wanted to be able to have something on x number of minutes and off y number of minutes. Why? Here are some examples:

— my cup (for tea) warmer was a tad too warm for me, so if I could cut the amount of heat time to 2/3 or 1/2, it would still stay warm and use less electricity

— I have some cooling fans that don’t need to be on 24/7. Coming on every 10 minutes for 3 minutes could be enough.

Finally, I discovered what I wanted — on Amazon. Click here to see what I purchased.

I’ve seen the same device under different brand names.

I’ve been testing it out on a string of LED red Christmas lights for a week. Going solid. Two minutes on, one minute off.

The device also does count down turn on. Or, you can do the interval within a set span of time.

Programming the interval was not difficult, but one must follow the instructions.

Capturing Voice Mail Greeting

Today I encountered a problem that needed a good solution and I finally found one — after a bit of frustration. I was porting a phone number from one carrier to another. I wanted to keep the exact same voice mail greeting that was on the losing carrier. Unfortunately, there was no way to download the audio. So, I tried to get Google voice working on my desktop but could not get that working right (as it has in the past) so that I could try to capture the audio with Audacity. I then tried a few apps on my Android phone. The apps would only record my voice, not what I was listening to. Finally, I sought out a cloud service (via Bing and Google searches) to record calls. I created a trial account with I called the phone number through SaveYourCall then downloaded the audio file. Then I brought the audio file into Audacity, did some editing to clean it up, and uploaded to the new carrier. This took longer than I had wanted, but it got done. If one tool does not work, try another. If that does not work, try another.

MySocialSuite Seems Dubious to Me

On May 21, 2016 I received a promotional email from Hostgator for My first thought was that this is a competitor.

I decided to check it out and what I found — or didn’t find — makes me dubious.

There is no about page. Who is behind this? No clue.

I did a whois lookup on the domain and it is privacy protected.

The contact page is simply a form. There is no company info at all on the site, unlike HootSuite, which shows a map of their headquarters in Vancouver, BC.

I wrote to Hostgator asking some questions about MySocialSuite. No response.

I filled out the contact form at MySocialSuite asking for more info. In response I got an automated email that started with this:

“Thank you for emailing Support. As you know we have over 10 Million users so providing support to absolutely everyone is very difficult.”

I found that statement interesting, considering:

* The domain was created January 13, 2016 according to whois. They went from nothing to 10 million users in four months? I don’t believe that in the least.

* If they had 10 million users, one would think there would be scans of hits on Google about this service.

* If they had 10 million users, one would think there would be screen shots and training videos. There are none on the site as I type.

* If they had 10 million users, why isn’t the company being above board by revealing ownership and HQ location?

My conclusion: best to skip and I wonder why Hostgator would even promote such a place, which in turn raises suspicions about Hostgator.