Routine Order

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Tools to find Cheap Gas

August 26th, 2007 · No Comments

At one point, I was checking GasBuddy religiously for the cheapest gas in my area. Turns out, there are more ways than one to get information about cheap gas.

If desktop widgets are your preferred way of getting info, then there is Gas for Mac users, and GasWatch for Windows users. If you’d like SMS messages, you can text the word “gas” followed by your 5-digit zip code to the number 415-676-8397.

Or you can send an SMS to sms@mobgas.com, gas@gasbuddy.com or gas@fuelgo.com. If you have a smartphone like the iPhone or the SideKick, try GasBuddy ToGo or MobGas Mobile. Finally if you can plunk the dough, get a GPS system for your car, which offers this info in your car, like the Garmin services does.

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The Tintin Movie

August 23rd, 2007 · 2 Comments

The Tintin Movie is bound to be released in 2009. Yes, it is true.

“After 25 years, they finally said ‘OK, let’s go’,” Nick Rodwell, head of Moulinsart NV, said of the protracted talks with Spielberg since the early 1980s.

International Herald Tribune

Tintin Movie

The movie will be created by DreamWorks, that outfit headed by Steven Spielberg. Moulinsart Studios, the owner of Hergé’s rights to Tintin confirmed as much awhile ago. So far, we don’t know which of Tintin’s adventures will be featured in the movie, which could be the first of many, if the first succeeds. If I have anything to do with it, it should be a success!!

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Step-by-Step Guide to Parallel Parking

August 21st, 2007 · 1 Comment

I know how to parallel park, but to teach that to someone is where I have failed consistently. So how do you break down what happens when you parallel park in a endlessly repeatable fashion? The fearless driver attempts it, and succeeds:
Parallel Parking How To

The five steps are all you need to follow. The guide also tells you when to turn in what direction. I suppose a new student could use some practice with the timing and the exact amount to turn the wheel, but all in all, this is an excellent brief tutorial.

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Color Me Impressed

August 8th, 2007 · No Comments

I have never paid attention to the small details of the things that get handed to me at trade fairs and client demos, but the other day, I came across a very well put-together sales pitch kit for a company that does trade show exhibits. It was all put together in a gorgeous presentation folder. Half-jokingly, I asked the lady if their company did the design and produced all that stuff too, you know, in addition to the trade show exhibits they were selling.

Turns out that no, they did not make it themselves. The press kit was done at U.S. Press Direct. The Presentation Folders in particular were simply outstanding. After I got home, I learned from their site that the folders were as cheap as around $1400 for 500 folders. The way she told me, they designed the folders in-house, and uploaded their designs, and since they had past experience with US Press Direct, they did not have to wait to see the proof samples.

I was glad I asked about the kits, its not very often that the makers of these products get publicity – since no company would want them to put the name or details of the maker on their stuff. So I thought I write here to appreciate a good product, and hopefully find this article again the next time I go searching for a good print firm.

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Digital Camera Reviews

August 7th, 2007 · No Comments

I was trying to choose between the Digital SLR (or even SLR-like) camera offering from Canon and Nikon. A google search led to me what looks like an excellent resource for digital camera reviews. The Test Freaks review pages are unique after a fashion. They aggregate reviews on specific camera models from across the web. Few sites succeed in adding value without adding too much original content. The page on the Digital Rebel XT, for example, leads you to many reviews. Not that I need to read too many more reviews to be drooling for one of them big boys! :)
Nikon D70


Since I am not rich enough to afford a full featured, robust dSLR for pursuing what is essentially a hobby, I have been eyeing the Nikon D70, which seems just right for my purposes. You shouldn’t really compare the D70 to the Rebel XT or the Rebel XTi from Canon. They are worlds apart, but the D70 does seem to fit the bill as the perfect hobbyist dSLR. Try out “Serious” photography without breaking the bank. From the Nikon D70 reviews page on Test Freaks, I get the picture that the camera lacks a good white-balance adjustment feature and also a vertical grip. As for the grip, I can only say if its really gonna bug me after I have tried it for a day or two. Unfortunately, one can’t touch and feel things over the ‘web, so I guess I will have to find a brick-and-mortar store to try out the camera. It will be sizable investment for me, and I don’t want no second-guessing.

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DealWhiz: Coupon Codes, Deals and Discounts

June 11th, 2007 · No Comments

I thought I had lost faith in the zillions of deal websites – you know the kind I am talking about, blogs, or sites that list deal after deal for electronics and stuff. I even frequented a forum that I have mentioned on this blog before, so I was like, “oh yeah, so what’s new?,” when my GF told me about this site that has coupon codes and deals. Just another excuse for her to blow her money sky high. Yeah, she’s the kind that would buy eye drops for $1 ’cause its an awesome deal – the catch being, she’d have to buy a 100 bottles of eye drops, and no, her eyes aren’t dry or anything. But don’t tell her I told you that ;)

Dealwhiz is handy to find those darned discount coupons though – for HP, Dell and the lot that seem to be eternally selling at a loss, but still alive and kicking. Never tell someone who has a Dell how much you bought your Dell for – for she will kill you by telling you how much cheaper she bought it for ;) Anyways, to get back to the topic, check out dealwhiz.com for coupon codes, and I am NOT talking about Dell and HP coupons alone, after all, how many PCs/laptops does one need to buy? I found this cold stone creamery coupon that made my day, and kept my sweet tooth happy. ;)

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Get Your Free Zune Player

May 31st, 2007 · 1 Comment

Let me try this once:) You can get your own free Zune player at myzunefree.com. All you have to do is sign up for one or more of the offers on display after you login, and complete enough offers to get one credit. You could get the one credit for completing just one offer, or, if you choose to try the several free, no-cost offers, you may need to follow through on more than one of the offers to earn your credit.
Free Microsoft Zune Player

I’ve long been curious about these schemes, but this Microsoft Zune offer has a great FAQ that addresses the questions I have had in the past. In fact, the first question in the FAQ links to a video from the BBC that explains how these schemes work. Then there’s more:

How can you afford to give away a Microsoft Zune for free?
Our sponsors pay us a commission for users to try out their products and services. That is then used to purchase your Zune MP3 player or other related product.

The basic reason I signed up is because I have been wanting to try Blockbuster’s online video renting scheme for some time now. So I will just cancel my Netflix subscription and give Blockbuster a chance to impress me. What’s really cool about Blockbuster is that you can exchange the movies you get in the mail at any BlockBuster store, and instantly get a new movie! So unlike Netflix, you don’t always have to wait for the next movie to arrive in the mail! So as far as I am concerned, this is a win-win situation. I get the $9.99 for the first month Blockbuster rentals, and if enough of you choose to sign up for the free Zune offer, I might get a free Zune as well. If the blockbuster deal doesn’t cut it for you, try some of the other free, or even $1 offers. You can’t lose, especially with the money-back offers. So sign up for your free Zune now!

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Blame the Sims

May 30th, 2007 · No Comments

I haven’t got much work done over the past two days. You can blame Sims 2. For those of you still fortunate to retain complete control over your time, the Sims 2 is a very addictive game by Maxis, or Electronic Arts. The original Sims was perhaps the first “real life in virtual life” game – sort of like the precursor to Second Life. I would even say that graphically and gameplay-wise it is MUCH better than Second Life.

In Sims 2, you do the regular stuff, like keeping your character happy, finding him/her a job, teaching and training your characters etc. What makes Sims 2 really special is all of the mods and effects that you can have. You can download these from other websites, and as I discovered, you can even can get a lot of the sims 2 downloads for free. Most of these downloads are for outfitting your characters – there’s bikinis, stylish outfits for teen sims – just about any kind of garb you can think of. But it does not stop there, you can download things like floor tiles, walls and carpets to spiff up your interiors too. All of this is free stuff and if you are the “serious” gamer, you can find sites where you can download stuff for a price.

Let’s hope I never graduate from Pimp My Sims and not lose sight of “real life”. I have declared a 2-day moratorium on the Sims. Let’s see if I can keep my resolution :)

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Create Your Own Jewelry

May 29th, 2007 · No Comments

What’s the perfect way to spend a weekend? The answer might be “save some money”, or “make some money”, or “no, you dollarhead, money is not everything, dedicate some time to a hobby”. I found the perfect solution for all three groups of folks. Make jewelry over the next weekend.

The jewelry blog has very cool tips on how to make jewelry all by yourselves. The post has a very informative video that shows you how to create simple beaded earrings, wire wrap jewelry as well as heart jewelry. If you decide this is your thing, there is a lot more detail on the page that describes how to make your own jewelry at jewelrymall.com. It ends with a link to an article on how to sell the jewelry you just made. That’s right – that is how you “make some money”. Who knows how many of the item you buy on ebay are actually just made at home anyway?

For beaded jewelry, there is another detailed post on the blog that describes the calculations to find out how many beads you need, as well as bead handling tips. Impressive attention to detail. Though the blog uses the boring default wordpress theme, the content is good. Its almost enough to make me want to buy the tools of the trade and get started on making jewelry.

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Clickbank RSS Feed Script

May 29th, 2007 · 1 Comment

I am kind of toying with the idea of driving visitors to Clickbank using affiliate links. Fear not, it is not on this website, but on another one. Clickbank is probably the largest internet retailer of digital products – mostly ebooks, guides, scripts, tools and even some merchandise. The most difficult part of becoming a clickbank affiliate is finding the right products that talk to your visitors and setting up the links to those product pages. In clickbank terminology, these links are called “hoplinks”. That’s what put me off so far – the process of creating those links on your website and updating them periodically is tenuous, but even that is nothing compared to the process of finding new products on clickbank that are worth promoting.

So why am I thinking of doing this now? What has changed, you might ask? Well, I just found the killer tool to make life easier for me as a clickbank affiliate – hoprss. HopRSS provides an easy to use Clickbank RSS Feed that allows you to display the latest and greatest products on Clickbank forever – with just the initial setup.

What’s great about hoprss is that it does not rely on javascript. So the RSS feed gives you a list of products related to specified keywords or niches and once you set it up, the HTML source of your website that displays the item links is updated automatically. What this means is that in addition to being a valuable monetization tool, hoprss also adds new, relevant content to your website regularly. This can only be good for your website as seen by search engines. Try the Clickbank affiliate feed for your site, if it is oriented towards some commercial niche. And no, the links in this post are not affiliate links, I gain no kickbacks from these links whatsoever. The service is 100% free too – the author of the script probably hopes to earn enough from the ads on the hoprss homepage.

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