CNN offered up some good tips on saving money on tech. But of course I want to analyze and comment on it myself. Anything else would be out of character.
Here’s a good, timely Google search query: scraping by advice. I looked, and I’ve never written anything that matched that query well. I know a lot of people are hurting right now. I’ve been in some tight spots and I’ve gotten out of some, so let’s talk about what I would do, on a really [...]
I threw together a Gray-Hoverman antenna tonight. It’s literally two pieces of bent copper wire taped to a piece of plywood, stashed behind the entertainment center. I’ll pretty it up at some point.
I now get 15 channels of over-the-air TV. With my old antenna, I only got 10.
I didn’t believe it when the news broke late Friday that Mark Hurd, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, had suddenly resigned under fire.
Hurd wasn’t flamboyant or a quote machine like many technology CEOs. He just steadily turned HP around, increasing profits, passing Dell in sales of PCs and IBM in sales of servers, and buying companies like EDS and 3Com. He was exactly what investors liked.
In the following days, it turned out there was more to the story.
So if you’re a CEO of one of the Big Three automakers, you have to fly a private plane, as corporate policy, for safety reasons.
Congress suggested they save money by flying first class, or plane-pool at the very least.
This week I read a story on Get Rich Slowly about a couple who refuses to budget. The conversation ended when the person who needed to budget bragged about getting five shrubs on sale for $10 each. She didn’t need them, but the deal was too good to pass up.
~Mail follows today’s post~
I’d forgotten how many telemarketing phone calls you get during the day. Blimey or something! How are you supposed to get anything done?
I had a classmate who used to mess with them. “You want to sell me windows? My house doesn’t have any windows, you see, because it’s a cardboard box. Sure, you can get phone service to a cardboard box. You can get cable TV too. I thought about a mini-dish but I’m not so sure my walls could handle the weight.”
He really enjoyed the roofing people, because he could tell them, in all honesty, “I don’t have a roof.” Hey, when you live in an apartment building, if you’re not on the top floor, you don’t.
The guys over at Junkbusters have a different solution. Make ‘em sweat. They’ve even got a script with questions to ask. Visit them at www.junkbusters.com/ht/en/telemarketing.html if you’re sick of the bother.
Print it out, then keep it by the phone. And when you pick up the phone and get that tell-tale delay, followed by an unfamiliar voice who mispronounces your name, pounce. “Is this a telemarketing call?” (That question weeds out the other annoying phone calls, like Chrysler and MCI Worldcom calling up because of billing problems–sorry, you’ve gotta deal with those on your own.) If the answer is yes, then keep going. ” Could you tell me your full name please? And a phone number, area code first?” And they’ve got 12 other questions, where those came from.
I’m vacationing in beautiful Mehlville, Mo. as I write. Before you get too excited, I live in Mehlville. (It’s a St. Louis suburb.) My boss’ boss e-mailed me a while back and said, “Go on vacation!” so I did. Gives me a chance to catch up around the place–there’s a lot I’ve been neglecting.
Plus it gives me a chance to work on that last article for Shopper UK.
I’ve been reading Guts, the business strategy book by former Chrysler #2 man Robert Lutz. Lutz was the driving force (or a major driving force) behind all of Chrysler’s bold experiments in the 1990s before Daimler-Benz swallowed them. Interesting reading for anyone interested in business or the auto industry, though I’d have liked to see more of a memoir from him. Lutz didn’t graduate high school until age 22. How do you go from graduating high school at 22 to No. 2 man at Forbes’ 1997 Company of the Year? No matter how successful you are, there are lessons to learn from this guy. Obviously there’s more to him than an MBA, a stint in the Marines, and an interest in cars, and I want to know what that is.
I’m guessing there’ll be more later. No idea when. I’ve got a really hairy question from an Optimizing Windows reader to figure out.
From: “Rodrigo Zamora” <email@example.com>
Subject: Sound Blaster Value