Google+ June 2010 ~ High Tech House Calls

Do Dogs Really Miss Us?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Buy a Mac for College, Get an Free iPod Touch

Time for a new computer for your school kid?

Choose your Mac.

If you’re a college student or a faculty or staff member at any grade level and you buy a new Mac with Apple education pricing from May 25 through September 7, 2010, you can get a free 8GB iPod touch.* No wonder they call these the best years of your life.

Click here for more information:

Saving Money With Groupons

What is a Groupon?

Each day, Groupon features an unbeatable deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, Groupon get discounts you won't find anywhere else. We call it "collective buying power!"


How It Works

  1. Each day Groupon features something cool to do at an unbeatable price.
  2. You only get it if enough people join that day… so invite your friends!
  3. Check back the next day for another awesome Groupon!

Do I have to sign up a group of people I know to get the deal?

Nope - our millions of members make up a big enough group. You'll probably want to invite people anyway, though — Groupons are fun to use with friends, grandparents, and men who wear monocles.


I like today's deal - how do I get it?

Just click "BUY" before the offer ends at midnight. If the minimum number of people sign up, we'll charge your card and send you a link to print your Groupon. If not enough people join, no one gets it (and you won't be charged), so invite your friends to make sure you get the deal!


What happens if the Groupon doesn't reach its required minimum number of purchasers?

If not enough people sign up, then the deal is canceled, and you won't be charged. Better luck next time! So if you really want the Groupon, be sure to either beg or threaten your friends.


Do I need to use my Groupon the same day I buy it?

No. Many Groupons have an expiration date, but you never have to use them on the date of purchase.


I bought a Groupon - how do I use it?

Once you're charged, you'll receive an email with a link to sign in and print your Groupon. The Groupon has redemption instructions and a map right on it!


Can I buy a Groupon as a gift for someone else?

Yes. We communicate with all the businesses that we work with that Groupons can be gifted, and unless the Fine Print specifically states otherwise, gift away! To have us send them the gift, select the gift option at checkout.


Wait, my name is on the Groupon. Are you sure I can use this as a gift?



If I don't use the full value of the Groupon in one visit, can I use the remainder later?

No. Unless otherwise stated you do not receive store credit or cash back for whatever you don't use. Bring a friend - share a little!


Can I combine my Groupon with other offers or specials?

No... not unless the Groupon specifically states otherwise.


Am I billed as soon as I join a Groupon?

No - you are only charged if the Groupon reaches the required minimum.


Is Groupon safe?

Extremely. Your credit card number is transmitted by SSL directly to a secure electronic vault. At no time is your credit card information stored on our servers.


Can I return a Groupon?

Read this, and then if you want, give us a call: (877) 788-7858.


What happens if my Groupon expires?

All is not lost! Once a Groupon reaches its expiration date, it loses its promotional value, but you can still redeem it at the price you paid for the length of time stated by gift certificate laws in your state.


What if the business for my Groupon closes down?

If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Groupon, we'll make sure you get your money back.


 How can I get my business on Groupon?

Check out GrouponWorks for more information.


Why do you only feature one deal a day? I want more Groupons!

When you're looking for stuff to do, choice can be overwhelming. We focus on one great thing each day and offer it at an unbeatable price to make things simple for you. Hang out with Groupon for a week, and you'll find something that's impossible to refuse.


Where did you get the name "Groupon?"

Groupon is a city in Switzerland where Goodyear tires are sold at heavily discounted rates.


Who are you guys?

Groupon evolved out of The Point, a platform for organizing not only group discounts, but all forms of collective action. You can learn more about Groupon, and learn more about The Point.


Where is Groupon based?

Groupon is headquartered in Chicago. We also have employees in cities across the U.S.

Click here to sign up:

Friday, June 25, 2010

New post to blog on saving money on printing

Pay Less to Print

Before you buy a new printer, figure the cost per page.  
By Jeff Bertolucci from Kiplinger's Personal Finance 07/2010

Manufacturers of inkjet printers have long used the razor-and-blades business model: The machines often cost $100 or less, but the ink cartridges can add up to two or three times that much in just one year. Now, however, increased competition and consumer outrage are writing a new chapter.

Over the past year, both Lexmark and Hewlett-Packard have run ad campaigns touting low ink prices, notes Andrew Lippman, a printer analyst with Lyra Research. And Eastman Kodak's latest turnaround strategy is based on cheaper cartridges for its printer line.

For example, Lexmark now sells a $5 black ink cartridge, the 105XL, which prints an estimated 500 pages. That's 75 pages more than Kodak's $10 10B black cartridge, which itself is considered a value compared with similar cartridges that cost $13 to $20.

Grab your calculator. The best way to get your money's worth is to figure out what it will cost to print per page, says PCWorld magazine senior editor Melissa Riofrio. Start with a printer model you like. Then go online to find out how much you'll pay for cartridges and how many pages each cartridge will print. (Manufacturers and reputable online vendors, such as Amazon, often list page yields along with the cartridge's technical specs.)

Now divide the cost of the cartridge by the page yield. For example, the HP Photosmart C4780 uses the HP60 black ink cartridge, which costs $15 and yields 200 pages. Cost per page: 7.5 cents. By comparison, the Kodak ESP 3250 uses Kodak 1-B cartridges, which has a 425-page yield. Cost per page: 2.4 cents.

More may not be less. But high-capacity cartridges may not be for everyone. "If you don't [print very much, a high-yield cartridge that sits for months and dries up isn't necessarily a good thing," says Riofrio.

You'll need to run the numbers for color ink cartridges, too. Printers that use a single tricolor cartridge-which has cyan, magenta and yellow ink tanks in one unit-cost more in the long run. That's because once one tank runs out, you have to replace the entire cartridge, which typically costs $30 to $40.

Once you've compared printing costs per page, you still have to decide whether the most economical printer has the features you want. And you should compare print quality with that of pricier models. Visit a local retailer and put the printers through their paces.

One good choice for affordable home printing is the Canon Pixma iP4700 ($100). This inkjet model produces sharp, clear photos and documents , and it can print on both sides of the page (another money saver). Its inks are reasonably priced: the five tanks-black, cyan, yellow,magenta and photo black (for pictures)-are priced from $13 to $15 each.

Blog Editor Note:  High Tech House Calls uses a Canon Pixma iP3000. We love the printer so much, we have replaced the print head to continue using it. We highly recommend the Pixma series of inkjet printers.

We also use Cartridge World to save on money for cartridges. Cartridge World cartridges are high quality and we have never ruined expensive tri-fold brochure page when using a cartridge from Cartridge World. ( This is not the case with cartridges from Office Depot.


How to Skimp on Printer Ink
If you'd rather keep your current inkjet printer, there are ways to conserve-many of which also work with laser printer to save toner.

Print in draft mode.
Nearly every printer has the option to print in draft, economy or save mode.

Stick to black and white.
Switch to grayscale only if you don't need to see documents in color. To eliminate ink-draining Web color graphics, download Printee for IE (, an application that lets Windows users remove images before printing a page on Internet Explorer.

Think before you print.
Train yourself to read on-screen. To save online articles to your PC, use a free app, such as PDSFCreator (, to convert Web pages to Adobe Acrobat files.

Friday, June 18, 2010

One of my favorite charities makes the news...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New blog post on version of Microsoft Office to buy.
Home and Student vs. full featured.

New post on the importance of sync'ing your iPhone.

The Importance of Sync'ing Your iPhone

Bad things happen if you do not sync your iPhone with your computer.

When Apple discovers a problem on your iPhone's operating system or a new feature is created, a new release of the iPhone software is released.

That new release is installed on your iPhone via iTunes. When you connect your iPhone to a computer, iTunes starts up and checks to see if your software is up to date. If not, it advises you of a newer release of software that is available for download and upgrade to your iPhone.

Here are some thing to consider when upgrading the software on your iPhone:
  • Stay up to date. It can be more problematic to upgrade from an older release of software to the current release. Periodic sync'ing with iTunes will ensure that you have the most current release of software loaded on your iPhone.
  • Make sure your iPhone is backed up. Most upgrades will erase your iPhone data (calendar, contacts, applications, etc.), before the upgrade occurs. The upgrade process should backup and restore all your data but we have seen this process fail. Your backup will be your safety net if the restoration fails from the upgrade process.

Need help sync'ing your iPhone with iTunes, here is an article from Apple on the process

If you have any further problems, please feel free to contact High Tech House Calls at 404.229.0839 or

The End to Buying the Student and Teacher Edition of MS Office?

Have you decided that Microsoft Express or Windows Mail was good enough for your email needs? Did you think that buying Microsoft Office with Outlook was not necessary? Think again!

  • Outlook Express went away with Vista. It was replaced with Windows Mail. Many users of Outlook Express that had years of email stored in folders using Outlook Express found that Windows Mail could not successfully import all their "old" email successfully. Buying Outlook and exporting to Outlook was their only Microsoft solution that worked.
  • Windows 7 did away with Windows Mail. The solution that replaced it was Window Live. Windows Live Mail is an application that partly exists on the Microsoft web server. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
  • Do you have a SmartPhone? Backing up and synchronizing your SmartPhone with your computer is a must. Unfortunately, your SmartPhone will only synchronize with Microsoft Outlook.
When Microsoft Office 2010 is released (current target date is June 2010), you should spend the extra money and buy the version that includes Outlook.