Google+ December 2012 ~ High Tech House Calls

Do Dogs Really Miss Us?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Resale Websites

Half the challenge of decluttering is knowing where to off-load your stuff. Let these easy-to-use sites handle the heavy lifting.

If you have: iAnything or Video Games
List your Apple devices (iPods, iPhones, iPads), video games, and DVDs in three minutes flat: Just type in the name of the item and answer a few questions. Once a customer buys it, Glyde will send a preaddressed, prepaid shipping kit so you can send the product on its way. As soon as the buyer confirms receipt, a payment is deposited into your Glyde account. (You can transfer those funds to your bank account.)
Fees:  12 percent of the first $100 of the sale price; 8 percent of any additional amount;  $1 to $3 for the shipping kit.

If you have: Women's Clothing
For the easiest experience, opt for this site's Closet Cleanse package. Request a box, pack it with clothes, and use a prepaid shipping label to mail it to An "expert seller" will photograph, price and post your items, then mail them to the buyers. (If you like, the pro will run prices by you before proceeding.) Garments that aren't snatched up within eight weeks can be donated (you'll receive a receipt for your tax return) or returned to you (you'll pay for shipping). 
Fees: 38.5 percent of your kit's total sale price; $10 for the Closet Cleanse kit. 

If you have: Kids' Clothing 
Getting rid of your kids' old dudes is simple: Order the site's "clean-out" bag to fill with clothes. Then send it to the site using the prepaid shipping label. ThredUp will compensate you (via PayPal or store credit) for any items it deems sellable - meaning clean and undamaged - and the rest is recycled. It will list your items for sale on its retail website, but you get paid whether or not shoppers bite.
Fees: $4.95 refundable deposit for the clean-out bag. Sellers make 20 to 40 percent of each item's resale value.  

If you have: Books
It's hard to turn a profit on paperbacks, but hardbacks can earn a pretty penny. To sell a book, search for its title, note the condition, set a price (Amazon will tell you the going rate), and select how you want to ship the item (you receive a credit for the expense). Payments go into your bank account. 
Fees: 15 percent of the sale price: $2.34 in closing fees.  

If you have: Collectibles
eBay remains the place to list comic, books, baseball cards, and classic toys, but getting rid of your goods requires legwork. To use the site's signature auction service (there's also a Buy It Now option), you'll have to upload images, write descriptions, set prices, and calculate shipping costs (eBay provides tools to help). Your auction can last as little as 24 hours or as long as 10 days. Once you have a winner, you can get paid through PayPal or a number of other payment services.
Fees: 9 percent of both the item's sale price and the shipping fee. 

Reprinted from Real Simple Magazine January 2013 

 Carl Thorne
Expert Computer Consulting 

Getting an App Refund

Getting an App Refund
Not every app is a keeper. Maybe it’s difficult to download or doesn’t work right. Or perhaps it’s just not as useful as you had hoped. Fortunately, in some cases you can “return” the app and get your money back. Here’s what you need to know.
For Apple Devices: If you simply dislike an app or it has a glitch, Apple won’t issue a refund. But if the app was purchased by mistake, you may be able to get your money back. Log in to your iTunes purchase history or open the email you received when you made the purchase. Then click on “Report a Problem” and fill out a customer service form. Apple will contact you with the next steps.
For Android Devices: Google Play has a generous policy. Uninstall an app within 15 minutes of buying it and you automatically receive a refund. Go to the page in Google Play where you bought the app and click “Refund”. If that time frame has passed, you can still get your money back- but only if the app has a technical problem. Contact Google Play’s customer service (, explain the issue and request a refund.
For Blackberry Devices: Blackberry’s App World states that all apps are non-refundable, but there are exceptions. If the app has technical difficulties or if it was discontinued shortly after you purchased (check by searching for it in Blackberry’s App World), you can request reimbursement through Blackberry customer service (

Reprinted from Real Simple Magazine January 2013 

 Carl Thorne
Expert Computer Consulting 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Shopping Suggestions

Here are some ideas for technology gift giving during the holiday season:

iPad and tablet accessories:
  • A case to make sure your screen doesn't get cracked.
  • An adapter so you can use your older iPad sync cable with newer iPad and mini iPads.
  • Remove smudges with a microfiber cloth to keep your screen looking clean.
  • A docking station for a custom alarm clock experience.
  • More comfortable headphones to replace the stock headphones that came with the iPhone.
  • A gift certificate for setup and training.
Ideas on where to buy laptops
With Apple introducing new versions of their iPad, iPhone, laptops and desktop computers, used equipment that others have sold is a bargain.
Carl Thorne
Expert Computer Consulting 

Creating PDF Files Without Buying Adobe Reader Pro

How many times have you wanted to create an electronic document that could not be changed?
Have you wanted to send a website page as an attachment instead of sending a link to the page?
Do you edit a blog or a website and wanted to know how to insert a document as a post or as a webpage?

The Apple Mac operating system has this built in as an option when you print from an application.  

On a Windows computer, download a program called PDFLite. Download PDFLite from here: ( This program creates a "printer"whose output is a PDF file. For example, you have created a Word document. From Word, select print and then select PDFLite as the printer. You are prompted where to store the converted file.

When you wish to make a file of a website page, the same procedure applies. Select print and select the PDFLite printer.

You cannot cut and past a PDF document into a blog post or into a website page. To display a PDF file requires HTML code. One way to generate the code without learning HTML is through a website called scribd. Create an account and you can upload a PDF file for sharing. Once the file was been processed into your library you can copy code that allows you to embed the PDF file into a blog post or website. See the scribd tutorial for more information:
Carl Thorne
Expert Computer Consulting 

Consider One-On-One Training As Part of a Christmas Tech Gift

Is someone on your Christmas gift list receiving a technology gift? Could they use some training?

Have a relative or friend that is technology challenged? You may think that person would enjoy an iPad, iPhone or laptop computer, but are concerned they might become frustrated trying to learn to use the device.

Do you have the time to get them up to speed?

High Tech House Calls has extensive experience providing customized one-on-one training with the technology challenged. Here is a list of things we can do to help your loved one's learn something new more easily:
  • We offer customized set up for the device in the comfort of their home or business when it is convenient for them. 
  • We teach at the pace that the student is comfortable with, in "bite sized" sessions.
  • We provide customized documentation that includes screen shots to reinforce that day's training. The student can use printed documentation, adding additional notes to ensure that the lesson makes sense to them.
  • Appropriate, easy to complete homework assignments are assigned that reinforce that day's lesson.
  • We offer weekly lessons that build upon one another. 
  • We are available by phone or email, for free, to answer any questions, to help reinforce the lesson, and to reduce frustration.
Call today to purchase a gift certificate or to schedule a training session.
Carl Thorne
Expert Computer Consulting