Posts Tagged ‘question

Flickr Stock Photo

Flickr Stock Photo

Occasionally I get asked how much a particular used computer is worth.  Because computer technology continues to increase at a steady rate, computers loose their value quite quickly.

My general rule is that a computer looses about 30-50% of its value every year.  A computer which was purchased at the store for $1000 might be worth somewhere around $300 two years later.  Particular brands and technologies may loose value faster or slower, but generally, all computers loose their value quite quickly.

For this reason I recommend that no one ever buy a computer with the intent to sell it to someone else later.

I also recommend to most people that they do not buy more computer than they need right now.  This means that you shouldn’t buy excessively more memory, speed, or storage because you intend on needing that extra capacity in a year or two.  Ignoring this advice, people could buy too much computer that would be worth half as much when they actually need to use it all.

(photo credit)

How have you broken your phone?

Posted in Generalon Jun 16, 2008

Tell me your stories about how you have been separated with a working cell phone. Have you dropped your phone in the toilet? Has it just stopped working over time. Did it get hit by a car, or stolen on the pickpocket bus in Romania? Even if your story is not extremely interesting, drop a note so we can get an idea of what goes wrong with cell phones.

I have a friend who is trying to sell her 2004 eMachines computer. Please comment on how much you think this would actually be worth. After a few answers, or in a day or two, I’ll post how much she actually wants for it. Here are the brief specs that she’s posted:

-2.70 GHz Intel Celeron processor
-40GB hard drive
-Read/Write CD drive
-512 MB of Memory
-internet ready (LAN and Modem)
-Intel Extreme Graphics 3d video card
-Windows XP installed (I have the OS disc, and can reinstall a clean copy for you)
-Microsoft Office Student edition (I can leave it on the computer, but I can’t give you the install CD)

So how much is this worth, with accompanying keyboard and mouse? She also is selling her matching 15″ monitor, so she says.

I came across this line of code today, and while I don’t normally hate other people’s coding style, this one has something in it that really bothers me:

i = ((unsigned int)(crcAccum >> 24) ^ *dataBlkPtr++ ) & 0xff;

Alternatives to eBay?

Posted in Businesson Mar 5, 2008

eBay, the online auction marketplace, facilitates somewhere in the range of $50 Billion in gross sales a year. Thats $50,000,000,000 worth of commerce that takes place because of eBay.

Recently, eBay has been making some changes, including changing its rates, eliminating seller feedback, and other various changes. Many sellers, including the power sellers, are not happy with all the changes, nor are they happy with some of the bugs they’ve been seeing because of the changes. There has even been talk of a boycott of eBay and all sort of embattlement accusations between eBay and its sellers.

Which leads me to the question: if not eBay, then what? Who is directly competing with eBay as far as providing an online market place? Craig’s List and both provide marketplaces, but neither of them provide a sufficient online auction system. The closest competitor was Yahoo! Auctions, but that site was taken off-line last year.

Obviously for an auction site to be successful, it would need to have a critical mass of both sellers and buyers, and with eBay around, those sort of sustainable numbers would be hard to achieve. But suppose sellers and buyers decided to leave in droves from eBay to another online auction site. Who is available to take them? Or does eBay have such a monopoly that there is no other alternative. If eBay were to suddenly stop existing, what would happen to that $50B of economy?

What is your favorite beverage?

Posted in Generalon May 10, 2007

I was at the store the other night, and I saw root beer, orange cream and black cherry sodas, cranberry juice, and the list goes on. It made me think, what would be the finest single beverage you could just sit back, relax, and drink.

I think for me, I would like a nice bottle of fine, smooth, root beer, straight from the glass bottle.

What is your favorite beverage?

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about various things in the complexes where they live. Many of which are small little things that they wish they had known before moving in. Below are some questions you might consider asking when searching for housing. Feel free to print this list out and take it to housing fairs or when talking to complex managers. If you don’t like an answer they give you, let them know you aren’t satisfied. Maybe if they hear a lot of people voice a particular concern, they will work to solve it.

In addition to your own concerns and questions, you may consider asking:

  • Are laundry facilities provided? How far away are they? How much does it cost? When are the facilities open?
  • Do windows and sliding doors open? Are screens provided? Do they lock?
  • Is parking available? Is parking typically a problem? How much do parking permits cost? Is parking enforced through booting or towing? What hours of the day is parking enforced? Is visitor parking available? Are there parking stalls for visitor parking?
  • Is covered or garaged parking available?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • How often are cleaning checks? Are re-checks available, and is there a re-check fee? What is the fee for failing a cleaning check?
  • Where is bicycle parking available? Is a permit required? Is there a cost for the bike permit?
  • How many desks are available in the apartment? Where are they typically located?
  • Is cable TV provided for free or for cost? How many channels are available?
  • Is Internet provided for free or for cost? How fast are the Internet speeds? Can speed upgrades be purchased? Is wireless Internet provided? Where are wired Internet jacks located in the apartment?
  • What are the fees for failing to pay rent by the deadline?
  • How much is the deposit? When is the deposit returned?
  • Are their any plans for remodeling of either apartment or other complex facilities? What inconveniences might be associated with any remodeling plans?
  • Is there a swimming pool? What hours is the swimming pool open? Can the pool be reserved for parties? What months of the year is the pool typically open?
  • Is there a club house? What is available in the club house? When is it open? Can it be reserved for parties?
  • Is there a place to play basketball, volleyball, or soccer?
  • Is a dishwasher provided?
  • In shared rooms, are the beds separate or bunked? How new/old are the matrices?
  • What dressers and closet spaces are provided in the rooms?
  • Is there a garbage disposal?
  • Which utilities are included with rent and which utilities are paid for separately? How much does a typical month of utilities cost?
  • Are telephones lines provided? Is there one or multiple lines available? Is there a monthly telephone fee? Is long distance service available? Is a voice mail service available for free or for fee? Is a caller identification service available for free or for fee?
  • Are streets and walkways cleared of ice and snow during the winter?
  • What is the closest grocery store? How far away is it?
  • How do residents typically travel to campus? How long does it take?
  • Are hoses or other means available for washing cars?
  • How many couches are provided in the living room? How new are they? Is there likely to be any rips or tears in the fabric?
  • Other than cleaning inspections, are the units inspected for mold or damages?
  • How is hot water provided? Is it shared with other units?
  • What is the current contract price for rent? Is it expected that this price will go up?
  • Are their any incentives or signing bonuses? (It doesn’t hurt to ask)
  • Does the complex usually fill up? When do contracts usually sell out?
  • What is the ward situation? Are wards comprised mostly of units from the complex, or do they include units from other complexes? Where do wards meet for sacrament meeting? Where do wards meet for additional prayer services? Are any facilities provided (such as a meeting room or bishop’s office) for ward use during the week or on Sundays?
  • What is the girl to guy ratio in the complex? What is the average age?

Please comment if you have any additional questions that you would recommend people asking? I also welcome comments or suggestions to this list. Please comment if you find this list useful. If many people find it useful, we may decide to publish and distribute the list in order to help people find the right housing for them.