Economy Problems Making it Hard to Buy New Laptops

So the other day, I made plans to go to my local Best Buy and purchase a new laptop.  I had it all figured out based on a Best Buy ad that I had received over the weekend.

Video of me talking about my plans for a new laptop with blootooth capabilities.

Unfortunately, when I got to the store, all of the laptops on display were old models.  You see there was one thing that I couldn’t trust to specs and ads.

My initial reaction when I couldn’t buy a laptop.

The Keyboard!

I have had a toshiba for almost 2 years now and its a great computer, but the keyboard has sucked since day one.  I say sucked because it has caused me grief from the early days with keys that stick, and an impact level that jars my poor sensitive finger tips (yeah, I’m whining a little bit, but when I pay a thousand dollars for any whiz bang gadget, I don’t expect it to cause me physical pain!).

Best Buy is sometimes called the

Image via Wikipedia

So this time around when I wanted to upgrade, I hoped to buy another Toshiba, but only if they have better keyboards.

Well anyway, they didn’t offer the new laptops on display just some very beat up old models (which might not even be in stock)??

When I tried the old models of toshiba on display, the small laptops 14 and 13 inch screens, they had great keyboards.  But the 15” and 17” laptops had keyboards that felt worse (looked better) than my own two year old toshiba

Can I get a WTF?

So today, I have resolved to head back to Best Buy.  I’m going to buy one of those laptops on sale in the flyer, site unseen(nice oxymoron that one!). 

I talked with my wife and she has volunteered to be a guinea pig.  You see we were looking to get 2 laptops.  One for her and one for me.

So she is going to try it out, if she likes it she will keep it.  If not, I’ll take it back and Best Buy and Toshiba can deal with it.

If I like it as well, then I will go back and buy a second one.

Its a stupid way to shop, but that’s the way it is …

As a side note, I looked at the BlueLabel Toshiba on display.  It had a great keyboard, but only 2 USB slots.  That seemed pretty stupid.  My current toshiba has 4, and that doesn’t seem like enough most of the time.  The bluelabel laptop they had on display was also not the same model that they have on their website. 

Double Doh!

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sVideo Streaming Your Kids Soccer Game to the Grandparents

Today, I’m sitting at a soccer field waiting for my son’s soccer game to begin.  I brought my laptop to catch up on a few things during their warm up before the game begins.  While I was sitting here I had an idea that I’m going to try out next week.

I’m going to try and stream my son and 2 daughters soccer games to my parents (my kids grandparents).  My parents live about 800 miles away in Illinois and can’t make it here for the games.  They do have a good internet connection and I have more gadgets and connectivity than is really good for a person.

So here is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to bring my Panasonic video camera, set it up on a tripod near my car.  I’m going to power my laptop and camera off of a DC inverter taking power from the car battery.

Then I am going to connect my computer via my Verizon Wireless Air card.  I’m probably going to use either Ustream or Mogulus to then broadcast the game live to my parents.  They’ll be able to watch the game like a TV show on their computer.  If I use Mogulus, I’ll even be able to save the recording for a download at some point in the future.

I’m going to have to work on the logistics plan just a little bit, but all in all this should solve several problems.

  • My parents will get to see the games
  • They won’t have to wait for me to create a DVD and fedex it to them (which almost always takes too long, gets delayed and doesn’t happen)
  • My parents will feel more immediately engaged and can then talk to my kids soon after the game about how it just went.
  • I’m sure there are some other benefits as well, such as my other family members can watch also if they want.
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Free Conference Call Options – Transcription and Recording Available with Paid Version


Since I left the corporate world, I've been working as a consultant and publisher for several years now. I used to keep a standard web conferencing account which I would utilize for all my conference calls. But these days, I don't need conference call services quite as much and when I do, I need to be flexible and often times have to use a number of different services.

That usually means a lot of last-minute downloads and installs, which can clutter up my desktop pretty quickly. That said, when I need a conference call service, I oftentimes forget which one to use and I can never seem to locate them at my fingertips.

Recently, just because of the name, I have been able to easily remember the service They offer scheduled conference calls and conferences on demand for free. If you want to make a toll-free conference call that does cost money and a rate of about $.10 per minute.

These days with Skype and unlimited cell phone minutes, I rarely care about toll-free calls. Below are the details of the two free services that they offer.

For publishers like myself you might also be interested in their ability to record a phone call and transcribe the text of that conversation.  This is not an à la cart option and is only available if you use the paid version with the toll-free number at $.10 a minute. 

I know a number of consultants and trainers that use this type of service to great advantage as they cover all sorts of topics on things as diverse as business intelligence systems to writing books and getting published to podcast that help people troubleshoot problems with their cars and find cheap auto parts.


Web-Scheduled Standard  Snapshot

Maximum size:
150 Callers

Maximum time:
4 hours

Dial-in Number:
Long distance number assigned during the online scheduling process

Access Codes:
Participant Access Code assigned by us or created by you

Organizer Access Code assigned by us, changeable on the 'SETTINGS' page

When first caller enters the conference

When last caller exits the conference

Reservationless Conferences

Reservationless Standard

Reservationless Standard is a free telephone conferencing service† that can be used instantly and securely without the assistance of an operator. To get a reservationless number, sign up and receive a dedicated dial-in number and access code. You do not have to provide us with any information regarding your conference, including the date and time, estimated number of Participants, Dial-in Number, Participant Access Code, etc. Everyone who calls the same Dial-in Number and enters the same Participant Access Code at the same time will be connected together

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