Archive for August, 2011

Before you make another purchase online, can you trust that website with your credit card information?

Here are some things to look for:

  • Check your browser’s address bar. Don’t trust the site with your personal information if the web address doesn’t begin with https. Also look for a lock symbol on the address line.
  • Did you arrive at the site by clicking on a link someone sent you via email? Before you enter credit card info, check with the person who sent you the link to make sure it is legitimate.
  • Double check the web address in the address bar. Is it accurate?
  • Does the website display information that makes it more credible such as a physical address or logos of accountability sites like TRUSTe and BBBonline.

None of these, by itself, guarantees your protection from fraud but you can minimize the chances by doing due diligence.





Browsing through computer ads, I see a lot of home computer systems are equipped with a 1 Terabyte hard drive. If you’re like me, that really doesn’t mean much. I have no sense of how much space that is.

Here is a visual illustration. Glancing on my bookshelf, one of the thickest books I own is “War and Peace.” It is availabe as an electronic file on Project Gutenberg. The plain text is 3.1 MB (megabytes). There are 1024 megabytes in 1 gigabyte. So I can fit about 330 War and Peaces on a gigabyte. There are 1024 gigabytes in a terabyte.

So a 1 terabyte drive will hold 337,920 copies of War and Peace.

For a frame of reference, the Kindle store clains to have over 950,000 books most of which are not as big as War and Peace (plus Kindle files are smaller than plain text files). So if I bought every book in the Kindle store (assuming no pictures), I could fit them on three 1 terabyte drives.

Inkjet printers are cheap. They practically give them away. But do they? Here is my attempt to discover exactly what an inkjet printer costs to own and operate:

HP Officejet 4500 – $59.99 on Newegg.

Black ink (200 page yield) costs $13.99

Color ink (360 page yield) costs $24.99

Let’s say I print 2,000 pages for the year, I will buy 10 black cartridges regardless of how much color I print because black is used every page. (10 x $13.99 = $140)

If I use color sparingly but print photographs periodically, I will likely use at least three color cartridges (3 x $24.99 = $75).

Total ink cost for a conservative year of printing on a $50 printer – $215.

Now you know why the printer was so cheap. No, they’re not giving it away.