Tag Archives: costs

Pursuit for Cheap Phone Service

Today (2015-10-07) due to a number of factors that have affected me negatively, it will seem as if it might be in my best interest to consider reducing more of my bills. The most significant bill (other than rent and Internet) will be cellular phone. As for Internet, I will be contacting my ISP to ask about a lower plan. As for cellular phone, I have 3 options. First, I can continue with my current carrier which is the cheapest of the big 4. In this case, after EIPs are paid off, I will have a $72 phone bill. Second option is to choose a cheaper provider. Most such companies are pre-paid. I could also go with a per minute provider and micro-manage my cost. The third option is to get as close to free as possible. This will be to use T-Mobile’s 200MB free data plan, and use a cellular Life Line service. There will still be some costs involved though. The first option is the easiest, and the one I would prefer. The second will be the cheapest upfront as it will just be a matter of changing the SIM card. The third will have the biggest investment, but will offer the biggest reduction of costs.

For now, T-Mobile (my current provider) will continue to have my business. At the very least, I still have to make EIP (Easy Installment Payments) on devices I already own. However, in order for me to know if a choice will work, I have to make sure there are no problems. And while everything might look good on paper, there is still practice. This post might help someone in a similar position as I.

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Week 29 – 2014

Not much happened this week, but what did happened wasn’t for the best. I had a couple of minor things that needed to be done. It rained a few times which reduced the options of walking the dogs. They did get some long walks though. On Thursday, I took the two to the vets for an annual checkup, and vaccinations. The vet is concerned for Talisa due to the hair loss she has in the back side. He wants me to do a CBC-Chem and a Thyroid test ASAP.  The tests will cost $100 + transit to get her there and back.

For this, the landlord was very kind in offering me $25 for the tests. He said I could take it out of the rent, and considering I pay $30/month in pet fees, it’s not much of a loss on the actual rent. Someone I know needs their phone replaced. This person owes $25 to begin with. I took what was Gage’s phone (which is my phone), replaced it with a better phone which I paid half down, and put the other half on EIP. This should now allow me to get the old phone unlocked, and sold to the person for the down payment I made on Gage’s new phone + the money owed. This will mean $75 + $25. This will just mean I will have to get the money to transport her. I of course still have to sell the phone, but at least it will be something. In turn, my nephew has a better device, and this person that owes $25 will have a reason to pay the money owed.

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A Nexus 5? Not from T-Mobile

T-Mobile decided to offer the Nexus 5 16GB model for an easy payment plan of $42 + 24 payments of $17. This comes to a price tag of $450 + sales tax. However, this is a serious issue, especially when you consider other factors.

First, if one was to pay full price for the phone upfront, they will have to pay $450+sales tax. At Google, the 32GB model is $50 cheaper than what T-Mobile will sell for the 16GB model. And since they may no mention of the 32GB model, I will only presume that T-Mobile does not wish to sell a Nexus 32GB for $550 which seems to be what T-Mobile will likely do. However, this major discrepancy of price is not the only issue.

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HP-2000 and its true cost

Recently, I purchased and received an HP 2000 series PC. This system has a Pentium Mobile 2.4Ghz Dual Core CPU, 4GB of memory, Wifi, and USB 2.0 ports. There are also other specifications on this system, but I won’t go into that. What I will go into is what it would end up costing me in the end.

This will include not only the actual purchase price, but the cost of making sure the system is properly serviceable, and will suffice even at its state of quality for a period of time. I will also want to make sure the system is protected properly. All of this will cost extra. So, what is the final price?

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First Impressions: RetroUI

I am sure that people that read recent posts, and connects with my Twitter account will find that I hate Windows 8. However, if I downgraded to Windows 7, I will have to purchase Windows 7, and according to HP – there is no guarantee that the hardware will work properly. At first, I tried to use the standard design where I am pushed into the Tiled UI (as I call Fisher Price), but find that almost all activity is pushing me into the Desktop which is rather pointless. There are some “Apps” that works in the tiled interface, but my experience is that most of this is a waste of time.

I purchased RetroUI to get Windows 8 to behave much as one would expect if they had a Windows 7 system. While a UI may not seem like much to most people as long as it is a GUI, it is a very important feature, and something that is intuitive is vital with an Operating System, I simply could not see Windows 8 being intuitive, and found it to require more work than it should when using a non-touch screen device.

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Solving the Communications Problem in the United States

You would think there isn’t one, but in my opinion, there is a very significant problem. Rural areas, and even major cities don’t have real choices for broadband. Cellular Companies are trying to compete to acquire spectrum that has to pass government oversight. Telephone companies are lacking in real standards, and Television services are even worse. Simply put, the Communications system is a complete mess, and this only hurts the people of the country as well as the government. It costs taxpayers, and consumers money, and causes headaches.

So, what would I suggest. Well, I am sure that some people will call me a Socialist for these suggestions, and the big companies that have massive stakes in the infrastructure that they have been failing to keep up will have a problem with my suggestion, but as I said, the consumer and government are the ones to suffer. Nonetheless, here are my suggestions.

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Dogs and the Treadmill

I have been working hard with the dogs walking on the treadmill regularly for about 3 weeks now. I know, I procrastinated some with them and should have been working on it longer, but that is in the past and not today. Some people might ask why would I want to get them to walk on the treadmill when Winter is typically only 3 months of the year, and this Winter so far has been rather fair. Well, there are a few reasons of why. However, only in the most inclement weather will I completely substitute the treadmill for a walk willingly.

So, the only issue now is to get them to walk properly on the treadmill. As of now, Malak has just been using his front legs, and acts as if he wants to shut down on it. Simply put, he is unsure of the treadmill, and there is a little fear. He trusts that he won’t be hurt on it, but there is still the hesitation. Talisa walks well on it with some exception. She seems to want to lean to the right which if I wasn’t on top of her (standing obviously), she will slide off. Once she walks properly, I will of course be able to increase the speed to 2mph or higher. So, here are the reasons why I will use it.

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Today was an active day. I took Malak out for a couple of walks as I normally would have done. His second walk was earlier than normal considering I would have to pick Talisa up, and I am sure she wouldn’t be able to go for a walk in the evening. Also, I went to Andie’s in the morning to pick up the money she owed for the phone. I then deposited it into my bank. Because of the surgery fees and the extra costs, I had less for bills last and this month. I made a partial payment on my electric bill. I gave them $30 (about what I generated) + an extra $5. I am still $10 past due with them. However, I can not make payment arrangements unless I have a termination notice. Yes, that does not make sense, but that is how they are. I picked up Talisa, and paid for her Distemper booster shot, and a extended collar (the kind that looks like a cone). So far, she has no interest in licking at her wound from the surgery. While this may now seem like a waste of money, I am expecting I will be able to use it for Malak when he has to go in Monday. Talisa has been micro-chipped, but this does not include registration. The registration fee is $20/pet for lifetime, and $6 to change the information. I personally feel if change of information is done over the web, the fee should be waved. However, I will still have to deal with that if I need to change my information.

Once Talisa came home, Malak was very excited, so I had to forbid him from trying to play with her. She actually went to the cage when she got home, and I am guessing she is associating that as a place where she rest freely. I left the door open for her in case she wanted out, but had to close it while there was food for her because Malak started to eat her food. Once she decided to eat, and finished her food, she had the door open. While I only leave food down for 20 minutes, in Talisa’s case, this will be an exception to the rule for a couple of days. She nudged me at 2AM to use the bathroom which again is acceptable for the time being.

Continue reading 2011-11-03

Life is the Pits

On my evening walk (2011-09-09) with Talisa, I came across an interesting event. A woman was looking for me. She knew I walked with my dog by her house every day and even twice, and, she really wanted to find me. She even noted that she was considering posting a notice at the local pharmacy where she first seen me in hopes that I will contact her. She wanted to make it her personal goal to find me, as there was something very important to her that she wished to ask me. She absolutely wanted to know the answer to this question. The question that she was hoping for a while that I will say yes to was:
”Would you be interested in a 6 month old male Pit Bull?”

Well, to her hopes, my answer was quite possibly. I told her that the main concern was to make sure that the new dog, and Talisa will be good together. I never would want to introduce conflict into a pack, and will also have to make sure he will have a good temperament. He is good with children, and other dogs. He is a puppy, so will be easy to integrate my expectations in him. He is also good on a leash from the words of the woman. She isn’t asking for any money, and just have to get him neutered and shots. Since Pitt Bulls have such a hostile reputation, there are local programs that will neuter and spay Pit Bulls for free, or low cost. All she wants him to have is a good home, and she seen how I am raising Talisa, and knows that I walk her twice a day. She feels that I will be able to provide a good home.

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Valued Customer? Not in my Opinion!

I am interested in replacing my phone that has lately been more trouble than good. It is a smart phone running Android 2.2 and with just 192MB memory, and a 528Mhz CPU. Since no one at T-Mobile can tell me if the Samsung Galaxy S 2 coming out this year will be coming to T-Mobile, I am basing my efforts based on the Galaxy S 4G. So, I called T-Mobile, and informed them of my interests as well as well as what I would like. First, I have an in house credit of $600 for a non-Contract phone, and would assume that I have a $300 line for a contract phone.

Now, the way T-Mobile works with their line of credit is that you pay ¼ + Sales Tax (7% in PA) and ¼ for the next three months, or you pay 5% + Sales Tax + 5% for the next 19 months. The Galaxy S 4G is $250 + 2 years, or $500 without a contract. On a non contract plan, it would be $60 to take the phone, and $25 for the next 19 months. For that, my current monthly plan will remain the same since I am on their non contract plans. Now, based on my plan and services, I will normally be paying an additional $30 – $40 per month for services. However, their “Customer Loyalty” department offered to only add $5.00 per month if I got a contract with this plan. This will be $80 the first month, and $62.50 for the next three months. However, I will be paying an additional $120 over the two year period with this discount offering. This will effectively mean I will be paying $370 for the $250 phone which is only $130 less than if I didn’t have to pay the extra cost.

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