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Written By: Gary on October 7, 2009 2 Comments

It’s the 57th anniversary of the barcode. I only know this because Google changed their logo today. So then I checked out the barcode entry on Wikipedia.

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Actually, this is just the anniversary of the original patent. When most people think of the barcode, they’re thinking of the UPC (Universal Product Code) on food and other purchased goods. Which started being used in the mid-1970s (1974 was when the first store scanned an item for purchase).

Free Barcode Generator - Barcoding Inc.I’ve always thought bar codes were kind of cool: cheap, simple, easy to use and duplicate. We use them on food, shipping packages, mail, ID cards of all types and all sorts of places. We print them on the back of Michigan Driver’s Licenses, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen them used.

FYI, I used the Free Barcode Generator to generate my above barcode.

Written By: Gary on November 18, 2008 No Comment

I meant to post this earlier when I posted some photos of San Jose, but it looks like it got cut off (I’m not sure if it that it was never there or I just recently deleted it or that it was never there). Sorry if it’s a rerun!


If the embedded video doesn’t work, here’s the direct link! From the direct link you can watch it in High Quality (just under the right hand side of the movie).

Written By: Gary on November 13, 2008 No Comment

So here’s a few photos from San Jose, Costa Rica.

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Written By: Gary on June 28, 2008 One Comment

So the other day I purchased this Aiptek HD 720p Video Camera, I liked it but I saw it was on sale at this week so I went in to get the $30 price difference. Well, I couldn’t find the receipt so I went in to make sure it was the same camera first. It was not the same camera, it was the new better model, the Aiptek HD 1080p Video Camera, for $30 less. From the way it was on the rack I am pretty sure the old one was also on sale (i.e. clearance) since they didn’t have them any more and this one seemed to be replacing that one at the same price point.

As I walked up to the counter I decided I didn’t want to bother to return the old one and buy the new one since the differences were minimal and there was a 15% restocking fee. I just wanted them to credit me the $30 for the old one. They couldn’t print me a new receipt, nor could they credit me the $30 without the receipt, but they would refund my money and they weren’t going to nick me the $30 if I purchased a new one, so I went back, got the better camera (which was even better than I thought) and got my $30 back too. From the receipt, it looks like they have the same SKU, so now I’m sure both were $30 cheaper.

Sadly it was a waste of materials and money (they’ll send it back to the manufacturer) since they didn’t have a mechanism in place to credit me back the difference. But at least I made out on this one: better camera, $30 and a new receipt.

Written By: Gary on March 15, 2008 No Comment

So I’m not just talking about regular mail, I’m talking shipping and receiving from companies and just getting deliveries. The way things arrive and the order in which they arrive is just strange sometimes.

My most recent computer order is one example, I ordered a computer (with a larger hard drive so it had to be “built”), a spare battery and spare charger. The computer has already been assembled and shipped, the battery didn’t ship until a day later than the computer (I assumed it would have shipped the day before the computer) and the charger hasn’t shipped yet. Maybe, this is all a plan from Apple, they know how fast everything will get here so why have someone rush to ship the battery when they had something else to do, the computer system could be smart enough to do that. It just seems strange. Although, I find it strange it’s cheaper to do the final assembly in China and ship them here one at a time via FedEx.

I’ve been on vacation and mailed postcards on the same day (from the same mailbox) to people in the same city and they arrive weeks later. Where was the other one? Stuck in someone else’s magazine? Did it travel a different route?

I’m currently subscribing to the TicoTimes, it’s a weekly English paper that covers Costa Rica. It’s published on Friday and sometimes I get it the following Wednesday (5 days later). I’m not sure when they actually mail it, I’m sure on Thursday or Friday. But sometimes I get it days later, I think the record is 12 days (I think I got it 4 days later, on Tuesday once). Why such the time difference? It looks like they ship it from Costa Rica, I wonder if it makes more sense to ship all the US customers in one package (shipped faster) and have them re-mailed from the US. I know they ship to a few US newstands to sell them so the re-shipping wouldn’t be too hard.

And I find it really strange when I order something from Amazon (in stock) and in the same order I get a used book from one of their used-partners and I get the used book days before the new one…

Most of the time when I order from places like CDW, I get the item the next day even when I don’t pay for fast shipping (I almost always choose the cheapest).

And my absolute favorite is when I pay big buck$ for overnight shipping and I don’t get it for 3 or 4 days. Their reasoning, we didn’t get it shipped the first day, but when we did ship it, it went out overnight. I love that Amazon clearly marks when you’ll get it with one-day shipping if you order it in the next “3 hours and 5 minutes” or something like that. When my oven broke a few months ago the GE site, clearly stated that when I ordered it by a certain time it would ship that day, I could of paid less ($10-$15) from a few other sites, but I couldn’t be certain when it would actually ship; so with that little piece of knowledge, GE got my money instead and they got a premium…

Written By: Gary on December 8, 2007 One Comment

So the last few times I’ve been bouncing around on Amazon I’ve noticed the “add to my WishList” option has disappeared! I’m logged in, but it seems even in the past it was there when you weren’t logged in. This is annoying…

Also, I’ve always thought this link should appear in your cart next to “delete” and “save for later” just in case you change your mind, you can put it in someone else’s mind.

Has anyone else noticed this? Or am I missing something?

Later – Of course now that I’m looking for something else (that’s out of stock) I see the WishList button again….

Written By: Gary on April 17, 2006 No Comment

So I forgot what people said it was going to be like here:

  • People trying to get you to buy things.
  • Trying to take you to the pyramids or a camel ride.
  • Trying to be your taxi
  • The incessant honking on the roads (there are so many honks you don’t know who it’s aimed at).

    When I say “what people said”, I mean people and books and web sites and TV shows and the tour guide.

  • Written By: Gary on December 1, 2004 3 Comments

    Someone keeps a Listmainia list at Amazon.com on the 25 Weirdest Items (LINK BROKEN) you can buy! I own the number 1 item! And one of the other items is also on my Wish List.

    Written By: Gary on April 18, 2004 No Comment

    So I’m looking at a new condo, I put a small deposit down to hold the one I want, I have to cough up more on saturday if I want to keep it. easton I was just in looking at it today (again) and I asked about the windows because my unit is mirrored and flipped around onto the other end and the windows that would be on the end have a building against it. She’ll check the blueprints, but I’m afraid they are just going to say that wall will be bare (which means I will not purchase it). I took a few photos, but none outside (oops), I’ll get one to post next time. Here’s a drawing from the web site (my place is only one-fourth of this)…

    UPDATE: Wasn’t set up like I imagined so I canceled… Sigh…

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    Written By: Gary on April 13, 2004 5 Comments

    The story goes –

    A few years ago, I was chatting with a stranger in a bar. When I told him I was an economist, he said, “Ah. So… what are the Two Things about economics?”

    “Huh?” I cleverly replied.

    “You know, the Two Things. For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.”

    “Oh,” I said. “Okay, here are the Two Things about economics. One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

    For computers I’d say:

    1. Reboot if it acts up.
    2. Backup your files.

    From http://www.kegz.net/blog/eggz/ who got it from here.

    To save readers some money I’ll include two bonus items:

    1. Don’t buy the best unless you have cash to burn (or really intense games to play / processes to run). In another 12-18 months that machine will be 25%-%50 less or the new model will be 50% faster.
    2. Make sure it’s got a good return policy (unless you know it’s exactly what you want).

    What’s your two things?

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