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  • Tips for the weekend – November 13 – geek shopping tips

    Home » Forums » AskWoody blog » Tips for the weekend – November 13 – geek shopping tips

    • This topic has 24 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks ago.
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    #2401444

    (Youtube here) I was out at my local Home Improvement store this weekend and clearly Christmas is here. The tree decorations, lighting displays, poins
    [See the full post at: Tips for the weekend – November 13 – geek shopping tips]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2401451

      I will be buying the usual seasonal gifts this year

      A big box of bah humbugs

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2401465

        There is a far que on bah humbugs.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2401470

      Under $50
      1- Wireless remote control outlets with extra remotes. Or you can buy ones you control via the internet. Great for controlling lighting. A lot cheaper than buying remote control lights.
      2- Portable bluetooth speaker. These are great for travel and can link to your phone or laptop. Price varies by frequency response. You can get something decent for $20 and if you go to $40 you can get some pretty good sound.
      Around $100
      3- Kindle Fire HD, nice for reading and streaming video. However the color is non-adjustable so not so good for photographers. I would also spring for the “no ads” version.
      4- Halo Bolt charger. This has been a life saver for charging phones or laptops during power outages and when we travel. Also, it will jump start your car. No more jumper cables! Be sure it is the type you can carry on the plane.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2401476

      Are there any more refurbishers that folks recommend?

      Ideally, I’ll find a used but good condition Dell Optiplex Mini-Tower (fat case with room for more HDDs) with Win 10 Pro 64-bit, an SSD drive and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

      Thanks.

      • #2401508

        I haven’t seen it mentioned on this thread, so check out dellrefurbished.com

        I’ve had excellent success with them in buying 2 laptops, but there’s usually plenty of optiplex models available. One of the laptops was a cosmetic grade of B, but I really had to look to tell it wasn’t brand new. Prices tend to fluctuate; be patient and you can snag some really good deals. Make sure you check out any specials they’re running. Right now I think they have a 40% off Veteran’s Day sale that ends Monday morning. (Might be only for previous customers, but check.)

      • #2401556

        Two years ago I bought our refurb at Micro Center—Dell Small Form Factor, core i7-4790, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD with Win 10 Pro. It cost just under $500 including sales tax (no monitor included—we already had one and I’ve since bought one more).

    • #2401477

      You can go cheap or expensive on the following two items.

      Portable battery pack for a phone that doesn’t last a day. These are great to have too for power outages when you can’t recharge your phone or tablet. I own several and they come in handy. We lost power Christmas Day 2020 for 18 hours.  We lost power recently for 2 days.

      Micro sd cards for the person who owns a device that uses them to store extra files. Make sure you check hardware requirements so you don’t buy something that has more GB than the device supports.

      I was able to surf on my phone, listen to music on my mp3 player and watch movies or read a book loaded on micro sd cards on my tablet using the portable batteries and the micro sd cards.

       

       

      Got coffee?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2401497

      Some of those car jump starters have USB charging port and are multi taskers.

      OMGess Susan a $350 keyboard???

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2401528

      So what are some of your geek buying tips for the holiday season

      A big capacity thumb drive, e.g., 256 GB or even more. On a similar vein, if you have a photographer member of your family, find out what the biggest storage card their favorite camera takes and get one of those. Flash storage can be found decently priced. I just got a couple of fast 256 GB Samsung thumb drives for $35 each.

      Another pretty geeky gift I got from my son last year, and which turned out to be occasionally actually useful (not to mention fun) is a digital microscope/inspection camera. There are USB wired and wireless varieties, and the images can be shown on phone or computer. Handy especially for older eyes.

      Everyone can use a nice fresh set of rechargeable AA cells. How many clocks or game controllers or remote controls or whatever gadgets do you have eating up AA batteries? If you have a bit more to spend, get a good multi-technology charger to go with them.

      A high powered LED flashlight (e.g., Thrunite TN 12, TC 12, or TC 15 Neutral White) can be the cat’s meow for a dad or someone who finds themselves in the dark occasionally. With 18650 power these things throw light equal or beyond car headlights. You hardly ever need to use the full power setting, and they throw light literally for hours.

      -Noel

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2401529

        Higher-end gifts if you have a few hundreds to spend on family member (or even yourself!) might include…

        Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones. OMG, these things really work to cancel out, well, everything and they provide really high-end sound. They work with Windows PCs or Macs, and you’ll make an impression on your next teleconference call.

        A high-end power supply / jump starter (e.g., NOCO Boost). Lithium rechargeable cells inside, days of USB power, and jump start capability. Nice to have in the car, though you have to remember to get it out and recharge it occasionally.

        -Noel

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2401736

        A high powered LED flashlight (e.g., Thrunite TN 12

        nice but Price: $159.99 hefty

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2401516

      I take it there are no “downgrade rights” to buy a PC/laptop infested with Win 11 and flatten/reinstall Win 10? It could be my imagination, but I have some vague notion you could do that with Win 7/10 back in the early days of 10.

      Welp, I better go see if I can find physical install media or a serial code purchase for 10 Pro as I was hoping to build a new desktop in the next few months.

      • #2401559

        Dell Latitude Laptops for Business | Dell USA

        If you purchase business laptops, they come with 11 with a downgrade to 10 licenses.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      • #2401602

        I bought a new laptop from HP with Windows 11 Home already installed.  I powered up the laptop and registered it with Windows 11.  I didn’t want Windows 11, so I went to the Microsoft Windows 10 download site (Download Windows 10 (microsoft.com)) and clicked on “Update Now”.  I was able to successfully downgrade to the latest Windows 10 release.  I was also able to successfully upgrade to Windows 10 Pro after downgrading to Windows 10 Home.  The laptop is still running great on Windows 10 Pro with no issues.  I’m planning on waiting until Windows 10 is not supported anymore before upgrading to Windows 11.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2401693

        Thank you, Susan and other-anon. I too plan to ride the Win 10 horse until EOL.

        Perhaps by then Win 11 (11.1?) will have become tolerable or I’ll be conversant enough with Linux to use it as a daily driver and just have “that one Windows machine” when I can’t duck using it.

    • #2401557

      We bought a 10.2-inch, 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad a year and a half ago mainly for saving money on our daily newspaper subscription. It paid for itself in savings after 24 weeks and that includes the cost of a case and an external keyboard. I also use it for keeping myself from getting bored on the treadmill (I watch chess videos), to watch shows on HBO Max (our set is too old—by one year—to see it on there without buying a Roku or something) and for Zoom meetings. One of the best buys I’ve ever made!

    • #2401558

      I’m a big fan of Buy Nothing Christmas, to disregard entirely the commercial aspects of the Christmas holiday.
      For years I’ve had an arrangement with everyone I know to buy nothing for Xmas. Less waste and a LOT less stress.
      Give it a try and you too might become a convert and actually enjoy Xmas 🙂

      Windows 10 Home 21H1, non-techie

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2401737

        I would like that but have to settle for giving$$$. At least I don’t have to pretend to know what size shoe someone wears 😄

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2401576

      I’m not a fan of the word “Xmas”, though it might be useful to distinguish the commercial fest from the religious festival to mark the supposed birth date of Jesus Christ.  It’s the conflation of the two that is so offensive these days.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

    • #2401581

      I’m not a fan of the word “Xmas”, though it might be useful to distinguish the commercial fest from the religious festival to mark the supposed birth date of Jesus Christ.  It’s the conflation of the two that is so offensive these days.

      I’m not a fan of the whole sorry commercial-driven season itself, but use of the word “Xmas” dates back to at least the 16th century

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2401655

      use of the word “Xmas” dates back to at least the 16th century

      I am much obliged to you, and to Wikipedia.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

    • #2401683

      When giving a Kindle as a gift, an Amazon gift card would be a nice add-on, as Kindle books are not always cheap. I use it for books that get re-read regularly such as a Bible.

      Downside is there is no such thing as a used Kindle book.

    • #2401944

      In case you were not aware, Amazon does offer free Kindle books.

      https://www.amazon.com/free-kindle-books/s?k=free+kindle+books

      I have a few mysteries loaded on my android tablet (Kindle app) and on my Kindle.

      Got coffee?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2402073

        There is also Project Gutenberg for downloads of public-domain books.

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