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Posts Tagged ‘thrifty’

  1. Free Calling with Google Voice…..

    December 28, 2011 by Karl

    ….. but wait! There’s More!

    OBi110 berry berry berry berry berry

    In this article, you will find out how to make free phone calls with your land line to anywhere in the United States, using Google Voice.  The thrifty & frugal minded, can also use this to completely discard their local phone bill while still maintaining their land line in their house.

    Google Voice, launched in March of 2009, is an internet based telecommunications system that allows for free calling to US residents within the US and Canada.  It is designed to work in conjunction with your internet based smart phone, or computer to make calls through the internet, not the phone company.  If you already have a calling plan with your smart phone that has unlimited calling, this may not interest you……… or does it?

    Many people have ditched their land lines because it doesn’t make sense to pay two phone bills.  But now, if you have a broadband internet service, you can tie that back into your existing phone line in the house to make free calls.  Google also assigns you a new number that will dial this new “land line” phone in your house.  The new Google number can be configured to call your home phone and cell phone at the same time.  It can be set up to translate voice messages to email or text messages.  This is a truly remarkable tool in itself.

    First let me be clear.  Google’s service only works through the internet, however it can make calls to any land line in the world (for a fee outside the US).  With the purchase of a small little box that plugs into a standard telephone, it can also tie into your land line so that you can make outgoing calls just like you normally would with your land line, all for free within the US.  What does this mean?  Well, it means that you can now have your land line back without the cost!  If you still have a land line, you can tie this device in to Google Voice and your normal phone service so that your outgoing long distance calls will be free!

    The device to do this is called the OBi110, and you can purchase it through Amazon for 49.99.  You can often find coupon codes to lower the price to $43.99.  I will try to keep this post updated with any available coupon codes.

    The down side?  Well, the only downsides are the price of the OBi110, and Google Voice does not provide 911 service, but you can get this service through other providers such as voip.ms for $1.50 per month.  You can also tie this service into the OBi110.  This device is truly amazing.  I have one now, and plan on purchasing another one to have an additional line out of the house.  Our land line bill will be going away completely in the next month, once we get our business and fax line switched over.  That’s over $50 per month that we will not be sending out the door.

    The first step (which is entirely free) is to set up a Google Voice account, to see how it all works.  Once you have done that, and you are happy with the voice quality and reliability of the service, take the next step and buy the OBi110 device.  You will not regret it.

    One last comment.  Google Voice’s free phone calls are subject to change, but currently they are offering the free service through 2012 (just extended).  I suspect they will be extending this again into the far distant future.



  2. Free Computer Software for Home and Office

    December 28, 2011 by Karl

    – No gimmicks –

    This article contains a list of free software that I love, along with a link to more.

    If you love using your computer but don’t love buying software, this is the place for you.  In the computer software category you will find links to sites that can provide you with hundreds of applications for your PC / MAC / Linux computer.

    OpenOffice berry berry berry berry berry

    First on the list – If you haven’t been using OpenOffice on your computer, then you either can’t open a word document on your computer, or you have paid Microsoft (in most cases hundreds of dollars) for their office product.  OpenOffice gives you all the user-friendly capabilities of Microsoft Office, for free, and it can even open and save documents in the Microsoft formats (word documents, excel spread sheets, power point presentation, etc).  No gimmicks!  I have been using OpenOffice exclusively in my business for about 8 years.  I have never had an issue saving a file and opening it on a machine with Microsoft’s Office products.  Check it out!

     

    Firefox Thunderbird berry berry berry berry berry

    Firefox & Thunderbird come next.  You are probably familiar with the Firefox web browser.  Firefox is still being used by the majority of the internet population according to w3schools.  Mozilla, the same people who brought you Firefox also have a great email client.   An email client sits on your computer and collects your email for you, so you don’t need to log into a webmail server.  It’s like having a robot that runs out to the mailbox every few minutes to see if you have any new mail.  It saves you the headache of going on-line and logging in to check your mail.  Your emails are downloaded, stored, and managed on your computer.

    One of the neat things about Thunderbird is that you can install “add-ons”.  These are applications that add enhanced features to the Thunderbird program, such as a built-in calendar, printing tools, mail merge capabilities, etc.  Thunderbird also has a complete built-in contact manager database, to keep track of all your friends or customers.  The flexibility of Thunderbird is astounding.

     

    WinDirStat berry berry berry berry berry

    I was searching for years to find something that would allow me to see what files and folders on my computer were taking up the most space. Windows explorer only shows you individual files, but when it comes down to figuring out what is happening on your entire computer’s hard drive, there was nothing. Finally I found this application called WinDirStat.  It’s a free application, and it is the most useful tool!  It gives you a picture of your drive, including what files, folders, and sub-folders are taking up all your space.  It helps me keep track of what is happening on my hard drive.  Don’t think you need this?  What about those files that you backed up from one computer to another and then forgot about???  If your hard drive is running low on space, it is almost guaranteed that this application can help you find some stuff that shouldn’t still be taking up residence.

     

    PCMag Free Software berry berry berry berry berry

    PC Mag comes out with a “Best free software” article every year.  In 2011 they listed over 200 applications, along with ratings, in lots of different categories.  I have tried out a lot of it, and their reviews are fairly decent.  Check them out at: PCMag