Posts Tagged ‘software’

What the heck is Open Source?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Open Source software, that is software that is non-proprietary and in other words, free.  In the world of Open Source, you have simplified, user-friendly versions of the Microsoft Office suite (i.e. Open Office) as well as pretty much anything else you can imagine.  Mozilla Firefox is a great example of Open Source software that works very well.

If you like this concept, are a tiny bit computer savvy and are tired of paying through the nose for various types of software, Open Source might be the way to go.  To get you started, here are two great Open Source sites:

Open Source As Alternative: www.osalt.com  This site will help you find Open Source alternative to your favorite proprietary programs.

For Windows users, there is also: www.opensourcewindows.org

Finally, definitely check out www.cnet.com.  They have a giant proprietary and non-proprietary download database plus user reviews that are extremely helpful–which is where I learned about my favorite encryption software, TrueCrypt.

Because of the nature of my work, I need to have my data and backup sources encrypted at all times.  And encryption software and support can be expensive, time consuming, and not to mention scary if you don’t install it correctly.

After carefully reading through the TrueCrypt instructions, and following them step-by-step, I found it quite easy to use.  If you have a need for this type of software, check it out on www.truecrypt.org.  It works with Windows, Mac & Linux.

Have a great week!

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • blogmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time | No Comments »


Springtime, Yard Stuff, & A Special Treat

Monday, March 16th, 2009

March in CT is a time that fills me with happiness–spring is near–but dread as well…because it means yard work!

Saving money and time with gardening can be really challenging, particularly if you live in an area of the country where you sort of feel like the weeds are in charge no matter what you do!  And landscaping  services might be out of your price  range. 

So here’s what I’ve found that can help:

Get yourself some good tools. Aside from rakes and the usually gardening paraphernalia, here are some gadgets that actually have worked for me:

  • Leaf picker-uppers a.k.a. leaf scoops.  I saw these on HSN last year flipping through one day for $20…and then happily found them in Walmart for $4!  They help you pick up larger bunches of leaves & debris at once, thus saving your back.  It looks like Ace Hardware sells them as well, for $7: http://www.acehardware.com/sm-gardex-leaf-scoop-gardex-leaf-scoop-price-6-99-the–pi-1278101.html
  • Weed pullers:I don’t know about you, but I find digging out dandelions to be a pain in the butt, not to mention knees and back.  Looking for a solution, I skeptically bought a Fiskars weed puller, since I saw this on some home show as being the best that they tried out.   It actually worked–and I also got to enjoy ejecting the weeds on to a tarp for easy pick up.  Here it is: http://www.fiskars.com/EX/Garden/Other+Garden+Tools/Other/Product+Detail139910.html
  • Pop-up gardening buckets a.k.a “kangaroo containers”:  Since weeding in CT is usually a big chore on a regular basis, you can easily go through 2 or 3 garbage buckets in one weeding session!  I found that the pop-up bucket makes for easier storage.  I use it with plastic garbage bags, empty the bags at the local mulching center, and then reuse them until the holes get too big.  Fiskars makes these pop-up buckets but many brands can be found on www.amazon.com if you type in “pop up gardening buckets”.

Some other tips on saving money & time w/ gardening:

  • Start clean ups early in the season.  The earlier you get on top of these problems, the more manageable they are as the months go on.  We had an instance last year where we had let a certain area get out of control and had to call in the professionals to clean it up.  After that, we were able to maintain it and not need landscaping services for the rest of the year.
  • It might be better to plant in the fall rather than the spring.  Depending on where you live, you may save yourself money and aggravation if you wait until the fall to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs.  Usually by September or October, perennials and bulbs go on sale so you are getting a discount.  Then, many plants actually have a better chance of survival because they have the whole winter to establish their root systems.  If you plant in the spring and have a hot, dry summer, you may lose more plants than had you waited until the fall to buy them. 
  • Find out if your town has a local mulching/recycling center or lawn debris pick-up.  Danbury has both; for those of you who are local and didn’t know about these services, Ferris Mulch Products is the drop-off center and it is free.  Curbside pickup is listed on the City of Danbury website, but if you want them to pick-up your stuff curbside in a reasonable amount of time, call City Hall and they’ll send a truck your way.

Happy gardening!

And since you were so kind to read to the bottom of this post…here’s a great deal that came to me by way of Christina O.  As part of a legitimate software review program, you can get yourself some free software, including products such as HGTV Home & Landscape, which sells for $99 normally. They currently have about 25 left of each to review. There are also other types of software to review including Scrapbook Factory Pro and Hallmark Card Studio.  The catch is that you have to have an Amazon.com profile and must review the software.  If you are interested in this invitation only freebie, click on this link: http://www.critiquemanager.com/review278.html and enjoy!

You can read more about the review program here: http://www.critiquemanager.com/review278.html 

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • blogmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time | 2 Comments »


Saving lots of time and money on software

Monday, October 20th, 2008

For those of you who have been reading for awhile, you probably have some vague recollection of my praise for top 10 honoree www.download.com.  It’s that great place to find spyware free software downloads where you can truly “try before you buy”.

 However, here’s another way to save both time and money on software for those of you using Microsoft Office that you may not know about.

 Did you ever have to write a letter, build a spreadsheet or (ack!) a database and didn’t know where to start?  That blank “new document” staring you in the face can be quite daunting.  Instead, try www.office.microsoft.com and click on their “Templates” list at the top of the page.  Here you can find a template for just about anything–from building a personal budget to tracking a kitchen remodel to spreadsheets on “activity based depreciation” and project proposals. 

The best part is that they are all free and if you already know your way a little bit around the Office software suite, there’s no need to learn a whole new program.  No building painful spreadsheets with long formulas just to find that one line is wrong. No staring at a blank page when you need to write a business letter–get a head start. That saves a HUGE amount of time and free is a very good price!

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • blogmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Tags: , ,
Posted in Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time | No Comments »


Truly free downloads

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Hi everyone!

 Sorry for not posting last week.  Last Monday we returned from visiting family in France and it has taken me a week to get caught up and get my house back together again!  In addition, with knee surgery tomorrow, it has been Super Turbo around our household!

So back to the Top 10 list…

 As far as software is concerned, I absolutely love www.download.com.  This site belongs to CNET, which also does computer hardware and software reviews.  The beauty of www.download.com is that you can search their software database for whatever you are looking for–whether it’s anything from money management to wine cataloging to you name it.  Downloads receive reviews from both the editors as well as the public so you have both sides of the story. 

 Some of the software is trial period, some is outright free, and all are spyware tested.  Why is spyware tested important?  Because a lot of “free” programs are subsidized by placing spyware in the program so that your shopping habits and/or personal info can be sold to other companies.  Not cool.  With www.download.com, you know exactly what you are (or aren’t) getting.

So the next time you are looking for a software program and don’t have the time to scour the Internet or run to Best Buy, try www.download.com and enjoy the time and money saved!

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • blogmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Tags: ,
Posted in Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time | No Comments »