Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Laptop Hard Drive Broke

generic laptopA few weeks ago I accidentally broke my Lenovo laptop's hard drive. Let me start off by saying this was totally my fault. I had placed a couple of heavy objects on my desk's shelves and one of my daughters asked for an item. While I was grabbing for it one of the heavy items fell off the shelf and landed squarely on my laptop which was on at the time. Immediately it started making a weird noise so I tried to go to Windows and shut it down, but the mouse cursor was unresponsive so I manually pressed the button to turn it off.

When I tried booting up my computer again it seemed to load correctly and reached the windows screen. It didn't make the weird noise anymore, but unfortunately when I tried to use the mouse or open any program the laptop stuttered and wasn't responsive. I tried running a memory scan, but this did little to help the situation.

I called up my brother since he is the computer wiz in my family, and he told me to try to load an Ubuntu disk to retrieve my saved work and files. I went over to his apartment and picked up an Ubuntu CD, and successfully loaded the CD and was able to run Ubuntu. I then proceeded to transfer my files over to a USB stick.

My next step was to buy a new hard drive at Best Buy. I was able to get the same amount of space for about $30.
Lenovo logo

I then called Lenovo support to ask them for recovery disks. I had to talk to two different people and their phone support was terrible. I could barely hear them, because the line was fuzzy and scratchy. The first thing they did was check and see if my laptop was still under warranty, and after giving two different people the same information; they concluded that it wasn't. I was fine with this I knew my laptop was over a year old, I just wanted my installation disks to fix my computer! They then asked me what model I had, and I told them it was an Ideapad Y560. After 30 minutes of being on the phone I was able to get them to send me the disks, but it would cost me $50! I ponied up the money with my credit card.

After two weeks my disks arrived in the mail, but to my dismay they were for the Y460 model, and not the Y560 model that I told them several times! I was livid, but I ran the disks and it installed most of the software correctly. The only problem was the disks didn't have the correct graphics card drivers. I went to the Lenovo website and with the help of my brother we were able to find the right drivers and install them.

Two Lessons Learned From This Incident

  • Never overload and place heavy items on my desk shelf area again.
  • I will not be purchasing a Lenovo brand laptop again.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shopping for Sister's Birthday

birthday gift box with a green bowMy sister's birthday is coming up so I decide to send her a text message and see what kind of birthday gift she wants this year. I was out getting my haircut at the mall and was hoping she would reply quickly enough so I wouldn't have to make two trips.

Alas she doesn't text me back until the following day. She tells me that she is planning on purchasing some new pairs of jeans and offers me two of her desired stores that I could get her a gift card from.

I immediately think of my local Kroger store to purchase the gift cards, because they offer quadruple points on all gift card purchases. The next day I head over to Kroger and peruse their gift card kiosk, and quickly find one of the stores she messaged me. I pick out a $50 one and then head over to the holiday/birthday card aisle.

It's amazing how sometimes I take a long time to find the right birthday card and other times I find it within the first or second one I look at. This time I found the perfect card on the second one I picked up. It said something about how as siblings growing up we didn't agree all the time on the front cover, and inside it said there is one thing we can agree on, she is getting old. I know I am going to get it next year for my card.

gasoline pump dripping gas
I head over to the self-checkout and proceed to complete my purchase. I check my receipt and I received 200 fuel points for the $50 gift card. After I get back to my car I head over to Kroger's gas station to immediately use up my fuel points. I end up getting 40 cents off per gallon bringing the price down to $3.05. I really prefer using their gas pump as opposed to my local Exxon Mobil station even though I have the ExxonMobil Smart card I haven't been using it that much.

I think this was the best way to purchase my sister's birthday present although next year I will do some more research to see if I can find a better deal than just getting fuel points, but at least I used the points and didn't let them go to waste.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Hubpages Challenge

hubpages logoThis month I am setting a goal of writing two new Hubs a week for Hubpages. I have been a member of their website for well over 4 years, and in the beginning I was pretty gun-ho about writing and publishing articles through them.

After a few months though my enthusiasm died down after I saw how little traffic and revenue I was receiving to my Hubs, and I thought I had moved on. I am also a member of Squidoo a similar website with the same concept, and at the time I was getting much more traffic to that site and a little bit more revenue, but nothing that would blow anyone away.

Over time though Hubpages really turned things around with quality control. It seemed like 4 years ago you could write just about anything, and they would publish it that has since changed dramatically for better. Now it is more difficult to get any substandard writing approved, and they have actual moderators that must approve any new material. A fair Hubpages review I found online.

The reason for my personal challenge is I have found that Hubpages is a good way to get Youtube views and people interested in your website. Plus I still am making a couple dollars a month from the Hubs that I wrote all those years ago. I know it isn't much money, but I like to look at this as an extremely long-tail venture.

For me their isn't much work involved in writing. I can complete an article in 2 to 3 hours depending on how much research I need to do on the topic. Most of the topics I write about are video games and personal finance related. I will keep this updated and let you know if I complete my challenge!