Why I Buy My Computers And Other Electronics Online A Tale Of Voip Billing Woe The Technology Behind A Plasma Tv Screen Checklist For Buying Quality Printer Toner Supplies On The Internet

I must admit that I’d be absolutely lost without the growing number of desktop and laptop computers, printers, digital cameras and all the other assorted electronic equipment in my house and home office. I know I once got along without all this gear, but that was back in the olden days, in the last millennium. Today I absolutely depend on it.

What this means is that I buy a lot of stuff, and I have formed some definite opinions about where I do my shopping and what places I avoid like the plague.

I hate to say it, but #1 on my list of places to avoid are the big electronics chain stores. They are certainly convenient and their prices are usually in the ballpark. And all their glossy brochures have lured me more than once when I quickly needed some RAM, a disk, or a new inkjet printer. Problem is that their sales people are embarrassingly clueless and often only interested in selling extended service contracts. No thank you.

When I build a new desktop computer I occasionally buy the parts from a local electronics superstore. Those places are a geek’s paradise, or they could be if it weren’t for a couple of really annoying deal breakers. First, half of the boards don’t work after I bring them home. And second, I absolutely refuse to buy things that are only a good deal after a mail-in rebate or two. I’ve been burned too many times with rebates. No more.

Office supply stores are stocking more and more electronic equipment. So when I go buy a ream of paper or some other small stuff I often end up looking at their laptops and digital cameras. And once I even bought a notebook computer there, something that I later regretted as there was, of course, no service or support. I actually like the office supply stores and have no problem buying things like laser printer cartridges there, but that’s about it for computer stuff.

Another bad practice that’s taking over is luring customers with low prices, make them wade through several order screens, and then break the bad news, like some gargantuan shipping charge or that, sadly, the item is not in stock. Do that to me once and I won’t be back.

So where do I get most of my electronics gear? Online. I love being able to browse online stores at my leisure, without any sales pressure and usually with all the information I need. I like neat, clean just-the-facts stores that specialize in the kind of gear I want. I don’t need useless “reviews” by folks who always seem to have an axe to grind or hate everything. And I don’t need long lists of the 99 lowest prices on the web. All I want is information and a good selection. I do expect a degree of customer support in case I have questions, and most of the better online stores can handle that easily.

Had someone told me 10 or 15 years ago that some day I’d buy things like laptops, digital cameras, printers or even desktop computers online from some website far away, I’d have laughed. But that’s where I get most of my electronic equipment and gadgets from these days, and I’ve rarely ever had a bad experience. Those online stores seem to try a lot harder, and that’s good news for guys like me.

We recently signed up with a Voice Over Internet Protocol provider at work. At the beginning there was a lot of hesitation to use a technology we thought was considerably young. Even though in technology age it’s pretty old, having been created in the mid 90’s. Still, there were a lot of concerns about reliability and use. Previously nobody in the office had, had any familiarity with with Voice Over Internet Protocol, which is often shortened to VoIP, and pronounced voyp.

At the beginning things were frustrating, and we quickly learned that you shouldn’t have your VoIP tied to an unreliable internet connection. Also, we quickly discovered that using our VoIP for faxing was going to be inconvenient. On top of that we signed up with a service provider who was less than helpful. One particularly disturbing incident was just recently resolved. After a couple months with our VoIP we noticed a discrepancy in our bill. We had signed on for auto-bill pay and when we looked at our bills we noticed that our monthly charges had jumped from the original quote of $39.99, to nearly double. When I called our provider they explained that when we had signed up they had given us a “free” extra line. However, after a couple months the offer had expired and the second line was no longer free. What made the experience even more aggravating was the second line cancellation fee which was something like $40.00. After talking with the timid operator, who recognized my situation for what it was, a scam, he agreed to drop the cancellation charge. But we were still out almost $100.00 in charges for that second line.

This experience left the business with a sour taste in our corporate mouth. This wasn’t so much due to VoIP, but to our VoIP provider. It was unfortunate that we didn’t do the research necessary to find a quality VoIP provider.

During this whole experience we placed calls to other providers, and we quickly discovered that we had jumped the gun in selecting our voice over IP provider. These other companies seemed twice as friendly and a far better deal over all. However, doing this research was like pouring salt into an already gaping wound.

When we had selected our provider, we had merely glanced at the top three VoIP companies out there. After a brief comparison between companies we made our decision. Part of the problem was that our decision was made in haste. This was because we were a start up company and needed a phone number quickly. Having an operational phone were our customers could reach us was more important than heavy research on voice over IP providers. On top of that we had to have advertisements made and business cards printed. So much in business revolves around that phone number and we needed it fast. That haste decision has cost us an extra $100.00 so far, plus the additional stress associated with working with a less than hospitable company.

I’m writing this all down so you can avoid the pitfalls that I encountered. During the time of frustration with our current VoIP provider we discovered that there were lots of smaller companies out there, who offered sometimes more for less than what we are currently paying. If only we had done a little searching we could have made this discovery and avoided a massive headache. I’ve penned this cautionary tale in order to encourage you to seek out these smaller and lesser known providers.

Currently, things have become a little bit better. But it still hurts to pay our provider every month knowing that there are companies out there who are willing to provide us the same service with a smile. We would cancel with our current VoIP provider but they have forced us to live in fear. Fear of having to go through it all again. Not only would canceling their service come with a charge, but it might also mean we would have to go through the headache all again. It’s the cowards way I know, but it’s more convenient then the alternative.

Using voice over internet protocol has been great. We get our voice messages in emails, and phone calls can be routed to our cell phones if we have to step out. As far as I’m concerned I wouldn’t want anything else in the office. I only wish I had gone with some other VoIP provider. The good news is, you still can, and even I can in a year or two. So do the research and find the right VoIP provider for you. You won’t regret it.

For many years, the technology that allowed you to sit in your home and watch audio and video was based on a tube technology. Very basically, light was shined into a tube which then projected the image onto the screen of your television set. The technology behind the plasma TV screen isn’t so very much different in some respects, but is very different in others.

First, keep in mind that plasma TV screens aren’t a new idea. Almost as long as people have had the power to watch television, there have been those with the idea for plasma television. It was during the 1960s that a college professor created the first plasma TV screen, though manufacturers weren’t anxious to pursue the technology until much more recently.

The technology is based on a series of very small lights. The lights are fluorescent and each pixel has three colors – red, green and blue. The lights are illuminated based on the code of the image being received so that the viewer sees a series of lights that form an image.

Plasma TVs have nothing to do with blood. In this case, plasma is a gas. The gas in its neutral state is stagnant. When electricity is introduced into the situation, these particles become active and light is released. The process is very fast, making it possible for pictures to be updated quickly so that you have the impression of a moving image when watching the television.

There are some other technologies that have been tried along the way. The liquid display screen works in a very similar manner and the result is a quality picture, though some argue that the plasma TV is the ultimate viewing experience.

One of the most beneficial points of the plasma TV is the fact that the layers needed to make this technology work are very thin, resulting in a television screen that is mere inches thick. Even for a very large screen, the thickness of the layers changes little, meaning the screens are easy to handle, mount and view.

There’s no doubt that technology will continue to develop as new people have better ideas for bringing audio and video into our homes. But when you see the crisp clear images of a plasma TV, it’s rather difficult to imagine how it could get any better than this.

More and more people are shopping online for their printer and toner supplies. There are online stores that carry almost every brand name and accessory in existence. There are advantages and disadvantages of using an online source for these products, and a few things to watch out for while shopping as well. Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for when buying printer and toner supplies online.

Check for Compatibility

The tricky part to buying laser printer supplies and toner is making sure the accessories are compatible with your printer. Most printers come with a toner cartridge already installed. But when it comes time to replace the cartridge, you should look at the old cartridge and write down the product serial or identification number on the cartridge. If you’re not sure about the type of toner cartridge needed, check in your printer manual.

You can also check in the printer manual to find out about other replaceable parts if your printer needs a repair. It’s important to buy parts that are compatible. Trying to install toner or other parts that are not compatible could harm the machine. Also, you’ll save time and money by checking the compatibility in advance. If you order the wrong toner, it will have to be shipped to you and then shipped back to the company for an exchange. The company might not refund your original shipping amount so that’s money lost.

Price versus Quality

Compare prices on printer supplies and toner, but don’t go by price alone. There are many companies that sell cheap made products at cheap prices. It’s better to pay a little more and get a good brand name product than to waste money on a product that won’t last.

Search online for quality brand names such as Apple, IBM, Lanier, Epson, Dell, Brother, Canon, Digital, GCC, Genicom, Samsung, Panasonic, Pitney Bowes, and HP Comp. This will ensure you are getting printer accessories that are of a good quality.

Ordering, Shipping, and Other Products

Check to be sure the online company offers secure ordering and has reasonable shipping charges. Sometimes the shipping charges can eat up your savings. You’d be better off buying from a local store. But if you live far from the nearest printer supply store and the shipping is affordable, it’s well worth buying online.

Some online companies will offer a variety of products along with printer supplies. These products might include Sony tape drives, laptop hard drives, notebook batteries, CD/DVD drives, floppy drives, cell phone batteries, digital cameras and batteries, inkjet cartridges, and more.

When you find a dependable company online that offers all these products at reasonable prices, you’ve found a goldmine! You can shop for your own printer toner supplies along with other related items and combine shipping amounts to save money. Or, you can use the services for holiday gift shopping. Either way, you’ll save time and money by ordering these products online from the comfort of your own home.

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