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Old 12-24-2010, 01:56 PM   #21
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Nope - the leap to the generalization that life is much more complicated nowadays is a separate issue from the specific technological hurdle.
It seems to me that I used to be able to pay bills etc. without it being a life-draining experience involving phone calls discussing what's wrong with the bill. It takes me forever to deal with paperwork these days. I don't think it's technology, either.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:18 PM   #22
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We got the Executive membership this year ($100) which they promise to refund back to the regular cost if you don't make more. I think I'm way ahead. I buy tons of food - and other stuff - at Costco. I don't read any of the crap they send me on any cards. I pay them off each month in full. AMEX doubles the manufacturer's warranty (I think it adds up to a year) on things bought with that card so I use it most of the time (plus get 1 - 3% off by using the Costco Amex True Earnings (?) card). Free Amex card...

I hate to sound like an ad for Costco but they really do pay attention to quality.

Agree! Apparently, we spent enough this year to bump up to exec membership too... The electronics, computer, sd card type items are always good quality and great prices.

This card pays me between $300-400 per year (after paying off membership fee)...
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:45 PM   #23
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It seems to me that I used to be able to pay bills etc. without it being a life-draining experience involving phone calls discussing what's wrong with the bill. It takes me forever to deal with paperwork these days. I don't think it's technology, either.
My experience is exactly the opposite. I have seen no degrading of accuracy in billing. And with all the on-line bill paying and auto-pay I hardly have any paperwork! It's great these days how much you can do with so little paper, yet you still have all the info at your fingertips whenever it is needed.

Audrey
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:15 PM   #24
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I agree, might be an Apple issue. Some years ago I got a Nano as a gift. Ran into the same kind of thing. Somebody forgot the out-of-box checklist.

Itunes appears to be just a way to force users into entering their virtual store to buy stuff. Once the Nano lost all the CD's I had downloaded into it. I think this was an Itune's bug. Didn't want to go through the loading hassle again. The Nano's in my drawer. Itunes is history on our PC's.

Maybe it's just my anti-Apple bias. Don't like to contribute to Steve Jobs and resent the high Apple PC pricing.
I was once the king of the land known as Anything-Other-Than-Apple and thought anyone who bought any Apple product to be a fool being parted from his money. Then one day, after throwing my umpteenth other-than-iPod into the junk drawer, I surrendered and bought one of the cheaper iPods.

All of that other stuff was cheaper, but it was hell trying to get it to do stuff that an iPod did right out of the box. Yes it is more expensive, but since it all works I'm not wasting money tossing it away out of frustration. This transformation took place a little over a year ago, and at last count we now have 6 Apple devices (just bought an Apple TV today) and counting (thinking seriously about getting an Macbook Air soon).

Disclosure: Eldest son, an IT major who hates Apple but owns an iPhone, calls me a fanboy. He might be right, right after getting the first iPod I bought stock.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:37 PM   #25
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I've heard that some people really identify with the electronic equipment they purchase. I really love my HP desktop PC and the recent HP laptop we got. If anyone here is a big Apple fan I don't mean to imply that they made a purchase mistake. At least it's a US company doing well. Maybe we need a few more of those.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #26
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I'm not so sure about that. I use Costco to stock the freezer. The cost of gas at a Costco station is worth the $50 -- it's cheaper per gallon than the lowest cost station around. The Fred Meyer stores (Kroger chain) offer a 10 cent/gallon discount at their stations or Shell stations -- turns out Costco is still cheaper.

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Old 12-24-2010, 03:57 PM   #27
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This transformation took place a little over a year ago, and at last count we now have 6 Apple devices (just bought an Apple TV today) and counting (thinking seriously about getting an Macbook Air soon).
We're really enjoying our Apple TV. Now that sure simplified things! It does have it's initialization issues too, though, but that's now long past.

Audrey

P.S. I somehow knew that the first thing to do was plug my iPad into my Mac which launched iTunes. The rest was obvious. I agree that the first step is non-obvious unless you've initialized iPods etc. before.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:25 PM   #28
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We got the Executive membership this year ($100) which they promise to refund back to the regular cost if you don't make more. I think I'm way ahead. I buy tons of food - and other stuff - at Costco. I don't read any of the crap they send me on any cards. I pay them off each month in full. AMEX doubles the manufacturer's warranty (I think it adds up to a year) on things bought with that card so I use it most of the time (plus get 1 - 3% off by using the Costco Amex True Earnings (?) card). Free Amex card...

I hate to sound like an ad for Costco but they really do pay attention to quality.
+100

My general rule is if I can't buy it at Costco I don't buy it.
It is true that Amazon and online have stuff cheaper (sometimes) and certainly a wider selection, but the Costco return policy and general customer service is really excellent.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:18 PM   #29
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
My experience is exactly the opposite. I have seen no degrading of accuracy in billing. And with all the on-line bill paying and auto-pay I hardly have any paperwork! It's great these days how much you can do with so little paper, yet you still have all the info at your fingertips whenever it is needed.
I remember the good ol' days well enough to know that I ain't goin' back there.

Especially not to the part where I was writing checks, addressing envelopes, and licking stamps every couple of weeks.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:00 PM   #31
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I remember the good ol' days well enough to know that I ain't goin' back there.

Especially not to the part where I was writing checks, addressing envelopes, and licking stamps every couple of weeks.
I automated all the bills - hardly write any checks (yay). But I'm constantly having to call about health insurance coverage (lately), or fight with the cable company over the equipment... and it's always very wearing.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:33 PM   #32
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... or fight with the cable company over the equipment... and it's always very wearing.
I wonder which is better-- dysfunctional cable company equipment and customer service versus 1960s rabbit ears with three black & white channels.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking...
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:03 AM   #33
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I wonder which is better-- dysfunctional cable company equipment and customer service versus 1960s rabbit ears with three black & white channels.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking...
You forgot to include the ever-present aluminum foil on the rabbit ears - and the constant tweaking necessary to get the best reception. Ah yes, the good old days..."Good night, Chet. Good night, David."
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:23 AM   #34
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I remember the good ol' days well enough to know that I ain't goin' back there.

Especially not to the part where I was writing checks, addressing envelopes, and licking stamps every couple of weeks.
Not to mention waiting in line at the Post Office to get signature confirmation on my estimated tax payments.

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Old 12-25-2010, 02:41 PM   #35
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I agree, might be an Apple issue. Some years ago I got a Nano as a gift. Ran into the same kind of thing. Somebody forgot the out-of-box checklist.

Itunes appears to be just a way to force users into entering their virtual store to buy stuff. Once the Nano lost all the CD's I had downloaded into it. I think this was an Itune's bug. Didn't want to go through the loading hassle again. The Nano's in my drawer. Itunes is history on our PC's.

Maybe it's just my anti-Apple bias. Don't like to contribute to Steve Jobs and resent the high Apple PC pricing.
+1

Other mp3 players just pop up as a new storage device when plugged into my desktop, I can just drag the mp3s in. Setting up my friends new iPod was a big pain by comparison.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:37 PM   #36
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We got the Executive membership this year ($100) which they promise to refund back to the regular cost if you don't make more. I think I'm way ahead. I buy tons of food - and other stuff - at Costco. I don't read any of the crap they send me on any cards. I pay them off each month in full. AMEX doubles the manufacturer's warranty (I think it adds up to a year) on things bought with that card so I use it most of the time (plus get 1 - 3% off by using the Costco Amex True Earnings (?) card). Free Amex card...

I hate to sound like an ad for Costco but they really do pay attention to quality.
Agree. Quality is first rate. Also have the exec card and always make about $50 over the $100 cost each year.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:12 PM   #37
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I always operate my stereo, CD, DVD and TV equipment by hand. Yes, I get out of my seat and push buttons manually versus swearing at the remote(s).
It must be the engineer in me to prefer to calmly put aside non-standardized overcomplicated "user-friendly" multi-button devices from h*ll.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:55 AM   #38
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+100

My general rule is if I can't buy it at Costco I don't buy it.
It is true that Amazon and online have stuff cheaper (sometimes) and certainly a wider selection, but the Costco return policy and general customer service is really excellent.
Agree! but think they must send the sub par associates to the pizza kitchen? Must be the Siberia of Costco? They've screwed up so many simple orders, it's silly...
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #39
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I wonder which is better-- dysfunctional cable company equipment and customer service versus 1960s rabbit ears with three black & white channels.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking...
How about three good UHF antenna, one pointing at Erie PA, another pointing at Buffalo NY and one at Toronto Ontario. Total 25 or so off the air digital channels (some duplicate networks) with no cable or satellite company.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:09 AM   #40
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+1

Other mp3 players just pop up as a new storage device when plugged into my desktop, I can just drag the mp3s in. Setting up my friends new iPod was a big pain by comparison.
+2

After a few hours puzzling around trying to set up DW's ipod shuffle, we gave up. It is sitting in a box collecting dust right now. If only we could drag and drop mp3s on there it would be so much easier. I guess if you are a devout worshiper of itunes then it works like a charm, but for us, it was a huge hassle versus the other "inferior" mp3 players we own.
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