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June 18, 2011

Canon S95 Digital Camera SD Card

If you spend $399 on a digital camera, you pretty much expect to take photos with it out of the box, right? After all, there is no film in a digital camera.

But no, the bean counters at Canon cameras think like they did 20 years ago when they sold SLR cameras that took 35mm film.

You see, back then, you had to buy the film AND the camera.

I just purchased a Canon S95 digital camera only to find out that out of the box you can't take a photo. See what it says in the photo? No Memory Card


Give me a break. How much would a 4GB SD card cost Canon if they were buying them say 50,000 at a time? Two dollars, maybe even three?

For goodness sakes, you would think they would want really happy customers that could take photos once the battery was charged. But no, Canon wants to pinch pennies.

It's insane.


Pack an 8GB SD card with each digital camera and CHARGE the customer $5 more so you, Canon, don't suffer.


Posted by Tim Carter at 4:46 PM | Comments (12)

Deleting a Memory Channel on a Yaesu VX-7R

My Yaesu VX-7R ham radio user manual is missing a very important page if you want to delete a frequency you've stored in a memory location.

If you want to delete a channel and it's components from an existing memory location, you can't do it. You can't dial up that memory location on your radio and hit a series of keystrokes that will DELETE the data returning that spot in the memory to all zeros.

But you can easily OVERWRITE the data on a memory channel. DUH!!

How easy is that?

Here's what you do.

Get yourself in the VFO mode. Go to the frequency you want to save. Set up any CTCSS or DCS tones, etc.

Press and hold the MONF button on the keypad for 1/2 second. You'll hear the radio beep twice.

This switches you to the memory mode.

You'll see the next available memory location pop up that has NO DATA on it.

Within 5 seconds of hitting the MONF button, you need to ROTATE the outer dial on top of the radio. This allows you to locate the memory channel you're trying to delete.

Don't panic if you can't find the one you want to overwrite in 5 seconds. You just have to have started to rotate the dial. But keep rotating the dial until you find the memory channel you want.

As soon as you're there, you do one thing.

Push the MONF button to store the new channel and overwrite the old data.

Ta Da! It's that easy.

Try it!

Posted by Tim Carter at 12:20 PM | Comments (3)

June 13, 2011

Apple Pages Software BUG

Do you use a Mac? The software package they have that is most comparable to Microsoft Word is called Pages. Guess what? Pages software by Apple has a MAJOR FLAW in it.

Can you believe that Pages software doesn't have an Auto Save function? That's insane. Old versions of WordPerfect word processing software from 15 years ago had this.

I just lost two hours of work because Steve Jobs and his crew forgot to add this basic functionality to Pages software.

Give me a break. How hard is it to include this simple, but needed software feature.

Wordperfect software starts to save what you're working on the moment you start on a document, even if you've not titled the document. If you close the software, or there's a power outage, no worries, all your work is there.

But not with Pages software by Apple. Give me a break.

Steve, take part of the billions of dollars you have in the corporate coffers and have this feature developed asap.


Posted by Tim Carter at 5:29 PM | Comments (4)

June 12, 2011

Rent Burlington VT

Are you thinking of renting a house or an apartment in Burlington, VT? If so, you have to be very careful indeed. It's possible to get scammed and lose your security deposit.

My son was trying to lease an apartment for the 2011-2012 school year. He attends Champlain College in Burlington, VT.

He found a place in April of 2011 and the property manager squeezed him for a security deposit to HOLD the apartment so that it would not be leased to another person. The property manager said that if we didn't put down the deposit just to hold it while he sent us a copy of the lease, the apartment might be rented to someone else.

It was the typical scarcity high-pressure play. With apartments in short supply as it's spring when you sign up for the next year, we issued a check under good faith. We then tried to get a copy of the lease.

The property manager then turned around and leased it to another person who was willing to sign a three-year lease.

We asked for our money back, but had trouble getting it. There was always an excuse.

Fortunately I'm friends with a police officer with 20-plus years of experience in Waltham, MA. He was convinced there was fraud happening and told me to call the Burlington, VT police department.

I did and talked with Officer Kimberly Shelley. She was amazing. Within a period of three hours, she called the owner of the property and I'm sure had some words with her. The property owner's story didn't match that of the property manager.

Five days later we got our money back from the property owner.

But, that's not the important part of the story! Officer Shelley told me that in Vermont the law is such that the property manager and the owner didn't have to return the deposit because I had NO CONTRACT stating under which conditions it would be returned.

Remember, the property manager put the pressure on my son to hand over money just to hold the apartment.

If you find yourself in this position - being pressured by a property manager or an owner, STOP and write out a simple contract. Be sure it's dated and signed by both parties. Keep the original copy for yourself. Use your phone to take photos of the contract and the check you issue.

All it has to say is something like:


The parties agree that the deposit of $XXX.xx is just to hold the apartment located at ADDRESS OF APARTMENT until such time as YOUR NAME has had time to review the lease or rental agreement.

If YOUR NAME finds the terms of the lease to be unsuitable and the lease is not signed, the PROPERTY OWNER agrees to return the deposit within 3 days.

If the PROPERTY OWNER fails to return the deposit in full, YOUR NAME will contact the Burlington, VT police department so they can begin an immediate investigation to determine if the PROPERTY OWNER is guilty of criminal fraud.

Signatures of the parties and date signed and check number

The smart thing is to create this simple document ahead of time and have it with you as you look at apartments. Without a simple agreement stating that you will get your money back if you don't like or sign the lease, you just might not be a lucky as I was.

Thanks Officer Shelley!

Posted by Tim Carter at 9:19 AM | Comments (0)

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