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Entries from March 2009

Open Office

March 11th, 2009 · Comments Off · Software, Websites

If you are unwilling to pay for Microsoft Office, you might want to try Open Office. Open Office is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. What is open source software? It is software developed by people who put the source code on the Internet for all to use and offer improvents on. Check it out!

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Financial Literacy

March 10th, 2009 · Comments Off · Websites

While we may be confused and unsure in the current economy, one thing we can do is educate ourselves as to our financial needs and goals. The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) website 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy strives to do just that. They have sections on financial topics, a financial guidance book, women, ask the money doctor, a weekly spotlight that includes a recessionary survival kit, and Feed the Pig: financial information and tools to empower 25-34 year olds to take charge of their personal finances and live within their means.

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Coupons Online

March 9th, 2009 · Comments Off · Websites

I think we’re all trying to save a buck these days. I keep my coupons in my car so I always have them available when I stop at a store. If I order something online and I don’t have a coupon in my hand, I do a quick search for “coupon” and the name of the item I’m ordering. Often I will find a coupon or a promotional code for something off the purchase price. A site I’m hearing a lot about is CouponMom. Explore it and let the savings begin!

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Fix Itself Yourself. . .

March 8th, 2009 · Comments Off · Websites

Do you have a gadget that’s cranky or a computer that won’t compute? If you’re comfortable tinkering where most people will not go, try out FixYa.
This site provides free fix-it advice–you can post a message or have an online chat with volunteer techies or research potential problems of a product you might be considering. Check it out!

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It’s Tax Time

March 7th, 2009 · Comments Off · Software, Websites, Wilton Library Resource

It’s just over a month until the dreaded April 15 tax filing deadline (unless you’re getting a refund!). As the big date approaches each year, I often hear that the IRS site can be slow as everyone tries to get their forms at the same time. To make the process a bit easier, Ryan Fisher of Network Services has put many of the most commonly used forms on our website for your use. Click here to access them.
You may also want to read the following articles from PC World Magazine: (1) Tax Software 2008: A Big E-File Freebie; (2) Tax Prep Sites: TurboTax, TaxAct, TaxCut Lead the Pack; and (3) Online Tax Preparation Services.

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Free Kindle App for iPhones and iPod Touch

March 6th, 2009 · Comments Off · Software

Two days ago, Amazon released a free Kindle app for iPhones and iPod Touch. I’ve used the Kindle that Wilton Library purchased for circulation to patrons and really like it. I’ve been trying to decide if I should buy one for myself.
As soon as I saw the news about the Kindle app for my new iPod Touch, I downloaded it and purchased a book (The Good Soldier for $1.99 from Amazon’s Kindle Store). I thought I would find that the screen on the iPod Touch was too small for reading but quickly found that this was not the case. In fact, because the screen is lit, I can easily read in bed. It’s easy to turn pages and I can even change the font size if I need to (just like on the Kindle). The only complaint I have is that I cannot search though the book for specific text as one can on the Kindle. Hopefully that will change in a future Kindle app upgrade. One must keep in mind that the Kindle app is a not the same as using the full-blown Kindle–one cannot make notes on the book and one cannot purchase books directly through the Kindle app (it is necessary to make your purchases through Safari on the iPod or on your computer–the transfer to the iPod though is seamless).
I love that I now have access at all times to what I’m reading!

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iPod Touch

March 5th, 2009 · Comments Off · Hardware, Reviews, Software, Websites

You may remember that I received an iPhone for Christmas and, after a month of angst, decided it wasn’t for me. That was in the dark ages before the birth of the App Store. Although I still do not like the calendar, contact, and task list features on the iPhone, I began thinking that the iPod Touch (click for review) might give me just the features I liked on the the iPhone without the monthly cost.

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Are You Part of the Sandwich Generation?

March 4th, 2009 · Comments Off · Websites

Are you part of the sandwich generation? Raising your children while also caring for aging parents or other relatives? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have launched the Ask Medicare website which will help you find answers to questions such as how to compare health and medigap plans, how to file claims, how to appeal, how to compare drug plans, and how to obtain help if you’re overwhelmed.

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Article from The New York Times on Yelp

March 3rd, 2009 · Comments Off · Reviews, Websites

After I posted this morning’s entry on Yelp on this blog, I sat down with a cup of coffee to read The New York Times online (I’m on vacation this week). I found this article and since information is our business, I wanted to bring it to you. The moral of the story is: It is up to us to evaluate all information we receive; this is particularly true for information obtained from the Internet. I still like the site but wanted to bring you today’s news about it.

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I Yelped Today

March 3rd, 2009 · Comments Off · Reviews, Websites

When I am looking for a new restaurant, I like to check online for reviews and, more importantly, the menu. Zagat has served me well in the past with print resources but I’m disappointed in their web presence–to get a full review you must pay a subscription fee. Into that void comes Yelp, a site that works on the Zagat premise of real people reviewing restaurants. It’s free and reviewers are not anonymous as they are in Zagat. Not only does Yelp review restaurants, they also cover Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Nightlife, Shopping and more. When you access the reviews for a particular restaurant, there is a link to their website (if they have one). This is a great site to access when you are out and about!

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