Best Buy Trade-In: Dude, You’re Getting Ripped Off!

Best Buy has officially launched a couple new services, one of which is a new online trade-in center for your old PCs, Game Consoles, and more. When I first read about the service, I thought to myself “This is a great idea, maybe I won’t have to worry about reselling my old hardware on Ebay anymore!”. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Here’s what my setup includes:

  • EVGA 680i Chipset motherboard
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.6ghz
  • XFX GeForce 8800GT
  • 500GG+ of Hard Drive Space
  • A Very Freaking Expensive Watercooling Setup
  • 2GB of OCZ DDR2 800

That’s just a quick run-down of what I have in my PC, here’s what the configuration on the Best Buy Trade-In center website looked like (click for full size):

Best Buy Trade-InĀ Specs

Yeah, for all that hardware, they wanted to give me $400.96. Not even enough to cover the resale value of my video card, motherboard, and memory; much less the entire PC. . . .

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Follow Up: Twitter RSS Feed on WordPress.com

Recently I discussed my dismay with the way in which the Twitter RSS feed displayed on WordPress.com. I had attempted using a few free services to fix the issues I was having, and had little luck.

After a user commented that post, I decided to write a follow up. I admit, I wrote the previous post in haste and did not fully explore one of the free services that I had written about. That service was Dapper.net, which provides a very nice GUI, point-and-click interface to build mashups from existing feeds and any page on the web. I had, at first, thought feeds that I built using Dapper did not update as frequent as I would have liked, although they did update faster than Feed43. After some tweaking and playing around, I soon realized that my Dapper feeds were indeed updating about once every 15-20 minutes. I was even able to include the time and location from which I made my Tweet.

Dapper still has it’s issues though; for instance, I’m unsure of how you would go about building a “Dapp” that would capture multiple Tweets instead of just displaying your most recent Tweet. I’m also not sure how to get my Dapp feed to link to my Twitter account, instead the links just link to the page the feed is displayed on (in this case, my blog).

In all Dapper fulfilled my needs, so if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your Twitter feed on WordPress.com, I suggest giving Dapper.net a try.

Side Note: I’ll most likely be writing a guide on using Dapper to display your Twitter feed properly in the near future, so stay tuned.

Asus Eee PC with Windows XP

I’ve been reading the past two days that Asus will soon be releasing an update to their Eee PC that will include Microsoft Windows XP, instead of Linux. The Asus Eee PC 900 will not only come with Windows XP pre-installed, it will feature a larger 8.9 inch screen, 1GB of memory, and a increase storage capacity over the previous Asus Eee PCs coming with 12GB of storage. According to X-bit labs, the new Eee PC 900 will have a price tag of around 399 euros (or about $600 US Dollars).

In my opinion, this new ultra mobile PC from Asus probably won’t be as successful as the current generation Asus Eee PC. The reason being, I’m not so sure people will pay $600 for a laptop that has low performance and storage capacity when the same amount of money can get you a brand new, low-end laptop with much better performance specifications and storage capacity. Asus should stick to the sub-$500 range.

Something else striking me as strange is Asus moving to Windows XP as opposed to a Linux operating system. Don’t get me wrong, Windows XP is far easier to use than Linux when you first start out. Not to mention it has wider support among hardware vendors, and doesn’t give you any problems when trying to use peripheral devices, but is it really worth the cost? The added cost of a Windows XP license only hurts the customers, which probably aren’t going to be using the Asus Eee as an average laptop. The idea is a low-cost, ultra mobile, Internet ready machine; and quite frankly adding XP to that equation just doesn’t make sense to me.

Propeller.com Performance Issues

If you’re a fan of Propeller.com, the AOL-backed Social News website, then you know that lately the site performance has been going downhill. Pages are taking longer to load, sessions are timing out, sometimes I can’t even log into the site.

Rest assured though, the people behind the scenes know what’s going on and are attempting to fix the issues.

Thank you all for informing us of the performance issues on Propeller.com. Rest assured that these reports are not falling on deaf ears. We are hard at work diagnosing the likely causes (and yes, are looking for bandwidth!). At the same time, we are putting the finishing touches on something bigger and better, that we hope will be worth all of the patience you have exhibited on the current site.

-Tom Drapeau

What is Open Source to You?

Open Source is a term familiar to anyone who has a good bit of technology know-how under their belt, but what does the term mean to the average person? Why would they even care about the concepts behind Open Source and Free Software?

These are a few questions I’m aiming to answer in a definition research paper I’m writing for my Expository Writing class. I’m not sure, yet, how I’m going to convey the definition of Open Source/Free Software in terms that would apply to the average person or make the definition of my term even matter to my audience (my classmates).

Maybe the economical advantages will be the key to having my audience understand Open Source, but in turn, I don’t want them to think of Open Source software as “Freeware”.

If you’re reading this, what does Open Source mean to you?