Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dodged a bullet or stood out among the crowd?

Today I got an email from the company president of my 2nd job. The one that I work over the internet.
He told me that he had fired all of the software development team, including the IT head that was basically inmersed more in development that IT. He said that he was keeping me because he liked my work and how responsive I was. Bless my little cellphone with email delivery!
So I started quite scared today. I'm used to my boss being that nice guy that I've known for a while, my friend that got the me recommendation for the job, and the other two guys that I work so close with. Now they are all gone at least from my workplace. I'm "all alone" to hold the IT fort thousands of miles away from where the action is.
The president also said that he would get someone local to help me with user support. I wonder if that person will eventually replace me or if it will really be a support person. Only time will tell I suppose. So far they've found it convenient that I provide support over phone, chat and email. I hope the trend continues.
I couldn't stop thinking what would happen if I would've been fired as well. This 2nd job has turned out to be a HUGE income to me, most of it pay debt, but also to help with cost of living. I hadn't notice how much my original job is now mostly all for the basics: groceries, fuel, utilities and housing. 
I'm really glad I'm in the right track to consolidate/eliminate all my debt, but something like getting kicked out of the job would really set me back a lot.
Now I have to see how the work dinamics (and the pay dinamics) will change now that i'm mostly by myself there. Who will authorize my purchases for stuff, how will my hours be clocked? etc. All those things I suppose I will figure out in the days to come but still is something that I'm glad I was told early today so I've had all day to absorb before going to bed tonight.
I was going to write about how I was going to have to keep that second BAC card for a few months until the TIGO auto debit thing cleared out, or how I was 6000lps away from completely paying my HSBC card, minimum payment was 400lps I paid 2000lps today. However you can imagine that I'm mentally tired by now.
Have a good night and steady income next year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Free PORTABLE apps

As I am doing some year-end cleaning on computers, either servers, desktops, notebooks and netbooks I would like to remind you about Free applications for your computers. I'm going to narrow it down to 2 tips.
#1 The best place for free applications is , For starters they have OpenOffice. OpenOffice is like Microsoft office for about 90% of the things you do in MS Office. The 10% that's missing is the interaction of the complex stuff from a MS document to OpenOffice. If you mostly work with your own documents, spreadsheets and presentations I recommend OpenOffice for it's functionality and price: zero!
They have other apps for so many things, games, education, security, utilities, internet, music & video, graphics and pictures. It's amazing how much free stuff is there.
But the best part of is that all the apps they have can be loaded on a USB drive and carried around with you and used on any windows computer. Or you can just copy them form your USB to a hard drive in your computer, No installation required.
Maybe I didn't explained it well last time around. Most MS windows applications require an installer program, usually in a CD or downloadable from the internet. Once you install it, you don't need the installer anymore. Except when you move to another computer, either voluntarily or due to failure of the first one. Then you have to hunt for those darn installer programs again. Mostly likely you won't find them.
Another scenario is like this: Your friend likes that word process you are using, you would like for him or her to use it. You can't copy your word processor to his computer. You would have to look for the installer program.
In the case of you don't to look for installers. Just copy your portable apps over and be done.
If you have a small, medium or large computer classroom, portable applications make it so much easier to have everyone set to what they need to do. Just copy the apps over and over. Those that have had to deal with this will understand the relief that comes from apps that are just copied in vrs having to install them.
#2 Dropbox. Your computer will some day fail. Accept it now. Hard drives are mechanical things that have a high lifetime but eventually they will fail. Accidents happen, a dropped computer is so common. How about stolen laptops or desktop computers? has it happened to you?
In any case, there will be a day when you will not have access to that computer that holds those documents, and pictures that you need so much. What do to?
Well, theory says you should back up your documents regularly. Back up where? how regularly? Backing up documents is a pain in the ass. Doing it regularly is even more of a pain.
Dropbox is a way to back up your documents and pictures to Dropbox's servers. If you have more than one computer it keeps all the documents syncronized between them so you don't have to wonder where you have that spreadsheet with your expenses, or the christmas pictures. Best of all it's all done automatically whenever you have an internet connection. When you don't have one it waits patiently until you do.
You can even view the documents on a tablet, or via web at Dropbox's site. So if you left for a trip without your computer you can still get them!
So you had the expenses all done and then you mistakenly delete the spreadsheet, opps! No worries you can recover it at Dropbox's site and get it back quickly. It keeps deleted document for 30 days after you delete them. It even saves several versions of the same document so if you mess your letter to Santa you can recover the previous version and go from there.
Even over a slow connection it's a great tool for individuals or teams to keep backups, syncronize documents and share them. Do I seem like a Dropbox convert? That's because I am.
Did I mentioned it's free? You get 2GB of free space to save all those important things that no computer support or insurance of any kind can replace.
If I have convinced you to install Dropbox, send me an email to iowesomuch at (you know it it's really written). Or put a comment below. I'll get you an extra 250mb of free space.
Ok enough slacking, gotta get back to work. I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you a debt free and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two Down!

I got the "finiquito" letters from Promerica and CitiBank. It's been a difficult road but it's so nice to see that I won't have to go to those banks again. I wish I could post the letters but they have too much personal information. They basically say that any document I have signed before is null and void, and that my credit history will be updated to the credit rating agencies in 15 to 55 days. I'm saving those letters in a safe place!
I requested closing one of my BAC cards and have had to go 3 days in a row to get it closed. One day it's one thing the next day is another. First I forgot the actual card, then I had to cash in my reward points, then I had floating transaction of $10 that I had to wait to have it posted in my account to pay.
Last thing is that since that card is debited for my phone and I have requested my phone company 8 times to stop debiting my phones from that card and haven't done it. So now they say they can't close it because it has a auto debit of my phones but they can put me on the exception list so I can proceed with closing the account. In 5 business days.
So I asked the Customer Service lady why when I went to BAC twice before to get help from them in stoping debit from TIGO of my phones, they said they couldn't do anything and refered me back to TIGO, that only the could close it, when now BAC can actually stop it. The lady was wishy washy and eventually said that "There was probably some credibility problem in the request to TIGO having been actually done". So basically they didn't believe me!?! I was a lazy liar.
She went on further to say that they get a lot, and I mean A LOT of complaints of people wanting to stop auto debit for utilities, cable service, cellphones, etc and it's rarely that the stop auto debit order goes thru. That teaches me a lesson not do to that ever again.
One more time i'm truly convinced I have NO moral obligation to them, only legal obligations. So what if they've give me ok service for years, I don't owe them to keep the card open. I have been warned that I will get a call from their "recovery" department trying to woo me back into keeping the card but with the new security tax laws that have set a yearly fee on credit cards plus the yearly insurance fees I'm happy to see them all go.
Meanwhile I have $70 in insurance fees in that card that would be reverted only if I close the account before Jan 1st, so the clock is ticking, hopefully nothing else will block me otherwise I will have to pay more to get rid of that card.
Last night I made the first payment of my new loan that has enabled me to close these and other accounts. I was able to pay even more than what was due. 1 down 47 more go to. HSBC you're next!
I wish you don't go into debt buying presents for your family and friends. I took it up myself to ask those around me to NOT give me anything for Christmas and instead give it to some charity. A tie or a shirt won't make me love them more or less and will only push consumerism into those that can probably afford it the least.
Here's wishing you have a debt-free Christmas! Happy Holidays!