Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Mint.com. I first ran across this site a year ago. I passed. The site allows you to look at all of your financials on one site. It aggregates all of your data into one database. If you have 4 credit cards and use them regularly, it will combine the purchases into categories. Pretty neat. Kinda scary too.

The backend of mint.com is the exact same security software the banks use. Not "like" it's exactly the same. Thus logging into BankofAmerica.com is just as risky as mint.com. Once I had my brain around this factoid...I signed up.

Signing up is very easy. You don't need to know many account numbers....just web logins. I had all of my accounts set up in under 10 minutes. Mint then takes a few minutes and displayed my total debt, total assets (my mortgage and car accounts were included...literally EVERY possible account can be added!), net worth and more. Very eye opening.

Mint.com also keeps track of your interest rates, payment due dates, and more. All automatically. Emails are sent out when your interest rate changes or a payment is due. There is a lot more to the website....I recommend it to everyone with more than one credit card.

Our "W-I-D-E open" flight to Tokyo ain't so wide open anymore. We might be heading to Los Angeles first and then to Tokyo. No biggie.

There isn't a lot of software that is available on 3 different Operating Systems. Okay maybe there is, but I didn't regularly use 3 different Operating Systems until recently.

Handbrake is a piece of software designed to copy a DVD movie into a single file that can be played on my laptop, XBox 360, G1 or any other device. This can be very useful for those who travel a lot, but don't want to carry a bunch of DVD's.

I first ran the software in Windows 7 on my Macbook Pro (Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz). It took more than 8 hours to rip a DVD. The software rips the video off the DVD and then rencodes it into a file for playback later. I thought that was decent.

I then tried it on a single core Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz running Ubuntu. Same encoding settings. The process ETA to finish was more than 15 hours!!!!! No go!

I then tried it on another single core Petium 4 2.4 Ghz computer running Windows 7. ETA.....36 hours!

Finally I tried it again on my Macbook Pro in Mac OS X. Total time???? 4 hours! Wow!

I have all the TV's mounted. One 37 inch LCD in the bedroom, one 42 inch Plasma (don't tell Kelli about the insane power Plasmas use) in the man cave and our existing (almost 1 year old) 52 inch LCD in the living room. The number of digital TV's finally out numbers the number of analog TV's (3 digital, 2 analog). I am going to sell one of the analog TV's on craigslist for $40. The other will hang out for a bit in the guest bedroom.

I needed a HDMI cable to mount the bedroom TV. I headed to Fry's because Radio Shack/Walmart/Best Buy/Target all charge insane prices for HDMI cables. By insane I mean $25+ for a 6 foot cable. I bought a 3 pack of HDMI 1.3 cables from Fry's for $9. I then bought a 10 foot HDMI 1.3 cable for $7 with a $7 mail in rebate! Nice.

Off today and tomorrow. I then work Thursday thru Monday then I'm off the rest of the month.

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