Dave's Download

March 2007

Quicken Pays Bills, Blesses Matrimony

Like most of us, I love/hate banks. We need them, but I definitely don't like being beholden to one–I want the freedom to walk when rates fall or fees rise. So I've worked to free my family from dependence on our bank's bill-paying service, which we access through the Web. The convenience has ...

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Now Playing on TiVo: Me

If you're getting bored with what's on your TiVo, maybe you want to tune into me and mine. Our own TiVo channel, that is. Eventually, there'll be lots of home movies of our boys and their exciting life of playgrounds and T-ball.

At least Grandma Dee in Florida might be excited. Her TiVo is now ...

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All Hail Weather.com's Radar Upgrade

Fast-moving, often violent weather is part of life in the Midwest. It was a leap forward when the first, somewhat crude radar images were available on cable TV, giving us a chance to see what was coming–and to get cars under cover from spring storms laden with twisters and hail. Then came the ...

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Online Video Without Apple TV's Training Wheels

Getting TV and movies over the Internet is said to be the next great thing. It's already good at our house. We've discovered free shows and entertainment that are available for downloading as part of our abandoning cable and its steep monthly fees. Now Apple has released a $300 device to make the ...

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A Good Idea Flickers Under Fluorescent Bulbs

So a Washington, D.C., coalition wants to force us to use fluorescent bulbs, instead of the incandescents we've known since the days of Thomas Edison. The group's members would enact new energy standards that would essentially outlaw the inefficient lightbulbs we now use. Fine, as long as their new ...

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For High-Def Disks, Conversion Is a Better Bet

A format war, not to mention outrageous prices, is stopping most of us from investing in a high-definition DVD player. So I decided to test a standard disk player that tries to convert the image into something close to the clarity and vivid picture of high definition. I've been testing one of the ...

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Quicken's Pricey Lessons on Giving Kids Cash

Teaching kids about money is a tricky process, as we are discovering with our 5-year-old. The problem goes beyond his burning desires, which this month are for Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. It's also tough to remember the weekly allowance, much less lessons on budgeting and saving. So I checked out a Web ...

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Keeping Your PC in Tune With Daylight Saving

The sun will be rising a bit later next week, which is a blessing for some of us and a hassle for all. A hassle because your PC may need updating to understand that daylight saving time starts this Sunday, March 11, which is three weeks earlier than in the past. It also lasts a week longer into ...

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Memory Prices Have a Déjà Vu Drop

When it comes to the price of PC memory, let's try to remember 2005. That was a fine year for folks who wanted to boost the power of their computers, and not such a good year for companies that make the chips. Now it appears this year might be shaping up the same way.

So get your cash ready, because ...

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Make Room for Roomba, the Robotic Vacuum

Tables without legs. That's what my wife wants now, one of a number of adjustments we're willing to make for life with Roomba the first robot we've welcomed into our home. Roomba is the robotic vacuum cleaner that looks something like a big turtle or Frisbee crawling about the floor, sucking up ...

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Digital TV Gets Less Painful

Finally, it's becoming less painful to get digital TV. As of March 1, TV makers are no longer shipping dead-end equipment that can get only analog signals–the government is forcing them to ship only televisions with digital tuners.

Those tuners pull in the sharp images now being broadcast by most ...

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