Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Backing up Photos and Saving Money on Electronics or other Large Purchases
Yesterday started with my computer informing me that it had indeed recovered from "A serious error". This is not the way to start a day off right! When I tried to sign on, the mouse was not working, and then I noticed that the computer was not recognizing my battery back up which was plugged in - even though the computer said it was not.
I called the tech support and thankfully got a tech who knew how to help - not all techs are created equal! After a few tests we determined that most likely part of the mother board had stopped working - the part that runs the USB ports. The computer was not recognizing any USB port.
Off to Staples I went and got a $30.00 USB card for the PCI expansion slot. I am not a high tech person, but installing it was an easy 5 minute job. Thankfully the computer loaded the 5 new USB ports and worked once again - but now the screen was PURPLE. Ugh. I guess the computer is trying to tell me that it is on life support and hasn't much longer to boot up.
I decided to then go and do something the cheap gene in me has been resisting. I would go and finally buy an external hard drive to back up the 3 years of my family's pictures and the countless documents that are housed on my computer.
I say it is the cheap gene - because it is not frugal - just plain cheap to put your precious photos at risk buy refusing to spend $100 to back them up!
I looked and found what I would buy on the Best Buy website. I checked the store inventory online and it was in stock. So, off to Best Buy I went to get the hard drive. When I got there, I found the external hard drive was priced $20 above the online price. Double Ugh!
I asked an associate about the discrepancy and was told to just go to Customer Service and they would honor the online price. So, I was very thankful I had taken a few minutes to check the item online before coming to the store and that I had asked for the lower price.
I learned a valuable lesson. Before going to a store to make a larger purchase - check the online price and even competitor's prices to make sure you get the best price. If the store price is higher ask for a reduction. I have gotten price matches from competitor's prices at Best Buy in the past also.
A note about backing up photos. I also recommend backing up all your photos to a site out of your home - like Artscow. If your home was to have a fire and your PC and external hard drive were lost you would then still have your photos. It is not hard to do and well worth the peace of mind knowing that your memories are safe.