Money Saving Tips

Subject: Money Saving Tips
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 18:46:12 -0400

Hi, everyone.

I truly appreciate the effort to come up with money
saving tips for computing. However, I disagree with

"The cheapest mice and keyboards you can find" may be
bad advice. There are many mice and keyboards that
aren't worth anything. If the user does much word
processing, spreadsheet building, presentations,
programming...(in other words, any computer user),
there is likely a significant amount of frustration in

On the other hand, there are some really high quality
mice and keyboards in the computer surplus market that
are used but of higher quality than you can usually
find these days.

For example, in the last month I have bought a
Northgate Omnikey keyboard in good shape for $1.99 and
an IBM AT keyboard for $5.00. Both needed cleaning up,
but with reasonable care they can be made to look new.
Touch typists will appreciate these much more than the
new cheap ones that are flimsy and that won't last.

Mice and trackballs are another area to consider
carefully. Again, cheap ones are often very annoying
and frequently don't last very long. Again, used ones
are worth looking at; some cheap new ones are
surprisingly good. For instance, Mouse Systems makes
some cheap mice that are well worth the price.

For mouse pads, you might talk to employees of
computer stores and people who attend the various
computer trade shows. Most of these folks are given
mouse pads until they don't know what to do with them.
If you ask politely, you can often get them free. If
you have to pay more than $1 or so for the plastic
placemats, you shouldn't bother. Cheap mousepads at
the computer stores are often on sale for a buck or

Most folks I know who have been around computers for
long don't bother with mousepads, anyway. Most mice
won't care if you use them on a clean table surface.

If you have your computers in a dusty environment so
that you need to use covers, I'd be more concerned
about air filtration than dust covers.

However, be sure to put your computers off the floor;
the farther up they are the less dust they ingest.
Unfortunately, the static fields in computers attract
and adhere dust very easily. Dust coatings inside the
computer add heat, which is the chief element that
ages computers. A foot or two up on a sturdy support
of some kind reduces that dust immensely. A good
vacuuming each year will help, too. This will help
your computer equipment age gracefully, and costs

Finally, for free email, look at I'm
moving to it shortly, as I update my mail lists and
correspondents. This site offers 20 MB of disk
storate, private conferencing, online appointment
calendar, and the ability to give a "zkey" password to
others that shows them part or all of your online bio.
That way, they can keep updated about your current
phone number, address, or various other facts about
you that you decide to share with them.

I hope this helps.

David Neeley

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Get your free address at

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