Friday 22 August 2014

It Pays To Pay

I don’t think I am any different than anyone else when it comes to wanting to get a bargain. Nothing makes me happier than to get something cheaper than everyone else.

I suppose that’s why I haunt second hand stores. Sometimes, not often, you can get a real deal, especially if the people doing the pricing aren’t aware of the value of an item or just don’t care. Most of the second hand finds now are just things that capture my imagination, rarely are they what anyone else would consider a deal.

Deals will generally come from the internet nowadays, and most of those tend to be electronic in nature. I have bought a couple of phones from manufacturers in China for about half to a third of what a similar phone would cost in Canada. They worked pretty well, but never really good. The screens weren’t sensitive enough and often I would have to run my finger back and forth several times before it would register at all. Fair is fair I suppose, a third the price for a phone that was a third as good.

If you are going to buy electronics online from China, keep it to cables, batteries and parts. I have bought batteries for my cameras insanely cheaper than I could have bought them in the electronic stores here.  Those button batteries can be had for a song. I just ordered six iPhone cables for half the price I could have bought one here. They haven’t been delivered yet, but I am optimistic they will be as advertised.

For the past few months, our internet connection has been very sluggish. We would have connection and then it would cut out for a few minutes. Often I would have to wait minutes for a video to boot up and sometimes it just never would. We have hesitated about doing anything important over the internet because it would often cut out in the middle of a session. Very, very frustrating.

I thought that the problem was our internet provider, Shaw Cable. It is easy to blame a big, heartless corporation for your problems. Well, it’s easy for me. I have tried to figure out what the problem was, but often in the middle of the search, the damned internet would cut out. I thought that perhaps the security settings on our computers were at fault, but they seemed to be fine when I looked at them. I wouldn’t know if they weren’t fine unless a window popped up on the screen and said HERE IS THE PROBLEM!

Yesterday, there was a comment that I saw on a computer forum that hinted at the router as the culprit. Our router wasn’t that old, but I thought I would bring up the Memory Express page and see how my router stood up against other routers. It turns out that I bought one of the cheaper routers on the market. Could that be the problem? Routers are all the same…aren’t they? The more expensive routers are for gamers and people doing business on the web…right. Home use doesn’t need a fancy router; just one that is bare bones is good enough.

Well, we were at Costco and there was a mid range router for sale which we bought yesterday. I came home and hooked it up and ever since we have had no difficulty getting and staying on the internet.

I’ve learned my lesson, sometimes it pays to pay.

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