What Does “LOL” Mean?, or How Do I Decipher Internet Slang?

If you do any web browsing or texting at all, you’ve seen it. Internet slang, which is often made up of abbreviations and symbols. You often see them in e-mails, texts, and comments on internet articles and stories. While I have come to understand some of the more common internet slang, there is still much of it I don’t understand.

I do now know what “LOL”, perhaps one of the most common slang terms, means. (Laugh Out Loud). But it took me a long time to figure it out. For nearly a decade in which I was using e-mail, I would wonder what “LOL” at the end of an e-mail or comment meant!

Many internet slang terms were not understandable to me for a long time. In addition to “LOL”, there was “LMAO”, “LMFAO”, POTUS, BTW, and others.

Symbols such as the colon and parentheses, with a dash or other symbol, are often used to make emoticons, faces showing the “emotion” behind a comment, and tend to be more understandable.

Here are some internet slang terms whose meanings I now know:

LOL means “Laughing out loud”.

LMAO means “Laughing my ‘A’ off”.

POTUS means “President of the United States”.

And BTW means “By the way”.

I certainly understand where and why internet slang has come about. With all of the typing we now do, due to our ever-growing use of computers and phones with keyboards built-in, it is often easier and faster to use symbols and abbreviations than fully spelled out words, especially for those of us with no formal training in typing.

And some programs and websites even lend themselves to understanding and translating some forms of slang! You may have noticed that I have a smiley face symbol after each of my posts. What happens is, I use the colon and right parenthesis to form a smiling face. WordPress then automatically reads it and converts it to an actual smiley face! Like this! 🙂

Now, internet slang terms can be entered into search engines, which will bring up websites dedicated to deciphering internet and texting slang.

So, if you’re like me and you receive an e-mail with strange abbreviations or symbols at the end of it and want to know what it all means, just google the term, and you’ll see a number of “deciphering” sites.

Eventually, especially if you do much texting or e-mailing, you’ll soon understand more slang terms and symbols, and won’t be left in the dark!

If you like what you’ve read, please comment and let others know of this site!

Happy computing and thanks for reading! 🙂

Laptop vs Desktop Computer: Which is Best?

You want a new computer but which is best, a laptop or a desktop? Laptops are gaining in popularity, and you’ll notice that any store with a computer or electronics department will probably be showcasing the new laptops more than desktops. But, can a laptop do what a desktop can do? And, will it fit you?

The second question is one only you can answer, but perhaps my answer to the first question may help you decide.

My first two computers were desktops, with the standard CPU (Central Processing Unit) tower, monitor, and keyboard. The first one was purchased in 2004 and served me well for 6 years. The second one only lasted 1 year, but was probably just a lemon. When the 2nd desktop failed, I thought about a laptop.

I’d noticed when they first came out in the 1990’s, that they were limited in capability, very expensive, and some had fatal flaws, like having the batteries catch fire! Also, they often weighed too much for their small size and often got too hot to keep on one’s lap.

Now, I have one rule of thumb that I usually follow regarding technology that I learned some time ago, but cannot remember the source. It was, “Never jump in and buy technologically new items when they first come out!”.

Something new that uses new technology will have the most bugs, fewest features, and the highest cost, when it first comes out. Later versions produced when the manufacturers are far more familiar with the technology, will often be more reliable, easier to use, have more features, and be less expensive. Calculators in 1970 could cost $100 and just do basic math. Now, for $15, you can get a calculator that can almost do back flips for you while calculating complex trigonometry and calculus problems! I found that, with laptop computers, it is the same story.

The computer I have now, is a laptop. Purchased in 2011. Like  a desktop, it has a good capacity hard drive of 640 gigabytes which is far more than I need, 4 gigabytes of RAM (Random Access Memory), or DDR3 as it’s now called. It is every bit as fast as a desktop. It has a built-in CD/DVD read/write drive, and multiple USB ports. Now, this is a larger laptop, but still very easily portable. I have since purchased a smaller laptop that I take on trips.

The advantages of the laptop are many.

1. It is all-in-one and can do what a desktop can do! Monitor, keyboard, and CPU are all in one piece. As well as the webcam and CD/DVD drive. This means that there are much fewer cords and wires needed for plugging in a separate monitor and keyboard. Only a printer needs plugging in. Fewer wires and cords means less of a mess.

Also, laptops today can do all a desktop can do. They have the main drive capacity, the RAM capacity, the USB and ethernet ports for plugging in peripherals such as printers and scanners, WiFi capability, the same perks and operating systems. You no longer need to have a desktop as your main computer.

2. Much lighter and easier access for plugging in peripheral items. If you have, or had, a desktop, you know that any time you needed to plug-in or unplug something, and the CPU tower’s front USB ports were already used up, or the tower had no USB ports in the front, you had to get down on hands and knees and move the heavy tower to reach the ports and other plug-in areas in the back, or, if the tower was on your desk, you had much less room on your desk, and you still had to move the heavy tower.

With my laptop, this is no problem! All the ports and plug-in areas are right on the laptop itself, and the laptop only weighs a few pounds and is very easy to move around!

3. Much, much easier portability! It’s lightness and small size make it very easy to take this computer anywhere, and, if I needed to ship it anywhere for repairs, it is much easier to do, and probably less expensive, than shipping a desktop’s CPU tower, which I’ve done. And if I want to take the laptop to my friend’s place to show him the pictures from my last trip? Easy as pie!

Yeah, you could do this with a desktop. If you don’t mind unplugging the monitor, printer, keyboard, and, if your friend doesn’t have  a monitor or keyboard, you have to lug these along with the heavy CPU to your friend’s place, too! And you’d have to set them up there, also! No one takes a desktop with them to someone else’s house. And, Ok, you can always use a flash drive or portable drive, too, but if you have lots of other things on the computer you want to show your friends and family, a laptop is the easiest and best way to go!

4. Smaller laptops can be easily added to and are great trip companions! I also have a smaller laptop and, the one disadvantage of the smaller laptops and netbooks is that they have no room for a CD/DVD drive. However, an external CD/DVD reader/writer can be easily had for low-cost and, with a laptop carrying case, one can easily take everything to meet their computer needs on the road in one small lightweight and ready to go package! The only thing they might need is a printer, but, in most cases, this can probably wait until they get back home!

5. Makes WiFi capability much more effective and versatile! With the combination of WiFi and the portability of the laptop, desktops simply cannot compete! Ever see someone at a Starbuck’s with a desktop? I myself don’t use WiFi as I haven’t a need for it right now, but I can see where it is a real boon to so many, and the laptop easily fills the bill here!

So, I, who once felt I’d never need a laptop, have fallen in love with my two laptops and have vowed never to go back to a desktop. Who would have known!

If you like what you’ve read, please comment and let others know of this site!

Happy computing and thanks for reading! 🙂

P.S. – If you want to see what it would be like to try to port a desktop PC everywhere, just click on this link:


I think the portability issue above is well illustrated here. 🙂

How to Keep Down Household Costs: Good Cheap Furniture

You’ve found your first home or apartment, or you need to replace some old furniture. You go to a furniture store and those prices just blow your mind!

Well, there is another solution. Go to Wal-Mart, or Target. Or Big K. Or any other super center type store. In their “furniture” department, you’ll come across some much cheaper alternatives, namely, “do-it-yourself-assembly” furniture. That’s right! Before you reject the idea, take a good look in this part of the store, as they will usually have already assembled models on display.

Most of the items I have in my place are just this type of furniture! This includes a dresser, night stand, combination magazine holder/table with built-in lamp, a TV table with built-in DVD and videotape storage with space for a DVD player, and numerous bookcases.  Here’s some things about this type of furniture that you’ll want to know:

1. The cost is much less than comparable “ready-made” items in a furniture store. My dresser was around $70 and the most expensive do-it-yourself-assembly piece I have.  A ready-made dresser of similar size from a furniture store may have been at least $200.

2. Much of this furniture includes smaller sizes, which can be ideal for small homes and apartments.

3. Though you do have to assemble it yourself, I’ve found that the instructions are easy to follow and the pieces come together quite well, making for a sturdy and functional piece of furniture when completed. Often assembly requires no tools and takes less than an hour to assemble, sometimes much less.

4. The materials are quality made. Most of my pieces are over 8 years old and show no signs of wear or deterioration.

5. Though sturdy, strong, and solid when assembled, this furniture is also quite light, once assembled, and therefore easier to move around when you want to rearrange things or move out to a new place.

Another point to consider, especially if your place is small, is to stay away from big, bulky furniture. I have what is called a “Glider” chair with a matching ottoman in my living room. It takes up much less space than a big bulky recliner and reclines as well, with the same amount of comfort. And cost much less!

So, furnishing your place doesn’t have to bust your bank account or make your abode seem overstuffed.

If you like what you’ve read, please comment and let others know of this site!

Good luck with your new furniture, and thanks for reading! 🙂

Watch Out for those Job Scams!

Whether or not you believe that the jobless rate is improving, jobs are still hard to come by. Unfortunately, for the job hunter, there is danger, in the form of job scammers, who seem to proliferate when unemployment is up.

I use Craigslist a lot, for all kinds of things and did use Craigslist when I’ve hunted for jobs in the past. In my browsing of Craigslist, I’ve noticed some interesting things that the job hunter should stay away from.

One, is the fake driving job. This scam was prevalent about 4 years ago, and is still around. Often, the job advertises great pay for little work, as most scams do, and only requires you to drive your car, or they offer you the use of their car for the job.

An ad I saw once read like this:

“Personal driver wanted, part-time, great pay – $780 per week.

I am a businessman doing business in India, then I will be coming to the USA. My wife will be here ahead of me and needs a personal driver. I will pay you $780 a week. I will send you a check with additional funds, which you will send back to me after you cash the check.”

The part about the check is a huge and classic red flag showing that this is a scam. Just with a different twist from the old, ‘relative needing money’ scam, or the ‘you’ve won the (Pick a country!) lottery‘ scam.

In addition, the pay is way to high for a job that asks for so little. Remember the adage, ‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.’ Then, what person would trust their spouse to a perfect stranger? And if they can afford to pay $780 weekly, that’s more than enough for public transportation and the occasional taxi, or even a cheap rental car if you pay weekly rates! Pure scam! Also, watch out for poor grammar, as this, too,  is sometimes and indicator of a scam.

Mailing for dollars? Don’t do it! Other ads I’ve seen promise to pay you a good deal of money, $450 weekly or thereabouts, for receiving small catalogs or brochures in the mail, then mailing them to a list of customers, or distributing them personally. Seems easy enough. However, with further research, these turn out to be mostly foreign companies that never pay off, and will often try to get you to pay fees up front. In any event, if they are really selling items through these catalogs or brochures, they are still getting free advertising here. And, if not, then they scam more victims, namely those who you give the catalogs to, who send money to buy products that they never receive!

Again, the pay seems too good to be true!

Even legitimate companies can scam you when it comes to employment! As part of my work, I distribute flyers as an independent contractor for various clients.

An ad I saw was from a contractor who was working for a well-known and established company. His job was to build and manage a team of subcontractors all over the country distributing the company’s flyers. The company was to pay the contractor a portion of each sale made, and each subcontractor would also get a portion of each sale made from the flyers they distributed, through a code that each subcontractor was given. When a sale was made and the code given to the company rep, that subcontractor would get paid $75 for that sale and the contractor under which the subcontractors worked, would get $125. We were told by the company that 1 out of every 100 flyers distributed would result in a sale, at least in general. This was verified by the second company in this story. So, if a subcontractor distributed 2000 flyers to homes in a week on average, which is easily doable, that subcontractor would make 20 sales a week on average, or $1,500 weekly. Even if only 1 out of 500 flyers resulted in a sale, the subcontractor would still make $300 weekly.

Well, I did my research, talked with the contractor, and took a position on his team. He asked for no money, as a scammer would have. I was provided with the copy of the flyer. Our team over the course of a month distributed over 20,000 flyers, which should have resulted in around 200 sales. But we heard nothing and, when the contractor inquired with the company, he was told that the company executive he had been working with had taken the money and ran, and that we would not be getting any money!

So, the contractor went to the second company, another well-known and established company and a direct competitor of the first company. The second company’s executive told the contractor that the 1 out of 100 flyers resulting in a sale was true fact, and that what happened to our team with the first company would not happen with his company.  Well, after another 20,000 flyers were distributed by our team, we again heard nothing! Upon the contractor’s inquiry, we were told that the company only received two, yes, 2 phone calls! From 20,000 flyers distributed! The company also said they ‘didn’t know what to tell us.’  Their claim is pure B.S.!  And here’s why.

Now, having distributed flyers for a number of clients, I’ve been told that they’ve always gotten some response from the flyers I’ve distributed. Once, I’d distributed just 200 flyers when the client called me and said she’d already received 40 hits on her website directly from the flyers I’d distributed that day! And this from only 200 flyers! So, 20,000 flyers should have generated far more than just two phone calls!

Luckily, I’d lost no money from this and I was distributing other clients’ flyers concurrently with these, so I was not passing up other money making business in the process.

To the contractor’s credit, he was upfront about all of this and his actions showed me that he was definitely not the scammer in this case, but had been scammed, too, by both of these companies!

So, even if you’re dealing with a legitimate company or person, look at some of the details. Like location and access to those you’ll be working for. If you cannot meet with at least a supervisory person in person, think twice before accepting the offer.

Last but not least, there are other things to watch out for. Be especially careful when answering the phone when you’re tired or stressed. If you’re unemployed, this could increase your vulnerability. A friend of mine had been awakened one morning with a phone call. She was groggy and the caller claimed he needed her social security number for a possible job, so she gave it and the caller hung up! Then, as she became more awake, she realized what she’d done! She pressed star69 to redial the number and found that it was a number in a foreign country! When she told the authorities, she confirmed that she’d been scammed. She took quick action to prevent more trouble, but who knows?

So be sure that you’re fully awake when you answer the phone, especially if you are unemployed, looking for a job, and maybe expecting phone calls from prospective employers!

And remember, these are not the only scams out there, they do often change as people become wise to them, and new ones crop up every day, so be alert and question anything that looks too good to be true!

And good luck in these tough times! Oh, by the way, if you need a resume, or know someone who does, please go to the services page on this site.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Garage Sale & Flea Market Bargains? Yes, and They Don’t Have to be Crappy!

So, you may have read my post about how to price the items you’re selling at the garage sale or flea market and that’s great! But what about what others are selling? Is it all just junk? Or are there bargains, quality bargains, to be had? The good news is that there are quality bargains, but you have to look for them. And they are out there!

And, they are worth looking for, especially if you are on a tight budget! How to find them? Well, you don’t have to go driving around looking for garage sales. Listings for garage sales can most easily be found on the internet, through sites such as Craigslist, as well as your local paper. Flea markets can be found here, too, and, if they are well established, may even be found in the phone book, too.

Best to check out where the garage sales are and map out a route for visiting them. Most likely, you will also come across garage sales that have not been advertised other than with a few signs put up around the neighborhood they’re in.

Once you have your route planned, it’s time to hit the road! A co-worker I once had used to do just this on 2-3 weekends a month, and scored some pretty good bargains. I learned this from her and, when I need something, I, too, will scout out garage sales and flea markets, and have scored some significant bargains in the process, which I tell about below!


I bought the camera case in the photo above for only $1.00 at a flea market. It is a little worn now, as you can see, but still quite functional. I use this case when I don’t want to use my larger one. New, this case would sell for about $8.00 or more! The inside is good as new!


This TV tray is one of 4, plus a carrying stand. I purchased the whole 5-pice set at a garage sale! When I first moved, I needed a set of trays. In the stores, a full set like the one that the tray above belongs to, cost $39.00. The set I have, I found at a garage sale, listed for $15.00. Even though this was a steal, I still tried to negotiate further, as they did need some cleaning up. And I ended up paying just $10.00 for the whole set!

Yes, they were slightly worn, and needed to be cleaned, but cleaning only took a half hour and they still look good and work great after 9 years!


This Sony clock radio is probably the best bargain I scored. I needed a new clock radio. The one I had, had been getting dim and the radio reception was never good. (For some reason, I have found Sony radios and walkman MP3 players to have superior radio reception!)

I found the Sony clock radio at a garage sale, new in the box. It was indicated that it had never been used and was in new condition. Now, I am wary of buying used electronics, but the owner allowed me to take the radio out and examine it. And it was in new condition. How much did I pay? The owner was asking $4.00! I offered $3.00 and it was accepted! And the radio works great!

So, don’t dismiss flea market and garage sale items as junk before you look. Sure, I’ve come across many garage sales where it was all junk! But, if I had made up my mind based only on those times that I only saw junk, I wouldn’t have gotten the bargains above and others as well!

If you like what you’ve read, please comment and let others know of this site!

Thanks for reading, and good luck shopping! 🙂