Sell It on eBay – The Sequel

Last year I bought a 4 GB SD card that it turned out was incompatible with my Palm, so I decided to sell it on eBay and actually wound up making about $10 profit. This year, I bought some new memory for my laptop computer so I had two 1 GB memory boards that I no longer needed. I figured I would try selling them on eBay.

The process was much the same as last year but the price had gone up from 20 cents to 35 cents to post an ad. That’s still less than a stamp. I took a picture and wrote up an ad and decided that a 5-day ad would be appropriate (last year I did a 7-day ad which was probably too long except that I ended up revising my ad a little). That was Wednesday evening, so the 5-day period would cover all of the big Thanksgiving shopping weekend but still give people who shop from work or school a chance to see the ad on Monday before it closed out.

Still, I didn’t get any bids until tonight, when the first bid came in at the minimum of 99 cents. That’s good because that means that at least I will sell it and somebody else will be able to use the memory. Also I am charging $4.60 for shipping and handling like I did last year. I told Mom that if I got a second bid, the price would probably go up pretty quickly to $5 or so because the first bidder probably bid more than the minimum of 99 cents. A few hours later, the price had jumped up to $7.20 when a competing bid was entered. I don’t know how much higher it will go, but it would be great if it would get up to $20 because that’s how much I got the upgraded memory for (after a $40 mail-in rebate, so I’m also out $4.20 in sales tax) and that would pay for itself!

Here’s the listing.

Blu-ray

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got a Blu-ray DVD player. I was psyched when I first heard about the new high-definition DVD’s that were planned. But then Sony introduced one standard and a competing standard called HD DVD was being developed too. So there was a long format war with studios lining up on different (sometimes both) sides. Buy the wrong technology and you’d be stuck with a dinosaur. That’s ultimately what happened to those early adopters who bought the lower tech, more affordable HD DVD players.

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Fantastic Contraption

My old roommate, Rich, sent me this website. He has a Master’s in Physics and another one in Engineering Science and knew I would like it. I can’t really explain it, so you will just have to visit. Basically you build mechanical contraptions to move an object to a certain spot.

http://www.fantasticcontraption.com

It starts out easy, of course. Then it gets harder and harder and the contraptions required get more and more complicated. I started out by always building a little car that would take the object wherever it needed to go. Once you finish a level you can save it or you can look at other people’s solutions. If you buy the program, then you can rate people’s solutions. There are thousands of solutions, but the really good ones are the 4 and 5 star solutions. The 5-star solutions are just amazing. There are catapults, chains, spear throwers, cranes, lifts, and so on. Some solutions just stumble along, some are just beautiful. Mine are usually cars.

Try the game out first. The tutorial is pretty short and you can do the first few levels in a few minutes each. After you check things out, you can look at some of the ones I did, with links below. Feel free to share your own designs too.

fantastic.jpg

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Cheap Gas

I saw gas last night for $1.95 a gallon. When gas was $4 a gallon a couple of months ago, people were rushing to dump their trucks and SUV’s to get more efficient vehicles. So has the opposite happened now that gas is cheap again? Since car shopping in May, I’ve been on a bunch of car dealers’ e-mail lists. I got an e-mail this week from a Toyota dealer saying they are having a Prius Clearance Event, a “blow out” sale on 25 cars, selling them at dealer invoice cost.

WordPress Blog

A guy wrote to me last weekend and said it would be nice to have a blog or discussion area on legislative issues for the Engineer’s Association website. I know that the web hosting company will allow a blog because we already have a discussion area set up that I’ve talked about before.

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