Do you know, with some accuracy, how much you spend to maintain your household? Do you know how much money you need a month to maintain your basic needs if you were to lose your job? Do you know how much cash is left each month after your basic needs are met and where that money goes? Do you have a short or long term fiscal goal, like a home or vehicle purchase, a dream vacation, or getting out of debt, and do not know where to start? Establishing a personal or household budget is a worthwhile endeavor, especially in today’s high inflation environment as maybe you suddenly lost that cushion between income and outgo.
As befitting our group’s mandate, I will use technology, freely available, as long as you have Internet access at home and a smartphone to record purchases in real time. To create and maintain the budget, I will be using Google Sheets, a browser based spreadsheet following the Microsoft Excel 97 public domain specs. I will use Google Drive for storage. With this setup, you can use your favorite device for budgeting, be it desktop, laptop, pad, or phone. A checkbook app for a smartphone will be used to record any and all non-recurring transactions eliminating the headache of accounting with paper receipts. Following, are instructions for setting up a Google Drive and step by steps for creating a Google Sheets Budget. For those users that are already familiar with Excel 97, I will provide a built out budget spreadsheet that can be downloaded and altered for your own requirements.

example budget spreadsheet


I recently found this advertisement from around 1978 while sorting through the contents of my filing cabinet.  It may have been the first PC related scam. This flyer was sent to every PC retailer in the country.  Not one diskette drive was ever shipped.  If you could find one, a single sided TRS-80 drive was more than double this price, required the purchase of the expansion interface, and was somewhat unreliable.  The data capacity of a double sided 5.25 in diskette was 256,000 characters.

“Never trust a company with the word ‘World’ in it’s name” is one of the Rules For Life I developed from that long ago episode in my past.

I have no idea how I managed to hold on to this scrap of paper for so long!

An Argument for Status Quo

An Argument for Status Quo

By:  George B Mathison III, President

Dothan Computer & Technology Users Group

Dothan, AL

In this day of numerous technologies, software updates, upgrades, and the now present Windows 10 platform I began to think of all the things that will need to be done in order to maintain the overall efficiency of my current computer.  Continue reading

It’s Time To Kill Freeware

gallows     Allow me to walk you down the garden path to the briar patch called Freeware; a segment of the software industry that just needs to go away. Now I am not referring to such organizations like Open Source Foundation, Open Office, Open Libre, The Apache Foundation, or the authors of Squirrel, Firefox, MySQL, Notepad++, Filezilla and many others. Continue reading

The Canon MG3520 A Next Gen Inkjet Printer

MG3520I am always on the lookout for new tech items with low user ratings.  No doubt- the device  is quickly discounted to get it out of the retail stream while the manufacturer corrects the issue.  These devices will also show up in the re-manufactured market at a significant discount owing to the many user returns. Often, the bad reviews have nothing to do with quality, capability, fit or finish. Continue reading

The Real Answer To Why Microsoft Leapfrogged The Windows 9 Release Name

leapfrogIf you follow the PC industry as I, you have no doubt heard many reasons why Microsoft named their latest OS release as Windows 10 instead of 9.  One explanation noted that the number 9 in Japanese has bad karma. In actuality most all of the single digits have some form of evil superstitious connotation in the Orient. Ya, I know. I also like the name Redskins. The explanations from Microsoft itself sounded phony and appeared to be overt spins from their marketing department. The real reason is actually quite simple and cogent. For more than 20 years, Continue reading

Connect Your Media Devices With Netgear WNCE3001

wnce3001You are probably hooked up to the Internet like me.  You have cable or twisted pair coming into your house.  A MODEM separates the digital service from others, providing the input to a WI-Fi router for your laptop, smartphone, e readers or other mobile devices.  You might have a desktop PC plugged into the router with an Ethernet cable.  Most big flat screens, DVD players, or Apple TV are designed to be connected to the Internet through an RJ-45 connector, i.e. an Ethernet cable.  Chances are your router is not located at your TV center.  Netgear offers a solution to the problem with their Universal Dual Band Wireless Adapter – WNCE3001. Continue reading

-Partitions, Volumes & Drives–

My Encounter with storage structures while investigating Linux

You will most likely encounter an ISO file for installing Linux on your old XP machine.  After I downloaded this file, I dragged and dropped the file on my DVD drive icon in Windows Explorer and then burned the contents to a DVD.  I wasn’t all that surprised when I found the ISO file nicely burned on what is now a festive window ornament. Continue reading