Clean crap from harddrive

I’m updating an old posting of mine to add some very useful software to clean up your harddrive.
The software below is all Freeware (free to use).
As we accumulate junk, we need to keep our hard drive clean. Additionally, you need to delete private data in this day of identity theft.. If you insist on spending for something you can get for free, you can always buy software do the jobs below (i.e. Norton, McAfee)
Below are some free utilities that can help with this:
  • File Shredder or Kill Disk – Permanently remove files from your PC. Very useful when you want to make sure nobody can recover files that you have deleted. Always remember that your PC will not re-use the same space until it re-writes over the deleted space (and you don’t control this.
    • For Mac’s: Put your file in Trash and select “Secure Empty Trash” from the folder menu.
    • On a PC if you hold the “Shift” key when you delete  file you will be prompted “if you want to delete a file permanently”.  Select Yes… I use this method all the time. Reduces the size of my Recycle Bin as well.
  • Ccleaner (crap cleaner). This freeware utility cleans the registry as well as all the temporary files on you machine. Has almost weekly updates. I use this on all my machines to clean up the garbage left behind from surfing.
  • An Absolute must have for cleaning up the garbage (cookies, temp files, etc) that accumulate on your PC. Best deal that is that its free!
I like the “Free” Price. You can find the software above  on Filehippo (which also gives you a listing of all the latest most popular freeware). As many people know: “if it’s free, it’s for me”.

Hot Links Updated

Hot Links give a full page view of links that I’ve found to be of interest. These links are categorized by subject.

I’m updating on a regular basis our  Hot Links tab which contain sites that are worth exploring. Many of these sites are I utilize on a daily basis. Some of the sites are new to me and I’m still evaluating the content.

You can get to the hot links via the direct link at the top of the page or from the side links.

Disclaimer: Some sites may present material not suitable for everyone. I advise your own personal discretion


NJ Beggers – Invasive Tactics for Begging

Over the past few months in New Jersey, I’ve encountered a new twist for begging. This form of begging is very unusual in that, you don’t know it’s coming.. You don’t see the request for money, till it’s too late.   Read on and please beware as this could happen to you!

First Scenario:

  • I was at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike (Exit 11) and was parked in the parking lot.  I parked my car and was dropping off my nephews to be picked up by their mother. I was watching them walk over to their mother’s car and suddenly,  next to me pulls up a guy in a 4 x 4 with a child in the back seat.
  • He honks at me and asks for me to pull down my (passenger’s side) window. Naturally, I do so as I see that he has  child in his back seat.  He starts his spiel about “how he was robbed and needs money to get home and needs to feed his son, etc…”.  The story is pretty persuasive.  Now I’m not insensitive.  What ticked me off is that I was parked away from other cars and this guy just snuck up on me in his car very very close to my car on the passenger’s side.
  • What was my reaction? I took off, because he could have easily leaned over and pulled my daughter into HIS CAR, or he could have pulled a weapon and attacked both of us! 
  •  This incident really shook me up. Half of me felt guilty for pulling away, but the other half of me felt rage at being violated in such a public place where I felt secure!

Second Scenario:

  • My family were out for a family dinner and were sitting in the car just chatting, before leaving for home.  Suddenly, a well dressed woman knocks on the driver’s side window. My wife pulls her window down and the woman starts with her story:
  • She was robbed in Northern New Jersey and needed some money for Gas and food..  Keep in mind we are in Eatontown, NJ and what had happened to her was in Fort Lee NJ! Instinctively I said “Sorry, but I have no cash to Spare”. Fortunately, this was enough, the woman went back to her car (A nice looking sedan) and sped away quickly.
  • I found this scenario to be extremly dangerous, as we were at her mercy. She could have easily pulled a gun on us put us in serious jeopardy. I guess we got lucky here

Now are these two incidents related or just a result of our economy? Or is this the noveau form for beggging?

I personally felt violated in both scenarios and shaken to my foundation.  In both scenarios, my family and I could have easily have been victims of a crime.. I don’t think I’m overreacting when I say this.

Is this the new form of  begging where begging is thrust upon you in normally secure and safe environment?

I would recommend that each of you be on the lookout for these tactics as you are putting yourself in risk when you respond.

Capital One – Terms Fraud by Company

A few weeks ago,  my wife and were trying to consolidate our credit card debt and we saw a mailing from Capital One for  12 months interest free for balance transfers with no balance transfer fees.  We both read the terms and this looked like a great deal. As you may remember I wrote about credit card debt on ne of my previous posts about credit card debt.

We called up Capital one and went through their process of applying using the “Code” they gave us and after a few weeks we were approved. So we called back and re-confirmed the terms of the balance transfer deal and asked to transfer a substantial amount of money to the new Capital one Account. We were assured that we had 12 months of 0% interest on the transferrred balances,  as well as Zero % on purchases for 12 months!

A few days ago we get a bill from Capital one which includes interest at 14.90 %.  Naturally, we called up customer service and asked for clarification on why were we being charge the 14.90% rate when we signed up for the 12 months of interest free financing. Based on Capital One’s records WE NEVER SIGNED UP for the Zero Percent financing. Of course this sent both of us over the edge and we escalated to the next level to the finance manager.  Same result.

Would you believe that Capital One asked us to provide proof of the offer. Of course we had already discarded the orignal offer mailing (our mistake obviously in trusting the transaction).  Additionally, Capital One does not give any emails confirming this type of transaction.  Again obviously our mistake for not asking an email confirmation when we made the transfer.

Now here’s the kicker. the first finance manager we spoke to was down right hostile and during our conversation, hung up on us, as we probe deeper into this policy of rate changes.  I guess, us being upset with our rate change and our raised volume contributed to him hanging up on us..

In the end, we were finally able to get another finance manager to “forgive” the interest charges, but we were told, that we would have to move our balane AGAIN to ANOTHER card, otherwise, we would be charged the 14.90% on an ongoing basis.

After this, I decided to report Capital One to the NJ State Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau. This is after all the only recourse I have as  my “friends” at Capital One insist that I was the one that did not understand the terms of the balance transfer.

The silver lining from all of this is that I have learned some valuable lessons:

  1. Keep all written offers until AFTER you get the first invoice. Capital One asked me for written proof of the offer and of course I could not provide it, as I had discarded the original snail mail that I had received from Capital One.
  2. I learned that the Web is  a valuable resource in protecting the consumer from this type of  “Bait and Switch” tactics.
  3. eHow is the best site I found for a step by step method to submit complaints against credit card company fraud

Has this kind of thing happened to you?  If  so what did you do?

Right now I’m scrambling to move my balance to another card under terms that I can live with…

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