Windows 7

The new windows operating system, Windows 7 came out Thursday. I hadn’t planned on buying it yet but I was having trouble with my laptop and figured that upgrading might solve my problem. Fortunately it did and my laptop is working fine now. I’ve only been using Windows 7 for a day but I can share with you my thoughts so far.

Installation is simple but time consuming. I upgraded from Windows Vista which possibly took longer because it had to convert all of my old files. What isn’t mentioned up front about the upgrade is that if you are upgrading from XP you are doing a full system install. This means that you will have to reinstall all of your old programs so hopefully you have all of your disks.

Installation from Vista took over 2 hours but was relatively simple. I had to enter some information for the first ten minutes and then was able to leave the computer to itself. If you’re using XP the actual installation will likely be quicker but reinstalling all of your old programs may take considerable time depending on how many programs you had installed.
Windows 7 is attractive and runs fast. It uses less system resources than Windows Vista so your computer itself should run better. There isn’t a big difference between Vista and Windows 7, so I’m not sure if it’s worth the the money but I didn’t have a problem with Vista to begin with.  From everything that I have read though, Windows 7 eliminates the annoyances that have prevented Windows XP users from switching to Vista, namely program compatibility and an annoyance problem with constantly asking for permission to do stuff.

If you’re still running XP, Windows 7 is a big upgrade and I believe that you’ll be very pleased with the new look and function of the programs.  It will take some time adjusting to new things but is worth it in the end.

Thanksgiving

As I’ve been preparing devotions for the month of November, I’m working on the subject of thanksgiving.  Something that has struck me is how my prayers often don’t reflect an attitude of thanksgiving that all Christians should have.  So I’m going to practice what I preach.  I suggested in the devotions to list one thing for every letter of the alphabet that we’re thankful for.  It can be big or small, simple or great.  I’m writing my own list and including it here so everyone can see what I’m thankful for and so that I can work through the exercise just as I suggested other people do.

  • Apples
  • Birds
  • Computers
  • Dishwashers
  • Eggs
  • Fall leaves
  • Grace
  • H2O
  • Ice cream
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Love
  • Marriage
  • New things
  • Orange juice
  • Progress
  • Quiet
  • Righteousness
  • Salvation
  • Turkey
  • Umbrellas
  • Vehicles
  • Worship
  • X-rays
  • Yoga on Wii Fit
  • Zebras

Debt Collectors

I’m a big believer in paying bills on time.  In my years of paying bills I’ve only been late on one payment and somehow didn’t realize that I didn’t send in a payment one month.  As much as possible I don’t even carry a month to month balance on my credit card so that I don’t pay interest on it.

So this makes calls from debt collectors all the more annoying to me.  I’ve had my current phone number almost two years now and apparently at least two people who had it before me didn’t like to pay their bills and I keep getting calls from debt collectors for them.

At first I answered these calls to tell the companies that they had the wrong number and to take my phone number out of their system.  One company I had to tell six times before they finally got the message.  Lately though I’ve been just getting a recording, instructing me to call them back at their 800 number. 

I’m not taking my time to call back about a debt that I don’t owe and waste my time on hold, all so the company can call me again the next day because they never bothered to remove my phone number from their system.

All consumers have rights.  Debt collectors may only call during certain hours of the day.  They may not call at work without permission.  They may not make threats or use abusive language.  They must identify their company and explain that they are attempting to collect a debt.  Unfortunately many debt collectors don’t follow these rules.

Fortunately you can report such thugs to the FTC.  http://www.ftc.gov explains all of the that collectors must follow.  If a debt collector has broken any of these rules you may report them to the FTC.

First, Google the phone number that the debt collector called from or search www.whitepages.com to find the company name.  After you have found as much information as you can about the company, go to www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov to report them to the government.  You won’t receive anything in compensation for your annoyance by these companies but the government will investigate their practices and fine them if they have been breaking the law.