Author Archives: Rick

‘The Cheapskate Rules’ burns up the charts

Announcing (belatedly) “The Cheapskate Rules: 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets.” It’s the culmination of my years of experience as The Cheapskate and a collection of some seriously sweet tips on how to save cash on tech.

For example, planning to buy an iPad? You’ll never get a discount at your local Apple Store, but I share the secret of how to save $50-100 on most iPad models.

Don’t want to spend $100 annually for Microsoft Office? You don’t have to: I reveal five excellent Office alternatives that don’t cost a dime.

And so on! “The Cheapskate Rules” will pay for itself many, many times over. And don’t take my word: Check the glowing reviews from Amazon readers!

The book is available not only for Kindle (and all the various Kindle apps), but also Barnes & Noble Nook e-readers and tablets. Prefer print? You can order print copies as well. (Makes a great gift.)

Want to interview me for print, radio, or TV? Click the Contact tab up top.

Review: Powerbag Recharges Phones, Tablets, and More On the Go

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of schlepping chargers everywhere I go. I need one for my iPhone, another for my tablet, a third for my camera, and on and on. Hassle city.

That’s why I’m head-over-heels in love with my Powerbag–which not only carries all my gear, but also recharges it. It’s pricey, but worth it.

The Powerbag collection includes briefcases, backpacks, and messenger bags that can power your mobile gadgets so they’re always juiced up and ready when you get where you’re going. Ingenious, no?  Read more >>>

Review: Jabra Sport Bluetooth Stereo Headset

If you’re an active person and a smartphone owner, I have two products to recommend. First is the Spibelt, an impossibly comfortable sports belt with a stretchy pouch that can accommodate keys, cash, your phone and other walker/runner/biker essentials.

The second is the Jabra Sport Bluetooth stereo headset, which lets you listen to music and FM radio and make/take calls while you’re exercising–all without wires. (Well, sort of.)

Read more >>>

Get a Refurbished Nook Color for $199

In recent weeks I’ve talked a lot about the Amazon Kindle, but let’s not overlook that “other” e-reader: the Barnes & Noble Nook. Specifically, the Nook Color is one of the unexpected gadget success stories of 2011–and for a limited time, there’s a rare deal to be had on one.

Barnes & Noble is offering the “certified pre-owned” Nook Color tablet for $199, shipping included. Normally it sells for $249. Read more >>>

Turn a Spare PC into a Free DVR

Lately, more and more people have been asking me about “cutting the cord.” No, this has nothing to do with childbirth; it’s about ditching pricey cable TV–the “cord”–in favor of Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and other digital options.

Much as I’m a fan of those inexpensive alternatives, there are times when I want to watch–and record–live TV. A simple antenna connected to my TV’s digital tuner takes care of the “watch” part, as I can tune in most of the major networks via over-the-air signals.

But what about recording? For that, I rely on a spare desktop PC (though a laptop would do as well), an inexpensive accessory, and Windows 7. Combined, they make a fantastic DVR for watching and recording digital, high-definition broadcasts. Read more >>>

Five Great Free Android Apps

Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But free apps? Those are a lot easier to come by, especially for Android smartphone users.

For example, today only, Amazon’s App Store has the handy utility TaskKiller Pro free of charge. It normally sells for $1.99.

If you happen to miss out on that deal, fear not: there are plenty of other great freebies you can grab all day, every day. Read more >>>

Get 5GB of Free Cloud Storage from SugarSync

SugarSync is a fantastic storage service that syncs files from your PC to the Web, other PCs, and various mobile devices. Don’t think you need it? Read the following TRUE HORROR STORY before you decide.

One dark and stormy night, your computer suddenly locks up. You reboot, and a few minutes later it locks up again. You try another reboot, only this time the start-up screen flashes a message about “imminent hard drive failure.” That eerie feeling creeping up your spine is the realization that your data is trapped inside a dead PC. Read more >>>