entertainment gear

Getting the most from Ebay


find great stuff on eBay

Shopping on Ebay can save you a LOT of money,

and it can also help many individuals and small businesses survive

Let’s face it, the economy is not getting much better anytime soon.   You need to shop carefully and save money whenever possible.    If you know what you are looking for and can be patient, you will maximize your savings.

How to take great product photos

A lot of people don’t  take advantage of eBay.  Some people worry they will get burned.  Well, folks, if that’s you, start rethinking.    You could save thousands of dollars annually if you get smart with Ebay, and the stuff will come right to your door.

Here are some tips.

Start with a good search.   use filters, like price, condition, even location.   Know the products you like and try searching for them on Ebay.   Narrow it down.

Look for good photos.   If you can clearly see what you are buying you can bid confidently.  On the other hand, if you know exactly what you are looking for, you may find a listing with a terrible photo that isn’t getting any bids.  That’s when you can really get a good deal.

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Be careful of shipping costs.   Make sure to check it in the listing.   It’s okay to buy from international sellers, just know what it’s going to cost you.

Think before you bid.   If you really want an item, and it’s unique, rare, vintage, collectible, etc.. go all out and put in your top price.  don’t be shy.  On the other hand, if there are many of the item on Ebay, go for the lowest price.  Shop at odd hours… for example when most people are asleep, or on a holiday.   You’ll be surprised what you can get.

see also our article about Ebay on www.CashForest.com

Ebay article

And use Ebay also to SELL stuff you don’t need.   Trade your unwanted stuff for quick cash, and use that to buy what you need.   Make sure you have good photos and description.   Research prices on Ebay by using the “completed listings” feature.   That way you don’t waste your time and spend on listing fees.

stuff happens, be ready www.renaissancetools.com


Naneu K4L camera bag / backpack.

GREAT bag to travel with. 5 stars.

By Naneu well made, clever design, laptop compartment

Watch the video review


Otterbox Defender case for iPad… excellent

If you haven’t heard of Otterbox you need to check them out.

Their cases withstand hard use, travel, and occasional abuse.

The Defender series is their best case, and frankly, it’s indispensable.    It does add weight, but if you use your iPad the way most people do, you want to take it wherever, and be able to use it without worrying too much.

It’s a good idea to have more than one case for your iPad and iPhone, and other devices.

iPad – YES ! but get great apps

The value of an iPad is beyond description.

Skip the hemming and hawing, just go get one.  You won’t regret it.  BUT, to make it truly indispensable get the APPS that are perfect for you.  No matter who you are or what you do, there is a perfect APP for you.

Go to the APP store, and look around.  The iPad has so much utility, time saving, and entertaining merits, no review can do it justice.

Panasonic SDR-H200 vid cam

There are a lot of great video cameras out there, but this is the one I use, and I like it.

I had a number of criteria to meet, including a built in hard drive, and an external memory storage as well.   I wanted the “flip screen”, and small size for portability.    This camera is very easy to use.   You can take still shots, or switch to video easily.   This allows me to take it with me almost anywhere and do a lot of stuff.  I can make advertising videos for customers and my own business, and I can take photos of products.

Some have found difficulty using the videos in various video editing programs, especially iMovie on the Mac.  I get around that easily by downloading a file conversion program that quickly converts the files to MPEG-4 ones that are readable by Quicktime, Real Player, Windows Media player,  iMovie, and other popular programs.

Ipod touch – music and more

If you haven’t heard of the iPod you may be living in a cave.

Keep your thousands of songs handy everywhere you go.    But, that’s not all….  the iPod touch can get online, and download “apps”, giving it so many functions you’ll feel almost naked without it.  Fantastic traveling companion.  ( if you’re travel companions are getting on your nerves, just use the headphones and goodbye  !  AHHH !

You can also get the smaller iPods, and micro iPods.   You can’t go wrong either way.   The little guys are great for your exercise routines, subways, etc.

Otter Box case, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.

A Great case for iPhone

You spent a lot of buckaroos on your trusty iPhone ( or Blackberry ), so do yourself a favor, and protect it.

This Otter Box Defender case is ideal.   It’s tough, has it’s own screen protector, and covers for those vulnerable holes ( for headphones, charging ).   If you travel a lot, you need this.     There’s another version without the belt clip / holder, and it costs about half as much.   Get it on Ebay for best price.

Otter Box makes cases for other gadgets too.     Check out their website

Otter Box - durable case

Flight Simulator FSX – very amazing

It's not easy to land a fast jet, even in a good flight simulator

Microsoft came out with FSX quite a few years ago, and has now unfortunately abandoned it. However, if you get this program installed on a nice computer, with your pedals, yoke, throttle, and maybe a second monitor, well…

You can fly anywhere in the world, in any weather, and hundreds of different kinds of aircraft.   Plus, you can get out real charts like I do, learn all the instruments, ILS system ( Instrument landing ), antique airplanes, big jets, fighters, sea planes, and so much more.

Check out this site www.livingpictures.org/flightsimulator.htm

And, that’s not all..

You can join an online airline, fly schedules, and fly online with other seasoned (real) pilots and aircraft controllers who like flight simming as a hobby.

Many flight simulator aircraft are modeled by professional engineers and pilots, and for that reason many of them are very accurate.    If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll crash for sure.    In modern aviation simulators are used extensively, especially for large or fast aircraft.    Sure, it’s “just” a simulator, but this one’s very good if you use all its features and set up the highest realism settings.

Check it out.

Price:  Software is very cheap, like 30 bucks or so on Ebay or eslewhere.    But get the pedals and yoke, or at the least a very good joystick.   Most modern computers can run it just fine.   I use the iMac 24 inch in windows mode.   Get a good video card and at least 2GB of Ram.

Yokes and pedals vary.   Buy used if you can ( you know, “junior” just had to have it for Christmas, but it sat in the closet for 3 years)    If you have lots of bucks, you can go h0g-wild and set up your whole garage with a full motion simulator based on FSX.

see:   www.redbirdflight.com I tried one of these… Now, THAT’s fun.  Holy cow.   180 degree, 7 screen visual, full size professional controls and seats, and it MOVES !!

*I want one now.

Flight Simulator accessories

Get a yoke, bloke !   you can’t fly with a mouse and keyboards.  Both CH Products and Saitek make excellent stuff like yokes, pedals, instrument panels, and joystics.

Pedals –   a must.   airplanes have rudders, and there’s a reason for that.

Get some Sectional charts.  Old ones are fine for sim flying, just get as recent as you can find.   Try Ebay for all of this stuff.    prices are great but do some research.

Kindle – ebook reader YES !

"No fluff, no gruff, just good stuff"

The Kindle eBook reader; YES

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Kindle. It’s in it’s second version now.   I have a close friend who LOVES it.  It saves her so much time, and money.    It’s easy to use, too.    No color, but most books aren’t in color anyway.   Great for travel, such as in airplanes and trains.   Besides downloadable books, you can also get a pretty good selection of research papers and out of print books.

Mac Intel — “Get a Mac, Jack !”

All content copyright Paul Smyres, Living Being Media, all rights reserved.  No reproduction.

The new Intel chip iMac is a true wonder machine, and of course MacBook Pro and Mac Pro     OMG !

When you switch to Mac you don’t look back………

“And oooh, what great designs you have !”

One used to be limited to one or the other, but now you can have 2 computers in one with Mac Intel.   Keep your Windows software, if you still want any of it    Do you have some Windows software you need to run, for pleasure or business?    Load up Windows in a separate section of your computer, and boom !  2 computers.    And, the Mac runs Windows better than your typical PC, much more stable.

I run Flight Simulator X on my 3.06 GHZ    24 ” iMac   2 GB RAM,.   It runs great.  I also have a number of other software packages I use Windows for from time to time.

But, the real glory of iMac and Mac Pro is speed, superb stability, and FANTASTIC operating system.    I used to spend over 100 hours per year, sometimes more, just dealing with Windows and PC problems.   GONE, thanks to Apple.  I love my Mac !    You can “deal” with a PC, but with a Mac you’ll be in love.    a few more reasons;   Garage Band, iMovie, iPhoto, sexy looks, works with all Apple gear like iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc, and a home stereo, video system as well, and the AirPort…

If you haven’t done it Jack, just get a Mac !