Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I continue to ponder what to do with my career. I do know that I need to move my career forward somehow seeing as I want to eventually support a family, but right now I’m unsure as to ‘how’? Paying rent, bills and all other expenses at the same time as attending business school seems like so much to take on right now. I’ve had many people further in their careers warn me about the perils of taking on a huge student loan. The only solution I can really see is attending an online business school while working full-time, which seems like a lot, but could definitely be the best available option. Simultaneously I’ve been looking at learning day-trading which just from the outset, is a tidal wave of necessary knowledge and potential risk from my current perspective. Then again, I suppose going into the business world always presents significant risk as is the case in any open market. Right now I will continue to look at both options for the future, studying for the GMAT and reading up on technical analysis and hopefully come to some sort of decision.

Or who knows, maybe some day I can do both 

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Easily one of the biggest stories in the world of business today is Microsoft's impending release of Vista . Those of you who read my previous tirade against Apple's business practices might assume I am happily anticipating this release. However this could not be further from the truth.

Reports are that Microsoft worked extremely hard at this upgrade, pouring in billions of dollars, but what really came out of it? Rounder corners? (Isn't that what XP did?) Translucent window edges? (Who cares?). Certainly one thing it is reported to do well: eat up an enormous chunk of your computer's available RAM.

Right now as I use XP, I don't really see anything I 'need' from an operating system. What I love about windows is its compatibility where millions of people around the globe develop great freeware that I can use with XP. I need something to find files instantly? Download Google Desktop Search. I like Mac's visually appealing program launcher on the bottom of the screen? Download RKLauncher. Don't like Internet Explorer? Get Firefox and the tons of compatible extensions. There's even a Windows XP Vista theme that has fooled some people into thinking its the $200+ new operating system.

Still though, people will upgrade to upgrade, businesses will tack it on to their ample IT budget just like they did with flat-screen monitors in what seemed like increased DRM ability that Micro$oft has its eye on, Vista being a bit of a Trojan Horse.

Really though, this is still mostly speculation, though one thing I feel comfortable speculating is on Microsoft's current business model allowing Vista to make them a whole lot of money.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Update on the car crash-

Well over a month later and this car crash business is still affecting us. I've been driving around in a rental car for a few weeks now- finding a new car has not been easy. After paying for a consumer reports package on how to look for a new car I have been searching through the different models looking at reviews, recommendations, and blue book values.
My priorities were: good gas mileage, low road noise, enough room to cart things about (not a 2 door car), relatively safe and not too expensive to maintain. Then of course my budget- $3500- $7500 (I received $3200 for my totaled car)

So firstly I was looking at Camry's and Corollas, both highly recommended as reliable on consumer reports, easy to maintain being so popular- easy to get parts for etc. I had actually got as far as deciding on a specific 2000 Corolla a few days ago (I was loving the gas mileage in these times of Global Warming.) When I drove it however, it really did just feel a little too small- it just didn't feel safe- particularly as I now know what it is like when an SUV hits a much smaller car. After weeks of research and looking at cars I felt back to square one. Still with the rental car at $35 a day I knew this was no time to give up for a while and today I can report good news!

I DID finally buy a car! It is a 1998 Toyota Avalon with 100k miles. Its a few more miles than I was hoping for, but apparently they run as long as Camrys (~250-300k) since they have the same engines. It also has more room in the back/trunk and they say it gets great gas mileage--30+ on the highway. Also I managed to pay a little over $1,000 less than for the 2000 Corolla (with 83k on it).

So yay- our Chiropractor appointments still continue but we do have the car part out of the way!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A recent big piece of news from the business world was the iPhone. On January 9th of this year, Steve Jobs unveiled what had been strongly rumored by salivating Apple fans. I must admit, I come from a bit of a bias having quite a distaste for Apples. Although I grew up on them, and can see some of their benefits, overall I hate their business plan.

Now that's a strong word, but I'm surprised its not a stronger sentiment among consumers (Apple seems to be growing quite well since Jobs' resurgence and the emergence of the iPod). I'm surprised that more consumers aren't taken aback by Apple's attitude of forcing their customers to use their hardware only as Apple sees fit. At first it was restricting software for the Macintosh computer, then it was the dreaded iTunes music service on the iPod (I particularly dislike how it is impossible to have a subscription service) and now, in a similar attitude they are not allowing the future customers of the iPhone to install software on the Mac OSX that the device is running as well as forcing customers to use a specific phone service, Cingular instead of the current preferred carrier (where I live currently, for example, Verizon has much better service).

However, even with my problems with how Apple does business, I must admit, it does look pretty amazing.

I just hope there's some truth behind the the rumored "Googlephone" or else I might find myself betraying my business principles!