How to get Office for free

free microsoft office

“How do I get Microsoft Office for free?” … That is probably the question that I get asked the most from my non-techie friends.

 

Let me answer it for you.. (but first a disclaimer… This is a Canadian Blog and I’m writing in Canadian dollars with Canadian content)

You can’t. It’s not free. It will cost you something in return. Maybe not money, but it might cost you privacy or your usage patterns.
If you’re okay with that, then let’s look at a few options.

Buy Microsoft Office:

First off, you can stop being cheap and actually pay for it from Microsoft.  This is not the free office option.  The people at Microsoft put in long hours to make an extraordinary application that I use daily so I don’t mind paying for it.

Actually, my company pays for my work version. But I also have a personal account that I pay for. Here is a little secret though, if you have a email from the college or university that you went to, you can get a discount. Plus there is a good chance that your kid will get it for free from their school board.

See that story here:  Microsoft Office Education Version

If you do buy it, it’s $11/month and that covers 5 devices. FIVE!!!! Your computer, your spouses computer, the kids computer, an ipad and even give a copy to Gramma.

Buy Microsoft Office
Buy Office for $11/month

You can buy it here at this link: -> LINK <-

The Free Office Alternative – Libre Office:

Second option if you don’t want to spend the money. Get Libre Office. It’s an open source version of Office that works just as well and it’s literally free.
You can get it for Windows or Mac and it comes built into almost every version of Linux. It’s simple to use and you can set the defaults so that they save and open as actual Microsoft Office files.

Free Office
This is the free version of MS Office

The download link for it is here -> LINK <-

Google Docs:

Next options are just as good for a free office alternative but require cloud service. That would be Google Docs for example where you can download offline versions. This is where you are going to give up your privacy a bit in exchange to use the Google services. The benefits to using Google Docs is that you can access it from all your devices, you don’t need to install anything and you can easily share the documents. So many large corporations use this now that it’s starting to become the standard. Companies will share the calendars for staff so that everyone can see their shifts or upcoming jobs. You can share sales funnels with staff, build pivot tables to deploy pricing and do so much more with it. I recommend this to almost everyone plus you get A LOT of free storage with it. Simply set up a free gmail account here -> LINK <-

Google Docs
Free Google Docs

 


Outlook.com – The hidden Microsoft secret to getting Office for FREE:

And there is the original, I also use this often. When you create an email address with Outlook.com , you get access to all of the Office features FOR FREE. YES, free! It’s really that simple. Goto outlook.com and create an account. When you sign in, look up in the top left and click the 9 squares to see the options
you can also use your login credentials to download the applications to your computer, tablet or phone for no charge.

free microsoft office
how to get microsoft office for free
Free Office applications
These are all the FREE applications you get with Outlook.com

 

It’s that simple.  I hope that you take advantage of some of these free tools to boost your creativity.  If you do, please leave a comment below and let me know which one you use the most.

A mini review of the Asus Zenfone Max M1 – Switching from Apple to Android

apple to android

Making the switch from Apple iPhone 7 to an Asus Zenfone Max M1 hasn’t been easy.  I’ve been a pretty loyal fan to Apple the past few years.   I’ve owned numerous iPads, iPhones and iPods.  Plus a dozen or so Apple computers.  My latest is a late-2013 Macbook Pro 15″ running high Sierra.  I really like the product.

But lately, I’ve been in a position where I needed a dual sim capable phone and that really limited the options.   My plan was to shop around for a dual sim Android phone that could also hold a large microSD card.   Though it seemed that everyone I looked at that was a dual sim was really just a dual tray.  That meant that it could hold one sim card and one microSD OR a sim card.  So the second slot was for one OR the other, there were no three tray sim cards.    At least until I came across the Asus Zenfone Max M1 (or as my windows PC file manager calls it, the ASUS_X018D).   This seemed like the phone for me so I picked it up from Canada Computers for $299 and added a 200GB micoSD card for $79 (instant rebate of $20) and went home with it.



Getting used to Android again after being in the Apple house for so long wasn’t easy.  I’m a fairly technical person so I could work my way around it pretty quickly.   Though one thing kept bugging me and that was switching storage locations from the tiny 32GB of internal storage on the Asus Zenfone itself to the more roomy 200GB micro SD card.  It seemed that everything was defaulting to internal storage and I was running out of room fast on the phone.  Even setting the video / photo feature to the external storage, something was eating away at the internal memory.   A quick look showed the ‘cache’ at 2GB with no real way to clear it.   I’m still working on how to erase that or to save storage space where I can.

It also became apparent that the processor and ram in the Asus Zenfone Max M1 weren’t going to be able to keep up with me but I might be able to live with it if I just used it for phone calls, emails and some browsing.   The saving grace of the Asus phone though was it’s battery life.  A 4130 mAh can easily get me through a typical work day.  And the camera itself would suffice, but the video camera was horrible.

Here are a few shots that I took with the stock camera for work purposes.

Asus Zenfone Max picture
picture of iPhones taken with the Asus Zenfone Max M1
iphone 6
iPhone 6 64GB for kijiji

 

And here is a sample of just how HORRIBLE the video is.  There is no image stabilization and the zoom just fails on so many levels

Now it’s only been a week but already I’m starting to think that this particular phone was a mistake.   I do have a friend selling a OnePlus 5 with 8GB ram and a 128GB storage though and it can handle two sim cards so I’m going to wait patiently for him to sell it to me for $500.  Canada Computers does have this Android phone for $699 + taxes so $500 seems like a deal hopefully.  I’ll have to update you after I make that switch.

But so far, I feel like it was a mistake to leave the easy to use Apple universe.   Sure the iPhone 7 battery was kind’ve crappy and the screen was small but I was always worried that I was going to break it when I dropped it.   But it did have a larger ecosystem for protective cases and other accessories.

Let me know if you prefer Apple or Android?

Any advice for me regarding better camera apps or how to flush out my rapidly fillling cache?

 

Simple steps to get started selling online – eBay – Amazon – Etsy etc.

main page

Simple steps to get started for selling online.

I’ve been on ebay for 18 years now.   I’ve sold thousands of items.   A lot of people have asked me how to get started selling so I’ve created a post that will cover the simple steps to get started on eBay.   These same steps can also be used with Amazon, Etsy or any other online sales platform.

it really comes down to these 5 simple steps.

  1. Photos
  2. pack
  3. rates
  4. descrbe
  5. ship

1. First, I always start with lots of photos.

A picture is worth a thousand words and nothing can show a buyer more clearly what’s included then some photos.   Though I have dealt with buyers who are less than clueless even when you do show them pictures of the product.

Take lots of pictures, more then you can need.  EBay will allow you to include 12 pictures with every listing.  Sometimes, I also make a video and upload it to youtube under private / unlisted just in case I think that the customer may try to return it.  I like to be optimistic but the last few years on eBay have been painful for the sheer number of returns for various reasons.    You will want to document the product for any issues at a later time.   I usually keep the photos for 90 days after the sale.

So now you’ve taken lots of pictures, what’s next?

main page
this is the main page

2. Now you find the packaging.  Or you make the packaging, or you go box shopping.

You’re going to want to do this since it’s easier to pack it and have the packing materials ready before you actually ship it.   You’ll want to keep the product well protected while keeping the size to a minimum at the same time.    I sometimes use fast food drink holders as packing material since they have the ability to be protective while maintaining low weight.   Egg cartons also work well.

3. Now you get shipping rates.

Once you have it packaged, you will need to  weigh and measure it.  We use kilograms and centimeters here in Canada. It may be different in your area.

This is where you need to spend a bit more time.   You will need to get different rates for shipping.  For my requirements, I like to get rates from Vancouver Island and Newfoundland.   I then use that rate as my in Canada shipping rate.   Keep in mind that eBay charges a 10% fee on shipping so if you charge $25 CDN to ship something, eBay is going to keep $2.50.  So if shipping is $24.50, you may want to add a couple of dollars for the box and a few dollars for the fees.   I would round that up to $30.    There is also a final value fee (FFV) that several online retailers charge when you sell something as well.

Make sure that your shipping rates include a tracking number and maybe even a signature if the item is valuable (i.e. $100+)

Insurance usually covers upto $100.   Keep that in mind if the product is worth more than the insurance covers.



If you are shipping internationally, get the rates first.     In my opinion though, I wouldn’t ship it internationally.    I keep mine to just Canada and mainland USA, that does not include Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico.  You can ship to APO boxes which are US Forces post office boxes, the rates shouldn’t be too much different for that.   Also be aware that shipping internationally will require customs forms and sometimes it will require a broker.   Fedex and Purolator aren’t too bad to deal with but they aren’t my first choice.  You will also be responsible to know if the product you are selling is even allowed into those countries.   I once had a laptop refused at the border because I didn’t have the proper forms filled out for the DVD drive (laser) that was in it.

4. So now you know your rates, you have lots of photos and you’re ready to ship it once it sells.. So lets start selling.   Create an accurate and detailed description.

This is the part where you need to be careful.   Make a good title, make sure that the product is in the right category and if you know the part number, you’ll want to use it too.

For most of the items that I sell, I stick to the computer / laptop arena so I get to fill in some things such as RAM, Hard Drive, Model Number etc. etc.    You will need to know this for the items that you are selling.

selling online
Know the specifics when selling online

DO NOT STICK UP A BASIC LISTING WITH HARDLY ANY DESCRIPTION ! !

Nothing is more annoying to a buyer then trying to read your mind as to what you are selling.  If you don’t know what it is, then put that in the description.   Honesty is what will keep you from getting a lot of returns.
Make sure that you review the description twice.   I’ve made the mistake of listing a size 9.5 shoe in the description but only describing it as a size 9 in the title. The buyer didn’t read the description, only the title.  So guess you had a return and had to pay for return shipping.  Even though I had filled in all details as a size 9.5, I was still responsible for it.   Make sure that you know the specifics or it will come back and bite you in the ass.

When it comes to setting prices, there are several ways to do it.  What I like to do is search for my item in the listings and then narrow it down by finding the sold ones.   You do that by looking on the left hand size until you see the ‘sold’ check box

This will show you the sold items if there are any.  If there are, then the price that I normally start a bidding process with is half of the sold item price.   For example, if a laptop sells for $100, then I start the auction at $50.  By setting the price at half of the sold value, that will generate enough interest to drive in some bids.

See the images below.   The top one shows a search for rubber duckies.   The second image shows a search for rubber duckies AFTER I clicked on the ‘SOLD’ check box.

 

buying ducks
This is what it looks like when searching for ducks to buy

Image two with the SOLD item checked off.

sold rubber ducks
this is a list of rubber duckies that have been sold

There is also the option to set a buy it now (BIN) at 20% higher then the sold price.  Buyers will always try to knock your prices down.  Sometimes there is the option to have a ‘offer’ price where the buyer can send an offer to purchase it.    There is also the option to set a price.    Since we’re talking about prices.   Don’t set your prices too high.   Unless you’re selling gold, there  is not reason to think that what you own is actual gold.

Payment options are set up by the retailer.  They will change by platform so I’m not going to get into that.   But do not ship until you’ve actually signed into the payment platform and inspected it yourself.      Also, we will discuss fraud in another post.

5. Now it’s time to ship it.

Okay, so it’s paid for, you have the packaging, you are ready to ship.   If you use USPS or Canada Post, be sure to ONLY ship to the address listed in the payment platform and be sure to get a tracking number.   Even if it’s a $2 item, pay the $12 to get the tracking number.    You should have known the cost of shipping from our steps above and you those costs are in the listing.     Send the customer the tracking number, they will get it on whatever platform you use and they will get it on paypal.  But let them know that you know that it’s on it’s way.   This deters the immediate scammers.

What’s next?

Once you see that it’s arrived, send a message to the buyer and ask if everything is okay.   If you do have a return policy, make sure you know what it entails.   Since 2017, I’ve had about 30% of all products returned.    The buyer thinks that these platforms are just like walmart or something.

I wish you the best of luck with this.   Send me an email if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them mdancy@gmail.com

 

Favourite Cryptocurrency Websites

Favourite Cryptocurrency websites:

This page is constantly in flux.  Be sure to add your favorites in the comments below.

CBIX.ca -> Canadian crypto exchange

Coinsquare education -> learn the basics of Cryptocurrencies

Coinsquare trading -> Trading on Coinsquare

Coinbase trading -> Easiest way to buy Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum – more cryptos coming soon.  Special on, buy $100, get $10 free

Bitfinex trading -> A more advanced Crypto trading platform

Binance trading -> Larger collection of Alt-coins for purchasing / trading

Yahoo Finance -> Keeping upto date with Crypto price changes

Exodus Wallet -> Storing your investments securely.

future of Doge coin

doge coin

I wish that I could predict the future of the DOGE Coin but I can’t.  I don’t think that anyone can.

But in terms of investing in cryptocurrency, DOGE coin and others would be considered a penny stock.
These coins are cheap right now.  I just bought 16,000 for less then $100 CDN and it rose to $160 CDN over night.

So from there, I skimmed off the profit and invested in a more stable coin such as DASH.

DOGE coin was created as in internet joke back in 2013.  It’s had a bumpy ride but has really shot up in the last day or so. (Today being DECEMBER 17th, 2017)  It is still one of the few mineable coins and being so low priced, it’s a good back pocket investment just to sit on.  At least in my opinion.   It has a market capitalization of over 300 Million USD!!  How is that possible?

Another bonus is that you can get these coins for free from a faucet page if you install the wallet.  DOGE coin is not something normally traded in regular wallets such as EXODUS



You can get the DOGE Wallet here -> LINK

You can learn more about mining coins here -> LINK

You can donate DOGE coins to me using this wallet ID: DHwtiFYv5XTt23LHwEEJFUiAFRMW1i9n3h

Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions on DOGE coins.

Next blogpost might be about DASH coins?

To see my other cryptocurrency posts, follow the Cryptocurrency category

CRYPTO rates today

[currencyprice currency1="btc" currency2="usd,cad"]
[currencyprice currency1="ltc" currency2="usd,cad" feature="all"]
[currencyprice currency1="eth" currency2="usd,btc" feature="prices"]
[currencyprice currency1="eth" currency2="usd,btc" feature="calculator"]
doge coin
a quick $60 profit overnight on DOGE coin

Cryptocurrencies as investments i.e. Bitcoin Litecoin & Ethereum

bitcoin

When I first heard of bitcoin around 2009, I set up a miner app and pulled in .25 BTC or something like that.

Of course, I forgot about it and got rid of that computer and the wallet that was on it.. That mistake is worth about $4000 now.

But I’ve been looking back into it over the past few months.  when it hit $5000/ea BTC, I was really surprised.

It was only then when I started researching that I saw that there were more alternatives to just Bitcoin.

If Bitcoin is the internet equivilant to gold then Ethereum would be the USD that a lot of other coins are based on.

LTC or Litecoin would be silver.. but comparing these to base metals is rather redundant since there isn’t really a physical alternative to cryptocurrencies

It’s currently December 14th, 2017.  I  started buying Bitcoin, Litecoin and IOTA about a month ago.  It’s basically doubled in value and I’ll hold onto it until February of 2018 to see where it is.    But in the meantime, I’m going to list my favorite links to getting into Cryptocurrencies as investments below:

 

Coinbase – easiest place to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin – but the fees are high

Binance – Currently seems to target Chinese nationalists but you can buy other coins here such as IOTA

Coinmarketcap – A good spot to start to see how many AltCoins are out there and do your research on them.

 

In the meantime, I have to get to work but I will try updating this blog more often with Cryptocurrency information

[h2]bitcoin rates[/h2]

[currencyprice currency1="btc" currency2="usd,cad"]
[currencyprice currency1="ltc" currency2="usd,cad" feature="all"]
[currencyprice currency1="eth" currency2="usd,btc" feature="prices"]
[currencyprice currency1="eth" currency2="usd,btc" feature="calculator"]



PruVeeo Q2 front and rear dashcam

I recently bought a new dashcam, Pruveeo Q2, for my car to replace my A118 dashcam.

Unfortunatly, it did not fit the current mounts that I had so I installed it in my wifes 2013 Mazda5 instead

Her G1W dashcam wasn’t working as well anymore so she was going to get my old one.   But this works too.

You can see the full video review for it below.

I bought this Pruveeo Q2 from Amazon for $79.99 Canadian and added a 32GB Lexar 633x MicroSD card for another $25.

Now I don’t think that you need to be told WHY you need a dashcam, but if you don’t have one, now is the time to buy one.

You can find the Pruveeo Q2 here: Amazon

The front facing camera on the Pruveeo Dashcam is a very crisp 1080 resolution.  The rear camera isn’t nearly as good and you won’t be using it for capturing detail or license plates.  But it should save your bacon in case of an accident which is why it’s there.

Compared to my A188 dashcam, I think that the Pruveeo is head and shoulders more clear.  I will have to buy a second one myself just for my car.

It could also be that I’m running a faster MicroSD card in the new camera but I really think that it’s just the camera CMOS chip and lense iteself.   Plus having that rear camera is really handy.

You can see the full review and installation in the video below.

Let me know if you need any follow up information for it.

My YouTube channel

I’ve been working on my YouTube channel a bit harder over the past few months.  My goal in June was to upload a new video every second day and I think that I came close.  I think that I put up 20 videos on YouTube in June.  Which was NOT easy.  The hardest part was thinking of what to put up.   Initially, I started the channel as a tech review site but it seems that the most popular videos are when I upload my dashcam footage.

So that is what I will focus on.  Maybe once a week or once a month, I’ll collect all the incidents that I witness and make a collage video.  It’s a bit easier now that my wifes car runs a dual camera dashcam set up and I take a camera with me whereever I go.  Plus my car already has a Dashcam installed.  I’ll do a quick review on them in the future.

You can see my channel here Youtube

The goal from building up this channel is to create a secondary income that requires as little effort as possible.  There are other options that I can focus on to create an income.  But I find that YouTube is also pretty enjoyable and I like the challenge of growing it.   Plus as I get better at it, there may be other opportunities that it brings.

One of those opportunities is making online commercials for small businesses.  I find that as I get better with Final Cut Pro X and shooting video, I get more compliments on the video style and now people are asking to get custom videos created for them.  Whether it’s a shot of their car or kids and pets.. or a small business just looking for a clip for their website.  It’s opening doors.

Currently, the income that I make from my YouTube channel is enough to cover my web hosting and some other small expenses.  It has never been more then $100 Canadian in one month but I’d like to bring that up to $300-$500 a month if I can.  And if that means exploiting the horrible drivers in Brampton by filming their stupidity, then that is what I’ll do.

Google Docs Phishing Attack

Google docs scam

Gmail and Google customers were recently hit with a very realistic looking phishing attack

users would be sent an email that looked like this but the actual docs link was fake.

Google docs scam
Google docs scam

If you clicked on it or opened it, your Google login would popup asking for users grant the fake Docs app the ability to
“read, send, delete and manage your email”. As well as “Manage your contacts”

This is a bit different then other phishing attacks as it’s difficult to spot that it’s a fake and it works through the Google ecosystem.

Google has shut down the attack but it’s possible that these emails could still be in your system.

The main way to spot is that the senders email tends to be a lot of “h”‘s with otehr users CC’d or BCC’d

To check if you have been a victim of this, you will need to go to your google settings and remove the permissions if you granted them

Start by going to : https://myaccount.google.com/permissions

hold down “CTRL” then press “F” for FIND.
Search for DOCS
remove the permission of this ‘fake app’ to your email and contacts list

If you are a victim of this, be sure to change your Google password ASAP

It’s a good idea to change your passwords regularly either way..

Google Permission screen
Google Permission screen