Category: PSA

Dr. Peter Breggin: Xanax Facts and Whitney Houston

Dr. Peter Breggin: Xanax Facts and Whitney Houston.

The Acronym wholeheartedly supports the mental health work carried out by Dr. Breggin for over 40 years.


Getting Rid of That Old Computer

I am often asked by clients — can you take my old  computer?  I have no use for it.    Occasionally, I have been to take the old clunker off your hands.  However, more often than not, I stated that I had no use for it personally and did not know of anyone who needed it.

Currently, the Exchange Club of West Hartford is seeking donations of older, working computers for a tag sale they will hold on April 25.    The proceeds will be used to sponsor their child abuse prevention, student scholarship, and other programs.

To have your computer picked up, call Dave Hager at 860-570-1323. The tag sale is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elmwood Community Center, 1106New Britain Ave.

(I am not a member of the Exchange Club of West Hartford).

Acronym Update 05/02/08

Dear Readers,

I’m often asked where one can drop off an old computer or electronics item that has no value. Consider bringing it to one of these recycling events sponsored by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. Many of them take place in the VERY NEAR FUTURE!

Many towns are participating in electronics recyling days in the very near future.

You can find the details here…

This is the list of towns that participate…
If you do not live in one of these towns, they will not accept your items.

Items they will accept:
Answering machines, camcorders, compact disc players, copiers, duplicators, electric typewriters, fax machines, hard drives, laptops, mainframe computers, mobile telephones, modems, microwave ovens, pagers, personal computers including monitors, keyboards and peripherals, printers, printed circuit boards, radios, remote controls, stereos, tape players, telephones and telephone equipment, televisions, testing equipment, transparency makers, uninterruptible power supplies , VCRs and word processors.

Have a great weekend!

Acronym Update 01-26-08

Dear Readers,

Today Topics:  Surge Protectors, Poland Spring Water

I would strongly recommend that  you replace any surge protectors (power strips) for your computer(s) and other electronic devices that are more than 5 years old.  In the past year I have seen more of these “multiple outlet strips” go bad than in the previous 9 years combined.  Some of these surge protectors may have been overloaded.  Others may have just died of “natural causes.”  Still…. if your computer was left unprotected and got “zapped” by a power surge — you are out of luck ….unless…..unless…. you have the original receipt that came with your surge protector and there was an insurance policy associated with it.  Many of the better models out there will insure you for $50,000 to $75,000 of damage.   How many of you actually have the proper documentation if you were to make such a claim?   Hmm…..the room is awfully quiet right now.  LOL (Laugh Out Loud)!!   How many of you know if your homeowner’s policy covers yours electronic gadgets in the event of a power surge?  Hmm…….I could hear a pin drop!!  How many of you know that a power surge can occur even when there isn’t inclement weather?  ….. It’s the honest truth!!

There are many brands that you could buy, but I would recommend APC or Belkin as top choices.   At a bare minimum, for your computer area, I would get an 8-outlet strip that has at least 4 outlets for large “transformer block” style plugs.   Expect to pay at least $20 – $30 for the surge protector.  Make sure it comes with insurance coverage.   Register it on on the manufacturer’s website, if required for warranty coverage.  Save the appropriate documentation and the receipt in your “computer file.”

This concludes the public service announcement portion of today’s Acronym Update.


Quick question:  How many people believe that Poland Spring water isn’t what it used to be?   Did you know that it is no longer bottled at the source?   Fact:  It is still “spring water” but bottled from a mixture from many springs in Maine.

Yours truly,


Acronym Update 10/16/07

Dear Friends,

Today’s Topic: Verizon Wireless wants to share your CPNI (Customer Proprietary Network Information). You have the right to opt out!!

I came across this information yesterday and thought it would be especially relevant for sharing, since such a large percentage of you are Verizon Wireless customers. Cell phone and land line phone companies are allowed to share your call records. They can even sell this data to interested third parties. In the past, you may have received notices from other companies you do business with about CPNI sharing. By law they had to give you an opportunity to “opt out.”

Those notices were trashed long ago, right? I can’t help you there, but I do urge you to contact your banks, credit card companies, telephone and other service providers to ask them if they share CPNI and what the procedure is for opting out.

Verizon Wireless just notified customers of this (primarily by mail) recently. I opted out of the sharing yesterday for all 4 of my VZW lines. You can do the same by calling 1-800-333-9956. You will be asked for your cell phone #, your zip code, and the last 4 digits of your SSN or TIN – for business accounts. After you go through those steps, opting out for other lines on your account is very simple.

In closing I think the way that CPNI sharing is being handled, even by reputable companies, is disgusting. They are required by law “to ask for our permission.” If lawmakers were serious about our privacy, we would be given the chance to opt in….not opt out!

Yours truly,


Acronym Update 09/25/07

Here is a follow up to yesterdays post….

If you are having trouble signing up for or converting to AT&T’s  “Dry Line DSL” by calling the main DSL support #,

•Call the AT&T Dry Loop department directly at 888-800-4095
•Ask to switch to “DSL direct”
•If they give you a hassle, say it’s a retention offer (you are going to cancel your service otherwise)


Acronym Update 09/24/07

Dear Friends,

This Update is dedicated to low cost / more efficient Internet service options.

** Big announcement: You can now get AT&T’s DSL service WITHOUT home dial tone service. It was always theoretically possible. Now it’s a reality. Perhaps you live off of your cell phone only or you still have 2 home phone lines that you have been subscribing to from the days of dial-up service. Furthermore, it could be that you don’t want to pay $48.95 per month for an unlimited long distance package with AT&T and want to try an IP based phone service like Via Talk (a better alternative to Vonage).**

Here is a run down on the pricing for AT&’s “Dry Line” DSL:

1.5 mbps DSL – $23.99 / mo. Express package.

3.0 mbps DSL – $28.99 / mo. Pro package.

Each of these price points represents a $4 increase over the “regular price” of DSL if you did have home phone service. Still, these choices represent an important breakthrough in the evolution of the Internet. You now have the opportunity of buying unbundled broadband Internet service at a reasonable price. In comparison, Comcast charges $52.95 for their standard high speed Internet offering if you do not have cable TV service. This is $10 on top of the “premium” price they normally charge – $42.95.

Thinking on a similar wavelength, some of you out there probably feel that you are “paying for more Internet capacity than you really need.” I hear you. The following information is intended for the age 60+ and light Internet usage population.

If you have / plan on keeping your existing AT&T phone or Comcast cable service, but don’t like what you’re paying for Internet….

You can get 256 kbps DSL service from AT&T for $10.00 (not a typo!!) and 768 kbps DSL service for $14.99 per month. To refresh your memories: dial-up Internet speeds top out at 56 kbps.

Comcast offers an Economy Internet plan at download speeds of 384 kbps for $24.95 per month. While this price point doesn’t match the value of the low cost DSL offers, it may be an acceptable alternative for existing cable customers who don’t want to change their email address, but don’t like the idea of paying $42.95 for the 6.0 mbps service. I’ve read that say Comcast is planning to increase the download speed on the Economy plan to 768 kbps, thus making it a much more appealing option for consumers. This projected change change is not set in stone yet.

If you have any questions on Internet choices, please e-mail me. I would be happy to give you some personalized advice.

Forever yours,