Personal Technology

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

Why rebates, not discounts?

Why rebates, not discounts?

by Mr. Modem; Posted by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on July 23, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Q. Why do computer and other companies offer rebates instead of just selling a product at a lower price? It seems like there are always strings attached such as receiving a rebate check that can only be used to purchase other company products.

A. There are three primary reasons companies offer rebates, in addition to being a purchase incentive: First, the time between the purchase and the rebate can be several weeks, a period in which your money is in the company's possession, working to its advantage. This may seem insignificant, but for a company that sells hundreds of thousands of widgets, it can be substantial.

Second, what better way for a company to obtain your personal data for subsequent contact or to sell to others than by offering you money (in the form of a rebate) for your information?

Third, companies know that many people are busy or lazy (or both) and won't go to the trouble of cutting out the bar code or providing the requisite paperwork to obtain a rebate. In this way, the company gets to attract purchasers by advertising a low price, and in most instances selling an item for a higher price because the purchaser never applies for the rebate. What a deal!

Q. Can you explain the difference between “Read Only,” “Hidden,” and “Archive” options for files?

A. Those items are flags or what are formally called file attributes that describe various characteristics of a file. Technically, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but since I only have two remaining neurons, I need to keep this as simple as possible:

When you right-click a file and select Properties, near the bottom of the Properties dialog box you will see the Attributes section. The Read-Only attribute, as its name implies, causes a file to be "read-only," meaning that you can view it, but you cannot edit or delete it.

The Hidden attribute causes a file to be invisible under certain circumstances, such as when lists of files are displayed or there is a full moon. There are certain files within Windows that most of us have no business accessing, so those are frequently hidden. No good can come from a user accessing hidden files, so to protect us from ourselves, Microsoft designates certain files as “hidden.” System files are generally hidden files, and are critical to the performance and operation of Windows.

The Archive attribute was created by Microsoft to allow developers to quickly determine whether a file requires a backup (archive) copy. The Archive attribute is established whenever an existing file is either overwritten or modified. The idea, in general, is to signal a backup program that a certain file needs to be backed up. A backup program may not know to back up a new or modified file without the addition of the Archive attribute.

Generally speaking, the average user will never need to interact with attributes. And all things considered, that’s not a bad thing.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week:

Gender Genie
You supply the text, then watch in amazement as the Gender Genie determines whether the author is male or female. The Genie uses a grammatical algorithm as the source for its pseudo-psychic powers. I tried it by submitting an excerpt from one of my newspaper columns. You may now call me “Lucille.” Thanks for nothing, Genie.
www.bookblog.net/gender/genie.html

Original Life Magazines
View or purchase original Life Magazines dating back to the first issue in 1936, through 2000. These are not cheesy reproductions; these are the real deal, complete and original. Prices range from $29.95 to $179.95, or it's fun to simply look at the covers. No charge for that, bless their hearts. These historic issues make great birthday gifts at $29.95; not so much at $179.95.
www.originallifemagazines.com

For plain-English answers to your questions by email, plus helpful PC tips, subscribe to Mr. Modem’s Weekly Newsletter. For information, visit www.MrModem.com.

Print
Email
|