Solved Mystery – Check Engine Light

checkengineToday on the way to work, I noticed that the ‘Check Engine’ light was lit on my 2002 Toyota Highlander.   It was a harsh reminder of a similar situation just over a year ago when my serpentine belt shredded leaving my son and I stranded several miles from home.    I immediately looked at the engine temperature gauge and the reading was normal (half-way).   I listened for any strange noise from the engine but didn’t hear anything.

When I parked the car, I shut off the engine and restarted it.  I was going to be late for a meeting, so I called and made an appointment for the car.  The mechanic said it was going to cost $78 to perform the diagnostics on the car which I wasn’t happy about. Continue reading

Converting a Parallels Desktop Image to run on VirtualBox

imageIf you’ve seen my other post on running VirtualBox, you know that I’ve been running Parallels desktop for some time.   I converted off BootCamp to VirtualBox a few months ago so I could update my older iMac to Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).  Over this past weekend, I decided to try and convert my main Windows/XP image (under Parallels Desktop) on my newer iMac to VirtualBox to prepare for Mavericks on that machine.    There were a number of things I learned that I wanted to share.

For me, this was a must work scenario because of the almost daily updates being made to the Windows XP image by my kids as they navigate classes on SOS (Switched On Schoolhouse).   Because of this, I did some pre-conversion research, documented those steps and then performed the full conversion on a Friday evening of a 3 day weekend.   That way I had plenty of time test and back out (if necessary) before classes resumed on Tuesday. Continue reading

A Great Way To Save Using Your Phone/Tablet

Ever wish you could hire your our personal assistant to comb the internet for great deals?  Well I’ve managed to find something almost as good.  It’s called Saviry and it’s a smartphone app (iOS or Android) that posts deals on a multitude of things.

The app’s main area is a listing of great deals for each day (most recent deals are listed first).  You can search by category or keyword and deals that have expired are greyed out and listed at the bottom of each day. Continue reading