Imran Saleh

A Product Manager living in Toronto, Canada

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How to sell your new iPhone 5 and Make Extra Money

Here’s the background:

  • I sold my iPhone 4s a few weeks early before the value went down (I will write a future post titled “How to sell your old iPhone for cash” about that)
  • I recently got the iPhone 5 using my verizon upgrade (see my separate post: “Profitably upgrading to iPhone 5

For the last few weeks I’ve been using an old $16 flip phone i got on eBay and I love it!  I can’t check my e-mail, I don’t get distracted by sports scores, and it allows me to spend more time doing what I want – i.e. blogging.

So I thought I would log onto eBay just to see what the value of my phone would be, and lo and behold I see auctions like this:

That’s right – $880 for an iPhone 5 that has actually already been opened – that’s $230 more than the retail price!

Seeing easy money like this on a phone I’m not going to use got me into the whole idea of selling the iPhone 5.  Because its still sold out online buy 3-4 weeks (see below), people are willing to pay a lot more to get it now.

 

Below I’ll walk you through the process for how I did it and my approach starting with receiving it from Verizon Wireless.  Here’s how I did it:

1.  Open and activate your iPhone.  Ideally for at least 24 hours.

When you get your brand, spanking new phone, you might be tempted to sell it straight away on eBay, shrink wrap and all to preserve and increase the value.  The problem is that if you used your upgrade to get the phone, the phone is now tied to your number.  If someone else tries to activate it on their line, Verizon will think it is stolen and lock it.  Worse, your own account might be compromised or “frozen” because Verizon is expecting you to activate the phone but you never do.  I cannot find any good documentation for this online, but please comment/e-mail me if you see something.

The answer to these concerns is to unwrap the phone, activate it on your number, and then de-activate it and go back to your old phone.  This way the phone is certainly cleared, Verizon knows you have de-activated it and not just forgotten about it, and there is a good trail in their system of this.  This is the practice I have seen recommended on eBay by countless sellers.

Here are the steps:

a.  Remove just enough of the shink wrap to allow you to open the phone.  Ideally take off the top-half only of the shrink wrap. as this will make it appear more brand new in pictures and to your buyers.  Use gloves or a shirt when handling to avoid excessive finger prints.

b.  Follow these  instructions from Verizon on how to activate your iphone 5

c.  Keep the phone activated for at least 24 hours

d.  After 24 hours has passed, call Verizon Customer Service (1-800-922-0204) and ask them to de-activate the phone and re-activate it on your old phone

Why the need to wait for 24 hours?  I spoke with a Verizon customer service representative and after 24 hours of activation, the SIM card on the phone is no longer locked to the number it was initially activated on.  This means you can include the SIM card with the phone when you sell it, which in my opinion, will make it higher value because SIM cards have been running out like hot cakes at stores.  The alternative is you could remove the SIM card from the phone and take all traces of it with you, but just specify this in your eBay listing so it is clear.

 

2.  Decide how you want to sell it

Once you have your goods eligible to be sold, you need to decide what kind of business model you want to go with.

Here are your options and how I break them down

a.  Craigslist

Pros:  

  • You get to keep as much money as possible.  No eBay commissions, no PayPal commissions.  Just cash to you
  • No hassle after the sale is done.  You don’t have to worry about leaving feedback, following up with complaints, etc.  It’s done.
  • You don’t have to ship the thing and wait for it to arrive, etc.  You meet in person, drop it off, and you’re good.

Cons:

  • You have to go through a lot of hassle to find buyers that are actually legit.  You may get 5 leads that are either SPAM or bust for every once genuinely interested person.  You have to take time out of your day to go meet potential buyers that may or may not work out.
  • Your buyer pool is only as big as your city.  There might be more buyers if you went online on a site like eBay where the whole country is eligible.
  • Because there are more buyers, you are likely to be able to charge a higher price online.

b.  eBay Auction

Pros:  

  • Your product is advertised nation-wide/globally so you have the largest potential pool of buyers, and can potentially charge more than on craig’s list
  • You sit back and eBay takes care of business.  All you have to do is ship once someone buys.  No waiting around and meeting buyers.
  • You know the item will sell or not sell.  Its an easy decision.  On Craig’s list the onus is on your to do the work

Cons:

  • Potentially steep commissions.  Auction-based pricing charges you 9% on the final value price.  PayPal will charge you an additional 3%.  So that’s 12% in fees
  • Shipping, leaving feedback, waiting for your item to arrive, etc. can be a pain and draws out the process
  • If something happens, or you get a difficult buyer, they may return the item and you have to go through the whole process agin.

 

c.  eBay Fixed Price (Buy it now)  ** RECOMMENDED OPTION**

Pros:  

  • Same as the Ebay Auction above.  However you get better commission rates.  PayPal is still 3% but now eBay only takes 5% of everything above $50 in value

Cons:

  • Same as the Ebay Auction above.  However you may get a smaller pool of buyers if people are focused mainly on auction style listings
  • You have to set a price, with the potential that if you put it up for auction, you might have gotten a higher price.
 

d.  Word of mouth, friends, etc.

Pros:  

  • Similar to Craig’s list.  No commissions
  • You know the buyers you are dealing with, so there is potentially less hassle and fraud

Cons:

  • You know the buyers you are dealing with, so there is potential for more follow up or complaining if they dont like the item.  Or if 6 months down the road the item goes defective, you may be blamed for something irrelevant to you.
As mentioned above, I would go with option C.   For busy people, I think eBay makes it very easy to set up and sell, and I am willing to forgo some extra cash if someone is able to do all the work of finding a buyer.  If you have more time or live in a big city, option A (craig’s list) might also be a good bet.  But make sure you have a good dose of patience!

3.  Find a good listing on eBay and model yours after that one
I’ll write that in the next blog post.  Stay tuned… 

Quickly search your bookmarks using the Google Chrome address bar

Below is an easy way to search your google bookmarks using the chrome address bar.  I have tried all kinds of things when it comes to putting organizing the bookmarks in my web browser.   Now I no longer categorize my bookmarks, I just google them as follows!

Go to Chrome > Settings > Search > Manage Search Engines

1. Find the Search Engine entry for: Chrome Bookmarks

2. Change the Keyword to: b

3. Change the URL to: chrome://bookmarks/?#q=%s

With this in place, you can now quickly search through by typing and then adding a space.

What searching through your bookmarks looks like in Google Chrome

Why I switched from a Dell laptop to a Macbook Air

My name is Imran, and I have used a PC for over 15 years.  I loved my computer and was a Guru on using Microsoft Windows.  About 3 months ago, in June of 2012, I decided to switch over to a Macbook Air from my Dell Laptop.  At first it was a little bit tricky to get used to.  But now about 3 months in, I am loving it and never have looked back.

Here’s the whole story:

A friend who was staying with me at the time had just bought one and it looked very cool.  My dell laptop was large and slow, and slowing me down.  I went to buy Best Buy and checked out 3 different HP/Toshiba PCs, trying to find the right one.  Each one I returned after about 3 weeks.  (Side tip: Best buy has great return policies if you want to try out laptops.  You can open and play around with it for up to 30 days and still return it if you’re unsatisfied.)

 

When I went to Bestbuy for a 4th time, I finally caved and decided to try the Macbook Air.  It was about twice as expensive as the PCs I was looking at.   I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, buut here are the top reasons I was thinking at the time:

  • Speed:  The Mac Air is run on an all flash memory hard drive (called an SSD, or Solid State Drive).  This means there is no rotating disk hard drive.  As a result, you hear a lot less clicking, and load time on programs are really snappy.  I watched how my friend would restart his computer and it would boot up in literally 10-15 seconds.  Easy!
  • Integrated Camera / Facetime:  My sister has a mac.  My dad has an iPhone.  My mom has a mac.  I have an iPhone.  Everyone is moving to Apple products.  If you have a Mac, not only do you have a great, high quality camera, but you can easily make FaceTime calls to anyone else on a Mac product.  I am all for Skype and Google Video, but the ability to make a quick call straight from the application was a nice sell for me.
  • Cool factor:  This is obviously not a functional reason.  However, I live in San Francisco, and everyone in tech seems to have a Mac.  When you look at the Air, it is a really slick, shiny, amazingly thin piece of aluminum.  It just feels so hip to have one.  I found I was saying to my self “wow this is a really cool computer” as I looked at it.
  • Portable:  I am not a huge traveller.  I might make a trip every few months.  I go to the coffee shop every once in a while and might need to take my laptop.  I like watching T.V. on the couch and may need to take my laptop over there.  All these small things.  It may seem like not a lot of moving around.  It isn’t.  But when you have a brick of a laptop, just that little bit more inertia make it that much harder to do what you want.  The Air is extremely portable and light.  It is even fun to carry because it looks so cool.  And when I am on the plane, I am so happy I have the very intuitive touchpad on the Mac.  I hated the mouseheads/touchpads on other PCs.  They would never work and I would have to bring an external mouse.  Not anymore!

All of these reasons still stand.  The speed is still the best part.  I would probably now downgrade the importance of facetime and upgrade the importance of Portable.  In another blog post I will discuss the reasons for keeping one that I discovered after getting my Air.

What is the Nimda Worm Virus and How Can I Fix It?

What is it?

Officially called W32/Nimda@MM, The “Nimda” worm (formed by spelling Admin backwards), is infecting a large number of people on the Internet.  Though the virus can spread quickly, its threat is not too great.  Its main objective is to slow down Internet traffic; it does not perform anything malicious on computers such as corrupt files.  Also, it affects only PC users who are running the Windows Operating System.  It is, however, a clever virus, and can spread numerous ways:

1)  Anyone who opens or even previews an e-mail with the infected file attached is automatically infected.  If the computer user uses Microsoft Outlook, the virus will send itself to everyone in that user’s Address Book.

2)  The virus can attack “back doors” in web servers, and possibly even get into webpages.  If a computer user visits one of these infected webpages, they too will be infected

3)  If one machine on a network is infected, this computer will look for other systems that it has access to and infect them also.

How do I know if I Have the virus?

First, if you are a Macintosh user, you cannot get infected.  Only PC’s running any version of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System are vulnerable.  Now, to determine what virus patch you need, follow these steps:

– Go to the start menu and click run, then type in: winver
This screen will tell you which operating system your computer is running.  Proceed to the next section to find out what to do.

How can I Fix or Protect My Computer?

If you are a home user who has the Windows 95, 98, ME or XP Home Operating System, follow these steps:

Click Here to go to the Microsoft Site where your patch is listed.  The next screen will ask you what version of Internet Explorer you have.  To determine this, click on the Help menu in Internet Explorer, and choose About.  If your version of Internet Explorer version is 6.0, then you need not worry about the patch because you are already protected.

Once you have clicked on the appropriate link based on which version of IE you have, click the “Download Now” button or the “Security Update” hyperlink on the screen that comes up.

On the next screen, make sure that the bubble for “Save this program to a disk” is marked, as shown below:

Then click OK and select a directory in which you want to download the file (make sure you remember which directory you select!).

After the download is complete, go to My Computer and browse to the directory where you downloaded the file and double-click it to open it. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, restart your computer (goto Start Menu, click Shut Down, and select the “Restart” option.)

If you are an business user who has the Windows NT, 2000, or XP Professional Operating System, follow these steps:

1)  See Step 1 from the home user section above.

2)  For extra protection, you may wish to download the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor.  This will help ensure that your system is securely configured

If you are a Network System Administrator with Servers running Windows NT, 2000, or XP follow these steps:

1)  First, download the patch that protects your system from the “Web Server Folder Traversal” vulnerability, and which also guards the backdoor exploited by the Code Red VirusClick Here to download your particular fix.

2)  For extra protection, you may wish to download the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor.  This will help ensure that your system is securely configured.

———

After the computer is finished restarting, you are completely protected from the virus and your system is clean of the worm. Congratulations. Now you don’t have to be a part of the media hype, so just sit back, relax, and watch those other ignorant ones suffer… If would like to be a good, considerate citizen, you can send an e-mail to your friends about this site; the address is www.isaleh.com/Nimda

There’s your good deed for the day, it’s as easy as that. And in addition, won’t your boss be happy that one of his own subjects is doing something beneficial for the company? Oh yes…

Thank you for visiting this page. Please Click Here to give me some feedback on this tutorial and if you get a chance, check out my main page atwww.isaleh.com

Ahh yes, and if you just want to make sure that you weren’t affected by the last big virus that hit (Code Red Worm), click here to go check out my tutorial on that one.

And here are some additional resources that you can check to complement this page:

Microsoft – Info on Nimda Virus

CERT Coordination Center

Aladdin

Alwil

Central Command

Computer Associates

Command

F-Secure

Kaspersky Labs

Panda Software

Network Associates

Norman

Sophos

Symantec Security Response

Trend Micro

Happy virus cleaning!

AOL Member Profile Maker

This is the place to spruce up your AOL Profile.  Add fantastic colors, different fonts and sizes, hyperlinks, and lots of other cool stuff! To make a cool profile that’s in whatever color and font that you want, you have to make your profile in HTML. I know that sounds hard but just bear with me. I made my cool profile by doing the following steps. It takes about 20 minutes, but the end result is really neat. You can email me if you any questions at imransaleh@aol.com. Please visit my web page too, in fact you can do it right now and your browser will open it in a new window so you can continue looking at this page. Click Here. Special Thanks to Sumehra for giving me the directions on how to make my profile. Please Remember, Copy the Html tags exactly as I give them to you, and include all periods and spaces that I do. These directions were lasted updated 08/20/01 , so these directions should be up-to-date with the current AOL format!

Now Here’s the Directions…

1) Get onto AOL and go to Keyword: My Profile

2) Click on Create or Modify “My Profile”

Now to the Html…

 

Background Color

The first thing you have to do is to get a background color for your profile, which you do by typing in an Html “tag.” The “<” character you will see often in these tags is made by pressing Shift+Comma and the “>” you will see is made by Shift+Period. To get your background color you have to type this tag into the Member Name field of your profile.  The HTML tag for background is:

< body . bgcolor=#000000>

The “#000000” here represents the color black.   If you want your background to be a different color, click here to go to a chart of over 140 colors, find the code of the color your want, and put it in this tag instead of #000000.  For example, I have  light blue as the color of my background, so I use the tag:

< body . bgcolor=#0099ff>

—-

Colors

This tag assigns your text a certain color.  The tag is:

< font . color=#xxxxxx>

xxxxxx here represents the hex code for a specific color (i.e., #000000 is equal to the color black). Again, if you want your text to be a different color, go to the my color chart page, find the code of the color your want, and put it in this tag instead of #000000

My text is the default color, black, so I didn’t have to worry about this tag

—–

Fonts

To determine which font your text will be, use this tag:

< font . face=”xxxxxx”>

“xxxxxx” here represents the font name i.e., Arial.  Make sure you get the full name, like for Comic Sans (the font on this page) I had to put Comic Sans MS, not just plain old Comic Sans.

Note: While you may have a font on your system, another user viewing your profile may not, so try to cut down on the bezerk fonts….

—–

Font Sizes

This next tag is only if you want a really goofy profile. I would suggest sticking with the normal size font and not have to worry about using this tag. If you use too many tags, you’ll run out of space. But anyways…to assign a font size to a string of text, use the following tag.

< font . ptsize=xx> 

xx represents the point size of the font used (i.e., The point size of this web page’s font is 14).

My font size was the normal font size (12) so I didn’t have to put in a font tag

—–

Text Highlight

If you would like to highlight your text like I am doing here, use the following code

< font . color=#xxxxxx back=#xxxxxx>

xxxxxx represents the hex code for a specific color (i.e., #000000 is equal to the color black). The color tag is the print color and back is the background color of that text. Once again, a color chart may be found at this page.  In the example I gave above in blue and yellow, I used the color tags #3333ff, which is blue, and #ffff33, which is yellow. So, if you want to highlight your text like I did above, you would use the tag:

< font . color=#3333ff back=#ffff33>

—-

Mixing Tags

Say that in your profile, you want your Member Name Field to be in red and in large font while you want your interests to be a smaller font and in blue.  Well, you can achieve this by mixing tags.  One you insert a color tag, for example, your text stays that color until you insert a tag for a different color.  Here’s an example:  I will insert two tags into my profile like so: 

< font . face=”Pencil” ptsize=14 color=#810541>My name is Imran.< font . face=”Arial” ptsize=12 color=#000000>I wear blue socks

The above would make the text “My name is Imran” in the Pencil Font with a point size of 14 in maroon, and then the text “I wear blue socks” and beyond would be in Arial, in 12 point font in black. Get it?

Other Text Features

Bold – to start it use:   <b>
To end it use:   </b>

Italic – to start it use:   <i>
To end it use:   </i>

Underline – to start it use:   <u>
To end it use:   </u>

—-

Text Justification

If you want your text centered, or on either side of your profile, use the following tags:

For normal text that starts on the right side, (this is the default setting) use: 

< p . align=right>

For a left justification, where text is positioned to the left side, use:

< p . align=left>

For centered text, use

< p . align=center>

As always, you can mix these tags for multi-aligned text. For example, if one field was centered and you wanted the next field to be right justified, you would start the first field with the centered tag, and then put the right justify tag in the beginning of the the next field.

—–

Links

Use the following tag to create a link. I’ll give an example that could be used to link to my personal web page, which is http://www.isaleh.com:

< a . href=”http://www.isaleh.com”>Imran’s Web Page< /a .>

Replace the “http://www.isaleh.com” with your website address, and the Imran’s Web Page with the name of your web site.  The above tag would come at as:

Imran’s Web Page

Note: You may need to reinsert the font tag to get the text color back to the original color after you insert the HTML tag. 

—–

OK! We are done with the HTML! Now you can fill in the rest of your profile just like you normally would and it will look all cool! Even though there is all the Html in the member name field, you can still type in there, just make sure it is in the right place relative to the tags, as in, keep the text you want after the HTML tags.  If you aren’t mixing tags, I’d suggest to stick as much HTML tags in the “Member Name” field as possible, then you  won’t have to worry about it for the rest of your profile. You’ll have to keep your text short too, because there is limited space. 

Now You Are Finally Set!

Give me comments, questions, suggestions, corrections, and additions here or e-mail me at imransaleh@aol.com. If you want to check out my color profile, my AOL screen name is imransaleh.  You can IM me or e-mail me about anything.

Please continue your visit to my real web page now 🙂 Click Here

What is the Code Red Worm Virus and How Can I Fix It?

What is it?

Code Red Worm and Code Red Worm II are viruses that have spread very quickly over the past month and have the potential for great impact. On July 9th, the original Code Red virus spread to 250,000 computers in only 9 hours. Potential impacts of the virus include slowed Internet speed, web page outages and defacements, and disruption of business and personal applications such as e-mail and e-commerce. Code Red Worm II has an additional threat because it leaves a backdoor to the computer or server open, allowing hackers easy access to these machines.

How Do I Know if I Have It?

Only computers and servers with the Windows NT or Windows 2000 operating system can be infected. If you are a home computer user with the Windows ME, 98, 95, or 3.1 operating system, you are safe from the virus and can leave this page now. To determine what your operating system is:

– Go to the start menu and click run, then type in: winver
This screen will tell you which operating system your computer has

If you determine that you have one of the 2 infectable operating systems, you may or may not have the virus. But either way, the easiest way to avoid trouble is to install the Code Red patch and reboot your system. Rebooting your system will remove the worm from your system if it is present, and installing the patch will prevent you from being infected or reinfected.

How To Get Rid of The Virus:

First, download the patch for your specific operating system:

If you have Windows NT Version 4.0, Click Here for the patch
If you have Windows 2000 Professional, Server and Advanced Server, Click Here for the patch

Once you have clicked on the appropriate link above, click the “Download Now” button or the “Security Update” hyperlink on the screen that comes up.

On the next screen, make sure that the bubble for “Save this program to a disk” is marked, as shown below:

Then click OK and select a directory in which you want to download the file (make sure you remember which directory you select!).

After the download is complete, go to My Computer and browse to the directory where you downloaded the file and double-click it to open it. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, restart your computer (goto Start Menu, click Shut Down, and select the “Restart” option.)

After the computer is finished restarting, you are completely protected from the virus and your system is clean of the worm. Congratulations. Now you don’t have to be a part of the media hype, so just sit back, relax, and watch those other ignorant ones suffer… If would like to be a good, considerate citizen, you can send an e-mail to your friends about this site; the address is www.isaleh.com/CodeRed.  You can do this easily by using the Link-Send tool below.

Tell A Friend
 Email To:


There’s your good deed for the day, it’s as easy as that. And in addition, won’t your boss be happy that one of his own subjects is doing something beneficial for the company? Oh yes…

Thank you for visiting this page. Please Click Here to give me some feedback on this tutorial and if you get a chance, check out my main page atwww.isaleh.com

Ahh yes, and if you just want to make sure that you weren’t affected by the other big virus that hit (The Nimda Worm), click here to go check out my tutorial on that one.

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