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DECEMBER 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 12



TECHNO, ETC. >>

CURRENT BYTES & PICAS

ALSO THIS MONTH
e-Christmas 2.0: Deflowering the Digital Debutante

RECENT BYTES & PICAS
The Joy of Retro Computing

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DAN SULLIVAN is a contibuting writer for Renaissance Online Magazine.


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NOTE: The Bytes & Picas section now features news and reviews of the gadget culture, including video games, technology, the internet and marketing strategies.

Stick it to the Man this Christmas

Every December you drop major cake on gifts you never feel good about. Thanks to Corporate America and misplaced guilt during the holidays, millions of dollars are spent needlessly. Why? To make up for time you spent with others instead of family? Are you that gullible every year?

Then you're a putz.

It's time to fight back. This holiday, stick it to the Man. Take him for all he's worth. Regardless of which gift-giving denomination you participate in, tell Joe Commerce he can't have it all. That's right. Start the New Year with $20 in your wallet for once.

But where do you start? What's the best kind of stickin' it to the Man, you ask? That's easy. Internet Man-stickin'. Especially, Internet Man-stickin' for electronic goods.

Internet retailers are fighting for your holiday cash like Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra over who owns the lipstick in the bathroom. You are empowered. Remember that. Where's the first place Internet retailers prang you? High shipping costs for software and stuff that weighs less than a pound. Keep an eye out for retailers like 800.com and Reel.com that occasionally throw in free shipping. Also, Reel.com and 800.com will price-match each other to the death. You'll need to drop them an e-mail or (gasp!) pick up the phone and speak to a human. It can be a little scary for HTML junkies to speak to carbon-based life forms, but it's worth it. Incite a price riot. Cause economic havoc.

Amazon.com has several coupons that land you $10 off each order over $25. Use GREAT-PRESENT (expires 12/20/99), AMZNPRESENT2 (expires 12/21/99), or PRESENTS-4-ALL (expires 12/31/99) in the Gift Certificate section for orders over $25. When you spend over $25, buy your stuff and then start over with new coupons. Each time you take $10 from Amazon, laugh mercilessly like Dennis Hopper after a bottle of cheap scotch. They do not need another ten-spot from you. Trust me, they'll manage. Those freakin' bunch of Rockerfellers...

Check out various price trackers to help with your purchases. dealpc.com and dealmac.com are veritable bargain-Rand-McNally's for computer items. pricescan.com and pricewatch.com are OK, but less tenacious than the deal sites. dvdpricesearch.com is a great place for DVD title comparison, if that floats your boat. Many of the coupons on dvdpricesearch.com are applicable for non-DVD purchases at places like cdnow.com and bigstar.com.

If you need to interact with humans, don't go into the mall empty-handed. Staples is such a price-matching machine, they'll even honor Internet prices. Walk to the Customer Service desk with some incriminating ink-jet printouts and watch the store manager cry as he matches the price. Yeah! Take it, sucker!

Before traveling to any of the malls, let the Internet evaluate the Sunday circulars for you on salescircular.com. Compare each store's offerings from the comfort of your home. Educate yourself on rebates.

Sears often has strange 10% off - 10% off sales if you use one of their charge cards. This can save big dough on big-ticket items. A recent Best Buy circular offered a scanner for $15 after rebates. That's about as good as stickin' it to the man can get.

Enjoy the chance to take back your money. Spend some of it on yourself. Put some under the mattress for when the ATM freezes on January 1, 2000. Fight back! Fill your wallet with something other than credit card slips! Laugh in the Man's face! Flip him the bird, kick him in the ass, and ask him how he likes it! Yeah!

Tell 'em Renaissance Online Magazine sent ya, and to forward all complaints to who-gives-a-crap.com!

Damn straight. Have a freakin' happy holiday.

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