Site Description

Lighting Drops tracks daily price drops of several products on Amazon to help you make informed buying decisions when shopping online. You can search for items either by description or product ASIN and view their historical pricing. Data can also be sorted and displayed by category and time frame.

You can setup price tracking alerts and receive email notifications when the price of a product meets your set condition.

My Take

I’ve been using this site for a while now and find it to be quite handy to do a little price comparison shopping on Amazon Canada. It only works for Amazon Canada, but if you plan to make a purchase there, it’s great for tracking the price history of an item and seeing if you are getting a good deal or not.

Click here for the Lightning Drops website

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If you own a previous version of Windows that is qualified for the upgrade version of Windows 7, such as Windows XP or Vista, you may want to install Windows 7 on a machine without one of those previous versions currently installed, in other words perform a clean install.

Prior to Windows Vista, this was very easy. All you had to do was start the install process and then during this process you would be prompted for your old copy of Windows to be inserted into the CD/DVD drive and then the installation would continue. It was simple enough and a system that worked.

With Vista, this all changed and you could no longer simply provide your old copy of Windows. You had to have a previous (upgrade compatible) version of Windows already installed. The same still unfortunately applies to Windows 7.

There is however, a way around this. It’s a bit more time consuming, but it gets the job done.

Step 1: Install Windows 7 normally with your upgrade disc (using the custom option), but do not enter your product key during setup. Make sure to deselect “automatically activate when I’m online” as well.

Step 2: After the first install is finished, run setup from your Windows 7 disc again, but this time choose “Upgrade” instead of custom (advanced) install.

Voila, you just upgraded from Windows 7 to… Windows 7?

Yes, that’s right, Windows 7 is an acceptable upgrade path to itself.

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Looking to make the jump to Windows 7, but have no idea which version is the right one for you? Well look no further, for a quick and simple breakdown to help you make that choice without any of the extra fuss.

Step 1: Deciding what features you really need.  This is really the most important step, as it will largely determine which product  you ultimately select.

For the vast majority of regular users, you can forget the following versions altogether:

  • Windows 7 Basic (for budget/third world country PC solutions)
  • Windows 7 Starter (for budget computers, contains a stripped down version with limited features)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (for power users that need encryption and more language supprot)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (for businesses).

Your real choices are: Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional. The big difference between the two, boils down to parental controls and “XP mode”. For whatever reason Windows 7 Professional does not support parental controls, if you need them and the features of the Professional version, you’ll have to get Windows 7 Ultimate and pay extra.

The big advantage Professional has over Home Premium is that of XP mode. The ability to run older Windows XP based applications/programs in a special “mode” that essentially emulates (replicates) a Windows XP  environment. This is great if you have a  number of programs from Windows XP you still want to use and you are worried about them working on Windows 7.

However, Windows 7 is pretty good in terms of compatibility and moreover, there is a catch (surprise, surprise). Your computer’s processor/CPU must support “hardware-assisted virtualization”. What exactly this is, isn’t important, but knowing whether your computer supports this, is essential.

The easiest way to find out, is to run GRC’s Securable. It will tell you in an instant if you meet that requirement.

Step 2: Do I get a 64-bit version or a 32-bit version. The simple answer is:  get the 64-bit version. Virtually all new computers have had support for this for some time now and there is no reason not to make the change, as this is the way things are heading. Not to mention if you plan to upgrade your computers memory down the line, or even have 4 GB or more of memory right now, you wont’ be able to use all that memory without a 64-bit version. If you are unsure if your computer’s processor/CPU will support a 64-bit version of Windows, look no further than to GRC’s Securable again.

Step 3: Should I get an upgrade or full version? The two big differences between an upgrade version and a full version boil down to price and how you’ll end up installing Windows. The upgrade version is considerably cheaper than the full version, so if you own a computer with Windows XP or Vista already on it, the upgrade version is likely the way you’ll want to go.

Installation can be tricky, depending on what you want to do. With an upgrade version, you have two options: a clean install (start from scratch) or an upgrade.

For the clean install, you are still required to have an existing version of Windows (either XP or Vista) installed to work. You cannot simply provide the disc during installation. This has been a major inconvenience brought upon since Windows Vista. There is, however, a workaround to this (more on this in a future post).

When it comes to upgrading, you can only run a true upgrade  (keeping all your files and settings)  from Windows Vista. This must be the corresponding version though, so Windows Vista Home Premium can only upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium for example.

For the full version, you can install however you please. All previous options apply, as well as a clean install option that you can use without the need for any prior version of Windows needing to be installed. If you do get a full version, look for OEM (original equipment manufacturer) discounted copies. These are really designed for “mom and pop” computer building operations, but often you can find and order these deals as an individual (and of course you are building computers in your basement).

Step 4: How many copies do I need? The last things to consider, is the number of copies you’d like to purchase. If you need more than one copy, look for discounts by purchasing “Family Packs”. These provide  3 licenses (or more) in one package, so you can install Windows 7 on multiple computers.

At the end of the day, remember, if you do choose the wrong version by mistake, you can always use the Microsoft Windows anytime upgrade feature. Just launch it from within Windows 7 and upgrade to a better version for the difference in cost.

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Do you belong to Disney Movie Rewards?

For years now I’ve been getting the codes in our Disney Dvd’s and most recently Blu Ray’s.

A few months ago I decided to bite the bullet and join the site and enter my codes. I ended up with around 1400 points which is “platinum” in the rewards chart.

Lots of nice offerings that I’ve earned but I haven’t decided on anything yet.

Anyways a few weeks ago on my birthday I had an email from DMR saying Happy Birthday and as a gift I had the option of recieving a select Blu Ray for FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE! There were 5 movies to choose from, and the only downer was they wanted $2.95 for shipping, but under $3 for a  Blu Ray i’m in! Some of the movies to choose from were Meet the Robinsons, Game Plan, and Enchanted. The small print said allow up to 8 weeks for delivery but it was mailed the next day and I recieved in less then a week since it was shipped within Ontario.

So if you have some codes lying around or plan on buying Disney movies its worth taking the time and joining because its not just about saving up for rewards, theres cool little perks too!

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Canadian Reward Programs: Collect HBC Rewards & Redeem for Free Stuff at The Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters & FieldsHBC Rewards is one of Canada’s longest running reward programs and many of you are probably already aware of the program and are avid collectors.

However, for those unfamiliar hesterl has posted this GREAT post on the forum which briefly explains how it works and its benefits:

Are you a frequent shopper at The Bay. Did you know you could collect 50 points for every dollar you spend at The Bay (also Home Outfitters, Zellers, and Fields)? Please note that the rewards card is FREE of charge and you may also earn bonus points (eg. 10 000 points) on special promotional days.Canadian Reward Programs: Collect HBC Rewards & Redeem for Free Stuff at The Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters & Fields But wait! You can earn double the points when you shop with the new HBC credit card or Mastercard, both has no annual fee. Check out the website below to see the detail. You may also message me if you have any questions because I work there. Hope you’ll all have a great shopping experience.


PS: You get a $10 gift card back with 80 000 points and the points earn faster when you shop of special promotional days and with your HBC credit/ mastercard

To enroll in the program, you can ask to sign up in store at the customer service counter within The Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters or Fields or you can enroll online.

For those with questions, don’t be shy! Get involved on the forum, in the comments below or feel free to message hesterl privately.

Thanks so much hesterl for such a great post and welcome to Dealcetera!

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The Body Shop Canada: Free Trial Samples In-Store

So you’re at your local Body Shop and have spotted a product that you’re just not quite sure about. Maybe you’re a skeptic and don’t believe the claim on the back of the product. Or perhaps you have sensitive skin that reacts poorly to select products. Try it first!

Peasnpod has provided this GREAT tip on the forum. :)

You can go into any Body Shop and request a sample. they have those little jars and will put whatever product you want to try in it.

Today I went and got a sample of each of their baby products.

Samples arent large but it sure is enough to get the feel of the product at least 2-3 times. Nice to be able to try before you buy.

As my personal tip, for those who do any traveling (specifically by plane), don’t throw out the little jars (pictured above) - reuse them! They’ll come in handy onboard your next trip. ;)

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