Desktop: All about Betsy

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Answer this question with the first response thatpops into your head. Which is cheaper: buying a new car or keeping anold one in good shape?
Aquestion I have often asked myself every time I embarked on a journeywith the Ol' Betsy of chez Newzgeek, which happens to be a MitsubishiSpace Wagon that, in human years, would be eligible for a retiree'spension by now. Anybody whose principal vehicle is a personal vehicle(as opposed to a "company car") knows the dilemma. Every time youundergo a major repair, you say to yourself, "There's one more problemI won't have to worry about for a while," and you start to believe thatyou may just be over the big expense hump of maintaining your clunker.Until three weeks later, when something else goes wrong.
So, what's better: sinking more money into your old car andhoping for the best or shelling out for something newer? To make alogical decision, you need facts - like how much exactly your currentvehicle is costing you. While some of you are probably great atbookkeeping and keeping your old receipts, the rest of us aren't astalented. We need help - and the simple but effective Cars program(http://clarktisdale.com/cars.php) gives you everything you need tokeep track of the old horse and buggy. Add a vehicle, include anyinformation you want (VIN or license plate number, etc.), add a photoif you want - and start keeping track of where the money went.
Of course, it's not just the repairs that are costing you;older vehicles are often notorious fuel wasters, and in these days ofhigh (very high) fuel prices, you'd want to factor in - and keep trackof - how much you're spending on gasoline. For that, there's theDriveArchive Fuel Consumption Calculator(http://www.drivearchive.co.uk/downloads.asp), which lets you recordeach gas purchase (in gallons/liters) and the amount of distance youdrove on the fill-up. With those figures, the program then calculatesyour vehicle's fuel consumption (miles per gallon or liters per 100kilometers). Guaranteed: Your fuel consumption is worse than youthought (and probably a lot worse than the dealer said it would be).
One way to get a new car real cheap is to getyourself on a game show - like the one where you have to pick what'sbehind door number 1, 2 or 3. But is there any way to be sure you don'tblow your chance? What if you pick door number 2, only to find a goatinstead of a car behind it - and the host gives you another chance? Areyour odds really 50/50? Is there any way to push the odds in yourfavor? To find out, download the Cars and Goats game, a new twist on anold mathematical problem, from http://tinyurl.com/l55ces. Unless you'vedecided that you'd rather have a goat - because they're cheaper torun.n
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