Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Amazon and foreign currency

I just realized that Amazon offered to pay in HKD (or your native currency) instead of USD, this seems to be very convenient at the first glance, but the evil is in the detail.

Yes, they will charge you HKD (or your native currency) and you will know the exact amount that you will have to pay very clearly. However, if you do a simple exercise with a calculator, you will immediately know that it's not going to be a good deal. I suggest you to try it out yourself.

I would advise you to use USD for the payment, and your credit card will do the conversion for you. The exchange rate of bank is far more reasonable in my experience.

Paypal currency switching

I've some paypal balance in USD. Transfering it to the local bank would not incur a charge but the exchange rate is pretty bad. Therefore, it makes more sense to use it to buy something else.

Today, I tried to buy something in GBP, however, paypal would not allow me to use my paypal balance in USD. After some google work, I realize that if the amount to be paid is more than your balance would allow, it will not let you use the balance but instead, it will charge completely by the credit card!

To solve this problem, I asked the vendor to separate the paypal request into two parts. The first part is less than my paypal balance, so that paypal would allow me to use my existing balance. And the second part is to use credit card.

Quite simple, but of course, since there's a currency switching, I expect poor exchange rate again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great freeware video tools

If you want to do one of the followings, you might want to have a look on a freeware tool.

  1. Download video from youtube
  2. Insert video clip in your PowerPoint slide
  3. Convert videos from one format to another
  4. Simple video manipulations
  5. and more!

It allows you to do the above easily, and for inserting a video clip in PowerPoint slide, it helps by converting your existing clip to wmv, which I found is the best for PowerPoint purpose.