Category Archives: Information

The Android Before the Storm

Hello, My Gnomies!

While most nerds were staying up late to watch the launch of a new Android phone last night - and up again early this morning, awaiting the release of another new Android phone from a completely different manufacturer - I was prepping for the most important moment of my life.

Ordering a limited edition First Order Stormtrooper from the online store (although there was no telling when the store would officially open, so I found myself hitting refresh in my browser every five seconds).

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the MOST important moment of my life, but it was right up there with “scoring the last undented can of refried beans on Saturday” and “ejecting the removable disk properly so that Windows didn’t complain."

Yours Digitally,

Chris “I Got Two Stormtroopers" Pirillo

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Q&A: What is Windows 10's Greatest Challenge?

[BONUS] Your 15 Exclusive Tech Videos for the Week of July 27-31:

Tech News Views: Worst Social Networks & Live Video Options

TLDR: Electric Cars, Android Wear, & iSheep

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Today's FREE Podcast: Robots, Bad IPhone Ideas, & MacBook Charging

Today's Geeky Deal: Pay What You Want Game Developer Bundle

Today's Question: How to Recover Corrupted Database File?

Today's Gotta Get: New Dr. Seuss Book Released

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Today's Vlog: Aaah Oooh Pbbt Uuuh [Day 1184] 👍

A Year Ago Today: Pirillo Vlog 821 - You've Got the Power 👍

Today's Tweet: Some People Hate When I’m Right

Today's Most Popular Share: Box Hieroglyphic Interpretations

Today's Vader Fun: Drawing Darth Vader on a Computer 👍

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Better Latte Than Never

Hello, My Gnomies!

I bet you thought I wasn't going to send you a new newsletter today, eh?

Well, you're wrong.

I just did.

So, there.

Yours Digitally,

Chris "Neener Neener Neener" Pirillo

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Q&A: Why are Benchmarks Pointless?

[BONUS] Your 15 Exclusive Tech Videos for the Week of July 27-31:

Tech News Views: Artificial Intelligence, Reddit, Google+ & Twitch

TLDR: Robots, Bad iPhone Ideas, & MacBook Charging

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Today's FREE Podcast: Google's Nest, Tech Journalism, IPad Upgrades

Today's Geeky Deal: 14% off a Range Smart Thermometer

Today's Nerdy Deal: 34% off an iStabilizer Dolly

Today's Dweebie Deal: 50% off a Voltix Dual USB Car Charger

Today's Question: Microsoft Word File Opening Issue

Today's Gotta Get: Coffee is Good for Your Heart

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Today's Vlog: Aaah Oooh Pbbt Uuuh [Day 1184] 👍

Two Years Ago Today: Pirillo Vlog 458 - The 40-Year-Old Non-Virgin

Today's Tweet: What Do You Do When You Can't Fall Asleep?

Today's Most Popular Share: My New Smartphone Wallpaper

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Everybody’s Reinstalling Windows for the Weekend

Hello, My Gnomies!

Saturday night's all right for writing - get a little action in. Even though (technically speaking) I'm compiling this missive this in the early morning hours for you. Yes, I consider anything south of noon as "early." Not a single human being noticed that I totally forgot to send this update out to everybody yesterday, either. Or, maybe you did notice and decided to not say anything about it?

While all of you weekend warriors are spending time playing outside or playing inside, I'm playing with the inevitability of turning 42 tomorrow.

Yes, I'll finally know the answer to life, the universe, and everything in less than twenty-four hours.

Some have said that you get wiser with age, so I'm looking forward to the moment tomorrow when I can reflect upon this time on the earth and think: "Gee, you've made some monumentally stupid mistakes - it's a wonder you're still able to do the things you're doing today."

Yours Digitally,

Chris "Never Worked Harder" Pirillo

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[BONUS] Your 15 Exclusive Tech Videos for the Week of July 20 - 24, 2015!

Tech News Views: Surface Pro 3, 4K Streaming, Smartwatch Security

TLDR: Apple Drops Google's Nest, Tech Journalism, iPad Upgrades

Q&A: Should Windows 10 Home Automatically Update?

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This Week's Tech Review: iMac with Retina 5K Display &

Today's FREE Podcast: Obsolete Tech, Wearable Tech, & Exciting Tech

Today's Geeky Deal: 86% Off NetSpot Pro Wi-Fi Optimizer

Today's Nerdy Deal: 53% off A8 Pro 25600mAh External Battery

Today's Dweebie Deal: 88% Game Developer Bundle

Today's Question: How to break into the IT field from the Navy?

Today's Gotta Get: Have Fun with Your Coffee Mug

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Today's Vlog: Don't Forget to Grab the Phone [Day 1081] 👍

A Year Ago Today: Who Will Monitor Our Baby?!

Today's Tweet: Why are people shocked when this happens?

Today's Most Popular Share: Why Does Chris Pirillo Yell?

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Read This Sideways

Hello, My Gnomies!

The age of Vertical Video is here, and I'm not terribly excited about it. YouTube just released their iOS app update (after updating the Android app) to support the orientation that has been plaguing the Internet for years.

My daily Periscope streams are vertical because that's the only way to incorporate live chat - and if you're not following me on Periscopes yet, you're missing out on very exciting broadcasts while I work out in the morning (though, sometimes I choose to broadcast frivolity with my family in the room). If you have no idea what Periscope is, then you might want to move out from underneath that rock you're living under soon - it's a live video stream tool that was acquired by Twitter.

And if you don't know what Twitter is, there's (literally and figuratively) no hope for you.

My tweets look amazing in both horizontal and vertical orientation.

Yours Digitally,

Chris "Controlling the Diagonal" Pirillo

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[BONUS] Your 15 Exclusive Tech Videos for the Week of July 20 - 24, 2015!

Tech News Views: Apple HomeKit, Telepresence Robots, & Microsoft Send

TLDR: Obsolete Tech, Wearable Tech, & Exciting Tech

Q&A: What are Apple's New Ads Trying to Prove?

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This Week's Tech Review: iMac with Retina 5K Display &

Today's FREE Podcast: Phablets, Fitbit, & SIMs

Today's Geeky Deal: 93% Off How to Master the Raspberry Pi

Today's Question: Integrated Graphics vs. Dedicated Graphics?

Today's Hilarious Hardware: Battery Operated (or USB) Plasma Ball

App of the Day: Microsoft Send (Free)

Vader Fun: What Did Chris Love Most This Week?

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Today's Vlog: Ice Cubes are Cooler Than Books [Day 1180]  👍

Today's Tweet: How Some People View the World

Today's Most Popular Share: Who Returns the Apple Watch?

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Your Favorite Classic Content Creators are Gone

Hello, My Gnomies!

I’ve been connecting with LockerGnome subscribers by email since 1996 – and some of you have been subscribed for THAT long (though we’ve jumped providers and shifted format & content direction over the years due to various circumstances). Industry changes are beyond anybody’s control.

If I was still writing about Windows freeware and tips in a day and age where app stores rule supreme, Windows PCs are a dying breed, tips are only relevant if they’re the top search on Google, and everybody uses Twitter for news… I’d no longer be around.

Getting attention for ANYTHING is challenging enough with valuable content available everywhere, but layering on top of that the problem of ad blocking, and you’ll see why indie publishers like myself are turning to ongoing crowdfunding campaigns to further sustain our efforts and offset our absolute costs (let alone, the cost of our time).

So, if you haven’t realized it by now: the only way I’m going to be able to continue to do this is by appealing to my core supporters. I currently only have one campaign on Patreon, but am working on bringing that value closer to my own domain and adding private forums for those who want me to continue doing the things I’ve been doing for them for quite some time. 

I hope that makes sense. 

I was triggered to write this report after a tweet hit my screen earlier today – and I retweeted it with a quote addendum: “Here’s why most of your favorite creators are going to eventually disappear w/o core patrons.”

Yours Digitally,

Chris “I Couldn’t Do It Without You” Pirillo

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[BONUS] Your 15 Exclusive Tech Videos for the Week of July 20 – 24, 2015!

Tech News Views: Huawei, Dell, Live Video, & Ad Blocking

TLDR: Phablets, Fitbit, & SIMs

Q&A: What Can Turn AMD Around at this Point?

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This Week’s Tech Review: iMac with Retina 5K Display  &

Today’s FREE Podcast: TV Upgrades, Computer Collections, & USB Type C

Today’s Geeky Deal: 82% off Adobe Training Videos – Lifetime Subscription

Today’s Question: My Screen Goes Blank During Skype Video Calls on My Desktop

Today’s Hilarious Hardware: Minions 3-Pack USB Flash Drives (Dave, Kevin, Stuart)

It’s not too late to get your first Pixel Art T-shirt – last day!

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Today’s Vlog: Taking a Stand Against Cyberbullying [Day 1179]

Today’s Tweet: Proof That I Get Out of the House

Today’s Most Popular Share:

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An iMac Tastes Better Than a Big Mac

Hello, My Gnomies!

I finally posted the second half of my iMac with Retina 5K Display review today. Did you even know it was a two-part series when I posted the first one to my classic YouTube channel last week? I love talking about what I like and what I don’t like because it’s really fun to sit back and watch some people attack me for being a “fan” and other people attack me for being a “hater” over the same set of videos. Those links are below.

Look, people – I care about you, but I just don’t care about what you use. That’d be like me getting upset because you chose to eat something different than I did for dinner tonight. Why should I care what technology you’ve opted to bring into your life? I don’t. I also don’t care about what you’re eating right now, so kindly wipe the crumbs off the screen when you’re done reading this. Thanks.

They say that users don’t read as much as they usted to anymore. Yeah, THEY actually used the word “usted” instead of “used.” That’s why you should never listen to THEY, but always listen to They Might Be Giants.

Yours Digitally,

Chris “I Palindrome I” Pirillo

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[BONUS] Your 15 Exclusive Tech Videos for the Week of July 20 – 24, 2015!

Q&A: Who Should Get Windows 10 on a USB Flash Drive?

TLDR: TV Upgrades, Computer Collections, & USB Type C

Tech News Views: Emoji, Samsung Hardware, Windows 10 Support


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This Week’s Tech Review: iMac with Retina 5K Display

Today’s FREE Podcast: Switching Your OS, Desktop Vs Laptop, Crowdfunding

Today’s Geeky Deal: 18% Off the World’s Geekiest Quicklock

Today’s Question: Outlook 2010 Cannot Open or Access the Required PST File

Today’s Hilarious Hardware: Audiobots Bluetooth Speakerbot

It’s not too late to get your first Pixel Art T-shirt – just two days left!


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Today’s Vlog: Old Tech News Sweats, You Bet [Day 1178]

Today’s Tweet: Everybody Hates This Change to Twitter

Today’s Most Popular Share: Why Tech Journalism is Dead to Me

Today’s Photo: Remember Tony Clifton?

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How to Write a How to Guide

If you’ve ever wanted to write your own how to guide, TokenUser shares these excellent tips with the community. If you have any tips or top five lists that you’d like to share (perhaps using these very helpful guidelines), please send them my way!

Before writing a guide on how to do something, there are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself: do you know the subject well enough to explain it in simple terms, and can you write a concise set of instructions based on that explanation?

If you are good to go on these questions, the best how to guides follow an age-old and simple principle: KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid, or (in this case) Keep It Stupidly Simple. This will enable someone to more easily follow your instructions. I’m hoping to help you write better how to guides with this guide of my own…

[$5+ patrons can read the rest of How to Write a How to Guide here. Not a patron? Consider the benefits here!]

12 Sales Tax Tips for Small Businesses

Almost tax time again? Oh, goodie! It seems that sales tax compliance has never been more complicated. More and more businesses are turning to sales tax automation to help them accomplish sales goals. To help your small business achieve greater success and security, here are 12 free sales tax tips. Each tip was selected by an Avalara sales tax expert, and is designed to help you stay on top of the ever-shifting sales tax landscape.

Read the free 12 Sales Tax Tips for Small Businesses today!

12 Sales Tax Tips for Small Businesses

Wells Fargo Scam

This post is not an endorsement supporting Wells Fargo. In fact, I largely disapprove of Wells Fargo and think they’ve been up to some questionable activities in relation to my good-standing accounts. If it were up me, I’d love to see Wells Fargo fail miserably – but not at the expense of the average customer. The following is to help you, not them.

This afternoon, after filming a spot for MSNBC’s “Caught On Camera,” I drove into town to pick up a my daily espresso.

I received an incoming call from “BLOCKED,” but answered anyway. There was a pre-recorded voice stating something along the lines of: _This is Wells Fargo. Your bank card has been locked due to security reasons. Press ‘1’ to unlock your account.” I did not press ‘1’ – and the call disconnected after I pressed ‘0’ (just to see). Even if it did go through, I wouldn’t have given any information to the caller.

It certainly sounded like an automated recording, leading me to believe that this operation (if criminal in nature) was scalable and widespread. These criminals would be spending next to nothing to gain access to untold amounts of money.

Being a block away from a Wells Fargo bank, I stopped by just in case this was a legitimate call. Before I could explain the entire situation to the teller, he confirmed that the call was a scam. Worse yet? He said that they’ve had a lot of account holders come in to relay the same story recently.

Before heading home, I called my girlfriend (through my hands-free bluetooth system) to let her know about what had just happened. I didn’t want to leave her safety to chance.

In all my years, I’ve really only seen digital scams – but they certainly prepared me to face this situation with skepticism. I’d like to believe that even if I hadn’t been aware of these types of scams, I would have reacted the same way (and remained safe).

Let this simply serve as a reminder: think before you act, especially if you’re reacting to something. It’s one thing to share private / sensitive information with a person you’ve called or connected with, but you should always keep your guard up when someone (largely unauthenticated) tries to pry any amount of knowledge from your brain.

You might think yourself secure simply because you’re not banking at Wells Fargo, but replace this brand with the name of any other financial institution…? Yeah, it could happen to anybody.

How to Increase Gas Mileage on Your Car

Brandon Wirtz, a member of the LockerGnome team, decided it was time to make a few upgrades to his Mini Cooper. One of these upgrades – which is primarily focused on increasing horse power and gas mileage – is to increase the amount of air flow to the engine by replacing the stock air intake with something better.

By replacing the stock paper air filter with a larger cloth model, the amount of air flow to the engine increases. This increases the combustion efficiency and results in a few extra horsepower. Improved gas mileage and slightly increased speed are a couple expected advantages to this upgrade.

Cloth air filters are slightly more expensive, though they are reusable and allow for the free flow of air between the environment and the engine. Cleaning can be done using a special kit that maintains the chemical balance required for the intake to function properly.

One thing to keep in mind when doing this upgrade is to make sure the mass air flow sensor is out of the way and safe while you’re replacing the intake. This is a $150 part that can impact the way your vehicle works and performs. Another item of note is that you will want to secure the new intake to avoid bumps and dips in the road causing unhealthy jostling. In this instance, Brandon went with zip ties (also known as cable ties) to keep the intake securely in place.

A new air intake won’t create a drastic change in your car’s overall performance alone. It is one of several upgrades that can improve the way your vehicle functions. A slow car won’t become an instant drag racer, but the benefits in the improved gas mileage may pay off financially over time.

UPDATE: After a wave of inquiries as to the possibility of “heat soaking” an engine by removing the plastic casing surrounding the old air filter, Brandon put out this video demonstrating his MPG and temperature readings after the upgrade.

Do you have any gas mileage improving tips or tricks? Please leave a comment below and let me know.

How To Unbrick Your iDevice After Upgrading to iOS 4.3.3

This is a guest post written by Reza Malayeri, a frequent contributor to our LockerGnome channel on YouTube.

Reports are flying in that apple’s iTunes server is experiencing a glitch that will turn your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into a very high priced BRICK. Needless to say, this is a very scary scenario, and the apple support forums are filled with complaints from shocked users who are out of luck.

Luckily there is hope for people who previously saved their SHSH files with TinyUmbrella (no need to jailbreak), or people who had jailbroken their iDevice on iOS versions prior to 4.3.3.

The SHSH file is a crucial iOS firmware file that allows users of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to DOWNGRADE their version of iOS to whatever version of iOS that they have a saved SHSH for. When a user jailbreaks their iDevice, Cydia will usually save a copy of the most recent SHSH and cache that on their servers. You may get lucky and have several SHSH files for previous versions of iOS saved on the Cydia servers. Alternatively, you may have been diligent, and decided to save your SHSH files as an insurance policy against unforeseen situations like this. We have several video’s explaining how to save your SHSH files on our LockerGnome YouTube channel. One of which can be found here.

Once you determine if you have saved copies of SHSH files for previous versions of iOS, you’ll want to begin the process of downgrading from your bricked 4.3.3 iDevice. You’ll need to launch TinyUmbrella and search for a copy of the iOS firmware that you’d like to downgrade to on the internet. Two iOS firmware repositories you could try are ModMyi and Redmond Pie.

Next you’ll want to place your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode, and prepare to restore to your iOS firmware of choice. To place your bricked iDevice in DFU, you simply: open iTunes and connect the iPhone to your Mac, press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time, and after exactly 10 seconds release the Sleep/Wake button. Continue holding the Home button until your iTunes pops up a message telling you that it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.

Now you can make sure you have the associated SHSH in Tiny Umbrella, and lauch the TSS server in Tiny Umbrella by pressing the button “Launch TSS server”. Once the TSS server is running in TinyUmbrella, head back over to iTunes, and press the “Restore” button while holding down the “Option” key on your Mac’s keyboard. On Windows you would be holding down “Ctrl” while pressing Restore in iTunes. You should now see iTunes giving the option to navigate the location where you previously downloaded the iOS firmware that you will downgrading to. Navigate to the iOS firmware file and select it. You should now be able to downgrade your iDevice. Keep in mind that you must have a stored SHSH file in TinyUmbrella that is associated with a version of iOS prior to 4.3.3, and you must have the TSS server running withing TinyUmbrella prior to restoring with iTunes.

50 Divorce Tips for Women

Okay, so someone doesn’t want to be with you anymore – or you don’t want to be with him. There are 6.7 billion other people on this planet for you to get to know. When it comes to finding a loving, compatible relationship, it really isn’t over until… well, it’s never really over.

The idea for this article actually came about after I recognized that people were searching Google for more information on my own divorce(s). For that, I’ve helped assemble divorce tips for men, too.

How can a woman survive divorce? It’s not easy. Take heart in knowing you’re not alone. These days, women have many resources through books, support networks, Internet resources, and webinars. There even might be an app for that soon, but for the time being, the only divorce app for iPhone was created by a lawyer to help people contemplating divorce to consider the hidden costs of divorce.

I’ve co-authored this set of tips with my friend Imei Hsu (RN, MAC, LMHC). The list is far from complete, but it’s based on our collective experience – me as a divorcé, and she as a relationship counselor and divorcée. She’s not MY therapist, of course – but if you’d like help with your own relationship issues, she takes clients from all around the country in a virtual capacity via Seattle Counseling. She’s even available to help you via email, Skype, or FaceTime.

If you have something constructive to add to the following list of suggestions and tips, feel free to post your feedback in the comments section below. This is NOT a place for you to vent about how “evil” men are – or how you were wronged in your divorce, okay?

  1. Make a commitment to take better care of yourself: mind, body, and soul. You are going to need everything you have to close the relationship. When it comes to the body, it’s “garbage in, garbage out.” Don’t use food to console yourself. Binge eating has been known to happen when a woman feels unhappy; so does temporary anorexia, or what Imei calls “the Separation Diet”. Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: at the bottom level, you should be meeting your needs for food, shelter, rest, and safety.

    Most women don’t have problems with maintaining themselves, but you might need to adjust how much time, energy, and expense you place on vanity. Your finances will likely change dramatically. Does it really make sense to spend $80 – $120 on a haircut? $25 on a bottle of hair product? You’re going to wash it down the drain, literally. Consider better investments of your money without depriving yourself of needed services. Do not skimp on health insurance.

  2. Don’t engage in unnecessary emotional banter with your soon-to-be ex-partner (or anybody connected to him in some capacity for that matter). These fights are almost never worth having on the way out the door of the relationship. Be the bigger person in the room: end the fight, attempt to set up a more productive time to discuss any necessary questions or plans, and leave the room, if necessary or possible.

    This isn’t a gender-specific tip. Whoever catches the emotional banter first should be the one to call a time-out. If you are good at this, use it to your advantage, and save both of you more heartache.

    Ladies, we’re known for using far more words (approximately ten times more) than men do in a typical conversation. If you know your own propensity to drag out a fight, get a stop watch out, or use a timer. If a discussion goes on longer than twenty minutes, take a break. Anything you force beyond what most men can handle in one sitting is usually not productive. Save your catharsis for a therapist or a good friend.

  3. Think before you put anything in writing: email, tweet, letter, etc. Whatever you post online could end up there forever. In the heat of the moment, it might seem funny to take revenge and say some tactless words, post funny pictures of your partner, or shame your partner by disclosing sacred stories shared between the two of you.

    Women have a tendency to do more sharing face-to-face with a friend or family member. Take care what you share. Like musical notes, once we sound off, it’s really hard to take it back. Do you really want to tell your friend that your man has a penis the size of a tube of lipstick? Or that it is over between you two, when you may actually end up reconciling? Don’t even go there if you find nasty public statements from your partner about you. Be the bigger person: don’t retaliate, but kindly ask him to stop.

  4. Don’t use your partner as a therapist for your emotions. Nagging him for answers as to why the marriage isn’t working – even if you initiated a separation – will likely press his back to the wall. Instead, ask friends to listen empathetically (without much feedback) if you need to vent. Pets make great listeners!

    Do not use your partner as a dumping ground for your guilt, anger, or remorse. If you have apologies to make for your behavior, let your partner know, and let your partner choose a time to hear this from you. Process your guilt and anger with someone else (but exercise discretion). Similarly, cut the man off at the pass if he tries to use you as his therapist, especially if you have been his best friend and confidante. Re-route him to a licensed therapist or a trusted friend.

  5. Call your closest friends and family and ask for their support without taking sides or placing judgment on either you or your partner. Ask them to be there for you when either you or your partner moves out, to talk with your children (if there are any), and watch your pets while on travel or vacations. Most people feel helpless as to how they can be a part of your life when you are in transition or crisis. Make a list of some easy tasks or involvement that lets your closest confidants know how much you need them and want them to be a part of your life – on either side of the divorce.

    If you will be maintaining a house on your own, make a list of repairs, get your handyman’s number (or ask your friends for a recommendation), and make sure you have a decent set of power tools available. Don’t like tools? Ladies, they even come in sets with pink handles! It’s cool to have tools! There is nothing like fixing it yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.

    If you can’t fix it yourself, or you don’t have the money to hire someone, learn about bartering in your area.

  6. Do your best to get adequate sleep, food, and exercise on a regular basis. Schedule it into your calendar like you would meetings for work or for your kids’ schedules. Food and exercise help elevate your mood, as well as give you energy to stay in the game [Music is also an instant mood elevator, as it is pure emotion. Design some playlists of music that makes you feel upbeat and positive – and play it when you wake up in the morning.]

    Don’t have time or money to go to the gym? Lack of “me time” is a common complaint for women. If you can’t go to the gym, let the “gym” come to you. Use that Wii Fit he made you buy him last Christmas, borrow some exercise DVD’s, dance around your house while blasting your favorite upbeat music, and do Yoga while the kids and pets are taking naps. Walk to the nearest grocery store a couple of times a week, if possible, and combine errands with vigorous walking whenever you can. You don’t need to think of exercise as a means of controlling your weight. Exercise should function as a way to help keep you healthy and strengthen your immune system.

  7. Don’t drink, drug, or party your way through your issues. You need a clear head and steady emotions to handle the many difficult choices and emotions ahead. If you notice you’ve been hitting the bottle often, try other mood-elevating activities, such as exercise, music, rest, and spending time with good friends in an enjoyable activity.

    That’s not to say it’s not fun to dull the senses every so often, but if it gets to the point that the ONLY way you can rest is by drinking or drugging yourself there, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

    This is not a time for you to test-drive your new found freedom and win yourself a spot on the next “Girls Gone Wild” video. Partying + heavy drinking/drugging + men = trouble for you. Save yourself the heartache of waking up in a scummy hotel by the airport with stranger and a couple of used condoms on the floor.

  8. If you have difficulty sleeping or eating because of depression or anxiety, seek medical attention from an MD or a therapist. Imei suggests you shouldn’t let this go longer than three weeks; immediately, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others. If you still can’t sleep well past three weeks, it’s time to help your body get back into a rhythm.

    The Web is a great resource to find local health practitioners who treat Adjustment Disorder related to stress and transitions such as a divorce. If you have health insurance from your employer, you’re paying for these benefits, anyway (might as well use them). If your partner removes your health insurance because you are no longer his dependent (such as in legal separation), you will need to either negotiate with him for an extension of health care benefits through a state program, private insurance, or find benefits you can afford.

    This kind of problem likely isn’t going to take care of itself. Crying day after day at home or at your desk, for example, may be a sign that you need more help than time alone can heal.

  9. Notify family and hold age-appropriate conversations with your children as soon as you have both made a decision to end the relationship. Have a plan in place, and be open to feedback and negotiation, on how to best care for your children. You’d hate to discover this kind of information about one of your family members from someone who wasn’t a part of the family, wouldn’t you?
  10. Seek a therapist or life coach to help process issues related to the ending of a relationship, especially if you feel you are repeating familiar patterns that lead you to feel you are “stuck”. This person should not be connected to you or her in any other capacity. Don’t expect them to pass judgment in your favor, either – that’s potentially the court’s responsibility. A fresh perspective is seldom a poor one.

    If there is physical, emotional, or verbal abuse in your dynamic with your partner, it is a priority to protect yourself and your children. If you cannot report abuse yourself, go to a trusted friend or authority figure and share only any facts about abuse in the relationship. It is important that you be very clear about facts. Unfortunately, emotions can cloud judgment, so document carefully and concisely.

    In some cases, you may find that you are the one being accused of abuse. It is very important to stick to any available facts, as emotions can often cloud one’s judgment. While physical abuse is rarely reported among men, there are more and more cases emerging where uncontrolled rage drove women to physically lash out at their spouse or children. The law does not care if you are a woman. You can go to jail for physical abuse or destruction of property.

  11. There is a reason why people warn you about the “rebound” relationship. Consider yourself vulnerable, and don’t be too eager to jump into another serious relationship.

    Rule of thumb: one month of singleness for every year of marriage. If you have been married for many years, tell yourself to not be in any hurry to find another partner (for any kind of serious relationship – including another marriage). Slow down, take your time, and give an appropriate rest to the relationship you are ending.

    Women who divorce in later life tend to fare better than their partners. By that time, you have your own money, and the kids are older or may have already left the nest. Essentially, you are pretty much done taking care of anyone else, let alone yet another man who never learned how to do his own laundry. It is not uncommon for older female divorcees to gather, travel together, party, attend each other’s children’s weddings and baby showers, and leave the men behind. For mature women, an unfettered life may be just the ticket to happiness.

  12. Set rules for communication with your soon-to-be-ex-partner, including when to end discussions that become heated. Even if you think you’re headed for an amicable split, you should expect the unexpected.

    It’s likely that communication issues are what tore the two of you apart – you should expect they’ll worsen while in the process of deciding how to end your partnership.

    If need be, call in an arbiter – a neutral party. Family or friends don’t usually count (the exception: cultures that use an older family member to solve domestic disputes).

  13. Don’t binge on anything: spending money, sex, drinking, drugs, TV, entertainment, sleep. Most of these will simply serve to dissociate you from what you need to attend to. If an activity is overtaking your responsibilities, you’re probably bingeing.

    You’ve heard the joke: when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Before you start hearing cash registers in your head, you should take careful inventory of your expenses related to the divorce: your share of taxes, house and car payments, house repairs, health insurance, utilities, food and incidentals. If you will be receiving maintenance, it may still not be enough to cover your expenses, let alone a reckless trip to the mall. If you have children, you’ll also have additional expenses of keeping up two households.

    Imei’s tip to shopaholics: if you tend to use your credit cards without thinking, write the numbers down in a safe place (but without the 3 digit code on the back), set up auto-payments for DOLPing (date of last payment) the largest to the smallest, and put them in water inside of a freezer bag. Place the bag in the freezer and forget about them. If you are tempted to use them, guess what? You will minimally need to let them defrost before you can take them to a store or use them online. Oh yeah, and remove all your payment information from online stores you frequented. If you’re still having problems with spending and not paying off balances, subscribe to a financial blog for women such as “The Daily Worth”, or talk to a financial counselor.

    Shopping like there’s no tomorrow is a form of sabotage. When you assume payments of your expenses, you are simply putting more pressure on yourself to cough up money you do not have.

  14. If you ever thought that meditation and yoga might be useful, this would be a good time to investigate. More than 18.3 million people in the U.S. say they practice yoga on a regular basis. It’s likely being offered in your gym or an area studio; if you can’t afford it, get a recommended DVD or try a free podcast. Yoga clears the way for mediation to occur. You’ll like the way you feel and think after a few sessions of asana (physical component of Yoga).

    Set up private sessions if you’re feeling self-conscious about it; dive into a group class and enjoy camaraderie with other fellow Yoga newbies.

  15. Make a list of the things you enjoy doing, and try to work in one of two of those activities a week, such as crafting with your gal friends or working on a hobby or project. Enjoyable tasks will help to ground you in the understanding that there is life after divorce. It might actually be fun! If you don’t have a hobby, make a list of things you’ve always wanted to try: karate, rock climbing, glass blowing, wine tasting, belly dancing, couch surfing. Look in your local community college catalog, comb online class offerings, and sign up for lessons in whatever your interest is.
  16. The person you are divorcing is not the same person you married. If you’re shocked at the anger, apathy, ambivalence, or venom you are receiving from your partner, remind yourself that divorce is difficult for both people, no matter the circumstances. If his reaction seems like “more of the same” (i.e. it has been this way with you from the get-go), don’t spend a lot of time emotionally pleading that you can change, or that you you can “fix” things so he’ll feel better. Count yourself fortunate you are ending this relationship, as it isn’t good for either of you to continue hating each other and fighting.

    You may never receive answers to your questions about this relationship. The more you keep looking for “why,” the more frustrated you will likely become. There may be a time you can find more answers to your “why” questions, but if and when you receive them, take them with a grain of salt, and do your best to consider it a learning opportunity for your personal growth.

  17. Don’t expect your partner to express remorse, shame, or sadness in the same way that you do. Just because he isn’t crying a river and causing Kleenex shortages in your neighborhood does not mean that he isn’t a thinking, feeling human being. In a similar vein, if you are surprised at your own tears, anger, and even laughter, know that with the end of a relationship, all kinds of emotions can and do emerge at the strangest of times. Imei says go ahead and cry. Scream. If you try to hold back, you just get a headache and more wrinkles. You may also wish to consider visiting a San Francisco water damage restoration expert.
  18. Read books on divorce that are balanced and fair. There is a way to divorce without becoming bitter or tainted. Make notes of the things you need to do. If you prefer workshops, look on the web for a “Divorce Bootcamp”; many are geared towards recovery, finances, and legal rights. Steer clear of “male bashing” groups. You won’t likely find anything to help you there.

    If you’re looking for materials to help you place blame on him and the things he did, or to help you justify your decisions, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

  19. Because of the way society places responsibility on the woman for domestic tranquility, the woman often feels more shame and responsibility if an affair is involved. Recognize your proclivity to compare yourself to the other woman, and to wail, “What does she have that I don’t have?” A great resource book is, “After the Affair” If you were the one who walked out because of an affair, you will need to spend time dealing with the hurt you have caused because of your dishonesty. This book addresses both the sides of the coin.
  20. Be respectful of your personal needs for space and “quiet,” and be respectful of your partner’s needs as well. If you are doing a partial separation under the same roof, get reacquainted with your MP3 player and Bose noise-canceling headphones – and be aware that cooking something wonderful at 2am might be disturbing, just as venting to a friend on your phone can be hurtful. Sit down with your partner and calmly discuss household rules to make this awkward period of time a little easier on the both of you.

    And yes, believe it or not, this scenario (especially in a down economy) is quite common. It can save money, but shouldn’t be done at the cost of your mutual sanity.

  21. If you use the Internet to communicate, refrain from using emotional language. Keep it to business and simple questions. If the emails are lengthy, especially yours, remind yourself and your partner of the purpose of the communications, and stick to those reasons. If you feel you are being repeatedly harassed by the content of the emails, scan them briefly and save them for a rainy day with your attorney.

    It’s possible that anything you do can be used against you – in or out of context. If you are unsure if you should send a particular email, have a trusted friend read it and make suggestions. Rule of thumb: never send an email when you are angry or exhausted.

  22. Respect your needs for a safe and private living space, including temporary accommodations. If you’re the one to move out, make a request list of the items you will need to be safe and comfortable. Make sure there are separate beds for each child, and their personal items duplicated if need be for each residence. If you are the one who remains in the house, have your partner store or remove his things in a timely manner. Have a friend take a look at your space and make suggestions on what you need to make your space more comfortable and inviting. A woman’s home is an extension of her very being.

    Related to your space, people ask Imei what to do with sentimental items, such as pictures and personalized objects (i.e. charging glasses, etched glass frames, etc). The time of the divorce is not the only season you will grieve this relationship’s end, just like a funeral is not the only time you grieve the loss of a loved one. Suggestion: gather a few boxes and fill them with the sentimental items. Seal them with tape and store them in an attic or a closet that you do not access on a regular basis. One year from the time of your divorce settlement, grab a friend, open the box, and sort through the items. You’ll know if it’s time to either keep them, donate them, recycle, re-gift, or throw them away.

    One recycling tip: remove large pictures of your wedding from its frames, discard the pictures, and reuse the frame at a local frame shop with new art. Better yet, learn how to re-frame art yourself and save money.

  23. Make sure to schedule time with your children and your pets. The energy it takes to care for yourself will often displace what you have to give to others.

    Do your best to communicate how much you care, and how you will make sure that they have access to you as much if not more as before the divorce. If your children are 14 or older, they have some stake in custody issues. Listen to their needs, recognize that they may need someone to vent anger and fear with (including anger AT you), and reserve your own hurt for a session with your therapist, good friend, or family member. No matter how angry or hurt you are, never threaten your partner or children with a vow to keep them separated, unless there is domestic violence involved. Your threats will be empty, but the emotional hurt will linger for years to come.

    Animals are sensitive to your presence and absence, and need more care than just food, water, and exercise. Put your pets on a schedule as well for health care, grooming, activity, and interaction.

    What happens if you have more than one pet, and your partner wants to keep one? This can also feel like a custody battle with potential for loss. Consider the pet’s needs. One home or caretaker might be able to care for a particular pet in a way you cannot. In this case, it isn’t about who is right or wrong, but what is best for the animals.

  24. Let people give to you [unless the giver has ulterior motives- in which case, come up with some pleasant excuse to not accept]. If your sister wants to come over and make a bunch of fresh food to put into your freezer, let her. If your best friend’s husband offers to come help you move furniture, say please and thank you, and send both of them a thank you gift.

    Thinking you can make it through this experience alone is naïve – I don’t care how independent you want others to think you are.

  25. This would NOT be a good time to post pictures of yourself partying down with a bunch of Chipendale look-a-likes. As much as that might be ego-boosting to you, it will not get you what you want out of your divorce. In fact, it could score you less leverage in the long-run, and your girlfriends might start clutching their men a bit tighter when they are around you.

    He’s going to think whatever he wants to think – no matter what you do or do NOT do. Don’t give him any more ammunition, okay? Don’t stop living life, but don’t flaunt your indiscretions, either.

    If you are the one initiating the divorce, there is still no pain-free reason to trounce on your partner’s ego.

  26. Though the Klingon’s are right, “Revenge is a dish best served cold” – you don’t really want to take revenge on your partner (even if you feel like you do). The elation that MIGHT come from retaliation to any perceived (or actual) wrong-doings is only short-term – and is not itself a solution.

    If you really want to survive this divorce, don’t destroy yourself (or anybody else) in this process. We believe it is entirely possible to come out a better person on the other side of divorce. Hopefully, you’ll both be better people.

  27. Leave his friends and family out of your fights – and ask him to leave yours out of his. If necessary, use a mediator or a therapist to help the two of you process the ending of the marriage. A mediator can call a “time out” when things get heated, and name when either of you are investigating unhelpful directions.

    This will probably be the most difficult suggestion to follow.

  28. Make plans to say good-bye to your partner’s family of origin. Just because you are divorcing your partner doesn’t mean that family members don’t want to say good-bye. They may not be happy, but saying good-bye is part of doing closure on this chapter of your life.

    If and when this happens, don’t share ANYTHING other than pleasantries.

  29. If you aren’t planning on celibacy during your divorce process, be responsible. Take any tests necessary if you have any question about exposing yourself to an STD during your marriage (or if you’ve moved on with other sexual partners). Don’t be stupid: you don’t need to take anyone’s word for it. Get tested before further activity, and always use protection.
  30. You can still get pregnant with a “last fuck” (a.k.a. “for good time’s sake” sex). If you decide to have sex with your partner during the divorce, you should also decide what kind of birth control to use, and to be responsible to share that information with him beforehand.

    “Last fuck” sex is almost always a bad idea. It tends to confuse the issues and pour more hurt on any open wounds. That doesn’t mean there won’t be moments that you catch a glimpse of your partner, and recall the special moments of intimacy and ecstasy you share. However, you won’t be able to resolve any relational issues with sex. If your partner is resistant to the separation and tries to put the moves on you, you may find yourself in the strange and undiscovered country of saying no to sex. You’re not crazy. Just say “no”.

    Think it doesn’t happen? Imei says she has seen it in her 10 years of private practice experience. A “surprise baby” does not hold a man to the relationship, and in many case, doesn’t hold him financially either. Be smart. Think it through.

  31. Although the process can be a time of learning for both partners, it usually isn’t a great time to do any kind of risky experimentation, such as quitting your job, returning to school, sexual experimentation past your own limits, or huge changes in lifestyle arrangements. Although potentially exciting, they tend to sap energy away from constructive change.
  32. If you are middle-aged (or older) and your marriage has lasted longer than 15 years, it’s likely time for a relationship “tune up”. Even if you blame your partner for the divorce, that blame isn’t going to educate you about what’s “out there”: hook ups, casual sex, partner swapping, STD’s, etc. If you don’t know the difference between HPV and POS, take the time to find out. It’s a whole new world out there!
  33. Look outside of your own frame of reference for clues as to what “fair and equitable” means. By knowing how these terms translate into dollars, cents, objects, and your partner’s well-being, you will neither be “taken for a ride” nor be unfair to your partner or children. Every state / country is equipped with different laws. It is your responsibility to know your rights. Don’t expect your partner to inform you of your rights; he’ll be likely looking out for himself the way you ought to be looking out for yourself.
  34. Things are just things. Items can usually be replaced. If you find yourself getting angry about what possessions you are about to lose or give away, remind yourself: “these are just things”. You get to keep your soul. No one can take that away from you.
  35. Take a break from talking about the ills of the relationship and the divorce process every once and awhile. Watch a movie, play games with the kids, walk your dog. When most of your thoughts are negative, so will your life experience be. Thoughts become things: if you fill your mind with the positive, so will your next experiences be filled with positivity.
  36. If your self-esteem has taken a blow (i.e. you’re the one being dumped), do your best to figure out what went wrong, and put yourself on a self-improvement plan. This isn’t for him, it’s for you! Get back in touch with what makes you appreciate your true self. If you simply blow your partner off as the one who needs to change, you will lose your learning opportunity to better yourself. You don’t have to take every nit-picky comment to heart. You’ll know if he hit close to home on elements you could change for yourself.

    The Universe does give second chances, but if you didn’t learn your lesson, it tends to say “Meh” and bestows gifts on someone else. Or worse: dooms you to the same fate. We call it Karma.

  37. Watch a lot of comedy. Laughter really is the best medicine. Expand your repertoire. See the lightness of humor in everything, including your own self-righteousness. If you can’t find a reason to laugh, you’re taking yourself too seriously. The situation sucks, but if you let it get the best of you – that’s precisely what it’ll take from you.
  38. Be prepared to lose friends, or have friends abandon your partner for no apparent reason. In Burt Bacharach’s “Darkest Place”, Elvis Costello croons: “Meanwhile, all our friends must choose who they will favor, who they will lose.” Most people are unable to be friends to both partners; a few might be able to demonstrate the kind of maturity it takes to “hold” while the two of you are at odds with each other. You might also receive some unkind remarks, even if you haven’t done anything overtly wrong.

    People have their own projections and fears about divorce, and they may treat you like your divorce is contagious. Others will take potshots at you (or him) in efforts to feel more superior. Don’t give their remarks too much power over you.

    At the end of the day, you’re in the divorce with him – and nobody else. Do your best to ignore unwarranted, unprofessional, and uneducated judgments.

  39. If you don’t actually know this, it is customary to return the ring to the partner who purchased it. If he purchased your ring, you should return it to him, although he has the option to allow you to keep it. If it was an heirloom from your family, you should ask to keep the ring in the family. If you purchased his ring, he should return it to you. It would be a kind gesture to return it to him as a peace offering.

    When it comes time to figure out what to do with the ring(s), consider consigning them and offering the money received in a gift towards the children, the house, or some other tangible form of care. There are better options than taking the ring to a pawn shop. For more ideas, check out

    If you purchased the ring for him and he does not return it… well, that’s rather telling, isn’t it? Remember the previous rule: things are just things.

  40. If this is the first time you have experienced either a marital dissolution or a long-term relationship termination, you should consider various options, timelines, and fiscally-responsible ways to divide your assets according to your state’s or country’s laws. Beyond legalities, however, there are also other considerations: when to remove your partner from a family calling plan for mobile devices, how to receive adequate health care coverage and for how long, etc. Note that some businesses do not allow you to turn over an account to your former spouse, so who ever is named on it may retain the account value. It has not been unheard of for partners to request the value of accumulated frequent flyer mileage.
  41. You have the choice to retain your last name or revert to your maiden name throughout the divorce process. Your children’s teachers and adult mentors should be notified if there is a change of names for you and/or your children. You will need a notary public to authenticate name changes and copies of the divorce papers; these papers will be necessary to prove you had a legal name change in order to open bank accounts, start a business, and obtain/maintain various licenses. You will also need to make sure that all your identification, especially your passport, match the name on your driver’s license after it has been updated. Passports are amended in the back of the passport until it is time for it to be renewed.
  42. You should have an agreeable plan as to when to divide and close any joint accounts at your bank. If you haven’t done so already, open a separate account in the same bank under your own name. If you have taken care of all the household expenses and bill payment schedules, you should discuss how this will be handled through account transfers or deposits.

    If you have concerns about unauthorized access to your private bank accounts, change the account numbers, create new passwords for online access, and notify all automatic deposits and withdrawals (i.e. auto deposit from your employer). This includes thinking ahead about the upcoming tax year and whether it makes sense to file taxes jointly or separately.

    This should be one of the first things you try to figure out together. If one person makes the wrong move, it could damage the other party in the short-run – but the wronging-initiator will likely be hurt in the long-run.

  43. Fact: you CANNOT be expected to trust your partner during and after a divorce. Trust issues will abound. Don’t even try to resolve emotional issues between the two of you after your are separated. Work on your issues of trust apart from him, and be aware of your natural propensity to project your trust issues not only on your partner but also on others, including colleagues, friends, children, and lovers.
  44. In all likelihood, the amount of emotional, physical, and spiritual energy it takes to end a marriage will leave you feeling like you are operating at about 60-70% of your normal capacity. You may notice memory lapses, tasks taking more time to complete, difficulty sleeping (or oversleeping), and daydreaming. Use these signs to identify moments when you need to hack yourself, slow down, or do some contemplating on how to work through whatever blocks you are encountering.
  45. Be responsible. Take inventory of any damage you have caused to the relationship. When you’re ready, do your best to make restitution. A few well-timed words can go a long way, along with practical actions. For example, if you broke his Wii, replace it; if you called his hew girlfriend a slut, send flowers and an apology. Do this even if you aren’t getting this in return from your partner. This is not about him: this is about you doing what it takes to move on and to close the relationship. This may include practicing forgiveness. Imei suggests the movie, “Blue” starring Juliette Binoche, for examples of forgiveness.
  46. As corny as it sounds, practice the attitude of gratitude. Be glad that you are still breathing in and out, even if you believe your partner wishes that you would choke on a chicken bone, die, and hand over your life insurance benefits before the divorce papers are signed. When you connect with why you are still breathing in and out, you have a reason to wake up every morning, get out of bed, go to work, and take care of the children.
  47. One of the feelings you’ll find it most difficult to overcome is your habit of care taking. You’re dissolving your marriage, whether or not you played a part in that decision. You are primarily responsible for yourself now – not him. This can be very complicated if you have been responsible for caring for a physically or mentally ill partner or his aging parents. You may need to have someone else step in for you, or you may choose to continue some aspects of care-taking that do not directly involve him.

    Learning to feel good about being responsible for and to yourself is a challenge for many women. You are not alone. Get with another single woman you admire, and ask her about the things she does for herself. You may be surprised to hear her tell you that she buys herself flowers, enjoys wearing a business suit to work, or knows how to use a circular saw and drill bits.

  48. Make a new budget for yourself. Didn’t have one to begin with? If you were waiting for an invitation, this is it. When you don’t have a handle on your finances, you could find yourself (and your credit rating) in gigantic trouble. While many women choose to close their eyes to debt, it won’t be long before panic attacks and heart palpitations keep you up at night with worry if you don’t take the time to see what’s there.

    You could be wasting money if you don’t know where it’s coming from and where it’s going. Get a handle on it NOW, even if you weren’t responsible for these matters in the past. Your future stability (and your children’s) is at stake as much as his is. A great resource book is David Bach’s “Smart Women Finish Rich”. Put that on your Kindle, and snuggle up with it for a week.

  49. Document everything. If you hadn’t saved much information to this point, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you – but it’s not too late. You have the right to obtain copies of what documentation he might have in his possession. In a legal capacity, this is known as “Disclosure.” This might include bank statements, bills, receipts, etc.

    And don’t wait another moment to start recalling and recording names, dates, times, locations, etc. The more you have (and the more you can remember), the better. Facts are far more relevant than opinions in all divorces. You never know when this information might come in handy.

    Even if you don’t need documentation, keeping it won’t hurt – if only for future reference.

  50. If he’s not acting to bring closure to the situation, take the lead to make this divorce final. Use your experience with good-byes and initiate process of saying good-bye and letting go. Imei helped a parting couple visit a few of their favorite places around the city, say good-bye, and cry together as they let go of their broken dreams.

Stay focused, keep your wits about you, and remember that this time in your life will pass. Make the most of it.

You have your whole life ahead of you, woman – start living it.

How Much Are You Worth?

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

If you ask most people the question, “Do you get paid enough?” You’ll most certainly always be answered with a NO. Salary is a top concern and there’s always that certain number that will make you a happy worker. Fortunately, there’s a Seattle Startup to let you know what you should be making after all.

PayScale has a service that determines how well you are being paid compared to others who have a similar job. The service is free in a limited fashion, but your scale is determined based on many factors including work environment, education, your professional experience, company size, etc. This is all information you must provide. Some of it is optional, but the more you provide, the more accurate PayScale will be in determining how well you’re being compensated. In the end, you receive a report and graph that shows where you are in relation to other people who’ve reported. The report is anonymous, so don’t worry about your co-worker giving you dirty looks because he found out you’re making much much more than him.

You can also upgrade to their premium service for $19.95. By doing so, you’ll gain insight to a lot more information that you could leverage to get that raise you know you deserve! With the largest online employee salary database according to PayScale, I’m pretty sure you can confident your scale of pay will be compared accurately.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.