Tuesday, December 22, 2009

List of places to change your address when you move

I have moved to a new place recently and had to go through the usual process of changing address in all the places where I have given my address previously. From my experience, I have compiled a list of all the places where you need to submit a change of address request.
  1. United States Postal Service (USPS) : This is the first and foremost thing to do. Submit a forwarding request with the USPS so that all your mail addressed to your old address will be automatically forwarded to your new address. You can do this online or by going to your nearest post office. If you submit online, there is a $1 fee. If everyone in your household share the last name, it will be just one request. Otherwise you have to file separately for everyone.
  2. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - Form AR-11 : If you are not a citizen / permanent resident of US, you are required by law to file the change of address form with USCIS within 10 days. You can do it online too. Remember to file it for all the members of your family.
  3. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - License and Vehicle : Change the address on your driver's license and your vehicle registration. For California, go here to make the change online.
  4. Social Security Administration (SSA) : Change the address on your social security account. You can do this online.
  5. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) : File form 8822 with IRS. Download the form from this link.
  6. Banks : Change address on all your checking, savings, mortgage and credit card accounts by going to your bank's online portal.
  7. Car / Rental Insurance : Go to your insurance company website and submit the change or visit your agent.
  8. Mobile, Internet and Electricity / Gas
  9. Office, Attorney and PayCheck / HR Services : Send an email to your office HR department informing them about the change and ask them to send the paychecks to your new address. If you have any applications pending with the USCIS, inform your attorney about the address change.
  10. Hospital : If you have your address with your primary physician, call the office and give your new address.
  11. Library : If you have a membership with your local library, change the address so that you get mail at the right address.
  12. Amazon, eBay, Google CheckOut, iTunes, PayPal, Netflix and the likes : If you use any of these services or similar websites, change your address so that your packages / CDs do not go to your old address.
As you can see, most of these can be done online or through phone. So, spend a couple of hours and finish these changes to avoid the trips to your old address to ask the new tenants for your mail. They will understand if it lasts a week or two. Beyond that most people will start dumping or returning your mail to the senders.

There is one more important step. Even after all these changes and more, I'm sure there will be places where you haven't changed the address. So, if you have finished the step 1, you will receive the mail at your new address forwarded by the post office. They will have an yellow slip on top informing you that it has been forwarded. For all the mail you receive like this, make it a point to contact the sender and inform about the address change. Post office will forward your mail only for a certain period of time. So, don't forget to change the address on forwarded mail.

If you remember anything else, post it in the comments.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

iPhone Battery Problems

One year has passed since I got my iPhone and I have gone from charging it once in two days to twice everyday. Now, when I see people talk endlessly about how iPhone can't do background processing, I only think of it as a blessing in disguise. I often think how many times would I be charging my iPhone everyday had there been the ability for apps to stay in the background ? iPhone is a gem that stands out of the crowded smartphone market. But I think it's battery is something that doesn't live up to what is expected. It's an inconvenient truth. But it is the truth.

Before going any further, let me tell you that I'm what people call 'a heavy user'. I use my iPhone very less for calling and much more for the other things. I have at least four email accounts configured to fetch new mail every hour. And I have at least five apps that send push notifications regularly. Although I don't use WiFi or Bluetooth, I never turn off 3G, location services and push notifications. And I use iPhone 3G. So, your results might vary.

There are many tips and tricks to save battery life. People suggest you to turn off 3G, location services, push and regular fetch mail etc. So, you pretty much have to turn off all those so called smartphone features to get a better battery life. Then why not get a dumb regular phone instead of an iPhone ? I bought an iPhone to use it to the full. I don't want to turn off everything and use my iPhone like a regular dumb phone. If it is sold as a smartphone, I think it should come with a smart battery too.

iPhone battery drops 20% of charging capacity after 300 to 400 charging cycles. That means if you are charging it once everyday, your battery can only hold 80% of the charge after an year. It is a fact that Apple specifies in the manuals that most people never read. So, if you have an iPhone for more than an year, you either have to replace the battery by paying Apple (you can't buy an extra battery and replace it yourself as the iPhone battery is sealed) or prepare to buy a new iPhone as battery charge get worse. Either way, it is Apple that earns more of your money.