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Erasing hard disk that have died

One of my hard drive started making clicking noises. I have a backup so getting back the data is not an issue. I could hit it with a hammer or drop it in a bucket of water for several days, but we are suppose to recycle the electronic components. Is there a way to erase it without damaging the compo...
by paulsiu
Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erasing hard disk that have died
Replies: 40
Views: 3280

Re: Animal battle Round 7: Raccoon pooping near house

I coexist with wild animals. After all, this was their home first, in most cases. Occasionally skunks take up nearby residence and like to hang out under my deck. As long as you don't scare them, no problem. I have dishes of bird seed and dry cat food on my deck. Visitors include various types of b...
by paulsiu
Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Animal battle Round 7: Raccoon pooping near house
Replies: 39
Views: 3216

Re: Auto Accident/Insurance/Repair Question

Based on the picture, probably, but that it all depends on the value of the car vs the repair. I would follow up with the insurance company.

Paul
by paulsiu
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Accident/Insurance/Repair Question
Replies: 37
Views: 1902

Re: Anyone use Wells Fargo Bank?

After my mom's move to California, the services at her local branch improved. The original branch was just terrible. I would fill out a POA, and it would just disappear. I tried to get the bank manager to fix it, he indicated that it wasn't his problem. My mom requested that they close out a brokera...
by paulsiu
Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Wells Fargo Bank?
Replies: 57
Views: 7634

Re: Animal battle Round 7: Raccoon pooping near house

While this may be more of an issue in the country, I do not live in the country. I live in a densely populated suburbia with a population of roughly 100,000 people. Raccoon are an issue in the city as well. They some times come through open windows. The area I live in seems densely populated with ur...
by paulsiu
Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Animal battle Round 7: Raccoon pooping near house
Replies: 39
Views: 3216

Animal battle Round 7: Raccoon pooping near house

Ever since I moved, I have had a boatload of animal problems. In the 4 years I have lived here, I have had: 1. Raccoon living in the attic. 2. Rabbits eating up all of my plants. 3. Squirrels chewing up the garage threshold, resulting in mice in the house. 4. Squirrels chewing up lilies in my yard. ...
by paulsiu
Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Animal battle Round 7: Raccoon pooping near house
Replies: 39
Views: 3216

Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Well, she used to let me brush her teeth, I would distract her with something like a movie or a book and I'll brush her teeth. I probably should do a better job, but I get what I can get. Recently, she decides to assert her independence and wanted to brush herself. The problem is she just put it int...
by paulsiu
Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting toddler to brush their teeth
Replies: 53
Views: 2407

Dumb phone save hikers life

So this hiker lived because he was using a dumbphone with days of battery life. I am lucky to get 1-2 days out of my smartphone. I am puzzle though, how in the world did he get cell service in the woods? http://www.phonearena.com/news/An-ancient-Nokia-phone-saves-the-life-of-a-lost-hiker_id57744 Paul
by paulsiu
Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dumb phone save hikers life
Replies: 11
Views: 1753

Re: I am thinking of buying Ooma or Magicjack need help deci

My suggestion is to get the OOMA. Based my research I did a few years ago, OOMA is far superior to magic jack in both voice quality and reliability. I recall there were issue with magic jack where it refuses to connect to certain numbers. To get OOMA to work properly, I suggest puttingthe OOMA befor...
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I am thinking of buying Ooma or Magicjack need help deciding
Replies: 52
Views: 2997

Getting toddler to brush their teeth

I have a 2-1/2 year old who gotten more and more resistant to brushing. She used to let me brush, but now she plainly refuses. She wants to do it herself, which I can understand, but at her age, she probably won't do a good job. I have tried various strategies. I tried motorized brushes, but she's a...
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting toddler to brush their teeth
Replies: 53
Views: 2407

Re: Car insurance Medical coverage exhausted

Kaiser Permanente provides both insurance and the medical services. You would think they will be able to bill themselves for the service.

Paul
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car insurance Medical coverage exhausted
Replies: 7
Views: 899

Re: Car insurance Medical coverage exhausted

The hospital and insurance belong to the same corporation. One would hope that they can talk to one another :-).

Paul
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car insurance Medical coverage exhausted
Replies: 7
Views: 899

Re: Transplant hard drive from old to a new laptop?

As other posters already mentioned, the license are OEM for your laptop, so if the motherboard dies, you will need to call to reactivate your windows and you may need to buy another license. If the laptop are identical to your original model, you can argue that the motherboard had been repair. I don...
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transplant hard drive from old to a new laptop?
Replies: 16
Views: 675

Car insurance Medical coverage exhausted

My mom was in a car accident a few months back and had to be checked out in the emergency room, the hospital sent a bill to the auto insurance and they indicated that the medical coverage was exhausted. I don't have her policy, but I think she had the usual $5K medical coverage. After the ambulance ...
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car insurance Medical coverage exhausted
Replies: 7
Views: 899

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

My wife had the same issue. We tried different formula until we got one that seems best for the kids stomach. We also got the target version which was much cheaper than the major brand name. If you have sales where they give $10, stock up, you'll use a lot of it. For travel, I put power into differe...
by paulsiu
Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 1248

Re: Want to Save Money? Be Polite!

One would argue that you should always be polite. In most cases, it's a sign of respect. In another case, you are trying to get something from the other person, so you have to hold your temper and ask nicely so you can get your stuff back, even if you feel like strangling the other person.

Paul
by paulsiu
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to Save Money? Be Polite!
Replies: 41
Views: 6698

Re: Reducing Expenses for Future Family

How much are you spending on the phone per month. If you decouple the phone from your broadband, how much do you save? If you go with an OOMA, you will initially spend about $150 but your monthly bill can drop to about $3-5. How much cell phone minutes do you use per month. My mom uses about 60 min ...
by paulsiu
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 3180

Need Note taking and organizer software

What I am looking for something to organize paper and notes. Currently, I scan in stuff I get in the mail that seemed important and organized them into different folders on my computer. The problem is searches are somewhat rudimentary. I also like the ability to take notes and then view and edit the...
by paulsiu
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Note taking and organizer software
Replies: 9
Views: 971

Re: Retirement age for software engineers

This is just my opinion and experience, but I don't see any correlation between age, education, or anything for that matter. HR may want to hire people based on some buzz word skill set, but I prefer to hire someone based on their ability to adapt and how well you work with others. I do not however ...
by paulsiu
Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement age for software engineers
Replies: 94
Views: 9464

Re: "Having the wealth transfer conversation"

Do any of you have parents who think talking about this is bad luck? Whenever we approach mom with will and such, mom respond with a comment that it is bad luck to talk about such things. This is even though my dad died suddenly and left a mess decades ago because he didn't have anything planned out...
by paulsiu
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Having the wealth transfer conversation"
Replies: 21
Views: 2985

Re: Poll: Dave Ramsey - Harmful or helpful?

His advice seems to be more appropriate to someone in debt. According to him, we avoid more debt, work hard (even 2 jobs) to pay off existing debt. If you are a boglehead type, you probably do all that any way or have no debt beyond their mortgage. His investment advice is typically so-so.

Paul
by paulsiu
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Dave Ramsey - Harmful or helpful?
Replies: 65
Views: 5077

Re: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?

I think the question to you is if you like medical. I am not a doctor, but my sister is. I can tell you from her experience that medical is not for the faint of heart. You have to want to be in it for reasons other than money. Like a lot of doctors, she indicated that if she had to do it all over ag...
by paulsiu
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?
Replies: 66
Views: 5043

Re: Do frozen fruits have to be washed?

Bags of fruit do not need to be washed. They are prewashed. Washing them may not help with the E. Coli any way. The only sure way is to cook them.

Paul
by paulsiu
Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do frozen fruits have to be washed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1499

Re: Homemade Sauerkraut

A friend of mine used to make it when he was a kid in his basement. It was similar as you mentioned, requiring only minimal attention. He indicated that the homemade version is way superior to the store brought kraut, which is a pale imitation to the real stuff and not even made remotely like the ol...
by paulsiu
Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homemade Sauerkraut
Replies: 15
Views: 989

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

My mom recently retired to Walnut Creek CA. She is definitely at the lower end of the income. She retired to a retirement community Rossmoor. The condo she live in is actually a co-op. Because it is a co-op, it was actually pretty cheap for near the bay area ($200K). The only issue is that demand se...
by paulsiu
Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6877

Re: First anniversary gift ideas

You may go for the experience angle rather than a material gift. Instead of giving her jewelry, surprise her with an experience. Take her some place surprising or places where you first met, etc. If you are short on money, a romantic picnic with alternate venue in case of weather. Take her to a lake...
by paulsiu
Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First anniversary gift ideas
Replies: 21
Views: 1106

Re: water bottles and road trip

Unless the trip is really long, I wouldn't worry about it.

Paul
by paulsiu
Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water bottles and road trip
Replies: 32
Views: 1816

Re: Tracking down unknown data usage

I haven't use that particular phone in ages, but I checked the manual and notice that it does have a button for a web browser. However, the phone is a flip phone so there is no way to trip it when the phone is bouncing around in a purse. It looks like the phone connects to internet 8-12 times a day ...
by paulsiu
Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tracking down unknown data usage
Replies: 10
Views: 969

Re: Best Battery Charging Strategy

Lithium Ion battery do not have a memory effect, so the old practice of discharging until totally empty and then recharge is bad for the battery. However, you may still want to do that initially so your laptop's battery calibration can figure out the capacity of the battery, otherwise just recharge ...
by paulsiu
Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Battery Charging Strategy
Replies: 20
Views: 1797

Tracking down unknown data usage

I recently looked at my phone bill and notice that my mom's dumb phone (Nokia 6350) is actually uses tiny bits of data each day. She doesn't even know how to text so I doubt she is using her browser. My plan comes with 1 Gb of data for each line, so usage isn't an issue, but I am curious to know if ...
by paulsiu
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tracking down unknown data usage
Replies: 10
Views: 969

Re: It is time to retire when you .......

When my portfolio reach a size where I can live on it forever, I will vacate the system. I actually like my work but if I had a choice, I like t do only what I like and not what others want because I need the pay check.

Paul
by paulsiu
Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It is time to retire when you .......
Replies: 104
Views: 9675

Re: What Do You Eat For Snacks?

My preference is peanuts or sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, mostly because the other nuts are more expensive. I prefer the salted kind, but it may be healthier to get the unsalted.

Paul
by paulsiu
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Eat For Snacks?
Replies: 103
Views: 6268

IRS Scam - robo caller

I got a call a 202-241-6135 on my answering machine claiming to be an officer Hannah Grey from the IRS. It indicated that I should not disregard this message or legal actions will be taken against me. Since I did not received any official letter from IRS, I was immediately suspicious. When I google ...
by paulsiu
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IRS Scam - robo caller
Replies: 0
Views: 263

Affidavit procedure probate process

So even if one uses TOD/POD to remove assets from the probate process, we still end up with stuff that cannot be TOD/POD. Assuming that no real estate is involved, this may consists of stuff like: Electronic equipment Furniture Jewelry Kitchen stuff According to the California website, you can use A...
by paulsiu
Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affidavit procedure probate process
Replies: 0
Views: 383

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

You have to know your wife well. My wife has a geological background and can tell clarity of a diamond pretty well (I was sadly unable to tell glass from diamond on initial viewing). A 2 caret ring also looks huge on her finger, which she apparently didn't like (much to my relief). For some price sa...
by paulsiu
Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 57
Views: 3109

Re: Retirement Planning with and w/o SS

Because SS is index to inflation, when I add SS to my retirement calculation, the retirement is essentially bullet-proof. If SS isn't there, there is a small chance of failure. Think about it, it's hard to live on just SS but it's doable. Most of use save a lot more than what SS will provide, assumi...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning with and w/o SS
Replies: 27
Views: 2672

Re: Receiving a monetary gift from overseas family member

I am no tax expert, but I don't see how setting up an off-shore account is going to help. In fact, if you have a overseas account that's over $10K, you have to file or suffer stiff penalty under FBAR. Creating an off-shore account will most likely raise some red flags at the IRS. I was under the imp...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving a monetary gift from overseas family member
Replies: 9
Views: 1081

Re: TOD/POD and estate planning

I contacted estate department at Schwab. It is as the previous schwab person said. You can send in more complicated instruction in as an attachment to the TOD form. The department will review the document and get back to the account holder if there are issue with the instructions. If the account hol...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TOD/POD and estate planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: Is LTE needed? Depends on the carrier I guess.

On the Moto X, 4G icon = hsdpa+ and lt icon = LTE. There is no way to turn it off by default, you can install an app to switch off the LTE. LTE is supposed to be faster than 14 mps but I may be a bit far from the tower. In my opinion, 14 mps seems fast enough for phone use. it's even faster than the...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is LTE needed? Depends on the carrier I guess.
Replies: 17
Views: 1388

Is LTE needed? Depends on the carrier I guess.

Recently, I decided to check what the difference is between T-Mobile LTE (4G) vs TMobile HSPDA+ (3G) on my Moto X using the app Speedtest. On 4G LTE, I get a download speed of 14 Mps and upload of 8 Mps. On HSPDA+, I get a download speed of 14 Mps and upload of 3 Mps. For T-mobile perhaps the gap be...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is LTE needed? Depends on the carrier I guess.
Replies: 17
Views: 1388

Re: Tablet for classroom use

Shouldn't the software drive which tablet you will use? Are there any particular program that you need?

Paul
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet for classroom use
Replies: 6
Views: 645

Re: Looking for cellphone suggestions

The Moto G are available at Target, but unfortunately it's the Boost Mobile edition, which is not usable on the AT&T network. You may need to purchase it from Motorola or Amazon directly. Sadly, I think Motorola isn't that good at marketing. I have yet to see a Motorola phone at a AT&T or Tm...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for cellphone suggestions
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Re: Receiving a monetary gift from overseas family member

I am assuming that you are a US citizen who is receiving funds from a grandmother overseas. I have looked into this for a relative a while back. You have to be careful. See http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Gifts-from-Foreign-Person 1. The general rule of thumb is that foreign individual do not pay gift...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving a monetary gift from overseas family member
Replies: 9
Views: 1081

Re: TOD/POD and estate planning

I contacted Schwab for clarification. This time they referred me to someone higher up with some experience but is still not with the estate department (I will call them tomorrow). The person at schwab indicated that the TOD form by itself isn't designed to handle complicated situations. The form wil...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TOD/POD and estate planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: car repair ordeal

Does your car have a GPS, it may be possible for track movement.

If you have an EZPass or a toll device, you can also look at when and where the toll was triggered.

Paul
by paulsiu
Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car repair ordeal
Replies: 21
Views: 2683

Re: TOD/POD and estate planning

Thank you everyone for the reply. * Yes, we have been approaching the issue of wills for years, but get the annoying response that talking about it is bad luck. She seems to listen more when there's an "expert" talking at a seminar for some reason. * We didn't push the issue since by defau...
by paulsiu
Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TOD/POD and estate planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: Looking for cellphone suggestions

OK, so your needs are rather basic. You can work your way up. At the lowest point, you can get something Nokia Lumia 520 running the Windows 8 system for about $100 - 120. The phone has only an ok screen at 800x400, 512 mb of memory, no front camera and limited storage, but the phone apparently work...
by paulsiu
Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for cellphone suggestions
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Re: Looking for cellphone suggestions

What base country are you from? US? What do you considered large? What's your battery life requirements? What's your storage requirements? Do you have a need for LTE? Do you need dual sim? What do you run on it? Do you just check email and call on the phone or do you run a lot of stuff in the backgr...
by paulsiu
Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for cellphone suggestions
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

TOD/POD and estate planning

My mom asked for some help with estate planning probably because she attended some seminar at her retirement community. Any way, I looked briefly into it and notice that probate tax in CA is rather severe, so some attempt should be made to avoid probate. She does not have a will and simply wanted he...
by paulsiu
Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TOD/POD and estate planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: Best Case for iPhone 4S

It depends on what you are looking for. For min protection, you can get what is term a bumper case that wraps around the phone. At the other extreme, there's the life proof case which supposedly protect against drops in water. Keep in mind that the iphone glass is fairly scratch proof and will withs...
by paulsiu
Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Case for iPhone 4S
Replies: 8
Views: 856
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