Search found 219 matches

by michaelingp
Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats
Replies: 130
Views: 30101

Re: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats

My experience is very old, but maybe instructive. I bought a 2001 Honda Accord. Almost immediately my back was killing me after even short commutes (1/2 hour). I solved the problem by giving the car to my son, who kept it for a number of years. Then he gave it back to me. Here's the odd part, the ca...
by michaelingp
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are most insurance products to protect against catastrophe but vision & dental insurance are for ordinary use?
Replies: 42
Views: 3212

Re: Why are most insurance products to protect against catastrophe but vision & dental insurance are for ordinary use?

My guess is that people sign up for dental insurance when they expect a lot of expensive procedures (implants in my case), but then they go for years and years without teeth problems, but keep paying the premiums out of habit or from the memory that it was a good deal at first. At the level that my ...
by michaelingp
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitizing Old Family Photos
Replies: 32
Views: 2244

Re: Digitizing Old Family Photos

I digitized something like 2,000 slides for my mother. I used Scan Cafe which used to do the work in India, but has since moved their operation to the U.S. I was more than satisfied with the results and the cost was relatively very low. They also have an optional service to restore pictures that hav...
by michaelingp
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple TV vs Competitors
Replies: 31
Views: 2488

Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Again, to address the Apple ecosystem. The Apple TV can be a hub for Apple Homekit if you're into home automation, smart switches and the like.
by michaelingp
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is LastPass still top in security, any reason to switch?
Replies: 44
Views: 4432

Re: Is LastPass still top in security, any reason to switch?

I don't like to use free software for security. The business model sees dicey to me. I pay for a password manager. It was $75 for 5 years, not worth worrying about.
by michaelingp
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tech guys need help with Mesh wifi booster...
Replies: 48
Views: 2280

Re: Tech guys need help with Mesh wifi booster...

If you can make do with only 1 satellite, I just bought a Netgear Orbi ac1200 2 piece system for around $100. Pay attention to the ACxxxx numbers. My old router was AC1200 which I thought was good enough since I thought my internet connection was only 60 Mbs. My new ORBI is AC3000 and the differenc...
by michaelingp
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity vs Vanguard
Replies: 54
Views: 7445

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

I’ve never understood the debate about the websites. Agree. I have equal amounts at Fidelity and Vanguard, use the web sites fairly frequently, and they both work fine for what I have to do. I'm not saying that others have not found one or the other more intuitive or better in one way or another, j...
by michaelingp
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3339

Re: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

I agree with others that you just learned not to take your car to that dealership. When I use a dealership, and they try to upsell me service beyond what the manual recommends, I ask, "Is this a safety issue?" For some reason they will not lie to this question, and if the answer is "no" (which it al...
by michaelingp
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weddings - The good? The bad?
Replies: 47
Views: 4301

Re: Weddings - The good? The bad?

When my son was married, the venue rule was that if you have more than 80 guests, you had to have a professional wedding planner. They didn't so they didn't and it worked out fine. But I think the venue's rule was sound. A great professional wedding planner (not one of your friends who goes to a lot...
by michaelingp
Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High income earner waiting for a bear market to start investing
Replies: 119
Views: 12115

Re: High income earner waiting for a bear market to start investing

Why on earth is someone who makes $850K a year depending on an internet forum for investment advice? You have complex investment and tax-avoidance opportunities that require professional expertise. If you're making that kind of money, I would think you have very little extra time to worry about inve...
by michaelingp
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Verizon Travel Pass with Iphone 6s
Replies: 11
Views: 860

Re: Question about Verizon Travel Pass with Iphone 6s

When we used it (in Canada), we got informative text messages saying exactly what was happening and what you are being charged. That is a nice touch so you're not surprised by large bills after the fact.
by michaelingp
Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a Pre-Owned iPhone
Replies: 23
Views: 1609

Re: Purchasing a Pre-Owned iPhone

I'm happy with the used SE I bought on eBay. But, like all things on eBay, read every word of the description, the return policy, the seller's ratings (and how many there are). eBay is very buyer friendly, which takes some of the risk out of it.
by michaelingp
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery
Replies: 118
Views: 6383

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

BTW, I was an auto battery engineer in a former life. Maybe you can answer a question I have. In the "old" days, testing a car battery involved putting a load on it similar to starting the car, i.e. 100's of amps. This involved a pretty big testing device, and a lot of heat and a bit of smoke. The ...
by michaelingp
Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10056

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

... and the insanity (IMHO) about "apple fans" that will shell out $1000+ every time a new iPhone comes out every year that have the exact same functionality as the iPhone they intend to replace. Straw man. From the responses here, it doesn't seem many Bogleheads are waiting in line to spend $1000+...
by michaelingp
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Document Storage: what format? (paper, fiche, scan,..?)
Replies: 43
Views: 3801

Re: Document Storage: what format? (paper, fiche, scan,..?)

I'd actually just use a good phone or ipad camera to scan routine documents, since it will be faster and simpler--scanners take forever, and it's a pain to get them lined up and the resulting file not upside down. While I actually like the idea of using a phone as an occasional scanner, it's not up...
by michaelingp
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Returned first iPhone; are they all like this?
Replies: 27
Views: 3368

Re: Returned first iPhone; are they all like this?

Plus, the thing seemed heavy and the screen a bit rough. The icons were huge maybe because I told setup I was 70. I sent it back but still wonder if these are typical iPhone characteristics. Am I just too used to Android? Should I try a different model? I would not recommend a different model. To b...
by michaelingp
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacing Smoke Detectors (not just batteries)
Replies: 30
Views: 1971

Re: replacing Smoke Detectors (not just batteries)

At the current cost of SD's (even wired, like my/yours are), why screw around with it? Replace them all and be done with it. I suspect you haven't priced smoke detectors lately. My Nest smoke/CO detector was $119. Last time I was at Home Depot, many of the other brands were pushing that price. Many...
by michaelingp
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recourse for "Stolen" Money
Replies: 93
Views: 8026

Re: Recourse for "Stolen" Money

On a somewhat related topic: As a seller of a high dollar item like a car, how safe are cashier's checks and money orders? I once had to decline a buyer offering to buy my car because he did not have cash and only had a cashier's check, he had traveled 3 hours by train to meet me. But I was too ner...
by michaelingp
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After temporarily unfreezing your credit report, how fast did you apply for a card......
Replies: 14
Views: 1533

Re: After temporarily unfreezing your credit report, how fast did you apply for a card......

I don’t bother unfreezing before applying for a credit card. I make the application and wait for them to tell me which report needs to be thawed. I’ve even had the experience of the credit card rep getting the credit report agency on the phone to get the process going. Similar experience. Applied f...
by michaelingp
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failure mode for a gel-cell rechargeable battery?
Replies: 6
Views: 460

Re: Failure mode for a gel-cell rechargeable battery?

A good lead acid gel battery at room temperature should self-discharge less than 2% a month (according to Mr. Google and my experience). So, unless you have a charger specifically designed to be connected constantly, I would only put it on the charger, say, once a year.
by michaelingp
Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stump Grinder - Ridiculous Side Hustle??
Replies: 51
Views: 7496

Re: Stump Grinder - Ridiculous Side Hustle??

I think that most people expect the stump grinding to be part of the deal when removing a tree, although not necessarily by the same company. The last tree we had removed, the tree company recommended a guy to grind the stump and that's who we used. It was a really big tree company, so I don't agree...
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Ladder using Goggenheim Bullet Shares
Replies: 19
Views: 3017

Re: Bond Ladder using Goggenheim Bullet Shares

Vanguard has a nice ~2013 research paper on defined-maturity bond funds: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/ICRDMB.pdf I wish I had read this before I invested! After several years of investing in Bullet Shares and pulling my hair out trying to understand all the nuances of this type of investment I...
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iCloud Full - Photos
Replies: 23
Views: 1776

Re: iCloud Full - Photos

It looks like video storage is limited to 5GB.
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6641

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

I just don't like that most machines nowadays don't have drives to play DVDs/CDs anymore. An external USB drive is only $25 or so. Obviously not as convenient as built-in, but for those of us who very rarely use optical disc, it works fine. Most people seem to be more interested in thinner and ligh...
by michaelingp
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?
Replies: 145
Views: 9415

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

I have to admit to being very arbitrary about this. If I really like the place (usually a non-chain restaurant) I'll even put a buck in the tip jar for carry out where they obviously don't deliver your food or bus your table. If there's an employee who buses the tables, I try to leave a buck for the...
by michaelingp
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist
Replies: 122
Views: 8274

Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

What if the person in charge of finances is incapacitated for some time? If the SO is unaware of and uninvolved in the finances completely, how are they going to pay the bills? One person can be in charge of doing it all, but hopefully the other has logins and/or knowledge of accounts so that they ...
by michaelingp
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all iPhone SE Bogleheads
Replies: 61
Views: 4884

Re: Calling all iPhone SE Bogleheads

I bought my SE with 64GB memory for $154 on eBay. Works perfectly, and that was as much I wanted to spend on a phone. I had a 5S but with 16GB memory it was impossible.
by michaelingp
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best drywall Anchors for hanging curtains
Replies: 30
Views: 2062

Re: Best drywall Anchors for hanging curtains

You hung a 65" tv w/o a single fastener in a stud? All drywall anchors? Wow Edit to add: Why? While I would never do it myself, and every manufacturer of TV wall mounts says don't do it, a 65" TV only weighs 52 pounds (Samsung anyway). The spec for that anchor says "up to 80 pounds", so if you used...
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11321

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

The tipping culture is going so crazy that now I see tip by default in ice cream places and coffee shops. 10-15% is prechecked, I have to move it back to 0. For pouring a drip coffee. Isn't that already paid for when I pay 3-4$ for the coffee or 7-8$ for the ice cream? I don't think this is the tip...
by michaelingp
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco washer/dryer delivery: tipping?
Replies: 54
Views: 4247

Re: Costco washer/dryer delivery: tipping?

What about the guys at Home Depot who load the bags of mulch into your car? I had a big fight with my wife because she wanted to tip them, and I maintained that Home Depot would forbid them from taking tips. Guess who won? They took the tips! As far as appliance delivery, a decade ago or so, I got a...
by michaelingp
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When do you start gifting the max to your family members? When is enough NW totally enough?
Replies: 80
Views: 9704

Re: When do you start gifting the max to your family members? When is enough NW totally enough?

I would think after observing your children for the first 18 to 22 years of their life one would have been able to determine a great deal of what to expect from them going forward. Sure, sometimes they might fall off the rails, but I don't think there will be radical changes in their character and ...
by michaelingp
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11321

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

My wife tips 3 dollars at Panera where you order at the counter and then take your own order to the table and clean up after yourself. I think a little less on a 15 to 25 dollar meal is appropriate. Just curious, where does she leave the tip? I don't think our Panera's have tip jars, and you can't ...
by michaelingp
Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IPhone 6 - showing some age
Replies: 98
Views: 9869

Re: IPhone 6 - showing some age

I would trust the diagnostics. If they say the battery is fine, changing it isn’t going to improve things. I agree. My wife had a 6S, and was always complaining about battery life. She took advantage of Apple's $29 battery replacement, even though the phone said the battery was fine. I'm pretty sur...
by michaelingp
Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11321

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

What about fast casual where you order at the counter, and maybe they bring the food to your table? In the past, I never left a tip, even if you weren't expected to bus your own table. Then, one time, I saw that somebody had left a buck. I talked to the bus person. I said, "Do people leave tips?" He...
by michaelingp
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage
Replies: 12
Views: 1012

Re: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage

FreemanB wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:50 pm
I think your math is a little off here. At 100Mb/s, 500GB should only take 11.3 hours.
Ooops! You are correct.
by michaelingp
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waze gives wrong directions;now gmaps too; any others I can use?
Replies: 33
Views: 3428

Re: Waze gives wrong directions;now gmaps too; any others I can use?

My worst experience was when Google maps put us on a snowmobile trail, and I was driving our motorhome. The weird thing is I was so trusting I bumped along for about a mile before it dawned on me why all the signs seemed to be intended for snowmobiles. When we are at home, I almost always go into st...
by michaelingp
Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage
Replies: 12
Views: 1012

Re: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage

The above is true if I were using Duplicati in isolation. But I'm using it strictly to encrypt, package, and upload the Macrium images to cloud store. So Macrium would still be used to image and restore the computer. Duplicati would strictly be used to restore the files needed by Macrium. How much ...
by michaelingp
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage
Replies: 12
Views: 1012

Re: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage

Doesn't seem like Duplicati would meet your requirement: "Failure that results in OS no-boot precipitating the need for cloud storage restore." From the Duplicati manual: "If you want to be able to restore a complete volume or hard disk, including the boot sector and operating system, you need a har...
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US tax court and "notice of deficiency"
Replies: 13
Views: 1799

Re: US tax court and "notice of deficiency"

If you are going to pay someone to help you, I suggest you get a lawyer who specializes in IRS tax issues. I've done this in the past, and they were so worth it (and the cost was reasonable). In my case, the amount in question was MUCH larger, but they also did small tasks for me at reasonable rates...
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new laptop - Windows S Mode??
Replies: 21
Views: 1612

Re: new laptop - Windows S Mode??

It's like Microsoft has given up open systems and is going proprietary. I don't recall that Microsoft has ever been keen on open systems (depending on how you define that). But I do know they have long coveted Apple's ability to control (and extract a fee) from all apps allowed on their IOS platfor...
by michaelingp
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Home" Cell Phone
Replies: 40
Views: 3549

Re: "Home" Cell Phone

What is our best option - prepaid? Note that they are 10 and 9 so we can't have anything too complicated - messaging apps, etc. Are you sure? 9 and 10 sounds to me pretty old when it comes to smart phones. I've known 5 year olds who can take a picture and post it to Facebook. Sending an IM or calli...
by michaelingp
Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking WiFi solution
Replies: 35
Views: 2764

Re: Seeking WiFi solution

Does your ISP have tech support? I would ask them for a solution if you haven't already. If it's Comcast, they sell (not rent) a mesh solution.
by michaelingp
Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laser or inkjet
Replies: 58
Views: 3481

Re: Laser or inkjet

Thanks for the tips. I think I will go with color laser because I occasionally need color. Costco printer is a good deal. We got rid of our color laser years ago. Unless the business model has changed, a set of new cartridges costs less than a new printer with full cartridges. So, you either waste ...
by michaelingp
Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Block Facebook "Sponsored" Ads?
Replies: 11
Views: 1051

Re: Block Facebook "Sponsored" Ads?

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of a plugin called FB Purity. It's got a pretty flexible set of tools for what to block or allow. I think FB sponsored items are on the list. I use FB purity as well, and it works great. When I look at FB on my phone (no FB Purity, or at least I don't have it) I can...
by michaelingp
Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laser or inkjet
Replies: 58
Views: 3481

Re: Laser or inkjet

Has anyone compared cost to operate for a laser printer vs. an ink jet? I worry about the replacement cartridges. My HP B&W laser costs less than 3 cents a page (not counting paper). I use genuine HP toner cartridges. My inkjet is around 15 cents a page (HP cartridges as well), but I am religious a...
by michaelingp
Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The cost to talk to a doctor
Replies: 151
Views: 9872

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed. I'm looking forward to this. I am not, given that overseas customer service p...
by michaelingp
Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here on Verizon Prepaid? Deprioritization?
Replies: 23
Views: 1974

Re: Anyone here on Verizon Prepaid? Deprioritization?

My wife and I are on Verizon prepaid and love it. She's been on it for years, me less than a year. We've always had great coverage, both calls and data. $64.20 a month for both phones, 3GB data each (which we never use up except on travel). By the way, contrary to what I've read on the web, we can (...
by michaelingp
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently
Replies: 120
Views: 13318

Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

This thread is starting to remind me of Yogi Berra's comment, "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Apparently a LOT of people still think Amazon is the value leader. I check prices pretty closely, and I find Amazon is still a great value, particularly factoring in my time and hassle. One t...
by michaelingp
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 39
Views: 2999

Re: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?

Verizon requires a Verizon specific modem for their services. You can rent it or buy it (don't know about buying it used). I'm not sure this is true if you only have Internet. Verizon has some equipment outside our house, and they have updated it once when we got higher bandwidth. I'm not sure if i...
by michaelingp
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which stud finder?
Replies: 52
Views: 3257

Re: which stud finder?

Will the Franklin detect studs through tile?