Search found 160 matches

by brianH
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Management and Safekeeping
Replies: 80
Views: 8903

Re: Password Management and Safekeeping

With Keepass, if you store your password DB file in the cloud, be sure to also use the key file option in addition to a master password. Never sync the key file using a cloud account. Without the key file, it would be virtually impossible to brute force your pw database, even if your master password...
by brianH
Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 139
Views: 16485

Re: Prenup

What harm is there in both parties attending a consultation with a divorce attorney well-versed in prenups? All of their individual or joint concerns can be addressed and discussed at length, and if it is deemed worthwhile, they can find separate representation and get a prenup drawn up. If nothing ...
by brianH
Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ad Blockers
Replies: 41
Views: 4655

Re: Ad Blockers

Another vote for uBlock on Chrome here. I moved away from ABP after the "whitelist" nonsense. I, as a software dev, don't have an issue with people making money off software, but writing software that removes the potential revenue stream from a website and then allowing certain ads based o...
by brianH
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete question
Replies: 23
Views: 2834

Re: non-compete question

The lawyer is a good, and necessary, step. While my legal understanding (met with lawyers about this topic but IANAL) of NCs is similar to yours, you can be sued by the 'damaged' company, even if they don't have a snowball's chance of collecting. Not only would you be forced to pay to defend yoursel...
by brianH
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio
Replies: 45
Views: 13448

Re: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio

34 y/o, still contributing: I used mostly target date funds until I started to amass a good amount of money in taxable and complexity in my accounts. I wanted the flexibility to keep tax efficient funds in the taxable, and vice-versa, without changing my overall allocation. I also hit the level wher...
by brianH
Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best online checking account
Replies: 59
Views: 11294

Re: Best online checking account

Another vote for Fidelity. I guess the best thing about it that hasn't been mentioned: nothing has changed (negatively) since I opened it many years ago. I use it as my primary, and changing certain auto-deducted bills (utilities) and work's direct deposit involves paper, yes, paper, forms and is a ...
by brianH
Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a job hopper?
Replies: 50
Views: 5910

Re: Am I a job hopper?

Job-hopping is an abusive term invented by HR managers to describe at-will employees who suddenly realized that loyalty only goes one way. Very well said. I don't have any doubt that an employer would let me go if the budget got tight, work dried up, or a million other things outside of my control....
by brianH
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.
Replies: 166
Views: 18016

Re: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.

To repeat other posters: do not commit through marriage or other joint property to this woman. I don't subscribe to the belief that love can conquer all. The amount of debt being considered is so substantial, it would delay or make retirement impossible at your current levels of income. Worse, it ma...
by brianH
Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 133975

Re: Boglehead Beer

Currently drinking a Troegs Mad Elf (PA - Dark Belgian Ale), which is my favorite Winter seasonal. It's not cheap -- at about $56 a case -- but considering it's double the potency of most regular beers (11%), that works out to the equivalent of a $28 case. My usual cheapies are PBR and Miller High L...
by brianH
Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Target Redcard?
Replies: 43
Views: 7184

Re: Experience with Target Redcard?

I use the credit card version. Reasons: 5% back, free shipping on any size order online, and has automatic payment of CC bill on the website. I'm not a huge TGT shopper, but I do buy some clothing there, and I can buy most of it online in the size I need with free shipping.
by brianH
Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity costs going up
Replies: 46
Views: 5379

Re: Electricity costs going up

When PA did this, it was a big whammy for me. The utility used to offer breakpoints for high electric use in the winter for homes heated with heat pumps (like mine.) This allowed the utility to avoid running gas lines, and it allowed the builders to avoid messing with oil - everyone was happy. As pa...
by brianH
Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Invest in Bowflex Max Trainer?
Replies: 25
Views: 12944

Re: Invest in Bowflex Max Trainer?

I second this. Machines are prone to breaking. A good bar, plates, and a power rack (or squat stands) make for a better purchase if you're serious about resistance training. 3rd'ing (4th'ing?) this. For $1000, you should be able to get a complete setup. My current equipment: Power rack ~$300 (700lb...
by brianH
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?
Replies: 143
Views: 17410

Re: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?

Not Costco, but Sams Club, as a single man, and I find it to be worth it. I don't eat many packaged/processed foods, but I can still find enough value that my membership pays for itself. Certain things that I buy regularly, like frozen/fresh veggies, eggs, dairy products, OTC medications, chicken, b...
by brianH
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Programming and Database Classes
Replies: 15
Views: 1494

Re: Programming and Database Classes

I think the academic side does have value to professional programmers. For example, someone might learn that the order of columns in an index matters for queries, but without understanding how indexes are built using b-trees and what a b-tree is, the 'why' is never truly understood. I freely admit t...
by brianH
Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: does frugality result in lower career ambition?
Replies: 113
Views: 12672

Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Probably, at least in my case. Of course, like others in the tech field, rejecting advancement (management roles) this isn't much of a penalty, and can actually be a positive. Tech may be one of the few fields where one can earn a very respectable income (low 6 figures) as a senior-level software de...
by brianH
Mon May 26, 2014 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-nup at only $1M networth, do I need it?
Replies: 199
Views: 16337

Re: Pre-nup at only $1M networth, do I need it?

I teach engineers about defective analogies. You don't have a relationship with an insurance company. Did you have a severance pay discussion at your hiring interview? Imagine my employer's shock if he was told that after I quit, he was required to continue paying me such that I maintain a lifestyl...
by brianH
Fri May 09, 2014 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I would like to make more money and move up
Replies: 11
Views: 2152

Re: I would like to make more money and move up

Neither of those degrees will give you a better understanding of how computers work or how the software programs you use work in any practical sense. I have a computer science degree and don't have a clue how computers work. I'm good at building software systems, though. I'm surprised your CS progr...
by brianH
Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: what's the deal with Tuna Fish?
Replies: 48
Views: 7641

Re: POLL: what's the deal with Tuna Fish?

I prefer canned salmon or sardines over tuna. At bit more fat (and way more Omega 3s) and tastier. I get the salmon with bones (tons of calcium) and skin...crunch, crunch.

You're right about the crap oil they usually use. Look for olive oil or just packed in water and add your own oil later.
by brianH
Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Accounts
Replies: 48
Views: 18897

Re: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Acco

Thanks for the tips on this; I didn't know they offered it. I wish they used the more standard TOTP protocol (m) used by Google, Lastpass, etc, but I guess I can understand why a large bank would go with a 'big-name security company' to provide their 2-FA. It would also be nice if you could backup t...
by brianH
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeePass vs LastPass
Replies: 105
Views: 17107

Re: KeePass vs LastPass

A couple tips for the one-time-passwords (Google Authenticator.) there's actually an open source, free OTP generator for Android (IOS coming soon) that is far more customizable than the Google Auth one: m In addition to the ability to reorder items, I sort of like not putting all my eggs in Google's...
by brianH
Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeePass vs LastPass
Replies: 105
Views: 17107

Re: KeePass vs LastPass

I'd let KeePass generate the keyfile for you. It will be a string of characters that is cryptographically random. If you are worried about losing it, print it out and store in a safe deposit box (never store it with the database file in Dropbox/Google Drive/etc.) I'm writing up a blog post about how...
by brianH
Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boxed Wines
Replies: 29
Views: 3796

Re: Boxed Wines

Serious talk about boxed wine is an April fool's day joke isn't it. Carlo Rossi is just nasty cheap junk undeserving of even being classified as wine. Barefoot isn't far behind either - another el cheapo plonk. Actually - most Californian wine (available via export) is junk IMHO closely followed by...
by brianH
Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boxed Wines
Replies: 29
Views: 3796

Re: Boxed Wines

I find the Bota cab (3L) and Carlo Rossi Founders Bland cab (5L) to be very drinkable. The Carlo Rossi is an especially good deal, because it is available in a 5L box. Both are around $18 in my neck of the woods. Certainly the Boglehead way to do it, of you drink a bit (too much.) Many other box-o-w...
by brianH
Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree stump removal
Replies: 25
Views: 2891

Re: Tree stump removal

Ash trees tend to have a shallow root system (along with things like pine and cherry), so I can't imagine a small, 5-year tree has crazy roots to dig out. Depending on your level of fitness, I'd probably give it a shot on digging it out. At a minimum, you'll need a big pickax and a sharp shovel. Som...
by brianH
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud storage advice?
Replies: 22
Views: 3020

Re: Cloud storage advice?

How secure are these services? Would you store a doc with your social security number in it? I know, never store a social security number in a document on any computer. However, it can happen inadvertently... Possibly low risk. Not ruling Cloud Storage out. Just curious. A better solution for encry...
by brianH
Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 1876
Views: 1157839

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Also, Vanguard appears to offer some kind of institutional shares or some kind of arrangement they can whip together for employer accounts. On occasion we seem them posted here @ ER 0.11% and 0.8%. For example: m This is true, and a point I forgot to mention. I actually left a chunk of money in an ...
by brianH
Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 1876
Views: 1157839

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

The only difference between the Target and Life Strategy funds and the Three Fund Portfolio is the both the Target and Life Strategy funds include the new Vanguard Total International Bond Index fund. Also, Three Fund Portfolio lets one use Admiral shares, therefore lower expenses (?) I do not unde...
by brianH
Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?
Replies: 54
Views: 5702

Re: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?

Thanks for the info BrianH. So even if I obtain a router with VPN software built in, I'd still need to use a service such as NameCheap or the free providers you mentioned, right? Correct, if you have a dynamically assigned IP address - which you probably do with home internet service. I should add ...
by brianH
Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?
Replies: 54
Views: 5702

Re: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?

My home PC uses a router. To install OpenVPN apparently requires a static IP. To get that static IP seems like a bit of a hassle based on the instructions from this page: m. Well, there's an important *or* in the requirement there: you can also setup a VPN server using a domain name. The problem th...
by brianH
Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Increase
Replies: 185
Views: 13940

Re: Amazon Prime Increase

I recently ordered a screwdriver. It was an "add on item". Is the "add on item" a way around Prime? In other words, you can't get the screwdriver alone - without paying shipping. If lots of items on Amazon are made "add on items", doesn't that help Amazon and hurt me? ...
by brianH
Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club
Replies: 53
Views: 21519

Re: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club

Also wanted to put out there a nice service that Sam's Club offers called 'Click and Pull', where you can navigate their website, select the items you want, and submit an 'order.' By the next day, they'll have the items pre-carted up for you (they store cold items in a cart in the fridge.) All you h...
by brianH
Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backblaze (cloud backup)
Replies: 11
Views: 1085

Re: Backblaze (cloud backup)

Does it maintain all revisions as Crashplan does? However, I have my own little ritual (from decades ago, before such things were automated in any way) of frequently doing "Save AS" (in addition to the automated or specified frequent "Save"), that includes the date, e.g., FileNa...
by brianH
Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club
Replies: 53
Views: 21519

Re: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club

They are all very similar, so I'd likely base the decision on distance. If the nearest X is 30 miles away, you might not be able to make it a frequent grocery stop, which is where I've found the value to really shine. I prefer Sams, due to its distance to me (1 mile away), and I've done extensive co...
by brianH
Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy polo shirts?
Replies: 63
Views: 14926

Re: Where to buy polo shirts?

http://www.target.com/c/polos-shirts-men-s-clothing/-/N-55cxg#?lnk=lnav_shop%20categories_5 I very much like the Mossimo Supply Athletic Fit shirts. Hard to go wrong for $6 - $20 a shirt. Make mine a 3rd vote for Target. The Merona 100% cotton Ultimate Polo is a great deal. I also like the way it f...
by brianH
Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull-ups and Push-ups
Replies: 395
Views: 88629

Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Glad this thread got bumped; I missed it the first time. I've been doing BW exercises for years (33 years old) and have packed on quite a bit of muscle doing so. I do add some weight via a weight belt and dumbells, so I guess one could more accurately call what I do "low-cost" training. I ...
by brianH
Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your favorite browser extensions?
Replies: 35
Views: 2380

Re: What are your favorite browser extensions?

I will add that an ad blocker is a necessary extension for security as well. Many exploits of even "trusted" sites come from malicious content served from, you guessed it, advertising servers. If the site isn't hosting it's own ads, the ad company (or a hacker that broke into the ad compan...
by brianH
Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Chair: Inexpensive Herman Miller Aeron Alternative
Replies: 17
Views: 15553

Re: Office Chair: Inexpensive Herman Miller Aeron Alternativ

I prefer the Aerons as well. I must have injured my coccyx at some point, because now sitting on a hard surface for more than an hour really hurts. The Aeron, with its flexible mesh seat, is the only chair that I can tolerate for long sessions. I got it used on Ebay for about $450 shipped, and actua...
by brianH
Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Now expired: a great investment in . . . postage stamps?
Replies: 22
Views: 2444

Re: Today only: a great investment in . . . postage stamps?

Never thought to check, but it appears that "Forever" stamps generally sell for close to face value on Ebay. There's currently listings for a 500 and a 2000 stamp pack selling for pennies away from the current $230 and $920 value, respectively. The 2000 stamp pack is actually from 2008 (wh...
by brianH
Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investors beware... account security IS important!
Replies: 89
Views: 12314

Re: Investors beware... account security IS important!

In the back of my head, I had a nagging worry that the 26-character password I use to lock my KeePass database could be cracked. Since I sync it using Dropbox, maybe someone could get a copy of it and brute force the password, then have every password to all of my accounts. That is, until I checked...
by brianH
Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal suit purchase options--need, but don't want
Replies: 52
Views: 6940

Re: Frugal suit purchase options--need, but don't want

Just went through this myself as an IT person looking for a new job. Wore the suit once before getting the job and was overdressed, but I digress. I bought a decent Tommy Hilfiger worsted wool one from Macy's for $200 out the door after a bunch of discounts. As others have mentioned, fit is key. I t...
by brianH
Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce question for the Bogleheads
Replies: 101
Views: 5896

Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

You absolutely should get a pre-nup. Just going through the process of negotiating the terms was helpful for me as I saw a side of my fiancee that I did not like and I decided not to marry her. This is a good enough reason to spend the money even at a low current savings level. You may learn some v...
by brianH
Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 48384

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

provide something along the lines of a YubiKey As a software developer who has played around with one, I really like the Yubikey. It's pretty easy to implement (use their webservice or roll your own), and from a user's perspective, it's simple to plug in (USB) and push the button. My current softwa...
by brianH
Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adblock Plus; Chrome & Firefox
Replies: 8
Views: 1434

Re: Adblock Plus; Chrome & Firefox

Both good browsers. But Firefox is extension friendly. I haven't looked into the internal of Chrome in a while, but it used to be the case that extensions are done very differently in FF/Chrome. FF extensions allow you to manipulate what the browser is doing at a very low level. That is, you can do...
by brianH
Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 48384

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

Some sites, including Vanguard, provide a security "image" to assure you you're not at a bogus site. I assume this is to protect against phishing but I always wonder if this offers any real value or whether a true hacker, infiltrator, etc couldn't just offer up your security image picture...
by brianH
Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for low cost "natural" peanut butter
Replies: 37
Views: 3554

Re: Looking for low cost "natural" peanut butter

To an extent. The lipid and micronutrient profile of peanuts is not as good as actual nuts(ie. almonds, walnuts), peanuts are a legume. If the choice is nothing but conventional pb, I'd definitely limit intake. To that point, almond butter is a better choice. More magnesium, calcium, and a better f...
by brianH
Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?
Replies: 52
Views: 5510

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

MSFT is far more than just their home computer operating system, which Windows 8 falls into. Some counterpoints off the top of my head: -Many businesses will be forced to move off Windows XP to Windows 7 in the coming year as XP support expires. $$$ in MS's pocket -Windows Server 2008 and 2013 OS ar...
by brianH
Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 8: Are you upgrading?
Replies: 67
Views: 5807

Re: Windows 8: Are you upgrading?

Every preview review I've read on Windows 8 says Metro can be turned off to resemble Windows XP/7. It can't so much be turned off as you can just jump past Metro (new Start screen) directly to the more traditional desktop. The Windows key + D will jump you into the desktop. What bothers me, however...
by brianH
Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Heated Mattress Pad
Replies: 9
Views: 2000

Re: Recommendations for Heated Mattress Pad

I put my electric blanket under the bed sheet when I make the bed. With a thick, flannel bed sheet, the coils in the blanket are almost unnoticeable. You could do 2 twins on a queen/king to get dual zones. Personally, I just use a single twin on my king bed, as I'm (usually :twisted: ) the only one in there.
by brianH
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Energy deregulation - Looking for new electricity supplier
Replies: 50
Views: 3550

Re: Energy deregulation - Looking for new electricity suppli

Did you mean 2500 kwhr per month? I live in a lot milder climate than Pennsylvania (London England) but in a solid brick wall row house (Victorian) I burn 30,000 kwhr on gas a year. So 2500 kwhr pa would be very little energy-- you'd have an amazingly well insulated home. Consider getting an air so...
by brianH
Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 8: Are you upgrading?
Replies: 67
Views: 5807

Re: Windows 8: Are you upgrading?

No. Strike that, heck no. I don't like the direction Microsoft is trying to move with locking down applications (in Metro) to only those sold through their store. In addition to functional limitations, if you write software, MS wants a 30% cut of your money just for being there. As someone who progr...