Search found 1884 matches

by Caduceus
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Re: Scanning photos yourself

For whatever reason, I have found scanning at the max optical resolution to make a great difference to my black-and-whites but not my color photos. If anyone knows the reason I'd be happy to know why. Post processing color enhancement will help some with those color photos. Where the higher resolut...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Re: Scanning photos yourself

For whatever reason, I have found scanning at the max optical resolution to make a great difference to my black-and-whites but not my color photos. If anyone knows the reason I'd be happy to know why. Post processing color enhancement will help some with those color photos. Where the higher resolut...
by Caduceus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?
Replies: 26
Views: 1956

Re: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?

Yes, exactly. I had considered getting a newer Thinkpad, but the Thinkpads they had on display (I tested four different ones) all had terrible keyboards. The keys don't travel as far, don't have good tactile resistance; it's like sliding over water. Interesting that you are considering a W530. That...
by Caduceus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?
Replies: 26
Views: 1956

Re: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?

Yes, exactly. I had considered getting a newer Thinkpad, but the Thinkpads they had on display (I tested four different ones) all had terrible keyboards. The keys don't travel as far, don't have good tactile resistance; it's like sliding over water. And because the only Lenovo with a centered 15 in...
by Caduceus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Re: Scanning photos yourself

One other thing I've discovered. Lots of websites say that a scan at the scanner's true optical resolution (in my case, 4800 dpi) just makes a large file without adding detail. They suggest to scan at 600dpi max. I've found this to be only partially true through trial and experimentation. At 4800 dp...
by Caduceus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Re: Scanning photos yourself

How do you achieve almost complete darkness? Just in case I ever return to using my old Epson V700. I do most of my scanning at night, with the curtains drawn, and once I hit the scan button, I use a thick cardboard to block out the light that comes from my computer screen. There is some ambient li...
by Caduceus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?
Replies: 26
Views: 1956

Re: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?

Why don't you just get a new ThinkPad that is probably better in every objective way ? Well I wouldn't go that far... In the older Thinkpads, the keyboards were much better in terms of ergonomics. But that design is no longer practical due to the push for thinner laptops. Yes, exactly. I had consid...
by Caduceus
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Re: Scanning photos yourself

So I finally took the plunge and bought a high-end Epson scanner and the results are really good... What model did you buy? What made that model attractive versus others that cost more or less? I recently went on a tour of a (Mormon) Family Research Center and saw that they had scanners available f...
by Caduceus
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Re: Scanning photos yourself

How do you achieve almost complete darkness? Just in case I ever return to using my old Epson V700. I do most of my scanning at night, with the curtains drawn, and once I hit the scan button, I use a thick cardboard to block out the light that comes from my computer screen. There is some ambient li...
by Caduceus
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to custom build a laptop?
Replies: 26
Views: 1956

Is it possible to custom build a laptop?

Is there any point in custom-building a laptop or would it be prohibitively expensive? Has anyone tried it? I have a Thinkpad that I love and it is pretty much the only keyboard and screen that I can tolerate for hours and hours on end. But it is nearing the end of its life. Instead of buying a used...
by Caduceus
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paying back loan to 401(k): Let it happen from payroll deductions or use a HELOC to pay it back now?
Replies: 39
Views: 2097

Re: Paying back loan to 401(k): Let it happen from payroll deductions or use a HELOC to pay it back now?

You should pay back the 401k loan if your expected return from the investments inside the 401k is more than the tax-adjusted rate on your HELOC. That sounds great, but are you aware of the variability of the market over 1-5 years? How can you expect to base a decision off of that? Last year the TSM...
by Caduceus
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1742

Scanning photos yourself

So I finally took the plunge and bought a high-end Epson scanner and the results are really good. I compared my scans to the ones made by a professional lab and mine are better, which makes me realize that the main limitation on getting a good scan is basically time. Here are some reasons why you mi...
by Caduceus
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What flagship (even used) item is better than a budget new item?
Replies: 131
Views: 7721

Re: What flagship (even used) item is better than a budget new item?

I like good toilet paper rather than the thin, cheap kind. And good toilet paper is significantly more expensive. But other than that, it is quite hard to think about when buying more expensive is better.
by Caduceus
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paying back loan to 401(k): Let it happen from payroll deductions or use a HELOC to pay it back now?
Replies: 39
Views: 2097

Re: Paying back loan to 401(k): Let it happen from payroll deductions or use a HELOC to pay it back now?

You should pay back the 401k loan if your expected return from the investments inside the 401k is more than the tax-adjusted rate on your HELOC.
by Caduceus
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the rationale for cash in your portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 2598

Re: What is the rationale for cash in your portfolio?

It's fairly rational, because cash is essentially a put option on the market, so it has an imputed premium value that can exceed the return you get from investing it in things like treasuries or fixed deposits. Whether and how much you hold cash depends on the value of this cash put. When markets ar...
by Caduceus
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Roth 401k right for me?
Replies: 28
Views: 2148

Re: Is a Roth 401k right for me?

I'd do a Roth 401k in your situation, unless you might be taking some time off for further study (like an MPA) or things like that, because if so, you could convert the traditional money to a Roth at a low tax rate during those study years. I've found while running the tax simulations that most peop...
by Caduceus
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are we downsizing too much?
Replies: 63
Views: 4700

Re: Are we downsizing too much?

Stuff tends to expand to fill up the space that you occupy. I think it would be hard to downsize too much. People who live in far smaller spaces can entertain their friends and grandkids just fine. My personal preference is small but luxurious, and with high ceilings. I have very anal OCD cleaning s...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?
Replies: 46
Views: 4274

Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

It's probably just some kind of bug. If you contact Amazon customer service, I am sure they will take care of it. Amazon has hands down the best customer service of any retail operation I've come across.
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Being given charity that I don't need
Replies: 45
Views: 3544

Being given charity that I don't need

I have gone to this small hole-in-the-wall place for many take-out meals over the last two years. Maybe it's because of the way I dress (I always wear the same shirt - I have many different shirts but all in the same design so perhaps it looks like I don't have money for new clothes) or perhaps beca...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?
Replies: 90
Views: 8578

Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

It sounds like a fairly natural stage for you if you've just become financially aware/interested in 2018. I remember going through a few years where I spent a great deal of time reading financial forums like the Bogleheads, doing budgets, streamlining bank/investment accounts, and basically studying...
by Caduceus
Mon May 27, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using blacklight for cleaning
Replies: 13
Views: 1412

Using blacklight for cleaning

I saw a Youtube video where people used a blacklight to uncover stains in the home and was wondering if anyone uses this to identify dirty areas in the home to clean? Is it effective? I was thinking it could be especially useful in the bathroom and bedroom to identify problem areas to really deep cl...
by Caduceus
Sun May 26, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: just starting
Replies: 13
Views: 725

Re: just starting

I think what will have the biggest long-term impact to your financial freedom is maxing out your tax-protected space. So, once you have 6-8 months of savings in cash or cash-equivalents (very short term bond funds or fixed deposits), I would prioritize shoving as many dollars as possible into the 40...
by Caduceus
Sun May 26, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Frugal Thing You Do
Replies: 586
Views: 138632

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

The main money-saving idea I have is to treat every non-consumable purchase like a permanent addition to my life and evaluate the quality and cost from there. I tend to research a lot before I buy something and I pay more for quality but I don't buy stuff again for very long periods of time. This is...
by Caduceus
Sun May 26, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Frugal Thing You Do
Replies: 586
Views: 138632

Re: Money saving ideas?

OP, 1) IMHO, the biggest one is "Do not be House Poor". It overrules everything else. And, it affects everything else. A) It is the biggest expense for almost everyone. If a person overspends on this, it won't matter he/she saves money on anything else. The person still could not save money. B) The...
by Caduceus
Sun May 26, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you on Facebook?
Replies: 179
Views: 16698

Re: Are you on Facebook?

I like it when people use it as a way to exchange ideas. I remember when Australia was having a same-sex marriage plebiscite, there were lots of political conversations, and I thought those were meaningful and made an impact. Other times, it is mostly just people humble-bragging. Maybe it's because ...
by Caduceus
Sat May 25, 2019 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 88
Views: 17670

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

It is a little hard to figure it out because of big one time expenses. I spend about $300 a month on food, $50 a month on insurance, $5 a month on my cell phone plan and about $100 a month on completely non-essential items. I am currently living with my partner and he refuses to let me pay any rent...
by Caduceus
Fri May 24, 2019 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping old negatives from photos (why keep them?)
Replies: 26
Views: 2154

Re: Keeping old negatives from photos (why keep them?)

Yes, you should keep them if you would like better scans. Film negatives are the original source of the photograph, and you can scan them at very high dpi in order to produce a good image, even when you are printing large sizes. You can scan a negative at 1200 dpi and it will capture lots of detail,...
by Caduceus
Fri May 24, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 88
Views: 17670

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

It is a little hard to figure it out because of big one time expenses. I spend about $300 a month on food, $50 a month on insurance, $5 a month on my cell phone plan and about $100 a month on completely non-essential items. I am currently living with my partner and he refuses to let me pay any rent ...
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Epson Perfection v750, v800 or v850 Scanner?
Replies: 8
Views: 476

Re: Epson Perfection v750, v800 or v850 Scanner?

What size are the majority of photos and how many are to be scanned? This really varies, because I have some really old photos passed down to me over the years that are over 70 years old that are odd sizes, and then I have the more recent ones (many color photos are now faded, which is why I'd like...
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Epson Perfection v750, v800 or v850 Scanner?
Replies: 8
Views: 476

Epson Perfection v750, v800 or v850 Scanner?

I am thinking of scanning the remainder of my genealogical collection of photos. Does anyone who own any of the above scanners have any recommendations about which to get? The v850 is expensive at $1,000, and I can get the v750 (used) at about $500. I am concerned about potential scratches to the gl...
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive way to gain weight
Replies: 54
Views: 2324

Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

My BMI is under 16. Thanks for the recommendations. I will try almond butter. I am not sure that eating vegetables will help me gain anything (although I will try to eat more). Are there any protein shake brands that don't taste horrendous that are also very inexpensive? Wouldn't just soy milk powde...
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financial Movies and Shows
Replies: 64
Views: 5794

Re: Financial Movies and Shows

Definitely add Becoming Warren Buffett.
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive way to gain weight
Replies: 54
Views: 2324

Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain so...
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive way to gain weight
Replies: 54
Views: 2324

Inexpensive way to gain weight

I'd like to bulk up but am having trouble gaining meaningful amounts of weight. Are there any foods that would be an inexpensive and healthy way to gain weight? I've tried eating lots of chocolate and ice-cream. But I ate one chocolate bar every day for two weeks and didn't gain much. Everything jus...
by Caduceus
Wed May 22, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else looking forward to Game of Thrones?
Replies: 90
Views: 8633

Re: Anyone else looking forward to Game of Thrones?

I think most of the flaws were errors of pacing and not of consistency. The last season felt like it was moving at warp speed, and not in a good way. I think it's believable that Dany became tyrannical - it's been there all along. She used her dragon to burn alive that hot dude (not sure what his na...
by Caduceus
Sun May 19, 2019 2:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?
Replies: 24
Views: 3243

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

For those who advocate not wearing deodorant, I truly hope I never work with you. I’m very aware of what people smell like when they don’t and you may not think you smell, some people might not think you smell, but I will smell you being somewhat more sensitive then many other people. Even with und...
by Caduceus
Fri May 17, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $ Decisions: environmental, save the planet, organic, etc
Replies: 32
Views: 1733

Re: $ Decisions: environmental, save the planet, organic, etc

A few principles I'm trying to apply to my life: Buy less and buy used. I try very hard these days to only buy things which are practical (it is hard for me because I love art) and that I know I will use. Instead of asking if you should get A or B, maybe ask if you should get neither. Same thing for...
by Caduceus
Thu May 16, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3851
Views: 709339

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I made a lot of money in the last 12 months from credit cards, but I am still deciding whether to try it again. I took out a 0% balance transfer + 0% fee offer (direct deposit to bank account) of about $20,000 and invested in a stock I researched. It went up 33.2% and I sold the position and repaid ...
by Caduceus
Thu May 16, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 846
Views: 85475

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I added several dresses to online department store shopping cart a couple of days ago. I did not check out. I want to wait to see if the desire will go away. It did. I emptied the dresses from the cart today. Let it FIRE. I have a version of this. Every time I want to buy something, I take a screen...
by Caduceus
Thu May 16, 2019 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long will a shirt last?
Replies: 34
Views: 2598

Re: How long will a shirt last?

I think will buy 100 of them, and then buy another 20 in a larger size in case I gain some weight. Now that I think about it, I should probably buy enough to last at least 25 years. Wow. That's some dedication! I was going to remark that I can't imagine getting that excited over a piece of clothing...
by Caduceus
Wed May 15, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mechanics of paying taxes on a Roth Conversion
Replies: 26
Views: 1894

Re: mechanics of paying taxes on a Roth Conversion

You can either pay estimated quarterly tax payment by Sep 16th 2019 (if the conversion is performed after May 31) to cover the tax due, OR if you have other income sources (Pension, Job etc) you can increase the tax withholding on the remainder of the year from those sources to satisfy the full tax...
by Caduceus
Wed May 15, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long will a shirt last?
Replies: 34
Views: 2598

Re: How long will a shirt last?

If I need to buy enough of the exact same shirt to last me a decade, how many do I need? Assume I wear each shirt once a week, and then I launder all seven of them at the end of the week, how many shirts would I need to buy? This is regular cotton, not premium or low-grade - just a normal cotton wh...
by Caduceus
Wed May 15, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long will a shirt last?
Replies: 34
Views: 2598

Re: How long will a shirt last?

If I need to buy enough of the exact same shirt to last me a decade, how many do I need? Why would you ever want to do this? Now you have to store all these shirts, hope you don't get bigger or smaller, hope they are still in fashion, etc. Seems like it would be easier and less risky to just buy as...
by Caduceus
Wed May 15, 2019 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long will a shirt last?
Replies: 34
Views: 2598

How long will a shirt last?

If I need to buy enough of the exact same shirt to last me a decade, how many do I need? Assume I wear each shirt once a week, and then I launder all seven of them at the end of the week, how many shirts would I need to buy? This is regular cotton, not premium or low-grade - just a normal cotton whi...
by Caduceus
Tue May 14, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non frugal things save money?
Replies: 80
Views: 9551

Re: What non frugal things save money?

In the long run, things that improve your health probably would fall into this category. We have three large HEPA air purifiers throughout the apartment that costs a bit to run (because the filters need to be replaced). I am very frugal on most things (almost never buy clothes and shoes) but spend q...
by Caduceus
Tue May 14, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Single People and Retirement Question
Replies: 124
Views: 17470

Re: Single People and Retirement Question

While I have a good marriage, there are many people in marriages that are technically functional but not great. They stay together because things aren't terrible and who wants to go through a divorce. But that doesn't mean they're happy together, and they would probably be a lot happier if they wer...
by Caduceus
Mon May 13, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me figure out cotton shirt mystery
Replies: 21
Views: 2562

Re: Help me figure out cotton shirt mystery

I work in textiles. “Feel” can be affected by the physical size of the yarn, the fineness of the fiber, the yarn spinning technology, the amount of wear, the number of washings and dryings, , whether the fabric has been mercerized or not, and whether the fabric has been post-treated with a hand-bui...
by Caduceus
Mon May 13, 2019 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me figure out cotton shirt mystery
Replies: 21
Views: 2562

Re: Help me figure out cotton shirt mystery

I work in textiles. There are a lot of things that can affect the softness of a fabric or garment. It seems pretty clear from your perception that they are not EXACTLY the same shirts you have purchased historically. They might well be the same brand and labeling, but that doesn’t mean the manufact...
by Caduceus
Mon May 13, 2019 3:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me figure out cotton shirt mystery
Replies: 21
Views: 2562

Help me figure out cotton shirt mystery

I've bought the same white cotton undershirts for a decade from the same shop. I haven't had to buy any until now, and I intend to buy maybe another 50 (to last me one more decade!). The thing is, the test shirt I bought feels waxy and it's very white. I know that after repeated washings, cotton pro...
by Caduceus
Sun May 12, 2019 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to know before moving all my belongings into storage?
Replies: 19
Views: 1884

Re: What to know before moving all my belongings into storage?

You should follow best practices for storage. 1. Use plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Cardboard attracts rodents/pests, and degrades quickly in non-climate controlled units. 2. Buy large packets of silica gel and throw one or two big packets (100 grams at least) into each plastic conta...