Search found 329 matches

by FreemanB
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice for raspberry pi
Replies: 39
Views: 2852

Re: Need advice for raspberry pi

I'd start with just the first kit. It will require a minor amount of assembly, then a decent amount of initial software setup.(You'll still need a monitor, mouse, and keyboard as well.) Once it is set up and running, then you can decide on what projects would be good and if more hardware is required...
by FreemanB
Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: safety thing for stairs?
Replies: 42
Views: 2631

Re: safety thing for stairs?

Unless the cat has some medical condition that makes him more likely to be injured in a fall, I wouldn't bother with any safety precautions. If a cat likes to climb(And most do, from my experience), they will find anywhere and everywhere they possibly can to do so. Falling off the bed isn't an issue...
by FreemanB
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need life insurance?
Replies: 27
Views: 1474

Re: Do I need life insurance?

My salary is the lower of the two. Either of our incomes can support our household. It wouldn’t be as lavish but it would still be more than enough. There's also a difference between only needing one income to support the household and being able to maintain the same lifestyle should one of you die...
by FreemanB
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small antenna to pull in local channels?
Replies: 31
Views: 1678

Re: Small antenna to pull in local channels?

I wanted to see what local stations I could get(I'm in NOVA, about 10 miles out from DC) while pondering cutting the cord. I had an FM antenna wire that had come with an AV receiver, pretty much identical to this: https://www.amazon.com/Fancasee-FM-Antenna-Coaxial-Receiver/dp/B074QLLVC6 I hooked it ...
by FreemanB
Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any 529 abusers here ?
Replies: 38
Views: 5082

Re: Any 529 abusers here ?

I live in SC and have paid in the SC 529 plan for 17 years. The state tax deduction is still available. I'm not sure that's abuse. It's a selling feature for the FutureScholar 529 fund to use when selling to SC residents. That's why I quoted "abuse", since it isn't technically, it just felt like it...
by FreemanB
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any 529 abusers here ?
Replies: 38
Views: 5082

Re: Any 529 abusers here ?

My wife and I "abused" a 529 plan years ago, all legal though. In South Carolina in the early 00's, you got a tax break for contributing to a 529 plan, with no clawback restrictions. We were young, I had just gotten out of the military, and I was going to school full time finishing up my undergrad. ...
by FreemanB
Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 1238

Re: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?

If you stay with the coax your max speed will be limited to about 75-100MBps and no Moca adapters will be able to overcome that limitation. If that speed is sufficient for you, then a couple of Moca adapters is a good solution. First, did you mean MBps or Mbps?(Very big difference) Second, if he ha...
by FreemanB
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 1238

Re: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?

No offense intended, if after reading this whole thread and all the advice you still do not understand how the system is setup and will be working, maybe it would be worth $100 to pay a contract IT person to install it for you (plus equipment, which you're already planning to pay), and then leave y...
by FreemanB
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 1238

Re: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?

Thanks for the info! One question, beside the adapters, it is my understanding I will need a POE coax at the router line, is that correct? You just need your FIOS router connected to your home's coax wiring, that's it. It acts as the MOCA POE already, nothing additional required. Then you just plug...
by FreemanB
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 1238

Re: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?

I was going To buy these for the two set top boxes and connect to the tv: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/actiontec-bonded-moca-2-0-wired-network-adapter-2-pack/6286329.p?skuId=6286329&ref=212&loc=1&ref=212&loc=1&ds_rl=1268652&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxrzYuqrj6QIVjcDACh36jA5DEAQYASABEgJu2fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds ...
by FreemanB
Thu May 28, 2020 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robot vacuums
Replies: 28
Views: 1855

Re: Robot vacuums

Has anyone with rugs with large areas of black perimeter trim or with patterns incorporating large black squares, had issues with their robotic vacuum refusing to cross such surfaces? I have read that most, if not all, robotic vacuums use infrared sensors to detect stairs and that such sensors inte...
by FreemanB
Thu May 28, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mother's or Father's Insurance for Newborn
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Mother's or Father's Insurance for Newborn

Bambino is required to be on Mother's insurance for the first 30 days. If we decide to add him to Father's plan, the effective date would be 30 days after birth. Did you get this from all of them? I've never heard of newborn insurance working like this. Everything I've ever seen or heard states tha...
by FreemanB
Fri May 08, 2020 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529: Your favorite low cost one?
Replies: 77
Views: 4786

Re: 529: Your favorite low cost one?

In Virginia if it is 1 Account - All $$ would be in a single fund for example Total US or Total International or LifeStrategy Aggressive Growth... If it is in a Life Strategy fund it would be re-balanced automatically. Is it possible to break up a 529 into multiple accounts? I think you can have as...
by FreemanB
Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or Drive to FL?
Replies: 52
Views: 3593

Re: Fly or Drive to FL?

I would fly in a heartbeat, but I also hate long drives, particularly when heavy traffic is involved. My family is flying down to visit my parents in south Alabama in a few weeks, and I didn't even consider driving. It would have been at least 16 hours straight through, and that doesn't even take in...
by FreemanB
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 764
Views: 70659

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

I don't seem to be having the same experience as most others here. I applied for a refinance on Feb 27th and got the automated "Conditional Approval", but no lock and no other response. That evening, I uploaded all of the documents required. Later the next day, I got the email others have mentioned ...
by FreemanB
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing
Replies: 9
Views: 653

Re: Refinancing

What would be the effect if you kept paying the $2700 you are paying now? That's where refinancing will really save you money.
by FreemanB
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on buying cheap, used, short range EV
Replies: 87
Views: 5437

Re: Thoughts on buying cheap, used, short range EV

All the talk about the Leaf battery problems reminds me of all the FUD around Prius batteries when they first started getting popular 10+ years ago.(Batteries won't last, they will be expensive to replace, etc) I bought a 2019 Leaf last summer to use primarily as my commuting vehicle in Northern Vir...
by FreemanB
Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your most luxury/expensive hobby.
Replies: 264
Views: 20380

Re: What is your most luxury/expensive hobby.

Oustanding, Marty! DW and I talked about testing the waters a bit just last night. We have never been on a cruise. jim :happy I love cruises, but as with everything, you get what you pay for. I would steer clear of the "party" cruises. After my wife's first cruise on a Carnival ship, she wouldn't g...
by FreemanB
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your most luxury/expensive hobby.
Replies: 264
Views: 20380

Re: What is your most luxury/expensive hobby.

For the family: Disney. Usually at least two trips a year(Although I'm fully on board for the Food and Wine Festival), usually with a decent amount of add-ons. Travel: Aside from the Disney trips, we usually also have 2-3 other trips throughout the year, usually at least one being an international t...
by FreemanB
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you drive without a spare tire?
Replies: 193
Views: 11662

Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Neither my nor my wife's vehicles have spare tires. In the past 20+ years, I've only had flat tires twice. The first time, the lock nut on the wheel broke, requiring the car to be towed to a service station where it could be basically chiseled off.(We had a spare tire, but it was useless in this sit...
by FreemanB
Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using 401k funds to pay off debt?
Replies: 33
Views: 2044

Re: Using 401k funds to pay off debt?

First, have you really gotten your spending under control? You've said repeatedly you don't really know how this happened, so I think your first step should be to really examine how you got here. Otherwise, you may end up just treating symptoms instead of the real problem. As for fixing the debt pro...
by FreemanB
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DOS batch file and FFMPEG question
Replies: 14
Views: 542

Re: DOS batch file and FFMPEG question

Can you tell us what the error message is? No idea if I can help, but that would be the first thing I'd look at.
by FreemanB
Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 52
Views: 5685

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

For those of you who have swapped FIOS contracts back and forth with another family member, have you been able to retain your phone number as you switch back and forth? No, you can't keep your old number. What my wife and I did when we started switching back and forth was get a Google Voice number ...
by FreemanB
Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problem changing Fios router password
Replies: 13
Views: 942

Re: Problem changing Fios router password

Because the router is using a certificate that wasn't signed by a known authority, your browser is essentially saying that it can't verify that the server you are connecting to is who it is says it is. When you are connecting to an internet web site, this is a red flag. However, in this case, the IP...
by FreemanB
Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security like Ring and SimpliSafe vs paid services like ADT and Rampart. What do you advise for and/or against?
Replies: 34
Views: 4002

Re: DIY Home Security like Ring and SimpliSafe vs paid services like ADT and Rampart. What do you advise for and/or agai

Do systems like simplisafe use wifi? That would be easy to disable from outside at my place. My Simplisafe equipment is a few years old now, but it doesn't connect to my Wifi network at all. Everything either runs on battery or has a battery backup and communicates with the monitoring company throu...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do wool dryer balls work?
Replies: 14
Views: 1424

Re: Do wool dryer balls work?

My wife bought some a few months ago. I think they work fine, since I haven't really noticed any difference, either when doing laundry or in the clothes afterwards.
by FreemanB
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric shavers - foil vs rotary
Replies: 24
Views: 2278

Re: Electric shavers - foil vs rotary

I've used both types in the past(With mixed results), but I've been using a Braun Series 7 for close to ten years now. I did the same research as you at the time, and it was the most highly recommended model at the time, and based on Amazon's ratings, appears to still be a popular choice. It works w...
by FreemanB
Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Insurance Policies - Maintain or ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1380

Re: Child Insurance Policies - Maintain or ?

I have something like a $5k life insurance policy on my child, which costs something like $.50 a month. If it wasn't cheap and easily available through work, I wouldn't have even that. Children don't need large insurance policies, their parents do. Drop it and put towards college savings.
by FreemanB
Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ok to go without health insurance?
Replies: 209
Views: 13593

Re: Ok to go without health insurance?

Worst case scenario: In case need arises, will have to purchase health insurance at a short notice. Can do it any time of the year and will not have to wait until open enrollment as will be purchasing through corporation. This isn't the worst case, because you assume you are still physically and me...
by FreemanB
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller misrepresented fulfillment of defect fixes - next steps? sue?
Replies: 56
Views: 5726

Re: Seller misrepresented fulfillment of defect fixes - next steps? sue?

From my experience, the buyer would usually require an invoice or some other documented proof that the expected work was professionally done for any major repairs. In that case, there would be paperwork to back up any claims that the repair was not properly done if defects are discovered after closi...
by FreemanB
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Refinance-Extra Hard Pull Worth It?
Replies: 10
Views: 659

Re: Student Loan Refinance-Extra Hard Pull Worth It?

Would the multiple hard pulls even count against you? Normally, student loan refinancing is treated the same as mortgages or auto loans, with multiple checks being ignored within a short window of time.(Allowing you to shop for the best rates) In this case, you are refinancing multiple loans, but it...
by FreemanB
Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 savings?
Replies: 19
Views: 2899

Re: 529 savings?

I think your plan is fine, and almost exactly matches my own. Our daughter is 7, we've got around $50k saved currently, and we are saving approximately $6k/year as well. My goal is to have enough in savings to cover at least 75% of college. Having 100% saved would be a nice bonus, but we'll easily b...
by FreemanB
Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minimizing hard credit pulls when getting mortgage preapproval
Replies: 14
Views: 1106

Re: Minimizing hard credit pulls when getting mortgage preapproval

However, my understanding was that this was only a perk for for mortgage shopping. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but i believe if you apply for a bunch of credit cards or car loans in a 30 day period they will all ding your credit you. From what I've read, it also applies to car loans and stu...
by FreemanB
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage
Replies: 12
Views: 1109

Re: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage

How much data are you backing up? I assume incrementals can upload to the cloud pretty quickly, but my back-of-the-napkin calculation says that a full backup of 500 Gbytes would take a week or so (at 100 mbits/sec Fios connection). I'm not sure how many incrementals I'd want to take before doing an...
by FreemanB
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 8196

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

I have a United Basic Economy ticket booked for next week. I'm traveling alone, and I don't care where I sit on the plane. I don't plan on having a carry-on bag either. For me, it was the best price for a ticket that met my needs. However, when I'm traveling with my 6-year old daughter, Basic Econom...
by FreemanB
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I finance new car purchase?
Replies: 16
Views: 1540

Re: Should I finance new car purchase?

I purchased last month and financed at 0.9% plus something like $1k in incentives above what I would have gotten paying cash. To me, that made the most sense, and at that rate, I have no incentive to pay it off earlier. Even my regular savings account is earning more interest than that these days. T...
by FreemanB
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Smart Home = Dumb Idea due to potential security breaches and exploits?
Replies: 42
Views: 4446

Re: Smart Home = Dumb Idea due to potential security breaches and exploits?

I'm hesitant to ask, as discussions about routers and modems very quickly go over my head, but...I set up the Airport years ago and am sure I did very basic connections without any advanced options. Is there an easy way to tell if it's acting as a WiFi gateway or if it's creating its own network? T...
by FreemanB
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Smart Home = Dumb Idea due to potential security breaches and exploits?
Replies: 42
Views: 4446

Re: Smart Home = Dumb Idea due to potential security breaches and exploits?

While we're on the topic, I would like to ask a question - I have a FIOS modem but usually it's "radio" (WiFi) is turned off as I use an Apple Airport basestation that is connected to one of its ethernet ports. I have some WiFi cameras that were set up to be on the Fios WiFi. Before I go out I enab...
by FreemanB
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 5659
Views: 1369096

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

After the movie was over and the song credits were rolling, we both marveled at the "body of work" of the Fab Four and particularly Lennon & McCartney, knowing full well that the portion included in the film was only a small portion of the message they were trying to send to us younger fools way ba...
by FreemanB
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 3304

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

If the existing switch was installed by pushing the wires into the "push in" terminals in the back, rather than using the screw terminals, it is easiest to cut the wires, strip the ends and connect to the new switch. Trying to remove the wires from push terminals while connected to the switch is tr...
by FreemanB
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home Purchase - Disagreement on Appraisal Contingency
Replies: 81
Views: 4076

Re: First Home Purchase - Disagreement on Appraisal Contingency

I am in an unexpected situation in going through my first home purchase. We made an offer on a house at list price very soon after it went on market and it was accepted quickly. We are in attorney review now. We went through inspection and settled on some terms for repairing defects etc. Unexpected...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting more out of Google Home Mini
Replies: 10
Views: 876

Re: Getting more out of Google Home Mini

I was hoping to be able to do it with a voice command, instead of needing a separate device to play the music. I haven't tried it on a Mini, but on the Home Hub, I just say "Play playlist [Name]", and it plays whatever playlist I asked for, including ones I've created myself. Our most common uses f...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Audible subscription 66% discount for Prime Day
Replies: 5
Views: 1205

Re: PSA: Audible subscription 66% discount for Prime Day

I subscribed to Audible for quite some time and enjoyed it. My commute to work is roughly a 30 minute drive each way, so I used that time to listen to books. However, I was sometimes frustrated on the weekends when I wanted to continue the current book, but I didn't want to have to put on headphones...
by FreemanB
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Daycare Finances
Replies: 25
Views: 2729

Re: Post Daycare Finances

If you live in an area with expensive daycare, then yes, you'll free up a significant amount of money nine months out of the year once your kids are in school. We were paying approximately $3k/month for full-time daycare. Once my kid started kindergarten, the before and after care was only around $7...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can an HOA ARB legally deny a request to install motion sensing SPOT lights
Replies: 19
Views: 2686

Re: Can an HOA ARB legally deny a request to install motion sensing SPOT lights

Apparently an HOA cannot prevent the installation of satellite TV dishes and in some states they can't prevent the growing of environmentally friendly native plants. A general local, state, or federal law against an HOA preventing the installation of motion sensing lights I am not so sure about. Al...
by FreemanB
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parent giving us money to pay off mortgage
Replies: 17
Views: 3150

Re: Parent giving us money to pay off mortgage

I am not Big Dog, but I think the idea is she can forgive $15k of the loan annually, which becomes a gift, but below the reporting threshold. But that's just a more complicated variation on gifting them $15k(Or $30k combined) each year until they pay off the loan. In this scenario, you have to deal...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do couples work together on home finance
Replies: 60
Views: 5209

Re: how do couples work together on home finance

Just figure out whatever system will work best for both of you. You don't each have to be involved in every detail. My wife has a monthly budget spreadsheet that breaks out our income, expenses, major events, etc. She usually projects it out around 18 months or so. We both have access to it, and it ...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to continually get SiriusXM Radio discount
Replies: 18
Views: 1667

Re: Best way to continually get SiriusXM Radio discount

I'm not willing to pay full price for the service, so I call up every 5 or 6 months, say I'd like to cancel and after some time they usually offer the introductory rate. Is there a better/faster way to do this? My wife has been doing the same thing regularly for years. She even schedules the calls ...
by FreemanB
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .
Replies: 88
Views: 5797

Re: Tire Pressure Monitoring System failed: Replace or Ignore?

I would go ahead and replace them all. The batteries on the others will likely die soon anyway, and it is probably cheaper and much more convenient to do them all at once. I would also get other estimates. I had all of mine replaced at Costco a couple of years ago, and while I don't remember the exa...
by FreemanB
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?
Replies: 23
Views: 2520

Re: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?

I live in NOVA, and I have friends that have been in similar situations. While I know several who have purchased houses, then rented them out during overseas assignments, I don't think you are in the same situation. They had been living in their homes, usually with children, for several years, and a...