bye-bye land line telephone

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On 5/15/2016 9:02 PM, HerHusband wrote:

Yup. When folks exclaim over some of the monies I pay for equipment, tools, etc. I just point out the "excesses" (IMO) that I see in their purchases: dress shoes, vacations, dinners, hiring out for things they can easily do themselves, etc. When they think about those and see them as NOT excesses, I tell them "I see *my* purchases the same way!"
We don't plan on being a "burden" to anyone (including each other) in our old age. OTOH, we've seen our share of friends dying before they had a chance to enjoy "retirement" (or, whatever you call the portion of your life when YOU call the shots).
Or, folks squander that time on activities that we consider "sad" (i.e., work your whole life to reward yourself with days of sitting in front of the TV??)
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On 5/16/2016 12:40 AM, Don Y wrote:

I've known a couple people over the years, long enough to see how they spend money. I've come to the conclusion that each person has some hard and fast rules. And some strong rules. Often, the hard and fast rules make no sense to me.
One former friend totally refused $10 gas money so I could take him to a store out of town to save $75 or so. Aparently, "RULE: NEVER GIVE FRIENDS MONEY" was louder than "save $75".
--
.
Christopher A. Young
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Per Stormin Mormon:

One rule that stuck with me was "Never spend more than 33% of your gross income".
Stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii, working the swing shift, and hitch-hiking into Waikiki every morning to go surfing on different occasions I happened to get rides with two different old guys.
The first one was selling stainless steel cookware door-to-door and driving a clapped out old car - because he needed the money to eat. His story was that, when he was young, he always had a new car, was always ready to throw his money around for a good time.... and now he was 65 and living hand-to-mouth.
The second guy had been a bartender all his life. He was a good 10 years older than the first guy - driving a new rental car, and staying at one of the top hotels in Waikiki. His story was: "Every dollar I ever earned, I divided into thirds: one third for Uncle Sugar (i.e. taxes), one-third for me (to be spend), and one-third for the bank (savings)..... I'm not what anybody would call rich, but the world is my oyster."
Needless-to-say, the second made an impression.
I never managed to fully live up to the 33% rule, but came pretty close - and I have to say the guy was definitely on to something.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 5/16/2016 11:48 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

What people "value" seems to vary, greatly.
Also, those "values" typically change over time.
I tend not to "want much". OTOH, I've always been able to buy whatever it is that I wanted (as long as I wasn't being unrealistic in my desires).
One observation that hit home when I was younger was how much "kids" (apparently) cost! A guy I worked with was excited to be *finally* purchasing a new microwave oven (back when microwave ovens were $500 appliances). I couldn't understand his excitement: first, a microwave oven is just "functional"... it's not a "toy" of any kind (to get excited over); second, the fact that his comments suggested he had been PLANNING this purchase, for some time. I.e., that he didn't just go out and BUY one when he decided he needed/wanted it!
I knew he made roughly the same pay as me. And, their income should have been roughly comparable to mine. So, why wouldn't he be able to just buy what he wanted, when he wanted it? (no, not a substance abuser so what could be soaking up all of his income?)
Then, realized the key difference was that they had kids and we didn't! ("Wow! Could kids make THAT big a difference in lifestyle??")
[Of course, his wife might have been a clothes horse or they may have had some unusual medical needs -- youth doesn't guarantee freedom from health issues...]
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On 05/14/2016 10:57 AM, trader_4 wrote:
[snip]

When we had a tornado last year, cell phone service was unreliable (probably overloaded and dropping calls), but was working OK in less than an hour. Wired phone was out for 5 days.
In the previous major outage (hurricane Ike), wired phone was out for a couple of days. Cell worked all that time.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
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On Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 2:11:22 PM UTC-4, Mark Lloyd wrote:

It was the same here in NJ after Sandy. I had cell service the whole time. Landline in my specific area, I can't say, because I don't have it, but given the extent of lines down all over and that many shore towns the poles and everything were kaput, I think a lot of landline service was out. In many of those badly damaged shore towns, Verizon will not be putting copper back in, it's gone for good.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 12:39:52 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

What makes POTS so good here is when Sprint bought UTS, they replaced just about everything with lots of fiber and virtually all of it is in the ground. They put fiber in front of my house but Century Link never used it and now it appears to be abandoned. A "locate" only comes up with 2 services and there used to be 3. When Century Link replaced the pedestals, the installer said he never heard anything about a fiber.
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Unfortunately, we are rarely able to get a cell signal here at home. I'm not sure why as I can see the cell tower on the hill above us. Must be the topography or something. We've tried different phones and guests can't get reception with their phones either.
Thankfully, phone service is the least of my concerns during a power outage. I don't call anyone anyway.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Lewis Black, the comedian, does an entire bit on this. Talks about how his cellphone vendor (AT&T?) is unavailable to him in downtown NYC. He complained to his vendor and they offered to sell him a "transmitter" to boost his cellphone signal. He then went on to berate sed same vendor for charging the him $200 to complete the vendor's "infrastructure".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJvHfGKm8e8

Well, I thought it was so funny, I cancelled my cellphone service. Damned if the thing doesn't work jes fine on my wifi modem. ;)
nb
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On 05/15/2016 10:37 AM, HerHusband wrote:

Cell site equipment generally has the operator listed on it so take a drive up to the tower.
You could also check the coverage maps at opensignal.com, sensorly.com and rootmetrics.com
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On 5/15/2016 9:37 AM, HerHusband wrote:

We have a similar problem with OTA DTV. I can *see* the towers on the mountain a few miles (as the crow flies) from here. Yet, our reception is spotty. Esp during rain/high winds (I suspect there is a tree in the sightline to the antenna).

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On 5/12/2016 4:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

As I said upthread: "That's only for the smaller, consumer-ish units -- 12V 7.2AHr batteries."
Over the years: <
http://www.recycledgoods.com/media/extendware/ewimageopt/media/inline/e4/d/apc-bp500uc-500-va-pro-500-back-ups-0fd.jpg
originally used to power my "24/7/365" box. Discarded as it didn't have much capacity (peak power as well as runtime) and was too tall to be of practical use (I wanted to wedge it under a dresser in the bedroom). It has *one* 7.2AHr battery in its belly.
<
https://www.batteriesplus.com/content/images/product/large/439162.jpg
also discarded for similar reasons (though it was lower profile and I could slide it under one of my dressers -- not possible with the previous unit)
I had a similar shape unit (but with a METAL skin) that also got discarded because it took a *different* battery (shorter and fatter) and I didn't want to have to buy two different styles of similar capacity batteries (I buy batteries in bulk -- 10 at a time). Also, it only had four outlets on the back and two of them were "pigtails". This was OK when the 24/7 box and switch were the only "local loads" but I now have a tablet PC and mouse charger plugged into the same UPS (immediately below).
Yet another similar version (different shape): <
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Bd9kNCU%2BL._SY355_.jpg
is what currently powers the 24/7 box and the small 16port switch adjacent. Again, one 12V 7.2Ahr battery underneath.
I have one of these powering the set of three monitors shared by my two primary workstations: <
http://excessups.com/images/products/BX1500LCD.jpg
I have another that powers my "personal stereo" and "PROM programmer" (doesn't like to lose power when it is programming an EPROM!). They take two of the 12V 7.2AHr batteries arranged side by side.
I have eight of these: <
http://www.upsforless.com/ProductImages/apcfrom20060601/br1500-FL.jpg
(or the 1200VA variants thereof) powering individual computers around the house. They also serve as handy "extension cords" and "outlet multipliers" -- allowing me to plug any specific peripherals that are associated with that particular computer into the same device so everything goes on/off with one switch. They take two of the 7.2AHr batteries but stacked one atop each other.
[You can buy the "12V 7.2AHr" battery in different claimed capacities; some as high as 9AHr. But, they're all the same physical size]
<
http://emachinespk.com/upload/images/APC%20Smart-UPS%202200VA%20Usb%20&%20Serial%20230V.jpg
took a pass on a pair of these as they are really heavy (the bottom half is "all battery") and too big to slide "under" anything. It has a *pair* of these battery packs in it: <
http://www.champion-battery-sales.com/media/catalog/product/r/b/rbc7.jpg
each "pack" is roughly the size of a car battery (though actually two 12V batteries glued together)
I currently have three of these to power my automation system: <
http://thumbs3.picclick.com/d/l400/pict/291234523038_/APC-SUA1000-SMART-UPS-TOWER-BACKUP-1000VA-670W-120V.jpg
though mine are the 1500VA size and equipped with network interfaces (so the automation system can query the state of the UPS's). They take *one* of the above battery packs. <
http://thumbs3.picclick.com/d/l400/pict/390337662650_/APC-1500-tower-UPS-SUA1500i-refurbished.jpg
I'm looking to replace these with something like the 3000VA version of: <
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/ProductImage/42-101-176-03.jpg
mainly because it is powered by a 48V battery pack: <
http://excessups.ca/media/catalog/product/cache/2/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/r/b/rbc43_3_2_1_1_1_1.jpg
but entirely different size/shape batteries therein.
The 48V DC supply would allow me to directly power the PoE PSE without requiring a separate 3000VA 48V power supply! I.e., the AC capabilities of the UPS are largely ignored and it is treated as a big 48V battery.
But, a friend is suggesting addressing these needs separately; a tiny 100VA UPS to power the database server "PC" and a separate 48V battery with charger -- noting that the charger need not RUSH to recharge the battery pack after an outage (as is the problem with many UPS's). If so, using flooded cells for the battery could give me a much lower maintenance cost (lower the specific gravity)

Exactly. Buying a UPS is almost silly, nowadays. If you can't find someone EAGER to have you take theirs off their hands, you haven't tried!
Unfortunately, the larger devices (2000VA+) tend to see use in data centers. And, the folks there have budgets for battery replacements. So, discards are harder to come by (and often rack mount forms)

I buy the "7.2AHr" batteries in lots of 10 or 12. This usually gives me a 20% discount -- just for the quantity.
However, the larger UPS's need higher capacity batteries. So, this means keeping two different types of batteries on hand. And, given that batteries in THESE applications are intended NOT to be used/needed, it's a huge bit of cash tied up "just in case".
So, I'm now looking for cheaper/lower capacity batteries with a goal of just providing brownout protection and very short uptimes. The individual computers talk to their specific UPS's so they can shut down if the UPS tells them its failing. And, if I'm in the middle of something, I can always save my work and come back to it at another time (being able to "continue working" for long periods of time on any of 8 or 10 computers "at random" is a hefty "support" requirement for a UPS!). The *real* backup need is the automation system and a single LONG TERM solution, there, can pay off handsomely -- WITH the right UPS!
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On 05/12/2016 11:39 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
[snip

This UPS is one of those APC units that look like a fat power strip. It could be a bad battery, that drops the voltage too much with more than a little load. It's something to consider when I need a new UPS for a computer.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
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wrote:

The 550-600 type? They have one battery and you don't even have to take it apart to get the battery out, There is a door in the back. Those are fairly cheap but be aware there are lots of model numbers for essentially the same battery. Watch the size and amp hour rating.
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On 05/12/2016 05:22 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
[snip]

One battery, labeled "Genuine RBC" with no capacity markings.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
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On 5/12/2016 7:42 AM, HerHusband wrote:

No overhead lights in the bedrooms -- all on "bedside tables", etc. Living room has overhead lights -- but also floor lamps (for reading). If I need/want a light someplace that doesn't have one handy, I can grab a table lamp from one of the bedrooms and carry it to <wherever>.

I don't like buying things for a specific (esp rare) event. E.g., our flashlights are not intended for use in the absence of power but, rather, in teh absence of *light* (e.g., under the hood of the car, under my workbenches, inside the furnace, etc.).
I have one large "flashlight" that runs off 8 D cells and has a CFL "bulb": <
http://images.drillspot.com/pimages/000/415/926/415926_300.jpg
You can tug on the front bezel to convert it to a "lantern": <
http://content.backcountry.com/images/items/large/CMN/CMN0108/ONCO_D1.jpg
But, it eats batteries. Someday, I'll make a wallwart adapter to use it as a lantern for these occasions. (The idea of installing rechargeable D cells is almost laughable)

We read a lot (in my case, ~500pp every week). We both consider it a "guilty pleasure" as it is a "selfish" act -- totally exclusive of other people.

All I need is a text editor to write code. I'm not the sort that writes 5 lines and then needs to see (if) it runs. I can write an entire module before ever seeing a compiler or debugger.

Ah, my workstations are big power hogs. I spin 1T on each, have each configured for 4 monitors (though I only use three), a pair of SCSI HBA's in each, etc. I have a separate UPS just to power the monitors...
We could probably save a fair bit in our monthly electric bill if I moved to a laptop for most of my work. But, getting all the various I/O devices attached (tablet, motion controller, scanner, etc.) makes that impractical. Also, I've not found a laptop keyboard that I'm happy with...

As it says in the airport: "360 days of sunshine" I.e., we KNOW when it is NOT sunny!

Sorry, I'll be busy. Maybe your wife can take care of that for you??

I tend to be awake at hours that most people are asleep. So, the neighborhood will be dark -- save my office light. Also, the way the power feeds this area is wonky. The folks a block from here are on a different feed -- yet still very much part of "our neighborhood".

We keep the phone for contact our "providers" (doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc.) and for the few random calls to other vendors (e.g., I ordered replacement rollers for the refrigerator and we'll get a call when they come in).

Shopping is one of our weekly rituals -- always done as a couple (unless one of us is incapacitated). It lets us plan our menu for the coming week based on what we encounter in the stores ("Hmmm, asparagus looks good! We can do that meal Wednesday...")
Our outages tend to be infrequent -- I think in large part due to below grade services. OTOH, we had a distribution transformer kick the bucket in the neighborhood, once. Another time, a fire in a cable vault. But, never "some drunk hit a light pole"...
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On 5/11/2016 5:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

"Old" phones (i.e., from Western Electric -- the sorts with real BELLS in them) tend to be 1 REN -- the telco actually had to deliver the power to move the clapper to strike the bell.
Newer phones tend to have much lower REN's -- they "sense" the "ring voltage" (90 volts) and tell the little computer (damn near everything has a computer of some type!) "Hey, there's an incoming call!".
The little computer than figures out how to "ring A bell" (cricket chirp, etc.) to alert the user. Often, using "power" available from a battery pack or wall wart power adapter (i.e., the phone company is not supplying the "ring power"!)
By contrast, our "cordless phone set" has a REN of 0.1 and has to deal with four phones plus the answering machine (all wrapped in that 0.1 REN).
The takeaway, here, is to consider the *types* of phones that you have. Anything recent will have a "REN number" printed on the device, somewhere.

Our land line is about $30 -- most of that being taxes and fees. We have no fancy features. No long distance service (we use calling cards or SWMBO's cell phone for that and sidestep those additional fees). Her cell phone runs a bit less than $10/month. And, our ISP is $20. No CATV. So, our "communications costs" are ~$60/month.

TPC is making a huge mistake, IMO. They've got all that copper and CO equipment. They should be "GIVING AWAY" services to keep eeking value out of it. E.g., instead of trying to ding people $60 for DSL, give it to them for $20 -- let them buy faster speeds if they are shy on capacity (capacity that is not SOLD is WASTED!)

Here, they have been trying to replace wired land lines with WIRELESS land lines. It gives them a way around the regulations that apply to *wired* delivery.
(Why buy a wireless land line that you can't CARRY WITH YOU???)
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I got it done this morning - thanks all. 1. disconnected Bell cable at the outside interface box 2. re-routed the internet cable to a better location <modem, hub, router in a central location near a phone jack> 3. RJ-11 splitter into the phone jack 4. hub + 1 old phone into splitter 5. 1 other old timey phone in basement 6. 1 cordless pair for main floor and master bedroom < 1 old timey phone relegated to spare-dom > Everything seems to work OK - fingers crossed. ... just need to read-up on the cordless set - it wants to call out the incoming calls ! ... we never knew they could talk ! < never had call display before .. > John T.
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On 5/12/2016 10:51 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Great! Now, the windows in the car desperately need a washing...

Did you manage to find a "maximum REN" rating listed anywhere?
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Nope - not on the hub. link below. One of my 3 old phones had it 1.2 I think. "load number" was specified on one, as 29. Dunno ...
http://enterprise.zte.com.cn/en/products/network_lnfrastructure/cpe/broadband/201404/t20140418_422573.html
John T.
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