Until a few years ago, the Costco near me also had pneumatic tubes to
send canisters of cash and checks from the cash registers to a secure
room. I thought in interesting that NYC used to have a network of those
pneumatic tubes throughout the business district of Manhattan.
<http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/pneumatic-system-new-york-public-library . A lot of the tube network ended up being re-purposed for fiber-optic cables.
Costco _has_ gone downhill, though I find that it's still far better
than Sam's Club in most respects. One really nice feature of Costco is
their 2 year warranty on electronics and computers, which is actually a
3 year warranty if you use your Costco Amex to make the purchase.
Costco generally has a good selection of casual and business casual
clothing, which is the dress code in most of Silicon Valley. They have
an excellent selection of food items, including more and more gourmet
food at very good prices--stuff most people would never buy if they had
to pay the prices regular markets charge.
One of the biggest savings is in tires. The savings in a set of tires
can pay for the whole membership. The tire prices are only a bit less
expensive than a tire store, but Costco doesn't gouge for the related
services. The mounting and balancing includes new valves, they include
nitrogen inflation, and they included the road hazard warranty. They
actually honor the tread wear warranties with no hassle. Since there's
so many Costco's around, you actually have a chance of using the
warranty even on a trip. Gasoline is usually about 10¢ per gallon
cheaper at Costco.
That's convenient. To run a fiber, simply put stick it in one end and
push the button.
I've never collected on an electronics warranty so it doesn't matter
much to me. The tire department went to crap and the meat became
inedible so we stopped going. The meat at the Sam's here is quite
good and the prices are more than competitive. I don't miss Costco at
For that matter, I did have a "demo" BJs membership a few years ago.
Their tire department, at the time, was much better than either of the
I wouldn't think about buying clothes in any of the above.
I recently bought a set of tires at Sams, but they didn't last long. I
had to get rid of the truck a week later (found the frame was rotted
way beyond repair). Bad planning. ;-)
Don't have a Costco to compare here, but the Sams is usually $.10 and
often $.20 cheaper than the off-brands (I usually compare to Kroger)
here. It's been more than $.20 cheaper a few times recently and at
least once, $.30 less than the brands. I haven't paid any attention
to BJs gas prices. They're out of my normal traffic pattern.
On 9/5/2013 5:00 PM, email@example.com wrote:
It's rare, but one area that is really worthwhile is on laptops. My
friend in Hawaii recently got Amex to pay him for the cost of repairs on
a 2.5 year old laptop. He chose to use the money to buy a new computer.
I also contacted them regarding a laptop repair but I never sent in the
paperwork because it was only $100.
I should modify my statement above. I have used warranties and even
extended warranties on laptops. laptop repair is incredibly expensive
so I include the cost of three years of warranty in the purchase price
- usually around $70 (for a $1200 laptop) for three years (depot,
including postage). I figure after three years, I'll buy a new one
rather than having it repaired.
I don't buy extended warranties otherwise.
Even though the C & D batteries "made" with the adapters have a
relatively low capacity compared to true C & D NiMH batteries, I suspect
that for most users it's not of great concern since they are going to
recharge the batteries anyway, and they have a spare set ready to use.
I thought it was interesting that Sanyo was willing to do a low
self-discharge NiMH. The reason for the self-discharge problem has been
known for a long time, as has the solution. The problem is that the side
effect of the solution is to reduce the capacity. So you have to do some
good marketing to convince consumers that a 2000mAH cell is better than
a 2800mAH cell at the same or lower price. It's like trying to convince
someone to buy a digital camera based on high-ISO noise characteristics,
not just the number of megapixels.
Not really, Eneloops (and the other LSD NiMH cells) are practical for
applications where regular NiMHs (or any other currently available
rechargeable cell) would be completely unsuitable, like remote controls,
battery powered wall clocks, etc. Only took a couple alkaline leaking
incidents to make me take the leap, because the only other real
alternative would be lithium primaries, but if the Eneloops last for 3-4
charge cycles they've paid for themselves relative to lithiums.
Which brands of alkalines were most leaker for you?
Was one brand worse?
I recently had a bunch of Rayovac D alkalines leak.
New in pack, in date. Not stored in car truck or
other high heat.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
On 9/3/2013 2:02 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:
One set was some GP brand AAAs that came with a Bosch laser distance
finder. That was partially my fault; I'd lent it to someone and then
subsequently lost it and then found it under the seat of my car some
months later :(
An Energizer AA also leaked in a wall clock, but who knows how long it'd
been there. (not my clock.)
Roommate actually bought a huge pack of Philips brand carbon zinc AAs
probably at Big Lots, he doesn't understand why I don't want to use them :(
On 9/3/2013 3:05 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:
Costco is about the best place I've found for Eneloops. Also, the Sanyo
charger is very good in terms of end of charge detection, using -∆V and
temperature. You just can't use it for NiCad AA cells though because
NiCads have a different end of charge detection.
I think that one reason that you don't see more C & D NiMH batteries is
that the chargers are rather large.
The best smart charger I've found is the Tenergy TN190 (I have the
previous model the T6278). This is a better than the Maha or LaCrosse
smart chargers. But the reality is, the Sanyo Eneloop charger will
charge the batteries just as well, it just won't provide all the
detailed information on the charge state, and there's no discharge
function to attempt to revitalize problem cells. These higher end
chargers provide a lot of information, and for a techie they're
interesting, but the reality is that there's no real advantage to them.
Just avoid super-low-end chargers with no end-of-charge detection.
Well actually there is one big difference between chargers. Sanyo's
original Eneloop charger had four separate channels so you could charge
1, 2, 3, or 4 batteries. The newer ones charge in pairs so you can't
charge an odd number of batteries. So if this is a concern, look for a
charger with 4 independent channels.
That's why I keep my eyes open everywhere I go in stores because you can
trip over a good deal if you know the value and prices of items.
Knowledge is power, heck, I may have to get one of those smart-ass
phones so I can compare prices and specs on things I run across. ^_^
You don't have one yet? It really is great to be able to do that, even
more so if you occasionally stop in a Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.
just for entertainment purposes.
I've yet to find any truly spectacular deals though, although it's saved
me a few times from taking a chance on appealing looking but difficult
to fix items, inferior products from a good brand, etc.
I'll get things at pawn shops sometimes because I know what the heck an
item is. My best find was a 3M fiber optic test set in perfect condition
with carrying case I bought for $40.00 and it was a current model that
Graybar sold for $1,050.00. ^_^
I only have one local pawn shop and they are awful proud of their stuff.
I don't think they plan on selling a whole lot. I did spot a nice old
60's Omega wristwatch there, but they couldn't be arsed to quote me a
price on it, and based on the prices on some of the other stuff there, I
wouldn't have got a deal anyway.
I have in other areas got good deals at pawn shops though, mostly
I've gotten things like a Milwaukee 1/2" Hole Shooter for $30.00 and a
big rechargeable Freon leak detector with case and extra (good) battery
for $75.00, I looked it up and I think it sold new for around $400.00.
I loaned it to my pal LM or I would be able to tell the name of the
manufacturer but I think it was Ikegami. ^_^
That's quite a skill. With the economy as bad as
it is, most likely a lot of folks selling tools
off, cheap. Come to think of it, there is a pawn
shop I pass by, now and again. I should visit, and
see what items they have.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
On 9/3/2013 9:03 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:
Eneloop AA = 2000 mAh, $10/4, so $0.125 per 100 mAh
Energizer D = 2500 mAh, $12/2, so $0.24 per 100 mAh
but the real insult is that their "D cell" isn't low self discharge and
has less capacity than some traditional AAs! In fact I'm pretty sure
the Maha Imedion AAs (LSD) are rated at 2400 mAh. So what's going to
happen is people are going to buy these either not understanding what
the numbers mean or not reading the label and they're going to replace a
15,000 mAh alkaline with a 2500 mAh NiMH (even though there's 8-10K mAh
NiMHs available, they're not sold in stores!) and be disappointed in the
rechargeables, mutter about damn tree hugging hippies ruining
everything, and go back to alkalines.
I'm mad that Energizer would market such a shitty product and one that
is so spectacularly unsuited for its intended use. I'm also mad that
I've never seen a *good* competing product in stores, save for at Micro
Three Duraloops in one of these would be infinitely preferable (almost
as good as a real NiMH D cell, and possibly more convenient), *if* you
could buy the adapters in stores...
If it's not intended for YOUR use, don't buy it.
I'm quite sure that the marketing department did lots of studies
to determine that they could sell more product at that price/product point.
You must have a stroke when you walk down the paper products aisle
at the market.
I'm also mad that
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