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Newtun

Storage is nice
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Virginia
Aw, jeez. About how old is the unit?

Can you at least set up a fan to get warm air from downstairs?
 

Handruin

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I'm pretty certain it's a faulty limit unit. I tested them all with my multimeter and the one I suspected that measures the temp of the heat exchanger is open. Now to see if I can hunt down the part and order it.

So far the heat is fine on my second floor. I'm running a small space heater in my bedroom and the 1st floor heat is set a bit higher now to compensate a bit.
 

snowhiker

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/sweating bullets

My HVAC unit is over 16 yo. I'm living on borrowed time. Big time.
 

Stereodude

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I've thought about replacing mine. Not because there's anything wrong with it or that I'm worried it's about to die, but I'm intrigued by some of the capabilities of newer units. Like inverter based variable capacity A/C compressors, infinitely variable speed brushless DC furnace blowers, and variable power furnace burners.
 

jtr1962

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/sweating bullets

My HVAC unit is over 16 yo. I'm living on borrowed time. Big time.
Yours is a baby compared to mine. It's the original one the house came with. Oil-fired, on demand hot water (no tank) and hot water heating. 68 years old this year and still going strong. We've replaced parts here and there, but I have a feeling anything new won't last anywhere near this long.

If/when I replace it, I want a combined geothermal hot water/heating/cooling system. Oil is getting way too costly, and I have a feeling gas prices won't stay low forever. Once all the heating/cooling is electric, that makes it easily "fueled" with solar panels.

That's not the only old appliance. The washer is 47 years old. The dryer is somewhere north of 25 I think but I'm not 100% sure. My motto is if it works and/or can be repaired, no sense buying new. New these days is mostly crap.
 

Stereodude

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My motto is if it works and/or can be repaired, no sense buying new. New these days is mostly crap.
So you'd rather have a 486 over a modern i7 or a 40 year old bicycle over a modern one? Or are you speaking only to a limited subset of device categories?
 

jtr1962

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So you'd rather have a 486 over a modern i7 or a 40 year old bicycle over a modern one? Or are you speaking only to a limited subset of device categories?
No, anything electronic is hands down way better than the old stuff. Devices that are mostly mechanical, like boilers or washing machines, are a different matter. Sure, some of the modern features are nice. Whether it's worthwhile or not depends. For example, a little over two years ago I replaced our 39½ year old refrigerator with this one. It had a wealth of features the old one didn't, like electronic temperature controls, variable speed compressor, LED lighting, and so forth. However, the reason I replaced it was I finally found a modern model with features I liked which fit in the smallish space available AND overall it saves a ton of electricity. I'd say it easily saves 75 kW-hr a month, or about 900 kW-hr annually. At upwards of $0.25/kW-hr, that's $225 a year. It's already halfway to paying for itself. In two more years we'll break even.

For less used devices like washers, the payback is longer, if it even exists. Moreover, the machine is 100% mechanical. Short of the tub springing a leak, there's nothing I can't fix with it. A modern boiler would probably be more efficient, but the payback is a lot longer. For example, if I switched to gas I would probably save $2,000 a year, but the boiler, installation, and disposing of the old boiler/oil tank would run easily $30K. That's at least a 15 year payback, assuming the price of natural gas doesn't spike, which I have a feeling it might just after I bought a gas boiler given my bad luck with things.

The bottom line is whether modern is better or worthwhile depends upon what you're replacing. For small items you don't think about stuff like payback periods. Either you want it or you don't. For big ticket items like boilers or appliances you usually do.

As for bicycles, honestly unless you're talking about exotic stuff like velomobiles new isn't always that much better than old in terms of efficiency. I actually did buy a nice Airborne titanium bike on eBay about 7 years ago, but it was because my mid 1980s Raleigh was literally rusting out from under me. I had upgraded the Raleigh with a 10-speed cluster and indexed shifter, so in terms of equipment it wasn't that much worse than the Airborne. The frame on the Airborne though is a little more aero, plus it's probably a bit stronger. And it'll obviously never rust (the #1 reason I went with titanium). So yes, the newer bike was an upgrade, but not a huge one. A velomobile would be a big upgrade in terms of speed and functionality. This is the one I like. Basically, it would let me double my cruising speeds. 60 km/h = 37.6 mph would be a middling pace for me. I could probably do bursts well past 50 mph.
 
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Handruin

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/sweating bullets

My HVAC unit is over 16 yo. I'm living on borrowed time. Big time.
My attic unit was made in 2013 and my basement unit is about 35 years old and is original to the house. Depending on the fuel source or heating style, they can last a really long time. The only heating component that's mainly on borrowed time are the hot water tanks unless if you got a plastic lined or stainless unit.
 

Handruin

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I ended up having to call an HVAC company to come out. I searched around and local shops won't sell parts direct to consumers without license, etc per their policy. The good news is when I described the issue and what I figured out in troubleshooting, the service company ordered the part in advance so they had it when they came for service. That saved some time and another service fee. Ended up costing me $150 for service and $40 for the part. I found one high limit oem part on Amazon for $15 but it wouldn't ship for over a week and I needed heat working for guests coming this weekend. Oh well.
 

Stereodude

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That sucks that you couldn't get the part locally. You couldn't find it online somewhere else that could get it to you in time?

I bought my new hot water heater online from out of state and had it shipped to me via UPS. I didn't even attempt to buy it locally.
 

Handruin

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I found the exact part number only on Amazon and some other random hvac place. Both wouldn't ship for over a week. I needed it before Friday so I was limited on options. That's how it goes sometimes.
 

jtr1962

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I ended up having to call an HVAC company to come out. I searched around and local shops won't sell parts direct to consumers without license, etc per their policy. The good news is when I described the issue and what I figured out in troubleshooting, the service company ordered the part in advance so they had it when they came for service. That saved some time and another service fee. Ended up costing me $150 for service and $40 for the part. I found one high limit oem part on Amazon for $15 but it wouldn't ship for over a week and I needed heat working for guests coming this weekend. Oh well.
You could have used electric space heaters if it came to that. Everyone should have a few as a backup in case their furnace goes.
 

time

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Unfortunately, if you're snowhiker, or even someone like me or Chewy, the only backup is a portable fan or 5. They really don't work as well. :(
 

jtr1962

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Unfortunately, if you're snowhiker, or even someone like me or Chewy, the only backup is a portable fan or 5. They really don't work as well. :(
Well, if you're in a hot climate of course there's no real backup if the A/C fails. Fans are OK when the room is in the low 80s at most. After that, they pretty much suck. Swamp coolers can work in low humidity, but that's not NYC. Summers here are always near 100% humidity.
 

snowhiker

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Jtr your older appliances are probably old enough that they are actually well made and built to last. While something only moderately old might already be on its last legs so to speak due to current "planned obsolesce" manufacturing.

The A/C dying in the summer with 115+F highs and 90+F lows is my only real concern as those temps are just unlivable. And yeah, fans would help if you are 10F over your comfort temp zone, but too much higher than that and they are useless. The A/C does get hammered in the summer so it's something to worry a bit about.

My winter "lows" are usually low 50-40s and rarely low/mid 30s and almost never below freezing so if my heat died I could put on a jacket or blanket at night and not be in any real danger. If the A/C goes out in summer I'll be bent over by an installer because; 1) who is going to comparison shop and haggle in 115F heat and 2) HVAC guys have plenty of work in the summer so, yeah, I'd have to pay through the nose for a replacement system.

I have been toying with the idea of having smaller individual units in the bedrooms in case a disaster takes out the one central system. Cost v benefit and all.
 

jtr1962

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Jtr your older appliances are probably old enough that they are actually well made and built to last. While something only moderately old might already be on its last legs so to speak due to current "planned obsolesce" manufacturing.
I think about 30 years ago is when they started cheaping out on appliances. Maybe 20 years ago it started to get much worse, to the point people regularly replaced A/Cs or refrigerators every 7 to 10 years.

The A/C dying in the summer with 115+F highs and 90+F lows is my only real concern as those temps are just unlivable. And yeah, fans would help if you are 10F over your comfort temp zone, but too much higher than that and they are useless. The A/C does get hammered in the summer so it's something to worry a bit about.

My winter "lows" are usually low 50-40s and rarely low/mid 30s and almost never below freezing so if my heat died I could put on a jacket or blanket at night and not be in any real danger. If the A/C goes out in summer I'll be bent over by an installer because; 1) who is going to comparison shop and haggle in 115F heat and 2) HVAC guys have plenty of work in the summer so, yeah, I'd have to pay through the nose for a replacement system.

I have been toying with the idea of having smaller individual units in the bedrooms in case a disaster takes out the one central system. Cost v benefit and all.
40s to 50s the house holds a reasonably comfortable temperature on its own.

This being a 68 year old house we don't have central air, just units in almost every room, except the bathroom and dining room. We have four units upstairs and two in the basement. The basement is cooler anyway, although since my mom stopped walking she can't access it. In some hypothetical 115°F NYC summer we could cope if one of the units broke down. Worst case we would avoid the room with the broken unit, although the others operating could likely make it at least tolerable. For example, the dining room has no A/C but if the ones in the kitchen and my bedroom are on it cools down pretty nicely. There's a lot to be said for individual units. The ones upstairs are all installed through the wall, so there's no playing around taking the A/C in and out of the window each year.

Personally, I wouldn't live anywhere with summers that hot. You're like a prisoner in your house for 4 or 6 months of the year. NYC summers are too hot as it is. If it were up to me, it wouldn't go over 60 in the summer.

You should get at least one individual unit so if the central air goes kaput you have one room as an oasis, even if the rest of the place is uninhabitable until the central air is fixed.
 

sedrosken

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So you'd rather have a 486 over a modern i7 or a 40 year old bicycle over a modern one? Or are you speaking only to a limited subset of device categories?
I mean, I would...

I'd very much like to build a DX2-66 with VLB video and super I/O. Much moreso than anything 10th-gen Intel, though I might be upgrading to a Ryzen 5 3600 later this year if I catch a sale with the money in my pocket. It's the last era of computing that really interests me that I've got nothing to show for. Anything before ~386DX-40 IMO is too limited to really be of proper use to me.
 

sedrosken

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Paid off my phone and immediately transferred my number back over to Straight Talk. Probably sticking with this until it dies. I went from US$145/mo with Verizon's "Beyond Unlimited" plan and my phone payment to US$95/mo for just the plan to US$55/mo for a nationwide unlimited plan from Straight Talk. I can't use 1.1.1.1 for DNS, which is concerning, and at 60GB used they "reserve the right to inquire as to your data usage" but I do most everything sensitive behind a Tor proxy anyway so I'm not sure how much I care. I'll save the US$90/mo in exchange for functionally the same exact service as I had before.

I also found a bootloader unlock exploit for my phone that, somewhat sphincter-clenchingly, requires me to flash an older nougat image first using a leaked/patched LG developer's tool, but the process is very well documented. I'll probably attempt it when I get home from work Sunday night/Monday morning. The only things that seem to be broken in the LineageOS 17.1 unofficial build for it are things I don't care about anyway, like display-sharing over WiFi. If nothing else I have debloated/rooted images of the stock ROM to fall back on.
 

sedrosken

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9⁴ or 8⁴?
I'm sure that's what it uses by default, but on LTE if I enable the 1.1.1.1 proxy-type thing that worked fine on Verizon, I lose all internet access on Straight Talk. I'm betting they filter by that. But again, my Tor proxy works, so I'm not too worried.
 

sedrosken

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... Scratch everything I just said about 1.1.1.1 not working, apparently it does just fine now. I couldn't use it when I took it for a test spin on my burner phone about 6mo ago. I just tried it again.
 

sedrosken

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Got my phone unlocked, rommed with an unofficial build of LineageOS 17.1, and rooted via Magisk for the hiding capability. Still can't use Google Pay but then again I didn't use it anyway, so it's not a big loss. A couple things are slightly broken (the Wifi menu is one of those things, but I just use my data anyway) but overall the phone is much faster, sips battery by comparison, and (this is the big one) I have access to all of my storage -- I'm not missing 16+GB to phantom Verizon crapps that I can only disable, not completely remove.
 

sedrosken

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My V30, and because the stock Verizon ROM goes through my battery in... not a great amount of time, mostly. That and I wanted access to the storage that'd be freed up by actually being able to delete stock carrier-installed apps like that NFL thing Verizon insists on preloading. Other than that, mostly because I can, it's fun (or at least I find it so) and it works well enough.
 

snowhiker

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WTF?

If I open a .WMA file with VLC and there is a .JPG file called "Front.jpg" in the same folder, VLC will open/display the Front.JPG file while playing the .WMA file. If I rename the JPG file, it won't display when I open the WMA. I tried coping a different .WMA file into folder and that file will open the Front.jpg file while playing.

WTF?
 

snowhiker

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/rant

So the newer versions of Firefox don't have the "description" field in the bookmarks. So when I, WAS UPGRADED AGAINST MY WILL WITH NO WAY TO PREVENT FIREFOX FROM UPDATING!!!!!11111!!!!1! all the descriptions were stripped out of the bookmarks. I had saved some username/passwords to rarely used sites/forums and other random, rarely used info in the descriptions so it's important that I get those back.

I noticed the lost descriptions after I restored FF v56. So I restored bookmarks from backups, but no descriptions were restored. Hmmm maybe Firefox stripped the descriptions out of the backup. I tried to restore a day before. No descriptions. WTF. I went back 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, FINALLY I got the descriptions back on the 10th day back.

So there were manual backups I made and the "daily" Firefox backups that no "descriptions" were saved for 10 days? Or Firefox v70-whatever altered the backups? And of course I made EXTENSIVE modifications to my crazy large bookmark file. Delete, re-organized, edited, moved around, etc. That's all lost. F-ME!

Firefox bookmark backups are a joke.

So I tried to get a JSON "viewer" plugin to read the bookmark .JSON file and upon reboot Firefox F'ING upgraded to version 72 again. WTMF! So I guess I can never add plugins because I'll be FORCE upgraded after installing new plugins.

I'd like to be able to read the "raw" JSON file, save the descriptions, then restore a current backup of my bookmarks and re-add descriptions.

Along with the goofy behavior detailed in my previous post I'm having another horrible night. SNAFU is my life.
 

Stereodude

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WTF?

If I open a .WMA file with VLC and there is a .JPG file called "Front.jpg" in the same folder, VLC will open/display the Front.JPG file while playing the .WMA file. If I rename the JPG file, it won't display when I open the WMA. I tried coping a different .WMA file into folder and that file will open the Front.jpg file while playing.

WTF?
Why does this surprise you? I suspect if you name the JPEG to cover.jpg or art.jpg it will also display. It is displaying your "album art" that goes with the song. Or, that's what it thinks it is doing. Foobar2k will do something similar. I leave a 480x480 jpg in the folder of songs (from a CD/Album) called folder.jpg and it will display that over the embedded 240x240 jpg in the files themselves. Kodi does the same thing.
 

snowhiker

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Why does this surprise you? I suspect if you name the JPEG to cover.jpg or art.jpg it will also display. It is displaying your "album art" that goes with the song. Or, that's what it thinks it is doing. Foobar2k will do something similar. I leave a 480x480 jpg in the folder of songs (from a CD/Album) called folder.jpg and it will display that over the embedded 240x240 jpg in the files themselves. Kodi does the same thing.
I was in the middle of my meltdown from my bookmark issue, then this "front.jpg" issue popped up and my puny brain could not figure it out. I guess it just didn't "click" for me. If the file was named cover.jpg or art.jpg, instead of front.jpg, I'd eventually figure it out?

Plus I thought the "cover," "art," "front," whatever, was info that was embedded in the metadata for the WMA, MP3, etc not simply a separate file in same folder.
 

snowhiker

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FYI, json files are plain text, so you open them with your favorite text editor, eg notepad++.
Well it is text. Although when you open the file it looks like a horrific CSV file. I was hoping to find a non-brower JSON file viewer but it's a moot point. I just restored an old bookmark file, copied down the "important" bookmark descriptions, then restored a current bookmark file. I still can't figure out why Firefox stopped saving the descriptions the last 10 days.

I really need to get off this legacy Firefox and probably Win7 as well. Eventually.
 

Stereodude

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Plus I thought the "cover," "art," "front," whatever, was info that was embedded in the metadata for the WMA, MP3, etc not simply a separate file in same folder.
It can be, but as you've seen, doesn't have to be. Embedding large files to each song is not logical. Reading them from the directory makes more sense.
 

Stereodude

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The local Costco I go to had 0 toilet paper or paper towels yesterday afternoon. This is where they should be:



The panic buyers apparently haven't found the local grocery superstore (not Walmart) yet:

 

Newtun

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The local Costco I go to had 0 toilet paper or paper towels yesterday afternoon.
The panic buyers apparently haven't found the local grocery superstore (not Walmart) yet:
We're all very happy that you were able to satisfy your TP/PT sanitation requisites! :) Are you thinking the "panic" is due to COVID-19?
 

Stereodude

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We're all very happy that you were able to satisfy your TP/PT sanitation requisites! :) Are you thinking the "panic" is due to COVID-19?
I didn't buy any. Apparently I'm the oddball who keeps more than a few days supply of TP at home. I decided to survey the situation while I was in the stores (buying my regular weekly groceries) since the media has been stoking panic on toilet paper due to Covid-19.

 

jtr1962

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Are you thinking the "panic" is due to COVID-19?
It might be. People are afraid the virus will eventually disrupt supply chains, so they might be stocking up on essentials like toilet paper. Right now I have about a 3 month supply on hand since I stock up on whenever there's a sale but there were times I had a year's worth. Wiping your behind is something you're always going to have to do, so it's not like you're buying something just in case which you'll never use.

Hand sanitizer seems to be in short supply these days. I'm glad I have 4 gallons worth on hand.
 

Handruin

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There isn't at least a few emails or meetings that go by during the day at work where the virus isn't referenced at some level.

We tend to stock up on Polar Seltzer when it goes on sale for 50% off and happen to have 40+ cases in my basement. That conveniently gets me a sealed local water supply in things for some reason go very bad. There was no intent on buying that for the coronavirus though. I hadn't thought of stocking the TP, we usually don't get more than a month's supply at a time. I rarely use hand sanitizer and don't really care. I do wash my hands a lot though. If things need real cleansing I'll use a bleach solution.
 
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