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Comment I have worked on parts of power meters and this (Score 4, Informative) 163

is a load of crap. These are state machines, typically written in embedded C. There are typically current transformers that have a large winding ratio, even if the electronics/firmware screws up there is no back driving the power line. And no relays. This guy has been watching too much Hollywood.

Comment Re:My mother is an optometrist (Score 1) 464

yes, yes, yes. I am very near sighted (-8 diopters, very slight astigmatisms) and once I turned 40 I had trouble focusing close up (with my glasses or contacts) because of that age thing (stiffer corneas and weaker iris muscles). After a couple pairs of progressive bi-focal glasses I have gone to 2 sets of fixed glasses for most use: 1 pair at -8 for distance and 1 pair at -6 for "office" use (equivalent for you far-sighted people of +2). By biggest problem with bi-focal glasses is that I had to hold my head up to use them: I want to look straight ahead for computer work and general reading, and holding my head up hurts my neck. I still use my older bi-focal glasses for around the house, in the yard, working on cars, etc.

Sometimes I'm caught with only my distance glasses when I want to read something close up, so I either pull the glasses away from my eyes or just look over them (or take them off, I can see perfectly at 4 to 6 inches).

And AR coatings: I have oily skin so I wash my glasses at least 2 times a day. The AR coating starts to flake off after about 2 years, I have stopped getting it. Unfortunately I had to go to a less refractive plastic because it was harder so that they wouldn't force the AR coating. But I can live with that. I've been seeing reflections all of my life.

Between fixed lenses and no AR coating, the costs for my glasses have dropped dramatically.

Comment Re:Euchre (Score 1) 274

I am born and raised in central Ohio, attended University of Cincinnati. I am a mix of German/Scott/Welch/Irish, some branches of the family have been here in the U.S.A. since the early 1800s. I don't know of any genetic link to New Zealand.

Comment I had a Visa vendor account... (Score 4, Informative) 753

One of my clients made me get it to get paid, their accounting department was paying net 90 days and required all kinds of crazy insurance to get me paid through them. So paying with the department credit card was just easier. So when I setup the credit card account, they told me it would cost me 4.0%. Every month new and mysterious (to my account rep.) charges would show up: a fraction of a percent here, fixed fees there. He could never give me an explanation of what they all were, and they weren't consistent from what I could tell. I told them that those charges were ok with me as I was passing that along to my client, but it was hard to do that when I didn't know what I would expect (I was running around $10K a month through it for some other part time contractors and equipment). When the project was over, I couldn't cancel that account fast enough.

So I perfectly understand why some stores have a minimum charge or won't take credit at all, it's a big hassle and cost.

Comment Re:If not... (Score 1) 865

Yes, with Ford (I have a 2001 F150) you need 2 good keys to program a 3rd or more. But with only 1 key you have to take it to the dealer to get them programmed. Less than $100 but a pain. I now keep 2 spares.

Comment Re:If not... (Score 1) 865

yes, backups. And this will only work if I can easily turn the engine off, not like my 2007 Avalon that requires me to hold the button down for at least 4 second (you know, that thing that isn't in the owner's manual) once the car is running. Yes, there have been a couple of emergency situations where I needed to shut down the engine quickly.

And the Avalon key has failed me once, had to hack in a battery (they aren't an easy to find size) to get the car started to get to the store to get a new battery.

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