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Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

'He' meaning 'me'. I wonder if you noticed I was replying to my own comment. So, the math has everything to do with my circumstances.

Thanks.

None of these numbers are 'made up'. I'm doing estimates based on a projected 50% increase in utilities over the next 20 years, which seems to be the expectations based on the media.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

So, let's run some calculations

Assume you're breaking even with your utility costs versus solar

Start with $1000, a reasonable first investment, or a reasonable minimum up front cost for solar
Put $275/month into a 1% Money Market, or into solar

This is pretty simplistic and compares a basic lease-only solar.

Lets do a really rough guesstimate and some basic math assuming that electric will be an average of 25% more expensive in 10 years. Let's assume that electric costs bumped by 25% the day after your system was installed (best case imaginable for solar, but highly unlikely)

Year 1 MM: +$4328 In your pocket
Year 1 Solar: $825 In your Pocket in theory (Fixed solar cost, versus increasing electric, which just went up 25%)

10 Years of Electric Costs Avoided: $8160

Year 10 MM: $35,817 In your pocket
Year 10 Solar: +$8160 In your Pocket in theory (Fixed solar cost, versus increasing electric)

Let's assume another 25% increase at 10 years + 1 day

Another 10 Years of Electric Costs Avoided: $10,290

Year 20 MM: $74,276
Year 20 Solar Totals, First 10 years plus last 10 years = +$18,450 in your pocket in theory (Fixed solar cost, versus increasing electric)

This is super basic math with super basic assumptions, but you get the picture.

Your basic 1% Money Market is the clear winner here. And this is assuming an incredible best case for solar: two massive, 25% rate increases during the 20 year install. And 1% is a bare minimum for a "good" investment, ideally you'll find at least 5%, and a good overall is 8-10% return if you're into max growth. Your 20 year return on a cash investment (or even real estate) is looking A LOT better than solar. Even if the total 20 year money in your pocket savings for solar DOUBLED to $36,900, your basic 1% market investment is STILL a clear winner.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

Totally Agree.

Solar sounded interesting when I saw a dealer at a local trade show and signed up for a free quote. I have the whole home-office shebang and use 1500kwh monthly, so I would need a sizable system. SolarCity quoted me a no money down something like $275 a month to cover 1200kwh, and I would be paying the grid for the remainder. Including paying the $50-75 additional to the grid, I was looking at a net savings of -$55/monthly off my current bill! What a DEAL! I would love to sign a contract that creates a loss for me every month.

And! If I want to sell the house (my first house, w/possibly growing family), now the new owners have to either buy the lease outright for some thousands or suck up the $275/month lease for the remainder of the term, which will be generating way more than your average 2.5 people need.

But wait, there's more! With inflation and utility cost increases, you'll have "free" electricity in 20 years after it's "paid off". Of course by then, half your panels are defunct and your inverters have blown up, requiring a whole new system for the low low price of $275 a month.

The more I looked into it, the more I realized I can put $275 a month into a money market and be way more ahead in 20 years than with solar (generally I put more like 500+, but lets just use that). I then thought hmmmm... what if I just outright bought the system? So some local contractors gave me the spiel and for $40-50,000 minus tax credits, i would be good to go. But wait, you can lease to own! For the low low price of $125 a month and $7500 down.... this still doesn't make any sense because during the first 10-12 years I'm still at a net loss, and by then I've lost enough efficiency that the already slow gains are minimal.

I went through the same thing with my parents house, and a few neighbors who got quotes as well. For all the homes and quotes I've seen, most likely the majority of the population would really not benefit in $$ from solar unless they buy rock solid panels and are willing to wait 20 years for a good solid positive return.

I'm all for saving the planet and everything, but solar prices have to really come down to have it make sense for the 'average joe'.

Comment Re:Could be nice (Score 2, Informative) 156

For this exact type of thing, check out Dwolla. Paypal-style transactions (unique id is your email, but that's where the similarities end). It's run by a REAL bank (Veridian Credit Union, that's been around since 1934), and they do bank to bank transactions for 25 cents.

Disclaimer: I'm not in any way affiliated with Dwolla and don't gain anything by this post! Actually, as a business owner who accepts Dwolla payments, it would be nice to see this thing grow and become a standard thing people have to make it easier for everyone to pay each other, including me! :)

Comment Re:UPS (Score 1) 236

Definitely not a theoretical risk... as being in computer related work for the last 20 years I've seen a dozen machines fail due to power issues (lightning strikes mainly). I had a customer *using* a ups who had his motherboard, drive and mostly everything fry (the cdrom still worked) after a lightning hit. Despite having backups, he needed to recover the last day's work which forced him to send his drive out for full recovery for several thousand dollars.

I had a customer with an office of 20+ machines have half of them fail when lightning took out their main panel. The machines that survived were ones with UPSes.

Comment Re:+1 for parent Re:Vyatta (Score 1) 238

Or, buy a box that already runs vyatta. The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter

http://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/ed...

At less than $100, with build in switching, embedded linux and apt-get support, you can't go wrong.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/...

Oh, and it's quiet. (No fans)

And wait, there's more! Their $175 version the Edgemax Pro has 5 ports and 24/48v poe. (You'll need to buy a third party power brick for 48v poe, but it's worth it)

Comment Re:An important feature for me (Score 4, Insightful) 215

The way X11 does forwarding is very handy and useful, and I make use of it fairly often. But as usual, there's more than one proverbial way to skin the proverbial cat.

X11 forwarding is great for high speed and low latency connections such as a lan. Using it on anything else is asking for trouble, because if you lose your connection, you lose your app. Perhaps an improvement can be made to X11 forwarding in the new path forward (wayland) to make it more like screen where you can attach and detach to a running X11 app from a networked endpoint.

Remote desktop using RDP is superior to X11 forwarding for lossy connections because once the screen is loaded, very minimal draw/drag/etc communications are sent between the server and client for updates, X11 is far more data intensive for screen updates. And of course if you lose your connection (which I frequently do, trying to RDP from my cell phone), you'll get your apps back when you reconnect.

Having both X11 forwarding and RDP is a great choice, and I hope something similar to my aforementioned improvement makes it into the app.

Comment Re:not that great for home servers anymore (Score 1) 245

FreeBSD has the one killer feature for me: ZFS. It's portable in a pinch and ensure a decent amount of data integrity.

In theory.

In practice, a normal RAID10/RAID1 array is more reliable ...

I went through the same thing. I waited until freebsd 8 to try zfs after watching some videos about how awesome it was. I had been running multi TB storage arrays on lvm + raid1 on linux for years and decided to try and switch to ZFS. The lack of an fsck really shows when you get data corruption issues while resizing a pool. ZFS also lacks the capability of downsizing a pool, so when the upsize fails half way, you're fairly fscked. The recovery tools are just immature compared to even things like ext3. Trying to recover from the failed ZFS upsize involved raw disk editing to change uuids to try and move back to using an old drive that had good data.

I got the ZFS array working enough to pull off the new data and move back to an lvm append + raid1 setup. I've had failed lvm moves and failed lvm upsizes but the recovery is so easy because all the metadata about the array (and plenty of automatic backups) are stored in plain conf files. Ah the beauty of simplicity.

And speaking of bleeding edge, I've been playing with btrfs for some non-critical stuff and I've been very impressed. Much moreso than with ZFS.

Comment Re:Verizon is #1 in dropped calls (Score 1) 375

Not only the simultaneous connections (due to orthogonal signaling) but also due to its longer range and higher capacity in general. GSM being TDMA has a strict limit of 20 per tower and bandwidth usage is far less efficient.

Haha, what are you smoking? TDMA is a method of communication, just like HTTP is a communication method (albeit a higher layer), and has nothing to do with speed.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=tdma

Comment Re:Khan Academy (Score 1) 701

Versus my Chemistry class in Middle School...

Two weeks into the semester the teacher did something to amuse everyone by causing a reaction and capturing hydrogen in a beaker and then lighting it to get a little explosion. After that, it was more often than not: sit down, manually copy pages x-y from your text book, discuss last night's homework, learn 10 minutes of new things, then talk about this night's homework. No intelligent discussions about how this stuff is used in real world, just "learn this stuff from the book, it will be on your test, thanks for playing"

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