Dirty Power

46er

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You have to go back more than "a couple" years to be before LED televisions. :)

I'm definitely of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset. My stove and refrigerator are over 20 years old. Never owned one with an ice-maker, that always seemed pointless to me. I still have the first microwave my ex and I bought, back in the early 1980's (she and my daughter now think this is a riot). Works fine, about the only thing I use it for is popcorn though. :D

My computers are all getting old, from the period 2012-2014. Would have replaced them already, but that gets expensive so I'll wait (will probably replace the Windows 7 machine that I use for mapmaking first).

For cars - I always have a recent model. Worked on my own cars for many years (also learned from my Dad) but I'm not interested in that anymore, and where I live, I need something reliable and low-maintenance since I only have one.
Are you secretly living in my house? I'll have to check the attic ;)
 

46er

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Good to know utility will compensate. what documentation was required? Was it Atlantic Electric? We unplug the desktop from the surge protector during thunderstorms; surge protector for all devices turned off when not in use.
No documentation needed, the Borough spoke with them and the offer was extended to every home owner in town. JCP&L is the utility.
 

bobpbx

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I have an HP ProDesk 400, dual core i5 CPU with 8gb RAM. May continue with Windows 7 for awhile, I'm not too worried. This machine is only used to run specialized software for making maps, I don't use it for e-mail, movies, online shopping, etc. All my software is also from the Windows 7 era, so that will need upgrading too. All around, it will cost $2000 or more to upgrade. That's a lot, just for making free maps - on top of what I spend to rent the web server. ;)
The Dell Studio desktop I bought in 2011 finally bit the dust this October. It started with the fan running fast and loud, and things were slowing down on the hard drive too. I tried to upgrade the bios, and that fried the mother board.

I bought a Dell Precision 3630 from Best Buy. It has a 526 GB solid state drive, i7 processer, with windows 10 and 32 GB of memory. I had the geeks put all my data on a western digital portable drive, and that's where the photos and documents are stored. It makes a big difference. When I turn it on, everything comes up and ready to roll in less than a minute. No more of that spinning, spinning, spinning hour glass. When I wake it up from sleep, it's up in less than 20 seconds. It's super quiet and quick too.

I made one mistake when I bought it. I bought Office 365, which works off the cloud. Even though it gives you 1 TB of free storage, I could not get used to it, as it seems intrusive and bothersome. I had that removed and put home office on.
 
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Boyd

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I find Dell's product line really confusing and am not clear on exactly what you have, but it sounds like a pretty nice system in the ~$1500 price range. I believe the basic models have integrated Intel graphics chips however, and it's a another bump up to get a discrete video card, which I would want. A 512gb SSD isn't going to cut it for me either, would prefer 2gb but will probably have to settle for 1TB due to price. Would also want a 6-core CPU.Then I really need to upgrade my 9 year old version of GlobalMapper, which is around $600.

I don't understand the complaint about Office 365. Did they set it up in some odd way? I switched to Office 365 about a year ago and think it's great. There is nothing "intrusive" at all about it for me. And it doesn't "work off the cloud". The cloud is a nice feature, but not something you ever need to use if you don't want to. After you install the software on your computer, you can use it exactly the same as old versions of Office. Most of my files are stored on my computers, the same as always. The only time I use the cloud is when I want to work on the same file on different devices. And that is a great feature when you need it, I have three computers, a phone and an iPad that call all share my files.

My version of Office was from 2008 and giving me problems with big Word files that have lots of pictures (like the docs for my maps), so I upgraded to Office 365. Really, I wouldn't know it was any different from Office 2008 except for some user interface changes. According to the Microsoft, you can use Office 365 on a computer without ever connecting to the internet with the exception that you need to connect once every 30 days so they can verify your subscription.

IMO Office 365 is just about the best deal Microsoft has ever offered - for $100/year you get an account for yourself along with 1TB of OneDrive storage. And you also get 5 additional accounts that each have their own 1TB storage. Each user can also install Office on up to 5 of their own devices and be logged into all of them. You can give these additional accounts to anyone, there's no restriction that they must be members of your own family. I gave one to a friend in the EU and another to my daughter.
 
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bobpbx

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One of them things Boyd. I just don't want my files on the cloud, and I don't want to pay them every year for that service. I'm 65 now, I can go to the end without it. It's not like I have a business or anything. Plus, there have been complaints. When Office is cloud based, there are a lot of intrusions when they upgrade.
 
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Boyd

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Like I said, you don't have to put anything in the cloud. It's an option if you want it, but not required. But I understand the privacy concerns. And if that really worries you, then you should get rid of Windows. Microsoft has full access to everything on your computer without even installing Office. I read somewhere that new versions of Windows are not going to allow you to turn off auto-updates, and there have been many complaints about recent Windows updates breaking lots of things.
 

bobpbx

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Like I said, you don't have to put anything in the cloud. It's an option if you want it, but not required. But I understand the privacy concerns. And if that really worries you, then you should get rid of Windows. Microsoft has full access to everything on your computer without even installing Office. I read somewhere that new versions of Windows are not going to allow you to turn off auto-updates, and there have been many complaints about recent Windows updates breaking lots of things.
Well, we resist where we can.
 

46er

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Microsoft has full access to everything on your computer without even installing Office.
Its easy enough to turn off/on an internet connection ;) or use a VPN. If a person was mental about security, there is always the option of keeping a stand alone system for personal business and a connected system for play, but convenience usually trumps security :eek: Or a person could go down the encryption path. Lots of ways to secure a system, just depends how well a person can deal with inconvenience.
 
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Boyd

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I'm not "mental" about security... which is why I don't have a problem with Office 365. ;) But it may be hard to prevent Microsoft from automatically updating your computer these days. I'm running a 3-year old operating system on my Mac, and a lot of my expensive old software would break if I was forced to update. Glad that Apple is not adopting this kind of policy (yet). Permanently unplugging the internet does not make for a very useful computer in today's world and a VPN won't stop your operating system from updating. :)

Microsoft has begun pushing mandatory updates of its Windows 10 operating system to customers who are straggling. Microsoft policy introduced earlier this year says that users can defer updates using whatever tools they see fit for a year after release. After that, they'll start to lose their right to choose.

 

old jersey girl

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I'm not "mental" about security... which is why I don't have a problem with Office 365. ;) But it may be hard to prevent Microsoft from automatically updating your computer these days. I'm running a 3-year old operating system on my Mac, and a lot of my expensive old software would break if I was forced to update. Glad that Apple is not adopting this kind of policy (yet). Permanently unplugging the internet does not make for a very useful computer in today's world and a VPN won't stop your operating system from updating. :)

Microsoft has begun pushing mandatory updates of its Windows 10 operating system to customers who are straggling. Microsoft policy introduced earlier this year says that users can defer updates using whatever tools they see fit for a year after release. After that, they'll start to lose their right to choose.

This reply is to all of you who posted re current computer setups. First, thanks again for sharing info. I especially like the various views about privacy concerns. When we took advantage of the drop in price for desktops last year, I chose a Dell with SS drive and Widows 10, liked the high reliability ratings for Dell.
That's the computer we share; my personal phone and tablet are Apple products. The hardware is durable, and I mistrust Apple less than Micosoft about privacy.
 

old jersey girl

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Dirty power is real thing. I work in Municipal water & sewer systems. It's often that dirty power causes a pump station to switch to generator power. Stations have Variable speed Drives that can "condition" power to an extent, but will refuse to work if the power is too bad. PSE&G has a division called "Power Quality". They've often had to temporarily install some data-logging equipment to monitor the incoming power. They result of this is always "there's a problem but there's nothing we can do about it"
Saw a list last year of worst rated electric utilities; PSE&G was on it.
 
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old jersey girl

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Your trust just might be misplaced :ninja:

No, my MIS trust is appropriate. Although it limits what I can do with my ipad, I never set up an Apple i.d. on lt, and nothing goes to the cloud. I haven't downloaded any apps, and don't have any of my email accounts on either the tablet or the 5s iphone. I use these nifty devices to access the web and make phone calls and text. Thats it.
 

old jersey girl

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No, my MIS trust is appropriate. Although it limits what I can do with my ipad, I never set up an Apple i.d. on lt, and nothing goes to the cloud. I haven't downloaded any apps, and don't have any of my email accounts on either the tablet or the 5s iphone. I use these nifty devices to access the web and make phone calls and text. Thats it.
Am I alone in finding it ironic that the only private communication nowadays is a letter sent via US Post?
Kudos to Madam Stendal and the art of letter writing.
Signs of sanity--- recent polls indicated that over 90% of respondants wanted cursive writing again taught in NJ schools. Ever met a high school graduate who can't produce a legal signature?!
 
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Boyd

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Although it limits what I can do with my ipad, I never set up an Apple i.d. on lt, and nothing goes to the cloud. I haven't downloaded any apps, and don't have any of my email accounts on either the tablet or the 5s iphone.
LOL, that is just about the craziest thing I've ever heard! :ninja:

I have plenty of concerns about Apple and think it would be foolish to place too much trust in any company as large as they have become. But it certainly doesn't keep me awake at night worrying and none of this prevents me from making full use of their devices. I think their privacy record is much better than Google, who makes the Android system and has a business model based on snooping on you. And don't even get me started about Facebook!

Regarding that article about Apple, it raises some valid concerns. But I noticed it was written by the Vice President of ExpressVPN and a quick search turned this up...

"There is no question in my mind that you get more than enough value for your money. But I really don’t like that its founders and leaders prefer to remain anonymous, and that the company’s business address is not publicly available. As I’ve said many times before, using a VPN is all about trust, and that’s hard to have when you don’t know who you’re trusting."


I'm just not very worried about Apple spying on me, people cloning my credit card, the power company frying my appliances or Wawa gas choking my car. Never saw a reason to be overly concerned about any of these things. When I do, then I'll start worrying.

Back on topic (if anyone even remembers what that is)... Something is definitely going on with the power here. Just had a 15 minute outage around 6:00 AM. The ACE app said it was affecting 250 homes and the cause was unknown. Was dreading the idea of setting up the generator to take my morning shower when it came back on.
 
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old jersey girl

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LOL, that is just about the craziest thing I've ever heard! :ninja:

I have plenty of concerns about Apple and think it would be foolish to place too much trust in any company as large as they have become. But it certainly doesn't keep me awake at night worrying and none of this prevents me from making full use of their devices. I think their privacy record is much better than Google, who makes the Android system and has a business model based on snooping on you. And don't even get me started about Facebook!

Regarding that article about Apple, it raises some valid concerns. But I noticed it was written by the Vice President of ExpressVPN and a quick search turned this up...

"There is no question in my mind that you get more than enough value for your money. But I really don’t like that its founders and leaders prefer to remain anonymous, and that the company’s business address is not publicly available. As I’ve said many times before, using a VPN is all about trust, and that’s hard to have when you don’t know who you’re trusting."


I'm just not very worried about Apple spying on me, people cloning my credit card, the power company frying my appliances or Wawa gas choking my car. Never saw a reason to be overly concerned about any of these things. When I do, then I'll start worrying.

Back on topic (if anyone even remembers what that is)... Something is definitely going on with the power here. Just had a 15 minute outage around 6:00 AM. The ACE app said it was affecting 250 homes and the cause was unknown. Was dreading the idea of setting up the generator to take my morning shower when it came back on.
Did the utility delineate the area affected? Would be interesting if there was something going on that caused the power co software to re-route the flow. That sometimes happens here when a driver not familiar with the Rt 49 curve in Shiloh takes out a utility pole.
Don't get a new microwave Boyd; it will report back how done you like your popcorn.
 
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Boyd

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Atlantic City Electric has an app that shows current outages and lets you report one. It shows an icon on the map, which was near my home. I like @c1nj 's theory about powerline replacement, which has been in progress for over a year around here (there are a couple threads on the topic somewhere).
 

old jersey girl

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Atlantic City Electric has an app that shows current outages and lets you report one. It shows an icon on the map, which was near my home. I like @c1nj 's theory about powerline replacement, which has been in progress for over a year around here (there are a couple threads on the topic somewhere).
Yeah, I've seen ACE outage maps, they're good about letting us know what/where power is out. I am impressed with their proactive approach to maintenance.

A few years ago I saw one of their small pickups stopped on Trench Rd, young guy with clipboard was looking at a transformer, taking notes. He said the company was upgrading the software which reroutes power, and his job was to document the hardware used to fix damage on the lines. He told me the records in the office don't always match how the repairs were made. As in, you are miles away from a supply source: you're gonna fix the problem with what you've got in the truck.
So, someone with field experience was matching records with reality.
ACE also strengthened the crosspieces and connections on the poles in this area, replaced poles.
Impressive.
And, unlike --#%##Verizon, they don't butcher trees when they trim around the power lines. They ask permission and use skilled contractors.
 

Boyd

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Agreed, Atlantic City Electric has really done a lot to harden their system after the derecho in 2012 - I posted a screenshot of that outage in this thread: https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/here-comes-the-hot-weather.8394/page-2#post-99809

I'm way off the road with buried power lines, which is great, because after a big storm my lines would probably be about their lowest priority. I have my own transformer on a pad next to the house, and a guy from ACE checked it out a few years ago too. He said they were doing an inventory of all their transformers because their records were old and full of errors.
 
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