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[#] Sat Dec 05 2020 17:39:32 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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So, because Macs are pieces of shit, when I bought the i5 Macbook Pro (I saw this as a write this on the replacement i7 Macbook Pro that is *notorious* for dying prematurely).. 

I bought a Square Trade warranty. I thought I'd get my money back or a replacement - but Walmart's scam is to issue you a gift card. Better than being ass out $400... but let's be honest - $400 to spend at Walmart is like giving Lebron $15 million to spend at Harrods. There just isn't a lot at Walmart that I don't already have, or that I want. 

So mostly I've been buying shit I don't really need, but kind of have a mild desire to have, to just try and get my money back. Shit I *might* buy otherwise, but would usually buy at Amazon. 

Which is probably Walmart's plan. And it kind of worked - because recently I wanted another 240 gb SSD for my second NUC, so it matches my production one, which this server runs on. 

Amazon could deliver it in 1 day, but it had gone up $2 since I last purchased it, and still didn't qualify for 1 day delivery without an additional $2.99 fee, as a Prime member. 

I was a little offended. You're charging me $4 more for the same deal, 7 days later? Wait a second. I've got a gift card I'm trying to burn up... Walmart sells SSD drives too, right? 

At Walmart, it was $34 with expedited delivery, and the delivery was Saturday. But... $30 of it was just a gift certificate. The math worked out that it would cost me MORE actual money at Amazon than to pay a little more and spend money I had already spent at Walmart. Hope that makes sense - but... $30 I've already spent is cheaper than spending $10 I haven't spent yet. 

So I went with Walmart. 

And today, I went to look for it, and it arrives Sunday. 

This is why WalMart is losing - more expensive, and they can't get it here on time, with a longer delivery window. 

This is capitalism. It is brutal. Still better than the alternative. 

 



[#] Sat Dec 05 2020 17:45:48 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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I also bought a laptop cooling mat, and a 4 port hub, and a curved Samsung monitor. Just shit that I wouldn't justify normally. 


I did buy things from Amazon, then realize I should have bought them from WalMart on the gift card. That was my worry - that I'd forget about the WalMart balance. It was an annoyance I wanted to get over with. That seems to be their strategy at this point - to get people on the hook and encourage them to buy from WalMart instead of Amazon. 

But here is the deal - when that happens, it has to be such a positive experience I think of WalMart *first* the next time. 

And that isn't happening. Every experience with WalMart makes me go, "This would be way easier and better dealing with Amazon." 

They're just reinforcing why I turn to Amazon *first* and *forget* to check them at all. 

 



[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 22:48:47 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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And sure enough, I recently bought a 249gb and 128gb  ssd and SD from Amazon. Didn't even consider WalMart. 



[#] Sun Apr 04 2021 01:38:04 MST from Wangiss <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

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Hah! Yeah, I get super eBay vibes from walmart dot com. Like... Is this a real thing? Is it from America? Who ships this and when? Why can't any of this just seem normal?

But Walmart is one of the few stores in my town. There's a Safeway and a QFC (one of the two local Kroger brands) for groceries if my tiny corner grocer doesn't have something or I don't want to pay $8 for a jar of local organic peanut butter. If I want hardware there's a Home Depot. Population 8,000 is really roomy but doesn't justify a lot of competition. 

The coolest thing we have might be the full-fledged Radio Shack. I can't wait to buy several Arduinos and automate my whole life with custom robots. They have every sensor, shield, and attachment there, along with breadboards and all the classic electronic components. Need one resistor? It's in a baggie. I get pumped just thinking about it.

Walmart just restocked its bicycle section with all the things I couldn't get there during winter. So I paid about $250 today for two dozen bike parts (tires, tubes, kickstand, replacement seat, etc., etc.) that would have run me double at the bike shop across the street. When I'm well enough off, I'll be delighted to pay sole proprietor Ben full price for mundane petroleum products, but for now I'm glad the terrible Walmart is an evil god that can be bargained with. 



[#] Mon Apr 05 2021 23:07:59 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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Amazon is super shit for that. I just bought a Kensington 240GB SD from Amazon that I have a strong suspicion is counterfeit. The last few weren't... but this one seemed iffy. 

I can't stand living in a city without a lot of diversity in retail offerings. I love Phoenix. We've got a half dozen of EVERYTHING, minimum - for the most part. We don't have a Meade optics store. That sucks. And we don't have a Fry's electronics anymore - but who does? 

I was talking to a very apologetic Amazon customer service rep today. I told her, "I'm not angry at you. I'm angry at Jeff Bezzos." 

Little cities still have Radio Shacks. There is one in Show Low, Arizona. I was surprised to see that. Weird that Radio Shack can only survive in small town America. Kind of counter intuitive. 

I go to the indy bike shop. Better quality stuff - more knowledgeable staff. I wish more people who were well enough off would make wise decisions instead of being penny pinching tight-asses who consolidate the power of mega-retailers who are only the low price leader when they're driving everyone else out of town. No judgement against you... but I personally hate Target *and* Walmart. 

 

Sun Apr 04 2021 01:38:04 MST from "Wangiss" <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

Hah! Yeah, I get super eBay vibes from walmart dot com. Like... Is this a real thing? Is it from America? Who ships this and when? Why can't any of this just seem normal?

But Walmart is one of the few stores in my town. There's a Safeway and a QFC (one of the two local Kroger brands) for groceries if my tiny corner grocer doesn't have something or I don't want to pay $8 for a jar of local organic peanut butter. If I want hardware there's a Home Depot. Population 8,000 is really roomy but doesn't justify a lot of competition. 

The coolest thing we have might be the full-fledged Radio Shack. I can't wait to buy several Arduinos and automate my whole life with custom robots. They have every sensor, shield, and attachment there, along with breadboards and all the classic electronic components. Need one resistor? It's in a baggie. I get pumped just thinking about it.

Walmart just restocked its bicycle section with all the things I couldn't get there during winter. So I paid about $250 today for two dozen bike parts (tires, tubes, kickstand, replacement seat, etc., etc.) that would have run me double at the bike shop across the street. When I'm well enough off, I'll be delighted to pay sole proprietor Ben full price for mundane petroleum products, but for now I'm glad the terrible Walmart is an evil god that can be bargained with. 



 



[#] Tue Apr 06 2021 00:33:14 MST from Wangiss <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

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Yeah. I love going to little shops. When I buy my groceries from the corner store, I know the blueberries are coming from their own farm. The cheese is coming from the dairy that sells me my manure. The average distance the food travels is 30 miles instead of the usual 1500. Once I get a crop going, they'll probably let me sell it there, too. And possibly my wife's ceramics. Fricking magic.

And once I'm established (which may never happen--we're having a dog of a time stabilizing my wife enough to support a career) we'll certainly be buying as local and small-box as we can.

Related:

Fry's is the best store in the world. 



[#] Tue Apr 06 2021 16:03:46 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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Fry's Electronics or Fry's Supermarket? 

The one here is a little ghetto. It reminds me of downtown Safeway... mostly the one center-downtown - not the Alhambra one. It just feels very busy and urban. 

If your wife cannot be stable enough for a career - your only option may be to figure out how to be stable enough to achieve a career for two - which isn't impossible. 

 

 

Tue Apr 06 2021 00:33:14 MST from "Wangiss" <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

Yeah. I love going to little shops. When I buy my groceries from the corner store, I know the blueberries are coming from their own farm. The cheese is coming from the dairy that sells me my manure. The average distance the food travels is 30 miles instead of the usual 1500. Once I get a crop going, they'll probably let me sell it there, too. And possibly my wife's ceramics. Fricking magic.

And once I'm established (which may never happen--we're having a dog of a time stabilizing my wife enough to support a career) we'll certainly be buying as local and small-box as we can.

Related:

Fry's is the best store in the world. 



 



[#] Wed Apr 07 2021 19:31:46 MST from Wangiss <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

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Right. She hasn't been employed for a decade and a half. My jobs have been paying around 80-84k and I take some side work, which amounts to almost middle class for a man with six kids. And since I was raised charity-case poor I don't have any trouble living at the 30th percentile, or whatever it works out to.



[#] Thu Apr 08 2021 21:40:54 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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My response in Automobiles and Racecars. 

 

 

Wed Apr 07 2021 19:31:46 MST from "Wangiss" <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

Right. She hasn't been employed for a decade and a half. My jobs have been paying around 80-84k and I take some side work, which amounts to almost middle class for a man with six kids. And since I was raised charity-case poor I don't have any trouble living at the 30th percentile, or whatever it works out to.



 



[#] Tue Apr 13 2021 10:08:27 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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So, I bought a 1TB SD for one of my NUCs, intending to start testing proxmox and setting up some Citadel development VMs. From Amazon. 

The item arrives, I open it up, and it is a 480gb SD. 

So I return it, "replace with exact item."

It arrived again. They took that a little too literally, and sent me ANOTHER 480gb SD. So, I returned that for a refund, and bought one from Best Buy. 

Seeing Amazon blow a sale through complete fucking ineptitude makes me happy. 

 



[#] Wed Apr 14 2021 04:21:47 MST from Wangiss <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

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Ha! Meanwhile my motherboard is en route from Amazon and it turns out I bought the wrong one.

D'oh!

Apparently not all LGA 1200 motherboards are Comet Lake motherboards. Hopefully I'll have learned this at no shipping cost, but I'll take my stripes if I have to.

Neither Walmart nor Office Depot nor the local computer repair shop just had a CPU or motherboard on the shelf. The latter said that once the silicon chip crisis is over he might be able to start stocking those and avoid slow turnaround. But for now it's a fool's errand to try and keep even the most popular on hand.

Walmart is good for a discount SSD or memory cards/sticks. They also have Wi-Fi repeaters and some cool stuff like that. If I can get one more router in my cottage office, I should have excellent Wi-Fi on the majority of our 1.2 acres.

There's a question:

Can I use a beefy router to broadcast the same network I'm using on my weak routers? Right now I have my ARRIS router sending out Wi-Fi and an Orbi mesh network plugged into it which I use for the printer and the kids so I can monitor their screen time. I'd love to buy one of those crazy powerful routers for my cottage, but it would be best if it's sending out ARRIS or Orbi signals instead of some new, third signal. Does that make sense? 



[#] Wed Apr 14 2021 08:26:24 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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Generally what you want here is an access point with a line of site antenna and another access point at the remote location with a line of site antenna there. 

Those SHOULD work hooked into a mesh network. I'd assume you would have a repeater/AP hooked to the ethernet port on your mesh node inside - with an antenna pointing to the cottage. At the cottage you would have the same thing repeated. 

It just acts as a wireless ethernet cable ran between your main building and your remote building. 

But line of site is critical. 



[#] Thu Apr 15 2021 23:56:17 MST from Wangiss <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

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That doesn't sound like it would preserve the gigabit speed very well, but I'll look into it. 



[#] Fri Apr 16 2021 07:17:01 MST from ParanoidDelusions <paranoiddelusions@wallofhate.com>

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No. If you want gigabit speed out at a distant shop - I think that your best bet would be a buried fiber-optic cable running from one building to the other. 

Of course, that is *expensive*. :) 

 

Thu Apr 15 2021 23:56:17 MST from Wangiss <wangiss@wallofhate.com>

That doesn't sound like it would preserve the gigabit speed very well, but I'll look into it.