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41
Discussions - Public / Re: LED light bulbs are finally here!
« Last post by The Gorn on December 01, 2017, 11:20:55 AM »
I just installed LED recessed lighting in my kitchen.
....
We shall see how long they last. I am usually not an early adopter and wait for the price to come down. The prices of LEDs are coming down like a rock. I was disappointed with the CFL bulbs - none lasted as long as they said it would.

Niiiiiice. Thanks for the mini-review.

We have can lights in the kitchen that were installed in 2000, and in 2007 our contractor poured extra insulation in the attic. So there is one can light apparently covered in batting up above that from time to time goes out (thermal safety shutdown) right over where I cook.

Are LED lights capable of dimming?

I wonder if LEDs actually appropriated alien technology? I'm wondering. :D They seem a little too good to be true.
42
Discussions - Public / Re: LED light bulbs are finally here!
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on December 01, 2017, 10:30:56 AM »
I just installed LED recessed lighting in my kitchen. I ripped out the entire ceiling and put in recessed HALO lighting cans. I did not pick LED only cans but rather cans that were capable of taking regular bulbs, LED bulbs or LED recessed lighting modules. Than I put the sheet rock back. Came out pretty nice. My family was in construction so this kind of work does not scare me and I have done it before. This is my first time using LED's.

My recessed lighting LED modules were made by HALO who makes the majority of recessed cans on the market. They are not like bulbs at all - they are more like hockey pucks with a built in trim ring. The whole module screws into a standard Edison socket.  Here is what I put in:

http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/lighting/brands/recessed_halo/_led_retrofit.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDmlhcGwPJo

There are a few things I like - they dont barely consume any electricity and they also dont generate heat. This is a very good thing as most recessed lights generate a ton of heat. I did a cost analysis - trim ring + LED flood light bulb was more expensive than buying these modules from HALO. So I gave it a shot.

We shall see how long they last. I am usually not an early adopter and wait for the price to come down. The prices of LEDs are coming down like a rock. I was disappointed with the CFL bulbs - none lasted as long as they said it would.
43
Discussions - Public / Are All LED TVs Pretty Much The Same?
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on December 01, 2017, 10:19:42 AM »
I was at Costco the other day and while I was there it dawned on me that I could not tell the difference between any of the LED TV brands. If you taped over the name you could not single out one particular brand over another.

LG, Samsung, Vizio, Sony - it all looks the same to me. People gush all over that Samsung is the best but I dont see it. Its not that any of them are bad but I dont think there is just much difference between them.

Maybe my eye is not discerning enough, I dont know.

What do you all think?
44
Discussions - Public / Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on December 01, 2017, 10:15:41 AM »
Some more observations about the Samsung phone, yes the screen was impressive from a display standpoint but thats about it. The Edge functionality was HORRIBLE. As the screen wrapped around you have no place to put your fingers but on edge. And you touch the edge it fires off stuff. Yeah thanks but no thanks. I turned some of it off but you cant turn all of it off.

The one thing that really stood out besides the dysfunctional UI was how hot the thing would get. Samsung toted the whole wireless charging thing where you lay it down on a pad to charge it. Yeah thats nice but it doesnt work with all cases and oh yeah we forgot to tell you its so hot you are afraid its going to spontaneously catch fire. Lithium battery fires are not pretty, dont even go there.

What you say about buying one of the big brand names and longevity is dead on. If you buy a no-name one than it really is disposable. You are on your own.

If you do any real reading about Android the OS - the carrier logo-ed phones are completely dependent on updates from the carrier. What that means is that your version of Android is not only customized by Samsung but its also customized by whomever your carrier is as well. In computer dork source code talk that means you have this:

Google
    |
Android
    |
Samsung
    |
Carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Joe's Cell Company)

What that means if Google updates Android, who knows how long it will take Samsung to take it in and do what they have to do and than you get to wait again for the carrier to butcher it even further. So you have the bastard child from mars in terms of Android.

If you go on the Android forums there is tons and tons of people complaining about whatever version of Android there is and when are they going to get the patches. It took Samsung/Verizon over a year to deliver the Lollipop version of Android to Samsung users.

For Verizon, you also dont know what they did to it as they wont tell you. The only thing you can see is the crapware they have forced on you that you cant uninstall. I remember there was at least 6-8 Verizon apps that that you CANT UNINSTALL.

They also have partnered with all kinds of other companies ie. Facebook, Twitter and other crap you have never heard of. And you cant uninstall that either. You are locked in to them 1000%. The only way to get rid of it is to flash your own OS. And you could brick your phone in the process.

Who has time for that? Not me. All of this is why I went back to the iPhone - when Apple pushes updates it controls them. No Verizon, no AT&T. There is no crapware on the phone, just the crap that you install :) . Yes Apple is psychotic and controlling but it could be much worse.

I have read that the Moto's are stock Android, thats a good thing.
45
Discussions - Public / Coming to a conclusion of sorts on phone brands
« Last post by The Gorn on December 01, 2017, 06:58:28 AM »
If you want a phone to be useful and reliable for more than a year past its purchase date, it's best to buy one of the leading brands (iPhone, Samsung even with its issues, LG, Huawei, Alcatel, Moto, etc.)

I found that the BLU phones are not updated regularly and there are associated problems that crop up. Android is not Linux, it has to be customized to the phone hardware, and there will most likely never be updates to my BLU phone.

The fact that the phone isn't that common means that you can't find other user experiences with particular problems. The phone I bought was a 2014 model - it was already a bit out of date when I bought it.

I'm not saying a name brand is perfect but the off-brand Chinese phones and the lower tier phone brands like the BLU seem to be disposable Kleenex phones that nobody cares about once they are 1+ year out of release.

I'm hoping I get 2-3 years out of this phone, relative to the battery life and the stability of its Android and its hardware. That would be fine.

Next time I want a REALLY cheap offmarket phone I will consider one of this direct from China shipped phones for a lot cheaper than American versions.
46
Discussions - Public / Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Last post by The Gorn on December 01, 2017, 06:39:11 AM »
Very, very interesting. I think Samsung has to watch their asses. They no longer make the best products in their class. They've just become the iPhone of the Android world by default.

My opinion is that Samsung is obsessed with branding and that extends to cluttering up stock Android with their own crapware.

I would tentatively recommend this Moto (Lenovo manufactured) phone.

I need a good case for this phone ASAP but it doesn't feel fragile at all. I've never gotten an overheating issue with any smartphone, this one least of all - I'm thinking you have apps on the Samsung that create massive CPU load. The overheating means of course that the battery's capacity is being wasted with CPU activity and heat.

No edge screen with my phone, just a narrow bezel around the very flay conventional display. The edge displays are a marketing gimmick. They look cool in the store but I figured there were drawbacks.

I observe in general with technology that consumers demand or prefer features that make devices less usable. Cool features are usually anti-ergonomic. The ergonomics of smart phones are terrible anyway.

The Android on the Moto is stock - only one preinstalled app  seems to be associated with Moto(rola.)

Right now after being on disconnected from a charger since last night about 10 PM the phone shows 90%.
47
Discussions - Public / Re: Revising my phone fleet - a new Moto G5 Plus
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on December 01, 2017, 02:39:51 AM »
My Blu phone still works, but it is running Android 5.0 and has been getting progressively slower and slower in daily operation. Almost all operations have become incredibly laggy.

Also the battery life has sagged tremendously with age (just under 2 years old.) After a half hour of very light use, the battery is down to 85%.

Also the GPS has pretty much stopped working. I did find Google's location services settings, and set the GPS for GPS only, no wifi/cell tower assist. The GPS icon comes on, in the status bar, but no application I try such as hiking apps see any satellites. Yet a GPS Status app says that GPS is present. I have used the reset/download fixer data thing and no dice.

Also it's a big assed heavy phone that hardly fits in my pants pocket. I like the screen size but the form factor is awkward.

Also there is a wireless update  dated 8/23/2016 that constantly nags me, which I have found by checking out forums messes up calling on many user's phones. So I have avoided installing it but it keeps coming back.

Also I was CONSTANTLY running out of memory. The phone I (ignorantly without knowing) bought had only 8 GB. I set all of the apps I could to use SD card storage but every time they update they go right back to internal memory. At times I only had 500 MB or less of internal memory.

The point is, the Blu HD 6.0 phone is showing its age. Slow, memory saturated, wheezy, features (GPS) just stopped working, replacing the battery doable but a hassle.

Time for a new phone.

Costco and then other vendors had a Black Friday special on the Moto G5 Plus for $169 so I bought one. It arrived a couple of days ago. It has Android 7.0, is a normal form factor (5.2" screen), has 32 GB (4x the "disk" of the Blu), and has an EXTREMELY attractive build with a metal case and Gorilla glass for the display. So no more ugly plasticky blunderbuss of a phone. And it easily fits in a men's pants pocket.

GPS lock is instantaneous indoors, the camera image quality is on a par in good lighting with my Canon G16, and the call sound quality from the internal speakers is extremely clear.

I moved service over on the same plan from Straight Talk's website very, very easily. First I added a "device", which amounts to keying in the number of a SIM. (I had to find the micro SIM that came with the Straight Talk signup package because that's what the Moto uses.) So after this my account listed two devices, one for the Blu phone and a new device for the other micro SIM. I went to a function on the site that allowed me to simply transfer the phone number from an existing device to the new SIM. It allowed me to do so. I powered up the Moto with the new SIM in it, and the damned thing came up with the carrier and with wireless data working right off the bat.

Considering how much trouble I've had in the past with similar service moves, this was extremely easy. I wondered how it would work in real life and I stumbled through it successfully.

As Pxsant noted, the Moto conforms to the evil cell carrier's prohibition on tethering, which the Blu freely allowed (I get a popup saying "call 611" and set up with ATT for tethering.) I've found that there are many third party apps that allegedly support tethering which get around the restriction. I used one last night when our cable was out for the evening and it worked fairly well.

I'll hang onto the Blu phone as a extra around the house "tablet" and also as a backup in case this phone ever needs service or gets lost.

So FYI... the Moto G5 seems so far like an excellent, cost effective (cheapish) state of the art smartphone.

Good story, thanks for sharing. I have an iPhone 7 that I bought in the summer because my Samsung S7 Edge was driving me batshit insane. After months of agonizing of the switch from my old iPhone 4 to the Samsung S7 Edge I was gravely disappointed with the thing. I stayed on Verizon the entire time. After a few months of having it, I just couldnt deal with it any more and went back to the iPhone. I was very disappointed in having to do so but I just don't have the time to debug Samsung's phone. Thanks for playing. I just want it to work.

In a nutshell here is what I didn't like about it:

-Google intrusiveness - basically Android is a mobile data gathering platform for Google. There is all kinds of stuff running that you don't know what it is. Spent enormous amounts of time trying to turn stuff as it was killing the battery.

-The Samsung edge functionality where the screen wrapped over the edge is STUPID. You can't hold the phone without your fingers touching the edge and activating something. You can turn some of it off but it sucks.

-The phone was extremely fragile. You farted too hard and the screen front or back would crack.

-Horrible battery life. I would have to charge it at a minimum of two times a day. Sometimes three. So much for having a bigger battery.

-The phone would get crazy hot while charging or watching videos. So hot you that you couldnt touch it.

-Separate voicemail app - why the voicemail app is separate from the phone app is beyond me. Hey Android developers - FIX IT.

-The apps tended to be buggy. Very buggy.

-Data importation from the iPhone sucked - it took forever and than it hosed all my contacts, music and other stuff. Thanks but I really enjoyed spending a week fixing it.

I would consider another Android but it won't be a Samsung.
48
Discussions - Public / Revising my phone fleet - a new Moto G5 Plus
« Last post by The Gorn on November 30, 2017, 07:43:24 PM »
My Blu phone still works, but it is running Android 5.0 and has been getting progressively slower and slower in daily operation. Almost all operations have become incredibly laggy.

Also the battery life has sagged tremendously with age (just under 2 years old.) After a half hour of very light use, the battery is down to 85%.

Also the GPS has pretty much stopped working. I did find Google's location services settings, and set the GPS for GPS only, no wifi/cell tower assist. The GPS icon comes on, in the status bar, but no application I try such as hiking apps see any satellites. Yet a GPS Status app says that GPS is present. I have used the reset/download fixer data thing and no dice.

Also it's a big assed heavy phone that hardly fits in my pants pocket. I like the screen size but the form factor is awkward.

Also there is a wireless update  dated 8/23/2016 that constantly nags me, which I have found by checking out forums messes up calling on many user's phones. So I have avoided installing it but it keeps coming back.

Also I was CONSTANTLY running out of memory. The phone I (ignorantly without knowing) bought had only 8 GB. I set all of the apps I could to use SD card storage but every time they update they go right back to internal memory. At times I only had 500 MB or less of internal memory.

The point is, the Blu HD 6.0 phone is showing its age. Slow, memory saturated, wheezy, features (GPS) just stopped working, replacing the battery doable but a hassle.

Time for a new phone.

Costco and then other vendors had a Black Friday special on the Moto G5 Plus for $169 so I bought one. It arrived a couple of days ago. It has Android 7.0, is a normal form factor (5.2" screen), has 32 GB (4x the "disk" of the Blu), and has an EXTREMELY attractive build with a metal case and Gorilla glass for the display. So no more ugly plasticky blunderbuss of a phone. And it easily fits in a men's pants pocket.

GPS lock is instantaneous indoors, the camera image quality is on a par in good lighting with my Canon G16, and the call sound quality from the internal speakers is extremely clear.

I moved service over on the same plan from Straight Talk's website very, very easily. First I added a "device", which amounts to keying in the number of a SIM. (I had to find the micro SIM that came with the Straight Talk signup package because that's what the Moto uses.) So after this my account listed two devices, one for the Blu phone and a new device for the other micro SIM. I went to a function on the site that allowed me to simply transfer the phone number from an existing device to the new SIM. It allowed me to do so. I powered up the Moto with the new SIM in it, and the damned thing came up with the carrier and with wireless data working right off the bat.

Considering how much trouble I've had in the past with similar service moves, this was extremely easy. I wondered how it would work in real life and I stumbled through it successfully.

As Pxsant noted, the Moto conforms to the evil cell carrier's prohibition on tethering, which the Blu freely allowed (I get a popup saying "call 611" and set up with ATT for tethering.) I've found that there are many third party apps that allegedly support tethering which get around the restriction. I used one last night when our cable was out for the evening and it worked fairly well.

I'll hang onto the Blu phone as a extra around the house "tablet" and also as a backup in case this phone ever needs service or gets lost.

So FYI... the Moto G5 seems so far like an excellent, cost effective (cheapish) state of the art smartphone.
49
Discussions - Public / Re: LED light bulbs are finally here!
« Last post by The Gorn on November 27, 2017, 02:11:37 PM »
We had a motion sensor coach light next to our garage's door go out this summer so we bought a replacement my wife fell in love with. When I went to install it, much to my chagrin it had a self contained LED light in it. I wouldn't have gotten it if I'd known but we kept it and I installed it and caulked it in.

The motion part doesn't work very well so we leave the light on so it stays on all night. It's as bright as a 100 watt bulb yet when I touch the LED light inside the shade it's barely warm.

Almost 100% efficiency in converting electricity to light, QUITE impressive. Even CFLs get pretty hot.
50
Discussions - Public / Re: LED light bulbs are finally here!
« Last post by benali72 on November 27, 2017, 09:43:09 AM »
Hey all, thank guys for the brand information. I've been wondering how long these things will last. I still remember when CFLs first came out, the market was flooded with cheap Chinese made ones, some of which burned out way faster than was claimed. I bought my LEDs at Home Depot so hopefully I get the same good results as pxsand and unix.

I love the fact they eliminate the environmental disaster of CFLs-- I mean seriously, who could really follow all those disposal requirements all the time.

Plus the LEDs don't get hot beneath small lampshades, so you can put a 75 or 100 equivalent in a 60-watt rated device without worries. Fantastic. Cheers.
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