Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 225418 times)

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Marga

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1290 on: June 09, 2014, 08:17:20 PM »
That always bugs me; "I/people grew up without (fill in the blank) so we don't need it." People also grew up without things like indoor plumbing and penicillin. :P

My in-laws used this quote to justify not putting sunscreen on my children so that they came back from the beach burned.  They just "didn't worry about that stuff" in their day.  In their northern climate.  With snow 8 months out of 12.  Then they came to Florida and ignored my instruction to make sure the children had sunscreen on at the BEACH. 

We never went for sunblock in our day, but you can be sure I make sure my grandchildren are protected: sunblock, hat, glasses, shirt, the works, and that's if we're not even going to the beach. Even if I didn't care about skin cancer (which I do), I don't want them to burn, because that's painful.

Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1291 on: June 10, 2014, 05:03:11 PM »
This wasn't a cheapskate story, but it's sort of related to the in-laws not using sunscreen issue.  A while back, my kids stayed with my in-laws at their cabin at the lake.  The lake in question was well-known for having that yucky parasite that causes "swimmers' itch".    This itch can be avoided - or, at least, reduced - if the swimmer immediately showers afterwards and gets a brisk rubdown with a rough towel.   Well, my kids asked to swim, my MIL said "Sure" - and she didn't do the shower or towel thing afterwards.  End result:  two very itchy, unhappy kids covered in red bumps.  Thanks, MIL.

kherbert05

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1292 on: June 10, 2014, 11:32:58 PM »
Growing up my parents had to be very specific - Kimberly cannot use sunscreen. Sis must use sunscreen - and not touch her sister. At least 1 time the person in charge assumed for some reason that my parents were doing the I didn't need X growing up thing and put sunscreen on me. We got to spend the day in the ER instead of the beach. Once they took PABA out of sunscreens, I've used it religiously. One of my Dad's biggest fears is that the sunlamp treatments that were prescribed for my skin condition might cause me to have skin cancer later. The docs and I keep a look out, but I have never had a sunburn, and the treatments were short 5 min per section of body 2 x a week. So they think my risk might actually be lower than other people my age that burned each summer.

My parents were of the we have a typewriter for your paper's mindset. My first programming class, I constantly had to appeal being docked points for being "late" in turning in my work. Thing was there weren't enough computers to go around and misogynistic person in charge of the class put the boys on first (One the first day of school he actually said, "Girls this is computers it is for boys, I think home ec is across from the library)- so often I didn't even get to a computer until the day the program was due.

My parents filed complaints with the school and bought me an Apple IIE. We had a very basic word processing program, and my parents saw the benefit. I also aced the final and earned an A in the class.

Later when I got my first computer capable of getting on the internet - they didn't see the purpose. The IIE still did everything you needed a computer for.  Then one night Dad asked me "What movie was that guy in with this other guy that was about X?" I went in my room printed up the relevant IMDB pages - and Dad was hooked. 

Both my parents were Depression/WWII kids. But they really didn't go the cheapskate route. They went for the bet the best value for your money and take care of things. They would do research, and pay more for things they felt would last longer.
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Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1293 on: June 11, 2014, 12:55:26 PM »
Speaking of computers, when I was taking Computer Science in university, I often had to stay late to finish assignments.  My parents worried about me, and when they found that I could do my assignments at home if I had a computer and a modem, they immediately bought them for me.  It was one of the first IBM PCs (the one with two 5 1/4" floppy drives).  The entire package (computer, modem, printer, software) cost $7,000 in 1983 dollars - so, a very large cash outlay.  I used the bejeebers out of that thing.

The somewhat-cheapskate part came later.  About ten years after I'd graduated from university, I mentioned to my parents that I was getting rid of my IBM PC.  Mum asked "Are you going to sell it?"  "Er, no.  No-one will want it.  It's too old and out-of-date."   "What?  That can't be right.  You have to be able to get something for it."  "I'm afraid not, Mum."  "Well, at least donate it to a school!"  "They won't want it either, Mum!  It's too old!"

I could sympathize - they had spent a lot of money on that thing, and Mum simply couldn't believe that it was now worthless.

Otterpop

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1294 on: June 11, 2014, 03:26:01 PM »
Speaking of computers, when I was taking Computer Science in university, I often had to stay late to finish assignments.  My parents worried about me, and when they found that I could do my assignments at home if I had a computer and a modem, they immediately bought them for me.  It was one of the first IBM PCs (the one with two 5 1/4" floppy drives).  The entire package (computer, modem, printer, software) cost $7,000 in 1983 dollars - so, a very large cash outlay.  I used the bejeebers out of that thing.

The somewhat-cheapskate part came later.  About ten years after I'd graduated from university, I mentioned to my parents that I was getting rid of my IBM PC.  Mum asked "Are you going to sell it?"  "Er, no.  No-one will want it.  It's too old and out-of-date."   "What?  That can't be right.  You have to be able to get something for it."  "I'm afraid not, Mum."  "Well, at least donate it to a school!"  "They won't want it either, Mum!  It's too old!"

I could sympathize - they had spent a lot of money on that thing, and Mum simply couldn't believe that it was now worthless.

Oooh I'll bet that was painful!  Tech moves so fast your machine is obsolete before you get it set up.  Our first several machines ran $2500-$3500 for a top of the line kit, and were sold a few years later for scrap.  Every time DH would say he needed to get a new one we'd have to take out a loan.  (We also have a projection screen TV that cost several thousand.  We can't even donate it now).

Nowadays you can buy a notebook or laptop nowadays for a few hundred, and smartphones are smarter than original PCs.  Whew!

cattlekid

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1295 on: June 11, 2014, 03:35:52 PM »
I am going to throw my hat in the ring on behalf of my ILs.

Last fall, their old 32" tube TV bit the dust in an electrical storm.  DH was thrilled.  Finally!  A chance to get them into the 2000's in terms of TV technology.  He dutifully went with his dad to pick out a new TV.

They lugged home a 46" Smart TV.  However, they were hooking it to a non-HD capable TV and and using the TV's built in speakers (no audio components) and no Internet access. My presence was requested to help navigate through the initial setup screens. 

Well, since there was no HD, no Internet and no audio, the setup was a lot of "skip to next step".  My joke to DH on the way home is that if the good folks at Samsung knew that the TV that they spent so much time designing and building was being used in such a manner, they would come to the IL's house and take it away to a better home.

About a week later, we got a call from FIL that Vanna White from "Wheel of Fortune" was vertically challenged.  Yes, FIL, because you were using the widescreen format for a non-widescreen broadcast.  All because they won't pay the $10 extra per month for a HD-capable receiver.

ladyknight1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1296 on: June 11, 2014, 04:22:22 PM »
Speaking of computers, when I was taking Computer Science in university, I often had to stay late to finish assignments.  My parents worried about me, and when they found that I could do my assignments at home if I had a computer and a modem, they immediately bought them for me.  It was one of the first IBM PCs (the one with two 5 1/4" floppy drives).  The entire package (computer, modem, printer, software) cost $7,000 in 1983 dollars - so, a very large cash outlay.  I used the bejeebers out of that thing.

The somewhat-cheapskate part came later.  About ten years after I'd graduated from university, I mentioned to my parents that I was getting rid of my IBM PC.  Mum asked "Are you going to sell it?"  "Er, no.  No-one will want it.  It's too old and out-of-date."   "What?  That can't be right.  You have to be able to get something for it."  "I'm afraid not, Mum."  "Well, at least donate it to a school!"  "They won't want it either, Mum!  It's too old!"

I could sympathize - they had spent a lot of money on that thing, and Mum simply couldn't believe that it was now worthless.

Oooh I'll bet that was painful!  Tech moves so fast your machine is obsolete before you get it set up.  Our first several machines ran $2500-$3500 for a top of the line kit, and were sold a few years later for scrap.  Every time DH would say he needed to get a new one we'd have to take out a loan.  (We also have a projection screen TV that cost several thousand.  We can't even donate it now).

Nowadays you can buy a notebook or laptop nowadays for a few hundred, and smartphones are smarter than original PCs.  Whew!

Our social organization uses a school warehouse for the one major delivery we have each year. I'm always amazed by the number of iMac computers c. 1998 that they have, never installed, and still shrink wrapped on pallets.


alkira6

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1297 on: June 11, 2014, 05:19:45 PM »
Speaking of computers, when I was taking Computer Science in university, I often had to stay late to finish assignments.  My parents worried about me, and when they found that I could do my assignments at home if I had a computer and a modem, they immediately bought them for me.  It was one of the first IBM PCs (the one with two 5 1/4" floppy drives).  The entire package (computer, modem, printer, software) cost $7,000 in 1983 dollars - so, a very large cash outlay.  I used the bejeebers out of that thing.

The somewhat-cheapskate part came later.  About ten years after I'd graduated from university, I mentioned to my parents that I was getting rid of my IBM PC.  Mum asked "Are you going to sell it?"  "Er, no.  No-one will want it.  It's too old and out-of-date."   "What?  That can't be right.  You have to be able to get something for it."  "I'm afraid not, Mum."  "Well, at least donate it to a school!"  "They won't want it either, Mum!  It's too old!"

I could sympathize - they had spent a lot of money on that thing, and Mum simply couldn't believe that it was now worthless.

Oooh I'll bet that was painful!  Tech moves so fast your machine is obsolete before you get it set up.  Our first several machines ran $2500-$3500 for a top of the line kit, and were sold a few years later for scrap.  Every time DH would say he needed to get a new one we'd have to take out a loan.  (We also have a projection screen TV that cost several thousand.  We can't even donate it now).

Nowadays you can buy a notebook or laptop nowadays for a few hundred, and smartphones are smarter than original PCs.  Whew!

Our social organization uses a school warehouse for the one major delivery we have each year. I'm always amazed by the number of iMac computers c. 1998 that they have, never installed, and still shrink wrapped on pallets.



I'm not. I've bought brand new towers that were only a couple of years old at surplus auctions before.  I would pay between 20-50 dollars for them, strip them apart, and sell them for parts on eBay.  I've also used parts to upgrade computers to use in my classroom. 

The amount of waste in some districts is phenomenal.  My husband and I usually dumpster dive at various warehouses and schools at the end of the school year and can find enough supplies/furniture/whatnot to supply several shelters with basics for homeless families with kids.

hjaye

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1298 on: June 12, 2014, 11:34:09 AM »
Speaking of computers, when I was taking Computer Science in university, I often had to stay late to finish assignments.  My parents worried about me, and when they found that I could do my assignments at home if I had a computer and a modem, they immediately bought them for me.  It was one of the first IBM PCs (the one with two 5 1/4" floppy drives).  The entire package (computer, modem, printer, software) cost $7,000 in 1983 dollars - so, a very large cash outlay.  I used the bejeebers out of that thing.

The somewhat-cheapskate part came later.  About ten years after I'd graduated from university, I mentioned to my parents that I was getting rid of my IBM PC.  Mum asked "Are you going to sell it?"  "Er, no.  No-one will want it.  It's too old and out-of-date."   "What?  That can't be right.  You have to be able to get something for it."  "I'm afraid not, Mum."  "Well, at least donate it to a school!"  "They won't want it either, Mum!  It's too old!"

I could sympathize - they had spent a lot of money on that thing, and Mum simply couldn't believe that it was now worthless.

Back in the early nineties, a friend of mine decided to upgrade to the latest computer technology so he would be set and not have to purchase or upgrade his computer equipment for a long time.
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rose red

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1299 on: June 12, 2014, 11:55:30 AM »
Off topic, but all this computer talk reminds me of a Dear Abby(?) letter about a grandparent writing their baby grandchild a letter to be read when the child grew up. They saved it on a computer disk and Abby and readers advised them to print out a hard copy. Great advice! Back then, it was unimaginable the computer disk will not be used forever. What else can improve this already small convenient portable thing?

Thipu1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1300 on: June 12, 2014, 04:01:54 PM »
When T-Rex walked the earth, the library got its first computer.  It was a 286.  A few years later we wanted to upgrade to a 386.  There was money in our budget and we had a generous donor who was willing to cover part of the cost.

The amateur know-it-all, who was the volunteer IT person at the time, pooh-poohed the whole thing.  Why would we ever want or need anything more than a 286.  Anything more was just a waste of money. 

BTW, when we first got email this 'extremely savvy' person received and forwarded a message with the dubious title of 'Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Revealed'. 

Yup, it infected a good third of the computers in the museum.   


Hillia

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1301 on: June 12, 2014, 04:33:10 PM »
A 286?  Ha!  I started when all we had were 8086's, no fancy Windows things - we wrote batch programs to make our menus, and we liked it, by gum!

I also remember very distinctly paying $1080 for an 80 MB (yes, MB, not GB) hard drive for my work computer.

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PastryGoddess

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1302 on: June 12, 2014, 05:04:45 PM »
I was very lucky.  My stepfather is a maintenance supervisor at Social Security Administration.  SSA was one of the first gov't agencies to start computerizing records, they went through a LOT of computers each year.

I got my first computer back in 1990.  I had a computer even before my school did.  So when they eventually got one, I was asked all of the time how to do things/fix things.

I have no idea what model it was.  But I do remember that it was DOS.  We also had a cell phone well before most people did, my SF was put on duty as the superintendent's driver for 2 years, and so had to be on call at all times. 

artk2002

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1303 on: June 12, 2014, 06:19:48 PM »
Back in 1984 I spent a lot of money ($3000?) for one of the first Macs and a Lisa (which you needed to write software for the Mac.) That was with the developer discount. The Lisa did come with a 5MB hard drive!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

amandaelizabeth

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1304 on: June 12, 2014, 07:45:44 PM »
We bought our first Mac in 1985.  We had to re-morguage the house to buy it.

Later in 1999 we were offered a Mac 2fx (the nicest computer I have ever used) for $150 and they threw in the software and desk for the price.  In 1995 when the company bought it is was over $20,000 (NZ).  It is still downstairs and I use it for the company accounts which I have to think about so the slowness of the operating system is a bonus.