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Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 516209 times)

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cattlekid

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1290 on: June 11, 2014, 02:35:52 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 #1291 on: June 11, 2014, 03:22:22 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  It's too old and out-of-date."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.

ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

alkira6

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1292 on: June 11, 2014, 04:19:45 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 #1293 on: June 12, 2014, 10:34:09 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.
PC:     386
RAM:  16MB
Hard Drive

rose red

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1294 on: June 12, 2014, 10:55:30 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 #1295 on: June 12, 2014, 03:01:54 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 #1296 on: June 12, 2014, 03:33:10 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.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1297 on: June 12, 2014, 04:04:45 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 #1298 on: June 12, 2014, 05:19:48 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.

amandaelizabeth

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1299 on: June 12, 2014, 06:45:44 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1300 on: June 12, 2014, 06:53:30 PM »
I graduated high school in 1987 in a fairly rural small city in north Texas. There was one computer in the city. I had never seen one.

I fell in love with an IBM at a store where I worked in the early nineties and I've been building my own desktop gaming pc's since 2000. My father in law still uses floppy drives, and is a computer simulator engineer.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1301 on: June 13, 2014, 11:29:36 AM »
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.

My first computer... well, okay my first computer was a TI-99/4A.  But my first *real* computer had a 40MB hard drive.  These days, anti-virus won't even fit on that... never mind Windows.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1302 on: June 13, 2014, 11:55:23 AM »
I am loving the computer stories, but I think we're going to need a separate thread for them.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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RegionMom

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1303 on: June 13, 2014, 01:16:48 PM »
OK, here is a blend of the two-
Senior year of college, I moved off campus.  Future DH was in another state.  Some months, my phone bill was more than my rent.
So future DH had his parents bring up his old Atari computer and then I could use dial-up and we could toe meters to each other.  Cool !
This was in 1993/4.
So, the computer helped me save phone bills for rent money!!

OK, maybe that will get us back to saving money/cheapskate stories.  :)

Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

magicdomino

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1304 on: June 13, 2014, 01:57:25 PM »
OK, here is a blend of the two-
Senior year of college, I moved off campus.  Future DH was in another state.  Some months, my phone bill was more than my rent.
So future DH had his parents bring up his old Atari computer and then I could use dial-up and we could toe meters to each other.  Cool !
This was in 1993/4.
So, the computer helped me save phone bills for rent money!!

OK, maybe that will get us back to saving money/cheapskate stories.  :)

Toe meters?  Sounds a little kinky.    :)