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I would say at least half of us on this site know very will about paying bills with checks. We also remember life very well without the internet.
With that said, paying by check "can be" the safest for the entity you owe money too. Believe it or not, it is extremely difficult to forge paper checks (personal checks) accurately. Credit cards can be stolen, and cash cannot be tracked via an electronic system and can be counterfeit.
Some places here in the States require a cashier's check, which you get from your bank, as that is even safer than a personal check.
Finally took the time to play around with the rPi. For giggles, got Postgres loaded on it, DotNet Core 2.2, got C# talking to Postgres both on the rPi and from my Windows laptop, rPi boots from an external 2TB drive, etc.
And yes, article forthcoming. A few more things deal with first based on what I'm trying to accomplish.
Yes, but there's something cool about carrying around an entire computer complete with web server, database, and a real working website implemented in C# and .NET Core in my shirt pocket. It's a geek thing. All for $80 if you exclude the cost of the external drive.
So my sister apparently told a friend of hers that I'm "the computer guy" in the family, so of course I got a call around the middle of last month. She wanted to buy a "newer" computer - she even asked me if I had a second-hand computer I could sell her. I honestly don't, but even if I did, then while my machines work for me, I see no reason anything couldn't flake out a month from now, so if I sell one of my machines I don't want anything to do with it from that point forward--I'm not in the business of selling hardware. She doesn't have much money to spend, but I did convince her it would be a better idea to get a laptop from Wal-Mart (plenty good for her described needs) as it'll come with a warranty and what-not.
I have no problem telling people to get PCs/laptops from Wal-Mart, given that their employees don't know their products and don't give a damn about them, so if there's any reason to ask for an exchange or refund, they treat it like it was a toaster; basically no questions asked, whereas if purchased from a more reputable computer store, then requests for exchanges/refunds are typically met with a little more resistance.
Aside: While I can certainly understand some people's financial predicaments, man, I hate having to make recommendations for something so cheap I wouldn't want to use myself.
Anyway, long story short: We went to Wal-mart on the last Friday before Christmas (December 18th) and I found her something semi-decent. Since she didn't have time on that day to have me set it up at her place, I brought it back with me to complete as much as I could, but told her I would still need to come over to set it up with her wireless connection (she's at the level where she couldn't do that herself), configure her email, set up her printer, etc--an afternoon or evening at the most. I told her I was back at work on January 7th, so I left it up to her to call me whenever she finds time before then. We're now closing in on mid-day, January 6th as I'm writing this. I have basically an afternoon left, she still hasn't called, and quite frankly there's other things I'd rather do with the last afternoon/evening I have before heading back to work.
I'm doing this without expecting anything in return; I feel I've been generous with my time (and she's said so herself)--I don't owe anything to this person I otherwise know nothing about. The a-hole in me is starting to feel like if she doesn't call before end of day, I'm going to wait until 9pm tonight, drive to her place, knock on her door, hand her her laptop, and tell her she's had over 2 full weeks to get me to finish that setup for her, and sorry, I'm just going to be too busy with work in the coming weeks to help her out (which is exactly the truth). I'm feeling rather strongly this is, at worse, abusing of my generosity, and at best, not respecting the value I place on my time off.
It's not family. It's a friend of my sister's, and I had never met her before she called me. That's the repeating pattern - I get introduced (without asking or being asked) to people whenever they have computer troubles.
We went to Wal-mart on the last Friday before Christmas (December 18th) and I found her something semi-decent. Since she didn't have time on that day to have me set it up at her place, I brought it back with me to complete as much as I could, but told her I would still need to come over to set it up with her wireless connection (she's at the level where she couldn't do that herself), configure her email, set up her printer, etc--an afternoon or evening at the most.
Those damn estimates!
You're being helpfull and kind; I usually tell them to buy the cheapest new PC they can find
Bastard Programmer from Hell
If you can't read my code, try converting it here[^]
"If you just follow the bacon Eddy, wherever it leads you, then you won't have to think about politics." -- Some Bell.
you could format the C drive, drop it off to her and tell her she needs to go back to Walmart and return it as broken... less than 2 mins to provide those instructions
part 1: explaining to her what the wireless router is, where it may be so you can find get the password/key printed on it, setting up the wifi password, assuring her no one is spying (yet).
part 2: how to turn on the laptop, the battery icon and how to plug in the power,
part 3: how to open the email, what email is, what an email address is, what "e" is,... how to read the messages, how to avoid scams, how to reply or delete, how to send the reply,
part 4: how to open the browser, what is a browser, what is a url, what is the internet, that google won't turn on her camera and look at her but others might, what a webcam is, what a web is
.... and about 7 hours later how to shut it down.
And then she will want to try it again before you go to make sure she got it all.
If lucky you should make it back in time for a shower before heading off to work.
That first option won't buy me much: She'll get it exchanged for another, and then I'm going to have to start all over again (which will include everything else from your second option by the time everything is said and done).
Or are you suggesting I only do that first part, and only that?
I can sympathize, having in-laws who regularly need help. At least they aren't local, so I usually put them off until I have the time for a remote.
If I were in your shoes, I'd go ahead and put a free remote client on her system that can be easily connected. I'd also do as you are suggesting, delivering it today and at least getting wireless and email setup. (hopefully, she knows her passwords!) Good luck!
not respecting the value I place on my time
Yeah, those in-laws I mentioned are retired, and seem to have no qualms about calling me in the middle of a work day to commiserate or ask for help. According to him, he knows I'm usually busy, and is doing me a favor by interrupting me so I can have a break. While I'm ranting, he's the kind of guy who will not be ignored...if I don't answer, he will sometimes leave a stupid voicemail like 'hey it's me...call me' that I have to take the time to remove. If something is really bothering him he will just continue to call until I finally give in.
The point is, there are a lot of selfish people out there who will take as much of your time as you will allow. You were nice to let her set the schedule but in hindsight probably would have been better off setting a date for delivery/setup.
I'd go ahead and put a free remote client on her system that can be easily connected
I have a cousin who had come to count on that to ping me any time of the day, since everything's "a quick fix and you don't even need to get out of the house". I eventually removed it and told him it was discontinued, and nobody's ever made a good replacement.
According to him, he knows I'm usually busy, and is doing me a favor by interrupting me so I can have a break
Wow. That would get a phone slammed down pretty hard on my end. I take my breaks on my own terms, thank-you-very-much.
I always tell people who know I'm working from home to consider that, if I was working in an office, would they call me there during office hours, or would they wait until they knew I'm back home. Those who have any sort of common sense at least get that.
Last Visit: 8-Aug-20 17:25 Last Update: 8-Aug-20 17:25