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Stupid things I don’t understand

Legion

Staff member
I kid you not, the last power outage in our area, the power company texted me to let me know my power went out.
That’s a good thing. That lets you know they are aware of the issue and are working on it. Even better is when they text you some sort of eta about getting it fixed.

In the old days before the text, when the power went out in daytime you were stuck wondering if it was just your house or everyone.
 

luvmysuper

My elbows leak
Staff member
That’s a good thing. That lets you know they are aware of the issue and are working on it. Even better is when they text you some sort of eta about getting it fixed.

In the old days before the text, when the power went out in daytime you were stuck wondering if it was just your house or everyone.
It would make sense to get an estimate, but they never do.
They tell you they are investigating, but never tell you what they found.
I've got a whole house generator that alerts me when it starts, stops or fails to start anyway.
 
I get that all the time. Then later I get a text telling me that the power is back on. Along with a phone call on the land line in both cases.
We don't get the power outage calls or texts, but I don't know why people wouldn't want them. I'm guessing they are automated, so not costing any money or a person sitting at a desk calling.

They would be useful if you were NOT at home or even heading home. Ie) leaving.work, planning on cooking a meal on the stove or oven, find out the power is out, make alternate plans or tweak it for the BBQ. Same could be said for a game 7 you were planning to watch, only to find out no cable or power on the TV. If you are out of town, you may need someone to reboot a router for the security system or check on a sump pump during rain season.

I can see how it seems sit to most, if they are getting them at home, sitting in the dark.
 
We don't get the power outage calls or texts, but I don't know why people wouldn't want them. I'm guessing they are automated, so not costing any money or a person sitting at a desk calling.

They would be useful if you were NOT at home or even heading home. Ie) leaving.work, planning on cooking a meal on the stove or oven, find out the power is out, make alternate plans or tweak it for the BBQ. Same could be said for a game 7 you were planning to watch, only to find out no cable or power on the TV. If you are out of town, you may need someone to reboot a router for the security system or check on a sump pump during rain season.

I can see how it seems sit to most, if they are getting them at home, sitting in the dark.
I know, I'm not really complaining. Sometimes it just seems funny. They actually often do give status about progress with the outage.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Staff member
It’s a double edge sword. If they say “estimated time to restore power is 2 hours” and it actually takes 4 hours then everyone will be in an uproar. If they over estimate by a few hours everyone will be in an uproar because it will take so long. I mean….people actually call and say “the power has been out for 3 hours!! Ya’ll gonna pay for my meat in the freezer that thaws out!? And my groceries in the fridge that spoil!!?” Folks act like the electric company WANTS the power to be out. Electric companies loose a crap ton of money when they have unexpected outages. They only get paid when the meters are running. When the meters are not running - they are not collecting money.

99.9% of the time they don’t have any idea what the cause of the outage is until the lineman get there and ride the line out. If it’s a big outage that could mean riding out 10, 20, 30 miles of line down 20 different roads, or even getting out and walking the lines through back country. That could take an hour by itself just to find the problem. Might have to call some people in, might have to head back to HQ to pick up supplies, might have to call 811 and wait for an emergency locate, might have to isolate line segments, who the heck knows. Sure they could estimate and say “4 hours”. But in reality a good % of the time they just really are not sure.

And if you are talking about city electric - a lot of it is underground. That’s another giant can of worms. It’s more reliable but it’s a bigger PITA if it goes out and something fails. Now you gotta start digging, blocking roads maybe, directing traffic, whatever. A line goes down across the road it’s not as simple as just yanking it back up and badda bing badda boom.

And if it’s a storm that’s knocked out thousands of people. Forget about it. You’ll never have an accurate estimate. They could have 40 different outages all with different issues that they have no clue what they are until they arrive on scene.

Planned outages are a different story. Should be no problem getting an estimate on those. You know what you are doing, what time you are doing it, and you arrive with all the men and equipment you need to do it. Get to work, knock it out, go home. Easy peasy. We do a lot of call outs for those and they always say something like “we estimate you will be without power for 1 hour” blah blah. For unplanned outages the message is “crews are working to restore power as safely and as quickly as possible”. That’s it.

Question : when is my power coming back on?
Answer : as quickly as possible.
 
My wireless router has a LED light on it. Blue when it’s connected red when internet is out.

First of all….stupid. I don’t need a light to know when the internet don’t work. There are no less than 13 devices connected to the internet at any given time. I think I’ll know straightaway when it’s out.

Second of all…stupid stupid. The light can be turned off and on with a button. Why not just save yourselves some engineering and get rid of the light altogether.

Third of all….stupid stupid stupid. The button to turn the light off must be pressed and held for 3 seconds. Why? Why can’t I just push it and off. Push it and on. Why do I have to HOLD it pushed in for 3 seconds?? You think someone will push it by mistake? The light will go off and they will have no clue when their internet stops working???

Fourth of all….stupid stupid stupid stupid. The darn thing is BRIGHT! At night it’s like a lighthouse beacon lighting up the room!

Why even have it on there in the first place? Some tech nerd thinks it’s cool? I keep it off all the time. A useless feature.

I don’t understand.

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My wireless router has a LED light on it. Blue when it’s connected red when internet is out.

First of all….stupid. I don’t need a light to know when the internet don’t work. There are no less than 13 devices connected to the internet at any given time. I think I’ll know straightaway when it’s out.

Second of all…stupid stupid. The light can be turned off and on with a button. Why not just save yourselves some engineering and get rid of the light altogether.

Third of all….stupid stupid stupid. The button to turn the light off must be pressed and held for 3 seconds. Why? Why can’t I just push it and off. Push it and on. Why do I have to HOLD it pushed in for 3 seconds?? You think someone will push it by mistake? The light will go off and they will have no clue when their internet stops working???

Fourth of all….stupid stupid stupid stupid. The darn thing is BRIGHT! At night it’s like a lighthouse beacon lighting up the room!

Why even have it on there in the first place? Some tech nerd thinks it’s cool? I keep it off all the time. A useless feature.

I don’t understand.

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I realize you are ranting, but all these things have a reason.
1. Having a LED there helps for that initial setup (out of box) experience when connecting to the Internet, to help the person know whether it is their personal device (e.g. smartphone, computer) or the friggin router. Some people have limited understanding and having a LED helps them. And generally to get a quick status, helpful if one has a problematic internet provider.
2. Then some (perhaps most) people will dislike the LED so they added the ability to easily turn it off.
3. Then a smaller minority of people will complain or have issues with the button getting accidentally pressed as the router is moved around or generally jumbled up with other electronic gear. So make it hard to accidentally turn off.
4. Brightness is probably a result of poor engineering. A circuit without the proper current limiting resistor, or the engineer was afraid to make it too dim in case the LED positioning on the circuit board relative to the physical enclosure opening was not ideal...where the electrical guy did coordinate with the mechanical guy. Or the concern of how to balance brightness for it sitting on a desk bathed in bright sunshine versus being stuck in a dark corner. So make it eye popping and also switchable.
 
The design engineers must also take into account more sophisticated users who might benefit from the lights.
Exactly this. At work, we use bunches of 10 routers on a test setup, all placed next to each other. When one of them is offline, is easy to check the light to see where is the problem. And our test setups are not even that complex.

At home I have 11 routers and from time to time, one of them might be offline. While I cannot know directly if it’s offline, the network is still working although not properly. Again, having an indication light is useful.
 

luvmysuper

My elbows leak
Staff member
I can understand the need for a light for some folks.
Have the decency to put in a simple one touch "on-off" button there.
Having to log in to a portal for light settings is insane.
 

EclipseRedRing

I smell like a Christmas pudding
I am getting the idea that most of you guys in the US purchase and use your own router. Here in the UK a router is supplied by the ISP when they install a service and I bet more that 90% of UK homes use the router that was provided to them. When homeowners switch from one provider to another, or change services such as from copper to fibre, then they receive a new router as part of the contract. Most people are probably not even aware that they can use their own router if they wish, and would not know which type to purchase or how to set one up.
 

luvmysuper

My elbows leak
Staff member
I am getting the idea that most of you guys in the US purchase and use your own router. Here in the UK a router is supplied by the ISP when they install a service and I bet more that 90% of UK homes use the router that was provided to them. When homeowners switch from one provider to another, or change services such as from copper to fibre, then they receive a new router as part of the contract. Most people are probably not even aware that they can use their own router if they wish, and would not know which type to purchase or how to set one up.
Usually the provider will supply a router, but with an included rental fee. The router provided is seldom of top of the line quality. A large number of folks will purchase and set up their own router to suit their needs, avoid the rental fee, and have the features they desire.
 
I am getting the idea that most of you guys in the US purchase and use your own router. Here in the UK a router is supplied by the ISP when they install a service and I bet more that 90% of UK homes use the router that was provided to them. When homeowners switch from one provider to another, or change services such as from copper to fibre, then they receive a new router as part of the contract. Most people are probably not even aware that they can use their own router if they wish, and would not know which type to purchase or how to set one up.

Most of the ISPs here in the States offer subscribers their own brand of equipment for a monthly rental fee. They were MUCH prefer that you use their equipment. It is a great souce of income for them and might be easier for them to troubleshoot. Most of the time the modems and routers are integrated into a single box. The companies are very slow to upgrade their equipment as they have no incentive to do so unless you upgrade your service to a much faster plan.

I always purchase my own equipment and prefer to separate the modem and router functions. As soon a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems became available I purchased one. I upgrade my routers every time a new standard comes out. I currently have a TP-Link AXE1600 router with Ethernet capability up to 10 gbe and Wifi 6e capability. I do not have a need for 10 gbe, but I did upgrade my Ethernet switches and adapters to enable 2.5 gbe. If I were renting from my Comcast Internet provider, I would likely be limited to 1 gbe and WiFi 5.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
Changing the current topic a bit: I don't understand our son's "smart" front door lock with the camera. He has it set up to automatically lock in 15 seconds or so. That way, the house is never unlocked for any length of time.

I find this horribly annoying. When we visit for a couple days.. or even if we are there for a day and have to make several trips to get the stuff out of the car into his house.... the lock engages in between trips. I can never make it back to the house from the car and not have the door locked. They have a very active dog (an Aussie) and he gets out if the door is left ajar. So... I have to use the combination to unlock the door, a whole procedure in itself, every time I make another trip in. That, or our son, his wife or my wife have to stand at the door and let me in.

Add to that... every time this door is opened, it sends a loud beep to his phone, any time of day. So if I go outside to take a puff or two on my vape, the doors let him know... someone just opened the door... I close the door. and it lets him know when the door has been opened again upon my return. If I wake up in the middle of the night, take a short bathroom break and want a puff or two... it announces it.

As I said... annoying. Our doors are dumb... They need a key for entry. <eg> What a novel idea.
 
Companies spending millions of dollars, who underpay staff, so they have no in store help.

Self checking cashiers, with three employees stand talking about what? Should be checking out customers.
 

captp

Pretty Pink Fairy Princess.
I kid you not, the last power outage in our area, the power company texted me to let me know my power went out.
I used to wonder at that. It's their way of letting you know that they know about the outage, so they don't get another 1,000 calls letting them know. Here, they also give you an estimate of when it will be back.
 

luvmysuper

My elbows leak
Staff member
I used to wonder at that. It's their way of letting you know that they know about the outage, so they don't get another 1,000 calls letting them know. Here, they also give you an estimate of when it will be back.
I'd be fine if there was some kind of estimate included, even if it's the "Montgomery Scott School of Estimating" kind of deal.

"Aye Captain, It'll take me two days to fix this!"

3 hours later:
"All done Captain!"
 
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Cover that annoying light, color matching available. Also good for that nasty check engine light.
 
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