I wrote a guide to make tech support over the holidays less painful



  • http://www.webroot.com/blog/2015/12/16/it-at-home-for-the-holidays/

    A few tips to make the obligatory family tech support not quite as headache inducing.


  • Banned

    That auto switch... omg... buying it for everyone I know...

    http://www.amazon.com/PI-Manufacturing-Internet-Controllable-Automatic/dp/B006PPISCG



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    That auto switch... omg... buying it for everyone I know...

    http://www.amazon.com/PI-Manufacturing-Internet-Controllable-Automatic/dp/B006PPISCG

    That is an amazing invention.



  • I haven't touched Powerline ethernet in 15 years., It was pretty terrible back then has it gotten that much better?



  • @coliver said:

    I haven't touched Powerline ethernet in 15 years., It was pretty terrible back then has it gotten that much better?

    It's gotten amazing. Great throughput, rock solid, and even has blinkenlights on it so you can see if there's a problem. I have them all over my house now. The only potential problem is if you have a really old house, or more than one fuse box. Outside of that it's plug and play.



  • @Nic Hmmm... i've never had good luck with them... I tend to go MOCA (assuming coax cable is ran) ... but then again I haven't used one in about 5 years.



  • @Nic said:

    It's gotten amazing. Great throughput, rock solid, and even has blinkenlights on it so you can see if there's a problem. I have them all over my house now. The only potential problem is if you have a really old house, or more than one fuse box. Outside of that it's plug and play.

    Yeah I have one for my XBOX in an older section of the house. The one outlet is awesome speed. The other outlet, not so much.



  • @Nic said:

    @coliver said:

    I haven't touched Powerline ethernet in 15 years., It was pretty terrible back then has it gotten that much better?

    It's gotten amazing. Great throughput, rock solid, and even has blinkenlights on it so you can see if there's a problem. I have them all over my house now. The only potential problem is if you have a really old house, or more than one fuse box. Outside of that it's plug and play.

    Ah I have both at the moment, and we had both when I was a kid playing with these as well. So that may have been the issue.



  • @brianlittlejohn said:

    @Nic Hmmm... i've never had good luck with them... I tend to go MOCA (assuming coax cable is ran) ... but then again I haven't used one in about 5 years.

    Try them again as they've made huge strides. For $40 it's not a big risk.



  • Good guide. I've got another good tip. Switch off your phone!!!!



  • powerline Ethernet

    I just had PTSD flashbacks, ugh

    Edit: old homes are very common here with lath and plaster. They put essentially chicken wire under the plaster and ground it out which makes a huge farraday cage. Powerline Ethernet was very popular here before it really... well... worked right at all.



  • Unchecky just because my new favorite utility. How did I not know about this?!?!?!

    When I go to x-mas with the bf's family I will for sure be installing this on his moms pc. This lady downloads more malware than anyone else I have ever met. Every x-mas I look at her pc and end up using malwarebytes to clean over 2k infected objects. I bet this takes care of at least 1/2 of them!



  • @MattSpeller said:

    powerline Ethernet

    I just had PTSD flashbacks, ugh

    Edit: old homes are very common here with lath and plaster. They put essentially chicken wire under the plaster and ground it out which makes a huge farraday cage. Powerline Ethernet was very popular here before it really... well... worked right at all.

    Wow, my house has lathe and plaster and I have no metal chicken wire. One of the walls was coated in horse hair and plaster but that was about it. Man I'm so glad our house doesn't have that I can't imagine what it would do to wireless signal.



  • @coliver It's the death of even radio, became unpopular for that reason in the 50/60's. Sure was cheap to throw them up after ww2 though. Now the oldest ones (20/30/40s) are being preserved as heritage homes.



  • @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver It's the death of even radio, became unpopular for that reason in the 50/60's. Sure was cheap to throw them up after ww2 though. Now the oldest ones (20/30/40s) are being preserved as heritage homes.

    My house is from 1907... we found so many different kinds of electrical in the walls it was silly. Some of them still powered even after they were replaced. I guess this should go in the housing horror stories thread though.



  • @coliver said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver It's the death of even radio, became unpopular for that reason in the 50/60's. Sure was cheap to throw them up after ww2 though. Now the oldest ones (20/30/40s) are being preserved as heritage homes.

    My house is from 1907... we found so many different kinds of electrical in the walls it was silly. Some of them still powered even after they were replaced. I guess this should go in the housing horror stories thread though.

    Pucker factor 9000 when you find aluminium wire - my cousin bought a house here with it 50/50 copper/aluminium. He couldn't even get house insurance until all the aluminium was taken out.



  • @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver It's the death of even radio, became unpopular for that reason in the 50/60's. Sure was cheap to throw them up after ww2 though. Now the oldest ones (20/30/40s) are being preserved as heritage homes.

    My house is from 1907... we found so many different kinds of electrical in the walls it was silly. Some of them still powered even after they were replaced. I guess this should go in the housing horror stories thread though.

    Pucker factor 9000 when you find aluminium wire - my cousin bought a house here with it 50/50 copper/aluminium. He couldn't even get house insurance until all the aluminium was taken out.

    Thankfully no aluminium. We had ceramic tube and knob, plastic tube and knob, cloth covered cable, some kind of metal lined cloth covered cable. It was just weird.



  • @coliver said:

    Thankfully no aluminium. We had ceramic tube and knob, plastic tube and knob, cloth covered cable, some kind of metal lined cloth covered cable. It was just weird.

    Holy crap you had this?!?!?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knob-and-tube_wiring

    I would immediately tear it out, even if it's ok. I'd sleep better with it gone!

    The insulation degrades over the years and the rubber/cloth/fiber cable insulation falls off and you end up with bare wires in your walls!! I'm sorry, you probably know all this, but yikesssssssssss!



  • Yeah old houses and electricity can be scary:
    0_1450296740205_DR-Ceiling-Web-Words-copy.jpg



  • @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver said:

    Thankfully no aluminium. We had ceramic tube and knob, plastic tube and knob, cloth covered cable, some kind of metal lined cloth covered cable. It was just weird.

    Holy crap you had this?!?!?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knob-and-tube_wiring

    I would immediately tear it out, even if it's ok. I'd sleep better with it gone!

    The insulation degrades over the years and the rubber/cloth/fiber cable insulation falls off and you end up with bare wires in your walls!! I'm sorry, you probably know all this, but yikesssssssssss!

    Yep... we had two runs that were still live. One was ceramic (which we were told could last basically forever) the other was plastic (which we were told should have never been installed and can cause all kinds of issues, including death by fire). We elected to replace both runs with modern cabling.



  • @coliver ugh, I just unclenched - glad to hear it haha



  • @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver ugh, I just unclenched - glad to hear it haha

    The best part... the first run we came across was when we were tearing apart our spare bedroom. I pulled on it with a claw hammer and had a delightful spasm on the other side of the room. We couldn't figure out which breaker it was tied to... turns out it wasn't tied into the circuit panel anywhere and was attached to the main somehow. Not a electrician but ours was swearing up and down the basement when he saw what was done. #oldhomehorrorstories.



  • @coliver said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver ugh, I just unclenched - glad to hear it haha

    The best part... the first run we came across was when we were tearing apart our spare bedroom. I pulled on it with a claw hammer and had a delightful spasm on the other side of the room. We couldn't figure out which breaker it was tied to... turns out it wasn't tied into the circuit panel anywhere and was attached to the main somehow. Not a electrician but ours was swearing up and down the basement when he saw what was done.

    rYIk4gz.gif



  • @coliver I hire sparky's because I know what 120v across the chest feels like.

    This thread is giving me the hebejeebies, I'm exiting stage left.



  • @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver I hire sparky's because I know what 120v across the chest feels like.

    This thread is giving me the hebejeebies, I'm exiting stage left.

    Yep... I generally do too unless I can make sure the breaker is off at the panel. We had all the breakers to the upstairs off when doing this and thought we were good.... turns out that wasn't the case. Lesson learned.



  • @coliver said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver I hire sparky's because I know what 120v across the chest feels like.

    This thread is giving me the hebejeebies, I'm exiting stage left.

    Yep... I generally do too unless I can make sure the breaker is off at the panel. We had all the breakers to the upstairs off when doing this and thought we were good.... turns out that wasn't the case. Lesson learned.

    I do 90% of my electrical work with the power on. How the heck am I supposed to see what I'm doing if the light's off?!? Besides, 110V just tickles a little. I accidentally channeled 208V one time. I'd like to avoid repeating that one.



  • @art_of_shred said:

    @coliver said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver I hire sparky's because I know what 120v across the chest feels like.

    This thread is giving me the hebejeebies, I'm exiting stage left.

    Yep... I generally do too unless I can make sure the breaker is off at the panel. We had all the breakers to the upstairs off when doing this and thought we were good.... turns out that wasn't the case. Lesson learned.

    I do 90% of my electrical work with the power on. How the heck am I supposed to see what I'm doing if the light's off?!? Besides, 110V just tickles a little. I accidentally channeled 208V one time. I'd like to avoid repeating that one.

    I do as well too, especially at my parents house. Their breakers are old and alot of times if I turn them off, I can't turn them back on and have to replace the breaker as well.



  • @brianlittlejohn said:

    @art_of_shred said:

    @coliver said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @coliver I hire sparky's because I know what 120v across the chest feels like.

    This thread is giving me the hebejeebies, I'm exiting stage left.

    Yep... I generally do too unless I can make sure the breaker is off at the panel. We had all the breakers to the upstairs off when doing this and thought we were good.... turns out that wasn't the case. Lesson learned.

    I do 90% of my electrical work with the power on. How the heck am I supposed to see what I'm doing if the light's off?!? Besides, 110V just tickles a little. I accidentally channeled 208V one time. I'd like to avoid repeating that one.

    I do as well too, especially at my parents house. Their breakers are old and alot of times if I turn them off, I can't turn them back on and have to replace the breaker as well.

    I'm just lazy. And less afraid than I probably should be. I tend to grab live wires to make sure they're live.



  • There are old electricians and there are bold electricians...



  • @Nic said:

    There are old electricians and there are bold electricians...

    Kinda like mushroom-pickers.


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