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Steve Sheldon
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I'm in Minnesota, and we have a considerably larger house(roughly 3000 sqft), our usage is considerably higher than yours. I replaced our bulbs with mostly CFL last year, and our electricity consumption went down about 200kwh/month. I was actually surprised as it was around a $25/month savings. So replacing all the bulbs cost me about $300, and that worked out to less than a year payback. Our main draws are the computers on all the time, and then the furnace fans. Our fans run nearly continuous just to circulate air. (Minnesota homes are sealed like submarines, so we have issues with moisture build up inside. We also have an air exchanger which circulates outdoor air into the house.) The newer furnace units use a electronically commutated motors, and draw significantly less electricity, like 1/3rd of the draw of the older PSC style motors. I have seen some mention of retrofits, and was going to look at cost, otherwise it's a whole furnace. We had an issue this past summer with our AC evaporator coil leaking... that drove our electrical usage through the roof as the AC was running near constant. Also doing research on this, a lot of AC systems in houses are oversized. People think bigger is better, but it's not true. There's a lot of calculations that go into proper sizing, especially CFM you can push through the pipes in the house. If you don't get enough air flow, the evaporator coil will ice up. I think that's what happened in our house, as we have zones, but the system was sized for the full house size, but with the zones half the house is shut off so the air flow is restricted. I'm going to keep the current system running another 5-7 years and then just replace everything. In 2020 R22 isn't going to be available for recharges anyway, so we'll have to move to a R410 system if it breaks. That's a $5-7k cost, so have to plan for it.
Toggle Commented Nov 26, 2012 on For a Bit of Colored Ribbon at Coding Horror
The Post-PC world was declared back in 1998 as a result of the Palm Pilot. I first saw it in Infoworld. I found this posting of a Red Herring article from back then about top 10 trends of Post-PC computing. http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9812&L=PLAN-IT&P=4040 Odd, no mention of Apple. You'd think if Apple invented this term... :-) I like my iPad, but the reality is it's a complementary device to my PC. It doesn't replace it. To make it a replacement would involve making it into a PC. So from my point of view, mobile phones and tablets have expanded my computing abilities. I'm able to do things today I didn't use to be able to do. That's what is meant by the Post-PC world. It doesn't mean the PC is going away, it just means the PC is no longer the center of your computing power.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2012 on Welcome to the Post PC Era at Coding Horror
I had to disable gestures on my iPad. They aren't very intuitive and my 2 year old caused all sorts of problems trying to finger paint or tickling the cat. I also have an Android phone. I have to admit, I really miss the back button as it's easily as useful as the home button. The biggest problem is that because every app needs a back button and Apple didn't put a hard one in, they all do it differently. The one app that is a joy to use is flipboard. On the upside, I finally figured out that if you hold your finger in place you get micro control of the cursor in text boxes. Makes editing a lot easier now.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2012 on The One Button Mystique at Coding Horror
One more recommendation for the bias lighting in the home theater. I bought the http://www.cinemaquestinc.com/ideal_lume.htm a few years back when I had a big screen CRT Sony, and I still love it on my 46" LCD Sharp. I had the Eclipse computer light years back and loved it. Sadly it was broken during a move. I ended up replacing it with a small halogen desk lamp from Ikea sitting on a shelf above the monitor. I hadn't thought about doing something like the ideal-lume, but it's a good idea. For those complaining about how sitting in a dark room hurts your eyes... THE PURPOSE OF THE BIAS LIGHTING IS TO PREVENT THAT. Read the content over at Cinema Quest about bias lighting for TV's and why and how it works.
Toggle Commented Nov 8, 2011 on Bias Lighting at Coding Horror
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Nov 8, 2011