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Shipping Options while eBaying Electronics

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I’ve been spending some time e-baying electronics lately. (Just trying to get rid of old, unused stuff that never panned out.)

Because, I visit this topic so many times (every time I eBay), I thought I’d put some conclusions for myself on how to ship these.

I really like the priority options from the USPS. There are two options here: flat-rate or regional rate.

First, this chart lists whether it’s better to do regional rate or flat-rate. The important thing to remember is that it’s heavily dependent on the size of the item you are shipping.

If it can fit, the small flat-rate box is preferred. It is $6.65 at the Post Office or $5.95 “commercial base” (which I think means online).

The only issue is that the small envelope is the inside of these boxes are 8 5/8″ x 5 3/8″ x 1 5/8″. This should be big enough for a 3.5″ internal hard disk drive (which measures 5.75″ x 4″ x 1″).

But it’s probably not big enough for anything else (routers, external hard drives, etc.). Instead, for a flat-rate option, you’d have to go with the Medium Flat Rate Box – 1 (top loading). This costs $13.60 at the post office or $12.40 “commercial base”.

Instead, if you have something this big, it probably makes more sense to go with the regional rate box A1. These are 10 1/8″ x 7 1/8″ x 5″. This goes by zones (difference between starting and ending zone). As long as you are within 8 zones, it makes sense to go with these. If you are within one or two zones, it is as cheap as $6.52. (Curiously, this price list is hard to come by on the USPS website. Instead, I’m linking to stamps.com.)

Finally, for 2.5″ SSDs, you can probably get away with a padded envelope (or small flat-rate box). The prices are around the same, but there’s a lot less packaging/padding to add with the envelope.

Written by PoojanWagh

June 25th, 2017 at 4:23 pm

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Why I won’t buy another ChannelMaster product

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Because they won’t answer an easy question on what power adapter to use with the product that I bought (albeit a long time ago):

Your request (#31984) has been updated. Reply to this email or follow the link below:

Jeff Brown (Answer Center) Jan 09 09:47 am (MST)

Thanks for your inquiry.

Unfortunately the product you are requesting information on has been discontinued and we no do not provide complementary support on discontinued products.

Best Regards,

Jeff Brown
Tech Support Lead
Channel Master

Here’s my original request:

Jan 08 06:33 pm (MST)

Hi. I have an older CM-3043, but I can’t find the power supply. I have a bunch of universal dc supplies laying around, but I need to know the voltage that this thing wants.

I’ve looked around for data sheets etc but I can’t find any.

Can you tell me what voltage the CM-3043 needs, and if it is center-positive or center-negative? Thanks.

Unlike just about every electronic item that I’ve come across, they don’t have the supply requirements printed on the box, and they don’t have any data sheet or user manual available online.

This basically means that if I fry the product in the process of trying to get it to work, it’ll end up in a land-fill. Contrast that with this: HBR on Patagonia.

This post was originally titled “We are never ever ever getting back together”.

Written by PoojanWagh

January 9th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

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Bee’s nest that I extracted from our house this Spring

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The nest is the striated layers near the bottom of the picture (close to the shadow of my Pre that I used to take the picture). That fuzzy stuff near the top is insulation, which the bees seem to have either compressed or consumed. I have no idea what that yellow thing with the bird in the lower left is.

Here are pictures of the framing in which they made their nest:

Basically, there was a gap in the boarding under the window, which allowed them (and likely some water) to get in. You can see that the wood is damaged—probably by both the bees and the water.

Curious thing is that knowing I had to remove this hive filled my brain for a few weeks before I actually did it. I somehow imagined that they were flying underneath the floorboard. When I actually did remove it, it wasn’t as easy as I imagined, but somehow, much easier than I feared.

Written by PoojanWagh

July 20th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Home

Last day of training before Chase Corporate Challenge

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I’m training not so much so that I can improve my run time, but to realize my intent in signing up for the race: to get in shape. I figure I need to do more to get in shape, and signing up for the race motivates me to run regularly.

For the past three weeks, I’ve run 3.5 4 miles every Monday, Wednesday,and Friday. I’ve heard that you have to excercise for a month before you can see results. Hopefully, I’ll keep it up for a week or two more.

Not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I ran this morning (Wednesday) and the race is tomorrow (Thursday) night. Hopefully, that gives my body enough time to recover.

I tend not to wear headphones while I run. I never thought about it before, but the quiet time is really nice. No, I’m not always looking around, absorbing the natural surrounding. In fact, I find myself thinking a lot. Which is good: I realized that I’m always listening to a podcast or something. I don’t give my brain enough time to just drift.

Written by PoojanWagh

May 20th, 2009 at 9:03 am

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A healthy default

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For a while, I used to try to stick to a set schedule. I’d get very angry at myself when I deviated from it. If, for some reason, I didn’t get a work-out in the morning–or if I didn’t put away the laundry and the kids dispersed the formerly clean clothes throughout the house.

What I recently realized is that I don’t have to do that schedule every day–and I certainly shouldn’t agonize when I deviate (even on a regular basis) from the schedule. What’s more important is that I return to it at some point. I’ve had some pretty long fitness kicks, but usually, I end up going 6 months to a year of no excercise.

It’s more important to make this daily routine a daily default rather than a rigorous discipline. What do I mean by default? I mean that unless I have a reason not to, I am going to stick to the things that help me become healthier.

Here are some of my defaults | and some reasons I might skip them:

  • Working out (running or weight training) in the morning | sleeping in late
  • Packing a lunch (rather than eating at the cafeteria or at a restaurant) | meeting my friends for lunch
  • Drinking lots of water | there’s really no good reason not to
  • Folding and putting away laundry in the evening (used to be morning) | playing with the kids or helping with homework
  • Emptying the dishwasher in the morning (and possibly re-loading it at night) | slept in or the kids got up early
  • Reading a book (rather than surfing the web) at night | but I really want to write that blog entry about healthy defaults

Over at The Growing Life, Clay Collins talks about life balance and insanity. I didn’t realize it before, but that post influenced me in re-assessing my daily schedule (and the discipline I tried to enforce on it).

What’s important to me is that I ensure I don’t derail from my default for too long. It’s all too easy to decide that I need to write 10 blog entries right now–or I need to learn a new programming language. Usually, when I do (resume my default), I find that my default is a welcome return.

Written by PoojanWagh

September 25th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

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Great morning run

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Not sure how I did it, but somehow, I managed to go for a nice run this morning.

It was unlikely that I’d go for such a run. The forecast said it would rain at 6. It seemed like it would be cold outside. It was pitch black outside. I usually get up early but somehow get sidetracked online. Curiously, because I thought it would rain at 6, I was motivated not to waste time on the computer this morning. I found a small flashlight and put batteries in it. I looked for a long-sleeve shirt, but instead stepped outside and found that the weather was perfect.

I was able to get out at 5:30 AM and run under the moon and stars. The temperature was perfect (58 degrees C) and there was a nice warming fog everywhere.

I’ve been wanting to get back into a moring excercise routine for a while now, but have failed due to static inertia. Luckily, this morning I made it out, and I’m glad I did.

Curiously, I had to focus my mind on my surroundings. My initial reaction was that “this is so great of an experience; I should blog about it.”

I could’ve easily squandered an hour or so this morning, surfing the mindless Internet. Instead, I got out and re-appreciated the warm wooded neighborhood in which I live. I ran to the fitness center, did some core strength excercises, and started my way back.

I decided to extend my run (another example of static inertia–in this case, a healthy one) and took the long way home.

Written by PoojanWagh

September 24th, 2008 at 10:30 am

The 80/20 Rule in my life

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I wake up every morning before the kids/wife wake up and try to get a few hours of unfettered time. I use the 80/20 rule (to which I was introduced in the Four Hour Workweek) to figure out what to do.

Out of the many things I could do:

  • Pick up the house
  • Do dishes
  • Do laundry
  • Pay bills
  • Get a headstart on work

I chose doing the laundry, and if time avails, doing dishes. The reason: I’ve noticed when I’m home that if the laundry isn’t done, finding clothes takes an disproportionate amount of time. Similarly, when the kids want juice or a bagel, it’s really hard to stop and wash a cup or plate (and inneficient, too).

Written by PoojanWagh

September 20th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Home