Posting all day long

I work for myself, odd jobs with irregular hours. Sometimes Ill dissappear for weeks, sometimes I’ll post a bunch in one day.

I’m a network administrator. For the most part, I’m in front of a computer all day long.

Retired, or least semi-retired, but the gearhead in me keeps me turning wrenches. I don’t surf the net much and only belong to a few other forums; mostly related to antique motorcycles and guitars.
CT is the only one that I frequent regularly and weigh in usually during mid-day, evenings, or at times while looking up a part or some technical info.

Retired, insomnia, iPod touch and way too much free time when grandchildren go to bed early.

There was a time when I thought I wanted to work with computers(repair or networking), then I started looking for jobs while taking a couple night classes. Every place I looked at wanted 4 to 7 years experience; didn’t want anyone wanting to learn the ropes or anything, just job experience.
Now, I don’t think I’d want a desk job if I could help it; same with a retail/customer service job; too much mental stress with limited avenues to release the stress via physical activity(I actually work faster at work when I’m mad about something).

If I’m lucky, I might have 30~35 more years til I retire, and that depends upon the political and financial climate when the time comes. When the stock market tanked recently, I knew 2 people who lost over $10k in their 401k retirement plan. I say political climate because you never know when they might say that SS and it’s benefits have dried up and the only way to retire is when they haul your body out of the building; Or they keep raising the retirement age where early retirement is 75. Also, who knows if they might change the 401k benefits to something else; Pensions where the big thing to have awhile ago, now those have given way to the 401k.

As of right now, I’m still going to get a pension, but by the time I hit retirement age, it might have gone the way of the dinosaurs . . .

@db4690 Company pensions are supposed to be “vested” which means that the pension contributions are put in a separate fund, which cannot be touched by the employer. If the funds are properly invested, you should get a lot more back than you put in.

If your company goes belly up, as happened to me some years back, the money is still there. However, in some jurisdictions the employer can raid the pension funds and make off with the “surplus”, which is the amount the pension has grown over and above the contributions.

This happened to me and all the employees launched a class action lawsuit which we won. It meant and extra $85,000 for me to reinvest.


You’re right, of course

But I’m a civil service mechanic. Our new mayor wants to shake everything up and would like nothing better than to fire us all and privatize everything.

“I knew 2 people who lost over $10k in their 401k retirement plan.”

Hopefully they just got started or that’s a typo. Frankly, many people I know would have been ecstatic if that’s all they lost, myself included.

Many company plans do not fully fund retirement or pension plans. They expect to make up the difference with growth over time. I know a few people that got shafted. The concept of a pension has all but disappeared with the exception of public service positions.

My retirement account lost a lot of money too, but since I’m about 24 years from retirement, I’m not going to sweat it. I’m sure the shares I own will have recovered by then, and the money I’m putting into it right now is buying shares pretty cheap. When the shares recover, and I’m closer to retirement, I’ll move my money to more conservative investments.

“with the exception of public service positions.”

And those positions are fast disappearing also, in favor of privatization

Hopefully they just got started or that's a typo. Frankly, many people I know would have been ecstatic if that's all they lost, myself included.

No typo, and they were pretty close to retiring anyways, so they cut their losses and retired. I’d been there about 5 years before they got rid of the pensions in favor of a 401k. I don’t know if they put their pensions into the 401k, or what, but I know the couple lost quite a bit of money.

I’ve heard it worse in the long run if you put more into the 401k than your employer matches. As such, I put in 5%, which is the most the company will match you in contributions.

“I’ve heard it worse in the long run if you put more into the 401k than your employer matches.”

It all depends on the 401K. If they have big fees, you’re correct. If they include low cost mutual funds, they can be a good investment without a match.

"No typo, and they were pretty close to retiring anyways, "

You mentioned it like it was some big deal. All due respect but 10 grand ain’t squat when it comes to retirement. I don’t care what your station in life, you’ll burn through 10k in no time. That’s cutting retirement funds a bit too close. Probably looking at needing a job in 6 months after “retiring”.

I have recovered pretty well but essentially lost the recovery years. Fortunately I have time left. I feel bad for those people whose time came when the bubble burst and could/had not adjusted their portfolios early enough to reduce the risk.

There’s a guy around here that employs several hundred people. Their retirement plan was wiped out completely in the Madoff debacle. He took enough money out of his personal funds to make every one of them whole again. Stand up guy…

I am retired and spend a lot of time on the computers. I moderate several boards which cover controversial topics. I also edit photos for photo projects, not an income producing thing. But, giving photos to people in a place where most cannot afford photos is a perfect gift.

I write an awful lot on various topics and on various blogs and boards.

I communicate with family and friends via e-mail.

Also, work on 100+ year old photos of genealogical interest, scanning; repairing; and giving copies to various family members.

I remember a mature man discovering I had a 1924 photo of his grandfather who was murdered in 1937. I gave him a 10X15 and that man was totally excited. It is now in a large frame on his wall. This has happened various times.

All this requires computer usage because the old photos often have scratches and other injuries. I actually don’t check Car Talk very often. Just when I think of it.

@irlandes; can you recommend a feasible way to scan 35mm negatives to digital format?

I tried this budget scanner from costco that was pretty fast but had awful quality and before I could even get rid of the blue hue on the scans, it broke down. I am limited on both time and budget-like everybody else…

I would try putting them on any flatbed scanner and trying them at 1200 per. I have a $50 ($70 in Mexico) three-in-one HP scanner.

The best way is to buy a slightly more expensive scanner, I can’t tell you right at this moment, but like $100 or so, can’t remember model. They have software, you put the slides in a special holder that came with the scanner and run the program, Windows or WINE only.

But, that is only for slides.

I have the advantage of using Linux, and the free photo editor lets me do great things. GIMP, which may or may not be available for Windows, I think it is. The problem is, GIMP does things differently than Photoshop; the better you are at Photoshop the harder Gimp is.

I would try putting them on the bed, using something to hold them down, and scanning it, as I said, at 1200. Then, using your editor crop it down to what you need. If you have the scanner, you can experiment as much as you want, finding a way to hold down those negatives, think Rube Goldberg.

Technically, it would be a slam dunk, but the problem is stability of the medium you are scanning, which is why the slide holder with that scanner. But, film tends to curl. If I had any negatives, I’d be willing to give it a shot, but I don’t.

Maybe plunk a light piece of clear glass over the negatives? With a good editor, you can cut out negative at a time from the large scanned file of an entire group of negatives, after you scan them.

Treat it as you would treat a difficult car repair problem. The same ingenuity will work wonders.

By the way, with a good editor, you can simply reverse negatives to make a printable file using Wal-mart standard service.

You need a slide scanner, I took 25 slides to walgreens and they scanned them to .jpg on a cd and they look great, around $5.00!

Yes, for slides. But, loose negatives don’t fit into a slide holder.