Author Topic: Idiots buying things that they don't understand/know how to use/maintain  (Read 17921 times)

stackorstarve

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb. The few that aren't are those I can gripe with. Often, the topic of people being idiots with cars (among other things) comes up. I've always had this philosophy that if you're going to have something, especially if you're putting money towards it, you'd better be damn sure to have at the least a basic understanding of it. So many drivers buy cars only knowing push pedal, turn wheel. Never mind knowing basic maintenance, or god forbid, how anything under the hood works. The number of people who don't know how gears work, even on a bicycle, astounds me. They don't even know that market price of a car when they buy it (though that might be the result of marketing the lease price). And then they complain the repair bill/car price is so high. Or worse don't even realize it's so high! The common excuse whenever I bring it up is always, "Oh, you're an engineer/car enthusiast/gearhead/whatever." I mean, yeah, I'm an engineer, but I'm not an enthusiast by any stretch of the word. nowhere near being a mechanic yet I know how to change the tire on a car. And even if I didn't, the internet exists! [Sigh.]

[/rant]

The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

Travis

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I'll just use myself as an example.  My first (and so far only) attempt at home ownership was a very expensive lesson.  I bought twice as much house as I needed because "it'll go up in price when I'm ready to sell" not understanding that 1) agent fees take a big bite and 2) the actual price matters in the same equation that we here debate cutting costs versus just making more money.  I didn't bother to do any research on the environment in which I was owning this house. I noticed there was a water softener and a complex filtration system on the water main. I saw it as almost a novelty.  By not learning/inspecting/maintaining this system two important things happened. The softener broke causing the basement to flood and all the sediment that comes with the county water supply ended up filling my water heater.  I mean that literally. The bottom third of the water heater tank was mud after two years of ownership. And the anode was eaten away to the point the seals on the heater itself corroded and leaked. I had to replace the water heater when it was time to sell, fix a rodent problem that I allowed to eat a hole in my ceiling, and selling the house "at a profit" still required me to write a $10k check at closing.

Kimera757

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My mother bought a HUGE screen TV that she had no idea how to set up. It sat unused for years, since she was too embarrassed to invite someone who knew how to set up the TV (since the apartment isn't "perfect"). Finally she befriended a neighbor, who had been there enough times that she wasn't embarrassed. This neighbor set up the TV.

The neighbor bought a Windows laptop and has no idea how to use it. He knows smartphones, smart TVs, and modems of all kinds, but only has limited experience with Windows, and certainly not Windows 8. It is a really expensive laptop too.

(He lost his smartphone password, so lost a lot of data, including passwords to online financial accounts. Yeah...)

mies

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My dad is bad about this. Whenever he buys a new computer or phone, he always buys the most expensive iteration of the model and proceeds to use none of the features. About a year and a half ago, he bought an iPhone 6S+. He just uses it as a phone and takes an occasional picture. He can't even use the GPS on his own.

He also does the same thing with computers. He bought a 27" iMac with the largest hard drive and the most RAM it would take. He said he wanted to "max out the gigs". He uses a computer with what I think has a 500GB hard drive and 32GB of RAM to browse the web, listen to music, and write complaint letters.

My dad also likes expensive camera gear. He has an older Canon 5D body and some really nice lenses, like an 85mm F/1.2. The problem, is he doesn't know how to shoot in manual mode so he really isn't taking advantage of what the camera can do. I do some photography too, and when I talked about things like ISO and aperture, he gave me a blank stare. He essentially has a $5,000 point and shoot camera that he is constantly being confused by after changing a setting. He keeps throwing money at the camera in hopes of taking better photos. What he needs to do is just learn how to shoot in manual mode and learn the basics of photography like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and composition.

My in laws are also technologically illiterate, but they tend to be on the cheap side of things which is also frustrating. They want me to help with their computers, but they buy these cheapo $500 laptops with super slow disk drives that take forever to load and launch anything because they run 3 different anti-virus programs simultaneously. They also bought a laptop to only use for financial transactions because Clark Howard recommended it? I've never heard anybody make that recommendation and it seems like a waste of money. I'd be more worried about a hacker hacking the financial institution's servers than my personal machine.

[a]bort

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On the topic of computers, I was happy to find out a local business owner I know was entering the digital age by purchasing a computer for their front desk. Y'know, for scheduling customers and tracking payments etc.

So what does she buy? An overpriced super slim consumer laptop with a tiny chicklet keyboard and wireless mouse that I assume were designed for toddlers, and all the bloatware they could wish for. I'm waiting for the day where the power supply fails or hard drive stops spinning and it's assumed all data is lost (no backups of course) and they throw the thing out. Maybe then I'll be able to suggest an affordable and reliable desktop workstation, but they will probably replace it with another laptop.

nereo

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

As someone who once made their living as a photographer (and lifelong described 'shutterbug')  I'm continuously both annoyed and baffled by the number of people who own really expensive cameras but have absolutely no idea how to operate them.  I'm talking pro-level dSLR body/lens combos that cost >$3000.

Recently, while setting up a landscape shot on a tripod one such bloke stumbled past me with a Canon EOS-1D complete with a 'white lens'. With little prompting from me he told me he bought a Canon because "that's what most pros use" and then told me he didn't see the point in shooting in raw format. He made some quip that his camera "didn't need a tripod" (I was using at the time). The kicker was when he asked why I would need a tripod I explained that I wanted a slower shutter-speed to blur the water - his response was "what's a shutter speed?
Oh just use your damn iPhone to take photos already!

markbike528CBX

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

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Maurits28

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"max out the gigs"

This post is hilarious.

mies

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"max out the gigs"

This post is hilarious.

Glad you liked it :D It felt good to write that rant. He actually did say he wanted to "max out the gigs" on his last machine. The only nice thing about him overbuying on his computers is they usually never feel slow, unlike my in laws machines. They buy whatever no name garbage laptop is on sale from Best Buy then overload it with antivirus software.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 07:20:30 PM by mies »

Sibley

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Well, I bought a house last week and moved in Saturday. Bought a lawn mower today. Took me 2 hours and a 10 minute phone call with my dad to figure out how to put oil in the damn thing. Shoulda just called dad.

jeromedawg

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"max out the gigs"

This post is hilarious.

Glad you liked it :D It felt good to write that rant. He actually did say he wanted to "max out the gigs" on his last machine. The only nice thing about him overbuying on his computers is they usually never feel slow, unlike my in laws machines. They buy whatever no name garbage laptop is on sale from Best Buy then overload it with antivirus software.

LOL @ "max out the gigs" - that's totally leet.

I can relate regarding your dad buying stuff and not knowing how to use any of it, as well as my in-laws buying the first thing they see.

My dad is a gadget guy - he buys all sorts of crap that he barely knows how to use. He recently just got a micro four thirds camera (Olympus EM10 Mark II) merely because I have a similar model (non-Mark II) and my brother has a Sony A6000. Then we see the pictures he takes and it's like "uh, do you even know how to use the camera?" - it's confounding. Then he asks me what telephoto lens I have because now he wants to get one - I just don't say anything, because saying anything will encourage him to buy more and I don't want to partake in him buying something I "recommended" and it ends up sitting around collecting dust or he ends up not happy with it because it's not good enough. He has at least 4-5 different laptops at home as well as several different tablets and probably 2-3 phones (Nexus 5x, Nexus 6p, and he was talking about how he ordered a Pixel a while ago). He also bought my mom an iPhone because for a while he was moaning about how they needed one for Facetime, so he went and bought her a used 5c and she initially complained about the small screen size. The thing about him is that he'll go and buy stuff that isn't even "top of the line", sometimes realizes the "limitations" and then complains and does multiple returns before deciding the most expensive one he would want is too expensive. This was the case when he finally decided to replace his wireless router to get better reception in the house (after harping and complaining to us that it was bad and that he needed us to crawl up in the attic to run an ethernet line). I told him to buy 2 or 3 AC routers and I would help him bridge them. So he goes and buys one of the cheapest routers and asks me to set it up - I tell him the reception still sucks and it's because of the layout of their house. He arbitrarily buys stuff he "thinks" will be good without actually researching anything, and is disappointed when it doesn't meet his expectations. Then he returns the item(s) and repeats the process with something else that still isn't good enough. It's pretty annoying. He did the same thing with 360-degree cameras, asking all of us which one he should get, when none of us are interested in or have 360-degree cameras. So he goes and buys whatever sounds good and then ends up going through 4-5 different returns before finding the one. I guess that makes sense if you're wanting to try stuff out, but he could avoid all that hassle if he would just read/research first. He's retired, so this is his "funny money." Anyway, my oldest brother's old bedroom has turned into my dad's storage room for all his gear and crap. I try to stay out of recommending anything to him anymore - he just keeps buying stupid crap that he doesn't need and barely uses. He's that one tourist you see on vacation who has like like 5 gadgets strapped around his neck/shoulders: his phone, second phone, 360-degree camera, GoPro, SLR, mirrorless, and point and shoot. It's quite embarrassing. LOL at the GoPro too - mine died from immersing it in saltwater without the right backing at the Monterey Bay aquarium. After he found out he was like "do you want to borrow mine?" and busts it out - I'm like "why do you, of all people, even have a GoPro?" Of course, there's never a good or justified answer, other than "oh you know. just in case. i just bought it. leave me alone"

My in-laws are nearly as bad... they would get suckered into buying the first thing they saw (and at premium prices) so once I learned they are susceptible to do that, I felt bad and suggested we could help them out, so we do now and it's not too big of a deal but it can be annoying with the subsequent support we have to provide. They had flip phones for the longest time, then all their friends started getting smartphones, and they caved to peer pressure and constantly begged us to buy smartphones for them. This was *after* moving them to cheaper plans where having a smartphone really doesn't make much sense. But we did it anyway and supposedly they were "so happy" about it because now they can be like their friends and show off pictures... makes sense I guess? But now when we see them they're hooked on their phones all the time. Yet they will only use them to take pictures, look at pictures, and use LINE. Last night my wife spent 20 minutes on the phone trying to teach her mom how to disable the camera flash. We also bought a laptop for my FIL that he didn't take good care of - my in-laws own/run a restaurant and he is one of the cooks, so he would often use the computer without washing his hands. Every time we would visit, the laptop was disgusting and grimy. I literally had to go through tons of wet naps + alcohol/cottonballs to clean the grease off each time. I don't know what he did with it too because at some point, something happened to the motherboard (he probably spilled something on it) and he went and got it repaired but the replacement had a bad USB port.  We recently got him a refurb Dell Latitude after 6-7 years having that Inspiron so we'll see how this one holds up... he actually brought it over last week to show my wife an email (rather than forwarding the email to her....LOL!) and the bottom plastic cover was unhinged, as though he dropped it....! He denied this of course, as I proceeded to fix it. That reminds me about the 'indestructible' grade flip phones we bought them: one he managed to ruin by leaving it too close to a heat source (probably while cooking at the restaurant) and the other one he lost while on vacation in Taiwan.

Every time I think of my parents and my in-laws and technology, I just shake my head...

« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 10:23:51 AM by jeromedawg »

mies

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@jeromedawg. I know that feel. My in laws just got smart phones about a week and a half ago. We tried to keep them on their flip phone plans, but hey went out and got smart phones anyways. My mother in law keeps using her fingernails to tap the screen and gets frustrated when it doesn't work. She also refuses to just practice using applications on the phone for fear of accidentally using data.

jeromedawg

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@jeromedawg. I know that feel. My in laws just got smart phones about a week and a half ago. We tried to keep them on their flip phone plans, but hey went out and got smart phones anyways. My mother in law keeps using her fingernails to tap the screen and gets frustrated when it doesn't work. She also refuses to just practice using applications on the phone for fear of accidentally using data.


LOL! My MIL does that too! She taps the screen with her nails. Every time they visit all I hear is *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* - it's pretty annoying. I had to install Nova launcher and lock the desktop, as well as install call confirm, to prevent them from messing up the desktop screens and pocket-dialing the world. They've pocket-dialed each other and used up all the minutes on their plan on several occasions. Previously they were on PagePlus and we would just refill them with $80 PINs but they were blowing through those like crazy so we switched to PureTalk which has been much better. My wife and I are on Consumer Cellular and I like the option of talking to others on the plan for 'free' without using up minutes. We might bring them over to our plan at some point but they're good right now with the minutes they have (around 1000 minutes per month and 100mb data for $15). They blow through the data fast of course, watching teh youtubez - but this is probably a good thing so they're not paying more for data or being accessed overages. We just tell them if you want to watch your shows, do it when you are connected to wifi.

10dollarsatatime

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This is how I get most of my small engines...

The super nice toro lawnmower... $20 at a thrift store because someone didn't drain the fuel before winter and the carb was clogged.  Same story for every motorcycle I've ever purchased.  Usually after a carb job they'll start right up.  Hell, my first car was purchased for dirt cheap because it didn't run well...  Also just needed the carbs cleaned. 

fordman302

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..and write complaint letters.

I LOL'd at that, hilarious.

mies

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This is how I get most of my small engines...

The super nice toro lawnmower... $20 at a thrift store because someone didn't drain the fuel before winter and the carb was clogged.  Same story for every motorcycle I've ever purchased.  Usually after a carb job they'll start right up.  Hell, my first car was purchased for dirt cheap because it didn't run well...  Also just needed the carbs cleaned.

That reminds me of the Stihl line trimmer my dad gave me. The carb was fine. He just couldn't figure out how to wind the replacement line on to the spool when it ran out of line.

ketchup

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

As someone who once made their living as a photographer (and lifelong described 'shutterbug')  I'm continuously both annoyed and baffled by the number of people who own really expensive cameras but have absolutely no idea how to operate them.  I'm talking pro-level dSLR body/lens combos that cost >$3000.

Recently, while setting up a landscape shot on a tripod one such bloke stumbled past me with a Canon EOS-1D complete with a 'white lens'. With little prompting from me he told me he bought a Canon because "that's what most pros use" and then told me he didn't see the point in shooting in raw format. He made some quip that his camera "didn't need a tripod" (I was using at the time). The kicker was when he asked why I would need a tripod I explained that I wanted a slower shutter-speed to blur the water - his response was "what's a shutter speed?
Oh just use your damn iPhone to take photos already!
YES, this is so common.  Rich people with fancy camera gear and no idea how to use it.  Years ago (probably high school), I was on vacation in Alaska with my parents and we were on a train with all glass walls/ceilings (so you could see all the scenery and everything; it was pretty cool).  This pretentious looking passenger wearing fancy clothes kept snapping pictures of mountains using Nikon's then-current flagship ~$5k DSLR and some fancy lens.  He had the flash on.  Taking pictures of mountains a mile away, THROUGH A GLASS WALL.  HE HAD THE FLASH ON.

My GF is a pro photographer, and it *really* bugs her when a client says something like "I should get a camera like that!"  No, no you probably shouldn't.

nereo

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My GF is a pro photographer, and it *really* bugs her when a client says something like "I should get a camera like that!"  No, no you probably shouldn't.
YES!  (or rather "NOOOO!!").
I can't tell you the number of small gigs I booked while in college because "you have a nice camera."  At first I was so insulted, because I took the time to keep meticulously organied portfolio binders to market myself (this was before most photographers had online galleries). Actually I got my first freelance job shooting highschool sports for the local weekly* in a 5 minute 'interview' where the editor looked at my camera bag and said something like 'well you must know what you're doing to be carting around all that'. Ultimately I took the attitude of: whatever, less work for me if they want to hire me based on my mid-tier and heavily used/abused equipment.

*Sadly those kinds of jobs are gone.

Chris22

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I'll admit, I bought one of those $500 low-end "everything in the box" DSLR kits from Costco, a Cannon Rebel something or other, a couple years ago.  I had been on the newspaper in high school and always liked shooting sports, etc, with the paper's SLR, so I thought this would be a fun hobby.  In reality, it's a lot of crap to haul around, the pictures don't turn out that great for me, and frankly I don't have the patience to go through the zillion pictures I snap afterwords, retouch them, etc.  I am happier just point and shooting with my iPhone camera.  If the DSLR was worth anything I'd sell it, but for the $100 I'd get I'll just leave it in the closet to play around with it every once in a while.

nereo

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I'll admit, I bought one of those $500 low-end "everything in the box" DSLR kits from Costco, a Cannon Rebel something or other, a couple years ago.  I had been on the newspaper in high school and always liked shooting sports, etc, with the paper's SLR, so I thought this would be a fun hobby.  In reality, it's a lot of crap to haul around, the pictures don't turn out that great for me, and frankly I don't have the patience to go through the zillion pictures I snap afterwords, retouch them, etc.  I am happier just point and shooting with my iPhone camera.  If the DSLR was worth anything I'd sell it, but for the $100 I'd get I'll just leave it in the closet to play around with it every once in a while.
Oh, I've got absolutely no problem with people who buy the entry-level (or even 'enthusiast') cameras to try out and see if its a hobby they will enjoy.  It actually helps* the whole industry, providing a profitable base for the major manufacturers and setting economies of scale to work that ultimately makes for better cameras at the higher tiers.  Thankfully you didn't conclude after buying your Rebel that you could improve your photos by buying an even better camera, saving yourself the trouble of learning anything.

*the asteric by 'helps' is because its a double-edged sword. The barrier for entry into photography has been lowered so much that its much, much harder to make a living.  Gone are the 'bread-and-butter' jobs like selling stock images to Getty (they ended that) or working freelance for local papers. Why pay money when people just give images away? There's no penalty for shooting a thousand bad photos like there was for film.

ketchup

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I'll admit, I bought one of those $500 low-end "everything in the box" DSLR kits from Costco, a Cannon Rebel something or other, a couple years ago.  I had been on the newspaper in high school and always liked shooting sports, etc, with the paper's SLR, so I thought this would be a fun hobby.  In reality, it's a lot of crap to haul around, the pictures don't turn out that great for me, and frankly I don't have the patience to go through the zillion pictures I snap afterwords, retouch them, etc.  I am happier just point and shooting with my iPhone camera.  If the DSLR was worth anything I'd sell it, but for the $100 I'd get I'll just leave it in the closet to play around with it every once in a while.
Oh, I've got absolutely no problem with people who buy the entry-level (or even 'enthusiast') cameras to try out and see if its a hobby they will enjoy.  It actually helps* the whole industry, providing a profitable base for the major manufacturers and setting economies of scale to work that ultimately makes for better cameras at the higher tiers.  Thankfully you didn't conclude after buying your Rebel that you could improve your photos by buying an even better camera, saving yourself the trouble of learning anything.
Yeah, the people we're talking about blow thousands on gear without knowing what the hell they are doing.  Chris22 did it right, bought a reasonable toe-in-the-water model, to see if he actually enjoyed it before spending silly money (and then not doing that after deciding he didn't want to continue).  That's a very reasonable way to approach a potential new hobby.  I don't think anyone has a problem with that.
Quote
*the asteric by 'helps' is because its a double-edged sword. The barrier for entry into photography has been lowered so much that its much, much harder to make a living.  Gone are the 'bread-and-butter' jobs like selling stock images to Getty (they ended that) or working freelance for local papers. Why pay money when people just give images away? There's no penalty for shooting a thousand bad photos like there was for film.
This is very very true.  Cheap DSLRs (you can get a decent body and lens for a few hundred bucks used easy) mean that everyone thinks they're a photographer, flooding the low-end market.  A few years back, before my GF found her niche and established herself, it was impossible for her to do photoshoots for more than like $75-100 (and that would potentially be driving an hour each way, spending an hour or two there shooting, editing for a few more hours, and then giving them like 20 photos).  No way anyone could make real money like that.  And she was *excellent* at what she did, even back then and that didn't mean much until she found a narrow niche and the right client base where she could actually charge what she's worth.

stackorstarve

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Main issue with cameras is that people think that the camera takes the better pictures when it's really the photographer. I guess that could be said for anything really.

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jeromedawg

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Haha yea, learn how to take great pictures with a P&S and then 'upgrade'

Unlike my dad, who when we ask to take pictures of us, doesn't understand what "framing is" and includes everything else in the foreground along with us. Then, because it was my camera he used to take our picture, thinks he should get the same camera for himself. SMH

pdxbator

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I can't call my dad an idiot but sometimes I don't understand his buying decisions. He is 75 and retired about five years ago.
His stockbroker keeps telling him he's doing so well in the market why not spend some of his money. So my dad goes out and buys a $68,000 truck. It is top of the line, leather interior, adds a topper etc.
Unfortunately mom is not in great shape can't climb up into the cab to ride in it. So they keep using their other SUV and the truck sits.

honeybbq

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Main issue with cameras is that people think that the camera takes the better pictures when it's really the photographer. I guess that could be said for anything really.

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Great pic! What camera did you use?

stackorstarve

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Main issue with cameras is that people think that the camera takes the better pictures when it's really the photographer. I guess that could be said for anything really.

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Great pic! What camera did you use?
Yessss! Heard that one too many times.

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marble_faun

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I've always had this philosophy that if you're going to have something, especially if you're putting money towards it, you'd better be damn sure to have at the least a basic understanding of it.

I take your point, but I am not sure I agree. A person has only so much time or energy to develop full understandings of anything. I'd rather be choosy and pick the things I'm really curious about. So, I know very little about mechanics, but I have been paying more attention to other domains of knowledge, like food and textiles, as I transition away from processed foods and fast-fashion. 

Chances are, the car-driving ignoramuses know about other things that you may not know about. :-) It's just priorities.

nereo

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I can't call my dad an idiot but sometimes I don't understand his buying decisions. He is 75 and retired about five years ago.
His stockbroker keeps telling him he's doing so well in the market why not spend some of his money. So my dad goes out and buys a $68,000 truck. It is top of the line, leather interior, adds a topper etc.
Unfortunately mom is not in great shape can't climb up into the cab to ride in it. So they keep using their other SUV and the truck sits.
Yeah... my dad does similar things. He wanted a new vehicle that was easier to drive around the city than his Suburban, and he and my mom are empty-nesters. Comes home with a fully tricked-out Honda Pilot that seats 7. In the subsequent 2 years he's never once had more than 4 people in it - usually its just him. It's still too big to drive around town so most of the time they just take my mom's civic.
whatever makes him happy...

stackorstarve

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I've always had this philosophy that if you're going to have something, especially if you're putting money towards it, you'd better be damn sure to have at the least a basic understanding of it.

I take your point, but I am not sure I agree. A person has only so much time or energy to develop full understandings of anything. I'd rather be choosy and pick the things I'm really curious about. So, I know very little about mechanics, but I have been paying more attention to other domains of knowledge, like food and textiles, as I transition away from processed foods and fast-fashion. 

Chances are, the car-driving ignoramuses know about other things that you may not know about. :-) It's just priorities.
Well not absolutely everything obviously but at least enough to take care of whatever you're buying. So many people buy things knowing nothing whatsoever. Ignorance of ignorance is one thing; deliberate ignorance is another.

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Kashmani

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

College related, not consumer.   
Engineering major did not know what a camshaft was.
Only a part common to essentially every four-stroke internal combustion engine.

In fairness, as someone with a civil engineering degree, I would have to look this up as well. Not every engineer designs engines.

markbike528CBX

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As a chemist (the US variety, not the UK pharmacist), I would have expected anybody with "engineer" in their title to at least know a major part of an engine.  Not necessarily any design or functional description other than a shaft with an bump in it that other stuff is affected by.

Sadly my official company title does include engineer, which means sometimes people take me seriously when I pontificate on design stuff, when I'm actually just "pulling s!#$ out of my ass".

jinga nation

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

College related, not consumer.   
Engineering major did not know what a camshaft was.
Only a part common to essentially every four-stroke internal combustion engine.

In fairness, as someone with a civil engineering degree, I would have to look this up as well. Not every engineer designs engines.
I know several CS degree holders who think engine means computational engines like Wolfram Alpha.
They refer to car engines as motors.

Laura33

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I go the other way -- I am annoyed when forced to buy things that are more complex than necessary for what I need.  I only have so many brain cells left, and I don't care to devote them to irrelevant crap.

So I recently lost the little detector thing on my heart rate monitor, and the replacement part was like $70(!!), so I said, well, hell, it's been years, and I see all these people with these wrist things, maybe I can find something without that annoying chest strap for not much more than one stupid little replacement button.  Ye gods, the choices!  Different tech, so each worked better or worse in different situations.  Price points from $100-$1000.  This one has GPS and 389 workouts!  This one talks to your phone, which in turn uploads everything to the Cloud so you can plan and track and chart!  All I want to do is track my heart rate, accurately, so I don't work so hard I die!  I ended up buying the replacement part, because at least I already knew how to use my existing HRM.

And don't get me started on all of the "features" in my new car.  Between DH and I, we have set the clock to the appropriate time, programmed in the radio stations, paired the phones, and figured out how to put the top up and down.  I'm done.

nereo

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I know several CS degree holders who think engine means computational engines like Wolfram Alpha.
They refer to car engines as motors.

I know there's a difference (and that the general public uses the terms interchangably), but could one of your engineers tell me the difference between a motor and an engine?

also - Wolfram Alpha would be a great name for a band.


Kashmani

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I know there's a difference (and that the general public uses the terms interchangably), but could one of your engineers tell me the difference between a motor and an engine?

http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/engine.htm


ketchup

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I know several CS degree holders who think engine means computational engines like Wolfram Alpha.
They refer to car engines as motors.

I know there's a difference (and that the general public uses the terms interchangably), but could one of your engineers tell me the difference between a motor and an engine?

also - Wolfram Alpha would be a great name for a band.
It's my understanding (that could be way off) that "engine" implies "internal combustion engine", and "motor" implies "electric motor."  So a parallel hybrid car would have both.  That's my IT-guy-that-works-on-his-own-cars unprofessional perspective.

jinga nation

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I know several CS degree holders who think engine means computational engines like Wolfram Alpha.
They refer to car engines as motors.

I know there's a difference (and that the general public uses the terms interchangably), but could one of your engineers tell me the difference between a motor and an engine?

also - Wolfram Alpha would be a great name for a band.
It's my understanding (that could be way off) that "engine" implies "internal combustion engine", and "motor" implies "electric motor."  So a parallel hybrid car would have both.  That's my IT-guy-that-works-on-his-own-cars unprofessional perspective.
ketchup sez that on interwebs. everything on interwebs is fact. facts is true and constants.

ketchup

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I know several CS degree holders who think engine means computational engines like Wolfram Alpha.
They refer to car engines as motors.

I know there's a difference (and that the general public uses the terms interchangably), but could one of your engineers tell me the difference between a motor and an engine?

also - Wolfram Alpha would be a great name for a band.
It's my understanding (that could be way off) that "engine" implies "internal combustion engine", and "motor" implies "electric motor."  So a parallel hybrid car would have both.  That's my IT-guy-that-works-on-his-own-cars unprofessional perspective.
ketchup sez that on interwebs. everything on interwebs is fact. facts is true and constants.
There we go, now I can cite your post as proof of what I said.  Citogenesis complete. (https://xkcd.com/978/)

talltexan

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On that issue of buying a PC exclusively to use for financial transactions, here's a bogleheads forum topic:

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=153577

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

College related, not consumer.   
Engineering major did not know what a camshaft was.
Only a part common to essentially every four-stroke internal combustion engine.

In fairness, as someone with a civil engineering degree, I would have to look this up as well. Not every engineer designs engines.

Yeah, Professional Civil Engineer here (degree in Environmental Engineering), and I don't know what that is from the name...

slugline

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When I saw the thread title, the first thing that immediately came to mind was people who buy pets without thinking through their care and feeding. These cases are especially sad because there's a living thing that can suffer from a lack of maintenance.

Maenad

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As a chemist (the US variety, not the UK pharmacist), I would have expected anybody with "engineer" in their title to at least know a major part of an engine. 

I'm a chemical engineer by education, so no, I know bupkis about engines. Ask me about distillation columns, on the other hand...

nereo

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When I saw the thread title, the first thing that immediately came to mind was people who buy pets without thinking through their care and feeding. These cases are especially sad because there's a living thing that can suffer from a lack of maintenance.
We have a pet turtle in our lab.  Why?  Because the week before my advisor and his family were leaving for a year long sabbatical someone gave his daughter a pet turtle as a birthday present.
SERIOUSLY??

Fishindude

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I can't beat it through my son in laws head that preventative maintenance and upkeep on his home and automobiles is money well spent and cheaper in the long run than being a tightwad and letting things deteriorate.  Right now he's driving a pretty decent car with a non working air conditioner and worn out brakes.   A couple hundred dollars would get it fixed, but he's too tight to fix it, so he will probably ruin the rotors too.   His lawn and garage is a mess, weeds knee high, can't find anything, tools and junk scattered everywhere, etc.   A few minutes of routine upkeep on the weeds when you mow is a whole lot easier than waiting till they are waist high, and you can get your work done a whole lot more quickly in a neat and organized space vs a mess.

How about the folks that buy a brand new boat with no consideration for storage, then leave it outdoors all winter covered in snow?  A coupleyears of this and the paint job is crummy and chalky looking and interior vinyl starts deteriorating.

nereo

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I can't beat it through my son in laws head that preventative maintenance and upkeep on his home and automobiles is money well spent and cheaper in the long run than being a tightwad and letting things deteriorate.  Right now he's driving a pretty decent car with a non working air conditioner and worn out brakes.   A couple hundred dollars would get it fixed, but he's too tight to fix it, so he will probably ruin the rotors too. 

I get the brakes bit (he should fix those, now!) but what's wrong with not fixing the air conditioner?  I ask because I also have a non-functioning air conditioner and I have zero desire to spend money repairing it.  Is that somehow going to damage my engine? Recharged it once last year but it didn't last, so there's definitely a leak somewhere.  I just thought that a leak didn't mean bumbkiss besides my car no longer staying cool.  Is it causing long-term damage somehow?

markbike528CBX

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As a chemist (the US variety, not the UK pharmacist), I would have expected anybody with "engineer" in their title to at least know a major part of an engine. 

I'm a chemical engineer by education, so no, I know bupkis about engines. Ask me about distillation columns, on the other hand...


OK, OK, I've been outvoted.     I must be a bigger gearhead than I imagined.  The only camshaft I think I've seen in person was in small engine shop in high school. I don't think I've seen the camshaft in any of the vehicles I've owned.     .... counts.....  (about 17 camshafts, including 4 in one motorcycle, the CBX). 

On the other hand I know that there is a pump curve for centrifugal pumps, and it is difficult to have too big a pump, that's it.

slugline

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I get the brakes bit (he should fix those, now!) but what's wrong with not fixing the air conditioner?  I ask because I also have a non-functioning air conditioner and I have zero desire to spend money repairing it.  Is that somehow going to damage my engine? Recharged it once last year but it didn't last, so there's definitely a leak somewhere.  I just thought that a leak didn't mean bumbkiss besides my car no longer staying cool.  Is it causing long-term damage somehow?

Under certain conditions, moisture from the air being exhaled by the occupants can condense on the insides of the glass, fogging up the driver's view. You can stop periodically to wipe off the windows and windshield, or you can turn on the A/C and let it dehumidify the interior. I suppose someday we'll have self-driving cars and it won't matter, but until then I think the A/C makes a small contribution to safety.

ketchup

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I get the brakes bit (he should fix those, now!) but what's wrong with not fixing the air conditioner?  I ask because I also have a non-functioning air conditioner and I have zero desire to spend money repairing it.  Is that somehow going to damage my engine? Recharged it once last year but it didn't last, so there's definitely a leak somewhere.  I just thought that a leak didn't mean bumbkiss besides my car no longer staying cool.  Is it causing long-term damage somehow?

Under certain conditions, moisture from the air being exhaled by the occupants can condense on the insides of the glass, fogging up the driver's view. You can stop periodically to wipe off the windows and windshield, or you can turn on the A/C and let it dehumidify the interior. I suppose someday we'll have self-driving cars and it won't matter, but until then I think the A/C makes a small contribution to safety.
+1 to this.  It's worst in cold weather with three panting dogs in a small car.

cheapass

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Chances are, the car-driving ignoramuses know about other things that you may not know about. :-) It's just priorities.

Unfortunately those "other things" are often celebrities, or TV shows, or sportsball players/stats.

infogoon

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This is how I get most of my small engines...

The super nice toro lawnmower... $20 at a thrift store because someone didn't drain the fuel before winter and the carb was clogged.  Same story for every motorcycle I've ever purchased.  Usually after a carb job they'll start right up.  Hell, my first car was purchased for dirt cheap because it didn't run well...  Also just needed the carbs cleaned.

I bought my lawnmower from a relative who complained that she could never get it to keep running. There was no gas in it.