Are Solar Panels Cost Effective?

I’m all for clean and renewable ways of creating electricity, and one popular option is installing a home solar power system. The problem is solar panels and the other needed equipment are not cheap, nor are they efficient. Not to mention, only a few select geographic locations will provide the means to recoup the cost of purchasing the system due to local climate conditions and electric company incentives. For a very basic system, you will need solar panels, roof mounts, combiner box, DC disconnect switch, cabling, permits, and a grid-tie…
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Disable Windows XP Indexing

Windows XP by default enables a feature called Fast Indexing. This is only useful if you frequently use the search option to find files or folders on your computer. Now, if you aren’t using this search capability every day there is absolutely no reason to have it enabled and it’s only slowing your computer down and taking up disk space. Disabling fast indexing will not hurt your computer at all. You can also re-enable it at any time: Open up My Computer Right-click on your local disk (c:) Select Properties…
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Disable Windows Error Reporting

One of the great enigmas of the Windows operating system has been the error reporting “feature”. When an application or process crashes, by default, Windows will pop up a message box prompting you to either send an error report or not to send an error report. If you chose to send the error report … well in reality, nothing good will ever come of it because in all likelihood the program that caused the error is not a Microsoft product. And why would Microsoft change their software to fix someone…
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Tornadoes Never Hit Big Cities?

It is a myth that tornadoes never hit big cities. Pictured to the left is a tornado that ravaged downtown Miami Florida on May 12th, 1997. The fact is tornadoes have a long history of hitting big cities and when they do, they usually cause a great amount of damage due to the population density. As a matter of fact, tornadoes can form pretty much anywhere at any time, although they usually form in the Midwest during the the springtime. It’s a matter of population density, statistics and climate rather…
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BMW 650 GS Tail Light

One of the first things I noticed about my BMW 650 Dakar was how dim the taillight was. The little incandescent bulb is not very bright and if the plastic light cover is even just a little bit dirty (as it always seems to be) the light is even more unnoticeable. And that’s the one thing you don’t want to be while riding a motorcycle on busy city streets, unnoticeable. So, one of the first things I bought for my bike was the Brake! LED taillight from Touratech online. This…
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Two Types of Lightning – Positive and Negative

Positive Lightning Strike

How exactly lightning forms is still open for debate, but scientists are certain there are two types of lightning: positive and negative. The most commonly accepted theory is that electrons are stripped off colliding ice particles caught in a thunderstorm’s updraft. Once these particles lose an electron, their net remaining charge becomes positive. These positively charged particles usually rise high into the upper-most part of the thunderstorm where they tend to collect. Conversely, other particles in the cloud acquire an electron after the collision and as a result, their net…
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Upgrading the Windows in Your Home

Home Windows

When we had our house built, DR Horton installed the crappiest windows possible. To make matters worse, the windows were installed poorly and rain water leaked down through the walls causing quite a headache. I waited 6 months for them to come out and replace the windows the first time. Well, the second time they leaked I decided to take matters into my own hands. No, I didn’t take them to court. The money I would of spent in court fighting them to replace the crappy windows with the same…
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