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Lou Quillio

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Everything posted by Lou Quillio

  1. Yes, certainly. I mention all of this because because home networking gear -- whether from one's ISP or personally owned -- is documented for the stick-built context. The performance you can expect, where to position mesh points, and so on does not anticipate interior brick walls. Same for information one finds on the web. Here's a typical case where that matters: In general, requests are lightweight and responses are heavy. Clicking a link, for example, just requests whatever's at a URL. But the response is more likely a heavy web page, a video stream, etc. To say that your wifi coverage is good because you get 51 Mbps only tells us it's easy to make that lightweight request. The heavier response of a web page or video must travel back to you over approximately half of that 51 Mbps wifi signal, which is janky, and is also still listening for other requests you might make. In short, "51 Mbps" is misleading. "I don't understand why my video is buffering, Lou. I have 51 Mbps." Actually, you don't. You're believing in mesh magic, but mesh ain't magical. In a house made of two-by-fours and drywall, that "51 Mbps" isn't so big of a lie. In a Mexican house, it's practically meaningless. When you wire your wifi points, they can use the full throughput you buy from your ISP, and things go swimmingly. If your mesh setup works well for you Lakeside, that's great. But in these parts it's always best practice to use access points that accept an ethernet input (as well as mesh), and pull ethernet to them. Here's what my setup looks like: If I didn't run ethernet to my access points, they would try to mesh instead, and would say Wireless instead of Wired. LQ
  2. I simply don't rely on ISP gear whatsoever. I only want a dumb pipe from them, and my home network is formed by my own networking gear. Likewise, WRT wifi, I don't rely on my wifi points to effectively mesh, and certainly don't get involved with snake-oil "extenders." Each of my three wifi points gets its own wired (ethernet) backhaul. Mesh is meant for stick-built northern homes, but Mexican construction (ladrilla, concreto, y acero) and mesh networks simply don't mix. It took some effort and a bit of money to build the network, but at my house everything needing a wireless or wired connection just works, even for streaming video. Note my mention of "backhaul," above. Not only does each wifi point not rely on a wifi mesh connection to handle my requests (like clicking a link, starting a video, etc.), the responses travel back to the wifi point over ethernet. Only the last few meters are wifi. Fast, fast, fast. In my experience, getting norte home network performance in a Mexican house requires pulling some wires. The alternative is endlessly sifting through anecdotal advice on message boards. 😉 LQ
  3. Tax enforcement WRT importing household goods seems to have become stricter since we arrived. This page appears to be authoritative: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/suiza/index.php/seccion-consular/menajes-casa
  4. As stated above. It's not that nobody cares, it's that leaving the impression you have one chance and one chance only is incorrect. (There may be a liberalized 6-month period I don't know about.) We shipped nothing, to the considerable benefit of our kids. 🙂 Heck, people on no more than a tourist visa often drive a truckload of furniture items for uso personal south and pay no duty. It just has to really be for personal use, and look like it. If there's any suspicion you have items for sale, you'll have problems. LQ
  5. Two years ago, completing my temporal (we still work) at the Chapala INM office, I wasn't given my passport back after giving photos and fingerprints. My wife had the same experience a couple months later. Our abogado told us to expect this, and that's what happened. We got them back sooner than the 4-5 weeks it took to get our cards and CURPs, I'd say in two weeks. All of this timing may be different if you use a big INM office in a big city, since most of the waiting is for document processing and transit time. But in Chapala in 2021, that's how it worked. Expect it still does. I don't think there's any policy reason for it, it's just how they push the papers. Passport probably never leaves Chapala. LQ
  6. You might be misunderstanding something. After consular approval of your Mexican residency application, you have six months to enter the country and complete the process at INM. Period. if you can't get this done within the six months, you need to start over fresh with the consulate. When you enter, you're on a special kind of tourist visa that will be converted to resident status, in a process called canje. You make an appointment for it with INM, give fingerprints and photos, and pay the fee. They'll then take and hold your passport, and prepare a resident ID card. Takes about 5 - 6 weeks, during which you can't leave the country. You won't have your passport back yet, anyway. So it's just a matter of committing -- within six months of consular residency approval -- to a six week period (probably less) when you'll stay in Mexico without interruption. After that you're good to go. As far as household goods, nobody cares. It's entirely your business. Do whatever you want. It doesn't cost much to hire an abogado / facilitator to answer your questions and do the legwork. The timing may seem complicated if you're piecing together information from multiple sources, but it's really not. LQ
  7. Off topic: This one is not like the others, and will always be a moving target. Streaming TV services sold in the U.S. are licensed for U.S. customers only -- not because anybody's greedy or mean, rather because those are the terms of their upstream content providers. They may or may not sell a version for consumption in Mexico. Can you get around regional restrictions? Sometimes. But you don't have a right to do so, and shouldn't be surprised if it stops working. So this case isn't emblematic of some general trend with U.S. corporations. Media is different, and these have been the rules all along. LQ
  8. Sounds worth trying, if one has that problem. "4G," a technology meaning "Fourth Generation" mobile data and "LTE," a trademark referring to a particular 4G implementation, are just about universal in the West by now. Penetration is close to 100%. Decent phones made after 2017 will have it. The mentioned SIM will take up one's SIM card drawer, though. So if you like your phone and plan otherwise and it has only one slot, it may be worth buying a USD $100-ish phone just for this purpose, and keep it near your computer. New U.S. expats reading this, though, should think twice about ditching their U.S. phone numbers. There's usually a way to keep it alive, and a dual-SIM phone makes things much easier. LQ
  9. Rare is the U.S. company that can only do two-step verification via SMS text. Most can do the same via email instead but, for some reason, their default method tends toward SMS. They are technically identical for the sender At some quiet time when you're not doing important business with them, examine your account settings with the company -- either by digging into their website or even contacting them. You may well find a setting to prefer email over SMS message for verifications. If you speak with a representative, I'd say something like, "I often have problems receiving text messages, and that prevents me from transacting business with your website. It's very annoying. Isn't there some other method you can use to validate me, like email?" I'd be surprised if there weren't. There's a chance that the only other method will be an automated phone call, which takes us back to the phone number problem. Damn. I'm not well-informed about the many boiler room companies who offer U.S. "virtual" numbers, but I want to steer clear of them. We solve the problem by using dual-SIM phones and simply keeping our U.S. numbers, even if they're not used for much (we've trained everyone important to use WhatsApp). It costs about USD $40/mo for our two U.S. numbers, which is expensive-ish. But any solution is going to cost something, so we pay to avoid the entire problem. Word to the wise. Good luck, LQ
  10. Windows includes an application called the "Microsoft Store." This "store" lets you install many applications ("apps," or computer programs). Many of them are free. This is the same idea as with a smart phone's app store. Do you need an app you don't yet have? Look in the store. The HP Smart app is free. So, on the laptop, start the Microsoft Store app. Then, search the store for "HP Smart" (or just "HP"). Install the app. Run it. The HP App will search her home network and any attached devices for HP printers or other gear that is powered on, and automatically set them up with the laptop (drivers, etc.). LQ ps. For future reference, it makes no difference that the printer and laptop are both HP. Most people buying HP printers do not use HP computers.
  11. For a recent Windows PC, there is a free HP Smart app in the Microsoft store that should do the job, and should be multilingual. https://apps.microsoft.com/store/detail/hp-smart/9WZDNCRFHWLH LQ
  12. @InChapala1 Interesting! So you use it as ID for domestic air travel within the U.S. Not being a snowbird, that hadn't occurred to me. Thanks! LQ
  13. Do you know that a passport card is only useful for frequent border-crossers, like commuters or short-haul truck drivers? Most people won't have a use for it. LQ
  14. Why is it an either-or? Seems to me that if there's a test that can reveal an issue, my gastro should run that and do the physical colonoscopy. It would be ridiculous for a gastro not to do that. More information is better, period. LQ
  15. I'm not rolling those dice. If there's something to be found, I want it found and dealt with. Now. LQ
  16. Just to put a lid on it, if you shop locally, the magic word will be lavavajilla or lavaplatos. Adding portatil will cut-out the built-ins, but it's not a science. Con ruedas = "with wheels." One shopping trip to Santa Anita (and north) on Route 80 would put you in range of a Costco, a Home Depot, a large Walmart, and everything in Las Galerías Mall (Liverpool et al.). In Chapala there's a Coppel but, you know, it's Coppel. Those wheeled units are pricey, same as in the States, costing as much or more as a new built-in -- because the market for them is small. Transporting your own used unit may well be the best option. Good luck. LQ
  17. If I recall, you can use the pods if the manuals says so, but they're more detergent than a countertop needs. These little guys use only about 4 liters of water. A modern, EnergyStar, full-sized dishwasher might use 15 liters, and an old skool dishwasher 45 liters or more. A bottle of liquid dishwasher detergent would be more economical. Naturally, like any dishwasher, never, ever use dishwashing liquid (like Dawn). You'll regret it. LQ
  18. For my money, if you enjoy taking road trips, either that or a hybrid electric is the only reasonable purchase in Mexico 2023. Unless you also have a gas-powered second car, I suppose. But it won't always be like that. The story will be different in five years. LQ
  19. Many options (and reviews) at Amazon MX. https://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/bestsellers/kitchen/16354828011/ Shouldn't buy without reading reviews. We bought a countertop one for our daughter's apartment and it works well for her. (Think the brand was "Comfee." Countertop units hold 4-5 place settings, actually work, and serve the second important function of a dishwasher, which is somewhere to stash unwashed dishes besides a sink. LQ
  20. I don't see one on the website nor on Faceblech. Lemme ask ... Rod says his employment change was ... unexpected, so for now he's working through website contact form, Facebook, and WhatsApp. He says he's been posting on Facebook most. He's good at what he does, so I'm sure his business will grow. LQ
  21. Unclear. This seems to say that the S&S price was discounted / lower. Which price was lower?
  22. Nope. There were early payment penalties. Those guys aren't stupid. When we last bought, in January, a Mazda 3 Hatch won-out because Mazda was still doing a clean business with S&S. To sustain themselves, S&S was then considering a $500 fee per car -- since they couldn't make the commissions their business is built on. Don't think that came to pass, but the pandemic slowdown eventually touched a lot of businesses in perhaps unexpected ways.
  23. Late start to the rainy season this year (hot dry June), exceeding recent history for El Niño years. An anecdotal way of looking at it (and it's all anecdotal) is maybe to combine May and June rainfall and look for the troughs. 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 May + June 1.6 8.7 4.9 6.2 3.5 10.4 4.9 7.9 13.0 7.4 6.5 2019 was arguably the last El Niño year, 2018 looks like an anomaly, and 2017 again shows an expected low ebb. But 1.6 inches in 2023? That's low. Let's see how much of that is made up in 2023. LQ
  24. Yep. The manufacturer (or upstream provider) is going to get its money. On new cars in the U.S., the only way a dealer can discount your price is by applying one of the "dealer incentives" (or some such) given to them by upstream. Of course, in the U.S., new car dealers aren't in the business of selling cars, rather of selling car loans. When the Mexican new-car pipeline was empty earlier in 2023 (therefore a seller's market), Guadalajara dealers were doing the same and refused to take cash. Times were hard for independents like S&S then, because the city dealers dictated all the terms (like "financing required") and had no trouble selling the cars they got. That sellers market seems to have ended. LQ
  25. Pretty simple. Standard car dealer model. S&S or Lake Chapala Car Experts is a car dealer. They collect the sales commission. Done. The commission's gonna get paid to somebody. Might as well be a local, English-speaking, independent dealer that handles every little detail. To be clear, Rod speaks completely unaccented U.S. English. Sure, you can do it all yourself, but it won't save you money. Nothing wrong with S&S. I guess Rod figured there was no way to move up and he could do better on his own. He's probably right. LQ
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