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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 14 Nov 2020, 17:06
by yogi
Gaming houses, casinos, exist for the same reasons IBM exists: to make huge profits. Leaving those profits to purely random events would produce no profit, nor would it produce a loss. Over time it all equals out. Thus the games must be rigged to cover the costs of running the gaming house. Every random number generator is based on a seed which is usually a prime number. That seed biases the output and thus removes the truly random nature of the generator. They are all good enough for the purpose they serve, but at their best they are pseudo-random. I'm pretty sure the government knows the random numbers themselves are seeds for the programming behind the games. All that sealed number generator does is guarantee a fair start. What happens down the road is left to the integrity of the engineers using the numbers.

My first job at the big M was as a line inspector. It was my duty to be sure all the parts were placed onto a circuit board as specified in a model of a perfect board. It's interesting work if you are a robot, but I was a thinking human being at the time. I jumped from that job to being an electronics analyzer. That is pretty much what you did in that I was responsible for testing pc boards and repairing them down to the component level. Then, quite by accident in that nobody else wanted the job, I was assigned to program an automatic test machine. It was just a huge relay box connected to various test instruments inside a cabinet. The relays connected test probes to circuit boards that were held into place by a vacuum underneath them. Those probes and the instruments they connected to determined automatically if the boards were assembled correctly. That's exactly the job I was hired into the company to do but now I was charged with doing it automatically.

That machine programing job led to using computers to control the instruments inside the cabinet. It was mostly HP and thus I became familiar with HP BASIC. I loved using a real computer instead of just a switch matrix controller. While none of the test labs or engineering groups had an official position for an IT type person, I was doing a lot of desktop support just because I knew a lot about computers. At one point that took up more than half my work but I was STILL only a troubleshooter analyzing problems down to their component level. At this point in my career it was all pretty much digital components which I really enjoyed working on.

Those were the days my friend, and I hoped they would never end.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 15 Nov 2020, 15:09
by Kellemora
We still serviced a few of the old mechanical slot machines.
It sometimes took close to half a day on the really old type to add cap bridges on the win gears.
The government only allowed so many cap bridges per wheel, and there always had to be the possibility of hitting all three of the jackpots.
The newer mechanical machines were much easier, because they had built in slides you simply moved up or down than locked into place. There were no slides on some of the spaces at all, another thing mandated by government on these machines.
Early digital machines were easy to set, but those setting could not be controlled by an outside computer connected to the machine during game play.
Then came the fully computerized games, all controlled from a mainframe, and programs determined who won and who didn't based on many factors the computer learned about the player.
If the computer knew you switched machines after 5 losses, it will toss you a small win on the 4th or 5th spin.
Also, there are a lot of shills in a casino. A machine with really hi odds no one ever wins at. A shill will come in and use that machine and have so many small winning spins with a few bigger ones tossed in, they almost draw a crowd. A few folks will stand around and wait for them to leave. The first few that hit the machine will lose of course, but will have more winners for about an hour, then they slow down, so the guy leaves and someone else takes his place. They actually lose big time, and don't even realize it at first because of all the small wins.

We had boxes with tons of lights and switches on them for checking gaming boards too.
It was fairly simple to operate, but you had to run down lines of switches and flip the right ones of course.
Hard to make a mistake when the switches were color coded and we had these plastic masks that dropped down over the switches and lights for different tests. But this box was mainly for looking for bad power transistors, had nothing to do with the computer part of the game boards. Power transistors and diodes were the plague of gaming machines, especially pinball machines with so many solenoids in them.

The newer computerized pinball machines all had self-diagnostics built-in. All I had to do was pull up a list of the error codes to find where the problems were. Somehow the diagnostics even knew if a solenoid was working but appearing to drag or stick momentarily. Usually just replacing the sleeves got them going again and working the way they should.

The most aggravating of all things to work on were the Bill Changing machines.
We had a fake bill designed for testing the early machines. A few of these fell into the hands of the public, and/or some kids figured out how to make one themselves. Needless to say, we had to upgrade the mechs at big expense. Then each time a change was made to the dollar bills we had to upgrade them again.
I hear the new bill changers work nothing at all like the ones I used to work on. They use lasers, reflectors, magnetics, and pick-up lenses to analyze a bill before accepting it. But on the bright side, they can usually take any denomination now.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 15 Nov 2020, 17:26
by yogi
I found your comments about the casino shill to be very interesting.

My wife's brother loved to play the slots. He would drive out to Vegas from Chicago a couple times a year just to satisfy his cravings. He wasn't particularly well off financially but dropping a couple thousand during a weekend was not a problem. Usually he got it all back and then some the next trip out. I don't know the name of the casino he favored but they had something called a VIP club. This was a special lounge for members of the club to rest between bouts with the machines on the main floor. As it happened the manager/owner of the casino and my wife's brother became fairly good friends. At least they recognized each other because of the frequent trips to the casino and stays in the VIP room.

After several months of being VIP, the manager of the casino called my wife's brother at home. He offered him a free trip, first class air, all expenses paid. This was clear out of the blue and not anticipated by the brother. The manager said it was all just PR because he was such a good customer. Amazing, eh? Well, her brother then explained how the free trip went. He got on his favorite slot machine and was starting to win a bit more than average. Then he was winning a lot. As you mentioned earlier, the crowds gathered and started to cheer him on. I think he said the jackpot was $25k or some huge number like that, but he never did get that lucky. He came close and picked up a few thousand, however. After a few hours he decided he had enough winning and retired to the VIP room. The crowds nearly killed each other trying to get at the machine he vacated. LOL I never thought about it until you mentioned it, but they used my wife's brother as a shill. He must have cost them something close to ten grand for his weekend, which tells me they made A LOT more than that after he left.

I play the lotto here in Missouri, but that's the only game of chance I've put real money into. The odds against me winning the big prize are about 25mil:1 so that I do not realistically expect to win. I consider it all a voluntary contribution to the state's IRS. But, I do get lucky once in a while and get a free ticket of something less than $10. I probably am not breaking even and certainly am not ahead of the game. However, I do know beforehand what the risks are and what I'm agreeing to do. Besides, it's the only way I'll ever be able to buy that Bentley. :mrgreen:

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 16 Nov 2020, 16:12
by Kellemora
When my wife and I were on our one and only cruise to the Bahama's, I spent about 85% of my time in the casino.
I never planned on winning at all, and only set aside like 100 dollars a day to lose.
But if you calculate in the spending of my winnings back into the machines, I was probably losing more like 500 bucks a day.
For this the casino sent things to my cabin, vase of flowers, boxes of candy, etc.
On my very last day on the cruise, I was down about 700 bucks as I expected, tried a new card game I've never played before and ended up making about 500 bucks at that table. I went around to a few other machines that were not exactly slot machines, I won another 200 bucks in the next hour, then sat back down at my favorite slot machine by the window. Ended up spending about 300 bucks there. But in the end, I came how with only like total loss of only 200 bucks.

I rarely buy a lottery ticket. The odds are too far against winning. Especially those without caps, as most are.
Missouri did have one lottery early on that made sense. Each time it built up to 1 million dollars, if nobody won the whole million, they dropped a number to see if they had a winner, sometimes this made two or three winners. If there was no winner after dropping a number, they would drop another number, which usually caused there to be 10 to 20 winners. So the money had to be divided up between them.
Now they just add things like win so much on 4 numbers, a little more on 5 numbers, etc. but you have to match all the numbers plus the bonus number to win the big jackpot.

I never did see any of that money going into the school system, which is how they got the votes through to allow for the boats in the moats, hi hi.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 16 Nov 2020, 17:22
by yogi
The Illinois lottery was instituted on the premise of paying off the tollways, and eventually making them free. Some money actually did go to the tollway fund but most of it ended up on the school budget. I'd say they lied all along and intended to supplement the schools from the start but could not pass the referendum on that alone. The tollways in Illinois are nice, but not so nice as to drive them even if they were free. Nobody complained about how the lotto funds were misappropriated because, well, everybody likes the lottery. You, and just about anybody else I tell about my ticket buying, are absolutely correct about the odds being astronomically against winning. That is exactly why I buy the tickets. Big risks produce big rewards. I'm not all that enthusiastic about gambling in any form and playing those games with better odds is a waste of my time. I'd rather put those dollars into a high risk and hope for the best than to be nickled and dimed to death. In some ways I'm an All Or Nothing kind of guy.

Casinos are the geese that lay golden eggs. I don't understand why the government hasn't confiscated every one of them by now. Judging by all the PR and free giveaways coming out of the casinos I'd have to guess they do it for tax purposes. I know they are regulated in many ways and I'd hate to be the accountant for any one of those gaming salons. I'm sure there is a good reason they gave most of them to the Native Americans. LOL

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 17 Nov 2020, 15:49
by Kellemora
I used to enter all those free contests and sweepstakes.
It was time consuming, and I went through a lot of postage stamps.
I did win some major things while doing it.
But if you compared the time spent doing it, to the value of the items won, you still lost, hi hi.

I know a little bit about how they handle the accounting on machines that give payouts simply from working on them and reading the internal registers.
In reality, it is not much different than a simple vending machine selling a product.
You have to stock the vending machine with product in order to sell it.
You have to stock the slot machine's win box with coins in order for folks to win them.
Now it is all done using computers and a credit/debit card, but still works the same way.
You still have the cash box that records sales.
Where it gets hairy is a player is putting winnings back into the machine.
Putting winning back in is a wash, it is not income per se, it is more like recycling inventory coins.

If you look at the old mechanical slot machines. They could be set to what they wanted them set at, but a common setting was for every 8th coin to go to the payout box, and all the rest into sales box.
The owner of the machine only needed to account for the number of coins in the sales box as income.
The coins in the payout box didn't matter because they would eventually end up back in the hands of the players.
However, if the payout box reached a certain level without enough winners, the owners would do one of two things.
Either take some of the money out and pocket it for themselves off the books, or loosen the machine a little more.
They can't get by with that on the computerized machines because every coin is accounted for.

Games that use Chips, like blackjack, and other table games.
Players buy chips at the sales window.
Winners cash in chips at the refunds window.
Each table turns in the number of chips they collected from losing hands or games.
The difference between sales, minus refunds, plus the table collected chips is their income.
By the way, the HOUSE always WINS!

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 17 Nov 2020, 18:24
by yogi
What you describe about slot machine payouts is fairly simple and a standard practice dictated by the IRS. The complications I am imagining are the ones involved in running the casino in general. How does a casino, for example, account for the good will it creates by flying my wife's brother out to Vegas and treating him to a free weekend? I'm sure the costs of the plane fare, the drinks, and the room can be calculated, but how much of it can be claimed against the profits all this good will brings in? Good will is a tremendous factor in casinos and it has a monetary value. Usually that value is calculated at the time of selling the establishment but it can also be depreciated and amortized. LOL No, I don't know how that is possible but I've read where it is indeed a common practice.

I understand that the gaming house must always win. It seems as if some patrons of casinos do not fully understand that concept. It's one reason why I like horse racing. You know the odds and you never ever get paid back the full amount. The amount deducted from the winning odds goes to the house. It's clearly stated each time you cash in a winning ticket. Not so with casinos.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 16:31
by Kellemora
OK, a casino has many allowable deductions, one of the major deductions is PR which falls under Advertising Expense.
All businesses are allowed PR expenses. A small business like myself may entertain a client by taking them out to dinner. Because it is business related to obtaining a new client, or working a deal with an existing client, the expense is justified.
On the downside, the deduction is only a percentage of the cost and is deducted from taxable income, so there is still some loss to the company.

No business gets the same deductible amount as they did before 1981 when the IRS laws changed.
Business prior to 1981 could take a package value as a deduction, regardless of what kind of deal they worked as their true cost. Ironically, it is the car dealerships that caused this new law to be passed by the IRS. They were taking the full MSRP value of cars they donated, or moved to their loaner department, not the price they paid for them. Which is also confusing. Car dealerships get a discount based on volume, because of this, those advertising cars for 100 or more dollars below dealer invoice are actually pulling a scam. It is not fraud because they do say below dealer invoice, which they can show. What they don't show you is the actual statement where all the invoices are added up and divided by a discount before the payment is made.

As far as the casino's go, they work out deals with airlines, and most often use the hotels they own.
The IRS now requires paid receipts, not package values, to claim a deduction.
So the only deduction they get for a hotel room is the actual cost it took to clean the room and laundry for the next client, not the rental value of the room.

My sister got all kinds of gifts and stuff free from the casino's because she was addicted and was a big loser, not a whole lot at once, but it adds up fast over time. I would say about half of her income ended up going to the casino's. And to make sure she came back, they always gave her some fairly large wins. Which as I mentioned before, is not counted as loss or income because it is the payout box money, which is not from income, because those coins never hit the cash box.

Parimutuel betting is handled much differently because there is no income or loss associated with the bets.
Horse racing tracks used to work on the Purse System. Which is very similar to Parimutuel Betting, in that the odds are determined by the number of bets.
But how the tracks make there money is where the big difference is.
In the Purse System, all bets placed is income to the track. All winnings paid out is a deduction to the income.
What I don't remember is if each horse or the individual race was considered the purse.
In any case, the track deducted their take from the purse before the odds were established.
In Parimutuel Betting, no money is deducted from the income before the odds are established.
The track is allowed a certain percentage of the winning payouts.
I realize it almost sounds like the same thing, but it is not. The house made much more from the Purse System, because the odds were determined after they took their take from the Purse. So they were also paying out less, thus basically getting an extra bit of cash due to the odds being lower payouts too.
In Parimutuel Betting, the entire purse is paid out, and their income is deducted from the winning amounts when it is paid out. There is nothing left for them to get extra, hi hi.
At least the way I understood it from my brother and sister who were familiar with how tracks operated.
I won't get into Bill the Bookie, other than to say there are now Legal Bookies in many states, hi hi.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 21:53
by yogi
I certainly have no understanding of how race tracks operate. I only know that when I visited them many many years ago, the house took a cut out of the winning purse - I do believe it was called that back then. So, if my horse paid 40:1 odds that would translate to $80 winnings for a $2 bet. However, I only got $76 because the house took their allowable deduction right then and there when they paid me off. It seemed simple and fair to me at the time.

I never did understand why gambling in general was not allowed to take place outside the contest/gaming establishment. It seems to me that A LOT more revenue and taxes could be generated if there were no restriction over where you can place a bet. My uncle took me to a baseball game one time and a fellow came up to him and arranged a wager. Obviously they knew each other from previous engagements, but the bet taker was unofficial. Would it not be better to be able to bet on sporting events at the local grocery store, just as you are now able to buy lotto tickets there? The old argument I heard was that gambling is corruption and the government didn't want to promote such a thing. Can you imagine that? A government who isn't into corruption?

Well they now have off track betting salons in some states. I believe the lottery is everywhere. So much for not corrupting the population.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 19 Nov 2020, 15:37
by Kellemora
When I worked at Sverdrup & Parcell downtown, we had several fellow employee's who had bets on nearly everything.
At lunch we played poker every single day, except the first Friday of every month, a Catholic day of devotion.
Trouble is, instead of nickel, dime, quarter I was used to playing, the company had a rule that we could only play a 3-cent limit game, so bets were 1-cent, 2-cents, and 3-cent limit. Even so, the pot was normally around 2 bucks by the end of a hand, in rare cases it has crossed the 5 dollar mark on 7 card.
Ironically, at the end of an entire year, I was only 3 cents ahead, hi hi.
Another player, and I don't know how, was down around 8 bucks.
We tried using Chips for a while, claiming they were pennies, but in reality they were nickel, dime, quarter. Somebody snitched on us, so we had to go back to pennies, hi hi.

When I work at MRTC, the company itself used our paychecks as poker hands, and they paid the winner 100 bucks.
In each department we did the same thing to those who put into the check pool in our department. So even if you didn't win the company wide pool, you could still win your department pool if you played.
Apparently they had been doing this for over 20 years before I went to work for them. A couple of olde tymers said the pot started out at only 10 bucks company wide, then changed to 25, then 50, then 75, and finally 100 dollars. They expected it to go to 125 dollars on my second year there, but it never did, and on my fourth year they stopped the check pool entirely. Even banned it from being done on the side by the departments. They claimed it was now illegal and considered a lottery. We were not allowed to play cards at lunch, and those few who played domino's were asked to quit.

We came up with a new game in the drafting department that only a few of us knew about.
At the front of the room was a long rack almost the width of the room that held hanging blueprint files.
Above each rack was Lettered A to J, missing were letters F & I which were not used, and the files themselves were in numerical order with the first number on each group of blueprint files.
Since many of these files were called for each day, we used the clock to determine when the winning file would be pulled.
So every day at 11 O'Clock Sharp, the very next file requested by the Engineering Dept. was the winning file.
Each of us had a rubber stamp with our employee number on it, used on all kinds of internal paperwork.
All we had to do was use a blank business card stamp it with our employee number and write the Rank and File on it. I normally picked D-8 myself. Some of the guys picked more than once, but it cost 5 bucks for each one. We had to give our card along with 5 bucks to the boss, and he put both into the lock box in his desk. Plus he had a card with all the numbers on it he would place a checkmark by so he knew if there was as winner.
Only once did that pot grow for like 3 weeks before there was a winner. And since we did bet every day, there was a new pool for each day which made the bosses job even more complicated, hi hi. So he finally changed the rules around a bit so there would only be one pot. If you didn't enter a new pot, you could not join in on the second day, and those of us who did had to put in another 5 bucks in the pot for each card we entered, hi hi. This wasn't working out well either. So he changed it again, like it was in the beginning, you paid 5 bucks to enter a card, and anyone could enter at any time.
However, if there was no 11 O'Clock winner, the next chance was at 1 pm, and again at 3 pm. Doing it that way, there was normally a winner at least once a day or every other day, as more joined in.

LOVE your closing remark, hi hi.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 19 Nov 2020, 17:38
by yogi
I always proof read my comments - really, I do. LOL Sometimes I sit here laughing at myself and am amazed at the brilliant sarcasms I can concoct. My mom had a wonderful sense of humor and I think I inherited some of it from her. She wasn't well educated, but she was always a pleasure to talk to.

Motorola was an up and up company. There were various betting pools floating around, especially during the football season, but you had better not be caught participating in one. You would lose your job for gambling on the premises. I only recall one person who actually was terminated. The rest got away with it because generally their boss was the person running the pool. LOL When I worked in one of the test labs there was a computer with a Wheel of Fortune game on it. Playing games on company time wasn't condoned either until cell phones became a thing. Motorola even made a game room for the engineers to chill in. Anyway, this Wheel of Fortune computer was way before the company became enlightened. The department manager is the guy who had the game on his computer and we were offered the opportunity to play during lunch break. It cost something like $1 to enter a given round and the pot didn't get over $10. I always watched but never played. I was able to figure out the puzzles well before most of the guys who were playing the game did. So, on that ground I joined in one game. I won something like $4. Never played again after that.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 20 Nov 2020, 15:43
by Kellemora
Speaking of wheel of fortune. We had a huge one in the front of the plant sales house for customers to spin for a chance to win a plant. CJ got it from a church who used to hold their own carnivals, not shop them out like most. It was used during their casino night, which was discontinued when a new priest took over for that church.
The wheel itself was like 8 feet in diameter, but due to the stand and framework the top was like 9 feet from the floor.
CJ put about 8 different sizes of plants on it, but the top three prizes were in the tight section, sorta like one we see on TV that has 100 dollars 50 and 50 on either side. All the rest of the spaces were equally sized. Nearly everyone won a small 2 inch potted plant, because there were only 6 spaces that said sorry better luck next time.
It was built pretty nice too. Instead of a spring loaded flipper that made a lot of noise, this one had a bar with a wide V at the end, so it just rose up and dropped down as the pegs went past it, fairly quietly too.

I have to leave to go to the lung doctor in a bit. I hate going because after I finish all the tests, I end up coughing hard all the rest of the day.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 20 Nov 2020, 19:20
by yogi
The church my parents belonged to in our old neighborhood would do a fund raiser carnival every year. The church was located next to a 300 acre empty parcel of land owned by the Board of Ed. Much of the festivities overflowed onto that vacant property and that is also where the pyrotechnics were set off on weekends. The carnival lasted two weeks which blocked the street for that period of time. I guess they had to get all the appropriate permits to do such things, but after so many years these outdoor carnival events were banned from nearly the entire city of Chicago. The parish I'm talking about went on for many years after that ban largely because the pastor was good friends with the local alderman. Then the pastor retired and that was the end of street carnivals. They tried to substitute the venue with an indoor fair in the parish hall, but that went over like yesterday's mashed potatoes. I believe the carnival was run by some amusement company which must have charged a bundle because the net profit to the church after it was all paid off was only a few thousand dollars. Apparently it was worth it.

I managed to pass all my yearly physical exams and tests so that I don't have to see my doctor for a whole 12 months. Well, if I get really sick or something I might see him sooner. My health is not what it used to be even a dozen years ago, but looking around me I am amazed at how well I'm holding up. I know I'm tempting Fate by saying that, but today is the 76th anniversary of my birth. Many of my friends have not made it this far and those that did are not in good shape. If I can maintain the level of health I'm experiencing today, reaching the ripe old age of 93 (my current goal) should not be a problem. But, I've seen enough pain and suffering around me to know I could change my goals in a New York Minute if the body decides to crash.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 15:43
by Kellemora
Our florist had a huge baseball field where we held an annual picnic every year for many many years.
Although we always took out insurance for the event, insurance companies are crooked and find a way not to pay a claim.
Because of that we got sued big time, which also ended us hosting anything on our property ever again.
When folks found out why, and what insurance company we had used, all of those who had their business insurance with them dropped it and moved to another company.
It was only a few months after that, their only office in our town closed down, hi hi.
I think the one in the adjoining town did also for several years, but were back again in about 5 years.

The kind of insurance Debi's mom and dad had, even after they were on Medicare was still valid.
The price was low and they never got a single bill for anything.
But when I turned 65, I had to give up the insurance I had and go with Medicare and a new Supplemental plan.
It was about 100 dollars cheaper than what I did have, but also covered much less. And the drug plans are almost a joke.

Being raised in close proximity to nearly all of my relatives, young and old alike, I watched most of them go downhill in their later years and then pass away. I got to know many of them on a personal level, simply because I visited them all so often, at least those that enjoyed getting visitors.
After we closed the flower shop in 1984, and I had already moved up north out of our town, I never saw anyone anymore.
Mom and dad moved west in 1966, and I moved east nearer to the city in 1967. Got married in 1968. Lost touch with nearly everyone after that.
But then in the 1990's I began visiting as many as possible to complete my genealogy work on the families before all the kids parents passed away. Good thing I did too, because all of them are now gone.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 20:13
by yogi
Insurance companies are not easy to get along with in some cases. They offer products that are designed to be profitable. To that end they hire an exquisite staff of lawyers and actuaries to guarantee they will not lose money on any given policy. The state and federal regulators are pretty good watchdogs over insurance in spite of what you might have heard to the contrary. The only precaution a policy holder must take is to read the fine print before they sign anything. Unfortunately that fine print often has legal terms nobody but the company lawyers understand. Regardless, it's a classic "buyer beware" situation.

I'm pretty sure there are some legal issues regarding private insurance after the age of 65. I'm guessing it stems from the Social Security and Medicare laws. As you get older the need for healthcare increases dramatically. Private insurance simply does not have the resources to cover all the health problems associated with being old. They actually could do it, but the annual premiums on such a policy would be greater than the value of your house. Thus the federal government with it's unlimited supply of cash steps in and requires eligible folks to take out Medicare insurance. Medicare, of course, doesn't cover all the expenses which is why supplemental insurance is available from private companies. As far as drugs are concerned, I'm sure it's all legal. However it's a very convoluted system with some big time lobbyists running it. This seems unfair at first, but those lobbies get their power from the people we elect into office. There is only one solution to that problem.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 15:52
by Kellemora
When my late wife was so ill, her daughter had friends in a few countries, Canada, England, etc. but the one who helped her the most was one who was temporarily living in India for her job.
Most of my wife's meds were covered by insurance with a small co-pay, but there were a couple her doctor wanted her to take that were not covered at all, so she had to turn them down at the pharmacy due to the super high price.
Her daughter got a list of the drugs she couldn't get, plus some that had super hi co-pays for and sent it to her friend in India. The drug that cost a tad over 300 bucks a month here, was only 16 bucks a month there, from the same manufacturer, same boxes, different language is all. But they took a doctors script to get of course.
All Amy had to do was get her mom's script and mail it to her friend in India and she would have a doctor there rewrite it for a 90 supply. Which she did! When bought in three month supplies, the price was only 40 dollars in our money.
Apparently, U.S. currency is like Gold in India. Ruth would send a hundred dollar bill, and the gal said that was well more than enough money for a 6 month supply, which she could ship to the states, one package every three months.
Ruth did get a free 15 day sample from the doctor, and when the pills came from India, she compared them. They were identical, same markings, same shape, same bottle, same box, except for the language on the boxes.

Oh, by the way, another one of the Insulin types Debi takes was just cut down by almost a third.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 18:35
by yogi
Desperate people do desperate things.

I get a lot of spam regarding drugs I can buy from India and other unspecified places. The claim is that it is safe and identical to the drugs I have to pay for with my flesh in this country. Maybe some of that e-mail is legitimate and not spam after all, but there is no way in hell I'm going to take a chance with an unknown supplier. I've heard several stories like yours where people go to Mexico and Canada to get discount healthcare and drugs. The folks telling the stories seem to be satisfied with what they got. Don't know about Canada, but people who live in those other countries go to great lengths to get their hands on American dollars. The black market exchange rate is phenomenal.

One's health is not the kind of thing that should be determined by costs, but the reality is otherwise in this country. There have been numerous attempts in the past to change our system, and you can readily see where all those failures got us. There's a lot of talk these days about how healthcare can be made better. Frankly I don't see any big changes on the horizon during my lifetime.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 23 Nov 2020, 15:25
by Kellemora
I'm sure there are a lot of counterfeit drugs out there, so one must really be wary of getting something bad.
Almost all of our drugs, and/or the ingredients used in them, come from China and India anyhow.
Most of the generic drugs come from plants in India too.
And interestingly enough, they are inspected and approved by our own FDA.

A church I once belonged to made sure every parishioner had all the medicines and other necessities they needed.
Heck, when Ruth was wheelchair bound and could no longer leave the house, two gals from the church came by with a checklist and made sure she had everything on the list, from soap to toilet paper to food and to her meds.
Whatever was on the list that we did not have, two boys would deliver it later in the week.
Since we didn't use all that much of anything, it wasn't long before there was nothing on the list we didn't have.
Although her insurance covered almost all of her drugs, except a small co-pay, the church even deposited some money with the pharmacy to cover her co-pays, during her last couple of years.

I learned Friday that one of my meds that were on Tier-3 were dropped down to Tier-2 which means they won't cost me extra now. So Trump is doing some good working with the drug companies.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 23 Nov 2020, 20:01
by yogi
I believe you are correct about drugs coming from off shore. Everything else we use does, so why not drugs too? Some of the chemicals in the drugs are only available in remote parts of China. So it is with a lot of the rare earth elements that go into cell phones and the like. It's not that China has made an effort to corner any markets, but certain things are limited to specific geographical locations. You would think it would be wise not to piss off people like that.

I've heard of church people who reach out to the poorest in their community. While I've not had personal contact with any of them, I have a suspicion that a lot of those kind of people are right here in my neighborhood. This whole area is highly focused on charity. I probably don't live in the right part of town nor am I very familiar with the demographic history here, but I'm not aware of any indigent people anywhere near me. Maybe if I joined a church I'd become enlightened.

If anybody deserves a break with their costs of healthcare and maintenance drugs, it certainly would be you. I'm tickled pink that der F├╝hrer is looking out for your best interests.

Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Posted: 24 Nov 2020, 15:47
by Kellemora
When I was developing my growing media, although the U.S. has numerous areas with slate and shale, I couldn't use from any of the common sites, either because it had oil in it, or it was not horticulturally stable. After some expensive experimentation the best slate to manufacture my product had to be red veined slate. Since red veined slate is not suitable for making haydite due to too much waste for them to get rid of after the expansion process, and it messed up their kilns as well, hi hi. I was able to buy a 6 acre mining site nobody wanted, after I tested and found it was horticulturally stable.
The existing companies that made haydite did not want to make my product, because of the mess previously mentioned. However, one company who owned several turnpipe kilns, and a pair of them lined up like I needed, finally agreed to manufacture my product, but only after I proved they would have no waste to get rid of, and if they made a batch of normal haydite immediately following making my product, the lead turnpipe would be clean again.
To make my product required two kilns and a 150 foot long turnpipe, which they already had, they just needed to add a second kiln, which they already had also, so it was just a matter of extending the output of one kiln into the next kiln in their row of kilns.
The first kiln had to be run at full-normal heat to expand the slate, like popcorn sorta. This turns the red veining into a liquid, and is what messes up their kiln and leaves waste to haul off after it drains out.
But in my case, the turnpipe ran through the next kiln which was set at a much cooler temperature, the temperature of firing clay for bricks or terra-cotta pottery.
As the expanded slate cooled and tumbled in the turnpipe kiln, the red liquid cooled and stuck to the outside of the expanded slate. When it went through the second kiln, the red was fired so it was baked on and formed a hygroscopic coating over the expanded slate. The end product was perfect for my hydroculture system, and for which I got a U.S. Patent on the growing media. There was much to-do to get the patent, because the examiner claimed their was no difference between a lump of coal and a diamond, after a few appeals, and showing other patents for similar products, and his wife letting him know a lump of coal and a diamond were not the same thing. My patent finally issued.
The company who was making my product for me, was given a license to sell the product also, but only in the in-between grades between our specific screen sizes. At least until I had all I wanted and I've mentioned the problems with Wonder Plants in the past. I gave them the rights to sell all they wanted, and it turned out to be a good deal for them.

Church people go to church. God's people are the church!
The Mormon's have the largest food and sundry products distribution system for charity of any other church in the world.

Another one of my medicines just dropped drastically in price. From 188 bucks a month down to 33 bucks a month. Insurance was covering some of it at the 188 dollar price, I still had to pay 47 dollars. So getting it for 33 without insurance paying is a good deal for me, at that new lower price, the insurance company won't cover it at all.
They did something else too, to counteract the drugs they moved down from Tier 3 to Tier 2, they changed another I take from Tier 2 up to Tier 3, so I have to ask the doc about an alternative that might be cheaper.
Trump is trying to force the drug companies as classifying the U.S. as a Favored Nation so we get their lowest prices.
The insurance companies don't seem to like this, because it digs deeply into their special prices they pay, but still got full prices back from consumers through medicare and other things.

Remember me saying one of my drugs, covered by insurance, the pharmacy has been charging 110 for the drug, and a 130 dollar dispensing fee. I had to use that pharmacy because they were the only one that could get that drug as a durable equipment refill item. Not that it costs me, but those high prices and fees runs me closer to landing in the donut hole. Found out, now that my nebulizer is paid for, I don't have to use them anymore, and can get the same drug from my local pharmacy with only a 20 dollar co-pay, which I think because it is for durable equipment, I may not have to pay that either. So much to handle dealing with these insurance companies. Sheeeee...