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Crime The Almighty Buck Hardware Technology

Ask Slashdot: Starting From Scratch After a Burglary? 770

New submitter sc30317 writes "My house got robbed on Friday, and all of our electronics got stolen. Everything. Now, I have to go out and buy all new electronics with the insurance money. We had five TVs (don't ask), three laptops, a Bose Sound dock with iPod, a digital camera, and a desktop stolen. It's looking like I am going to get around $10K from the insurance company to replace everything. What would you do if you had to replace ALL of your technology in your house at once? I'm thinking: replace TVs; nice Desktop; new speakers; and new, cool stuff I don't know about (suggestions welcome). I already added a DVR security system, so hopefully the new things won't get burgled! Looking for suggestions to utilize my money in order to get the best stuff. Also, no Windows computers allowed in my house."
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Ask Slashdot: Starting From Scratch After a Burglary?

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  • First purchase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:35PM (#42968253)

    Buy a mean dog.

    • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:37PM (#42968295)

      This is slashdot. Recommend buying a Boston Dynamics Big Dog.

      • by srussia ( 884021 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:00PM (#42969595)

        This is slashdot. Recommend buying a Boston Dynamics Big Dog.

        This might lead to the expansion of the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine [wikipedia.org] to include Slashdot users in addition to children.

      • by ajlitt ( 19055 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:20PM (#42970717)

        or insist that your burbclave invest in a Rat Thing.

    • Re:First purchase (Score:5, Insightful)

      by silas_moeckel ( 234313 ) <silas&dsminc-corp,com> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:39PM (#42968317) Homepage

      Na get a nice lovable dog.and protection training an aggressive dog is useless / dangerous. That said a nice female defending her home will ripe the face off anybody not supposed to be there.while your newborn can grab yank and otherwise harass her and she will just look at you for help.

      • Re:First purchase (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Niris ( 1443675 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:05PM (#42968775)

        I had a female huskey while living in an apartment growing up, and we could be rough with that dog to our hearts content and she'd either love to play, or would just get annoyed and run off. One day someone jumped the fence and broke the glass door into the apartment, and all we saw when we got home (other than the glass) was a nice bit of blood and a trail going back towards the fence.
        • Re:First purchase (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:38PM (#42969323) Journal

          A dog will let the members of his pack do a lot to him. Some stranger shows up on the scene, and watch out.

          We had a little dog (terrier poodle cross), friendliest and silliest little dog you could imagine, and one day we had a building inspector come over to the place we were renovating for a surprise inspection. Our little dog picked up on our stress, and stood between us and the inspector bearing his teeth. He knew this was an unwanted stranger, and despite his small size, his instincts to protect the pack from danger kicked in.

          • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:03PM (#42970501)

            It seems like almost all dogs can get really protective when they feel the need, even when you wouldn't think so.

            We had a really doofy standard poodle. She was an idiot, even on the demeaning scale of dog intelligence. If dogs rode buses, she'd ride the short one. The most loving dog you ever saw. Just wanted to be petted and cuddled and lay on your lap (despite being 90 pounds, she thought she was a lap dog) all day, every day. The least fearsome beast I'd ever met.

            Then one day I'm taking the dogs on a walk. A friend of mine is biking by and decides to try and scare me, so he yells as he rides by. The poodle goes in to attach mode. Fangs bared, loud, menacing barks, back down on her legs ready to lunge. She then recognized him and turned in tot eh friendly teddy bear she usually is.

            I never thought she had it in her, but she was ready to kill.

      • True dat!

        A female lab or shepard of breeding age. A bitch that can be a real bitch!

      • Re:First purchase (Score:4, Interesting)

        by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:44PM (#42969411)

        A large dog with a protective streak (like a Great Pyrenees!) make amazing guard dogs. When they "stand" (e.g., put their front paws up on something)... well, ours gets close to 6' tall when he's upright. 30" at his hind quarters right now, and he's about 8 months old... over 90lbs probably. He is not a nice looking dog when he thinks you are a threat and barks to tell you so. On the other hand... he's remarkably gentle, especially with kids (livestock guardian dog by breed - we do live on an acre and will have some livestock), loving (if rather independent and sometimes resents being told or forced to do something), and is more or less like a giant teddy bear that gets really upset when something is on his property that isn't supposed to be. Really upset... though, in general, they try to bark/scare off, not attack.

    • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:05PM (#42968771)
      No, motion activated mini-gun.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:35PM (#42968257)

    They wouldn't have stolen your shit. Just saying...

  • Craigslist (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:36PM (#42968267) Homepage Journal

    >> What would you do if you had to replace ALL of your technology in your house at once?

    Go on Craigslist and buy all your old crap back for ten cents on the dollar.

    • Yes, this. Or better yet, by different crap. These days I'd replace all TVs with either projectors or tablets, depending upon room size. Ryko boxes are nice and cheap (under ~$80) and will save you the cable bill, and there is plenty of video available on the web.

      I'd also replace my wired broadband connection at this point with a cellular hot spot I can take with me when the whole family goes on vacation.

      Forget single-use media players; Android or iOS phones replace them entirely.

      And yes, all of this is

  • save your money.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kcmastrpc ( 2818817 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:37PM (#42968291)
    buy something other than Bose
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:38PM (#42968309)

    ...However, I would be worried about how to replace the content that was lost. Going to work on cutting a backup copy this weekend myself.

  • by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:38PM (#42968311)

    If they have your desktop then they likely have all of your personal information. I would be rather worried about that portion of the theft and would be curious how one would work to make sure that the information they stole would be useless.

  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:39PM (#42968315) Homepage Journal

    Buy nothing. Wait for a need; then research what fits it best.

    You've been given an opportunity in disguise here.

    Do you really want all that stuff that consumes time? Only one way to tell: wait for yourself to need it, then buy it as you determine those needs based on what you actually use.

    • Besides which, restocking your home with a replacement set of new-shiny stealables, is just asking for a return visit from the burglers.....
    • by RedShoeRider ( 658314 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:57PM (#42968645)
      I second that!

      We had the remarkably unpleasant experience of having a house fire two years ago. While the structure itself was alright, just about everything in the house was destroyed due to the smoke and heat, including almost all of our electronics. 3 desktops, 2 laptops, an old Proliant server, 2 UPS's, Printer, 2 TV's, fax machine, scanner, DVD players, 3 cameras.....you get the idea. When we moved back in, electronics wise, we bought only what we missed. The 3 desktops were replaced with one that was faster (and cheaper) than the ones it replaced, the printer by a print/fax/scan combo unit, the 2 TV's were consolidated to one, blah, blah.

      Point being, do wait until you see what you need. You'll likely end up with a smaller, but more useful, pile of equipment in the end.
    • Unfortunately a lot of the time insurance claims don't work this way. I had a lightning strike recently that took out 90% of my electronics.

      My policy was "new for old", but until I bought the "new", I received only the depreciated value of the "old".

      If it were only this, I would still advocate your strategy, however there was also a 6 month time limit to purchase the "new", send receipts in, and get reimbursed for the depreciation.

      Long story short - you may lose out on a lot of money if you don't replace that stuff now.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        So replace it and sell it. Especially for anything that is getting cheaper in a hurry like TVs.

  • Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MeBadMagic ( 619592 ) <mtpenguin AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:41PM (#42968381)

    Don't replace anything right away. Wait until you know what you miss the most. When you miss 'it' the most, note why. Once you have the what and why, start shopping for the best fit, new or old.


  • Burglar? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Infiniti2000 ( 1720222 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:41PM (#42968385)
    I wonder if he had auto-logon enabled and the burglar booted up his machine and is posting from his account. Maybe this is just a request from the burglar for additional shit he wants.
  • by Isarian ( 929683 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:43PM (#42968413)

    So you can afford, maybe two new decent Macs?

  • by vagabond_gr ( 762469 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:44PM (#42968429)

    Go here [thinkgeek.com], keep adding random stuff until you reach $10k.

    Much better than wasting money on TVs.

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:45PM (#42968445)

    I am going to get around $10K from the insurance company

    What's your insurance company?

  • They'll Be Back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brainboyz ( 114458 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:50PM (#42968527) Homepage

    Whatever you decide on, don't buy everything all at once. They'll be casing your place again in a few days because they know you'll be replacing everything with nice NEW stuff.

    • Re:They'll Be Back (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rjune ( 123157 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:14PM (#42968945)

      brainboyz is right - take your time. You can use the time to research the stuff and decide if you really need to replace all 5 TV's. Also, if you throw out the boxes, cut them up and don't advertise the fact that you bought a big new 58" TV. You don't say how they got in, but after my house was broken into (the burglars destroyed the door) my insurance company paid for a new door. As part of the project, I got a security screen door. This will not a determined burglar, but it will slow them down enough so that they will look for an easier place to hit.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:53PM (#42968573) Journal
    How good would you rate the service provided by your burglar? Reliable? Does the job in the appointed window? Is the window reasonably short? Does not take more than what is contracted, right? What kind of fees? How untraceable is the guy?

    Basically, would you hire him again, when it is time to do the next round of upgrades?

    • by 1s44c ( 552956 )

      Don't give slashdot ideas, you might just trigger a massive wave of insurance companies going bust.

      On second thoughts screw the insurance companies..

  • by macwhizkid ( 864124 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:02PM (#42968733)

    Had this happen last year. Came home late at night on Christmas 2011 to a broken basement window and saw that all my electronics had been stolen - TV, laptop, desktop, game system, etc. While it was certainly pretty frustrating (especially dealing with the police (hint: don't expect much) and insurance company), eventually I realized that it was actually a good opportunity to rebuild my tech collection from scratch.

    In other words, think about what devices you didn't use much, and how to replace that functionality with other things you have. For me, this was:

      - an early 40" LCD ($1200 circa 2007). It was 1080p, but it was a monster to move anywhere and too small to make watching HD content worthwhile when sitting across the room. Still, it worked fine - I wasn't going to go buy another one. I also don't watch much TV to begin with, so it went days without being turned on. So, I replaced it with an Epson HD projector ($800). Sure, the lamp life is less, but I don't use it more than a few hours/week anyway.

    - a Blu-ray player (bought in 2008 for $160) replaced with a PS3 ($200 on eBay).

    - an Apple time capsule ($300) replaced with FreeNAS (in virtual sandbox) on desktop computer (free, since I was replacing the desktop anyway).

  • Keep it simple? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jonr ( 1130 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:05PM (#42968777) Homepage Journal

    Buy less junk to steal. Spend your money on 'experiences'. Travel, art, fun, whatever...

  • by Tex Bravado ( 91447 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:21PM (#42969065)

    Why only 5 TVs ?

  • by MatrixCubed ( 583402 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:29PM (#42969175) Homepage

    For the future, consider inventorying, photographing, and valuating as many possessions -- no matter how seemingly negligible. Then ensure that your insurance policy actually covers the cost of replacing as much as possible at full retail value.

    There are apps [apartmenttherapy.com], applications [toptenreviews.com], and web apps [getbelongings.com] which enable you to realistically valuate your possessions, to ensure that your insurance company is giving you a fair amount for theft.

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:30PM (#42969203) Homepage

    You're free! Don't put your chains back on!

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:44PM (#42969417)
    Get ready to be robbed again. A lot of burglars wait a few weeks and because they know you will replace your stuff, hit you a second time.
  • by Nemesisghost ( 1720424 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:44PM (#42969425)

    Besides everybody else saying what to security equipment(dogs, guns, CTVs, etc) & how you are a snob for not wanting Windows or some other OS, how about some real suggestions.

    I'd first start with the non-PC related tech. TVs, cameras, game systems, etc. Those usually have a fixed cost involved, and there usually isn't too many ways you can cheap out on them without getting screwed buying crap. Figure up what you want & how you want it arranged in your house, then go from there.

    Next I'd look at your PC related tech & networking equipment. What do you want to do with your PCs & how do you want to integrate them into your entertainment setup?

    Personally, I have a media server and then a media system hooked up to each of my TVs for media sharing. I run MythTV for my DVR needs. Since MythTV is WAY easier to setup on a Linux system, that fits nicely with your no Windows rule. But others don't like Myth or are unable to utilize its DVR service and there are better media sharing services out there, so use what works best. Then I have Samba shares setup for out of Myth media additions & viewing. One of the shares is monitored by my torrent service, so I can drop torrent files there from any PC & have it automatically add them. My total media PC equipment costs are only about $1500 - $2000.

  • by pev ( 2186 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:00PM (#42969587) Homepage

    I've been there myself and the number 1 advice I can give is "don't rush".

    Getting a big chunk of money to replace is really great but be a bit more tactical. You can live without all of it for a little while so bone up on whats current and upgrade cycles and spend wisely. Also as someone wisely mentioned above - re-evaluate if you *really* need everything back like for like!

    Personally if it was me, if it's cash and not receipted value I'd replace most kit with nearly new via ebay / gumtree / whatever and save the leftover money for a rainy day. It's a recession after all and chunks of cash are hard to come by! Also, being harsh but logical - lots of people hit hard by the recession sell off expensive kit cheap when they need the money desperately. It sucks for them big time but for you it could be a boon.

  • by Webcommando ( 755831 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:01PM (#42969607) Homepage Journal

    I stopped reading comments after a while. Nothing but suggestions on security, windows jokes, and shotguns. I probably missed some good comments but let me add my own.

    Personally, the first thing I would do is pick the "ecosystem" you want to play in. You a Google, Apple, MS person? For all the convergence devices, this is important to decide right away. I'm personally an Apple guy and like how all the devices sync up and it works for me...but the price is I bought in and know the limitations (For example, If I want Amazon prime on my Apple TV, I'm out of luck).

    One of the nice thing is you can start standardizing on a brand for TV's and other audio/visual electronics. Most of the brands have some sort of link (proprietary?) that allows their TVs, receivers, players to work together fairly well without using universal remotes. Unfortunately, I bought most of my gear over time and many brands and only a few things are happy working together :(

    Sorry that I can just suggest "the" brand to go with. I've had a robbery before and it sucks to have to rebuild. My own funny little story: I had a robbery in 1991 that told me that albums were going to die at the hands of CDs. The thief took my receiver, tape deck, 6 CD player and the heavy speakers....but left the turn table.

  • Whatever you do... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by folderol ( 1965326 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:10PM (#42969733) Homepage
    Absolutely do not buy anything of real value for at least 2 months. Burglars frequently try to double-dip and snatch all your nice new stuff about a month after their first visit.

    When you do buy new stuff don't put the empty boxes out - the bar-stewards will be waiting to see those too :(

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.