Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lost In a Cloud




            As with everything, there are always pros and cons to having a cell phone, internet service, cloud storage, etc.  I must be old fashioned in my way of thinking.  I would like my phone to act as a phone and my watch to tell time . . . although the watch has nearly become a thing of the past for me as I refer to my cell phone for the time and since I don't wear my cell phone around my wrist, it hasn't bothered me the way a watch often does.  It's a nice feature - though not necessary.  It is convenient.

             My first cell phone was through Voice Stream.  My mom and I had both purchased a phone plan that came with this Nokita - a phone my mom refused to give up until after she got dementia.




            I had mine for over ten years and may have had it longer but it seemed to have vanished during a day trip that I had taken with Roland and the boys.  The weird thing is, I don't remember having even left the car - so I don't know how my phone would have.  But whatever.  I had to get a replacement.




            I liked the size of my new phone and had asked mom if she would like a new phone also. She didn't wish to give it up because it had good reception. She didn't trust that the new technology would offer a very long. I think she was onto something.   Seems like many electronics that are offered today are meant to break down.  They become relics in less than two years anyway - so what's the point of making them to last? I like Adrian Covert's description here.

             When Roland upgraded his phone, he decided he would need the internet and thus got a touch screen phone.  That's all well and good for him, but I cannot use touch screens for the life of me.  Either it will not recognize that I am touching the screen or it will be hyper-sensitive and disappear altogether.  The touch screen for me, personally, is way more frustrating than it is worth.  Besides, if I am going to write something, I would rather have an actual raised keyboard and not a postage stamp-sized keyboard that is even more challenging to my actually small fingers that have somehow grown to the size of the entire keyboard. Not to mention having to read in such a limited space.  Give me a full blown monitor, please.



            Roland's last phone came with the option of a built in speaker to use rather than typing it out.  It didn't punctuate - not for me anyway.  Plus it is frustrating to have your words misspelled or butchered at "Google" thought you were saying something else.  And so I'd have to proof-read and make corrections - which actually seemed to amount to more work than if I had just typed it all in myself.


            Phones do not think - or do they?


            I hadn't charged my camera for quite some time, but Roland has a camera built into his phone.  The quality of picture is actually pretty good. I took only four pictures at Jaime's birthday party before the battery gave out.  We used Roland's phone to get more.  I was devastated when we took his phone home to charge it and it wouldn't charge.  It has been persnickety about its connecting devise.

            Roland took it to the big city of Roseburg to see if it just needed a new battery - or what the deal was.  It was beyond repair.  Oh, no!  The pictures!  I hadn't even looked at them.

            Roland not only purchased a new phone, but is now on a different plan.  Now I am impressed by the technology of the cloud.  Restored all the pictures not only to his phone, but I had him photo/Google the internet on his work computer - and there they were.  Wow.

             I was able to pull up some pictures from my computer of ones we had taken in 2012 - which were also from his phone.  I don't know why.  I could obtain pics through his phone on my computer until Dec 2015.  Everything more current had to be obtained through his computer.  Not sure how that works.

             And, okay, I get that the GPS thingamabob (gadget) that is located in the phone would know where we were when each picture was taken, but what impressed me was how it labeled the photos.  They were sorted into places and things.  So the folders were labeled "Christmas", "Sky", "Rainbow", "Cars" - how did it know that?  Okay, the folder labeled "cars" was more of houses though I suppose there were cars in the photos - but it certainly wasn't the main focus.  Actually, I don't know what was.  Roland said I had wanted the clouds.  How pathetic.  I have been told that I am "trigger happy" when I am taking pictures with the touch screen.



            So here are some pics that we discovered in the cloud:
















Her pose reminds me of her brother, Randy 



Monday, August 11, 2014

Missing R and Number 3


     



I am currently using an ancient Mac laptop – one that was purchased at a pawnshop at what we believed was a reasonable price.  Roland needed it for his class.  Frustration set in as he toyed with this problem for more than a year.

     The keys on the top row would stick.  Well, 1-6 did.  It was okay.  He didn’t need the numbers.  But when the top row of letters (particularly the e, r and t) started sticking – well, that was a problem.  Most often, the keyboard from the computer was plugged into the unit.

     We took it in to be serviced.  Less than a month later, the “r” key started sticking again and is often missed into the words now, unless one pounds on it.  So often when I am typing, the “r” doesn’t make it into my word.  It can be frustrating.

     A spell check will usually pick up on my missing “r”s, but it will never catch my missing “3”s. Nor does it catch words like “bother”, “dove”, and “dive” when I am really writing “brother”, “drove” and “diver”.

     The 3/# doesn’t stick.  In the case of the 3/#, it was the actual button fell off.  We still have the key, but I find it easier to hit the white peg from underneath than to try to push it through the broken 3/# tile.  And so often when I am using the numbers (I actually use the number pad when using a regular keyboard) on the laptop, my “3”’s don’t make it in either.
Roland doesn’t even use this laptop anymore.  He’s “borrowing” a more updated laptop – for two more months.  Only two more months to go and he will be finished with his schooling – and hopefully he will be able to get a job in which he can use his degree.

Just thought I would mention my missing “r” button.  Perhaps you have run across some posts on this blog that don’t quite make sense.  I’m just giving a suggestion as to a possibility.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Dying Breed



          I remember seeing mailboxes in my neighborhood and at different corners when I was growing up.  I remember getting two Dr. Seuss books to give to my siblings.  I remember walking from our house to the nearest mailbox and counting the steps that I took and recording the number in the book. I don’t actually remember the number, but I know it was less than 100. Well, in one of them it was.  I don’t think I did them at the same time and so they may have had two different numbers.




          I have considered the mailbox an endangered species for some time.  Mailboxes started vanishing to very far and few between. 

I used a mailbox I passed between transfers when I rode the bus to one of my places of employment.  The last time I walked passed said location – the mailbox wasn’t there.  It was gone!  I didn’t know where the next nearest mailbox was – besides the post office.



Another thing that I found really odd was that sometimes next to the blue mailbox was what appeared to be a green mailbox.  They all had warnings that they were NOT to be used as mailboxes and warned individuals NOT to use it as a mailbox  - as though we could.  There were no slots.  The only way to get into it was with a key.  I didn’t understand what they were for.

Mailboxes used to stand out and populate as fire hydrants.  They were convenient.  Along came e-mail and texting and seem to have made mailboxes a dying breed.  A rarity.  And so have phone booths.  Those seem even rarer than mailboxes.




          Sometimes I will take pictures of Jenna posing with these rare objects.  For they may very well become extinct.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome to the 21st Century!




            I was never hospitalized as a child – except for when I was born.  But until I gave birth to Jenna, I had never been a hospital patient.  But I do remember visiting various hospital patients.  I remember that there was more than one patient to a room and only a thin curtain separated the patients from one another.  Each patient wore a plastic bracelet that would protect the descriptive paper that identified the patient’s name and medical information.  There were clip boards that hung from the foot of each bed.

Patients were asked if they preferred smoking or non-smoking rooms.  And visitation was always limited to certain hours and certain ages. 

            Today each patient has his or her own room.  They wear bands made of unrippable material somewhere between paper and plastic foam.  It contains bar codes which are scanned each time the patient is given medicine or surgery, blood and urine samples and so forth – possibly meals (that way it can all get charged to the final bill) No longer are stupid clip board kept at the foot of the bed.  Everything is done by scanners and computers. It’s so cool to see how technology has evolved.

            The hospital that mom was in is a no smoking zone – the entire hospital and property.  That’s pretty cool.  I think that’s a great revelation that has come to pass. 
 

            As I mentioned, at least one of my sibs was always with my mom around the clock – which meant spending the night.  I had three members of my family spend the night with me before Jenna was born.  Roland and my mom were both in chairs.  I think Kayla spent the night on the floor.

Not all hospitals have joined this century, I suppose.  When my granddaughter was born, Tony wasn’t allowed to watch the birth.  Talk about old-school.  That’s the way it was when I was born.  Dad’s had to wait in another room.


            I’m not quite certain if I remember from real life or if it was just from the television that I remember the dorky hats that the nurses were required to wear, and the crisp white uniforms – often wondering if they had spare uniforms in their cars or their lockers in order to remain clean and white - as it was never obvious that they had been around barf or blood.    Today they wear colorful scrubs or sometimes nice street clothes.



            Perhaps it’s not the same in all hospitals, but those are some of the observations that I made while my mom was dying at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  That was actually the same hospital where Patrick and I were born.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Another Guilty Pleasure



We haven’t always had cable – cancelled due to lack of finances – we’ve even cancelled the Internet.  I was okay with going to the library, but Roland wasn’t.  And now that he’s taking classes through the Internet – dropping the Internet would just frustrate him even more.

When so many stations were converted to HD and even the local channels needed some kind of box or connection, it seems like we always had TVland.  For a while it was our primary source of entertainment.  That, and going to the library for offered programs and to check out DVDs.



The station has added original programs including a reality show called “ForeverYoung”. The advertisements intrigued me, but I hadn’t watched it when it initially debuted.  But I did check it out yesterday. I was laughing so hard at watching these two (obviously) generations try and communicate.  Having lived between the two, I understand the frustration of the other – also having had to experience it myself.

Jenna is often asking, “Did they have such and such when you were little?” 

“Yes, we had Fisher Price people.  They weren’t made of plastic, they were made of wood.  They were smaller than what is offered now. “



“No we did not have iPods.  We didn’t even have CD’s.  We had phonographs and walkmans.



“No we did not have DVD’s.  I don’t recall the VCR coming out until I was a teenager.”



“Yes. We had cracker jacks.  But they offered cool prizes back then – well, at least compared to the lame prize that comes with cracker jacks today”



“No, we did not use slates back then.  We used paper. How old do you think I am?”



“There was an Electric Company.  But it didn’t come out until after Corey was born. It was different from what you watch today” (I had actually checked out a DVD from the library not realizing it was from the ‘70’s.  She couldn’t stand it)



She is far more superior at modern technology than I am.  She has found things on my phone that I didn’t even know existed.  She prefers Roland’s phone with his touch screen.  Roland is older than me and seems comfortable using his cell phone, but I hate it.  I actually have small fingers (one of the few parts of my body I can still refer to as small) but put me in front of a touch screen and they become clumsy fat hot dogs.  I can never find where I need to go and get so frustrated in trying to do so.



I appreciate the GPS – and the one that we had was not complicated and much easier to use than the map.  But I have used street maps before.  I must admit that I have texted messages – but it annoys me to go through each letter at a time – I’d much rather have a keyboard.  I do own a cell phone but started out dialing a rotary. 



I haven’t been on roller blades – but I know what they are.  I also remember the old time roller skate that fit over the shoe.  I owned several pairs of shoes with marks left from the roller skate that I used to glide around in my parents’ unfinished basement.



I’m actually too young to remember the car seat that my parents used vs. the ones that are out today.  Mine hung over the seat – front seat.  Mine was yellow.  It did not have the cool steering wheel feature built into it.  There was no car seat law that I know of.  Often the cars themselves didn’t come with safety belts for the driver – let alone the passengers.



I remember black and white television and a very limited amount of channels selection.  I remember life without Sesame Street and Sesame Street without Elmo.  In fact, I remember the original cast featured only four human beings.  And I remember three different Gordons. I can remember that Sesame Street did not explain Mr. Hooper’s death until a year after the fact.





I remember the world before computers made their way into just about every home.  I remember the ancient television sized monitors unlike the flat screens of today. I remember the manual typewriter and the cool features of the new electric ones.  



I remember cameras that required film.

I do like this “Forever Young” reality show that introduces “bridging the gap” and demonstrating that we really can learn from one another regardless of age.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I’ve Been Forced to say Good-bye


          Saying good-bye is not always a bad thing.  Especially when it only invites clutter and chaos. In 1985 I was on my mission.  It was my second Christmas in the mission field and my family decided to send me a tape and king size card with greetings from various friends and neighbors from my home ward. 







          A 22X25 poster paper was purchased and folded in half.  My family decorated the front with pictures which represented my personality – a picture of Baloo and Mowgli from Jungle Book (I love Disney’s animated version of that show) Ziggy, a picture of ceramic nativity set, trees and flower in bloom, dance shoes, real mountains (Utah mountains,   not the hills of Virginia where I served) the Salt Lake Temple, dolls, golden plates, scripture  paintings  , and musical icons. 





          In addition to all the magazine cut-outs were two actual photographs.  One was of me with my missionary name tag and the other was a recent family gathering that I would guess Corey had taken (as he was not in it) which included my dad’s mother, brother, sister and their families – or parts of them anyway (my uncle’s oldest two are also missing from the photo)

My 11X14 card contained signatures from so many – it was an honor that my family had gone around with the tape recorder to so many of my ward family.  I think they must have gotten all of them with one devise or the other.  Some would sign my card from self and spouse – and then I would find spouses signature elsewhere on the card.  Some would just sign names without a greeting.  Most were just typical Christmas greetings – but there were some that added personal comments.  Surprisingly, I still remember everybody who had signed the card.

Corey had placed on the back:  “When you care enough to send something better than a Hallmark” and “the Best Homemade Card Company around” – it still makes me smile – and really, it doesn’t take up that much room.  But it’s been bent, torn in places, and some of the pictures have faded.  I don’t really NEED it.  Time to say good-bye.

I don’t know where the tape is.  I have several shoe boxes full of cassette tapes.  Most I will end up throwing away – or use them for recording things I would like right now. I think most tapes contain something that I want – but certainly not all of it.

I remember a couple of people singing Christmas songs on the tape that my family had sent along with the enormous card. One visitor said that she wasn’t aware that I was even on a mission.  It was nice to hear so many voices that had been familiar to me. My family obviously put a lot of thought into my gift and thus I cherished it.  Still do – just not in a tangible way.