Sunday, May 24, 2009

Technology and frustration

We've all become pretty accustomed to computers. They're everywhere. If you're reading this, then you're a user. They permeate every aspect of our lives these days. Seems that everything has a chip in it.

We touch screens rather than punch buttons.

We're in the process of losing the wires that used to connect all our computerized "things" to each other.

Pretty soon almost everything will be done via voice command.

I don't think it's too far fetched to imagine a time where we sub-vocalize or maybe just think commands.

Right now there are automobiles that recognize your touch. How long before your car or house recognize you as you're walking toward them and automatically unlock the doors? Maybe Bill Gates already has that on his house(s).

I'm not really trying to keep up. When it's time to buy something new I immerse myself to see what's available, but who has the time to keep up with the fast changing technology unless you're in the field?

I live by the computer. The Georgia Front Page, the Fayette Front Page, Arts Across Georgia and our newest venture, Political Potluck, keep me and a number of others very busy on our computers. I also run the Read My Lipstick Network and the Completely Conservative Network (two groups that I've had to neglect lately as we expand and grow the first four sites I mentioned).

When my computers act up, life becomes difficult and sometimes it becomes costly. I've had a bit of "fun" with computers this past weekend, which is the partial reason for this blog.

I shut the computer down the other day as normal. When I fired it up the next day, all my email had disappeared. I spent who knows how long trying to get it back before finally hanging it up and grabbing the last computer backup. Luckily I have a computer from Vision (oft touted by Neal Boortz and others) with an auto backup. I only lost about 24 hours. But oh, was that an important 24 hours. I'd revamped sites, posted tons of info and just worn my poor fingers to the nub updating stuff. Some of it I was able to recover as I had loaded the websites. I just pulled 'em back. But I lost a lot.

(I know... I need to do a backup of just my emails so I don't have to re-load the entire system. That's on the agenda for today.)

Then, different type "computer", our phones started acting up. Strange as it may seem, when it rains a lot our phones seem to get soggy. They get a lot of static and we resort to our cell phones. I keep meaning to call... It was worse than normal this time. The phones kept engaging, turning themselves "on". Nothing there, just showed that the someone was on the phone.

We have a phone gremlin.

Actually, I think that one of the lines isn't protected somewhere along the route and it's getting wet and shorting out.

We had a problem last winter with Comcast. Every time the temperature dropped below freezing, our computers and cable went out. When the temp reached a certain point during the day, usually around 10 or 11, everything came back on by itself.

Two separate lines, two separate systems.

We had so much fun trying to convince Comcast that it was the cold. By the time they'd get their folks out here, the system would be up and running just fine.

They replaced cables running to the house, put in new thing-a-ma-doodles at various points. Nothing helped. It got to the point where we had the cell phone numbers of the repair manager for the route. We'd call them and they'd stop what they were doing to run over here. Usually they'd get here about 5 or 10 minutes after everything started back up.

Turned out it was something down the line, not anywhere near our house. We're the only ones from that particular thingy that had cable I guess. Either that or none of the others turned on their TV or computer before 10 or so in the morning.

You know though, despite all the glitches that are part of our technological world, I don't know what I'd do without the stuff.

Microwaves... one of my favorites. I'd eat a lot of canned soup without it ;-)

My new computerized vehicle, love all the little gizmos.

The TV I could live without completely, but it's a good thing to have one at times. After September 11th I realized the value of the stupid thing and decided it was worth spending money on cable.

One thing that does concern me regarding our computerized world is how easy it is to shut us down. Better minds than mine are tackling that challenge and hopefully figuring out ways to protect us.

Another thing that concerns me is how dependent the generations behind me are going to be on our various computerized gadgets. What skills are we losing simply because we have "things" that do them for us now? Remember when they started allowing calculators in math classes? Now laptops are becoming the standard. I get frustrated when I'm in the car and don't have access to the Internet if I want to know something... I haven't broken down and picked up a Blackberry or gotten a phone with Internet access yet. But for many, they're lost without 24/7 access.

I'm rambling now and have gotten off track from the short blog I intended to write. I keep popping over to see how the web downloads are going... can't start working until everything is "fixed". Last one is almost updated and back to normal. Guess I'll quit writing and get back to work. Ya know, if I had to write this long-hand it never would have been written... now I'm going to click the mouse and send it out into cyber-space. Love the computer.

1 comment:

Grace Explosion said...

One thing I know, is how dangerous that technology is in the hands of a totalitarian state (which is forming more and more through the Obama "regime", seems to me). So, hearing your story - knowing that the NSA does wiretaps of Americans - knowing that DHS has defined folks like us as "terrorists" - and hearing how your whole system acted like it was being invaded by something... makes a person wonder.