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Can You Really Keep Up With the March of Technology?


raymac46
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I worked as a scientist, but I have spent more than 50 years in and around IT. I was one of the early adopters of personal computers. I taught BASIC to schoolkids. I was by far the most computer literate person in my laboratory. I learned a new O/S in my 60s. I can still build and repair and upgrade computers. Even in my 70s I am able to support and advise other seniors in my 'hood. But I often wonder if I'll eventually be assigned to the IT dustbin, like an old COBOL mainframe.

I see folks like my mother-in-law (now 90.) She's never touched a computer in her life and now she's almost totally cut off from  useful tech. No credit card, has to go to the bank for cash, no communication outside of a landline phone call. That's a dinosaur existence I never want to have.

But I don't use tech the way the Millennials do now. I prefer big screens and mouse input to tapping on a smartphone. I don't use Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr or those smartphone centered apps. I like to communicate on a forum like this or a blog. I still use a real camera and computer to take, transfer and post photos.

So I wonder if in the long run, technology will just run away from me and I'll end up limping along like my mother-in-law. I sure hope not but it does give me pause at times.

 

 

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My sister-in-law (82) is like that. I'm glad she doesn't know how to use a computer because she'd be one who gets infected ALL the time. She can't afford internet access and yet her son bought her a Kindle! She doesn't know how to do email, use a hotspot, etc. I'm not sure what he expected her to do with the Kindle. It basically sat in the box until I brought my laptop to her apartment and loaded some books on the device for her. I told her she has to keep it charged and gave her a longer charging cable and a gizmo for the car. (Her apartment complex frequently has fire alarms and she needs to vacate). At least she can sit in the car and read until the residents can go back inside.

She has a semi-smart phone. It doesn't go on the internet and has some sort of hybrid android with icons on the opening screen. It is the only phone she has because she can't afford a wired phone. She gets scam phone calls and starts to give the caller information then too late realizes it might not be legitimate. No matter how many times we tell her to just hang up, she doesn't. She's had a new credit card issued a few times because she gave the information over the phone!

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If it happens, I see my IT illiteracy to be a slow decline rather than a total fail. That assumes I keep my wits about me. And I will never take pride in my illiteracy as a few folks in Almonte I met have done.

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My mother had two masters degrees, including one in library science. It broke her heart when the card catalog was computerized, and in spite of her credentials, she couldn't use the library. 

 

As an engineer, towards the end of my career, I found myself at a disadvantage, because, when I went to college, even though I had taken some programming courses (like FORTRAN), CAD hadn't been invented.

 

As an "old phart", my eyesight needs a full size monitor, my hearing needs a loud speaker with some bass capability, big clumsy fingers can't handle little tiny buttons. A smartphone would be a waste of money. I carry an inexpensive old flip-phone, only because my spouse insists that i need a "fallen and can't get up" solution.

Edited by Pete!
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V.T. Eric Layton
1 hour ago, raymac46 said:

So I wonder if in the long run, technology will just run away from me and I'll end up limping along like my mother-in-law. I sure hope not but it does give me pause at times.

 

This has already happened to me... and I'm only 59 years old. It's partially due to my own attitude. Even though, I've always been a technical person in one regard or another, I'm also a pragmatist. When I was younger, I tore things apart to learn how they worked. In later years, that paid off. I was able to maintain and repair anything from an electric clock radio all the way to a 454 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. It's been useful and fun.

 

However, as I've aged, I find myself just being content when I turn the key or push the on/off button and the item does what it is supposed to do. I rarely tweak or tinker too deeply under the hoods of anything these days. I maintain my knowledge/skill set to the point that it is usually sufficient for the tech that I deal with on a daily basis. My recent "smart phone" conversion did provide reasons for some research and tweaking, but I knew the basics, so that wasn't too difficult.

 

Personally, I have a serious appreciation for older "tech"; back when there were no computers and myriad sensors controlling automobile engines, back when phones where simple devices that ALWAYS worked and NEVER dropped calls or distorted the voices of those your were talking with, back when TVs and stereos were bigger and clumsier, but provided what they were designed to provide without needing a college degree in Physics to turn them on or set a clock.

 

Yes, I'm a Luddite. I admit it. I've often been heard to say that I wouldn't mind a bit waking up tomorrow as a child again in 1965. I wouldn't want to know any of the future. I'd be more than happy just to do it all again as I did the last time. And yes, times most definitely were simpler back then!

 

Give me a call some time...

 

IOVCDNTFTZ.JPG

 

...I'll be right here sitting in my comfy chair by the phone with my coffee and my old dead tree book. ;)

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securitybreach

That's one thing that I have learned over the years, you either keep up with the latest tech and keep learning or you fall behind in things. Tech changes too rapidly to do otherwise. I guess it's a bit easier for me as I am only 42. But who knows.

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The reason I was thinking this way is I am helping out a new "client." This guy has a brand new Windows 10 laptop. He 's worried because it takes 20 seconds to boot. His cursor jumps around when he types. The text and cursor are too large. He loses his email windows. He can't find his documents.

Normally I'd pay him a housecall and fix everything - but not now. I sent him some how-to links.

He strikes me as someone struggling with new-to-him technology. Most people today - even seniors - are coping with laptops.

I would not want to become so technically obsolete that I'd have trouble adjusting to some novel appliance I needed to communicate or pay bills or otherwise do something essential.

 

https://bennallack.com/why-youre-doomed-to-techno-befuddlement-by-the-time-youre-70/

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V.T. Eric Layton
1 hour ago, securitybreach said:

I guess it's a bit easier for me as I am only 42

 

With me, it's not an age thing. I have the tech know-how and capabilities to keep up... just not interested anymore these days.

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My "client" has a mouse plugged in so I just showed him how to disable the touchpad in that situation.

Edited by raymac46
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V.T. Eric Layton

Yes, that's how my girlfriend uses her laptop, also... with external wireless mouse. Unfortunately, as we've all experienced at one time or another, when you're typing, your hands tend to brush against that touch pad. I was able to disable it, but it's not an obvious setting in Win 10, as it was in Win XP and 7.

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securitybreach
3 hours ago, raymac46 said:

The reason I was thinking this way is I am helping out a new "client." This guy has a brand new Windows 10 laptop. He 's worried because it takes 20 seconds to boot. His cursor jumps around when he types. The text and cursor are too large. He loses his email windows. He can't find his documents.

Normally I'd pay him a housecall and fix everything - but not now. I sent him some how-to links.

He strikes me as someone struggling with new-to-him technology. Most people today - even seniors - are coping with laptops.

I would not want to become so technically obsolete that I'd have trouble adjusting to some novel appliance I needed to communicate or pay bills or otherwise do something essential.

 

https://bennallack.com/why-youre-doomed-to-techno-befuddlement-by-the-time-youre-70/

 

Well in defense, the touchpads are getting more and more sensitive with every new laptop. Unless you toggle the touchpad to turn off while typing, you will surely hit it every time. The new ones do not even require physical contact to move. 

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securitybreach
1 hour ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Yes, that's how my girlfriend uses her laptop, also... with external wireless mouse. Unfortunately, as we've all experienced at one time or another, when you're typing, your hands tend to brush against that touch pad. I was able to disable it, but it's not an obvious setting in Win 10, as it was in Win XP and 7.

 

https://technastic.com/disable-touchpad-on-windows-10/

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There's also the factor of finances as you get older/retire. You can't always afford to have the latest and greatest technology, you pretty much have to get what you can afford and really need--like the smart phone I mentioned in another thread. I finally HAD to have it, so I bought the budget phone with the best reviews and went to a new provider with better pricing for those of us who wouldn't dream of downloading a movie because we couldn't even see it on our smart phone. I did discover that the Moto I bought has excellent sound, better than my cordless home phone, very easy to hear what's being said. When you pass 70, your hearing frequently isn't what it was back in the day. I will always need a laptop, so I hope I can keep up enough to continue to install my OpenSuse (16+ years!).

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I recently installed a Linksys mesh router system to upgrade my wifi. You simply CANNOT do this unless you have a Smartphone and install the Linksys app. Once you do it's very easy. But you need that Smartphone.

One other story. I got a Roku streaming box a few years ago. I used to very meticulously use the TV remote to change HDMI channels from the set top box to the Roku. My grandson came over, hit the Home button on the Roku controller and Boom! he was ready to watch Netflix. Go figure.

Edited by raymac46
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15 hours ago, raymac46 said:

........ One other story. I got a Roku streaming box a few years ago. I used to very meticulously use the TV remote to change HDMI channels from the set top box to the Roku. My grandson came over, hit the Home button on the Roku controller and Boom! he was ready to watch Netflix. Go figure.

The Firestick remote is supposed to do that too, but my TV may be one generation too old.

The Firestick remote works fine for on/off and volume, but changing the input port still requires the TV remote .... (or getting up off my lazy butt and pushing buttons on the TV).

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securitybreach

I just bought one of the new Chromecast's with Google TV: 

 

 

It's looks very cool and was only $49.99. I should get it Monday. Can't wait. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/24/2020 at 7:16 AM, Pete! said:

The Firestick remote is supposed to do that too, but my TV may be one generation too old.

The Firestick remote works fine for on/off and volume, but changing the input port still requires the TV remote .... (or getting up off my lazy butt and pushing buttons on the TV).

firestick remote does volume control?

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securitybreach
47 minutes ago, crp said:

firestick remote does volume control?

 

The new chromecast has volume control and also google assistance button.

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