Waitin’ for the Window

Technology is changing so quickly now that there is no keeping up with it. Purchasing anything technological is like stepping onto a moving escalator, you are only staying in the same place and up to date with your item for a nanosecond, then it is uncool, and within months, sometimes days, it is obsolete. So, I use my old technology as long as it will hang in and do the job. My computers are an example of this.

I have an old G4, still going strong, but I never turn it on. It doesn’t do wireless, or play video DVDs, or run the necessary browsers to interact with most web sites. But it still works just the way it was meant to the year I bought it.

Then there is the iMac. Much newer, the iMac was the machine that helped me live through a horrendous end-of-the-endless-winter March, when I sat by my window for days and days, watching for the delivery van; there was no other traffic on the street, I could have heard it coming, but I watched all day long, and that sense of anticipation kept me from falling into the depths of cabin fever. The iMac is old enough that it will no longer be adequate for the requirements of operating system updates. It, like the G4, will move out of sight on the endless escalator of progress. So far it is used daily as our entertainment system. When that function becomes untenable, it too will cease to be used on a regular basis, and will sit in its perfection in a corner.

Now I use a 2012 MacBook Air as my daily computer. It is already aging, the battery no longer holds a charge for very long, but the operating system updates should be viable for a few more years. We tried to use the MacBook Air to run our short Tai Chi video when we were at the Rideau Camp last weekend, it only lasted 10 minutes on the first day, then it ran out of juice. I imagine I will be using the MacBook Air until it too is conveyed out of site on the moving stairway to heaven.

Attila and I have come to postpone purchases of technology until we have no choice because the old equipment simply will not function as needed. We wait for the window of opportunity that will give us a product that will move as far into the future as is possible. Atilla is using our first cell phone, pay as you go, a flip phone with a broken hinge and a dodgy battery, that we purchased the summer of 2006, 10 years ago. It can still function as an emergency contact device. Attila does not like to be called during his work day, when he goes to work we have no contact with each other at all until he arrives home. Having a cell phone for texting would be a complete waste of time for him. He has no need of a smart phone. I am keeping my eyes open for a heavy duty cell phone on sale, one that works well without data and bells and whistles. Perhaps this item does not exist. If I wait long enough something like it might come to exist at any time. I am waitin’ for the window of opportunity to open.

Tuesday morning was filled with errands. Attila had his prescription transferred from a pharmacy near the country house to a pharmacy near Mist Cottage, the same pharmacy where I get my prescriptions filled. They hire local people, the owners live in town, and the employees act as if they own the business and want it to do well. I called them this morning and the prescription was ready for pickup. When I got home I noticed they were using our country home address, so I gave them a call and gave them our current address, so I think we are now up to date.

I also made a telephone call to Toronto, and was very pleased to be informed that the conviction for parking offence ticket that I received in the mail is in the process of being cancelled. Thank goodness I can finally stop fretting about getting that thing cancelled, it took many telephone calls, and an email request, to get the cancellation started. I was told a letter would be sent to me in the mail, confirming the cancellation.

Also on my list was a trip to the bank. When Attila and I bought paint for the new garden shed, we sent in the forms to receive a rebate. The cheque arrived and needed to be deposited in our account. Luckily the bank is a short walk from the pharmacy, so I could park once and walk to the places I needed to go.

My next stop was the library. I returned two books that I had read, renewed a third book which I hadn’t had a chance to read, and selected two additional books. I was looking for a book by a particular author, Patrick Rothfuss, but the library did not have any of his books on the shelf. I will have to try the Ontario Library Service and see if I can find one of his books there. His work sounded interesting in a short article that I read, and I wanted to see if his books lived up to the hype.

The weather would have been lovely this week had it not been for the humidity. It is supposed to be very warm all week, with possible thunderstorms. The garden needs the rain, so a rainy day will be welcome. We have eaten fresh green beans from the garden for the last three nights, the same plants that we planted in the spring are flowering and bearing again after the long summer heat and drought. The Scarlet Runner beans are thriving, with plentiful blooms and lush foliage; Attila tells me there are quite a few beans which will soon be ready for harvesting. We have only had two tomatoes from our plants, a disappointing harvest to say the least. So far we have had no peppers from the plants that we put in in the spring. We harvested a dozen or so heads of garlic earlier in the summer. The garden wasn’t all that we had hoped this year, the drought took its toll. I hope to have a rain harvesting system in place by next summer, just in case another drought occurs.

My high blood pressure has not responded well to the doubling of my current medication. Three readings by doctors confirmed that my hypertension was no longer being controlled by the low doses of medication I was taking. It was hoped that doubling the medication would bring it down; it has not, the four readings I have taken were all unacceptably high. I have a machine at home that measures my blood pressure, and it is accurate when compared to the measurements taken at the doctor’s office. I have a follow up appointment next week with the drop-in clinic doctor, so I am hoping he can come up with a plan to bring my blood pressure down to acceptable levels. This is a sudden development, my skyrocketing blood pressure, it was normal when taken at the Emergency department in March of this year. I honestly feel the change is due to the overload of stressful events that played out this summer, culminating with the sudden passing of my brother. I will keep at this until I get my blood pressure back within the normal range.

Luckily our little house is very comfortable. This summer has been very hot and humid, only one day was comfortable enough to turn off the heat pump and open the windows. It isn’t as restrictive as winter, there is no snow to contend with, no winter coats, no boots. But it has been a summer where outdoor activity has been downright unhealthy for those of us who can’t tolerate extreme heat. Today I stepped out onto the back porch to fetch a water basin, and the air felt like warm soup, hard to breath and watery. I look forward to autumn.

At this point in time my writing rambles along like a bee visiting blooms in a garden!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 8 September 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.2°C
Dewpoint: 22.4°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: S 13 km/h
Humidex: 33

Quote

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”
Thomas Jefferson
1743 – 1826

I wonder what he would think of the super-sized information highways of today!

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12 Responses to Waitin’ for the Window

  1. Bex Crowell says:

    “Attila does not like to be called during his work day, when he goes to work we have no contact with each other at all until he arrives home.” Same with us. Paul takes his little flip-up phone (Jitterbug) with him each day but will not turn it “on” – he only uses it for emergencies. I can’t call him on it when it’s off. It’s a Jitterbug flip phone and we love it. It’s only about $18 a month with no contracts, nothing extra.

  2. Bex, I looked up Jitterbug phones right away, available only in the US, pity! They are a great idea. Canada has a realtively small population and market, so great ideas take time to get here, and cost an arm and a leg when they do get here. Ontario, Canada doesn’t offer much in the way of reasonably priced cell phone or internet services. The old flip phones aren’t available locally, although I haven’t looked in the cities yet, we don’t shop there often. If anyone finds a sturdy inexpensive voice only cell phone available in ONtario, Canada, let me know. Right now our $100 a year is working for us, as long as the hardware holds out.

  3. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, since I’m supposed to be doing something else entirely, I poked around for just a minute.

    I found this review:
    http://cellphones.lovetoknow.com/Best_Pay_as_You_Go_Cell_Phone_Canada#3ZRctE1tmrFQslED.97

    And, based on that review, these phones, two of which look very basic:
    http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/prepaid-cellphones

  4. Wow Wendy, that is so helpful! It will take me a while to go through and compare all this, thanks so much!

  5. Teri says:

    I’ll put this in first and the back up again. Maggie, SS32 loves Wind Mobile and they’re very inexpensive, so I went and looked that up for you. They are in your area and they have a flip phone:

    https://www.windmobile.ca/plans-and-devices/mobile-devices/device-details/lg-f4nr

    They have a Talk & Text plan for $25/mo. You don’t need the Text but then you don’t need to use it, either.

    I hear you about the changing technology. We’re having an issue with technology here right now, too. My Dell laptop has frozen twice recently and it’s making me nervous. My files are large enough that I decided to order an external hard drive. Well, I ordered one from Best Buy. I went onto their site and found the last time I ordered was some 6 years ago as they had our old address on there. I edited our new address in and ordered. Yesterday, I got the confirmation email that it had been shipped – to the OLD address!!! Their edit program updated only one instance of my address, the Billing Address, and did not update the Shipping Address that had been listed and that I had changed. A fault in their editing function. Well, we went and left a note at the address, with our phone number. It shows the hard drive was delivered at 6:49PM but we haven’t heard from the current occupants of our old apartment. 🙁

    Hooray for your ticket being taken care of!!!

    Sorry to hear your garden hasn’t fared well in the drought. We’ve been lucky to have some days of respite where the day may be warm but the evenings become quite cool. We’ve also usually had a day or two each week where we could open the windows all day long. This week, we will have two days in the low 20s (low 70sF) and will be able to open our windows.

    I hope the doctors will be able to figure out what’s happening with your blood pressure and can quickly find a way to correct it.

  6. Teri, I sure hope the delivery mix up resolves itself in you favour! It is scary when computers start to misbehave, I don’t backup nearly as often as I should, you have inspired me to do another backup this week!

    The evenings are getting cool here, but it stays very hot on our back porch, where we like to hang out. It gets the afternoon sun and heats up, which is lovely in the winter, and early spring, and late fall, but not so nice in the summer. I do hope for temperatures in the low 20s with low humidity, that would be perfect!!

    I am optimistic about getting the blood pressure issue resolved, the doctor took an interest by suggesting a follow up appointment, so I am hoping that it results in suggestions for a new direction.

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Hi, Maggie. Well, we had quite the go-round with the hard drive. Best Buy refused to do anything because the drive was delivered to the address in the order – even though itwas their edit function that failed. We went over to the old address. Nobody home. I left a note and included a phone number, asking them to call me. They never called. Last resort, I called Visa. Even that was a circus, but after 20 minutes they decided on a good will gesture and refunded the full amount to me.

    Let me tell you, I will NEVER do business with Best Buy again!! That hard drive is available from Staples and Amazon, so they’re easy to replace.

  8. I just bought a laptop from BestBuy. It’s going well, and my biggest problem is getting used to Windows 10, which isn’t so scary after all! I am up to my eyeballs in technology challenges most of the time, but feel I have to keep up in order to publicize my blog and my writing.Fortunately, I have two members of my family who are “tech wise”, otherwise I’d be in tears most of the time! Like you, I came to computers late in life, and sometimes I just want to roll over and give up. But I haven’t yet, and confess that the more I work at it, the easier it gets!

  9. Teri, that sounds so frustrating! I am glad that Visa stepped up to the plate, good to know. Too bad about Best Buy, I have had good luck with them, but really, you don’t know what a company is really like until you run into a challenge, then their real mettle shows itself, such as in your experience with Best Buy. Thank goodness there are multiple options on where to purchase the item.

  10. Diane, how lucky you are to have people who can offer assistance with technology. It does get easier the more you use it, so don’t give up!

    The basics of computers are pretty simple, and much of the instructional material makes it seem a lot more complicated than it really is. When I taught computers at Community College in Ontario I started out with basic system navigation, once you master that you can move on to the programs that interest you, the skills become transferable, and it gets easier all the time.

    I remember the first year I used computers, big mainframes with cards I carried around in a cart. Then UNIX made access to the mainframe via terminal possible, then commodore 64 and home computers took root and I learned on those as well. I remember trying to teach myself to use the commodore 64 and thinking how insular and self-referencing the people who wrote the manual must have been.

    I worked with several large proprietary programs in some of the jobs I had, and that is when I began to understand why some people hated computers. Those programs sported downright abusive user interfaces.

    I have to admit that I don’t have much problem keeping up with computers and technology in the technological sense, it is finding enough money to keep buying the latest and greatest that slows me down. To me cell phones are toys, as are iPads and the like. When we bought an iPad for Attila I set it up for him, and there were a few things that I needed to look up, because navigation is different on an iPad than it is on a computer. We don’t have a smart phone because I don’t want to pay for a smart phone, I would rather have an old flip voice phone and a great computer with a high speed internet connection. Most of what I do on computers cannot be done on cell phones or on an iPad, apps don’t do the job. I notice my kids only use their phones for most things, or iPads.

    I haven’t used Windows for years and years. When I worked in IT at a university, I supported Windows, MacOS, and UNIX, plus all the software packages for all of the operating systems. Windows has changed a bit, but I think I could probably pick it up pretty quick if I wanted to go that route, but I don’t.

  11. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Hi, Maggie! Well, things turned out even better than expected. The person who got my hard drive did finally call this afternoon, so I went over and picked it up then called to cancel the refund.

    I started with computers early, too. I started with classes in programming Fortran in 1975. Then worked on proprietary computers since 1991 and finally got my own computer for internet access in 1993. That was a Compaq Presario.

    In 1993 my Customer Service job with Dow Chemical was farmed out to Electronic Data Systems, the entire group being moved over to the company. It made for quite a change. Instead of just learning chemistry and plastics processing, I became involved in creating a proprietary data-capture program for Dow. I was the program beta tester and the liason with the programmers, and in the end even ended up writing portions of the users manual.

    It was a big change but it put me well ahead in understanding how to move around inside programs. But I’m still behind on how computers work, physically. Fortunately, DH knows most of that part.

    I consider myself lucky, as I was able to get into computers and the internet early.

  12. Teri, glad to hear that the hard drive fiasco resolved itself satisfactorily.

    Computers are as interesting as people, in that you can never know everything. People know parts of the knowlege base, but by the time they move on to learn another part, everything has changed and there is something new to learn. The basics stay relevant though. Getting in early was fortunate, I too feel fortunate to have been able to gain skills and experience early on.