Posted tagged ‘computers’

Oldereyes and the Dark Screen

March 19, 2018

tab aI was slow to join the ranks of people using tablets like the ubiquitous iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.   I have a laptop, I said.   I have a Kindle.  I can do everything else on my phone.  Why would I need a tablet?   But as I became more connected to digital media like Facebook and online news, via my phone, I got the answer.  Size does matter.  I bought a 7 inch Nexus tablet and it became a constant companion.  When I bought a bluetooth keyboard it even replaced my laptop for many tasks.   When my Nexus died (the early models had quality problems) I bought a Samsung 7 inch tablet which has been a reliable friend.   Unfortunately, with age comes weakening vision … reading the news on the seven inch tablet became too much effort.   Last July I moved up to a Galaxy Tab A 10.1 inch which  I use for reading the morning news. (more…)


January 24, 2016

th(5)You might think that when a 71 year old blogger posts about Wrinkles he’s talking about those lines on his face.  You might think that.  You’d be wrong.  For one, I’ve been blessed with skin that doesn’t wrinkle (maybe I’m permanent press).  And, for two, I’m talking about wrinkles in the fabric of my life not my skin.  These days, everything that happens, be it good, bad or indifferent seems to come with a wrinkle, some little twist that makes it … well … more complicated.  Let me give you a few examples:

The (Computer) Gods Must Be Angry

October 18, 2015

ComputerGeekWhen friends and family have problems with their computers, they frequently call me … and because I can usually solve their problems, some call me The Wizard.   When I fix my son’s computer, he often tells me that he tried the same thing that worked for me.  That may or not be true but it often appears that … if you’ll pardon the anthropomorphism … computers like me and are willing to do things that I ask when they confound others.   Partly, it’s just that I am willing to do the research … mostly on line … and try solutions that require venturing into places like the control panel, administrative tools, command prompt and (gasp) the registry.   I am good at recovering from missteps and dogged to the point of obsession.  Being called The Wizard sounds a lot better than the Obsessive Computer Geek but there is truth in both nicknames.  For the past week, though, I have been wandering through computer hell, with one problem after another afflicting my beloved desktop computer, each resisting my efforts at solutions and leading to other problems that I hadn’t noticed.  The (Computer) Gods Must Be Angry with (more…)

On Time

December 3, 2014

image I have several friends who don’t wear wrist watches.  At least one does so as a sign that he is not a slave to time, something he also proves by being late for meetings.   Back before the days of mobile devices, it used to bug me slightly when he’d ask me what time it was.  If you want to know what time it is, wear a freaking watch, I’d think, never saying it, of course, because that’s how you lose friends.  And future business partners.  Of course, in these days where the time, date and your exact location are available on your smartphone, boycotting wrist watches is a much less meaningful symbol that time doesn’t matter.   Being late still works, however.  The subject of time reminds me of an old Chicago song I loved back in my semi-hippie days, when I was a long-haired, mod-suit and watch wearing defense industry engineer with a peace sign in my rear window. (more…)

Creepy Connections

September 6, 2014

web1By talking to friends … and friends of friends …. I’ve learned that many people my age avoid social media like the plague and look at texting as some sort of affliction that strikes adolescents and turns them into smartphone-toting zombies.  They worry about how much of their lives will be revealed when they go online and won’t order anything over the internet for fear of identity theft.   I, on the other hand, am very connected for an old goat.    I travel with a large backpack filled with electronic miscellanea … a laptop, a  8 inch tablet, and a bluetooth keyboard that allows me to connect to either my tablet or phone and blog anywhere.  I carry a wi-fi dongle that gives me internet access wherever I am.   I am a regular user of Amazon Prime … for shopping … music … books … and cloud storage.   I’m active on Facebook, posting comments and photographs, as well as publicizing Older Eyes Bud’s blog and keeping touch with friends and relatives around the country.  I have a Twitter account but find it pretty much useless. (more…)

Talking to Machines

July 23, 2014

robbyI would say that the odds of a call on our house phone being for me are about 30 to 1 … and that about half the calls are from telemarketers.   At least half the telemarketer calls are telemarketing for charities.   Then there are the customer service calls.  You know.  This is Joe Abegotz, President of Acura of Orange County.  I’m calling to thank you for you past business and ask you to rate our service at  The boss expects us to get all tens so please answer honestly.   That’s why I love caller ID … I can screen my calls before answering.   On few occasions that I do answer, I try to be polite if the caller is human.  If the call is for a charity we support, I may even promise to make a contribution.  If someone is selling, say, solar panels, I wait until they take a breath and say, I’m really not interested.   They are trained to plunge ahead in the face of such adversity, and depending on my mood, I’ll give them one or two more No thank yous, then I hang up.  Politeness has its limits.   Then there are those calls where I find myself Talking to Machines.  Unlike the early computer generated voices which sounded as if you were talking to Robby the Robot, modern computer voices can sound like real people and they sometimes fool me.  I offer a How are you today? or an I’m not really interested only to be ignored.  Eventually, the voice asks a question and says, Please answer yes or no.  Speak clearly.  Yep.  I’m Talking to Machines. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 4/28/2014

April 28, 2014

toastedSometimes, we smile because we’re happy.  Sometimes we smile because we’re cheerful.  Cheerful is very different than happy, don’t you agree?  We can be miserable on the inside and still reflect willingness and good humor (Mirram Webster’s definition).  Are you old enough, by the way, to remember Good Humor Ice Cream trucks?  Toasted almond ice cream bars … to die for.  Or smile about.   There is 12-Step saying:  If I can’t be happy, I will at least be cheerful, a sort of acting as if that makes everyone one around us happier and surprisingly often, lifts our own spirits, too.  Then there is the smile of relief, a wan sort of affair that will never be mistaken for cheerfulness.   Stand at the finish line of a marathon, not when the winners speed in but about two and a half hours later when Mr. and Mrs. Everyman stagger in … you’ll get to what I’m talking about.  So, it’s two in the afternoon and I’m wearing one of those smiles as I post the latest Monday Smiles ever.   Nope.  I didn’t run a marathon … these days, rigor mortis would be more likely than smiles if I did that.  No, this was a mental marathon requiring not so much brilliance as ingenuity and patience.  Yes, bullheadness, too. (more…)

And the Pulitzer Goes to …

March 5, 2014

aiI found an interesting article on the Fox News app on my tablet the other day.  Now, before anyone launches into a political bias tirade I also peruse headlines on US News and World Report, Real Clear Politics, The New Republic, and The Huffington Post.  No, not MSNBC.  Every libertarian has his limits.  Anyway, the article reported that 122 articles in technical journals, many in publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), were recently found to be computer generated gibberish like, This section provides a complete description of the canceller output spectrum in terms of Discrete Prolate Spheroidal Sequences and their eigenvalues.  Just kidding, of course.   That is a sentence from my doctoral dissertation.  Try this: Application and Research of Smalltalk Harnessing Based on Game-Theoretic Symmetries.  Therein lies part the problem … many scientific papers may sound like gibberish to laymen and even to those in a slightly different scientific field.  That’s why technical papers are supposed to be peer reviewed by people working in the same field.

Computers and Cats

March 4, 2014

c and cIt is Tuesday and on Tuesdays for quite a long time now, I’ve been participating in Top Sites Tuesday, tossing out Two Curmudgeonly Thoughts on Tuesday.  Over the weekend, I started a post on computer-generated writing that I fully expected would be my Tuesday post.  Yes, I know … you’re probably relieved that you don’t have to pretend to read it.  It was to be to be titled Chimpanzees and Computers, as in … if an infinite number of chimpanzees given an infinite amount of time could write Shakespeare, how long would it take how many computers to do the same?  If you stop back later in the week, you might be surprised by the answer.  In the meantime, you get Computers and Cats, which  is the answer to the question, Why didn’t I finish Chimpanzees and Computers?  Let’s start with the computers. (more…)


February 11, 2014

Last night, I got an email from a friend with the kind of title that makes your heart stop for a moment … Sad News.  Here’s what it said with the names changed to protect the innocent:


This message may be coming to you as a surprise but I need your help.Few days back we made an unannounced vacation trip to Kiev Ukraine.Everything was going fine until last night when we were mugged on our way back to the hotel.They Stole all our cash,credit cards and cellphone but thank God we still have our lives and passport.Another shocking is that the hotel manager has been unhelpful to us for reasons i don’t know. I’m writing you from a local library cybercafe..I’ve reported to the police and after writing down some statements that’s the last i had from them.i contacted the consulate and all i keep hearing is they will get back to me. i need your help ..I need you to help me out with a loan to settle my bills here so we can get back home, our return flight leaves soon. I’ll refund the money as soon as i get back. All i need is $1,950 … Let me know if you can get me the money then I tell you how to get it to me.

Joe Abbegotz (more…)