Posted tagged ‘technology’

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…)

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Robo

January 19, 2018

dial phoneIn the little ranch style house I grew up in in East Haven Connecticut, there was one phone.  It looked like this one, a masterpiece of efficient electro-mechanical machinery, weighing about 2 pounds.  By placing your finger in the hole of the number you wished to dial, rotating the dial until your finger was against the stopper, then releasing it, the internal mechanism would generate that number of pulses and sent them out on the phone line.  I think that phone rang two or three times a day, always answered by my Mom.   It was usually a call from a friend or family, but occasionally it would be a business inquiry from an establishment where my parents did business.  There was a small pad next to the phone for messages in case the call was for someone that wasn’t home. (more…)

New Landscapes … New Eyes

September 17, 2017

horizonIf you bothered to read my Home page, you will see a quote by Marcel Proust prominently displayed:  The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.  It is  a motto that suits me.  For most of my life I have been good at appreciating the life I have and found fulfillment in looking inward for adventure rather than outward.  But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t benefited from an adventure that stretched my boundaries now and then.

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Night Lights

June 18, 2016

led clockNo one but a few regular readers may have noticed but I have.  I haven’t posted since May 24th.   That may be the longest period of time between posts since I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I miss it.   If you are not a writer, that probably makes no sense to you.  If you miss it, then do it, you say. I’ve tried.  There are half a dozen stalled attempts waiting patiently on my WordPress dashboard waiting patiently for me to finish them.  Here I am, trying again.   This time, I have a theme … Things That Have Changed Since I was Young.  That should cover a few posts, don’t you think?  You may think, Here he goes, pining for the good old days, talking about how much better things used to be.  There may be some of that but what I have in mind is something smaller and simpler, changes without social consequences or value judgements.  No, I can’t promise my Inner Curmudgeon won’t have some cranky opinions but isn’t that what Curmudgeons do?  Anyway, let me give you an example.

A few nights ago, I was finishing up my last game of Classic Words on my tablet.  The lights in our bedroom were out and my wife, Muri, was snoringcw softly.  I turned my tablet off, plugged it into the charger and made my way to the bed, being careful not to trip over the pair of shoes I always leave out.  As I climbed into bed, I looked back at the room …  a dozen tiny lights pierced the darkness.  The LED on my phone was glowing red to tell me it wasn’t through charging and amber one on the cable box said it was standing by.  The time glowed in red, blue and green respectively on Muri’s alarm clock, mine and the cable box.  Naturally, the times didn’t agree.  On the wall, the carbon monoxide detector winked green to tell me it was doing its job, keeping me safe from an invisible enemy, and on the ceiling above, the smoke alarm did the same.  Intrigued, I got up and walked though the house.  Every room glowed with illuminated times and tiny colored lights.  The kitchen offered competing times on the oven, microwave and coffee make.  The blue LED on the dishwasher signaled the dishes were done and a green light on the master GFCI power outlet assured me that the circuit breaker had not blown.  In the family room, the Tivo glowed green … if it was recording, it would change to red.  The wi-fi range extender twinkled and flashed with each digital message from the router upstairs in my office you where can practically read by the light of the electronics.

When I was a kid, I tried hard to be asleep before my parents went to bed.  As you probably know, trying hard to go to sleep is not a great strategy for SCARYsleeping.  I knew the themes song of the TV shows my parents watched and knew that when I heard the closing theme of their ten o’clock show the house would soon be dark.   No glowing LEDs or digital clocks to keep me company.  Really dark.  Would an assortment of multi-colored LEDs reassured me or morphed into the eyes of scary creatures peering at me in the darkness?  Perhaps I’ll ask my grandsons.

If you are waiting for a point, there isn’t one except that the world has changed a lot in sixty years.  Technology has pervaded our lives and houses.   It is everywhere around us but takes a seventy-two year old man who slept in a pitch black bedroom to notice the evidence everywhere around us in the Night Lights.

The Office

April 12, 2016

office tooFor the first 33 years of my career as an engineer, I worked for what I like to call Big Industry … large defense-based corporations like Raytheon, Honeywell and Hughes Aircraft.   That portion of my career took place before the term tele-commute was invented, mainly because the technology of the time did not support working at home.  Consequently, I traveled each morning to an office which provided the assets I needed to do my job … computers so large they filled a room, and secretaries and typing pools and art departments.  Sometimes during my early years, my office was a cubicle, most often shared with another junior engineer.   As the years went by and I was promoted, my offices became nicer, evolving to shared offices instead of cubicles to a private office … occasionally even an office with a window, although it usually overlooked a parking lot.   My furniture got newer and eventually was made of real wood, not slime-green metal.   By the nineties I was content in my private wood-furnitured office and I probably would have been content to continue that way until retirement.  Fate and Big Industry had other plans.   Hughes Aircraft was purchased by Raytheon and decided to close the California facility.   Ironically, the work I was involved in was transferred to Portsmouth, RI, where I began my career many year earlier.  I even knew many of the senior engineers there. (more…)

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…)

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…)