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Monday, November 4, 2013

How I manage technology


I do manage technology, but incrementally.

I push some virtual things too hard or not hard enough, too quickly, too slowly. When all else fails, I hand the offending device to someone who knows more, to make it work. Generally a grandchild.

Some applications are too big to understand.  I am past believing “it’s intuitive.” That’s mean geek speak for “you’re too old, give it up.”

To install and initialize a really big application I read the manual. I read the internet.  I may try a couple of YouTube videos. But in the end the instructions must be condensed to one page, step by step, with soothing phrases interspersed: “when you have done that, a green light will blink, and you are ready for the next step.”

If my instructions do not make me comfortable, I drag the piece of technology to someone I’m sure can help. Recently it was my car. I dragged it to the phone store.

I’m no stranger in the phone store. I’ve occasionally put my phone on the counter and intimated a replacement might be in order as the damn thing no longer works. “Did you try soft reset?”

That means hold down volume down. Then add on/off.  And hold and hold and hold and soft reset begins and solves everything. I wrote the instructions in little letters on a slip of paper and taped it to the back of my phone.



Then I got a new car. New to me. With a phone icon in the panel. I could ignore it forever, except the car knows I have a phone and tries to answer if it rings in my pocket. Complete confusion.  I went to the phone store and found Calvin. Named for Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth president of the United States, and proud of it. Now that’s a twenty something to pay attention to.

Calvin “synched” the phone with the icon. Don’t ask. Now a nice lady tells me I have a call and push the synch. That means push the phone icon. I do, and my caller and I chat away on the radio. Lovely. If I am on the phone when I get into the car, the car takes over the call. When I get out of the car, I must get my phone out of my pocket to continue the call. It all works.

Calvin said I could come back and he would synch the button that calls out. I have to teach it to call Ann if I say “Call Ann.” Too much, that will never happen.

There was red everywhere around me yesterday, and I had my camera. But it was out of battery! I took all those pictures with my phone. I have learned to send the pictures to my pc email account, then save them to my editing program.

Even sending all those pictures only four at a time, I could not receive them. I spent several hours, and accomplished nothing when I left to get Hamilton at noon. We stopped on the way home for the picture of the crows at the three red maples. Nothing from earlier in the morning had arrived in my email account when I looked after lunch.

I called Calvin. Even simpler than soft reset. The USB that makes the charging cable into a wall plug—pull it from the plug, stick it into the computer and the other end into the phone. Oh, and turn the phone on.  The computer offers a choice of several programs, one of which was my photo editing program and I clicked on through just like it was my camera.

As it was.

Calvin asked if I've reconsidered activating outgoing car phone calls.

No, I haven’t.


29 comments:

  1. Things are much too complicated these days.

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  2. Oh I love this and am right with you. Screw the instructions, I go to a kid, a step kid (grandkids are 1 or 2 years away from techno help) or a Calvin!

    Oh, or Mrs. C she's pretty good with most of this stuff and knows how to follow the directions.

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  3. I don't even know how to turn on the television. I used to feel stupid asking my six year old granddaughter to do it.

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  4. Oh Joann... you are WAY beyond me with this blog. I spent some time (and around $250) today at Staples only to have them tell me that my computer has some serious problems. I won't go into it here, but honesty... I don't care about phones... I don't care about any of that ..... but I sincerely hope that Staples can resurrect at the very least, my Quicken account... and if I'm lucky, maybe they can restore some of my photos. Oh... why in the world do I not back up my files. Phone? I don't even know how to hang up, let alone answer the darned thing!!!!!

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  5. My daughters partner is a bit of a computer wiz he sets everything up for me and is reasonably understanding went I do stupid things, I do not have a mobile phone l had one but always forgot to take it with me so I gave up on that idea.
    I've mastered the remotes, only just and don't want any more technology around.
    Merle......

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  6. Hari Om
    Crikey - intelligent cars worry me - Emm's car was flashing its lights at her last night 'cos she hadn't locked up. AAArrrrrrrhhhhhh.. Ahem. Having said that , am not bad with the ol' techo myself. But I most certainly draw the line at phone use in cars. Yes I do.... YAM xx

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  7. Quite a lot of technology makes my brain hurt. Both cells. We got the car dealership to synch the skinny ones phone. Otherwise it would still not be done.

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  8. I admire you trying to embrace technology like you do. I'm so technology challenged. I really try to read the instructions on something, but its like I'm reading Greek or some other foreign language. It is absolutely amazing too how technology is advancing these days too. I hadn't heard of Calvin; but what an interesting invention!

    betty

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  9. Yay for Calvin! He is a gem. We need more like him.

    You sound pretty technologically savvy to me.

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  10. The Geek Squad know me on sight. By the way, I really did have to get under the table to shoot the BB gun. I thought the table was to rest my arm on while I took aim. Hubby said it really was to control boys and guns. Seemed stupid to me. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. There are just too many technological things to learn these days. I used to enjoy all this but am waaaaaaaaay over it! LOL.

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  12. Call Calvin ! We call Simon - a friend for all computer problems. I like very simple; the on off button is enough for me !

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  13. I almost never take photos with my phone, so haven't bothered to learn how to transfer them to computer. Maybe one day.
    As for other techie stuff, if I don't understand things, I go to visit my daughter K, she sorts me out and tells me each step to do to manage things on my own, I write down every word she says, then condense it to one page when I get home. I keep the page until I've done the (whatever) so often I remember it.

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  14. Hubby uses a voice recognition phone. He says "Call A/B/C " and the phone responds.Well , it should but Chris has an English accent that the phone recognition system doesn't recognise. Chris once got frustrated,swore at the machine and the phone called his boss.Read into that what you will!
    Jane x

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  15. I'm sorry to say that I love my iPhone... sorry because it does so much for me that I've become 'addicted'. I remember one of my aunts when she was in her 90's always digging through her purse looking for something. I will be like that looking for or at my iPhone. Every important thing I should have recorded somewhere... like the last time I've had my flu shot or my class student ID number, video of grandbaby taking first step, etc. Now our car doesn't have the capacity to synch like yours does. In fact, it still has cassette capacity - not even CD... But enjoy yours!!

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  16. so nice that you have so many helpful youthful experts around. as long as the old technology works for me I tend to ignore the new until it is thrust on me.

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  17. you sound like you've got it all over me---i do wish i had that new phone that lets you take the pic without the way you have to take it with mine and you can zoom in a lot :)

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  18. I likely will never own another new car and it sounds like a good plan. I Google actions for my iPhone all the time and I do not talk to Siri as she does not speak Southern. I am having blogging issues today but am blogging at Mcdonald's and am about to go home and read. No tech involved in that thankfully. Hang in there. I think you are brilliant!

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  19. All that technology would give me the willies!

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  20. Welcome to the world of phone on the radio, my call went wacky today and when I could the guy back he said it sounded like I dropped down a tunnel. Just call me Alice.

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  21. Hope you're getting Calvin something for Christmas.
    I wish our car was new enough to have builtin bluetooth. It allows the hands-free operation to actually work. Oh not that you care but that bluetooth is probably in your laptop and you can transfer pics that way too.

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  22. You have got the best definition of "it's intuitive" I ever heard/read.

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  23. Technology is the leading reason for Advil I think! Btw, the fall pictures on your blog are gorgeous.

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  24. I wonder if there is a Calvin-like person close by?

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  25. And I always think people on the other side of the pond must be good at technology. But then one shouldn't fall for stereotypes - or believe what you see on tv...

    http://youtu.be/F-8RItOZE30

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  26. I've forgotten about that soft reset thing. They told me at the store. Thank you for the reminder. Believe me, nothing is intuitive with technology as far as I'm concerned.

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