Dependency

The moment we enter this world we are dependent on others for our survival. No new-born baby is instantaneously independent, that only comes with time. Babies are reliant on their mothers for their needs no matter what those needs are. As children we always look to mom or dad for direction and support whilst gradually increasing our dependency on others until we finally become independent adults. However it doesn’t stop there. We still have to rely on others whether we think we don’t or not. All our needs are provided through the activity of others, our food, clothing, shelter and our work. Even our leisure activities involve others at some point whether directly or indirectly. This is how a society operates, everyone must pull together for it to work. In an ever-increasingly automotive society we may feel there is too much pressure to fall in line, follow suit and just go with the flow. This is especially true in our electronic age where every gadget we use is becoming more and more a necessity rather than a novelty. We’ve moved on somewhat from cooking over an open fire. First it was the oven, then the microwave variety of it. Now even the microwave oven is being subjected to so-called improvement in the way it is used. Electrical devices require switches of one sort or another for them to work, thermostatic switching and timers for operational control but now are being developed to respond to our voice. It would appear our lives in this modern technologically advanced society are becoming more reliant on voice-operated computer-driven devices. They are all around us and have become or are becoming essential for our survival in our society. We are a long way off total dependency on the many diverse gadgets in circulation but give it a few more generations and things may be different. Have we gone too far already that we now cannot stem the tide or are we not bothered by it all? Some people I speak to can’t see a problem but perhaps they can’t see far enough into the future or don’t want to think about the consequences of what lies ahead.

 An amusing advertisement currently being broadcast on television shows a guy on a train who notices that everyone around him has their eyes fixed on a small screen device, their mobile phone. He looks around to see if there is anyone not doing so and thinks he sees an old lady who isn’t so he goes to sit next to her presumably for conversation. However she pulls out her device as he sits down. He goes through the carriage to see all of the passengers using their phones. He shouts ‘What is wrong with you people?’ then realises they are making the most of the mobile phone operator’s ‘amazing’ offers! It may be an amusing advertisement (I think all adverts are amusing because I don’t take any of them seriously) but it proves a point…. people tend to follow like sheep.  trouble with sheep is they can fall into a gully quite easily.

Shirley Anne

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Simple is best

It was Monday afternoon, the Bank Holiday Monday and I was sitting having a bite to eat. For some reason I had thought there was a problem with the fridge/freezer which stands in the dining area. When it was purchased some years ago it wouldn’t fit in the small kitchen and anyway there was another fridge/freezer in there already. Although we have chest freezers down in the cellar along with some small units we wanted some extra storage upstairs at the time. Anyway I opened the fridge/freezer and discovered it wasn’t cold in the fridge section (the upper unit). I finished my snack and set about locating the fault. You may remember in a post last year I think it was when I had called out an engineer to fix the same problem (it wasn’t by then under the guarantee) but not long after he had done the work it went faulty again so I checked it out myself. I wasn’t prepared to pay the high charges to fix it again. As it turned out I cured the problem myself but alas on this occasion there was little I could do. After removing a panel and breaking up the ice which had built up I got it working again but it stopped after a couple of minutes and wouldn’t come on again. Decision time. I had already emptied the contents of the fridge and the freezer and had put them in the other machines in the kitchen and cellar. Having to pay for a costly repair wouldn’t be cost-effective considering it might go faulty again and it was now more than five years old. If we were to purchase another we would buy a just a fridge as we have enough freezer storage units to meet our needs. Whether we decide on the purchase just yet I am not sure. The faulty unit would have to be disposed of in any case. It was now Tuesday morning (28 th) and I was up early as usual. By the time I had eaten breakfast it was three-fifteen and I put on my overalls  for the work ahead, taking the unit into the garage and putting it into the van ready for the drive to the tip. Now the thing is this, the unit was heavy and tall and couldn’t be manoeuvred by one person alone without aid of some sort but I had a plan, I usually do! I collected the hand truck from the garage and managed to wheel the unit to the front door after some difficulty getting it out of the kitchen. However, there are steps outside our front door….

…two sets of them as you can see. Without help I would never get it down them without a plan. I went to the garage and picked up timber to use as a ramp. I didn’t use the truck to get the unit down the steps, instead I lowered it onto its side and pushed it down the ramp then repeated the same procedure for the second set of steps. It was then a simple matter of getting the unit into the garage using the truck. Once there I placed a length of plank on the floor of the van and lowered the unit to rest on the edge before lifting it and sliding it on the plank and into the van. Job done and it was by then four o’clock. All I had to do was secure the rear doors with rope because they couldn’t be closed completely with the fridge/freezer inside. Later I took it to the tip. The whole experience got me thinking about purchasing fridge/freezers and the unnecessary complicated set-up in construction they have nowadays. It is all about energy-saving. One compressor motor and refrigerant circuit, a fan and some fancy electronics is all they use but the problem is this, when the unit goes faulty both the fridge and the freezer stop working. It is far better I began to think to have them as separate units entirely, not even one on top of the other. Simple is best. So with that in mind if we do decide to purchase another unit it would just be the fridge.

Shirley Anne

Manipulation

Heteroptera, digital manipulation
Heteroptera, digital manipulation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days ago I posted an entry called ‘Finally’ regarding the removal of the X Box app. from my Windows 10 machine in which I expressed my joy in finally getting it removed. If you didn’t know then you do now, that I do not play computer games and don’t want them sitting on my machines taking up space. With today’s new computers apps. or to give them their proper name, applications, are widely used and form the main way of using the computer. In real terms apps. are merely items of code or programs which perform a particular task or tasks when called to do so. Every computer that was ever built uses programs of one size, shape or form in order to work. Apps. are merely small programs which sit on the machine which can be called upon at the flick of a finger. Not all apps. are useful to everyone and some might say many of them are pretty useless, it all depends upon the user. For myself I have no need for most of the possible uses offered by computers and therefore do not need the many different programs now called apps. on new machines. On this machine which is running Windows 7 there are an extremely few ‘special’ programs, ones which I have personally downloaded for some particular task. I simply have no need for them. On my other machine however, the one running Windows 10, it is a different story. I bought the machine two years ago mainly because I thought it would be good to have a back-up to this machine. It came with pre-loaded apps. of course but once I’d used the machine a few times I realised that most of them would never be used by myself. I did at that time uninstall many of them, at least those which could be uninstalled for there remain a few which cannot unless, as I mentioned in the previous post, they are removed using code. Today, which is May 2nd, I updated my Windows 10 version or rather it was done automatically. It took quite some time to download and install though again it was all done automatically. When I opened the desktop I saw that many new apps. had been added and not one of them I will ever use. There were six games and other apps. such as Skype and Netflix and a couple of Windows accessories and they all got deleted. The thing was that each time I deleted a game and returned to the computer minutes later more had been put on my machine! This to me is another example of how we in the west are being groomed and manipulated into using computers more and more in our lives. Technology is advancing so much so that it will be difficult to avoid it in years to come. Windows 10 or Microsoft (amongst others) are encouraging us to use our voices to switch on applications and even order them online using our voice. It is already in the home through devices that can be asked questions (connecting to online search engines) and other devices which switch on appliances or lighting. Do we live on The USS Enterprise? Those fictional  capabilities are becoming more the reality. Oh and don’t mention reality, there will be a day when many will prefer the world of the computer images over the real thing if we are not careful.

English: Footpath at Coveyden near Sevenoaks. ...
Footpath at Coveyden near Sevenoaks. The local people call this area “Coveyden”. The footpath passes by Apps Hollow, which used to be called Apps Bottom and then on past Whitley Forest ending at the B2042 road alongside The Woodman public house. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Escape from reality will be the norm! What is wrong with us that we need so much technology to feel life worthwhile? Those driving this world through technological advances will one day have us all under their control……..if we let them. This is very much the thin end of a huge wedge, believe me.

Shirley Anne

Just don’t get along……

Killing Technology
Killing Technology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

……no, not with people, with technology! You might think that somebody who has worked in the electrical supply and service industry all my life until April last year would be used to technology. That is perfectly true but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. It all depends upon what form the technology takes. I am very familiar with computer control applications and the hardware involved with interfacing for example but when it comes to other areas I am less familiar. I am even familiar with basic programming but as for normal everyday use of computers or devices which are basically computers in disguise like mobile phones I am often at a loss. I own a mobile 3G (third generation) phone which allows connection to the Internet. I had previously owned a 2G phone and wish I hadn’t upgraded it. There is no way I would own a 4G phone or a 5G or 6G phone when they become available. I am not interested in accessing the Internet via my mobile phone. Neither am I interested in using my phone to pay for services or purchases. This technology has rolled out seemingly to make life easier but in fact you can be sure the underlying reasons go far beyond that consideration. People remain blind to the future that awaits them because they cannot see further than the end of their noses. They simply go with the flow as in other areas of their lives but in fact they are, we are, all being manipulated. That aside, I simply don’t like the technology anyway. On Thursday (28) I inadvertently made access to my mobile phone impossible for I had tried to prevent the use of the phone unless a pin number was known. It didn’t work even though I had followed the instructions. I had to take the phone along to my network provider’s shop in town, in my case the Three Store, to have it unlocked. Alright, I admit the problem with the phone is more to do with my being unable to use it properly rather than the technology itself. However for me it doesn’t need to be complicated as I am not interested in anything but the basic use of it. All I want is a phone with texting capability but it has become impossible to obtain one because that doesn’t encourage the possibility of somebody else making a profit down-line. It doesn’t encourage my being dependent on the technology as one day we all may be if we close our eyes to it. I suppose you could call me a modern day Luddite.

The Luddites were a group of English textile workers and weavers in the 19th century who destroyed weaving machinery as a form of protest. The group was protesting the use of machinery in a “fraudulent and deceitful manner” to get around standard labour practices.Luddites feared that the time spent learning the skills of their craft would go to waste as machines would replace their role in the industry. It is a misconception that the Luddites protested against the machinery itself in an attempt to halt progress of technology. Over time, however, the term has come to mean one opposed to industrialisationautomationcomputerisation or new technologies in general. The Luddite movement began in Nottingham and culminated in a region-wide rebellion that lasted from 1811 to 1816. Mill owners took to shooting protesters and eventually the movement was suppressed with military force. (Credit…Wikipeadia)

Likewise, I have no objection to the development of technology per se, it just isn’t always for me. I got the phone problem sorted out in minutes and left the shop happy and contented, for the time being that is!

Shirley Anne

The toy that destroyed the world

Commodore 64, VIC-casing but with C64C-coloring.
Commodore 64 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are few things which alone could destroy this world besides atomic bombs and disease and even one of those is within our capability to be rendered  harmless. It is all about intention. Many years ago I purchased my first personal computer, a Commodore Vic 20, a very basic machine with less memory than a modern-day credit card! After a while I upgraded to a Commodore 64 but even that machine was very limited by today’s standards. The only great advance regarding computers at the time was that they had shrunk in size, they were far smaller than their predecessors and could now perhaps become a useful domestic device. Well that certainly happened as we all know. With each passing year the personal computer has gone from strength to strength. It was only with the introduction of The Internet though that the computer came into its own. Many households can now connect to the world in which we live, something only dreamt about years ago. It was around 1982 I bought that Vic 20 and two years later the 64. I had been attending a Methodist church at the time though I wasn’t at that time a Christian. That came in 1989. One day I had occasion to visit the then vicar of the church as I remember to help with a small electrical problem and the subject of computers entered our conversation. I always remember his reaction, ‘They are just toys’, he said. He was so right but I had yet to learn that. Toys they may be but they are powerful and have the capability to destroy the world if miss-used. Therein lies the problem. Because human beings are in control of their manufacture and use there is always the danger they will be used for all the wrong reasons. That is already happening and is slowly becoming a giant-sized problem to the world. Technological advancement has a down side and can be used against us in many ways. What does the future hold for us all if we have to rely on computers in order to live out our lives? Inevitably computers will control everything we do……..all we think, earn, spend, purchase will be recorded and can be manipulated. Should we buy into it all or does our conscience tell us to beware? To me it smacks of the ‘mark of the beast’ as described in Revelations………….you decide.

Shirley Anne

Pleasant surprises

No Surprises
No Surprises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always maintained that I am not fond of surprises, arranged parties and gatherings centred upon myself or otherwise. I guess you could say I am a person of routine also as I do not like change especially if there is no apparent need for it. Forever onward and upward is a motto held in high esteem by some who like pressing on into some idyllic future they think is better. In many ways the future as we arrive in it each day isn’t so great at all. We may have achieved much over the generations but in some ways we have taken a backward step as far as I can see. My future is a different one, I am just plodding along with all that is happening around me whilst trying my best not to let too much influence my daily life. I vehemently resist the temptation to acquire the latest technology, all-seeing all dancing mobile telephones hold no interest for me for instance. My mobile phone is only mobile if I take it with me otherwise it is just as immobile as any other inanimate object. I go for walks without my phone because I wish to be left undisturbed. On my return home I check to see if I have any missed calls and often as not I do, most though are unsolicited and are consigned to the bin. Actually I allocate many of them with a ‘Spam’ number so if the caller persists in annoying me I am not taken by surprise and can simply not answer. The kind of surprises I like are the ones which report an item of good news, an ill friend or member of the family regaining their health, someone attaining a qualification after much study, someone who has won a prize or has a financial upturn making their lives a little easier, these are nice surprises. A few weeks ago I submitted my annual tax return and I received a letter a few days ago informing me of the results of the calculations regarding my tax obligations. I appears that I have paid too much tax, £471 too much. Well that was a pleasant surprise as I had expected to be paying more.

Shirley Anne

Talk about modern technology

Readers of my previous post my have noticed a related article at the bottom of the post. I am never sure if any of those related posts will be read but I place them there for anyone who might be interested. I few weeks ago now we had our street lamp-post replaced after it had been damaged by a delivery driver. There seem to be thousands of delivery drivers these days with the advent of on-line shopping. The street lamp is fitted with an LED cluster of lamps which are very economical to run compared with any of their predecessors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We perhaps don’t notice such things as we go about our daily lives and maybe we don’t need to but there are plans afoot to install ‘intelligent’ lamp-posts which not only provide light but will also be able to provide cctv. and even WiFi. From a lamp-post? Have a read of this article….  http://www.latestarticlesonline.com/worried-connected-street-lights/ . You will have to copy and paste address in new tab or click on the middle of the three articles under my previous post.

Shirley Anne

The next day

Following on from yesterday, the day started early as we were awakened at 7.45 by the front door bells. We were expecting the delivery of the new bed for the room we have refurbished though not at that unearthly hour! We were expecting it to arrive sometime in the afternoon as we thought the salesman had said. E went down to answer the door as there was no way I would after being woken up and having not had the time to even get washed and dressed. E has no such qualms. The two guys took around fifteen minutes to set up the bed before drinking the coffee E had made for them both. New bed

Once I had breakfast I went for a walk and posted some mail for E along the way. I had some business to attend to and some purchases to make. On my return E and I got down to removing everything from the small bedroom including the furniture. We found a way to store it all temporarily on the landing outside the room but we had to dismantle the bed before we could store it. The next task will be to remove the carpet and get the room ready for painting. As it was Thursday E went shopping with her mom in the afternoon whilst I went next door to set up the new television for our neighbour who is eighty years old and hasn’t a clue about such things. By coincidence she had purchased a smaller version of the set I had bought recently so setting it up wasn’t a problem. Well setting up the television itself was easy but I had to sort out the mass of wiring behind it for the Sky box, video, Playstation, external speakers and such. The Sky box had to be removed as it was faulty and a new one had been sent. Unfortunately it was completely different from the old one and I had no idea how to install it so I didn’t. I felt that should be the responsibility of their engineers so that was arranged over the phone. Although I had the television working I couldn’t get it connected to The Internet, for some reason it wouldn’t recognise the router’s password or pin number no matter how many times I tried.  I had no problems connecting my own set so I had to assume her password had changed. I asked my neighbour if the password had been changed but she hadn’t a clue about that either. She kept giving me the password for her Sky connection. It took quite some time for me to explain that the Sky connection had nothing to do with connecting the television to the router. Her Internet provider is BT and not Sky even though she has the Sky connection. I had been there for two and a half hours and got back home just shortly before E returned from her shopping spree. Hopefully the Sky engineer will sort out my neighbour’s television connections when he calls next week.

Shirley Anne

Progress?

Slowly but surely it nibbles away
At each precious second
In each precious day.
Turning around you don’t notice it’s gone
Your freedom, your choices
Your liberty won.
Deceived you are taken along with the flow
Then suddenly there is no place you can go,
Controlled you are led down the path of despair
There’s no turning back and nobody cares.
But wait, there is time to resist
There’s a path through the darkness
A path through the mist.
The choices you make as you open your eyes
Will determine salvation or end in demise.

Copyright Shirley Anne 2 March 2016

P technology
P technology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was working in someone’s house a couple of days ago and during some conversation we discussed technology and the advancement and use of it in our daily lives. The couple who lived there were professional people, that is educated to a high level and holding down professional jobs. One, the lady, was a university lecturer and the man was a qualified engineer who was now working in information technology and its developement. I had to let them know that my views on technology were not the same as their own. I don’t like technology. I don’t like the way it is slowly weaving its way into our lives until we become totally dependent upon it. Don’t misunderstand me, there is good technology and there is technology we could well do without. Technology in medicine must be a good thing if it aids in diagnosis, prevention of incapacity or death and in treatment. Industry often relies upon technology. In other areas of our lives such as transport, communication, entertainment or simply to allow us an easier life at home I am not so sure the benefits outweigh the losses. Too many folk these days are glued to liquid crystal or diode displays, that is television, computer and mobile devices such as telephones; smart phones they call them. Oh yes they are smart alright but slowly they will take over how we live our lives, if we let them, and I know that will be inevitable for many for they cannot see what the future has in store. Their minds are closed as are their hearts, they actually want to go with the flow but there is a price to pay and perhaps one day, if prophecy is true, it will be too late to turn back.

Shirley Anne

Hidden extras

Downloading updates  1 of 141 do not unplug or turn off your computer’, you’ve all seen this message or something similar on your computer screen for earlier versions of Windows. Since having Windows 7 re-installed on my old laptop all I have been getting when I am about to switch it off are messages like these. One or two is fine but almost every time I have switched off my machine during the last few days I get this message. At first it was 6 updates then 10 then 141, a further 40, then 6 and even more after these. Now I would have expected to see some difference in using the computer but there isn’t one, at least one that I would notice. I decided to check just exactly what had been uploaded and saw a long list of items seemingly all to do with the operating system. I then checked all the installed programs to see if anything had changed there. I discovered that quite a number of programs had been added. Some are games, some are Microsoft’s own programs like Live Messenger, Movie Maker,  Office Powerpoint and others all of which I will probably never use but here’s the rub, one day I might have to, why?


Embed from Getty Images

Well in the great scheme of things Microsoft change their software to make it impossible to do certain things that have been traditionally easy to do by taking away functionality. This means extra software has to be purchased in order to do some of the simple tasks that could have been done just using the Windows platform. For instance, on my new laptop which runs Windows 10 Microsoft has made it impossible to open my files and preview them, they have also filed my photographs in a different way by default and are also not easily located. These things seem minor but at the end of the day it appears that we are being manipulated to using software their way. In society this is the thin end of a large wedge. Has it escaped your notice that the way we shop or do anything else is slowly changing? One day there will be no cash and we will have to use smart technology to buy anything, to get directions, to dine out and to do almost everything that we do. We will be under the control of those who produce the technology and the software that controls it. Think I am being paranoid? Perhaps I am but human beings are meant to be free, not slaves to machinery and technology just to live out our lives. I think I would prefer life to remain a little difficult rather than having to rely upon computers, smart phones, contactless debit cards et al.

Shirley Anne