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

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Too hot to handle

Too Hot to Handle (1938 film)
Too Hot to Handle (1938 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gosh my phone was busy on Thursday morning! I had been working in a fairly new development less than a mile from home, actually built on the grounds of the school that once stood there. My two sons attended that school for a few years until we moved them to another later on. The school was what we call a private school here in the UK (and elsewhere), one which levies a fee each term for the private education they provide. Those fees amounted to thousands of pounds (Sterling) each term, money we could ill-afford to pay by ourselves though we did make contribution toward the cost. E’s parents paid the majority of the cost until we decided the children would do better in a State-run school. They did very well, even better, at their new school and both ended up with a degree at their respective universities. Of course we had to support them whilst they were there. Their old school had been completely renovated and turned into luxury apartments and new buildings had been erected in the school grounds too. It was in one of those buildings I went to work on Thursday morning but I’d hardly stepped over the threshold when my phone rang and then continued to do so during the two hours I was there. It was a bit of a nuisance having to down tools to answer the phone each time it rang. Fortunately the lady of the house was sympathetic. This is why I think people should attempt to contact me in the evenings rather than during the day unless they have an emergency. A week or so ago I visited a house some miles north of town to check out a faulty cooker circuit. Maybe my readers will remember that I had to replace a faulty switch and disconnect wiring that shouldn’t have been connected to it? The switch had been positioned in a very awkward place and had been difficult to remove. Anyway the lady of that house was one of the callers on Thursday morning. Evidently her cooker had ceased working. Naturally I arranged to call there once I had completed the work I was engaged in doing when she called. On my arrival an hour or so later I discovered that the ‘fault’ wasn’t a fault at all, she had switched the timer to automatic mode instead of manual mode! Once I corrected that the cooker worked perfectly. She apologised profusely but I knew she was under pressure as an hour later her husband would be on his way to hospital for a major operation to remove a cancerous tumour. I didn’t levy a charge but she insisted I take something anyway. I drove homeward to a relaxing afternoon……………but the phone carried on ringing now and then.

Shirley Anne

Now phone madness

English: Mobile phone signal here The blue sig...
Mobile phone signal here The blue sign on the right indicates that a mobile phone signal is available. A few of these signs are popping up in the forests in West Argyll. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I invested in a mobile phone back in 1998 I have gotten used to ‘blind spots’ where I can get little or no connection but lately I seem to be getting more problems concerning connection and not less as you might expect. More and more people are now connected and presumably more and more masts have been erected to accommodate them all. However there are still many blind spots in the areas in which I work which can be a nuisance but whilst at home I never expect to have problems as historically I never have had. I am now finding that in certain parts of the house I get no signal at all whilst in other parts the signal is very strong. Strange as it may seem I don’t usually have problems when in the house cellars where you might expect the signal to be weak! Some upstairs rooms have blind spots and some do not and it doesn’t seem to matter on which side of the house the rooms are situated. Very odd indeed. I was in the main bathroom trying to sort out why the towel rail we installed last year when refurbishing the whole room, wasn’t heating up. Obviously that problem was an air-lock which was most likely caused by my draining the system early in the year in order to change a couple of radiator valves. I had been venting only water from the rail but wasn’t getting anywhere. I had fitted a hose and flushed out a large amount of water together with the offending air and was just tidying up when my mobile phone rang. It was a call from an elderly gentleman for whom I had worked last year. He wanted me to do more work. I couldn’t jot down the details where I was so I went downstairs to where the house phone sits as there is a note pad and pen there. As I bent down to pick up the pen my connection was lost and I was disconnected from the caller. I tried to call back but there wasn’t a signal so I moved to another room but still no joy. I decided to call him using the house phone but kept getting rejected as his house phone is set not to receive calls from anyone whose own number is ex-directory and our phone number is ex-directory. I therefore had to return upstairs to attempt to reconnect on my mobile phone. As it happened he must have been trying to call me and I couldn’t get connected. Finally I got through and was able to jot down the details. The odd thing is that sometimes I can receive a call in a place where I cannot make a call myself! How crazy is that? Is it any wonder I get so frustrated with technology? If it isn’t my computers it is my phones!

By the way the towel rail is now working perfectly…..

Shirley Anne

Now it’s Wednesday

English: TV and mobile phone mast on Torlum Hill
TV and mobile phone mast on Torlum Hill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late last night I discovered I had received a text message on my mobile phone earlier in the day but had not noticed. It is often the case that I miss calls or texts during the day either because I don’t hear the phone or more likely I am in an area where my phone is shielded from the transmission signals. Whatever the reason I miss the calls. This particular message was from a young lady who had called me on Sunday because her power circuit kept tripping off. I explained to her over the phone what she should do to re-instate the system and that if she still had the problem I would call round to assist, for a fee of course! Evidently she had managed to reset everything because she didn’t call back that evening. The message stated that she had in fact had a recurrence of the problem on Tuesday afternoon and had tried to contact me but failed. She therefore left the message. As it was 11.30 at night I simply replied to the message indicating that I could be there in the morning, that is Wednesday as I write this. I arose a little later than I usually do and on checking my phone for any messages or missed calls I discovered she had replied saying that her sister had found someone else to check out the fault but she thanked me anyway for replying. You get some and you miss some. As it happened I was glad in a way that I didn’t have to do the job because I had intended to do some more pipe lagging at home if I had the time. After a very small breakfast of yoghurt and fruit E asked if I could give her the electric mouse trap I had constructed some months ago as her mum had been having rodent problems at home. I explained that it needed some modifications before I could let her take it away so I took some time doing that before starting on the insulation. Both E and I then set about doing what lagging we could in the boiler room with what was left of the insulation. Unfortunately we couldn’t do all of the pipes in there as we would have liked because we needed at least twenty more metre lengths of the insulation, half of which needed to be a size larger to cover those pipes in there which are greater in size. We will also need at least one more box of the same sized insulation we have just used up. I know this will cost me probably another £150 at least as the first box cost more than £100 for the 48 one-metre lengths of insulation it contained. By the time we had finished and cleaned up it was approaching 1.30 so we had a late lunch and watched TV for an hour. I took the rest of the day off from work. My phone rang a couple of times with requests for estimates for electrical work but I turned down the jobs knowing that they would be too much for me to take on. It is a matter of what I could expect in payment for the time I would have to put in. It just isn’t worth the effort. I can afford to be selective and can earn quite a substantial amount for very little effort only working a couple of hours each day leaving me plenty of time for myself and my own projects at home. I can only do this because I have income from my pensions. I no longer have to slog my guts out to earn extra income which is nice. I can sit here with my cup of coffee writing this stuff on my computer on a lazy Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile E is visiting her mum taking the mouse trap with her.

Shirley Anne

 

It’s exponential!

English: 300 dpi scan of a set of Basic Mileag...
Image via Wikipedia

I love watching old movies and shows on television. The later ones bring back memories of times gone by when I was young. I was born in November 1945 and I can remember many things from the late forties, from the fifties and sixties right up unto today. I remember the ration books that people had to have in order to buy food and other commodities because many things were in short supply due to the second world war. Gradually things improved and rationing was abandoned in or around 1954, the year following Queen Elizabeth’s succession to the throne. I remember the bunting and the decorating of bicycles, prams and other things with red, white and blue crêpe paper as we celebrated the coronation of the queen as children. I would be almost eight years old then. Many houses had been destroyed during the war so many people had to live where they could, usually with relatives. My parents were fortunate to get accommodation in one of the newly built prefabricated houses, prefabs, that were erected to ease the housing shortage. We stayed in that house from 1946 until 1958 when we moved to a semi-detached house in the suburbs. The prefab had many things in it that most people couldn’t afford to buy for themselves, things like a refrigerator, an immersion heater, a boiler (as opposed to a washing machine which came later), a built-in cooker and what was commonly called a ‘all night burner’, a fire that also heated the water by having a water pipe coil linked to the storage tank (indirect heating) and a modern electrical control panel. We didn’t have a telephone in those days, not many people had. We didn’t get a telephone until many years later after we had moved into the semi-detached house and even then not until about 1970! We had a radio but no television until 1953. The things which altered our lives more than any other were the telephone and the television. We could hear the news over the radio but to see the news was a real eye-opener. We could see places we could only dream about visiting until the advent of cheap flights and overseas accommodation. The telephone most certainly changed our lives. We had embarked on the journey into a faster way to communicate with people. When I began working for myself the mobile telephone had been developed enough for anyone to own one and it was that fact alone which enabled me to run my electrical business efficiently whereas before I had to telephone home for any messages, now people could telephone me wherever I was. Now of course the mobile phone is much more than just a phone, it is a tool for visual communication too, a device which can connect us to the Internet enabling us to get information from anywhere in the world. The Internet enables the world to come into our living rooms, we can see those we are talking with, we can watch television, listen to music without having to store it at home on discs. Technology has advanced so rapidly over the last sixty years and it has done it exponentially. Progress begets progress and is running away with itself. I wonder where it will all end? Things we can do almost immediately today would have taken days to  do when I was a child.

Shirley Anne