Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I am not a tech dinosaur!

One of the things I dislike about being in this Third Third is the popular perception that we don’t know our way around technology. I have created my own podcasts, mixed my own music on Garage Band, and created lots of iMovies. I use computer short cuts, know how to Skype, and update websites with HTML. But…

The Apple TV Remote Example

This is my Apple TV remote. A skinny silver thing with three buttons.

This is a test: Can you figure out how to watch Netflix with this? What buttons would you press to make it go?

The instruction booklet that came in the box lists six things you can do with your remote. I know about menu, pause, and play. That only went so far. Frustrated, I’d start pressing buttons and every now and then, a good thing would happen on the TV. But I was so busy pressing buttons, I couldn’t remember what did what.

Finally fed up, I Googled “Apple TV Remote,” and all sorts of advice popped up: how to rewind, fast forward, go into slow motion. Things like, “hold this button for 3 seconds while you do that to the other button” and other things happen. Who are these people, these good Samaritans who figure odd stuff out and then tell the rest of us on Google? Are they holding buttons on everything for 3 seconds, testing things?

Is it so hard for a manufacturer to include all this in the instruction booklet?

The Blog Bog

When I started this blog, I started it on Tumblr. I did the first two posts, and then friends tried to “follow” me. Uh, oh. They all wanted a post to go right into their inboxes, but with Tumblr, you have to “join” Tumblr. Then you have to create a screen name. If Tumblr already has someone with your name, they suggest rather bizarre new ones. That’s why I have a follower named pleasanttrashtyphoon and yourwhomeuniverse. She’s named both those things because the whole business was a little confusing. And nothing goes into your inbox; you have to go visit Tumblr and have things “fed” to you. Kind of like going to Facebook and having your friends’ posts in your feed.

But do any of us really need another thing to check? (See future post on wasting time…)

So I switched to Blogger and re-entered my first two posts. Picked out the template with the fonts and design and colors I wanted. But when I previewed it, it wasn’t what I’d picked. So I called Steve, whose What Do I Know? blog has been around for years with all sorts of interesting posts and features. Steve came over and we spent about 4 hours of Steve showing me around, teaching me new doodads. I’d forgotten that cutting-and-pasting usually messes up the HTML by adding all sorts of unwanted things to the template so I had a lot of clean-up. Hooray! My blog mostly looks the way it’s supposed to.

But there are still things I don’t understand. Like,
  • why is the title of my post the nice blue I picked but older posts lose the color?
  • And how do I exit a bulleted list to go back to my initial format?
  • And why now, a few hours later, is the nice blue color now navy blue?

My daughter once showed me a game on her phone. No instructions. “What’s the objective of the game? How do we play? What are the rules?” “No need,” she said. Then she’d click on something, triggering something else happening, and we’d go to a new level. Miraculously! Finally after a couple of hours of this, I said,
 She said, “I was secretly Googling it whenever you were concentrating on the phone.”

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