New Technology

I finally had to cut the cord. My old laptop just wasn’t going to make the grade when I upgraded Explorer this week; it was originally a re-furbish, so it was about six.  Ancient for a laptop and SLOW.  So knowing that it would only get worse, I trundled myself up to the computer store last weekend.  Obviously I am part of a large contingent of folks who waited until the very last minute to do something about this week’s looming deadline.

You all know that while I am fully capable to doing research if I care about something, too much time thinking about computers doesn’t fill me with elan. I went into the store, found a salesperson (so so young), told him what I use a computer for at home along with my price range.  He showed me three different computers and I chose one.  10 minutes.  I spent longer standing in line to pay for it than I did choosing it.

Now comes the hard part – learning how to negotiate the new systems and software. I remember in my Software Etc. days that software would come in big packages… several disks and a LOT of manual.  These days you get a piece of cardboard with a website and a license number.  My first thought when I opened the box and turned it on was “I am lost in space here”.  Three hours later, I am up and running.  Not proficient yet at getting around or typing on the new keyboard, but at least I’ve got security, internet and, most importantly, OverDrive (for listening to audio books)!

What’s the last book you listened to? (Or read…..)

64 thoughts on “New Technology”

  1. First of all, what looming deadline?
    Second, do you have any idea why, in addition to Overdrive, the library has RBdigital and Libby? Then there’s Cloudlibrary. I don’t do audiobooks myself but when I am looking for some for my granddaughters, it’s confusing to know where to look. Also, some ebooks that are unavailable on Overdrive can be found on Cloudlibrary. Can’t the library integrate their system better?

    My recollection of “the old days” when you would get a disk or set of disks for software and a fat manual is that the manuals were mostly useless and that they never addressed the question you wanted answered. When the manuals were replaced with online help it was no better. The list of “typical problems” they give you to choose from never includes yours. I have always found the only way to solve these things is to just think it through and puzzle it out. It may take a couple of hours but in the end you understand the system better.

    Most recent book I’ve read is Robert McFarlane’s Underland. I’ve moved on to American Radicals by Holly Jackson.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This is a really good question, Bill, that I don’t know the answer to. Although I have two neighbors who both work for the library system so maybe I can ask them. I always figured it was different platforms starting themselves up, owning different books or rights to books but I don’t know that. I have not re-installed the RG digital yet and in trying to get Overdrive working I discovered Libby. I have no idea what Libby is about. I’m with you that it’s very confusing.


      1. libby is an easy way to listen see you list if checked out audio books and see how much time before it’s due back etc

        i like it

        i still have a hard time finding all the buttons to search for books and do all the little ditty stuff you do but it’s good at what it’s good at

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, what looming deadline are you talking about, vs? I’m hoping it doesn’t apply to me, whatever it is.

    I have never listened to an audio book. The closest I can come to that is listening to Truman Capote read his “A Christmas Memory” to a live audience, and many years ago, listening to a reading on MPR of Russell Baker’s wonderful memoir “Growing Up.”

    Last book read “Where Your House Is Now” by Louis Jenkins.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. all the light i can not see by anthony doerr is slow and tedious
    i’m lumbering through it

    i am oblivious to new computer stuff. i am hard on equipment and i toast a computer every two years or so. i have a monster one drive account with 2 tiggs of backup because the one with 400 gigs wasn’t enough.

    my life got weird last two months and stuff started disappearing

    my phone … poof and it was gone
    my lap top … poof it was gone
    my wallet . poof it was gone

    serious stuff.
    the wallet showed up after i canceled everything and so now i have my drivers listened back
    normally i don’t sweat the drivers lose vw because i have been in numerous situations where i don’t have it with me and they can look it up but last month i got a ticket for talking on the phone and the cop thought he was doing me a favor by giving me a phone ticket instead of a missing drivers license ticket (he was such a putz)
    the laptop i use my wife’s that i bought her after i toasted hers 2 or three years ago but she doesn’t use it because work gave her a better one and she uses that all the time but… when i use hers she is very protective and gets after me for being disrespectful of her stuff so i tend not to use it for anything i can use something else on so my phone and new ipad get lots of use but unsealing with my medical insurance nightmare i am required to use a laptop not a ipad or phone.
    my mom gave me an old mac i will fiddle with and see if i can learn a new language (i think i like mac stuff)
    i listen to many many podcasts instead of books ted, tim pharos, on being got diverse and offer spin offs but the weekly interview is a favorite and i go back and listen to archived stuff,

    today i use the computer to watch tv in the bathtub and at work and more than just emails and the regular so i am adding new stuff and deleting some unused apps as i go along

    i saw a blip at the end of cbs sunday morning or maybe it was on the news show after … discussing the year in review and commenting on how the world has changed for the coming year. one question was about concerns and a commentator said that we are all so reliant on computers and technology that the bad guys could completely derail us by messing up our communication satellites and cutting off gps and access to our wifi . we would be lost.
    he is right. i realized after 911 when the phone system got jammed up with all the chaos that the trick to completely disabling our society is as simple as doing an electrical whammy the shorts out everyone’s ability to access their everyday computer phone device stuff.
    when my phone goes down i often look up on my phone how to fix it only to realize that’s not an option . it’s funny the first time, it’s not when i do it a second and third time …

    oh the fine art of no giving a f*** was excellent in audio book form
    any tans the hundred secret senses was an all time favorite
    seth godwin is a regular turn to fix in my life
    his books are quick but good brain food for me

    toni morrison in recent audio list
    bill clinton’s mystery thriller was a kick

    Liked by 3 people

        1. i may not be in the right mind to ummmm my way through the slow opening to it but i have heard its wonderful so i will get through it to the payoff


        1. “All the LIght we Cannot See” added to my WWII fatigue. I am burnt out on CIvil War books and WWII books, no matter how good they might be.


      1. :-O

        (Supposed to be a gasp) ONE SITTING for any book more than about 200 pages is incomprehensible to me. You have far greater powers of concentration than I do, VS. **Raises arms and flaps them down and up in the “Hail Caesar” bowing motion**

        Chris in O-town

        Liked by 3 people

  4. i gather the looming deadline is that explorer which must be her browser of choice is doing a big turning the corner move that will rattle unfamiliar cages for those who use it every day
    i hate updating windows 10 or whatever the heck it is now because you need to do everything in unfamiliar ways

    i’m not great at doing it in familiar ways but unfamiliar really throws me

    good luck vs

    explorer is not an issue for me i’m a google chrome guy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are correct. Explore 7 is no longer being supported by Microsoft. Updating to a new platform was doable except for the fact that the computer is so old that it would not have been able to keep running. It was barely running as it was. And I didn’t want to keep using explore seven and open myself up to a world of hurt by not being protected any longer


  5. The only deadline I sweat is Allotted Time on Planet Earth. I sweat that one a lot.

    Just finished Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas. Loved it. Just finished Late Homecomer. Meh. Starting The Body by Bill Bryson and The Color of Water by James McBride. Re-reading John Dillinger Slept Here by Paul Maccabee.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. On long road trips back in our “poor days” when we owned a car without a tape deck (it was a luxury in 1978), my wife and I would share the driving and read thrillers to each other as we drove to help the driver stay alert. I really miss those days even though my wife is not the greatest reader in the world (not much of an actress), is “pronunciationally” challenged (she’s a bit dyslexic), and stopped frequently to ask me what this or that word meant.

          We eventually graduated to books on cassette tape, then audio CDs. Sooner or later we’ll start putting audiobooks on our phone with Libby or Audible so we don’t have to deal with scratched CDs (library patrons can be such careless, slobs with borrowed CDs. 😦 )

          Chris in Owatonna

          Liked by 4 people

  6. We just listened to Sherman Alexie’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (for a new book club we seem to have joined) – a memoir about his (very difficult) mother after her death. Not an easy read (or listen), but worth it to get the cadence of the rez dialect.

    I just read H is for Hawk, about a woman who adopts and trains a goshawk, their relationship and her coming to terms with her father’s death. Complicated, slow at times, but enlightening.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m feeling chatty this AM. Sorry!

    I’ve had an ongoing battle with Microsoft for decades, a battle I keep losing. Microsoft is such a bully, especially the way it keeps offering “help” I don’t want or need. If I use the word “attached” in an email, Microsoft thinks I’m about to forget to attach a document, so it throws up a helpful reminder screen that I have to manually delete before I can go on with my letter. Mind your own business, Microsoft, and stop messin’ with me.

    This ongoing struggle gives me trouble at least once a week when I am revising a document. When I go to save it, I am told that the software (for reasons of its own) regards this a “read-only” document, so I cannot save it in revised form. I find this infuriating, as I can only save the revised document by giving it a new name. My document files are cluttered with the cadavers of old files Microsoft refused to let me save. These are MY files. Cue the voice of Greta Thunberg: HOW DARE YOU tell me I cannot save them!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my. You have to show me how Microsoft does that. Because I have always said at work that if I need a cattle prod zap every time I type the word attached Because I so often forget the attachment.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I haven’t had to deal with Microsoft operating systems for years but I know what you mean. It seems to be their operating philosophy to insert themselves presumptively with “helpful” prompts, reminders and alerts whenever the system thinks it detects an opening for such interruptions. The helpful shortcuts invariably require a work-around like your need to rename files that take up more time than if the system would leave you alone.
      I do have to deal in a minor way with Microsoft’s apparent philosophy in the context of the Office Suite- Word, PowerPoint and Excel. They are incredibly clunky and maddening compared to non-Microsoft products.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The most amazing case of Microsoft’s lamentable habit of offering unsought help was a feature that started as “Microsoft Bob” and then morphed into the universally reviled “Clippy” virtual assistant. Anybody remember Clippy? Any time you typed the word “Dear” in a document Clippy would pop up on your screen and try to offer you help writing a letter. You had to delete him to go on working. Clippy’s first offense was his hugely oversized eyes, something that made women feel he was leering at them. Clippy was sent to bad software Hell finally when Bill Gates himself got exasperated and threw a fit in which he said, “Clippy has got to DIE!”

        Clippy died, but not Microsoft’s habit of offering unasked-for help.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I also remember Clippy. He drove me nuts because he consistently interrupted my work flow and the thoughts I was trying to document.


        2. I almost hate to admit this but I actually loved Clippy . I can’t really remember why but it was kind of a fun thing for me and in fact I went out onto the Internet and found a whole bunch of different Clippys — different characters — and had them loaded on my machine as well so that I could change out the Clippy every couple of weeks.


    1. I’m also rereading Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination In the Age of Emerson and Melville but had to interrupt it when American Radicals became available from the library.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I mentioned these books to Husband as he was in the kitchen and I was in the living room. He said they sounded like really interesting books, but that Bill was hard to live with. I said I didn’t think so. He was just artistic and had a lot of books! Husband said no, not Bill, it was Melville who was hard to live with!

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I’ve read nothing about Melville from the point of view of his wife but found an interesting perspective on Melville in Melville in Love by Michael Sheldon.


  8. I am partway through Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown (after hearing her on MPR’s noon program), about what it means to “truly belong, in an age of increased polarization”. I’m just starting The Women in the Castle, a novel by Jessica Shattuck about three widows from German high society in the years after the end of WW2.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hey Kids-

    How can you actively listen long enough for an audio book? If I had to sit still for that long I’d fall asleep. Or my mind would wander.
    I always have some background noise while I’m working. Typically music. And I learned to do this from my Dad and milking cows. You know, the whole ‘Music makes them give more milk’ thing. Sort of. Music may cover the random noises that might startle them, but these days, there’s so much other noise around the parlor or barn that adding music just ramps up the overall volume. And in general, they just try to keep the entire operation calm, not just while being milked.
    I digress.
    There are some Podcasts I try to listen too. But I’m always multitasking. I pick up snippets here and there and if I hear the guys suddenly laughing, I have to go back and replay the last 5 minutes to figure out what they’re laughing about.
    Even driving; Start a podcast, pretty soon I’m looking at that tanker truck and wondering what’s in there and where it’s going and where it came from and when I wanted to drive a truck and how that would have been and there’s that farm I always liked and… what did he say? Why are they laughing?
    Same with me and sports when my kids play. Watch the ball, watch the ball, (bird swoops low) what bird was that, oh look, a red car. I had a red truck. there’s a truck looks like mine. Crowd cheers. What?

    Out in the tractors doing fieldwork. That’s fairly repetitive and I could probably actually listen to a podcast or book and get most of it. But the tractor radios don’t have bluetooth built in. Or I’d need headphone or earbuds to listen from my phone and that’s just too much trouble.
    Such is life.
    First World Problems.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It’s interesting how differently our minds work. I usually have no trouble concentrating on one thing for long periods at a time, almost to the exclusion of being able to do two things at once. I can walk and chew gum at the same time, but that’s about it. Sometimes tim’s comments, like the one above about stuff he’s recently lost etc., leave me breathless. I would consider my life in a total state of chaos if that were my reality. He probably would be bored to death in mine.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes. I am a born multi-tasker. The multi-tasking approach was necessary to all women trained to be farm wives. My Grandmother could have multiple tasks and projects lined up to work on shifting from one to the next. I am very much like her in that regard. Doing one thing at a time is just torment to me.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I can listen to something while doing a Sudoku puzzle or working on a mindless task like doing the dishes. But I don’t consider myself a good multitasker at all. I would have done much better in the work world if I had ever found a job that allowed me to focus on one thing at a time, but the expectation always seems to be that you have to have three or four balls in the air at once and flit from one thing to the next.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I am reading “‘Founding Mothers” by Cokie Roberts (about the women who supported all of our Founding Fathers – doing things like keeping the farm or the family business going with small children to tend while the men gadded about in Philadelphia). Also just started “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans. The book I just sent back to the library was a collection of short stories a friend recommended – well, not so much recommended as, “please read this so I can talk to someone about it.” It was… disturbing. I won’t recommend it to anyone else. Not even so we can talk about why it was disturbing.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I grieve for Cokie Roberts—I loved her history segments on NPR news and I miss that, especially her focus on women. NPR founding mothers are gems and have accomplished so much.

      Liked by 4 people

  11. I have had company this weekend, and I have not gotten to this question. Last really good books I have listened to:

    The Gifted School by Bruce Holzinger
    The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes
    Educated by Tara Westover (on trip to AZ)
    The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (narrator is Tom Hanks)

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I am currently listening to The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Recently finished The Last Days of Dogtown. A good reader is a must for an audiobook. If the reader has any annoying mannerisms, or if I just don’t like the voice, I don’t get very far with it.

    Some authors are especially good readers. David Sedaris reads wonderfully.

    Liked by 6 people

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