9,983,983 Words About Tablets

I wanted an iPad in the worst way because I thought it was really cool and would be really useful.

But I was wrong.

It is cool but not useful in the way I want or need it to be.

I can’t type fast enough on it to make it work for me as a tool that increases my productivity.

Not a big fan of the keyboards you can attach to them either.

So it becomes something to use for entertainment purposes.

9,983,983 Words About Tablets

I am not going to share that many words about tablets here, especially since I just said the iPad is good for entertainment purposes.

If I had significant spare cash I might consider getting one for reading books and watching shows.

It is pretty damn good and useful for those things, but when it comes to a need for writing I don’t like it.

That sucker just doesn’t do it for me.

I have been using one that was given to me by the office for years now so I am pretty familiar with it.

Familiar enough to feel comfortable saying it is not my first choice for a productivity device.

I know some people who say the MS Surface does a good job with that but I have never had the opportunity to find out first hand.

Maybe one day, I am very curious.

For now I think my Mac is doing a pretty good job of taking care of most of my needs, but I admit I am always interested in getting another gadget or two.

Maybe I’ll win the lottery and get a chance to scratch that itch.

The Stupidity Of A Smartphone

I am relatively certain Stephen Stills never imagined a man would write a post about the stupidity of smartphones while listening to Love The One You’re With.

If he did, well I am certain at best he imagined that said man would be writing about a person and not about the conflict he felt about an impulse buy.

And I am sure that it never would have occurred to him that this mystery man would think about whether this song was used for commercial purposes before because he wondered if maybe he had stumbled onto an interesting marketing idea.

Goodbye Millions

Anyhoo, that is neither here nor there because I am not going to try to sell Apple or the Android manufacturers of the world upon using that song as the basis of an ad/marketing campaign.

Instead, I’ll say I got tired of my Droid’s failing me after 18 months and purchased an iPhone today.  It wasn’t exactly an impulse buy, but it wasn’t as well researched as many of my purchases are.

It was a ‘damn I’m sick of my ‘Droid not working I heard Target is offering a $250 gift card for people who buy the iPhone maybe I’ll take advantage of it.’

So I set out for the local store, asked if they had the 64GB version and when I heard no decided to buy the 16GB even though I was nervous it wasn’t enough.

You should know I called three other stores to ask if they had  any in stock and was told no, so I hitched up my pants and said ‘screw it.’

I am resourceful, I am good at making things work.

Figured there was no reason I couldn’t make decision work for me too, but that didn’t stop me from posting a question on Facebook just to see if anyone thought that 16GB was a good idea.

Almost everyone told me it was a mistake to go with 16GB, I did it anyway.

Nothing like a good challenge to whet my whistle.

Old Jack Steiner will swim upstream, pour gasoline over his head while dancing in fire and challenge Zeus, Apollo and Athena to fights without any concern about whether it is sensible

Do As Dad Says, Not As He Does

The kids have heard me tell them more than once to focus on working smarter and not harder.

They have heard me say sometimes it makes sense to take a deep breath before rushing into things and to take a moment to look around.

Hell, they have heard me tell them that when it comes to technology there is always something bright and shiny to chase after and that there are new deals daily.

Most of the time they have seen me follow those suggestions but today I had enough and I just went for it.

So why am I writing a post that sounds like I am second guessing myself?

Because I sort of am, I am a bit nervous about it. I am sort of wondering if I made a mistake in changing phones because that memory thing could be an issue.

But I am not always the biggest fan of change and this is one that has some impact upon me. I am a heavy user of cell phones and if this doesn’t work because of memory issues I’ll want to kick myself for not having handled it differently.

That being said I am also the guy that tells the kids to remember that sometimes anticipation is the worst part.

Sometimes you can’t know how something will be until you experience it.

It is not a life sentence, it is just a cellphone and I don’t have to limit my belief or expectations to those of the crowd because sometimes the wisdom of crowds isn’t always so wise.

educationandschooling

Sometimes I Miss Simple

Sometimes I miss the simplicity of the old days when setting up a new phone meant plugging it in, checking the cables and listening for a busy signal or dial tone.

It didn’t require hours to make sure each app was downloaded and each screen was organized for maximum efficiency.

My middle schooler likes to try and tease me about having grown up during the olden days.

“Daddy, you were born in the sixties and that makes you old.”

I laugh and say it doesn’t faze me, doesn’t feel old or all that long ago.

“Daddy, you went to high school in the eighties.”

I laugh again, “dear daughter, I have spent my entire life teasing people about anything and everything. A rookie like you doesn’t ruffle my feathers, now pass the neon shirt I am going to the John Hughes marathon at the drive-in.”

****

“Daddy” used to dislike change quite a bit.

My girl’s ‘old man’ worked at trying to keep life fairly stable because I knew what I had and didn’t feel the need to try and improve it.

It was better and easier to maintain the status quo than to shake things up.

Well you all know that life doesn’t always cooperate and that mine was shaken and shook up. You know I had to learn how to roll with the punches and accept changes that once were irritating.

I maybe be a bit uncertain about the new phone, but I have perspective.

It is just a phone. Just another tool and the utility of a tool is always based upon the skill of its user.

All I need to do is figure out how be maximize its utility by doing my best to learn how to use it.

It may or may not become the best fun I ever had, but for now I am going to focus on loving the one I am with.

69 Reasons Why We Hate Being Slaves To Technology

NOT for sale: human trafficking

I spent more money than I wanted to upgrading my computer today and it wasn’t entirely by choice.  I opted not to buy a Mac because I didn’t want to spend that much on a computer but that didn’t prevent me from feeling a bit crazed because of how much it cost.

Some of the Apple Fan boys are shaking their heads now because Macs tend to last longer than PCs and consequently if you amortize the cost of the unit over several years the cost goes down and satisfaction goes up, or so they argue.

There is some truth to that but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to put out a chunk of change to get that sort of satisfaction.

This time around I couldn’t quite bring myself to spend that kind of cash because I have too many other expenses to worry about but neither could I buy a basic machine because we are slaves to technology.

The Slave’s Life For Me

I really would prefer to be singing “A Pirate’s Life for Me” because it is more fun. Reminds me of being a kid at Disneyland, Pirates Of The Caribbean has always been one of my favorite rides and let’s face it, that is a good life.

Disney pirates get to pillage, plunder and chase wenches and that has to be better than being a slave to technology. Has to be more fun than worrying about whether your hard drive is going to die and if you have backed everything up.

Better than worrying about whether you have learned all the ins and outs of the new computer and the frustration you feel when you realize that even though you are tech savvy you are missing something.

But if people call you The Jack Steiner, author of the mighty dad blog, TheJackB you know that you can’t just give into frustration  and defenestrate your computer, new or old nor can you find a good person to defenestrate.

You do know that only good people get defenestrated, it is like that line in Shawshank where Red tells Andy everyone is innocent.

But that is neither here nor there because the fact is that even though I have a Smith-Corona typewriter I am not going to pull it out of the closet, nor am I going to give up my cellphone for an old rotary phone.

In large part it is because those tools can’t compete with the modern ones we have access too.

Technology Has Enslaved Us All

When we talk about the need to work smarter and more effectively we’re talking about using technology because it makes us faster, more productive and more efficient.

And when you grow accustomed to some things you are loathe to go back to the way things used to be.

If my old computer were a pet I might have had to consider putting it down because that poor guy had cataract filled eyes that clouded its vision and a busted hip that made it impossible walk.

So instead of bounding up and down the stairs like he once did he just peed on the floor and laid in it because all of the other options had been removed.

Fortunately that wasn’t the case so you won’t see me shed a tear or talk about how much I’ll miss that my pal because the attachment is different and frankly I am pissed off that it decided to die now.

Doesn’t it know I just paid to move into a new place and that I have a Bar Mitzvah to cover.

Fucking computer.

What Kind of Protection Do You Use?

Zelda External Hard Drive

Zelda External Hard Drive (Photo credit: astroot)

It is almost 2 AM and I am the very foolish man who isn’t asleep in bed. I could make up a great story about why I am not yet asleep but I don’t really have one.

Well, that is not entirely true. I have a story about why I haven’t gone to sleep yet but it is not great. Heck, I am not even sure it is good but it is what I have right now so I might as well share it with you.

Part of the reason I am still awake is because I was so busy with the birthday party and my kids I didn’t get much time on the ‘puter.  As some of you know last week we suffered from technical difficulties so I was forced to wipe the hard drive so that I could start over.

I did my best to back up all of my files so that I could simply reinstall and restore but have had more difficulty with that than I would like to say.

Tools and Resources

My tools and resources included DVDs and several external hard drives all of which I have used many times before. That is my way of saying that I am not a Luddite, Technophobe or rube when it comes to technology.

Call me a self taught “expert” who through this latest experience decided that I need more protection which is why I signed up for Backblaze (affiliate link). Here is a quick blurb about them:

Backblaze would like people to know that its service is the easiest way to backup all their data online. It requires no user set up; backs up unlimited data, and can also help locate a lost or stolen computer all for just five dollars per month.  Backblaze’s service delivers peace of mind with the assurance that users can access their files, any time, from any computer with an Internet connection. To learn more about Backblaze and this study visit blog.backblaze.com.

I did some basic research and decided that I liked what I saw enough to sign up with Backblaze (affiliate link) so that I didn’t have to deal with the same sort of nonsense again.

What I liked about them was the cost, ease of use and that it would help protect me if my computer was stolen as well as if the hardware failed.

There are other companies out there, but you have to pick one and this is where I am hanging my hat today.

Are You Protected?

Are you protected? What sort of arrangements have you made? Things happen and that is not just hype or hysteria.

The New Gmail

I used to hate Gmail. I didn’t find it useful or intuitive. I suppose that you can attribute that to a love of folders that developed from a million years of using Outlook.

I have since changed my mind and come to love it. Ok, love is probably too strong a word but I am undoubtedly a big fan of Gmail and Google in general. I use Gmail, the calendar, Google Docs, Google+, Google Voice and the search engine daily. It is fair to say that Google has changed my life.

It is also fair to say that even though I am a big fan I have made a point to maintain some other email accounts and online tools. I don’t expect Google to disappear but then again I never expected Worldcom to fail either. There is value in diversification and not keeping all of your eggs in one basket. Things happen.