9

Is My Phone Smart or Stubborn?

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It was absolutely beautiful at the retreat I went to in July, so I wanted to take some pictures. It was an unusual urge for me. Part of my non-love affair with technology is a healthy ambivalence about photography and videography.

I really didn’t/don’t mind looking at other people’s travel pictures when they were/are actually travel pictures or pictures of people I knew/know. I don’t need to look at more than a couple of pictures of someone I don’t know. Back in the Dark Ages, you had to ask someone to take your picture in front of a scene or object. It seriously limited the number of pictures of the traveler.

You can guess where I’m going with this. I really don’t want our civilization represented in future ages by 253 pictures of baby Doris’ first birthday party and 25 selfies of John getting wasted on his 21st birthday, repeated several million times all over the world.

Anyway, I woke up the phone and, sure enough there was an icon that looked like a camera lens. So I tapped it. Something came up in the viewfinder. Yeah!! Something intuitive. The screen says to center the box on what I want to take a picture of before I snap it. OK.

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There’s a “Next” arrow at the bottom of the screen. Of course I followed it. There were some technical directions about photography that I didn’t understand (I thought this was point and click).  Tap “Next” one more time. More advanced directions that I don’t need. It’s a bunch of trees and a lake.

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This appeared to be the last screen so I tapped on it. (I don’t know why. It seemed to work everywhere else.) Still had the words on the screen. Suddenly I was looking at myself. Remembered something about gently shaking the phone to get it to reverse the screen. Apparently in my frustration, I have shaken the phone sufficiently to reverse the screen. Something clicks. Great. I have a picture of me. Shaking “gently” does not reverse the lens.

I texted my daughter. She said to ignore the words, they would go away after I had taken a few pictures. (?) All I had to do was point and click. So I let it go to sleep and woke it up again. The camera was pointed in the correct direction. I pointed and clicked a couple of times. I found the gallery on my own. (I was impressed.) What do you know? My pictures. My fuzzy pictures (none of my face). Oh yeah. I was supposed to get the subject in the box and let it focus. Oops.

Went back out and tried again. I could see it focusing. This is not the camera for an action shot. I followed its rules. The words went away. The pictures turned out beautifully. I got rid of the icky ones. I’m still not sure why sometimes it would snap when I tapped it with my finger and other times I needed to use my nail.

Verdict: Stubborn

But it does fit into my back pocket better than the old one, and isn’t that what’s important?

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(See – I’m learning already. I much prefer the vertical pictures on the slideshow. But putting them on “paper”, the horizontal pictures look better)

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6

Critter Capers: Kommando’s New Hobby

Hello humans and cats with computers. I hope it’s as nice there as it is here. We’ve had full Cat TV for the last couple of days. Drapes and windows open. Sun. Birds. Two channels: dining room and living room. Hopefully the upstairs channel will be available soon. It’s harder to watch the things in the window wells (I think the humans call them frogs), but we can see a lot farther. We can sleep in the sun on the inside porch too. Purrrr.

Before it got so nice, Blondie (B for short) taught me a new hobby. She has a really little box that shows pictures and she talks into it. But it also does this:

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Pretty cool, huh?

B says I don’t like to get my picture taken. That’s because you couldn’t even see me in the first few pictures she took. I guess it took her a couple of days to figure out that since most of me is white, I need a dark background. I could put a dumb blonde joke here but I’m kinda blonde too.

Anyway, now that she knows how to do it, I think I like it.

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I just wish they would clean the house. I don’t know who Mr. Beer is, but I don’t want his stuff in my pictures.

My Grandma used to take lots and lots of pictures. But you can’t see them on the computer. They’re on some kind of paper. Snoops says they’re delicious. They’re all of the same people and cats. Some of them look like Mom and Dad, but better looking. Grandma must not have known too many people.

B isn’t around when I do most of my really cute stuff like lie in Mom’s arms in bed. Maybe she should teach Dad about this. He has one of those little boxes too.

Now that I think about it, I don’t know what to do with all of these pictures. Do they just live in the computer forever? Do new ones come and eat the old ones?

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Guess I just have to lay here and think about it for a while.

 

5

Happy as a Trog

TROGLODYTE

1:  a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in caves

2:  a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes

The other night when I was watching “Person of Interest” on TV, the woman who is the brawn of the operation (I love that! I also love that they are finally letting Jim Caviezel smile – he looks so much better) says that she has found “some sort of Bible.” To which the intellectual says something along the lines of “Yes, that’s the Gutenberg Bible.”  They did not elaborate on what the Gutenberg Bible was. I wondered if they thought everyone knew or if they just moved on since it was not important to the plot.

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a Gutenberg press in a Movable Type world. Ironically, while moveable type is the current standard in web design according to their press release, its roots are older than Gutenberg. It was developed in China by Bi Sheng in the mid-11th century. Gutenberg introduced metal moveable type to Europe in the mid-15th century. Note: the problem with trying to be an intellectual smart-aleck is that either people won’t get the reference or they will be able to show you why it was a stupid analogy to start with.

I am typing this on a desktop PC. I may be the last college-educated person in the country without a laptop. I saw an advertisement on TV for a product that promises to be a laptop when you need it to be and a tablet when you want it to be. I have no idea what that means. That should probably bother me.

I guess I have a stupid phone. Is that what they call a non-smart phone? I can make calls on it. I can even text if I don’t mind hitting the key two or three times to get the different letters. I’ve always hated telephones. I don’t know how to make small-talk.

They probably shouldn’t allow me to have a cell phone in the first place. I’m not allowed to use it at work, and I never remember to turn it on any other time. Most people know this and don’t bother calling me on it. There are two people who insist on calling me on it. They always wonder why it takes me days to get back to them.

We still have a low-definition TV (much to my husband’s dismay). He tells me the sound is also bad on it. I’m not sure. I can tell what the people are saying – most of the time. As soon as I find something on television really worth watching, I’ll worry about getting something better to watch it on.

We don’t have a Blu-Ray anything. We haven’t watched 90 percent of the regular DVD’s we have, so why bother? And the headsets are just creepy to me – people walk around looking like they’re talking to themselves. And then wonder why they’re being ignored when they do ask someone a question.

Even my Kindle is pretty low-tech. I have a regular screen, and only use it to read books. I have a keyboard, but no use for it. I love that I can take it to work and not worry about it getting dog-eared in my locker. I also love that I don’t have to remember to bring a new book when I’m close to finishing the old one.

A couple of people have asked me to go on Twitter. I don’t get Twitter. For every witty bon mot, there seems to be glut of “just saw jen. can’t believe what’s she’s wearing.” Then you have to go to Instagram (or whatever) to actually see it. Of course, it would probably make more sense if I had a smart phone and saw the tweets real-time.

I belong to two LinkedIn networks, one Google circle, and Facebook. I am guessing my old MySpace account is still floating around somewhere too. All of those people probably think that I have moved to Tibersk (or wherever you have to be these days to be unconnected). I think I’m just too anti-social for social media.

Now that I think about it, the Troglodytes might be insulted that I am comparing myself to them. After all, permanent shelter and fire were cutting edge in their day.