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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

A few years back I bought a belt.  After the purchase I realized the belt came with a secret ninja type bottle opener.  Can you imagine my excitement?  If you can, just let me know in the comments below!  Anyway, I was incredibly excited that I purchased a twofer, (two for one). Not only could I keep my pants from falling down, I could open a bottle anytime, anywhere!

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Disappointment set in quickly.  Almost every bottle, or at least every bottle I need to open is a twist top. Bottle openers are everywhere, on utility knives, survival tools, key chains and places I certainly would not have thought of, belt buckles being one.

Don’t you think that in this day and age somebody would have gotten in touch with the bottle opening people and let them know that bottles are now all twist top? They need to stop with the traditional bottle openers and start selling twist top openers so we can all save our fingers from getting shredded!  

Now my friends, if one person stands up and demands a change in bottle openers, well they will think you are crazy, but if three people stand up, can you imagine three people standing up and demanding a change in bottle openers?  Why they will think its a movement, but could you imagine if we all stood up, hundreds if not thousands of us stand up and demand a change in bottle openers?  Why they would think its a revolution, and friends that is just what it would be, The 2018 Bottle Opener Revolution!  All you Arlo Guthrie fans will understand the above reference. The rest of you may want to find half an hour and have a listen to Alice’s Restaurant. 

Now to get back on track with this blog.  We are just waiting for it to come around on the keyboard. Here it comes!

A year went past, and another one and I never got to use my secret belt buckle bottle opener.  And then it happened. Walking through the grocery store we found a four pack bottle of soda, limited edition, with, you know it, non-twist off bottle caps!

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The first bottle I totally messed up.  I was at home in sweatpants.  I reached into the fridge took out the bottle and without thinking tried to twist the top off shredding my fingers in the process.  Pissed off I reached into a kitchen drawer and used the traditional kitchen bottle opener to open the bottle and only thought of my belt buckle moments later.  Damn!

The second bottle was a success(?) I was at work and had brought one of the bottles of soda.  When I went to open it I realized I didn’t have a bottle opener.  I looked around at work, no bottle opener.  I have a few unorthodox methods of opening a bottle and was looking for the proper surface to do just that when it struck me!  I was wearing my belt! Yay.

Then I found another problem.  In order to use my secret bottle opener I had to unbuckle my belt and losen it some as the opener is located on the underside of the buckle.   I don’t know about the rest of you, but undoing my belt at work and using it to open my soda bottle is not what I consider appropriate.  Heading into the washroom with a bottle of soda is also not something I would recommend either, Finally I slipped into the warehouse hid behind a pallate of boxes and did the deed.  Finally I got to use my belt to open a bottle. 

Money well spent.

 

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There is a term in the Air Force known as the bio-line.  Psychologists started looking hard at this bio-line back in the 80’s. Basically flying a plane uses the left half of the brain, all the additional (military in this case) information is processed through the right brain.  During certain situations pilots were passing out in the cockpit during simulations.  If a pilot of a fighter jet passes out or becomes unresponsive the jet levels out.  Which is a bad thing because then the enemy can lock onto its target.  They figured out that there was so much information that the right brain was starting to encroach on the duties of the left brain which over stimulated the pilot who would then black out.  Oddly this only happened in simulations.  Only when the pilots were able to answer question anonymously did the truth come out.  When in flight pilots instinctively knew that they were being overwhelmed and would turn off all ‘non essential’ equipment and would fly into battle using their wits more than anything.  I understand that thankfully for the most part this issue has been resolved. But it does go to show that sometimes technology can be too much.

There is a large cable company that deals with cutting edge equipment in the communications field.  There is a constant stream of new products hitting the market and ending up in our homes.  The problem is the future really is now.  This stuff is coming out so fast and furious it even leaves the installers confused at times.  Not all that long ago a TV had two ports, one for the plug so that it plugs into the wall and another for the cable that went from the wall to the back of the TV.  Then came the cable box which was still pretty simple, cable goes from the wall, to the cable box, and from the cable box to the TV.  Now there are a multitude of cable boxes, just for standard digital TV itself, not that pesky analogue stuff of 8 years ago.  We also have a multitude of HD boxes and let’s not forget about HDDVR’s. There are boxes that have HDMI cords, others have component cables.  There are host boxes where you can have one DVR and watch that DVR from the ‘slave’ boxes which can be in other rooms in the house.  Some cable boxes are the size of two decks of cards, others are as large as an old record player, (remember record players?).  Basically there is a lot of equipment that technicians have to deal with.

The following conversation took place between a technician which installs this type of equipment and a co-worker who works behind the scenes with the different types of equipment.  In no way is this conversation a reflection on either of the two parties, it is however, a reflection on how fast things are changing in the field.

Technician: “I’m bringing these cable boxes back to you because the DVR portion of the box is either shut off or broken”

Co-worker:  “The cable box in your hand?  That’s the one that you are having DVR problems with?”

Tech: “Yes, and I have three more that I tried and they are all having the same problem.”

Co-worker: “Well the problem is that this particular box is not a DVR it is a straight HD box.”

Tech: “No it is an HD DVR combo box”

Co-Worker: “No I’m telling you this is a straight HD box.  There is another box that looks just like this one which is an HD DVR, but this particular box is HD only.”

Technician flips over the back exposing the bottom of the box and points at the cooling fan. “See there is the fan so it is a DVR.”

Co-Worker: “Cooling fan or not this is an HD box. I can tell because this one says DCH3200 and I know that the DCH3200 is an HD box.  The DCH3416 which looks exactly like a DCH3200 except that it says DCH3416 is the DVR.  The other way I can tell you is if you look inside the box, between the air vents you can see there is no hard drive.  If there is no hard drive it cannot record and if you can’t record it is not a DVR”

At this point another technician enters the conversation.  “You can tell by weight” he says, “This box is light in comparison to a DVR and that is because the hard drive is heavy, no question this is an HD box.”

Original technician realizes his mistake and is starting to chuckle.  “Okay” he says, “It’s an HD box but I don’t like it anymore, can I still give it back and get some DVR’s?”

Co-Worker goes and gets the tech some DVR’s which are completely different, different colour, different dimensions, different look figuring it would be easier for the tech to spot the difference amongst all the other pieces of equipment on the truck.

Tech: “This is an HD DVR?”

Co-worker: “Yes”

Tech: “How do you know for sure?”

“Because it says right on the front DCX3400”

“Wouldn’t it be easier if it said DCX3400 DVR”

“Yes, yes it would.  But then we wouldn’t get to talk nearly as much.”

“Well there is that.”

“Plus this box is a little heavier, it does have a cooling fan, and if you hold it at an angle and look through the grating you can see the hard drive”

“I’m getting to old for this.”

“I hear you brother, but now we have the difficult task of finding the correct power cord that powers this puppy!”

Technician looks like he wants to cry as they wander over to the 5 shelves of power cords

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My grandmother liked tell the story of the first time she saw an automobile.  She was young and living in England  and somebody came down her street in a horseless carriage.  Everyone got to go for a ride, when her turn came it scared her, how could it possibly be moving on its own? So she jumped off.  To my knowledge she never did learn to drive.  I always envied that particular generation.  Imagine having lived before the advent of the automobile.  Then seeing the first ones, and living well into the next century.  I thought never again will the world see such an amazing transformation. 

So the other night my wife and I were lying in bed reading electronic books on our ipods…

The other day I was telling a story to one of my co-workers and had to stop in the middle and explain that at the time there were no cell phones.  A few minutes later I had to explain that there were no computers either. 

Sometimes I feel old. Is this how my grandmother felt , what of her grandmother? 

And what will my grand nephews and nieces see?

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Robo Raptor

I love technology.  However there is a part of me that would love to live off the grid.  Self sufficient, no job to go too, have a little windmill or solar energy, no computers or phones, but who am I kidding?  While I would have a hard time giving up the internet, I think I could do it. I could not however, give up cable.  But I do wonder/worry sometimes that it is all just too much.  

The other day my sister asked her son if he wanted to play with cards.  Now understand I always have a deck of cards near me.  I have three at my desk at work.  A few in my backpack which goes to work with me.  At least one deck on my nightstand.  And when I look at my end table I see three decks, but I know there are a bunch more in the drawer.  Remember my background is magic, I’ve learned a thing or two and while I don’t perform much I’m addicted to what magicians call card flourishes.   And no, if you click on the link that is not me, I don’t have the time or patience to be that good.  That aside,  sad as it is to say, cards play a big role in my life.   

So I found it a little worrisome when my sister said: “little boy, would you like to play with cards? go get my iphone”  I do play solitaire on my ipod so it should not have been a shock to me.  But I did start to wonder does the boy even know what a deck of cards is?  Well of course he does.  His grandparents own a magic shop.  But how many kids don’t, or soon won’t.  My sister found a hipsta app for the phone.  I looked it up in the app store. It is a Lego application.  Yes you can build things with lego on your iphone.   

Today I got a call from my mother-in-law, she could not get online with her laptop.  She could with her ipod.  I know she could with her desktop because that actually has a cable.  Later in the evening I was thinking about that call, my wife, myself and my mother-in-law each have three ways to access the internet and god forbid if one of those ways goes down, we are lost. Just the other day my wife asked me if I remember dial-up? Of course I remember dial up, heck I remember life before computers. Dial up was horrible, you turned on your computer went out had something to eat, got yourself a drink, used the bathroom, and if you were lucky when you got back to your computer, you were online.  Then it would take a minute or two to actually get to a website.  Yet it was amazing, fascinating the world was at our fingertips.  Now if the site doesn’t come up before I finish clicking on it in my favourites I worry something is wrong with my connection.  And I do find myself getting bored surfing the web, even though the world is literally at my fingertips.  

I used to keep up with technology,  I am confused by the 3G and 4G thing, more interesting, I don’t really care.  Is it just me, or doesn anybody else find it sad that I have three ways to access the internet, four if you count the play station, I’ve a cell phone,  a robotic vacuum cleaner, a robot lizard that is sensative to sounds and will patrol the house on his own, yet I’m still behind the times.

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I was in Barnes and Noble where they are heavily advertising ‘The Nook” which if you don’t know is an electronic book. 

I was passing the information desk when I happened to hear the following conversation between Grandmother and Grandaughter (10 or 11 yrs old)

Grandaughter: “What is a nook?”

Grandmother: “Its a quiet little place where you can go to read”

I love technology and we will be getting a Nook but I really identified with Grandma.

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