Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Electronic Gizmos are Driving Me Nuts!

My electronic gizmos are overwhelming me and driving me nuts. In our two houses, my wife and I have, 22 active handheld remotes, 2 computers, two smart phones, two modem/routers and two landline phones. We have 128 active and ever-changing passwords that are necessary to operate this stuff. The computers talk to two iClouds and several other clouds of questionable pedigree. They talk to each other and to both phones. The smarty-pants phones talk to each other as well as the computers and they talk to our security system. Even the landline talks through the cable provider to one of our computers. Everything except the handheld remotes passes digital photos and other information back and fourth directly and through the various clouds whenever it pleases and not when it pleases us. I can even talk (literally) to a gal name Siri inside my phone and she talks back to me. E.g. “Hey Siri, what’s the capital of Spain?“ Siri replies, “Here are some boutiques within 300 miles where you can buy Spanish clothing.”

I have no idea where digital photos and files reside any more but it seems that when I alter or delete something from one gizmo it gets altered or deleted from the other gizmos and probably rapidly fills the various clouds, which I am sure are watched over by Putin’s hackers.

Sometimes the gear plays impish tricks on me like a couple of mornings ago when the security system, which was supposed to be disarmed, made video of me shuffling through the living room wearing only a T-shirt. Of course it sent this to its cloud before sending me a “notification” that it had detected “activity” in my living room. I have no idea how to delete it. I’m sure it will resurface in four years if I decide to run for president against Trump.

Sometimes we go for help to the experts who sell us this stuff. In a typical visit we are greeted by the millennials who only thinly disguise their disdain for more geezers whom they suspect of being deep into irreversible dementia. Our visits usually leave us more confused than before and limping home defeated with yet another new $120 external hard drive.

At this point I am afraid to take a photograph and unable to access the landline voicemails that are piling up on my computer. Voicemails don’t really matter though because they are all from telemarketers or worthy organizations seeking money. These will call again in a few days or a few hours when I am frying bacon, sleeping, watching a movie, about to take a shower, using the toilet, entertaining guests, or some combination of the above.

Will somebody please stop the world or at least turn it back to 1958?


Anna Douglass Ojanen said...

Dad, you are not alone. I am just barely young enough to be a millennial, but I can assure you that I get extremely aggravated with all this "syncing" technological crap.

I have decided to never use the f-word. I will use the s-word from now on: sync.

Also, I frequently employ your common refrain: "This system was designed by chimpanzees."

Indeed, much of the problem is not the technology itself but the sloppy management systems. They are the real cluster-sync.

James Douglass said...

HA! It was pretty entertaining watching you and mom fuss with your gadgets over the Christmas Holiday. I think that was before you had even gotten your own smartphone. Is there any hope that the smartphone might allow you to get rid of some of your other gadgets like your ipod touch, car gps, e-reader and landline? I've never used the "iCloud" but I use another cloud called "dropbox" for the files that I want duplicated on my laptop, desktop, and office computer. I would be suspicious of any cloud made by Apple, because of Apple's insistence on organizing your file system in an opaque and mysterious way.