When my stuff was taken a few weeks ago and my backup laptop’s battery died last week, it was a double kick in the teeth to me as a tech guy. My philosophy on technology can be summed up by a like Spock said in classic Star Trek in the episode The Ultimate Computer.
“Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them.”
I like computer, I find convenience with them, but I never figured I was dependent on them. When I see people on public transit bend over looking at their smartphones, I feel sorry for them because I feel they’re ignoring the world around them for the excitement of whatever is trending on Facebook and YouTube. In one moment, a lot of the technology I had depended on was gone and I felt lost and confused. The thing that has saved me has been my redundancy obsession. I have backups for backups so even with my losses I could reconstruct a lot of passwords and locations of important documents. It has been frustrating and time consuming, as well as expensive, but I’m getting back on my electronic feet.
It’s weird that I feel depended yet not dependent on technology. I like tech but I don’t want technology to be the master of me. I want to have options to use the type of technology I need. I try to take life experiences and apply them to tech to make things easier. It seems like an obvious statement but I’ve seen too many people not understand that concept. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people at the bus stop getting frustrated because they didn’t know when the bus arrives. There at a bus stop that has options for texting the info, going to the website for info or looking at the bus schedule posted on the stop. They will pace, crane to look for the bus or ask people if they know when the bus will arrive. They will ask this while they’ve turned down the smartphone that is playing music, the same smartphone they could use to get the information if they don’t feel like looking at the printed schedule at the bus stop.
The surprise to me on this rebuild I must do in my electronic life has been how out of date I’ve been. A week or two before the stuff was taken I was talking to someone about some new phone, computer or something. I thought it was a waste of money trying to keep up with the latest trends. I said if I find something that works I stick with it. I bragged about I had no problems with my patchwork tech because it did what I needed. I’m seeing that I will need to modify my opinion on sticking with something because its comfortable or familiar. I don’t mean I’m suddenly going to be a slave to tech trends, but I’m probably going to be more willing to examine changes that might make my life easier.
What I’ve seen the past few days is that options that could make my life easier are staring me in the face. I must step outside my narrow focus to see all the options. I just got a new phone and a frustrating issue is that attaching a USB cable to the phone won’t transfer files. The cable is recognized; it’s charging up the phone but I can’t get files into it. I went online to find out what the issue might be. I changed settings, checked the SIMM and micro SD card, tested the connection with other computers and still nothing. My tablet has similar issues, but I think I figured out the issue with that.
Yesterday I had one of those Alexander Graham Bell moments. I was distracted and hit something on my computer I didn’t mean to hit, but in recovering from that I saw I was going about the phone issue in the wrong way. It never occurred to me that I didn’t need to directly link to the unit to transfer files because I could do it wirelessly. After a few tweeks and one download I could swap files on the phone. Working on that issue made me realize that technique I was using with filing my large number of media files was great five years ago but there were easier ways of accomplishing the same things. My dead laptop had files I need to recover. It will take time to get them but now I know I have an easy fix to recover and store those files to my secure location. While I’m writing this, I’m uploading some new files using the new system. The files are spread across three media formats. Now instead of 4-5 steps needed to backup, file and backup again, it looks like I can upload files from any device wirelessly to one location and my system will catalog and backup my files automatically. Once there any of my devices can access the files.
I’ve spent close to a week trying to fix the issue with the USB transfer and I already had the solution. I was looking at solving it one way when another way was easier, more efficient and usable on a variety of devices.
There have been a few hiccups in the process in the hour and a half I’ve been trying it, but once the files are loaded to my server I just have to file them later, but the backup is set. No more moving from system to system, or having something on one device that I need on another.
What I’m going through this early morning is why I try not to get too upset with adversity. I don’t want to have bad experiences but figuring out alternatives to bad situations gives me tools that I can use later. Trust me, I’m not the most organized person but I’m working on getting my stuff in order. Losing my stuff forced me to rethink and modify things I never would have done before. I didn’t see a need to change because as I had things set up they worked fine. In purchasing the tablet and phone to get myself back on my electronic feet, I was going to set things up the way they were. Now I see I should look at the prospect that I might have to incorporate new ideas to achieve my goals.
I hated a lot of things about my phone when I got it because it wasn’t the old phone. I see now that I have to take the new options and take the time to make those things work that I need. There probably is something simple I’m missing not allowing me to have the USB transfer files, but I’ve found a more efficient way of working with all my devices. Now, if I can get the USB cable transfer to work I have that as a plus.