To The Future

Too many people don’t take the younger generations seriously and they need to start doing so. It’s their future that we are infecting and affecting.
 
The teenagers of this country pulled a huge “prank” on Donald Trump and his egocentric rallies. I never occurred to Trump that there would be people who wouldn’t jump at the change to attend this insane rally.
 
These are just the latest. Add in the teens who organized BLM protests all over the planet, kids working for gun control so they can go to school without getting shot like the Parkland students.
And Greta Thunberg and others like her who are activists for climate change.
 
Teens are getting involved with #MeToo so they don’t have to deal with sexual assault like their mothers and grandmothers.
 
And they are getting involved with promoting social distancing and face masks during Covid 19.
 
These kids have had to give up a lot over the past 4-5 years, most recently the high school experiences that the rest of us all took for granted… proms, graduation, time with their friends.
 
But they hold the future in the palm of their hands and they are NOT going to let a gross dirty old man take it away from them.
 
Cheers to you, kids…. many of us are rooting for you and your successes!!

TMI Tuesday: June 9, 2020: What Is….

1. What is your phone screensaver at the moment?

I use the one that came with the phone. I like the colors and design and I’m basically lazy. When I get bored with it, I’ll figure out how to change it.

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2. What is currently on your playlist? (list top 5)

3. What are your last three internet searches?

More information about BIPOC

Looking for a fashion design software program

Searching for a photo 

4. What is your favorite sandwich filling?

Cheese with mayo, pickles and lettuce. I do like tuna with cheese and grilled into a tuna melt. I also love cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and sliced onions.

5. What is one staple item all men should own?

Whatever makes him the most comfortable. For some that will a suit and tie and for others jeans and a teeshirt. If they are comfortable and secure they will be more relaxed and not be worried about themselves.

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The Net

Every time I get frustrated with my Internet connection, I try to remember what it takes to get these random characters on my screen to their destination and back again. And how it use to be in the old days.

I started online in 1995. In those days we used AOL. You had to connect to AOL and wait for the screeeegge sound that told you were connecting to the web and finally the words “You Got Mail”. It often took 30 minutes to download your email before you could even read it, and surfing the web was hit and miss. This was well before high speed DSL when we had slow dial up. But we were so thrilled to have it. There were not a lot of videos, we just got excited to see images. This was well before You Tube, Facebook, Twitter and Google. We used a search engine called Dogpile. We eventually left AOL and moved up to Netscape, and it did feel like an upgrade. You couldn’t use the computer and telephone at the same time, until someone came up with the bright idea of a splitter phone jack. Finally we could use both at the same time.

These days, things are better and faster, but there are still problems. So many hands in the pot… from making sure everything in your computer works as it is suppose to, to needing an ISP (mine is Centurylink) and modem to get online, which then connects to a POP (point of presence, mine is MSN), which then connects to a browser (Google Chrome). After that you can connect to Facebook or your email account, if you have one independent from your basic POP account.. I use Gmail to store and read my email. 

All it takes is for one glitch to happen in any of those along the path to keep from getting from A to Z and that is frustrating. The most frustrating part is the troubleshooting to see where the problem is and sometimes that is easier said than done.

There is another part of the equation that most people know nothing about, and that’s the coding that goes into making everything come alive online. Everything you see is determined by a specific code of various characters that tell the computer what to do.

In 1999 I had two goals.. to start my own email group and to create my own webpage. I started learning how to do basic HTML coding to accomplish the latter. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. 

HTML codes are the string of letters you see in the URL on the top of every page you visit. But HTML does more than just URL’s.. they can determine colors, links to pictures and video, and other webpage items.

Most coding today is much more complex than the basic HTML that I learned, but it taught me how to read the source codes of most webpages. And all it takes to screw things up on a webpage is a missing character. And sometimes trying to find that missing character is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Technology is changing quickly these days. Right now most devices work off what is all G4 which started with LG Optimus G which began in 2012 for high speed smartphones. We are getting close to being upgraded to G5 which is incredibly faster. 

Long before that, Adobe created a program called Shockware Flash in 1996. It became widely popular and was used for everything from watching videos and listening to music to playing video games. Most of the Facebook games run on Flash. But the more it was used the more it opened itself up to problems including security issues.

In 2017, Adobe announced that it was no longer provide support for the Flash program as of December 2020. Which means any games or other programs that run on Flash may or may not work after that date and if you have problems using the program, Adobe won’t be able to help you.

Some gaming companies immediately started making plans to find a new platform to work from. Most gaming companies decided to not transfer their games from the old platform using Flash to a new platform and decided to just create new games on a new platform. 

Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of gamers feeling abandoned. But part of that problem is that most gamers, other than hard core gamers, don’t understand how their games work, much like they don’t understand how their car works. They play the games much the same way they drive their car… since you really don’t need to understand the mechanics to get the thing to work.

This takes us back two coding. It’s often not easy to get the coding of one platform to mesh with the coding of another one. It’s like trying to fit a square block of wood to fit in a round hole. The only way to make it fit is to cut off the corners of the wood block and smooth it down to a round block so that it does fit. But parts of the block are left behind in the process. This is why most game companies prefer to start over from the beginning rather than trying to change the coding of one program and risk loosing that one character to try to fit in the new platform.

Youtube made changes in 2015 and replaced Flash with a program called HTML5. 

With the advances in technology including the move to G5, we are going to see an explosion of new programs and platforms that we could never have imagined in back in 1995. Yes, we will lose some tried and true things that we’ve come to depend on and it’s going to be painful, but the future will bring some really exciting things to replace the things we are losing.

The only constant in life is change. 

Frustrated

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Facebook is either having a major glitch or they are rolling out some new big changes, although I suspect it’s the former. Last night I couldn’t see any new messages on my friend’s pages, and now I can’t get into Facebook at all to read message notifications that come in my email. Plus none of my games are working.

I even rebooted my computer to see if it was a problem on my end. All other sites work.

So, did some programmer omit one character in a line of code? Probable. Did the entire Facebook site get hacked? Possible. Solar flares? Nah, then everything would be out. Would they even tell us what happened? Unlikely.

I’ve been trying to post a message for 5 hours, but keep getting “we have a problem and we are working on it…”

It’s frustrating when my daily routine is interrupted. I can’t post my thoughts and impressions to Facebook, which is much like a journal for me. Like finally it’s warming up and we have blue skies with large puffy white billowy clouds, and soon we will be able to open the doors and air this stuffy and musty house out. They say by next week we should be in the 60’s.

And I can’t post that we are having BBQ ribs for dinner with steamed rice and blueberry muffins. These may not seem like a big deal, but in the grand scheme of world events, it’s really the little things that matter.

As I read and transcribe my great-grandfather’s journal it reminds me just how important these little tidbits of humanity are. I remember that re-reading my mother’s and my father-in-law’s letters. Things like Grandpa Jacob’s memory of losing his hat while on the ship coming to America. These days people would just say, “buy a new one”, but new hats were not available onboard ship in 1882, and even if they were, he didn’t have the money to buy a new one. Or reading about my father-in-law talking about harvesting his garden and trees and having baskets of green tomatoes and ripe apples, that he then make pies out of. Without these little pieces of information, part of the humanity of my ancestors were be forgotten.

Addicted to the Internet

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Well, I am officially ready for a padded cell. Tuesday, I lost the Internet connection, so that last time I was online was Monday.
We thought it was the modem, so we got another one. Apparently Centurylink has a different definition of “overnight” than I have.. it took three days to get here. But even a new modem didn’t help.
Then we thought it was cable coming into the house, but it wasn’t that. Then we thought it was the DSL port in the harddrive, so we had to take the the whole thing to our computer guy, it wasn’t that either! It turns out it was a mix of problems, but now it’s all fixed.
Seven days without my computer reminded me of why being online is my therapy. The internet is my social life, my education, my entertainment, my work, and my creative pursuits. But it’s more than that.
I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 22. I went into remission when I was pregnant with Chris and I haven’t had much problems with it since. But lately, I’m getting flare ups, especially in my hands, which cramp up with overuse. Being able to type, rather than hand write makes a huge difference for me. Even holding a book is difficult, so I read most everything on my desktop kindle.
The past week without these options took it’s toll on my hands, back and shoulders, mostly triggered by stress. It confirmed for me that my desktop is also my physical and mental therapy.
So I’m back online, thank goodness. Now I need to get caught up. I doubt I will be able to get caught up with NaNoWriMo now.. I was able to do some writing for the first four days since I could still access my Scrivener program. But when that computer had to go to Mark, that option was gone.
Oh, well… I’ll try to plod along and see how far I can get.
I’m just very happy and relieved to be back online.
(Graphic Image from https://giphy.com/gifs/recovery-repair-centre-12KPpBIdG8kqIg)