Friday 19 November 2021

Technophobia 10

All my files are in a folder on the hard disk.

30 years ago when computers arrived in offices, firms didn't think it was worth paying for training. Result: a generation of people who've been using computers for 30 years without really knowing how. Zoom has revealed desktops littered with files, and I spent part of one call trying to tell the other person how to resize windows by grabbing a side or corner and dragging it...

Put your files in folders, and put the folders inside folders, and keep them on your hard disk. In Windows, "Cursor on the desktop (or inside an open folder), right click and select "new" then select "folder"."

On a Mac, click on the desktop and click on the File menu (next to "Finder), and select "New Folder". Name it, and drag the relevant files inside.

Find your files again: In Windows, "open File Explorer from the taskbar or right-click on the Start menu, and choose File Explorer, then select a location from the left pane to search or browse. For example, select This PC to look in all devices and drives on your computer, or select Documents to look only for files stored there."

On a Mac, click on the desktop and then Apple+F, or click on the magnifying glass at top right. Type in the whole or part of the filename, or if you've forgotten it, type a couple of words you know are in the file. You can display lists of folders and the files they contain – in alphabetical order.

You can search any application – just look for the magnifying glass icon.

You can search a Web page with Apple+F too. In Windows Ctrl+F.

Keeping multiple internet windows open as tabs slows down your machine – bookmark them and put the bookmarks in the toolbar.  Select "Bookmarks" from the Firefox menu bar, select "Bookmark current tab" and choose whether to put it on the Toolbar or in "Other bookmarks". You can shorten its name, or just go by the icon.

If you open Internet sites as "windows" rather than "tabs", you can move them around the desktop, resize them, and easily move from one to the other.  Hover over an edge or corner until the cursor arrow changes shape, then click and drag to resize. Move windows around by clicking and dragging on the top strip. (The same goes for Word files – you can put them side by side, notes next to finished document.)

There's a meme about changing the name of a character in your novel with search and replace. What if he’s called Rob or Frank, haha? Or she’s called May? He he he. Switch to advanced Find and Replace. Check “whole word” and “match case”. And there’s no need to “replace all”, you can “go to next” without replacing, where you have a choice. (I wonder how old these stories are? Don't name your characters Don, Bob or Sue, either.)

And in Facebook, click on the three grey dots top right of a post. You may be amazed at the options on offer!

It's 2021 and someone on Twitter has "I don't know how to post a thread, but..." in her pinned Tweet. I wonder how many people have told her so far? (Tweet something, reply to it, reply to the reply until you've finished what you want to say.)

It's 2021 and users are still calling Twitter "this hell site".

It’s 2021 and they're still calling Facebook Faceache (or talking about Twatter and Farcebook as if it was a) funny and b) they were the first to think of it.)

All my colleagues have slowly been corrupted into the novelty of reading their inboxes at 7am or on a Saturday, and I regret teaching anyone how any of this works because I have a healthy fear of technology inspired by familiarity with it. (@Sotherans. Email has been around since the early 80s.)

I spent four hours recovering a stock-control machine that should have been backed up daily to floppy disk, but the store manager 'forgot'. Afterwards I asked them to send me a copy of the backup so that we had a version we could recover to. He photocopied the floppy and put the copy it in the mail addressed to me. (Mike Shevdon. Not sure I believe it. But ten years ago when working on a recipe book I was told "X has put all the recipes on the computer". Oh, good, I thought, no need to retype these handwritten sheets. I asked her to send the recipes to me and she sent me the printouts... I said nothing but retyped the whole thing.)

New boss asked me to cut and paste some info in a Word document and was aghast when I did so using the, er, cut and paste function. Swore at me, then made me print the doc out, cut it up with a pair of scissors to move paragraphs around & then re-type it from scratch in the new order. (@DoctorKirbs)

I once worked with someone who populated a spreadsheet with data, added up the rows manually on the calculator and typed the answer.

I’m the IT guy at a biotech company. I’ve automated my major responsibilities out of existence. My advice? Get a degree in Computer Science or related. Get a job at a non-IT company, existing employees won’t know how to do what you do and you won’t be expected to do their work. Automate any recurring job responsibilities: backups, processing workflows, etc.  Find a use for all of the free time in your workday. (Quora, paraphrase)

My job is to watch an email inbox for incoming documents. About ten times a day, a PDF document comes in and I forward it to whoever deals with that form. This could be automated but nobody at the appropriate level of management has the level of technical experience to know it’s possible. (Quora)

What I learned by taking a month-long break from email (Headline. Probably “I missed a lot of appointments and couldn’t join meetings because I didn’t have the Zoom link”.)

Justine Haupt spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features (What a monumental waste of time. For “superfluous” read “essential”.)

We don’t do Sky, I’m afraid. (Via FB)

When I first used a computer in an office, I worked out ways of doing things faster. (Highlight a word, sentence or line and delete it instead of pressing the delete back button 30 times.) Every time I worked out a “go faster” tip, I would put it in a memo and send it round, expecting colleagues to keep them in a folder. They didn’t even read them because “I didn’t understand it”.  And perhaps if you speed up you'll only be given more to do.

A friend used email as texting because she could answer a text message but not send one.

When people say they hate technology, often what they hate is terrible interface design.

What happened to refusing to say “e-mail” because “mail” is American?

Just told another person how to switch to “Latest Tweets” and turn his friends into a list.

Do you remember the outrage when first-time computer buyers discovered they were expected to go out and buy a software package and install it themselves?

A friend in his 70s says he doesn’t need to “bother” with Facebook because his family send him snaps of their kids through the post.

Claims that technology makes things too easy, leading to the dreaded Instant Gratification, probably translate as “makes my brain hurt”.

People are still trying to argue that the internet and social media are addictive. They're still apologising for using them.

There’s a Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society.

When everybody got mobiles, when everybody got smartphones, people still treated them as landlines, expecting you to be “in” when they called. “I can never get hold of you!” If you have something to tell me, send me an email or text. And don't expect me to be able to hear what you're saying, or get out a calendar and make arrangements, when I'm walking along a busy street... I love it when people say "Could you put this in an email?"

Variations on “Man created technology and now Man is its slave” are current. I remember “I don’t want to become a slave to technology” being used an excuse not to get a computer about 30 years ago.

2000 headline: Internet may be just a passing fad as millions give up on it.

My screensaver (pictured above) is Greencastle in Donegal, Ireland. More technophobia here, and links to the rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment