Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New devices

All of us get new computers or mobile devices, and then we have to learn something new. I am one of those that finds the new device a fun and interesting challenge and can’t wait to try things out. I am writing this entry as I try out a new computer/tablet.
I am trying to write this entry on our new Asus transformer. When we say transformer, that is what it is. It is a small computer with a 10-inch screen, but the screen detaches from the keyboard and becomes a tablet. Of course, there are lots of things to learn with this device as well as it being a Windows 8 system.
The touch screen works pretty well, and I haven’t had too many issues with it so far. The one thing I am finding different is the size of the keyboard but considering I have small fingers it isn’t hard for me to type on it. I think someone with larger fingers might have problems with the keyboard.
Windows 8 is so different from any previous version, so it takes some time to figure out where everything is and what you really want to do. I have already figured out how to pin and unpin things onto the start screen. I think I have also figured out how to uninstall applications that were pre-installed when we got the device. Of course, this computer is going to be used to take notes at conferences and with us when we are out and about. It isn’t going to be the device where we watch videos and much, so those apps were quickly removed.
I can say that this computer is nice and light, which was one of the things I wanted because I will be carrying it with me quite often. Now to try a few more things and see how they go, so it is time to stop writing and time to continue figuring out this new computer.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Have you noticed how much we rely on the computer and internet nowadays?

Our computers and mobile devices, be it a tablet or a smartphone, they seem to be with us all the time now, and we don't know what we would do without them and how we survived before them. I guess some people still survive without a computer and the internet, and they manage.

I know that I rely on the internet and my computer for my work because it is difficult to send documents without either of them. I do a lot of correspondence via email with my clients, be it answering an email or sending documents they are going via email, which involves the internet.

There are companies that their entire infrastructure is in the “cloud” so they really need the internet to be working otherwise they cannot function. Yes, a cloud can be in the company, but there are some people that reply on everything being off-site. I always laugh when I hear someone say that they would be able to work even if the internet was down if they had all their files were stored in the cloud and only available through the internet. These are some of the things that we deal with and have to smile when I hear this conversation. These are the people that will only realize that they cannot work when the internet is down when it happens to them.

Yes, the internet is a very important part of most people's daily life now, but you can still function without it. Maybe it means if you need to ask someone a question, you might have to call them to get the answer, but that still works.

So, in some cases, it is nice just having a little bit of time without the internet every once in a while. See, I even wrote this blog while being without my internet, so I still got something done. I will have to post it onto my blog once the internet is back, but at least I got it written.

Note: Our internet and cable were down for 14 hours.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Food court frustration

Recently I walked over to a mall to have some lunch. I decided that having lunch at 11:30 was probably a good idea to avoid some of the business people that also want to eat in the same food court. Well, I was frustrated with what I saw upon my arrival.

It looked like there were a couple of meetings being held in the food court. One was a group of ladies and the other group which was rather large were a group of mean. Well, it wasn't really a meeting, but rather a gathering of friends/people. So here it is just before lunch and there were approximately 20 men sitting and taking up 28 seats and only a few of them had coffee cups in front of them. I know some of the coffee cups were empty because one of the men knocked his over and nothing came out. A bunch of the other men never lifted their cups to drip their coffee during the time I sat and ate my lunch.

The ladies at least were only taking 8 seats for the 8 of them, which was nice. On the other side of me were 3 men sitting at a table for 4 which was no problem but was frustrating was there were using another table for 4 to hold their 2 bags of groceries and their empty coffee cups. Yes, they had finished whatever they had and were just sitting and talking. By this time, people were looking for tables so that they could eat the lunch that they purchased in the food court, but there weren't too many available tables.

I finished my lunch and headed off, so it was almost noon by the time I left the food court by the men were still sitting at the tables with their empty coffee cups. It really bothers me that people can sit in a food court at lunchtime taking tables when they either purchased something a couple of hours ago or haven't purchased anything from the food court. I am not sure how this food court actually survives because of the lack of food purchased as the different vendors. 

The other issue is that this food court is near a school, so parents pick up their kids from school and walk over to the mall and let their kids eat in the food court. I don't see anything wrong letting them eat in the food court, but what does bother me is they are not eating food purchased in the food court but food that the parent has brought from home. This school is within about a 10-minute walk for all the kids that attend it, so why can't the parents take the kids home and let them eat their lunch where it was made.

After I finished the rest of my shopping in the mall, which wasn't a lot, I walked back by the food court.  You guessed it, all the men were still sitting at the tables with their empty cups. So, it really doesn't matter if you complain to the malls because it doesn't seem to help. If the people sitting in the food court know the cleaning staff or security, there is nothing done, but if you are a stranger, they encourage you to move on.

Food courts are to be used for eating meals that are purchased there, and please be considerate about how long you spend at a table. There are others who also want to purchase something and enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Distracted driving

Here in Ontario, there is a law that you cannot use a mobile device while driving a vehicle, otherwise you will be fined. I think that this law is great because you do see so many people talking on their mobile devices or reading and/or sending messages which are dangerous while driving.

Last week, on the radio, they were talking about an undercover cop that was at an off-ramp to a highway. He was holding a sign wishing everyone a good day or something like that. He wasn't begging for money or anything like that, he was just walking along the ramp. Of course, he was looking for people that would start looking at their devices once they stopped at the light. If he spotted someone, of course they would get a ticket for texting while driving. People were mad about this happening, but so many people just don't pay attention to where they are.

Hearing about this cop made me pay a little more attention to our surroundings when we were driving over the weekend. Now, the interesting thing is I spotted a cop standing beside his vehicle in a gas station lot just off the road at an intersection. He looked like he was looking for someone, and of course he was. The light was red for us, so we had a sit for a couple of minutes until the light turned green again. During this time something seemed to catch the attention of the officer and just before the light changed he walked out and waved a vehicle over into the lot. I guess he was watching for people using their mobile devices, and he did get someone, I think.

Last Saturday, I then saw two individuals on their mobile devices. One was a man who was clearly looking at their device while driving along a road. He wasn't just doing it while at a traffic light, but while driving around 60 km along the street. I noticed him because he seemed to like the centre line instead of staying in the middle of his lane. He proved he wasn't paying attention when a light changed to amber, and he drove right through the light. It was upsetting to me because this man had children in his vehicle while he was doing this. He may have been getting directions, but the amount of time he had his head down was what caught my attention.

The second individual was a lady that was on her mobile device. She was checking it at every traffic light and in some cases was a little slow in pulling away from the intersection. She wasn't as bad as the man, but you could tell she was on her device.

People have to understand that driving takes all of your attention, not just a portion of it. Your mobile devices should be put away while you are driving. If the message or call is so important, pull off the road and deal with it. Your message isn't more important than my life or even your life.