Make time to reboot yourself…listen for the whisper

June 14, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog contained this little tidbit of wisdom – “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  (Anne Lamott) Jack’s post went on to explain that re-booting things like computers or smartphones often fixes glitches that develop over time. I’ve certainly noticed that with my own computer and phone. Have you? I’ve noticed that those devices just seem to get overwhelmed or confused sometimes and turning them off and then back on seems to resolve that confusion and allow them to function properly again.

A point that Jack also made was that we all need to make time to reboot ourselves – toinsight take time away from the demands of day to day life, to let our minds settle and to get a fresh start. That is easier said than done in today’s 24/7 world, where we seem to always be booked with something that “we have to do”. Weekends, which used to be times to relax, are now times of constant activities. We have golf tee times or a tennis court reserved; we have to get out on the boat; we have children in sports or dance or other competitive activities. If there is not a weekend tournament, there is practice to get to or something that we need to go buy “for the team”.  We don’t have time for church on Sunday morning because that’s when the big tournament is or that’s when the team could get ice time at the rink. It’s go, go, go all weekend long. Some even welcome Mondays, so that they can get back to the comfort of work.

Then there is the influence of technology on our lives. When we have a moment, we phone with msgspend it staring down at our phone to see what might be going on that we missed. We schedule our lives there in our calendar apps and our lives are chronicled and shared there on the various social media that we use. It seems so important to us that we also check to see what others are doing and sharing about their lives that we have little time left for anything else.

Yet, we need to make time to unplug from this world, to reboot ourselves. Maybe you are the type of person who will have to put this time into your calendar in order to actuallywoman-praying do it; maybe not. One good way to make that time and use that time is to set aside a short period for prayer each day. Starting each day with some prayer time is a good way to do that; but, it can be any time during the day.

Why use that time for prayer? Because it forces us to stop and step back from the world for a few minutes and acknowledge something that is bigger and more important than anything else going on in your life at the moment. It provides some perspective on things and it allows the calming and clearing of the mind. It allows you to reboot. Just taking time for that quiet little prayer that I like to use – “Not my will; but, thy will be done” – seems to work wonders for me.

listenThere is a little plaque on our kitchen wall that says, “Take time for quiet moments, for the world is loud and God whispers.” You really need to make time for those quiet moments in your life, so that you can listen for the whispers of God in your life. Don’t worry; everything else in life will wait for you to reboot. Have a peaceful weekend and find time to listen for the whisper.


Recovering from a Windows 10 nightmare…

November 27, 2015

On a warm Thanksgiving Day I let an attitude of “what the hell, let’s do this” overwhelm my better judgement and I upgraded my main computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The process seemed to go smoothly, but it took quite a while. Finally the installation finished and I was off and running on Windows 10, or so it seemed.  Everything ran slowly and many things seem to hang forever before they would even start. OK, I said, I’ll have to get used to things being a little slower, but maybe the benefits will outweigh that drawback.

Mind you, I don’t have an ancient and under powered system. It is a Dual Core I5 HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook, with 8 GB of memory, fairly good integrated graphics and an 800GB disk drive.  Yet that was no match for the bloat that Windows 10 threw at it. It was like one of those nightmares one gets where you appear to be running in wet concrete (remember thatFreddie Cruggerscene on the stairs of the original movie Nightmare on Elm Street?)

The big moment of realization and panic that I had made a bad decision came when I tried to open my Windows Live Mail. It doesn’t work under Windows 10, at least not without going through a bunch of repair work on the Registry and who knows what else.  I read several posts at various sites with recommendations for the fix and even got started into it before I encountered another little Microsoft gotcha – one has to buy RegEdit Pro from a Microsoft partner in order  to fix a problem that Microsoft created with the upgrade. No way!

panicWindows Live Mail is what I use to run my real estate business  and all of my old real estate deal email files were now unavailable to me (the use of Windows Live Mail is a problem of my own making that I need to address). Admittedly it was also my own fault for not doing more research into what issue and problems come with this upgrade. Every few years I forget how Microsoft operates and how little they seem to care about the disruption that things like their upgrades and updates often cause.

At least I had the presence of mind to do a complete image backup just prior to doing the Upgrade, so I thought that I’d be able to recover off that backup. That requires that I be able to boot the system off the DVD drive. Apparently the upgrade takes that out of play too, since the system just kept booting off the main drive, even with the recovery disk loaded in the DVD drive.  I was envisioning having to take my system into a repair shop, along with the backup drive to get the image reinstalled when I tried the Web forums one more time for advice on uninstalling Windows 10. I have to say that the ability to Recover back to the old Window 7 was the best thing that I encountered in Windows 10. It worked and I am back in business.

Usually, when I go off on a rant about the problems or pain that Microsoft whining childsoftware or its upgrades and updates has caused me some tech person from Microsoft will email me or comment on my post to tell me that I should have done this or that to fix the problem. My reply is that I should not have had the problem in the first place. There should be clear warnings as part of the upgrade process that let users know that various things that worked for them under their old operating system version likely won’t work after the upgrade. The upgrade does say that all of the files will still be there and that most applications will still work; but there is no guidance on apps known not to work after the upgrade.

If something as important as email is likely to be impacted, then some guidance and help on how to extract and save files of emails and contacts would seem to be in order.  If a new Mail system is installed as part of the upgrade, then there needs to be a clear mechanism to extract and recover emailfolders files and contacts from the old system (perhaps along with calendar information), since those files are still there – maybe even a Wizard to help. Telling me after the fact how I can work some more to recover from a problem that your update or upgrade caused doesn’t cut it. That is not productive use of my time.

I’m back on Windows 7 and will stay there until I’m forced to buy a new computer in a few years. I just want my apps to work, my email to work and my browser to work.  I am not at all concerned about not having the latest operating system bells and whistles. I’ve upgraded my iPad and my iPhone through at least two major IOS releases and never had a problem like this. Maybe there’s a message there. When it is time to upgrade my computer I’ll have to think about the OS; but, until then, I’d rather not waste any more time on it and certainly not on Windows 10.

OK, I feel better now.

Three little words that can change your life… Technology changes everything. (10 of ?)

March 31, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

I have seen today’s three word phrase – technology changes everything – used a lot over the past fewtechnology years, especially by the purveyors of technology. I come out of a background of technology, having worked for various computer companies for about 30 years before I got into real estate. I have witnessed the changes that technology has caused first-hand. I helped introduce that changing technology into many lives and companies and watched the disruption that is causes. I was there when the PC was born and have watched it grow up and evolve.

Having said that, I would assert that technology may change the “when”, “what” and the “how” of things, almost everything; but it does not change the “why”, because that is driven by human nature, which is the who. Technology may allow us to do things completely differently and certainly at much greater speed, but immutable at the core of it all is the human element of why. Why do we work? Why do we communicate with others? Why do we need to know that? Why do we make the decisions that we make? Technology may facilitate any or all of the answers to those questions, but it does not change our answers.

tablet computerWe are the children of a technological age. We have found streamlined ways of doing much of our routine work. Printing is no longer the only way of reproducing books. Reading them, however, has not changed. – Lawrence Clark Powell

Technology has made the work we do different and made the communications easier and faster, but in the end it is still one human being talking, texting, emailing or face timing with another human being. The technology makes that easier but it does not make the human decisions that come out of that communication. Technology may monitor and warn us, but it does not decide what to do about the warning. Even if technology does appear to make a decision, it is through a program, perhaps even “artificial intelligence”, that we humans wrote and coded in our own answer to why.

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.” – Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

In our immediate lifetime much of the progress of technology has focused not as much on replacing humans in repetitive physical tasks but on facilitating faster and faster communications and providing access to more and more data and information. That is a mixed blessing.

Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge. – Daniel J. Boorstin

The fact is that we cannot absorb and assimilate the overload of information that is available or pressed lady at computerupon us quickly enough to turn it into knowledge. Instead of building our own knowledge base we have become increasingly dependent upon the crutch offered by technology. I do not need to remember or assimilate things anymore because I can just Google a topic to pull up what I need at the moment. Now, through the use of “big data” tools I can have technology scan huge amounts of raw data looking for patterns. What I want to know what those patterns are is still up to me. Why do I need to know that and what will I do now that I know it? Still my call.

Perhaps the most widespread impact that technology has had on us as humans is on the speed and ease with which we can communicate. The issue of distance between people has been vanquished by technology; however, due to the technology, much of what we call communicating has become asynchronous in nature and in the process become less personal, less about communicating and more about exchanging information. Emailing, posting to Facebook or Twitter may be considered to be a form of communications but it is really not communicating – that only happens between two human beings. Texting, while still asynchronous is at least a bit more interactive.

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. – Edward R. Murrow

man on cell phoneFor many, technology has enabled them to be connected to others more and more often. Cell phones have become ubiquitous in the developed world and are even in use in remote regions that used to be cut off from the world. Cell phone technology changed the way we communicate with others but not why.

So, the key take-away may be what technology does not do. Technology does not have a value system, it is agnostic and impersonal. It has no soul. It remains the role of the users of technology to supply that missing piece – the why (the soul).

Yes, technology changes everything; and yet, technology changes nothing. We are safe from the threat of technology that some have imagined because we still supply the soul of the machines – the why they exist.