Am I becoming like my mother who doesn’t want to get a new stove when her old 60 year old one still works, despite the broken grill function? Or the air conditioner which probably uses a ton of electricity and makes a lot of noise, but still cools the air? Or the veranda roof, which Nathan wanted to replace when he was Down Under last year, but she said she will not replace anything that still works. Well it was actually leaking so I told, George, my youngest brother to tell her that it does not still work and needs to be replaced. In fact, we even had a leak in the laundry roof. Luckily it only rained really heavily one time while I was there for three weeks, this January-February. But that was when we noticed that the leaky roof already had damaged the ceiling from previous rainfalls. (Christoph: photo?)
My Notes cannot be read by the new Program
Am I the only one that feels like time is going so fast? My OneNote Notes cannot be read by the new Microsoft Windows 10 OneNote Program. It opened a brand new empty file for me. I do not want a new file every time I go online. I want continuity. Sustainability as Josef and I were talking at breakfast this morning. All very well for Microsoft and other companies to make new products and force people to make new purchases, to keep them in business. All very well for Bill Gates to have a reputation of serving the poor in Africa with his millions. Don’t target me for your profit, I need the resources myself! What I am interested in, is using the stuff I already have without the need to get a new version, to use what I already have and paid for! I do not need or want a new one every four years! Could be that there are some applications I have not used in even longer than that and I want to be able to continue accessing them when I retire in two years’ time and finally have some “spare time” to sort my stuff!
I am a database person
Currently I am too busy, living my life and getting on with everything, to worry about updating my databases and other programs. But I am still a database person. I love my access program. I love keeping track of things. I also love sharing things. But I do want to respect the privacy of my children and my loved ones. And come to think of it, I would also like to be respected in my privacy and in my right to be myself without being intimidated, or judged, or discriminated. Now that might happen due to my age, or my religion. Despite being a foreigner in Austria, I am not likely to be discriminated against for that until I get rich and try to live in Australia and Austria at the same time. Some people might resent me for working at the UN. Hey, I am learning to be proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. I guess that’s why I write my blog. Now this article was going to be a bit of a reflection about my recent visit to Australia. Then a commentary on sustainability. Now it’s a rant and rave of Ozlilly’s reflections.
Do I have to become a hermit to protect my privacy?
I had to sign in to a Microsoft account to register the OneNote. I have avoided signing in to a Microsoft account for so long. I want to use my regular email address and not a Gmail account to register for all this stuff. I do not want to have to go to x different accounts for all my different applications. I do not want to give Google or anybody else the monopoly over my data. Should I stay off-line altogether to keep private? Do I have to become a hermit to protect my privacy? Christoph has no qualms logging in to Google Photos and sharing them and accessing them on his smart phone. Am I being overly cautious? Or am I just too old-fashioned to understand what is going on? Or is it just that I do not want to get all distracted by all the up-dates and supposedly security issues when I go about my work? After all, I have survived this long, using computers and smart phones. Yet I am (adjective: innately, customarily, deeply, intrinsically, …) disturbed every time I am requested/required to do an update, and only confirmed in my scepticism when perfectly functioning Apps suddenly refuse to work after a compulsory update! See Fitbit, Adobe, OneNote, camera on Motorola G.
I’m glad that we have an IT security department at work that takes care of all of my professional updates. I’d like to have the same service in my private life (hint: potential market niche!). Why does my phone suddenly not manage to save my photos on the 32 GB SD card which was configured as internal storage? Why was I suddenly not able to take any photos or videos with my phone camera?
Record her biography
Well I went to Australia to visit my Mum for her 90th birthday. She did the same when her mother turned 90. She said I would rather celebrate with the living than mourn the dead. She came to Europe from Australia to see her mother, knowing that she did not have enough money for another trip when the time came. I told my Mum I followed her example. When she replied, so now I can die, I assured her that my gynaecologist told me that I would live to be ten years older than my mother. So I expect her to live another ten years too. We do not know. I am glad I went. It was probably my best visit since I left home. We always got along better the further away from home I was. Anyhow, I went with the idea to record her biography with my smart phone, making videos of her testimonies. Already at Vienna airport, my phone refused to take any photos! What a disaster! I’m flying to Australia for my mother’s 90th birthday and I can’t share anything! You know anything you don’t share didn’t really happen, right? Then when I landed, I could not log in to WiFi, nor use my phone for calls or even messages. Was it my cheap HoT Sim card causing the problem? I logged in to Vodafone and tried again to text. I don’t even know how we communicated in the end, but eventually Christoph found me in the forty degree heat and took me back to Mum’s. He gave me an Australian Boost Sim card and I registered for a small amount of data. Later I purchased another package so that I could work on the photo book.
Who else in my generation, speak sixty-plus, uses FitBit, OneNote, Access, GooglePhotos, FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, WhatsApp, Skype, YouTube, Vimeo, Yahoo? No, I am not on SnapChat, Tumblr, Google+, MySpace or many of the other new applications. Who remembers Plaxo a brilliant forerunner of LinkedIn? I do what I do because I want to. Maybe I got my job at the IAEA because I am a database expert and love Microsoft Access, but nobody is forcing me to use any of this stuff. I appreciate the convenience and loved watching “Person of Interest” and a few other Sci-Fi movies about data control and identity theft. But now it feels like we are really going there! Just read the conditions surrounding what Microsoft does with your data!
My Mum was overwhelmed with all her photos and questions about her 90 years long life, well, honestly, I do sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by all the fast developments in the digital world. Am I alone? No way! I have read at least one other such article critiquing all the frequent updates which are often just too much for a lot of people, even younger than myself. I pride myself at being fairly up-to-date, yet feel no compulsion to keep up with all the latest fads and Apps arising every day!
So, before I left Australia, I ordered a photo-book of the 90 year birthday celebration for my mother. I added the photos we took before, during and after the celebration. Then Josef, here in Austria, added the finishing touches, butterflies, stars, a crown and decorations. Then I sent it off to process. It was delivered two days after I left, on Friday 9th February, from K-Mart, as I was arriving in Vienna. Christoph sent me the photo via WhatsApp.
I guess, as long as we are prepared to learn and share, we must still be doing okay. Mum used to say, as long as she is complaining you know she is still alive.
This trip was a real eye opener for me in terms of learning from previous generations. Christoph and I as mother-son, got on just great. He’s doing a wonderful job with his grandma, much better than I could have done. Mum told me about her mum and why she just sat on the heater looking out the window. That’s all she did when I visited her in 1973. She sat at the window of their fourth floor apartment in Munich, while my grandfather walked up and down those stairs twice a day to do the shopping and chores. As I recorded some of the stories of my mother’s life, she told me that after being bombed out a number of times in Brno during World War II and having no place to go, her mother was just content to finally have a place to rest when they got their own apartment in Munich when my mother left for Australia, to join my father, in 1951.
I really never thought of it like that. My grandma, Oma, was amazed that I went into the city every day. I eventually got a job in Switzerland and travelled the 20 countries with my Interrail pass, from watching the midnight sun in Narvik, in northern Norway, to missing a wedding I was invited to in Turkey, to being forced to return from Turkey via Bulgaria after the borders between Turkey and Greece were closed due to the conflict in Cyprus, in 1973. All memoirs and stories to be told. When I have time.
Thanks Mum. Looking forward to when you have internet and can read my blog yourself.