My Week Ending November 11, 2018

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


(You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • This is good advice to anyone wanting to purchase Apple products.  The entry level products which might appear to be a deal (although more expensive that competitors) often have to be upgraded to make them perform like you want.  Then, there are the repairs…
  • I like this concept.  Out-Android Google with a better product.  You just know that the Google folks are embarrassed and will be back at the design board coming up with a better product.  The winner?  We, the consumer.
  • Hopefully, the original applications are learning from these lighter versions of the same thing.  Does anyone really use all those features?
  • There’s no doubt that Windows 10 will eventually replace all others.  But, it’s been slow.  I still see and recognize way older versions of Windows than Windows 7 because the software that runs on it just hasn’t been upgraded.  Or people can’t be bothered to upgrade.
  • North American can learn a great deal from Europe about borders.  In the Middle Ages, there were no borders and people moved about freely.  But, I’ll admit, one of my favourite television shows is “Border Security” so I guess there still is a need for them.
  • That’s just CrazyTalk.  But, it will keep those who like this sort of thing busy for hours.
  • An ugly guy wearing a jacket.
  • At supper in Niagara Falls, we had a discussion about Apple locking out other operating systems from their hardware.  I read this report to confirm it.  I got trolled over it.
  • A good warning for parents who allow their kids to play Fortnite.  There is scum everywhere these days.
  • The next time that I’m in Toronto, I hope that I have time to visit this.
  • This is something that every town and city should do to show how they’ve grown and changed.
  • Now, you can’t even trust apple juice.  Fortunately, in Essex County, we can buy apple juice and cider directly from farmers.  That’s the way it should be.
  • I’m still not a fan of voice assistants but Alexa is coming to Windows so that you can ditch Cortana if you’re interested.  Or maybe to get a second opinion?

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

voicEd Radio

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Technology Trouble Shooting 

At the Bring IT, Together Conference this past week, I had three opportunities to connect laptops to data projectors.

Twice – during my session with Stephen Hurley and my own session on Hyperdocs, I used my Chromebook and it displayed on the data projector like a champ.  HDMI is just genius, what can I say?

The other time was getting ready for the ECOO Annual General Meeting and I connected my MacBook Pro.  Peter McAsh was hurrying me so that we could display the link to the form collecting names for the door prize.  Congratulation, Tim Hawes, by the way.

But, as I often find, my MacBook Pro had a mind of its own and wanted to do things its way which meant extending the screen instead of mirroring it.  No problem – every Mac OS user knows what to do – go to the Preferences and change the setting.  It’s just a check box.  How difficult could that be?

The problem is that to get to the settings, I had to get my cursor to the extended screen to access my dock.  So, it’s quite a few metres away, at an obtuse angle, and behind me.  Ever try working a trackpad that way?

I’m sure I amused anyone who was watching but eventually got things to work.  It’s just a check box.

Why can’t computers be easy?

Video of the Week

Niagara Falls.  What else for this week?

My Favourite Photo of the Week

Still one of my favourite Bring IT, Together pictures, two friends who were out on a “Run with Alana”.  Do you know these ladies?  Add their names in the comments below.

I’m still in awe with how close you can get to the edge of the Falls.


And, this picture still is kind of neat.  I took it in 2016, I think, standing on the corner waiting for the light to change.  It’s still one of the images that appear on Google Maps when I visit that location.

I meant to take a new one this year but it was so cold and windy, I forgot in my rush back and forth to the warmth.

Screenshot 2018-11-11 at 10.15.48

Thanks for reading.



Whatever happened to …

… free money?

So, writing a post about whatever happened to pay telephones would have been like shooting fish in a barrel.  But, there was more to it than that.

There were actually a couple of pay phones in our town, growing up.  After school, on our bikes, we would pass by them on the way to who knows where.  But, there would be an unexpected stop at the candy store if we were lucky.

You see, the ground around a pay phone on the street was often a place to find coins that might have dropped from someone’s hands as they were paying for a phone call.  And, of course, we would always stop and check the coin return to see if there was some change that hadn’t been picked up.


Photo Credit: Lawrence Chard Flickr via Compfight cc

Silly, perhaps, but it was easier money than getting our allowance where we actually had to do some work to get.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to find bits and pieces of change here and there.  But, the phone booth was definitely the place to find things.  It’s something that today’s youth may not experience for a couple of reasons…

  • where are pay phones anyway?  My wife and I were doing a visual walk through of town and could only think of the one at the Walmart store
  • as pay phones were on their way out, they had modernized and started accepting plastic instead of the traditional coin

I think the biggest score that I ever found was at the Western Fair in London as a youth.  I found a two dollar bill on the ground.  (Does anyone remember the two dollar bill?)  Unlike finding a dime or a nickel in a phone booth, this was significant money at the time.  My parents convinced me that I should turn it in to the lost and found and so we did.  We did provide our name and address unless it wasn’t claimed.  That was the last I heard of it.

I like to think that I did benefit from that karma though.  A couple of years ago, we were touring the Canadian Museum of Civilization and I lost my wedding band.  I have no idea how but it was only later that I looked at my hand to see it was gone.  On a whim, I reached out to the Museum via email and someone had indeed turned it in to their lost and found.  After I gave a good description, they sent it back to me through the mail.  My marriage is still intact.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • as a child, did you go looking through the change slot of a phone or perhaps a pop machine looking for change?
  • how about keeping your eyes on the ground.  Any luck there?
  • was there a lucky spot in town to find lost change?
  • have you ever lost something significant?  Did you get it back?
  • think now of your community.  How many pay telephone booths can you think of?

Let’s have some fond memories of money, lost and found.  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

This is part of an ongoing series for Sunday mornings.  All of the past posts are here.

OTR Links 11/11/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.