Tag: tech

Thank You, Steve.

Thank You, Steve.

The greatest gift Steve Jobs left to all of us is the gift of camaraderie; he found a way through technology to impart upon us an opportunity to bond with one another.  This, the Apple culture, is his legacy, and it will live on through the company, the technology, and all of us for years to come.

Thank you for this wonderful gift, and for truly enriching our lives. You will be missed.

Photoshop of Horrors

Photoshop of Horrors

Oh Photoshop, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. Then again, I can neither count that high nor are there numbers high enough to list the things that irritate me about that program. Why did I spend copious amounts of money on it? Well, because it’s probably a useful tool I need to learn at some point to do…stuff. In hindsight, I should not have bothered to get it but that’s neither here nor there. I have it, so I might as well learn it.

To say I am frustrated puts things quite mildly. I’m far beyond pulling my hair out, in fact I’m starting to realize I have little hair left for the pulling. I’ve never had something frustrate me more than this horrendous piece of software.

To put it simple, my main cause of frustration is this: I try to do something that’s supposed to be simple, and it just isn’t! I seem to be missing the 300 steps involved to do just about anything, and thus I’m frustrated because i just don’t know where to start.

Perhaps I’ve gotten used to a workflow from using programs known for their simplicity, or Photoshop has a simplicity that I have yet to see. I don’t have the finances to support a course in Photoshop, and my friends who know it have better things to do than teach me, and I don’t have the patience or diligence to sit through hours of amateur YouTube videos made by those without the skill to properly teach the program.

One friend is willing to teach me some things, but he has asked that I come up with “a list” – problem is I don’t even know the basics of the program, so I wouldn’t know where to start said list. I barely even know what a mask is, let alone what to do with it and how it works. Another friend at work was doing something for a congratulatory email and she showed me some stuff…at a speed that would make lightning look slow. I was lost as soon as she said “you click this, then go over here, and then use this tool, and there it’s that easy.”

So, enough complaining – I have this (egregiously) expensive program, which I’d paid for, that I know nothing about and am imploring you (those reading this) for some guidance… do you have any recommendations of good YouTube videos you’ve seen that are done by people who explain things well? Do you know of any good online courses that are relatively inexpensive and/or free that would be useful? Or, best yet, would you mind giving me an hour or two of your time for a basics lesson? You’d get free dinner out of it, and immeasurable gratitude from me.

I just need to know how to get started; things I’d use photoshop for instead of Aperture, why I would do this, etc. What’s a mask, how does it work, why is it important? I (kind of) understand what layers are, but I’d like a better understanding of that and how they work, especially respective to Photoshop’s workflow. – But this isn’t all, these are just a few things that I should know.  I’m generally pretty good at figuring stuff out once I can get the ball rolling, but I feel like this program is an immovable ball. But, others seem to be able to push it off and let it roll with ease.

So…that’s all I’ve got. Can anyone help, in any capacity?

Thank You Time Machine

Thank You Time Machine

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Today is a day I’m extremely grateful for Time Machine, software built-in to my Mac that backs up all of my precious data. I had a Maxtor external HD which contained my library containing all of my photos. Today, this hard drive was coming up as corrupted, and not usable by my system. I would have begun panicking, but instead I just jumped into my backup and retrieved my backup copy which is currently transferring to another hard drive I found. It may take a long time to move over, but it’s well worth it knowing I haven’t lost anything.

If you haven’t already, by all means do yourself a huge favor and invest in an external hard drive. It will be the best money spent, and you’ll thank me if you ever encounter something like this. I normally am not emotionally attached to my data; I know technology can be imperfect, and can fail at any time. But, knowing that I have a safety copy of something like my photos, which are very near and dear to me, makes me sleep just a little better at night.

My thanks to Apple for building this amazingly useful feature into the system!!!

Automated Phone Systems Suck

Automated Phone Systems Suck

 

I could tell it’s been too long since I’ve somewhat-whimsically ranted about something, so here you all go. Today the topic is “Automated Phone Systems”…specifically the kind who answer phones and claim to be humans, but fail miserably because they still sound/behave like the computers they are.

These things seriously get on my nerves. I hate how they try to sound like they are human. They aren’t, and they never work the way they are intended to. Case in point, I called Sirius (Satellite Radio) today because my radio mysteriously told me that my service had been deactivated. I’ll rant about Sirius in another blog, they don’t have their act together at all. Everytime I call them they tell me something different about my account – I either owe them gobs of money, or my account isn’t due for renewal until x months from now… anyways, not the topic of today’s blog!

So I call up and hit option 3 (after the obligitory “if your spanish do this for español!”) and then this voice comes on, and immediately I recognized it as one of these whiz-bang wünderprograms and I was like “oh great.” It/She said to me, “I’d love to help you get some information on your account. You can start by giving me your phone number.” If only us guys could have some computer program use a line like that on someone at a bar, the problem of never getting laid would no longer be an issue for a lot of us. So I say my phone number in a somewhat natural tone, and it/she says “I’m sorry, I didnt’ quite understand that. Let me see if I have it right” (all the while using pronouns like “me” and “I”….again, human words! Computers aren’t human!!!) and it/she reads it back correctly. I confirmed it was right, and then I heard something even funnier. “Hmmm.. I can’t seem to find your record. Let’s look another way.” Yes, let’s! You and I will look together! Because that’s what the word “let’s” implies! One problem… you’re a computer and you’re going to search your data banks on your end for my errant information, while I sit here and play with myself waiting for you to come back and tell me you have no idea who I am or why I’m calling….which is exactly what happened. Then it/she said “Let me get a representative on the phone who can help us.” Us? What, are you going to be part of this conversation when the rep gets on the phone? How are “we” going to be helped by a human? I’m the one who’s going to be assisted, not you, Miss Failed-attempt-at-an-artifically-unintelligent-waste-of-hard-drive-space. Good LORD… Whatever happened to just having a human answer a phone and help you out with what you need?

Oh yeah, I know what happened…more and more of those things are being outsourced to random countries where you get Shlabba-labba-nabba-hibbi-jibbi who picks up the phone and says “Hello, this is Bob how can I help you” in some funny accent.

Bottom line, I hate those stupid things. Call centers need to live on! Down with the fake humanoid automated attendants on the phone. Us Americans need jobs, stick us in cubicles and put headsets on our head so we can avoid these fuckin’ things from ruining our lives!!!!!!!!

Be well.

~JB