Current Blips

Cache dump of very brief thoughts, ideas, and recommendations.

2019-10-15: I revisited posts created during the 2016 Presidential Election and retired those addressing the players, but not ones centered on the government itself. Fits with my decision to not post about the 2020 Spawns of Satan. Oops.

2019-10-11: Apple finally released the new macOS Catalina v10.15 this past Thursday morning. A lot of nice new features in their apps, and allowed developers of other apps to better their products as well. All the issues I had while waiting for it are gone.

2019-09-14: An interesting view about the planet Earth shifting gears is available on ZDNet, in a post by Greg Nichols. Read the post We May Be Entering A New Geological Epoch. Digitalization, forward?

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Getting Older: An Observation

I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, so it takes me a little longer than most to realize things like this.

I’ve been retired for about 6 years and will be 70 on my next birthday. It’s only recently that I woke up to the fact that the older I get, the more the frequency of people in my current circle of family and friends passing away will increase.

At this time in our culture, this is a fact of life that even modern medicine doesn’t have a significant impact on. You can only get so many miles out of your body.

No, I don’t sit around thinking and worrying about “who’s next”. All I’m trying to say is that it should not be a surprise to me, or you, that as a “senior citizen”, until it’s our end of time the number of memorials, funerals, wakes, and life celebrations attended in a given year will increase. And that some of these events will have more impact than others.

Acknowledging this as I get older, will help to lessen the blow a little. Comforting the family members and friends of the deceased, the ones I know well enough, will be helpful to them, and to me.

An Apple Relic Resuscitated

While in the continuous throes of ridding my home of junk, I found a very old Apple iPod in a drawer. The battery was dead but I was able to find a suitable charging cable in a box of cables, and hooked it up. It took over a minute, but the device came to life displaying the big battery, in the red. After sitting for a few hours the big battery was in full green.

At first power on, a logon prompt was presented, and I realized I was probably not going to get into this device. After trying a number of possible passwords, I was forced to give up. The trip taken over quite a few days to get the iPod working again was tedious, but seeing its out of the box Apple app icons on the main screen was worth the effort. The process of getting it recovered was documented in case it goes fully back to out of the box again. The iPod has been alive since January of 2019 due to making sure the battery stays charged, and that it seems to hold a charge well.

By the model number on the back, it’s a 4th Generation iPod Touch. I was unable to find a receipt or any other record of the actual purchase date, but believe it was purchased it in 2010.

My current iOS devices are on iOS 12.3.1. This iPod is trapped on iOS 6.1.6, the update being installed after it was up and running. This the last available release for this device.

There are zero apps in the App Store available for this iPod due to the iOS version. All Apple apps that came with this release still work as intended. I can see my iCloud email account, and have manually downloaded music from my iTunes library. It cannot interface with the sound system in my car other than with a direct USB connection. This means all music playing has to be initiated from the iPod after the connection is made, making playlists a must.

All the Apple supplied apps that came with the purchase still work: Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Clock, Contacts, iTunes, Notes, Photos (camera roll), Reminders, Videos, Voice Memos, Weather, Maps, and FaceTime. The listed apps may be missing features or settings added through the 6 iOS releases since the iPod’s version.

I have fun with it. Its small size (4.25′ by 2.13′) makes it easy to carry. With tethered ear plugs the music sounds good, and I often use the iPod on my walks. To prevent impacting my data, I don’t allow iCloud access from the device except for my Apple email account. I’m still amazed it can do as much as it does, and that the battery charges last as long as they do. This version iPod is selling on the web for as high as $250, so there must be other folks out there coveting this early device.

Unknown Caller Rage

I’m retired and have a lot of time on my hands.

I’m going collect as many phone numbers as I can, legally or not. I will then call these phone numbers every day and evening, often multiple times, using an unlisted phone number. I will change this unlisted number often. I will ignore the Do Not Call lists.

If you answer I will try to sell you insurance, a newspaper subscription, or play a recording that will tell you that you are in trouble with the government and you need my help to get out of it. I will keep calling, whether you answer or not.

If I get voice mail, I will leave you as long a tiring message as I can, every time. After a month or two, my voice mail will offer to stop calling if you wire a monthly fee to an account I provide.

How long would you put up with this? Would you call the police? Would you try to have me fined, or arrested?

You would probably succeed. And deservedly so. So why can’t we citizens, harassed daily by unknown callers, call the police and get them arrested?

Adding insult to injury, the Telcos make money providing these miscreants the bandwidth they use, and then have the audacity to offer us a priced, monthly service to stop only some of the calls.

Think about that for a while.