Sunday, 19 June 2016

Is technology a good thing?

Lets begin with a definition.. offers a 5-part definition of which I think
5. the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material
objects of their civilization.
is a pretty relevant summary of what I am on about in this post.  It has arisen as we have had a couple of interfaces with technology recently.  In both cases the outcome has, I think at this stage, been positive but some fraughtedness has been evident along the way.

Mobile Phones

The first of these related to a venerable mobile phone which had got to the stage that it would just about only hold a charge while connected to a mains supply.  There seemed no point in getting a new battery - if one was available - as it would likely cost as much as a new phone.  So we went to get a cheap new phone from the Good Guys to use the SIM card from her old phone and thus keep her very cost-efficient Virgin plan.  It seemed that a ZTE Blade 2 was the go, so the plastic was flashed and we got a phone.

Then we had to get a new SIM card.  On talking to Virgin they asked whether it too a mini, micro or nano SIM.  I didn't know so the Virgin-person looked the model up and said it was a micro and they arranged to send it.  Then I found a comment in the brochure that said nano-SIM.  So back to Virgin and arrange for a second, micro, SIM to be sent.  Both of them arrived together and the nano was duly installed.

Then came the fun.  On trying to turn the phone off it went to a graphics app and refused to shut down.  The brochure (and the ZTE website) gave no guidance on how to overcome this.  Eventually - by holding the power button down for about a decade - it seemed to switch off but then sprang to life again.  This was some Chinese characters (with a bit of Anglo (such as GPS) from time to time.  That refused to stop.  So back to the Good Guys .

They agreed that this was no good at all and were happy to sell us a Motorola motoE for a small amount more.  Back on the phone to Virgin to get the micro SIM activated.  Then I looked up the website to get the full manual - which is actually quite extensive and helpful -for the phone .  On first trying to use the phone we couldn't get a connection but as that has resolved itself and we have now managed to use the phone we are happy.

In this process I award a bouquet for Virgin for the way they dealt with my enquiries, and possibly a posey to the Good Guys (an average of a modest brickbat for selling the crap ZTE and a bouquet for the way they dealt with the replacement).  It is a bit too early to make an award to Motorola but the scent is more towards the violet end of the spectrum than the fox poo.  On the subject of fox poo and brickbats the latter is awarded to ZTE and if can find a recent sample of the former - not too hard round here - and a snail mail address for ZTE (likely to be more difficult) I shall also pass that along.

Weather Station

I was a bit surprised that it was raining recently but my weather station was not recording anything.  I went to check the strainer on the rain inlet and found a few small gum nuts had got trapped there and removed them.  Going against the central tenets of Bloke Theory I then read the very comprehensive manual provided by Davis.  This said to also check the tipping mechanism.

On checking the mechanism it turned out one of the nuts had got inside and jammed the cup in the "empty" position .  As the idea is that when it tips, it taps a couple of contacts together, being jammed it didn't record.  Nut removed and we are back in business.  I also emptied out the Nylex as a check and after a couple of showers they were both reading a tad over 10mm.

A(nother)  bouquet for Davis.

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