Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

About Updates and general Internet dismay.

June 28, 2018

Image result for Fariborz Karami

Fariborz Karami

Nothing is perfect and access to E-mail and Internet is far from guaranteed.  For some weeks I received strange emails urging me to click on lots of links to avoid my posts not being sent, ending up either lost or unavailable for delivery. This all came pared with obvious fake internet lingo including numbers and quasi predictions of chaos, dire consequences. I ignored all and dumped them without clicking on any highlighted links.

However, out of nowhere my e-mail stopped arriving. First it was intermittently but increasing in shorter time frames. I contacted my mail server. This mail server is different from my internet and phone provider. As expected they blamed each other for the disruption but, in any case; ‘the engineers are working on it’, ‘please have some patience’ was their refrain.

I don’t know what the ‘engineers’ are doing to restore my e-mail? Do they put up ladders against those steel towers and screw tight some cables? Have they got an oil-squirter to lubricate squeaking parts of communication equipment? I don’t know, but suspect  they use impressive words to calm down irate customers ready to ditch their accounts and go elsewhere.

This is the real truth; despite all that technology and despite all those ‘updates’, the internet system is far from perfect. The recent spate of ‘outages’ and internet ‘downs’, is proof that the internet is unstable and remains unreliable. For the Government to insist that Centrelink issues such as vehicle registrations, pensions, sickness benefits, unemployment, and a host of other Government services and access is to be dealt with only by opening electronic accounts is ludicrous and far beyond most ordinary people with average internet knowledge and skills.  Especially older people might just give up. Perhaps that is what this government is aiming for. Fewer people by sheer attrition and internet resistance, getting the benefits they are entitled to.

Of course all the above pales into insignificance compared what refugees are coping with. Just read how cruel this Australia is getting.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/28/you-hate-us-that-much-mother-of-refugee-who-killed-himself-on-nauru-berates-australia

The loneliness of the texting phenomenon.

September 27, 2017

 

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There could not be a greater investment than holding shares in a phone and internet company. No matter where one travels or where one finds themselves, the intense look of people staring at their hand-held phones is everywhere. It surpasses all boundaries, nationalities and world’s oceans.  And all this hand-held staring is costing money which rolls into the lucky shareholders pockets. It would have to be a win-win for those canny enough to see the benefits of exploiting one of the most baffling kinds of human behaviour; all this staring and clicking away spending money all so pervasively and mainly in utter silence. Sometimes the hapless hand-held instrument holder speaks a few words into it, but most of it is done in lonely silence. Who would have thought this habit becoming an unstoppable world-wide obsession?  It is named ‘texting.’

Phone and internet companies are spending big on advertising with all sorts of tempting offers. “Unlimited data”, one company advertises with another company screaming free “12gegabites of free downloads.” The language is becoming so much enriched with so many new techno words that it must be a boon to the ambitious lexicographic expert.

Even TV crime movies now have to include endless scenes whereby the mobile cell phone almost plays as big a role as the main actor-criminals in mortal combat with those detecting sleuths whose job it is to decipher text messages implicated in all sorts of murders and late evening’s mayhem. Have you noticed that on the TV during a particular heinous crime scene,  a mobile phone goes off with a spine chilling ring tone that sends shivers across the room. The ring-tone itself has a most fearful and dire tone. Who designs all that stuff? Are they employing musical deviant composers? It doesn’t really go well with hoping to enjoy a good sleep afterward. One reason we watch less TV and spend more time on the divan just talking nonsense to each other.

Helvi asked me last night; ‘Did you notice that our Parisian daisy is now looking so wonderful?’ ‘Yes dear, and so are our Clivias, I answered. ‘Aren’t things getting dry though’ I said, followed by , ‘we need rain very badly.’ She followed this latest observation up by, ‘we should water the garden tomorrow, you do the front and I will do the back yard.’

Only yesterday I noticed that even when people are together they often avoid speaking to one another and are just staring at their texting equipment. It reminds me of the last time we were in Bali where a café invited customers by, “For those who don’t want to talk to each other we offer free Wi_Fi.”

It is a strange world out there.

A week in Byron Bay.

September 1, 2017

 

 

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If this blog seems a bit quiet, it is because we are not home. The blogging on the move isn’t the strongest part of my writing oeuvre. Not that the words disappear or fade, but the technical aspect of using a computer away from the familiarity of our upstairs little office is challenging. Although, I admit freely that anything away from home is now becoming a challenge. This is why we decided to wrench ourselves to the outside, and take a break up North at Byron Bay. You know how it is; sun and surf still appeals.

Did you know that two days ago my Apple iPhone became locked for no reason? The internet provided by TPG had dropped out. Both my computer and Helvi’s just did not walk. Nothing, rien, nichts or niks would make it work. It’s funny how a break in our IT world can be so unsettling. And I thought we were pretty aloof on the possibility of being hooked on computers.

A good friend suggested I take my locked Apple iPhone to a Telstra shop. Our account is with Telstra which are the biggest telephony company in Australia. The service provider of the internet however is TPG, a much smaller company. They seem to have a permanent advertisement on the TV which drives me mad but not enough to change providers.

Telstra shops are always busy and you can tell that it are the lost and the forlorn oldies that have the most trouble with  modern electronic communication gadgetry. They are doomed to forever catch up with the increasingly more intricate cell-phone world. It is all so baffling, but you can tell by their worried puckered up faces they are all at their wits end. I too joined them which gives comfort. And after I gave my name, which a man wearing a Telsra name tag tapped into a tablet, was asked to take a seat and wait for my turn.  The shop was now full of Mobile/Cell-Phone traumatized elderly people holding up their gadgets like a S.O.S.

When my name was called a young girl approached and asked about my problem with the locked iPhone. She suggested it could well be due because of the age of the phone (rather than my age). ‘Why not update and buy a new one,’ she suggested?  New iPhone made by Apple costs hundreds. I baulked at spending so much on a telephone, especially when they appear to get ‘locked’, and apparently at their own volution! I noticed a new Telstra phone for $99.- with all the colourful buttons and apps much the same as an Apple iPhone. After I bought it she tapped in all my details and as I kept the same number I was pleased to have this problem of my old locked phone solved at minimum costs.

When I came back and tried my new phone it wasn’t easy to get used to the change. The buttons were all different and the sheer number of choices that one had to make to install the workability of it all was dauntingly depressing. Just to install the phone numbers of family and friend’s in the new phone had me close to calling the ambulance, while Helvi threatened to call the police. This new phone wanted me to accept ‘good morning’ reminders of, ‘time to go to work’, all sorts of memories and reminders and birthdays. It was just so endless and pointless.  Who is the sadist thinking this all up?

It all made me wish to go back to try and unlock my old trusted iPhone.  The message of contacting Apple was still on the old Apple screen and even had a phone number which I rang. Much to my relief, but after going though another round of pressing this number and that number on my landline-phone, I got to talk to a real person. Not only real, but with an Aussie accent. To ascertain my identity I was asked secret questions for which answers were apparently given some years ago when I set up the iPhone. Fortunately, two of the secret bits of information I gave were correct. He guided me to set-up a new password, and bingo, my Apple iPhone did a Lazarus and came back to life. Of course, even though the iPhone went back to life, the phone account had been switched over to the new phone.

The upshot of it all is that I use the new Telstra phone as a normal phone ( if there is still such a thing as a ‘Normal’ phone) and the old iPhone for internet and downloading e-mails.

It’s not easy, and that’s why we are going to Byron Bay to soak up some warm sun and drink cold beer.

Life in Scheyville Camp and my first Bush in 1956

May 3, 2015
Our Dutch friends and us in their home 1956.

Dutch friends and us in their home 1956.

The above photo after we had moved in with our Dutch friends/ From left: my mum, husband of Dutch friends, my dad in shorts, ( late) brother John, Lies, daughter of Dutch friend, the coal shed for Nr 2 Aunty and last, brother Adrian.

We soon must move away from Scheyville.  I can sense a Deja vu coming on. Just a few more Scheyville memories that have obsessively stuck through the decades… After the first few days eating in the communal food hall, we started taking our plates and chops to our own hut. Of course it was mid-summer and if anything, the food would get even hotter walking outside under the fiery sun.

The summing up of Scheyville Camp period.

1. It is a credit to the ingenuity of migrants that already some of them had obtained old groaning vehicles making them independent from the monopoly of the Polish taxi driver, buses or public trains. Some Dutch migrants had as proof of their lingering culture obtained bicycles to get around on. They would be seen cycling around the camp running messages or getting food. One day as were keenly tucking into the mutton in our huts, one of the Dutch cyclers was racing around the huts shouting in Dutch, ‘ maggots, maggots in the meat, maggots.’ He was like the town crier all red in the face too. What was lacking was the bell. It took us a few seconds to reflect upon his message but soon started to look downwards. Yes, there they were, not too obvious, but when prising open the juicy crevices of the chops, they were there, all wriggling away happily, waiting for their wings.

2.  As mentioned earlier a Pole had become a self proclaimed taxi-driver. In Holland this would never ever be allowed to happen. It was an example of how one could  become and have the freedom to initiate an independency without interference from higher up the Australian Bureaucracy. It was a heaven of freedom.However, on the way to the train I could hardly look the Polish taxi-driver in the face. I had observed his wife in the shower and seen her ‘bush’. The showers were sex separated but in the same block. I had already heard through the camp grapevine,. that if you took the last cubicle adjacent to the female section, one could get a peek. Soon after, I too became privilege to that peek and had obtained another level of attainment in sexual observations. At that time I was the envy and aspirations held by many boys in their early teens. It was such a specific goal in growing up…I could now hold my head high.

photo taken within a few months of landing 1956. Sister Dora and brothers Herman and Adrian in the middle of merry go round.

photo taken within a few months of landing 1956. Sister Dora and brothers Herman and Adrian in the middle of merry go round.

Of course, today those things are observed in all it’s plucked chicken wing minutia on the Internet well before 15 years of age. Different times now, but far more erotic then. It was afterwards and with some guilt (always on automatic)I recognised the woman walking along the mess-hall. I could not look her in the eye. One can imagine going to the Polish taxi-driver’s hut when she came out. It was his wife that I had been viewing through the opening of the flimsy shower partition. A deep shame must have coloured me red…But, I was fifteen.

3.  The train trip. We had all settled in he train. Mum was holding a small suitcase in her lap in which she had packed numerous sandwiches made from the free white bread and previously mentioned free fruit laden IXL jam. Those sandwiches would see us through the day and perhaps even on the trip back. Frugality would reign in this family through thick and thin but mainly thin. But, the rhythmic rocking of the train together with the pleasure of viewing the new passing landscape was interrupted (never to be forgotten) by the conductor wanting to clip a hole in all the passengers tickets.

There was something a bit odd about him. He had a dense smell and unfocussed eyes. ‘Show us your thickets or fickets’, he kept mumbling,  swaying along while holding onto mum’s seat. We could not understand what he was saying but knew he might want our tickets. Even so, dad wanted to know and  asked; ‘pardon?’ Pronouncing it in French. ‘Show us yer frucking thickest maid’, he persevered, now lurching dangerously towards my mum, suitcase held firmly in her lap. We were by this time getting very alarmed. Were we about to be robbed or worse, was our mum and sandwiches at risk? All of a sudden, the  conductor gave up all pretence of soberness and just fell on top of mum and her case with sandwiches. We were all dumb struck. What was this?  Someone said ‘ he’s been on the turps.’  We had never heard of this term, didn’t know even what ‘turps’ was. A man who understood our plight gave the hand to mouth gesture indicating drinking. We understood quickly. The passengers helped the man up who stumbled back to his locket. We were so scared. In Holland we had never ever observed a drunk. A drunken conductor on a train? What would be waiting for us in Sydney? Lucky, that was the only incident but it was a great shock to us.We made it back home and the kind Polish taxi driver was waiting at the station. This time I was more brazen and felt that after the shock of the drunken train conductor, a mere peek of his wife in a shower was now an honest well earned  bonus. We had survived some difficult times and I needed something to cheer me up.

4. So what to make of all this? The few weeks at Scheyville Migrant Camp were totally unexpected. The Nissen huts an extraordinary form of housing that we were totally unprepared for. Not a hint of that during the interview at the Australia Embassy in The Hague. If only there would have been more information right from the beginning. We might still have migrated but better prepared. I really thought that our Dutch friends living in Australia would also have given us better information. They had written the most glorious accounts, it was all paved with gold!  The isolation of the camp did not really allow us a glimpse of the ‘real’ Australia. Afterwards we understood why our friends thought it would be better for us to experience camp life first in order to more appreciate living with them. Was my scepticism of migration ‘we did it for the children’ born already then? Or, was it a mere dormant incurable curmudgeon gene coming out?

More of that in the next episode.