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Ice Cream Jonsey
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webshit

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

I had a video call with my mother today. It is the first video call I've ever had with either of my parents.

My dad really wanted to try it out. He would bring it up over the years when the options were native drivers for web cams or Skype or Google Hangouts and I would give him the ole, "Sure! Let's try that sometime haha" but I never did. And it's because I hated webcams and video conferencing software. It became tech support hour. Skype was so bad, I'd probably avoid interviewing with a company if they used it as their main thing. "BlueJeans Teleconferencing" is probably the dumbest name for anything I've ever heard. (Do you guys do that? Get turned away from using something because the name is so goddamn dumb?) TeamViewer at this point has to be considered spyware for foreign factions, they get hacked weekly. I think I tried Webex as well. Some dumb shits at a company I used to work for at the C level were getting all angry at everyone and everything because either Webex or BlueJeans wasn't instantly amazingly perfect (not that they were wrong, it sucked but what were we going to do about it?) and you have to credit Zoom, they figured out the stability issue for the most part.

But here is how I had to connect today. My mom is 77:

- I used Anydesk to remote into her laptop and take control of it
- I started up Zoom. A month ago I had made her an account and told Zoom to save the credentials.
- I copied the Zoom link on her computer through Anydesk
- I bring up Zoom on my computer
- Connect to the link I have copied

And boom, we're set. It was nice and it was delightful. Could my mother have done those things? I mean, go set a "secure" password and tell your parent that started texting for the first time a year ago how to get the ampersand key into a password field where you can't see what you're typing.

But I do wish I had done this with my dad. I don't have many regrets about my father. He had a heart attack at 43 and about two years ago had a stroke that he recovered fully from. In between that time he continued to be someone fascinated by technology. He didn't have the desire to wax poetically about it like, say, Douglas Adams (and my father, like the rest of us, didn't have the access that Douglas did, getting the second Mac in England or whatever) but he was just as interested with what new tech was out there for the entirety of his life. So I do regret never getting on one of the old webshit video systems. Trying to get someone older than myself to do something on a computer is a nightmare and it's gotten worse over the years. I understand the decision I made, I just wish I had powered through it. It was nice to see my mother on camera and for that I'm thankful, Zoom.

***

One last bit. Windows 10 will use ... I dunno if I'd call it a "dark pattern" but they want people in new installations to pick a "PIN" as well as a password. Oh you still need your password! Ha ha! But here's a PIN as well. It's so goddamn stupid and dumb and terrible and pointless.

My father used the same PIN for everything because who gives a shit. Not knowing he could unplug his connection to the Internet and bypass entering a PIN (that's one way to avoid it and of course he would not think to do that) he tried to enter that common PIN for his laptop. The one that would never leave his house.

Microsoft told him the PIN was "too common."

Now, luckily he told me what he used, so when the PIN was requested (which is not all the time - I seriously have no idea what the logic was in this and I know they'll abandon it for their next release) I had to have been lucky enough to have that conversation with my now-deceased father so we could get into his computer and sort out banking and credit card and loan issues. I wish there was some way for this story to get into the hands of the human garbage that just keeps slopping layer and layer of pointless webshit onto the Windows OS, but that's not possible. Computers are extremely difficult for people over the age of 70 to use and it shouldn't be that way.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Flack
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Re: webshit

Post by Flack »

Our country opened up COVID vaccines to senior citizens and then forced them to schedule their appointments through a website that took even me a moment to figure out. This is an entire generation of people who twenty years ago had clocks blinking 12:00 on their VCRs, and today... well, today they still have VCRs and their clocks are still blinking 12:00. My mother has no interest in hitting F5 on a website over and over. Making old people schedule vaccines through a website is like forcing kids to sign up to TikTok by writing an application in cursive and asking them to mail it along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

My first experience "video chatting" with my parents was Christmas morning. Because of COVID, my dad said he would come over, but only if he sat 6' feet away from me in my garage, and only if I left the big door open. To communicate with the rest of my family, I sat up two laptops with Zoom -- one in the garage, and one inside the house. Out in the garage, due to poor planning on my part, I had to set the laptop to my right, with my dad sitting 6' away to my left. In technical terms I quickly became a human repeater, repeating everything my dad said into the camera's microphone, and everything everyone said on screen back to my dad. At certain points of the morning my mom and my sister both dialed in as well. We had Christmas together in the same way our planets are all in the same solar system.

If mp3s turned us into DJs, video chatting turned us into videographers. My wife has two different ring lights, a backfill light, and a backdrop. She moved her cello into her office, not because she plays it there, but because it looks good in the background. I put up a set of shelves on the wall behind me and filled it with boxed computer stuff I never use, to make people think I use it.

I will say that Apple's Facetime has taken 99% of the technical issues out of video chatting. Instead of hitting the dial button, you hit the camera button; everything else is the same. My biggest issue with it is that everyone I chat with instantly discovers how much I multitask. "Are you listening?" my wife will ask into the camera while she's inside a hotel room. And I *am* listening -- I'm just not *looking*. Normally I'm typing, eating, or pooping. Sometimes all three.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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AArdvark
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Re: webshit

Post by AArdvark »

This is the future in a way we never expected to see. Babk In 1968 2001: A space Oddesy featured video calls that were seamless because , well it was a movie but they couldn't foresee the tech side of video calling. When I was a kid I imagined a stand alone device that replaced the telephone, not a single device that does...everything

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