On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Technology’

The Brendles Unplugged | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 10, 2020:

EMPSeveral years ago I read four books by Christian author Terri Blackstock called the Restoration Series. The basic premise was that a world-wide electromagnetic pulse wiped out every microchip on the planet rendering useless anything that needed one of these little pieces of plastic to function. Simple mechanical engines still operated, but fuel soon ran out since gas pumps no longer operated. Water treatment plants and power plants shut down, so there was no electricity or running water. Modern society was plunged into, if not the dark ages, at least a time that called for life skills sorely lacking by most who survived the initial catastrophe. Although not nearly as dramatic, David and I suffered a miniature version of that experience this past weekend – our WiFi and our clothes dryer went out – all on the same day! (more…)

My tech guru | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rain County Leader on October 29, 2019:

David and Linda at Fay's 2018David has earned a reputation as the tech guru at the Senior Center because of his knowledge of all things electronic – computers, phones, tablets, and even high-tech watches. Many of our friends have asked him questions about how to fix or operate their devices, and when they didn’t understand the answer, they brought the contrary gadget to him for help. Problems range from a phone that won’t ring because the sound is turned off to a new computer that needs a complete setup.

Reactions differ, too. Some take his services for granted like the man who dropped a new phone in front of him with a curt, “Set that up for me,” as he headed over to another table to visit with friends. Others offer to pay him, which he usually refuses. My favorite though is the man who was having trouble getting his new TV up and running. David made a house call, and once the TV was set up, the man offered money. David wouldn’t take it, but he gave him several packages of home grown frozen purple hull peas and two packages of peaches. Later in the week, he brought us a pie. Now that’s gratitude!

People often ask how David knows what to do to fix whatever ails these mysterioustech guru machines that have become such a necessity to modern life. The answer is simple – he reads – a lot. He is the only person I know who reads the owner’s manuals of everything he owns. He also reads blogs, articles, and updates from the major communication companies. And although he may not remember what he had for breakfast, or if he had breakfast, he seems to remember most of what he reads.

Through our almost twenty years together, I have been the main beneficiary of his technical knowledge. When we met, I had a small desktop computer and a VCR, both of which I knew how to turn on but not much else. Since then I’ve been through several phones and a few laptops and all the problems that come with them. He has always been there to help, even when the problems were with company computers at my office.

Computer filesHowever, there is an old adage that says the doctor’s children are the last to be treated, the cobbler’s children have worn out shoes, and so forth. This past weekend I wondered if the same principal applied to the wives of tech gurus. I’m working on a new book and am trying to do the design and setup myself. In order to format the cover to suit the publisher, I had to download a new program to my laptop. In the process, my computer froze up, and all I had was a black screen with the silhouettes of a few ghostly boxes. I’ve learned enough from David to know what to try first. I hit the Escape key several times with no effect, and I tried to open the Task Manager with the same result. Finally, crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t lose anything vital, I rebooted. The same screen came up.

After going through this series of moves several more times, I told David about my troubles. He was watching the LSU football game, so I’m not sure he even heard me. At half time he announced he was going across the street for a cup of coffee with Charles, and I felt as if the doctor had left the building. But I had a few Saturday chores to do, so like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, I decided to worry about my computer later.

When David came home, he noticed that my laptop was closed, so he asked if I had everything taken care of. When I said no, he immediately sat down in my spot and went to work. I could tell he was going through the same routine I had with the same results. He said unsettling things like “I don’t know…” and “…bad hard drive.” I wracked my brain trying to remember if I had backed up my latest manuscript on my flash drive. Then, he went into the office. A few minutes later, he yelled for me to bring my laptop in there. He hooked it up to an external hard drive, and it started. In the next few hours, I was able to download the new program and finish my book cover. The next day, my laptop was back to normal, and I made sure to backup all my files.

Sometimes David thinks I understand more about technology than I do. I’ve learned a lot from him, as you can tell by some of the techie terms I throw around, but new devices are invented much more quickly than I can learn. Sure, I can download a program and use some pretty sophisticated software to create and share the things I write. But I still have no idea how to operate the DVD player we’ve had for almost a decade. And since we discontinued satellite TV and began streaming everything through the Internet, if my tech guru isn’t home, I read a book.

Blessings

Linda

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A Long and Winding Road

Get the picture? |by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 9, 2019:

Wedding scrapbookPhotography is a favorite pastime with many members of my family, especially my sister-in-law, JoLynn. She’s very good with a camera, and in the pre-digital days, she filmed many memorable events including mine and David’s wedding. She has gifted many of us with beautiful scrapbooks, and she has become the unofficial family historian.

Since the advent of digital imagery, JoLynn has spent countless hours scanning and cataloging photographs which she can access on request – and I have made a number of requests. She continues to snap photos and make scrapbooks, making use of new technology to create hardback coffee table books of family reunions and trips, special occasions like landmark birthdays and anniversaries, and the lives of her three sons and eight grandchildren. (more…)

Sometimes I hate my GPS by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 11, 2018:

road-atlas-category-imageThe invention of the GPS or Global Positioning system was a wonderful thing for those of us who are directionally impaired even when we have a map in front of us. The system was first used by the U.S. military, but it was released for civilian use in the 1980s. It’s accessible to anyone that has a GPS receiver, and now almost all smart phones and newer cars come with GPS receivers. Many of the younger generations have no idea what a Rand McNally Road Atlas is for or how to use a Mapsco, but they can put an address into a GPS with their eyes closed.

David has always been interested in electronics – always reading all the latest release GPSstories and consumer reports so he can make an informed decision when he decides to make a purchase. A GPS was on his Christmas list in 2007, shortly after we bought our motor home. He thought it would be invaluable for locating remote RV campgrounds and not-to-be-missed points of interest that are off the beaten path. The GPS lived up to his expectations – most of the time. It had its moments, though. (more…)

Scavenger Hunt – 21st Century Style | by Linda Brendle

AWANADavid and I serve as volunteers in AWANA at our church. AWANA is a Bible-based program for children from four years old through the sixth grade. The children meet each Wednesday night and spend ninety minutes singing songs, listening to Bible stories, playing games, and learning Bible verses. Once a month we have a special event like Backward Night when everyone wore their clothes backward and the schedule for the evening was reversed or like Campout Night when we made S’amores. This week we had a scavenger hunt. (more…)

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