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Computing & Technology > Electric Stuff

Electric Stuff

(I recommend you skip reading this if you do not want to read about electronics.)

I have “prezzies.” Presents, I mean. A new computer, and a new Apple TV. The Apple TV is how I watch movies and shows from itunes. The computer will take some work to set up, I have to find out if the monitor needs this or that adapter, and so on.

But I’m using the Apple TV already, replacing my very old one which had stopped being able to accept any updates, and often would make me have to unplug it and restart. I plugged the new one into the TV, with an HDMI cable as Mike told me, and it immediately was able to start a show, but suddenly it seemed to have network connection problems.. it kept stopping and starting, with big gaps.

So I pondered and thought of trying another method of connecting the box to the TV. My TV must be about 8 years old or so but it is a good one, very complicated, and Mike was the one who’d hooked it up to the network, and it is connected to added speakers and a stereo receiver, among other things. It has a forest of cables attached to it, like everything else he has ever set up for me. I gave up and went to bed, thinking about finding another HDMI spot to hook it together.

If you’ve ever lived with an engineer, you may have seen how they don’t care about aesthetics so much, they just want things to work, so will just keep adding more and more cables, adapters, and power cords until the electronics do what they want. This leaves you cords and wires like the vines in a Louisiana swamp-forest or whatever they have in Louisiana. And to keep your devices functional, you can’t hide the cords away, really…. I remember the poker player Daniel Negreanu (if you happen to be familiar at all with famous gamblers in Las Vegas; I used to write about them) showing fans on his blog the nice new computer that his new bride had gotten him. Unfortunately, she’d had the installers hide all the long cords inside the walls so they’d look neater. Of course, soon he needed to change something on the computer connections (competing in online poker games can mean using multiple screens), and he realized the connections were all sealed behind the drywall. He took a sledgehammer and had to pretty much destroy half of the room.

When my computers were first set up in my old apartment, Mike left me cords and cables everywhere and I spent a decade tripping over them. Anyway, back to my TV.

The next day when I tried again to make it work, the whole TV was behaving differently. I turned it on, and then picked up the Apple TV remote to turn that on — the old one used to switch on along with the TV, so that was different. (In fact, yesterday, I didn't have to turn them on separately.) The Apple screen came up and it wanted me to sign into my internet network. So I started doing that, and after a couple of minutes I realized I was typing in the password and making selections using the TV’s remote — not the Apple TV’s remote like I expected. And it worked just as well. Probably yesterday’s stopping and starting meant the device was updating and discovering the TV’s settings. Among other things, it made the Sony remote work as a duplicate for the Apple remote. Now it all works perfectly. I feel like I have a new TV.

posted on Feb 6, 2019 10:35 PM ()


Modern technology has replaced Morse communication but that doesn't work in bad weather. Morse is still the only way to communicate when voice cannot be heard. The signal cuts through everything. They can't stop a good system when it works. Jay (my late husband) was a radio officer on a merchant ship during WWII. (The Mermansk run -- torpedoed 3 times -- in a lifeboat for 15 days.) He once copied traffic through a maze of noise that was daunting but he was able to pick out the signal accurately. His captain called him "a long-eared m..... f....r.
comment by tealstar on Feb 13, 2019 9:56 AM ()
I love it when things 'fix themselves.'

I'm currently trying to trick my older PC laptop into being able to update the OS on an ipod. The OS version now won't update wirelessly, has to be connected to a computer.

I'm avoiding installing the latest Mac OS onto my MacBook Air because Filemaker won't run on the latest OS - found that out the hard way. Apple owns FM now, so it feel like a scheme to get me to upgrade to the latest FM when things are perfectly fine with the current version.
comment by traveltales on Feb 7, 2019 2:21 PM ()
That's a shame about Filemaker, it was probably better than similar programs. I hate it when good programs are lost.
reply by drmaus on Feb 9, 2019 8:36 AM ()
It's too complicated for me to follow. My first husband, a giant brain, was, among other things, an electronics engineer who wrote repair manuals, with secret clearance, for the Atlas missile. He taught me the Morse code and hoped I would become a radio amateur as he was, but reading the electronics book that would prepare me for the test, was a problem. Easy for the first 20 pages and then whump, Sanskrit. So I gave up. However I still use Morse to talk with him in the hereafter. I use his radio call sign, W2WHM, and I sign off with "73" which is Morse for goodbye and I use his nickname for me, Lillabug.The radio amateur magazine CQ has a page called "silent keys" in which they list the obits of members. It was heartbreaking to read his call on that page.
comment by tealstar on Feb 7, 2019 7:44 AM ()
I like the thought of that communication with those beyond. Radio is interesting. I don't know much about ham radio, though.
reply by drmaus on Feb 9, 2019 8:34 AM ()

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