Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Geekstravaganza

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  • Emma Hart,

    WTF? I thought we were past this sort of stereotyping these days. Bad Russell! Go sit on the naughty step and have a long think about what you've said. Time starts now...

    The use of 'your mum' by tech geeks might have something to do with the 'fact' (ie statement I'm basing entirely on observation and anecdotal evidence and not thinking about too hard) that most times when they're being asked to set up a system for someone with no tech nous, it's a woman. It's the grandmas who want a computer so they can email their grandkids, look at photos, take up blogging. The grandads are all busy being curmudgeonly and discovering that they're now old enough to use words like 'new-fangled'.

    Plus, I'd add that a phone is probably more useful to an African farmer who has work to do and crops to sell than to a dole recipient in Auckland, who doesn't.

    Oh come now. How are the bludgers our country is seemingly awash with supposed to arrange their p deals without a phone?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wonder how long before "World of Warcraft" becomes an essential of life. Coz without it, you know, you might have to go outside - and thats scary, with people and cars that might kill you and bad weather that could freeze you to death.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    most times when they're being asked to set up a system for someone with no tech nous, it's a woman.

    ... but when you're asked to fix a system that's been really rooted, it's for a man who should have asked for help earlier but didn't.

    As an ex-ITsupport person for a university I know whereof I speak.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    See that stereotype? That's your mum, that is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Jeez, lighten up.

    Ah, the time-honoured 'can't you chicks take a joke?' defence. :)

    (I think the jury's still out on the sexism of 'your mum', though. I'm just not sure about it.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3653 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    When I built (non lethal) systems for the Aussie Navy, some years ago, one of the POs would always ask "so have you made it easy to use? Can officers work it?"

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I wonder how long before "World of Warcraft" becomes an essential of life. Coz without it, you know, you might have to go outside - and thats scary, with people and cars that might kill you and bad weather that could freeze you to death.

    ...and worst of all, your online character could get killed while you are away.

    I know you were not being that serious about phones not being essential, particularly as you admit to having at least two of them. Of course you can survive without one, but quality of life is substantially diminished, even for dole bludgers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8450 posts Report Reply

  • Chaos Buddha,

    Yeah I got the 'Go Large' plan too. Now I can't get a fixed IP address because that would interfere with Telecom's ability to switch your IP any time you start peering. Still, at least it doesn't cost me hundreds every month now.

    ... eek, does this mean peeps on Go Large can't set up their system with a static IP address? Does Telecom poo-poo this by making something not work if you do?

    And how, prey-tell, could one tell if Telecom was 'switching your IP' ..?

    Nirvana • Since May 2007 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    ... eek, does this mean peeps on Go Large can't set up their system with a static IP address? Does Telecom poo-poo this by making something not work if you do?

    And how, prey-tell, could one tell if Telecom was 'switching your IP' ..?

    Basically, if you are using your connection to *access* content, your IP address is not of relevance. The router sorts it out.

    If you do something that needs other machines to access you (some filesharing, or running a website) then a static IP becomes a good idea.

    The thing is, in the current IPV4 world, addresses are a scarce resource and cost money to provide. Should the majority (who don't need one) subsidise the majority who do?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    he reckons the companies taught these illiterate rural african women to text using some sort of phonetic pictograms, and they took to it

    Really? So rather than simply charge a reasonable rate for voice calls, they teach 'illiterate' 'Africans' a whole new written language so they have a use for cellphones? Surely the pinnacle of free market beneficence...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    :$
    s/majority/minority/r

    (or something)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Ah, the time-honoured 'can't you chicks take a joke?' defence. :)

    Thanks Danielle.

    (I think the jury's still out on the sexism of 'your mum', though. I'm just not sure about it.)

    It's not just the sexism aspect of it, it's also the agism - and I know my comment didn't explain that very well, sorry. I work to bridge gaps in technology knowledge and uptake, and I think it doesn't really help to have a such a simplistic stereotypical definition of people who might not "get it" because everybody has a different level of experience in different areas.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Can we agree on "NZ First supporters" as a generalisation for the technologically illiterate?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    When I was younger 'your mother' were fighting word & not a clip around the ear either.

    If it was big talk or a joke the guys I knew didn't take it that way at all.

    And back to landlines - we often don't klnow our neighbours, people in our communities are isolate our family friends are scattered and for good health/socialisation a phone is essential in NZ.

    Telecom need to be held accountable for not providing the Public Share. A simple pre-pay no-frims local landline that can't accept collect calls (often a burden in some societies) & can't make them either.

    Who really needs caller ID? - How about you pick up the phone & say Hello?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    My mum taught me MS-DOS commands. She'd take exception to high-tech things with complex user interfaces being not for her.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 810 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "Can we agree on "NZ First supporters" as a generalisation for the technologically illiterate?

    As an ex IT support person for Parliament (a long time ago in the years of the spud), I confirm that this one will fly. In fact you could eliminate the word "supporters"

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    My mum taught me MS-DOS commands.

    My mum updates unix scripts with Vi

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    "What did you do if you were late?" "Well son, in those day, people just had to suck on it".

    Entire episodes of Seinfeld rely upon communication disasters that now seem irrelevant. Watching them now is a bit like watching a Shakespearean play where the plot hinges on a letter being dispatched on horseback. The enjoyment isn't diminished, but it seems like a period piece, and reminds one that interpersonal dynamics and social norms are sometimes radically altered by technology.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Who really needs caller ID? - How about you pick up the phone & say Hello?

    I could wise crack here, but for once I will refrain & invite my younger brother to tell us why some people really do need caller ID. Or the Jaws ringtone associated with a certain calling number.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Really? So rather than simply charge a reasonable rate for voice calls, they teach 'illiterate' 'Africans' a whole new written language so they have a use for cellphones? Surely the pinnacle of free market beneficence...

    this was a conversation in the pub 5 years ago. i'm scant on details.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    My mum updates unix scripts with Vi

    There must be a million better ways to get your thrills in the new millenium? I always found Vi to be the definition of annoying and obscure.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    It's not just the sexism aspect of it, it's also the agism - and I know my comment didn't explain that very well, sorry. I work to bridge gaps in technology knowledge and uptake,

    yeah... but i've read you remark that you can't remember life without the internet. russell's mum, like mine, can well remember life without television.

    technological ability often can't be learned overnight. if you're like my mum you never had the chance to learn all the precursors that make technological know-how possible.

    mum is not stupid. but she's spent her life focussed on knowledge that's not helpful when you need to conceptualise the use of menus to programme a vcr.

    but ask her about adhesives, ceramics, and the mounting of different types of substances outdoors and weather-proofing them? (nb. she's a well-recognised mosaic artist)

    she starts talking a language i can't understand...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan Blair,

    sigh - we in Dunedin get forgotten again - maybe I should start shovelling my $$ to someone other than Orcon

    Dunedin, along with all major population centers in NZ, is definitely on our roadmap.

    In order to get an exchange opened up for us to install our equipment we must apply. All access seekers (telcos who want to unbundle) are applying for exchanges to be opened up, and the most popular ones get unbundled first.

    We have asked for those exchanges where we have the most existing customers to be unbundled first, and will continue to do so. Currently the exchanges with the most Orcon customers are predominantly in Auckland, with some in Wellington and Christchurch, and then the odd exchange in the other centers. So in fact if you are keen for us to get to Dunedin sooner the best thing you can do is convince 10 of your friends to make the switch now.

    Cheers,
    Duncan Blair
    Group Product Manager
    Orcon

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I always found Vi to be the definition of annoying and obscure.

    I thought someone was playing a joke on me when I first saw it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan Blair,

    Yowza - good deal from Orcon. But danged if I can open their home page at www.orcon.net.nz

    Yeah, sorry guys. Seem to be a couple of issues earlier today. These should be resolved now.

    If anyone continues to have problems please let me know.

    Cheers,
    Duncan Blair
    Group Product Manager
    Orcon

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

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