"What is Not a Time Saver"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Electronic equipment is racing ahead with new developments announced almost on a daily basis. Some of us however are still trying to figure out how to use what we already have.

I’ve been told and have to believe electronic gadgets, of all kinds, are here to stay. Since I use many of them, I’m happy about that, but I have a question. If the electronics are here to stay why are they being replaced by new ones? If they are here to stay, why do they need replacement?

Electronic time savers are not what they claim to be. As I worked on a column the other day I was using my computer for reference.

I stepped away for a short time and while I was gone the machine went to sleep. When I woke it up, I found a bold announcement; “Do not turn off or unplug, we are installing 13 updates,” (go take a nap). I chose to go get a cup of coffee and when I returned and woke up the computer again it said; “Making 3 additional updates” (like 13 wasn’t enough) and the screen went dark. A short time later the machine chimed an “on” signal and indicated it was ready to go. Whoopie! It had shut me out for so long, I forgot what I was working on and had to start all over — with this column. Time saver? I don’t think so. Perhaps at times a convenience but not a time saver.

Another thing about electronics; if they are so smart they can update dozens of items at a time, why is it when we attempt to research something the information is usually outdated? Doesn’t matter what make, model or age the computer is or how many search engines they use; seldom do they ever find current information.

If the machine can update everything automatically while I’m trying to use it, why can’t it update the information it gives me?

Will the electronic world ever run out of space? If it does, maybe it can just update and reuse all the space it clears.

As I see it, electronics are often thieves’ best tools. They steal your private information and allow others to receive it, remember the Privacy Acts? I just read about a woman who was told on her computer that she won a lottery her husband had entered just before he passed away. All she had to do was identify herself and forward funds to cover transfer fees and taxes. How do you suppose the “computer” got the information about her husband dying and how to contact her?

The poor woman’s life savings were stolen. If the electronics are so smart and updated daily, why can’t they tell how the woman’s personal information was obtained and by whom. They could then pass that information on to the computer police. Oh, I forgot, there are none.

I received an email the other day from a person who requested I send money that would be repaid many times over. Since journalists are so overpaid, I deleted the email so some other lucky guy could help her.


I had to take a break to listen to Pat telling me what was happening on her computer. It was the same message I had received on mine earlier: “Do not shut off or unplug ...” She did not pay attention and had a difficult time getting back to work because she did shut off and unplug. It was only trying to save her time but she chose not to believe that and spent more time trying to reboot and she still had to accept the 13 updates — and the leftover three.

It’s really amazing how much time a computer can waste just trying to prove it is a time saver.




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