Monday, June 9, 2014

Out of RAM

There's an aphorism making the rounds on Facebook. It's in regards to the knowledge available to us in this digital age. A person from the 1900's shows up and what would you tell him about the difference between then and now. The answer is how you can hold the sum total of the world's knowledge in the palm of your hand and access it instantly. Oh and you can make a phone call, if you wish. I got a new mini computer before my vacation.

It's the one on the left. It's the 4s iPhone. I don't consume data like you young whippersnappers do. If I want information, I generally use a desktop computer to look it up. I use a phone as you used to use those things you had hanging on the wall in your house, to make and receive calls. I did figure out how to set up Facebook on the old phone. Setting it up on the new phone involves many more steps that confuse me. I have a mapping service that I will use tomorrow when I have to drive to a location in southern Wisconsin to do inspections. I have access to weather. That's nice.

I understand I could use it instead of my CD's, as a music player. I'm willing to wager it doesn't have the wide breadth of jazz or Scottish music that I prefer on those long drives. The soundtrack to Despicable Me 2? Check. King Oliver and the Hot Five? Probably not.

I've been told I can watch movies on my phone. When my boss said I could do that, I gave him a blank stare. Why would I want to watch something on a 3 inch by 2 inch screen? He just chuckled and said that you do lose resolution, but our data plan would allow for movie streaming if I found myself stuck somewhere.

Apple announced their new operating system for their computers last week. I have been kind of blah about the upgrade announced last year, but this new one, Yosemite, has me more excited. That it's free is even better, but one thing in the reviews made me more excited than other things. If I sync my phone with my home computer, I can take things I was working on at home with me to finish on my phone. There have been a lot of times that I have wished I could finish a writing document when I find myself stuck somewhere. "Oh yeah. I was working on that story. I'd love to be able to finish it." It seems I'll be able to do that with the new OS.

All of this brings up what I like to term "the over 40 out of RAM" situation. The older I get, the more convinced I am that, just like man made computers, our brains have a finite amount of memory. As we age, that amount gets filled up with things like important dates; how to do our jobs; how to get home; which key opens the back door and which key opens the office door; the names of the leaders of the civilized and, maybe, the uncivilized world, stuff like that. There's also room for memories of faces and places and events. But there's a limit to what you can remember. When you have to learn something new, the filing cabinet that is your brain throws something out, much like I do in January when I clear out checks from 1996. Don't need those anymore.

The problem with the brain cleaning things out is that you have no control over what it remembers and what it discards. I know I knew more about Art History than I can remember. My college was one course from an Art History minor. I took everything they had because it was interesting. I even took the Art Appreciation course provided to non-Art majors, people who had to take a liberal arts appreciation course and chose Art from English, Theater, Art or Music. (I wasn't allowed to take the English appreciation course. As an English Major, I had to take the Comp and Lit class for majors because the appreciation course was deemed "below" me.) I probably know more about English literature than I can currently remember or the history of the Bible (really, really interesting class). I can't remember how to make drip coffee. My dad taught me how to make it so I would make it before he left for work. I used to know some plants by sight because gardening interests me. I attribute the loss of this information as my brain's RAM is out of memory.

So, faced with a brand new phone, I haven't delved into all the things this piece of equipment can do. I can text people and I can make phone calls. I have figured out how to take photos and email them to myself. There are probably things my phone could do which would make my life easier, which would help alleviate the loss of data in my head. It's just that I don't know how to do it on the phone.

What I probably need is to keep a list of things which confuse me and then take said list to the nice gal who set up the phone. "Can you please show me how to..."I learn better that way anyway. My mom keeps a note pad by her computer so when I need to show her how to do something, she writes it down. That's probably a good idea for me, too, until the action become part of my memory.

It won't help me make good drip coffee, but I might remember if this is coreopsis or something else.

Beverage:  Dunkin Donuts tea


No comments:

Post a Comment