Tech Challenges

Saturday, 8 November 2014

IMG_8387 - airport escalator warning 540▲ At Hong Kong Airport these warning signs appear on all the escalators. You’ll also hear regular warnings on the MTR – the Hong Kong subway system – to pay attention to the outside world, not to focus all your attention on your phone. These mobile/cell phone warnings are as ubiquitous as the ‘mind the gap’ warnings on the Tube in London.

At my advanced age I’m supposed to be hit by ‘tech challenges’ on a regular basis and not just the challenge of walking while talking/texting/studying my phone at the same time. It’s true, I’d be seriously disappointed if I didn’t get hit by some tech challenge every day. Here are just five recent ones:

• My iPad suddenly decides it can only live with an old out-of-date email address for iCloud or iTunes. Only my iPad note, my iPhone is happy and so is my (non-Apple) laptop. Phoning Apple support eventually changes the email address, but to do so takes well over an hour of patient step-by-step instructions and at the end a half dozen books and a lot of photographs have disappeared off my iPad. And all I wanted to do was change an email address! No wonder I hate Apple.

• No matter how often I tick the ‘online only’ box on the ANZ Bank website the tick keeps migrating back to the ‘send by mail’ box and they keep sending me hard copies of my bank and credit card statements.

• Flying back from Hong Kong suddenly all the Outlook email messages I delete don’t just delete and find a new home in my trash file they just sit there with a line crossed through them. I waste a ridiculous amount of time (dealing with tech issues always involves a ridiculous amount of time) without finding what the answer is. Go online and look when you’re home with an internet connection, right? Which I do, but before I can follow the fix it instructions the problem fixes itself. How? Why?

IMG_2076 - meter - 270• Satnav systems don’t want to turn down the road near my house. I ignore the ‘keep going’ instructions, but two recent Uber bookings have taken five to 10 minutes longer because their satnavs have also taken them the long way around – I’m watching on my phone as the Uber cars approach my house.

• Melbourne has very expensive parking meters in the city centre – A$5.50 an hour. Yesterday I put $5.50 into a meter and got just 55 minutes. I had to pay another 50c to get a full hour. ►