Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Family Weekend

603 words

This was a family weekend, then… picking up my parents at the airport worked fine and was a real surprise. Not too much later, leaving them some time to freshen themselves and – more importantly – leaving the city time to wake up, we indulged in some breakfast and then in some food shopping. Later in the day I had heard all the holiday stories and how they don’t like flying, were really unlucky by visiting the Barrier reef – where they had gale force winds and could see exactly nothing of what there is to see and generally weren’t too impressed by Australia which sounds like it’s quite a rip-off in many places. On their way back, they stopped in Singapore where it was very hot and humid – too hot – and they apparently grew very fond of air conditioned buildings, particularly those with many different Asian food places in them. In the hotel they also had a happy hour which they grew to like…

Hm, not exactly the type of story you like to hear…

We then copied all their photos over to the computer, so they could prove they’d been on a long trip. Many photos of Sydney, quite few of the rainforest in Australia which unfortunately look unimpressive and have my dad going on on how the camera doesn’t take the greens properly, leaving them much paler than they were for real (and the lack of pixels in the camera probably doesn’t help with photos of high-detail things like trees) and very nice colourful ones of some streets in Singapore. After that had been done, I could have a look at the photos – on the telly for comfort. But instead of getting proper commentary for the photos, my parents just took turns in falling asleep. Jet lag…

Since, I’ve told them to give the photos proper names in iPhoto (i.e. that naming them is important and that naming a photo ‘Sydney Opera House’ instead of just ‘SOH’ may help them actually find the photos again in a year… and showing them the batch-rename feature whose German translation ‘Stapel ändern’ will let those who know about what the English term comes from guess what it’s for but leaves everybody else confused). While we were at the computer, I also forced my dad to make a backup of his data (well, I had brought an empty DVD and just did it as i knew he hadn’t done it anyway).

And, as a surprise, my parents had realised that my dad running around with his computer – with all his work and private data on it – might run the risk of someone stealing it and seeing many things that aren’t his business. Quite sophisticated thinking for people whom you have to tell how to show a slideshow in iPhoto – for which, frankly, the UI is very bad (which sadly isn’t remarkable for iPhoto whose UI is just a complete mess): It seems like older people just won’t press buttons if they don’t know what those buttons do. So when there is a button with a triangle in it, members of the pre-walkman generation will just ignore it. And as there isn’t a menu item to trigger a slide show, they’ll just be wondering how to do it at all.

Needless to say that I could solve both those problems, one by explaining the button with the triangle, the other by activating FileVault and the inconvenient feature that makes you enter your password after waking the computer. The first one worked all right, let’s hope the second one will work fine as well.

August 1, 2005, 0:46

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