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Friday, 15 October 2021 Dereel
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The pain of COVID apps
Topic: health, technology, opinion Link here

Something must have happened in New South Wales. Everybody is scrambling to get their mobile phones set up with the NSW equivalent of “Service Victoria”, which is subtly different, along with the same kind of stupid “digital certificate” of vaccination. And people had lots of difficulty with them.

These are experienced computer people, not coincidentally people who made fun of me when I grumbled about my problems. I'm glad to feel vindicated, and was able to make some suggestions to help.

The most interesting one was when one person had to create a second Mygov account because the name wasn't spelt in the same way on all his documents. I've had that issue too: clearly it indicates that the authentication is based on incorrect parameters.


New smart for Yvonne
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

As discussed yesterday, Yvonne brought home a Samsung Galaxy S7 from Chris Bahlo. And now I have to set it up for her.

One “smart” phone causes enough smart. Two different ones are double the smart, if not more. Spent some time playing around with it and wondering whether it wouldn't be a better idea to get another Xiaomi phone instead.

The most obvious thing is, despite what people tell me, to use it to make phone calls. OK, put in the SIM card from the old phone.

Oh. It's a mini-SIM card. Not a micro-SIM or nano-SIM. And the Samsung needs a nano-SIM. Yes, I can break out a micro-SIM card from it, but not a nano-SIM. We're going to need a new one. And that means going to ALDI when we go shopping tomorrow.

Why am I doing all this?


Saturday, 16 October 2021 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 16 October 2021
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Lena sick
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Lena is not feeling well. Yvonne tells me that she had been threatening to vomit all night, and when she got out in the morning, she vomited a little white foam. Not surprisingly, she didn't want anything to eat.

It stayed that way all day, and in the evening she vomited again. Apart from that, however, she seemed relatively active, no pain, no lethargy. Hopefully she'll be better tomorrow.


Dog training: graduation
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Off for the last session of dog training despite Lena's condition. Neither dog showed herself from her best side. Lena was somewhat subdued and not interested in the games, and of course her lack of interest in the treats didn't help. Larissa was full of beans and jumping around all over the place, also not very interested in the games.

Still, they graduated:


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I have mixed feelings about the course. On the one hand, Annette, the instructor, did the job very well, but the surroundings were barely acceptable, and really the course wasn't really what we were looking for: socializing with other dogs was much more important.


A new phone for Yvonne
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

After some discussion, we have decided to buy a new phone for Yvonne. The Samsung Galaxy S7 has seen better days, the USB socket no longer works reliably, making charging touch-and-go, and the interface is completely different.

By chance, I saw a cheap Xiaomi phone on the Officeworks web site yesterday, so off there to take a look at it. Not a single Xiaomi phone on offer! The reluctant staff member whom Yvonne brought by asked me if I had a screen shot. Right, just what you need when you come to a shop to buy something that has been advertised. Later, however, I was unable to find any Xiaomi phones on the web site. Did I imagine it? Is this dealing with mobile phones scrambling my brains?

On via ALDI, where we got a SIM card with no difficulty, and at Yvonne's suggestion to Delacombe Town Centre to look for Dr Boom. I went looking for them a few months ago, but the DTC web site beat me, and I didn't find it.

I didn't find it today either, though I looked at where it should have been. But it was on the other side of the main drag! It wasn't until I got home that I discovered I had been confused by their map, which has an arrow pointing not north, but west! Their information hasn't improved at all since last time, and they still don't have any catalogue of the companies in the centre. I'm surprised that the companies haven't complained.

At Dr Boom, the next surprise: a sign on the locked door “Back in 30 minutes”, measured from some indeterminate starting time. There was a woman inside, who came out and said “I must be allowed my 20 minute lunch break”. Well, yes, she can do whatever she wants. But if you want to stay in business, you might set priorities differently. She sounded quite upset, as if life had been treating her badly for some time, and I felt a little sorry for her. But I also got the impression that part of the problem was that business was very slow. Her priorities don't help there.


Google retorts
Topic: technology, language, opinion Link here

We were in Sebastopol when it occurred to us to look for mobile phones in the Delacombe Town Centre. OK, Google, take me to Delacombe Town Centre. And off we were across country on arguably the best route.

Until we got to the south-east corner of the complex:

 
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I should have turned left, and I did, but Google Maps wanted me to go round to the other side along a main road. „OK, Google, du hast einen Knall“: “OK, Google, you're crazy”. And the prompt answer: “You and me both”. For the first time Yvonne saw something positive in the application.


ALDImobile SIM: simplicity itself
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Back home, time to install the new SIM card in the Samsung phone. Simple, right? The packaging included instructions, including going to aldimobile.com.au/activate and following the instructions. OK, I can do that. Of course, I don't have the same thought patterns as the people who wrote the web pages:


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This one means that I should write only the number, not the street itself, though the message suggests that it's the spaces that are to blame.


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“Did you buy a Mobile, Date or Family Plan Starter Pack?”. Yes, of course, they're all for mobile phones or data. So I select “I have a voucher”. Then it asks for a 10 digit voucher code, which is on the carrier for the SIM card:

 
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Wrong, fool! That's 13 digits. Well, yes, I can see that, but that's what it asked for? Called up ALDImobile, conveniently free on my ALDImobile phone, and spoke to mumble, who only answered when he felt like it. No, I don't have a voucher, I have a $5 starter pack, apparently neither mobile nor data. So I don't need to enter anything there.

OK, continue, and it let me, up to the point where I selected “Confirm”:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211016/small/ALDImobile-6-detail-2.png
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Huh? I want to keep that number. Another call to ALDImobile, this time to a recognizable “Jose”. Oh. Why do you want to change from an ALDImobile number? It seems that their application expects the old phone number to be with a different provider and doesn't cater for the possibility that the existing SIM card won't fit in the new phone. He had to do it manually, made more complicated by the fact that I should have a PIN. I don't recall ever having had one, and as a result he had to go through full identification, including date of birth!

Finally it was done. But these things should be straightforward, and they never seem to be.


More phone battery fun
Topic: photography, technology Link here

I've had my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I for nearly 8 years now. In principle it was obsoleted by my OM-D E-M1 Mark II for nearly 5 years. But I'm still using the Mark I: there's not much difference between the two, and it's convenient to keep the Mark II for complicated stuff.

As a result it's the Mark I that I use when I go anywhere, like to the dog training today. And the battery ran out!

That's not surprising. They're all nearly 8 years old. At the very least I should carry a spare. But today I had trouble recharging two of the batteries that were waiting for use. Part of that is that they stand on the shelf for too long, of course. Today I should have chosen battery 4, but it hadn't been in use for nearly a year, so first I put it on the charger. It failed to charge.

These are the el-cheapos that I bought immediately after the camera. Is it time to retire them? For the moment they seem to respond to a couple of retries, but I can see a day coming.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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