Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Geekstravaganza

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  • Russell Brown,

    PAS is currently like a really cool nighclub that plays all the right music. It's the internet version of a danceparty (when danceparty's were cool) but we all know what happened there. The masses 'discovered' clubbing and then 'the marketeers' turned up and killed it. Luckily for PAS, thus far, RB is still on the door ..

    And on the decks, pouring the drinks, propping up the bar and cutting some moves on the dancefloor. It is a bit like DJing, I think. And I have always had a facility for management of parties that is absent from some other important aspects of my life.

    And then sometimes, of course, I drop that 'Your Mum' tune and Jo throws her drink over me and we have a bracing argument.

    The funny thing is, the bouncers at this bar are discreet to the point of invisible. The thing that makes PAS safe for ministers and spokespeople to visit -- no drunken nutters spoiling for a fight -- may actually be the same thing that keeps the drunken nutters away.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    As I seem to be the oldest woman on PAS (?), it falls to me to explain why the older generation takes technology with a pinch of salt, or not at all. The reasons are several fold.

    First, there’s Indifference to Cool. Strange as it may seem to approval-seeking youth, Cool is something you’ll eventually abandon as pointless effort. Lacking peer group pressure to demonstrate your ineffable coolness, you pick and choose what innovations are really of appeal and use to you. You learn them on a need to know basis. You ask are they there to enhance the way I already live my life, or just to place extra demands on me and make things more complicated? As we used to sing in the 1960s, got along without you before I met you, gonna get along without you now. But then middle age also means no longer wanting to live your life with a musical backdrop, so that pressing need disappears as well. Wants and needs become more distinguishable as you grow older.

    Secondly, there’s Innovation Fatigue. By the time my generation had reached serious middle age, we’d already endured umpteen changes of technology and learned roughly a squillion new operating systems, rules and instructions. We’ve had to learn new ways of running everything from household appliances, to voting and accessing government systems and healthcare, weights and measures, currency, transport, etc and not once but many times over. As soon as we become expert in something, our new expertise is rendered useless (this joy lies ahead of all you young techies - hee hee). We’ve learned to box canny, and wait for new technology to settle in, simplify itself, and cost less. Which most of it does, unless engineers and accountants have made a pact with the devil and are working in unison to make life more complicated and expensive. Oh, wait…

    (Digressing into Daleaway Brain Theory, I’ll just pick up a point for those of you who think that the brain is capable of infinite expansion. Bugger that. The brain is a brimming cup of soup, and if you splosh an extra fact into it, some slops out over the other side. Learn ephemera like a new programming system for a mobile phone, for example, and you instantly forget something of lasting importance, like your brother’s birthday or where you left the secateurs.)

    We’ve learned to pace ourselves. What’s the hurry? Our perspective tends to be that if something’s going to be the real answer to a problem, it will endure. Let some other mug get it through its teething troubles. The second mouse gets the cheese. Just give us a call when it’s all established and running properly. Our time is valuable.

    Thirdly, there’s the Bog Off factor. A lot of the new communications gadgetry just allows people to get in your face and on your nerves, by proxy. Frankly, you’ve got better things to do than accept their badgering to join their Friends on a web page and read all about them. If they have something to say to you, they should ring or write and engage you in two-way conversation - it’s rude to stand on your mountaintop sounding off about you with the world as your audience. And then there’s never being out of contact with your job - who dreamed up that nightmare, I wonder? Stop giving the world licence to annoy you. Be yourself in your own time. Switch off. Smell roses. Feed souls.

    Then there’s CBE and CBA. Two things life teaches you, eventually: that you Can’t Be Everywhere, and that sometimes you just Can’t Be Arsed. It’s not up to you to keep up with the latest and greatest. Its up to Them to convince you that there is really something in it for you that makes the expense and effort worthwhile. Until then, you’ll bide your time and pick and choose, thanks very much. Especially if it irritates young knowalls. We oldies get a secret grin out of that.

    Finally, at the time of life when your days are looking a little more finite, the last thing you want to do is spend your days looking at the world through a screen. While your legs and lungs are still working, get out there and be part of it. There’s be time enough to chain yourself to a screen when it’s your last remaining option.

    That saying, I think I’ll go and pick some apples. You stay on the computer. At the end of the day, you’ll have sore eyes and ringing in the ears, and I’ll have apple pie.

    Nana that.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Cool is something you’ll eventually abandon as pointless effort.

    Au contraire, it's something we eventually grow into and assume, like a mantle. Well, that's my experience anyway. And what I tell the inhouse teenager regularly.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Maureen Gallie,

    daleaway, I couldn't have said that better. Goooo Nana's of the world.And have a good dollop of cream with that apple pie!!

    Russell/Hamiltonxtra • Since Mar 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    is becoming at risk of becoming mainstream media

    Not with comments like this from Daleaway it won't.

    First, there’s Indifference to Cool.
    Secondly, there’s Innovation Fatigue.
    Thirdly, there’s the Bog Off factor.

    Seriously good points that the MSM will never touch upon.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Meanwhile, the NBR website was being revamped and would be developed into what Gibson described as a right-wing answer to the Public Address website which had assembled left-wing commentators under its banner.

    From, Drinnan, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10498048
    Sounds out of touch but kudos to PAS for seriously rattling some old school cages.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I seem to recall my newsagent in Wales doing that a lot. Oh, and the guy at the pub. And the lady in the fish and chip shop (my great aunt), she was always nattering to "the customer" ...

    Heh, but unlike the newsagent I don't thingk the guys on Bebo have been talking to the postie, who in my village it appeared had managed to tell the newsagent that I'd had a loans refusal letter delivered that morning. THus I learned about what was in my mail by buying a newspaper. Beat that web 2.0 !

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Daleaway - you are just... so... cool! That was beautifully said.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Just brilliant Daleaway! (Must go pick apples from garden now...must extract self from computer...AHHHHHGGGGG...the light is so blinding....!!!! :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • big myke,

    Russell, surely nobody with a intel mac can use the old "it won't work on my mac" excuse anymore? bootcamp?

    west auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Russell, surely nobody with a intel mac can use the old "it won't work on my mac" excuse anymore? bootcamp?

    You still need something to boot into. I understand why people have windows vista, because it comes with the machine as a default. Paying more to put it on a machine?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Dale said:

    Strange as it may seem to approval-seeking youth, Cool is something you’ll eventually abandon as pointless effort.

    and Andrew replied:

    Au contraire, it's something we eventually grow into and assume, like a mantle. Well, that's my experience anyway. And what I tell the inhouse teenager regularly.

    And I respond:
    Listen to that old geriatric geezerette Andrew - she's right! You may think you're a hip 30-something Grey Lynner (I'm projecting here, obviously) but trust me -- your inhouse teenager thinks you are a complete dinosaur and even more uncool because you think you're cool. And she says so on her other Bebo page, the one you don't know about.

    Which isn't to say that you aren't cool -- it's just your age that renders you, by definition, uncool. My 9 y.o. nephew mentioned Krumping at Xmas and to show I was down with the kids I said "so you're getting your Crunk on?" At which point my nephew rolled his eyes and said "it's Krumping!!". I decided not to school him on my coolness and get into a discussion about the music the kids are Krumping to. (FYI - I do know that "getting your Crunk on" is also slang for getting drunk, so no-one try schooling me on that point)

    It's been my experience that any kid/teen who thinks I'm cool is a nerd, or socially maladjusted. (Which means they're truly cool, cos they understand that I'm cool). And I prove my coolness by no longer breakdancing at my age. Like Bush's War on Terror the kids in my extended family have no idea what lengths I go to to keep them safe (from REAL embarrassment).

    (yeah, 'school' is my widget word of the day)

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The thing that makes PAS safe for ministers and spokespeople to visit -- no drunken nutters spoiling for a fight -- may actually be the same thing that keeps the drunken nutters away.

    I take offence at that remark. Not all Drunkens are Nutters and not all Nutters are Drunken and when did Jo become Russell's Mum?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, the NBR website was being revamped and would be developed into what Gibson described as a right-wing answer to the Public Address website which had assembled left-wing commentators under its banner.

    That's actually good news. I'd personally enjoy a well-managed right-of-centre commentary site where the possibility of rational discussion isn't foreclosed by tedious and repetitive invective. Their moderation policy will be interesting to watch.

    Quite flattering, too. Thanks Nevil!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    On the subject of being cool.
    Going back a good few years i remember a time, when I worked on building sites. We had all sat down to smoko that's what we used to call morning tea back then when smoking was good for you. There was this kid, the son of a fellow chippie about nine years old if memory serves me well. He looked at me over a Ponsonby pie which in those days were made by hand by a guy called Toby and his sidekick Thadeus in the shop next door to The Open Late Cafe (Metro's Nightspot of the year 1995) anypoo. The young lad, can't remember his name offhand but in those days it would have been something sensible like Tarquin or something, he asked me "When did you start being Cool?" I didn't have to hesitate with my reply "About your age son" I could see the glee in his eyes imagining his impending coolness as I switched the radio from Hauraki to radio B, used to be on 91.8 in those days and the studio number was 307 3918 to go with the frequency which was the trend at the time,..............................Oh yes and I believe our Russ was on the wireless at the time. Ain't that cool?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I take offence at that remark.

    Who'd have thought a rocky headland could lead to so much shallowness?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • big myke,

    Posted at 10:36AM on 14 Mar 08. Report. Permalink.

    "it won't work on my mac" excuse anymore? bootcamp?

    'wont work properly because it depends on Microsoft'

    if i can get horrible philips drm mp3 player drivers to run on Virtual PC on a g4, any intel mac running windows natively should be able to talk to this machine.

    ok, maybe it's not something your mum could do...

    west auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan Blair,

    Travelling through Pt Chev last weekend I saw the beginnings of the first Telecom Cabinet installations there, only slightly behind schedule. Roll on Grey Lynn I can't wait!
    Now the question is will any other operators have access to those cabinets and the final loop? Perhaps the probable changes to environmental regulations will allow rows of cabinets resplendent in competitors livery.. or maybe not. Bitstream and perhaps access for private backhaul from the exchange nodes then i guess.

    Grey Lynn is served by the Ponsonby exchange, and in most parts the speed delivered by the new Orcon netowrk is pretty good as the exchange is on the Grey Lynn side of Ponsonby.

    Re: competitors access to roadside cabinets - the industry is in the early stages of negotiating this access through working parties (this process is called sub-loop unbundlling - allowing us to install equipment in the roadside cabinets). This is the same process that we went through for LLU, hopefully with all parties now having some experience of playing nice together we can move this one through a little quicker.

    Cheers,
    Duncan Blair
    Group Product Manager
    Orcon

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • big myke,

    sorry, the noob doesn't know how the quote thing works.

    west auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    sorry, the noob doesn't know how the quote thing works.

    You had it right, except for a stray space in the tag to close the quote. Fixed now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Maureen Gallie,

    I was cutting the grass with my clippers,rocking to Abba with my mp3 player tucked inside my pocket.How cool is that?

    Russell/Hamiltonxtra • Since Mar 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    And then sometimes, of course, I drop that 'Your Mum' tune and Jo throws her drink over me and we have a bracing argument.

    And then you both stop, mid sentence. Your eyes lock with an intensity that could melt ice. You both instinctively lean closer, your lips parting gently ...

    Or maybe not:

    And on the decks, pouring the drinks, propping up the bar and cutting some moves on the dancefloor.

    Crikey, when do you allow yourself time to make out with those hot young 18 y.o.'s standing in front of the DJ booth all night making google eyes?__

    </cue RB's millionth anecdote about his long suffering wife who whom he loves deeply>__

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Meanwhile, the NBR website was being revamped and would be developed into what Gibson described as a right-wing answer to the Public Address website which had assembled left-wing commentators under its banner.

    Their lazy pigeon holing of the riches to be found on this site doesn't auger well for them.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Their lazy pigeon holing of the riches to be found on this site doesn't auger well for them.

    Yes, they should have drilled down a bit further.

    *boom boom*

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    (yeah, 'school' is my widget word of the day)

    What a coincidence, one of my least cool moments in my life involved the word "widget".

    The other involved updating a bunch of glamorous (it was the 80s) female money market dealers on the state of their money market compter system with the words:

    "I'm sorry, I can't get it up."

    But we won't go there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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