Why can't I be on top?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by davidrosen, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Wait! Don't jump to any conclusions. I'm talking about on top of my computer, smartphone, and technology stuff. When you install virtually ANY app on a device you have to agree to the Terms and Conditions of the publisher, or you do not get to use that app. Hmm, maybe I should have taken that route in the eighties when I started using all this computer stuff. It's too late now, I am too invested in hardware, software and data.

    I decided to split up my Lightroom catalog. When initially installed I let the app import Pictures, you know, that folder for photos that Windows creates automatically. If you remove the folder it eventually clones itself and shows up when the operating system is upgraded. I moved Pictures to an exterior hard drive and, eventually another Pictures folder was created in my Documents folder, but it's empty. Oh well, Microsoft is on top. I split the catalog into "Photography" for pictures I take with my camera and import into Lightroom. Then there is a Pictures catalog with all the miscellaneous folders created by Apple, Google and other apps.

    When I started using Apple iPhones, the photos I took were backed up to iCloud or were they virtually linked from my phone? I am not sure. If I decide to delete a photo I get a message that the photo will be deleted EVERYWHERE. So much for automatic backup. Is it a backup or is it a way for Apple to increase their revenue by filling up your iCloud storage and then asking for more money to increase that storage. Apple on Top!

    When I signed up for Google Photos, Google started automatically backing up all the photos on my computer. I don't remember telling them to do that. Google on Top! This rant is long enough. What are your thoughts?
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. Your post is funny!

    When you install any app or subscribe to a service like iCloud or Google Photos, they come with a default set of settings that someone in the company's hierarchy thinks works best for the majority of users. Apple is known to take decisions on behalf of their customers, like good natured parents, as Steve Jobs famously said long time back, something like, he doesn't want the consumers to decide what is good for them, he wants his company to tell them whats good! I think, Google also tries to follow a similar philosophy to certain extent.

    Many of these apps and services take you through a series of questions when they are initially set up. If you missed those questions, or selected the wrong settings, or just didn't understand what the heck was being asked, then you are out of luck. If you want to be on top of things at any later stage, you have to fiddle with the settings in the app and master it's use on some level. The truth is, this 'one size fits all' settings don't really work, because people have very different ways of doing things. Equally true is the fact that these softwares are not that out of the box user friendly as they claim to be. Its better to be familiarized with the user operation either from help documents or video tutorials, like the operation of a new camera.

    BTW, backup, how these softwares understand, is storing an extra copy elsewhere in addition to the one stored locally. iCloud however has an option called "Optimize iPhone Storage', which automatically deletes high resolution version of the photos on the phone and replaces them with thumbnails whenever drivespace gets low. The original files are safely stored on iCloud.
    davidrosen likes this.
  3. You’re right about the difficulty of changing options after the fact. And that’s the rub, never completely grasping the extent of the options. And so that’s why I separated my Lightroom catalog into all my camera photos and all the “noise” generated over the years including family life cycle phone snapshots.
  4. My typical course of action is to stay on the good sides of the people between 14 and 30 in my life. Periodically, I ask them for help on accomplishing things I want and don’t quite understand how to get with respect to my devices. It seems to come easy to them and they don’t even need to read the fine print or manuals. In return, I give them all the wisdom I can offer on old movies and I take them out for nice dinners now and then. The world keeps turning ... :)
    mikemorrell likes this.
  5. I’m impressed you can keep their attention long enough to get an answer.
  6. I seem to know different kids than some on PN. Never had an issue with their attention spans, their engagement with me, their sensitivity, or their knowledge. I think with kids as with life, I often get back what I put into it.

    I find there to be a lot of strange takes on today’s kids. To me those seem more meme than reality.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  7. My experience too, but I guess like with all things, "first impressions" make up for a great deal of the overall judgement. Looking around, yes, you see a lot of younger people absorbed in the world of their mobile phone. If you don't engage with them, they will seem closed into that world. If you do engage, you'll find many of them do understand the difference between that virtual world and their actual surroundings quite well.

    As for the original post - yes, software is increasingly taking decisions for you, and many "power users" (or at least, people who see themselves that way....) don't particularly like it. Then again, a lot of newcomers do like it, a lot, since they've got little to no interest in arcane old stuff like folder structure, file names and other things that required you to learn to use a computer in the past. And most of the time, those default easy-to-use settings do actually just work.
    Improving ease of use means improving it for the masses, but not for all. The better programs (including Lightroom) do however still give you options to stay in control, but at the cost of ease of use, as you won't use defaults. And the software provider will have a lot more effort supporting you too. That is in fact another reason why you cannot always be on top - infinite customisable options lead to situations that cannot be realistically supported, and increases the chance of bugs by a lot. If you manage to finish writing the software at all. So, they have to enforce certain "rules" and make certain assumptions about how things are used.

    So, you're basically faced with a choice between ease-of-use and handing off decisions, or learning how to use something and investing some time, and keeping better control on what happens in the back. Realistically, you cannot (yet) get software that allows you to control its behaviour without you investing time into configuring that behaviour - it cannot guess how you'd like it to work, and frankly that's a good thing because machines are even worse at guessing than people are.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  8. I feel your pain :). I really do!

    In general, developments in tech have made (and are still making) life a whole lot easier for its users. I think @Wouter Willemse is absolutely right. Most users don't need to understand the tech in order to reap the 'ease of use' benefits. For example, location-oriented searches/maps (Google), automatic data synchronrization across devices/locations, etc. Like it or not, IT-tech is steadily moving towards on-line("cloud")-based solutions that are device-independent. The idea of course is that users can access and edit photos (and any other files) from a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone wherever they happen to be.

    There are of course privacy concerns and - at the moment - there are still problems. One of these in my view is that each of the major IT companies (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung) has its own on-line 'eco-system' that it encourages users to buy into.

    Automatic "cloud solutions" are not really intended as "backups" but to keep things in synch between different devices. Yes, they can be used to restore data to phone/tablet/PC if it crashes (as mine once did) but if you delete a photo on one synched device, the deletion will generally be synched to the cloud and from there to any other devices that are 'synched'.

    Paradoxically, with this increasing ease of use it's becoming increasingly difficult to work out what exactly Apps are doing, why they're not doing quite what you expect and how to change the 'options/settings' so that they do. I have a (long-outdated!) IT-background and I rely on the internet a lot to look up possible solutions for any problems. I still have (just) enough technical background to understand the recommended solutions. If not, I ask one of the young 'uns. :)

  9. In re of nada

    The Russians a few years ago (Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks) became concerned about the 'leakish' quality of things stored in the "internets". Ditto for the Germans.
    Their solution? Back to the typewriter (aka, the Theodore Kaczynski solution).

    Laptop model​
    invisibleflash likes this.
  10. Hey, you have to carry the papers too. That can be heavier than the typewriter itself. In the digital age, we have also partially lost our skills of typing without too many typos, due to the ease of correcting them on the fly or the software doing it for us. So, have to work on that too.

    Simpler solution, just rip the network / wifi card off your pc.
  11. Oops, my response was misunderstood; I was not referring to all people in that age range, just my own kids. I’m probably just paranoid, but they never seem to be listening to me, so asking them, for example, to explain what is a “meme”, would end with them wandering off, probably in pursuit of their own children.
  12. Allow me to be of service ... :)

    A meme is an activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media that spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person.

    Since this is the Philosophy forum, I’ll add that “meme” comes from the Greek “mimesis”, which Plato used in his description of art as mere imitation and, therefore, as being removed from truth and somewhat suspicious. Plato got some things right, but not this!

    Anyway, now that we’ve got you schooled in memeology and didn’t have to take up your kids’ time in doing so, send them out for an ice cream on me! [Real ice cream, not virtual.]
  13. ... or if they are old enough, treat them to a delicious mimosa (in the spirit of mimesis).
  14. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... we're gonna have
    to kill 'em...
  15. I blame Diet Cokes.
  16. Computers are getting worse and worse. I was very happy with Windows 7. But things evolve and the evolution usually involves greed.

    My main computer is off line. I don't want Windows 10 forced updates. I have cheap, used junk computers I use for the internet and for testing software downloads. I don't put much software on my main computers. Just what is needed. Sometimes one software screws up the whole computer and it is not easily fixed.

    Speaking of software, look at all of what you would get back in 2011. Big difference from just digital downloads and a monthly license fee nowadays.

    Adobe Premier Elements 10 Software Package 2011 ( 7) : D.D. Teoli Jr. A.C. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    ken_kuzenski likes this.

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