I guess there has never been a bigger leap in technology than in the last decade. And some would say it all really took a leap forward to around 1947 with the UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, where the US government allegedly recovered reverse-engineered alien technology found in the flying saucer. Because that’s when the transistor was “invented” and suddenly we were in a new era that led to unparalleled communication since Eve gave the apple to Adam. And we all know how it happened.
Ol’ Dutch was blessed with one of the first desktop computers and even though it required a multitude of floppy disks to run, suddenly a nice neat letter with no typos or erasing fluid marks anywhere, it could be printed on perforated double-sided paper and mailed on a printed envelope to boot. It was a pretty simple system back then because all you had to do was turn it on and go, a far cry from today’s computers and phones that we all use minute by minute.
Just recently, Ol’ Dutch was forced to buy a new laptop because the one I was using was wearing out from all the keystrokes I had been making looking for items on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Honestly, I think there’s a limit built into them, which only gives you a limited number of keys, and then it wears out. The computer had been acting grumpy and although I did manage to spill chicken soup on it, it only exacerbated the issues. Go figure. So we went to the store to buy a new one and after some haggling by none other than – yes you guessed it – Miss Trixie, Walmart came down to her price. Is not it?
Home we return and Ol’ Dutch was now faced with the daunting task of trying to remember all the passwords he had accumulated throughout his life. Fortunately, I wrote them lately although they say never to. But with banks, Facebook, Gmail, and a host of places requiring passwords every few days, it seems, the numbers are just too many to remember.
I used to have one password and it was quite easy, and Miss Trixie had it too so she could solve all my electronics problems for me on a daily basis. But with scammers and hackers running around like hamsters on a treadmill, websites now not only force you to change it, but also come up with increasingly complex series of numbers, letters and characters to protect you from harm.
So happy to know that I had all these different combos in my book, I sat down and was able to at least log into all my accounts, until this morning. For now, not only do you need a password, but there’s a two-step verification process where the website sends a code to your phone. It’s all good, you say, because Ol’ Dutch has such a phone in his hand and this system was working like a duck swimming upstream on a sunny day until – drum roll – my phone broke.
These types of things always cause what you might call a slew of curses and rants from Ol’ Dutch by the fireside and what happens next is tech support showing up at my side , ready to help me. Yes, Miss Trixie is also an expert in the matter.
The poor little neighbor went to get her a new laptop, just like Ol’ Dutch, but she has to call India for support. And though I have to bear Miss Trixie’s rolling of her eyes that accompanies fixing my things, I can’t hear her. Even if she complains loud enough for me to hear, it’s worth the cost of the support plan I have with her, plus it saves me talking to Raj in Pakistan or Roger in the Philippines.
With all the hackers these days, the number of checks a person will have to type in and write them down will probably be the norm. You can always hide the book you’re using for this, but make sure you tell someone because you’ll forget where you put the book.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, mountain bike or hike every day. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at www.toutrepublic.com.