4.118 tech, talk

Wednesday 03/29/2023

Would have gone for a walk but our umpteenth rainstorm of the year was happening, so I walked on the treadmill downstairs. Then I took a tech squad call for Mrs Gee, who is extremely old and lives in the Lee Center. I had never actually been to the ground floor assisted living area there before and it was kind of interesting.

Mrs. Gee’s main problem was very easy to solve, but then I noticed that both Yahoo and iCloud were demanding passwords. And of fucking course she doesn’t know them. She did have a very old printout of passwords for various accounts. I’m presuming it was prepared by a younger relative or such, years ago. Since then many of the passwords have been changed and written in pencil, some multiple times. It had some clues for Yahoo, but nothing about her Apple ID.

I run into this over and over. People with multiple Apple devices, which seems to be every other person here, have an Apple ID, and they use iCloud to sync their devices. And inevitably they reboot and then the Macbook Air or the iPad or whatever, wants to be signed back into iCloud and inevitably this sets off a frantic search for the piece of paper or the little notebook where they wrote that password down two years ago. “No problem,” you say, just click “Forgot password” and go through the reset. Sure. But Apple always wants to send the two-factor confirmation to a different Apple device that they own. “Please enter the code from your Macbook.” Except, like Mrs. Gee, her Macbook is also signed out of iCloud, so it ain’t showing no codes. I gave up. She was getting mail from Gmail and Yahoo, and I didn’t judge her computer competency high enough that she would miss iCloud.

(Later I heard from another resident that she used to be very sharp, and in her career was involved in high-level budgeting for some State office. So not computer illiterate.)

Fiddled away the rest of the day. Well, I got the body of the stingray properly polished. The sprayed-on clear-coat always has some “nibs” as the body shop people call them, little dust grains or whatever. The only cure is to sand them out, and then sand the sanded areas with finer and finer grades of paper. After sanding with 8000 grit and 12000 grit it’s smooth enough to polish with regular polish and then fine polish.

At 7:30 I attended by Zoom a talk from our auditorium (David M. at the AV board) by Philip Taubman, currently at the Stanford Center for International Security and a long time NYT journalist. He has written a biography of George Shultz. Hands up who remembers George Shultz? Foreign Secretary to Ronald Reagan? And according to Taubman, the man really responsible for ending the Cold War.

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