Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Geeky Day

Yesterday I talked about the digital age and how adept young people were at using all the new technologies as they came along.

Today I proved that I am an old fogie.

I do embrace the new technologies, but it's hard to learn stuff when you are older.  Today after only 2-3 hours of frustration, turning the air blue with expletives not deleted, tearing my hair out, and on the verge of tears, I finally have moved my Firefox bookmarks to my cell phone. 

I had not intended to spend the entire morning trying to move bookmarks, and I didn't even have Firefox on my phone but it was one of those things that just kind of snowballed.

It started with my trying to look at a photo on a web page on my cell phone.  The phone has a default browser and at some point I also downloaded the Opera browser.  I don't remember why now but probably because it had a more attractive interface and I thought I could figure it out.  The problem with a lot of these apps is that the developers assume that using them is intuitive and so there are no manuals, help screens, or contact numbers to ask your stupid questions.

Anyway, I was once again struggling with the Opera browser, as I always do, and the thought crossed my mind to check and see if there was a Firefox app for the android.  Yippee...there was!  I'm a real whiz at downloading apps, so in no time at all, I had Firefox on my cell phone.

cell.jpg (23302 bytes)Only when I opened it, all I got was a bar across the top with the tiny Firefox logo in the left corner. The screen itself was totally blank.
I don't know when, in my digging around trying to figure out how to make SOMETHING appear on the screen, I came across something about syncing your bookmarks with your cell phone.  There were two separate things--instructionsfor how to sync in Firefox itself and a program called "My Bookmarks" where you put in codes or something and somehow magically the bookmarks transferred over to the cell phone.

I don't even want to tell you how long it took me to figure out what to do.  Nothing made any sense.  I must have worked on the desktop instructions and the cell phone My Bookmark app for half an hour.  The problem seemed to be that in order to know what to do on the phone itself, I had to be looking at the instructions, and if I was looking at the instructions, I couldn't do what it said to do because I needed to do that in a different screen. Finally, on the verge of tears, I stomped out of here in disgust and complained to Walt, who hasn't yet figured out how to download any apps, so I knew he couldn't help me, but I just needed to let some steam seep out of my ears.

cell2.jpg (24543 bytes)In disgust I said "come into my office and I'll show you."  I patiently started showing him what it said to do, and going through it step by step to show him how impossible it was to do what I was supposed to do.  The instuctions started out by saying "swipe left."  What did that even mean.  To start the phone you swipe across the glass to unlock the screen and it opens the phone, but you couldn't get to Firefox just by starting the phone.

But then as I was reading all that to him, to show him how utterly impossible it was to understand, a light dawned.  To open the phone you swipe your finger across the screen from left to right.  What would happen if you swiped your figure from right to left?  I tried it, and voila!  Magic things happened. Who knew there were things hidden off the edge of the visible screen?  See them there on the right?

Well, after that it was fairly easy, or at least it seemed so at the time, and I can now affirm that yes, my bookmarks ARE on my cell phone, if I can remember how to find them.  And it only took two hours.  

Along the way, I found out that you could do other things, like bookmarking a specific web site to put on your home screen, but though I thought I was doing it all right, I apparently was unable to figure out how to do that, so I've left it for another day.
I also downloaded this video from Henry V, which has such glorious music on it:

I have downloaded videos like this before to transfer to my iTouch and know that they have to be converted into a format that will play on the iTouch.  But you see all these machines have proprietary formats.  What will play on the iTouch won't play on my Android.  That needs a different kind of conversion.  But I was sure that wouldn't be a problem.  Except that my phone is a Motorola Droid 2X and they only had a conversion program for the Motorola Droid X, but I figured how different could it be? 

It takes time for the conversion so I watched Jeopardy and then tried to figure out how to get the converted video onto the phone.  If I had an iPhone, it would be a simple matter of using iTunes to transfer it.  But, of course, I don't.  I tried several things and finally put it in DropBox, which is a file sharing program. You put files from your home computer in the internet dropbox file and then you can pick them up later on any computer or your cell phone.  I had already transferred several Lamplighters interviews to the Lamplighters using DropBox, since the file were too big to e-mail, and figured it would work all right for the video, which is MUCH too big to email!

I cooked and ate dinner while waiting for the transfer to be complete...and then discovered that while yes, the file is there, it can't be played on the cell phone after all.  Sigh. I guess Motorola Droid X isn't compatible with Motorola Droid 2X after all.

At that point I gave up completely and went to the theater to review Hairspray.  

Now it is nearly 2 a.m., I have written this entry and discovered that the video I embedded above won't show the way I wanted it to.  I have to decide what I'm going to do about THAT.  [ it to work]

So I spent literally all day today working on the computer and cell phone and ultimately accomplished only ONE thing.  (I didn't tell you about the hour and a half I spent reading my "Droid for Dummies" book, trying to find out if you could create automatic texts on the droid so that I could type the letters "bas" and have it fill out my email address, which is so damn long to type:  basykes at dcn dot davis dot ca dot us.  I ultimately decided that though you can apparently do this on an iPhone, this is another thing that can't be done on an android.  That Verizon guy sold us a bill of goods when he convinced us an android was better than an iPhone.

I give up.  I'm going to sleep, if I can find the couch....

1 comment:

Harriet said...

That is at least one thing that won't happen to me. I have no intention of trying to see anything of importance on a screen smaller than a postcard!

From time to time, someone reminds me (though they don't know it) how lucky I am that I don't have to pay for a data plan.