Article on Blogging

I have plans to post about Second Life when I get a readership on older citizens. Don’t want to frighten them. So spread the word by commenting. Thank you very much.

Older Citizens Blogging

About

The purpose of this hub is to get noticed. As an older citizen I feel marginalised as so many other older citizens do. The purpose of my teaching blog is to help older citizens have a voice. I am 67 years old and feel in many ways to be in my prime.

Spammy?

I write domains as “example dot com” when I want to tell people of a site where there is no need for a link. We sub vocalise when we read which is a memory aid. Of course when we say a web address this is how we say it. It is appropriate when an html link is not appropriate. My first gTLD (global top level domain) is IrishSecure dot com and I have had it since 1998. You can visit it if you like but there is no need for a link. There is also the practice in some platforms and blogs that if you put in example.com it automatically becomes a clickable link. Maybe its idiosyncratic but there seems to be no research on how to remember a web address? It would be easy to set up an experiment to test my theory. Give one group a list of web addresses with words example dot com and the control group example.com and see who remembers more.

Experience

I have an honours science degree in Psychology and I am a trained counsellor. I have a masters degree in Social Work. I worked as a Probation Officer for ten years in inner city high crime patch in London. I had 3 murderers on my caseload. I set up and ran an alcohol abuse training course that the courts could sentence to. I did 14 hour shifts in a secure bail hostel on my own. For two years. My reports were used to train magistrates.

I have been around the world, mostly overland. It took ten years. I went to India via the Nile…true story!

I am bipolar.

I have survived lung cancer.

Computing

I had my first computer in 1981. In 1986 I helped programme and install a networked touch sensitive computer system for Manpower Services Commission a British government body to access a database, in real time, of job vacancies nationwide. In those days the “computer scientists” in MSC were a bunch of psychologists, the only ones to understand the system. It is now (?) used in every job centre in England well that was in the days of MSC now gone *sigh*.

In 1994 I built my first PC from scratch. In 1996 I set us up as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) with two web servers and two name servers which were built from scrap. We had a Silicon Graphics work station as used by NASA to control the Mars lander. In 2000 we offered secure wireless Internet access to the whole town of Tullamore in Ireland. In 2006 we went bust through lack of support and repercussions of the dot com crash.

My YouTube channel which I set up in 2008 has had over 100k views and there are over 400 videos. I have published over 80 documents on Scribd (not written by me) which have had over 60k views. My major sites have a library of select books all out of print copies I have found, including James Joyce Ulysses, Moby Dick etc. available to read online or download. It’s on this site too as I love it so.  My blogs have over 6k subscribers.

Currently I operate a rented web server and name servers and have 25 gTLDs and untold WordPress blogs. The blog linked below took a week to set up including content.

I know what I am doing.

If you don’t blow your own trumpet will someone else? Older Citizens should have a voice, my aim is to give them one.

Our brains still work

“The good news is that far from slowing down in old age, the brain can actually keep growing new dendrites, which are the connections between neurons. Old brains are as plastic as young brains; in fact, the connections between the two hemispheres of our brains become better integrated with age……”

Dr. Natash Josefowitz “On becoming 90” Huffington Post

Yet there are some failings as Dr.Josefowitz points out in the excellent article. I find, myself, memories of 50 or more years ago can be quite fresh but I forget the password I created 5 minutes ago AND I am only 67. I use sticky notes on my computer to remember stuff. So clearly things aren’t perfect. However it doesn’t stop me. My email box is littered with “password reset” notices. No big deal. This has been recognised by the powers that be and I can log on using a one click Facebook login.

You can teach an old dog new tricks

I blog a lot and I find it keeps my brain ticking over nicely. I learn new stuff everyday and the important bits I retain. So the idea that learning stops at a certain age is a fallacy. So with this in mind I decided to teach blogging to older citizens and that it can be done. There is a noticeable lack of older citizens blogging and this needs changing. It helps greatly that with a computer and access to the Internet this is not difficult. It could be done in a library, It takes minutes to set up a wordpress blog. When you are in wordpress dot com “If it doesn’t exist register it” . How Zen! People use their name which makes it easy to remember. Given that there are there are approximately over 150 million blogs on the Internet getting a name may pose some problems however marionjwinslow for example or billwatkinssuperblog are probably available. Just need a bit of imagination.

Capitals are ok

The web treats capitals as lower case so when you are writing the name of your blog you can write it as MarionJWilson or BillsSuperBlog which makes it that more memorable when people read it. They don’t have to write it in capitals as a link BUT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE! So be imaginative and you can write a short but memorable sentence. MaybeOldButWhoCares is a potential blog address, it is memorable and that is the important thing. When chatting with friends you can say “MaybeOldButWhoCares dot wordpress dot com” and they will remember it. (By the way the teaching blog I have set up on wordpress is 100% free and there is no reason to spend any money).

Imagination

So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I'll give them a login

 So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I’ll give them a login

Research

After an extensive trawl I can find no research that has investigated cognition and blogging in the older citizen. Nor the potential impact on feelings of isolation and exclusion. Nor on the potential impact on family life. If a persons mother starts putting up pictures of when they were a child or writing about a holiday they had in 1965; anything that gives the son or daughter an historical perspective will bring families closer.

I have a very old family album which goes back to 1949 – 1952 and I used my camera phone to take a picture of the photograph. I then uploaded it to my computer and added it to my blog. Any family picture can be put in a blog.

A free wordpress blog is there in perpetuity not so people. If you have left a blog as a legacy how uplifting it can be. There needs to be research on the impact of blogging on mood. As the population ages, older citizens are a potential resource that shouldn’t be ignored.

Me and Mum 1949

 

The good old days

I read an interesting article on Facebook by an 86 year old who was lamenting the passing of an age in England that was post WW2 a time of the creation of free health care, a boom in affordable housing, education blossoming and freely available work. Its on my blog. After watching I, Daniel Blake it makes you wonder about the value we put on citizens today. Older citizens can take the values of yesterday and resurrect them for today’s generation and demand a return to things we hold dear. Compassion and honesty being the watch words. Daniel Blake received no compassion.

Older Citizens on WordPress

So I have set up a teaching blog for getting older citizens blogging. I have used video extensively with text support; a complimentary oldercitizens dot com and a quick start dot org. I am in the process of propagating it globally (why not?) and have plans to set up complimentary country sub domains on the dot com. It took me a week to set up the three sites including content so not much reaction yet. This is a free service not a business. No profit is being asked for nor made. Below is a video I made for adding your first post. Please watch full screen.

First Post

The Blog

There are four main sections to get you started

  1. Setting up and registering your blog
  2. Your first post
  3. Inserting an image and embedding a video
  4. Changing the theme

There are also sundry pages:

  • Contact
  • Useful Programs including the free Microsoft Expression Design image editor
  • A page on Widgets
  • And a Library of books (pdfs for online reading or download) which I love and put on all my sites including this one.
  • About Me

Yes a weeks work indeed…..

High hopes

This may take some time but having retired I have time, its a hobby as well as I hope a valued service. Getting noticed on the Internet is not easy and I know this. I put up my first web page in 1996 (its still there in Archives) and during a five year period as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) I am no stranger to the web. I rent my own web server and name servers so I know what I’m doing. The cost is minimal, a few Euro a week. What I am doing now is spreading the word so please visit the site leave a comment or fill out the form provided. I need feedback so I can improve. Nothing is set in stone and I will respond to both criticism and praise but I have high hopes. Hope you enjoyed this hub, there is a poll……

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New Stuff

I have neglected this site for about a couple of years since I got sick……

So I will be updating it. Meanwhile here are some links to the work I have been doing.

We have OlderCitizens.com which does what it says on the box. Then you have my teaching blog on OlderCitizens.wordpress.com and then half a dozen wordpress sites that I needed to make a video. I love the Zen of “if it doesn’t exist then register it”

maybe old but

Older Citizens on WordPress

So I have set up a teaching blog for getting older citizens blogging. I have used video extensively with text support; a complimentary oldercitizens dot com and a quick start dot org. I am in the process of propagating it globally (why not?) and have plans to set up complimentary country sub domains on the dot com. It took me a week to set up the three sites including content so not much reaction yet. This is a free service not a business. No profit is being asked for nor made

There is a quick start on OlderCitizens.org too.

So work in progress. What do you think of this theme? Got it on eCollege.me too, another site that needs updating.

I have registered Older Citizens as a business name too. I have high hopes of it. As one person it is a full time job to keep up. Fortunately I am on a bit of a high at the moment so bags of cerebral energy.  Got one splendid review from my friend Seren. She loves it.

I am also making an effort to document my life did 1965 today. My first holiday alone with my school mates. Ahh memories. OMFG I have so much to write about:

  • Tour of Italy when I was 10
  • Years 17 to 21
  • Bartending in Spain for six months aged 22
  • Squatting in Elgin Avenue 1971 – 73
  • The Great Journey (have done a bit)
  • University
  • Tibetan Buddhism with HH Dalai Lama
  • Theravadin Buddhism a monk for a year
  • Teaching English in Japan
  • ………and that just takes me up to my early thirties

Sigh but my memory is quite fresh.

Wrestling with Hub Pages at the moment – they don’t like me…..

Here’s my favourite video, the gasometer reminds me of behind Kensal Green cemetery as a child by the canal with the gas works behind….hmmm Kensal Green another blog post…

 

 

 

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skype

Skype now has a button for calling folk. Its at the bottom

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Joke

One day Bill complained to his friend that his elbow really hurt. His friend suggested that he go to a computer at the drug store that can diagnose anything quicker and cheaper than a doctor.

”Simply put in a sample of your urine and the computer will diagnose your problem and tell you what you can do about it. It only costs $10.”

Bill figured he had nothing to lose, so he filled a jar with a urine sample and went to the drug store. Finding the computer, he poured in the sample and deposited the $10. The computer started making some noise and various lights started flashing. After a brief pause out popped a small slip of paper on which was printed: You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water. Avoid heavy lifting. It will be better in two weeks.”

Later that evening while thinking how amazing this new technology was and how it would change medical science forever, he began to wonder if this machine could be fooled. He mixed together some tap water, a stool sample from his dog and urine samples from his wife and daughter. To top it off, he masturbated into the concoction.

He went back to the drug store, located the machine, poured in the sample and deposited the $10. The computer again made the usual noise and printed out the following message: “Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. Your dog has worms. Get him vitamins. Your daughter is using cocaine. Put her in a rehabilitation clinic. Your wife is pregnant with twin girls. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer. And if you don’t stop jerking off, your tennis elbow will never get better.”

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Smart Phone

newphoneTo complete my technological revolution thought i better get a new phone. I had had my old phone since my daughter broke my Nokia and I subsequently lost it.  It was a good phone and I had had it for about 5 years. Strapped for cash I bought a postfone from the post office which cost €10.  It didn’t do much more than send and receive calls.  So a new phone. I went to the eircom shop in the mall and found a Nokia Lumia 625 which looked pretty good. Went home and researched it, hmmm the Nokia 925 had a wonderful camera.  It takes ordinary pictures with its 8 megapixel camera, takes multiple pictures of the same scene and a panorama, I’ll do a better one outside.

WP_20140717_06_36_11_Panorama

It also takes excellent videos even of the screens:

Very impressive. The music capabilities are likewise awesome. It connects to my Bluetooth speakers effortlessly. It has great features for making mixes.  Its a Windows phone so its just a question of plugging it in to the computer via a USB and it appears in File Explorer.  I am having problems with Bluetooth connecting to the computer. This is the computers fault.  Been having trouble with connecting Bluetooth devices.

So, I seem to be well set up; tablet, computer, phone. AND I haven’t spent much money with regular affordable repayments.  AND I’ve started going to the gym so will get healthy to  use it all. My next step is getting glasses. Got eye test today and its free. Celebrating my 65th year on this planet and thanks to my UK pension which I get as a right I can afford stuff.  I get my disability and next year this will convert to an Irish pension.  Can I help? As an elder of the village I will use my skills as best I can for free. Use Me!! ( http://UseMe.biz ) It’s not so bad being old  :)))

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Windows 8.1 + Windows 7

win8start

Well first impressions why bother with the new interface? Since windows 98 (yes I am that old lol) I have always had a customised cursor. I hate the pesky little white arrow that has been around since windows 3.1 (hehehe). So I have a customised cursor (CursorFX). This disappears in Win 8, tiles and apps so I have to tab and use arrow keys. There is nothing on the front screen that I need . One thing I don’t like is how when you launch an app it immediately goes into full screen. I have a primary monitor of 27 inches, its daft to have an app full screen. There is definitely a commercial aspect to all these windows apps. If they are free you get stuck  ads. Far too commercial for me. Its my computer and I have bought the software I need  there are over a hundred apps installed I don’t want or need. Mind you pressing the windows key and typing the name of the program e.g Word brings it up instantly.

aps2

and this is just up to Cs. Then click on them and you get full screen. Sticky Notes full screen?

start menuI have all the programs I use on the task bar and half a dozen on the front screen. I won’t give up on the Windows 8 interface but with the Start button back and by right clicking on it… Everything you need for computer management is there.  Then in Windows 7 there were gadgets which I loved and used the BBC radio player daily and a large clock. . The good news is I found a program that puts them back.  So do I regret installing Windows 8.1? By no means its the latest generation of windows. It boots much much faster  and has more security functions. The Task Manager is great and you can see exactly whats going on with the processor and RAM.  I have no problem with two monitors either dragging windows from one to another and I have the task bar on both monitors.  So I like Windows 8 just don’t like Metro or the apps but don’t use them. I like Windows 7  and have it as the interface but under the bonnet its Windows 8.1. I boot straight into the desktop.

 

desktop

 

So I have the best of both worlds.

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New System arrives

Whoopee! I have a new computer.

Dell i7 – 4770 Intel processor up to 3.9 GHz
, this is the fastest processor I could find on the Dell. There was an Alienware that went up to 4 GHz but the rest of the spec was not so good,

32 GB RAM, I researched this and at the moment it is far in excess of what most applications need so this is future proofing.

256GB Solid State Drive, my first choice was a HDD with a 32 gig SSD cache but on investigation the system can have only one SSD so I thought its better to get a large drive and forgo Intels Smart Response Technology that swaps to a 32GB SSD.

3TB Hard Disk Drive
, 3 terabytes may seem huge but I download and watch lots of movies at blue ray quality I bought a 2 TB USB HDD and after 6 months had filled three quarters of it.

Radeon R7 2 GB DDR5,
This is the only thing I would have liked to have a more powerful card. But I researched it and its a good card. I can always upgrade.

27 inch Dell Monitor.
This is a lovely monitor of the Dell Professional class. It is very bright and I am running at 75% brightness and contrast which is great. It has full pivot so can be be watched in portrait.

Sweet! Here’s a pic of the monitors my “0ld” 22 inch is on the left my new 27 inch is on the right.

1403879241633

The whole system is very fast with the solid state hard disk, boot time is around 8 TO 10 seconds. The problems I encountered were primarily not being able to run Second Life without crashing and not being able to process video capture of Camtasia Studio, especially at high resolutions. Both these problems have been resolved. I can now capture over two screens and run second life over two screens. Here is a video I made as a test:

So in summary I am delighted with my new system which includes two more speakers and a sub woofer. I also have a Windows 8, track pad which I haven’t got working properly yet. I have my doubts about Windows 8 and spend most of my time in desktop mode. Not sure I understand the Charms, seems to be long winded to get anywhere.

Here is my performance score, in my old system the overall school was 5.4 due to a slow hard disk. Memory and processor were 7.1. Windows 8 no longer has a GUI interface for performance but it still exists using power shell:

CPUScore : 8.3
D3DScore : 8.4
DiskScore : 8.15
GraphicsScore : 8.4
MemoryScore : 8.3
WinSPRLevel : 8.15
PSComputerName : PHILIP

You won’t get much better than that as in windows 7 the top score possible was 7.4.

ref Windows 8 Performance Indicator: http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/find-your-windows-experience-index-scores-in-windows-8-1/

So in summary :WOW!!!!!

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Stop Gap

But also a nice bit of tech. My computer won’t display moving pictures. After extensive tests it seems the sockets for RAM are faulty. The moment any load is placed on the computer it freezes requiring a hard reboot. Second Life is impossible. It will take at least a month to three before I can get a new PC. This is unacceptable. I would lose my job as a host and possibly my girlfriend. I knew an iPad was out of the question as it wouldn’t run sl. So a tablet was the way to go. I bought three. The first one was from Debenhams the Intenso for €90 however it was somewhat low spec so I sent it back. The second was from Irulu this had a hdmi connection, keyboard and network socket. After researching it I cancelled the order. It didn’t have the memory or processor.

ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 ME173X with a 1.2 GHz quad core processor with 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. Cost €125. The sl client is Lumiya and you can find it here

Screenshot_2014-05-25-06-26-13

This is a nice bit of tech. It is very fast and runs aps effortlessly. One problem with sl tho is the space for the display: As you can see the 3D view is confined to a very small window. However one feature of the ASUS that was a selling point was that it had bluetooth. My planned PC has bluetooth so I thought it would be handy.

Screenshot_2014-05-25-09-33-45

I found a bluetooth keyboard for £25. Its great little bigger than the ASUS itself comes with a carrying case. It has been designed for the ASUS. Installation is very easy and despite the instructions saying you have to install it each time the unit powers of this is not the case. It works really well. So the screen I end up with is :

Screenshot_2014-05-25-10-31-10

It took a few sessions to master it and there are some shortcomings but still learning. All in all its great and will keep me going till i get my new PC. I networked it and have complete access to my PC hard disk and USB drives.I watch movies on it streamed over the wifi.

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Bite The Bullet

Yes I have to give up. I’ve tried everything to make 8 gigs of RAM work on my computer without success. I’m running 64 bit windows with 4 gigs of RAM and it works, for now. My current system is over 5 years old, so it’s ready for replacement. So I’m going to buy a new PC. Another Dell

Base is an XPS 8700 i7 – 4770 4th Gen 3.7 GHz, which can be overclocked to 3.9 GHz.
Memory 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz – 4 DIMMs
Video Card AMD Radeon HD R9 270 2GB GDDR5
(I’m keeping my monitor unless I decide to have two)
Hard Drive 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive + Intel SRT 32GB SSD Cache

has lots of room for expansion. Cost €1,239 inc taxes and shipping

have to wait for new ID so can’t buy until the end of May

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I’m a joke

Yes I’m a joke for crashing so much. The quips are prolific from “Crash Dummy” to “yo yo” and people say they will create a “welcome back Dude” gesture. Its getting to be, I am a joke. This has become painful. I feel like a fool who can’t get his computer to work properly.

I don’t know what is wrong.

Graphics card works fine with a core gpu temperature of 41C its not overheating.
All cpus are fine with a max temp of 51C
Tested all blocks of RAM
All windows programs run fine.
I formatted the hard disk and created partitions.

32 bit Firestorm (second life) crashes immediately doesn’t even load the inventory even running with graphics set to low.
64 bit Firestorm runs for longer with low graphics but eventually crashes.

I’ve been at this constantly for over a week. Its getting tiresome and I am seriously thinking of giving up second life completely

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