Category Archives: Computers

Google Map App VS Mapquest


A neighbor, Terri, who belongs to our SOLOS Club in our community, of which I am also a member, asked me to join her on a search.  She had volunteered to go to a possible venue for a club event, and wanted my input as to the feasibility of making arrangements.  I agreed.  She picked me up in her car yesterday at 10:30am, and off we went.

She had printed out the travel directions from the mapquest site, and I was appointed to the navigator position with printout in hand.


The directions on the printout were easy to read; however, things didn’t go according to “Hoyle.”  We kept missing some streets, and when we finally got to NE 2nd Street, the building address numbers didn’t coincide with the address number on the printout.  Actually, the printout read, “2100-2300.”

I’ve printed out directions from mapquest in the past, and I never experienced those kinds of numbers.  Terri couldn’t understand why the numbers on the printout didn’t match the numbers on the buildings.  She remembered that the owner of the business mentioned a certain gas station at the corner, and we did see that.

We retraced our path more than once, and we wound up at the same destination.  She was getting upset, and I felt very frustrated.  Her driving became erratic, and I was fearful of having an accident.

I suggested that we call the person who was expecting us at 11:00am (it was now past 11:30am), and I asked Terri if she had her phone.  No.  She left it at home.  So, I pulled out mine and dialed the number.  Voicemail answered.  I left a message, and hoped “Michael” would call back soon, so we could ask him how to get there.  When Terri called him before, he gave her instructions, and she didn’t take notes, and so we were really befuddled.  I would have done things differently, but, we had to work with what we had:  nothing.

Then, suddenly, she pointed to something she wrote on the printout.  It was the actual address!  Evidently, she input the wrong building number on mapquest, and it printed out those crazy numbers.  I hadn’t noticed that before – I was concentrating only on the printed information, assuming it was correct.  Wrong!

Terri stopped someone who was walking his dog, and asked if he knew where “1107 SE 2nd Street” was.  He pulled out his phone, and looked it up on his app.  He gave us directions:  go to this street, make a right on that road, make a left turn at this other street, and you’ll be there.

Well, we tried to remember exactly what he said, but you know, we didn’t get it right.  I asked Terri to pull into a parking lot so I could look at my phone for the app we needed.


I found the google-map app, inserted the correct address, and hit “navigate,” and voila!  We got to where we needed to go.  Of course, not before Terri made a couple of turns before we were supposed to turn, and we had to backtrack to get back on track and continue the way we were told by that lovely voice on my phone.

So, we finally got there.  There was a note on his door:  “OUT TO LUNCH FROM 11:45 TO 2:00.”

Now, I have an admission to make:  I never used my phone app before.  This was the first time.  In the past, I used mapquest myself, and never had any problem with it.  However, it was so pleasurable to hear someone tell me when and where to turn, you can be sure I will always use my phone in future.  🙂


[Images from bingdotcom]

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Memories Of Dad’s Love Of Electronics


Our Dad was a techie nerd or nerdy techie – whatever you want to call someone in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s who loved all the newest electronic gadgets on the market.  My awareness of his interest in electronics began when we lived in the 2-storey house on E. 42nd Street in the “dead end” behind the largest cemetery in Brooklyn.

What were these gadgets?  The Victrola and RCA Victor “his master’s voice” records (he had a one-sided one on which was recorded the Anvil Chorus).  He was the talk of the family and neighborhood with that one.  Another favorite record was “Humoresque” by Dvorak.  He played it over and over.  I was a very young girl at the time – 9 or 10 years old.


A new black, heavy metal (it-wasn’t-going-to-fall-to-the-floor heavy) telephone with holes in a circle that you put your finger (usually the index) into, in order to “dial” someone’s number.  (We still use the word “dial” when we speak about calling someone’s number – never say, “key in” or “push the buttons.”)  Numbers like CLoverdale 8 or HYacinth 7 or MUrrayhill 2, etc. were the rage.  Remember those?  I’m speaking about New York prefixes.  At a time when there weren’t any area codes, and to get connected to someone in another city, you needed a Bell Company operator to connect you.  I remember our phone had a very heavy receiver, and we couldn’t speak long, because the weight of it made our hands very tired.  After I was married, and lived in Brooklyn, we had a CLoverdale 8 number.


Dad built a shelf for the phone in a corner of the dining room near the stairs going up to the second floor of our house.  The only thing missing was a chair.  But we really didn’t need a chair.  The stairs were comfortable enough.

We were also the first family on the block to get a TV.  It was placed in the far corner of the dining room (opposite corner from where the record player was situated).  The screen (10 inches wide) sat in a large blond wood cabinet.  All the neighborhood kids were invited in to see this newfangled machine.  Everyone complained that it was too small to see the picture.  My father solved that problem with a big magnifier that was available.  Some smart inventor came up with that idea – “necessity is the mother of invention.”  That monstrosity stood on a heavy stand and stood about a foot away from the small screen.  The image sure was bigger, but it was distorted.  The magnifier was not doing the job to anyone’s satisfaction.  So, we did away with it, and just had to move closer to the TV.

We had moved away from E. 42nd Street when I was about 12 years old.  Life went along, and I got married and then my sister got married.  After she got married, Dad took over the bedroom we had shared and made it his den with comfortable seating, etc.  This was before the term, “man cave” became popular.  Dad set it all up with his (newer,  of course) record player, shelves for his large collection of records, his radio, and telephone extension.  Wires were spaghetti-ed all over the room.  I don’t think Mom liked that idea too much, but she couldn’t do anything about it.

Years later, Mom and Dad moved to Florida.  Of course, Dad set himself up with his cabinets and shelves in the “Florida room,” and with his recording and dubbing machine, his myriad of records, and hundreds of blank tapes that he used to record programs and movies starring his favorite stars, starting with the silent films.  Their community had a special TV channel on which residents could view all these “oldies but goodies.”  Dad had literally hundreds on tapes.  He had books where he organized and categorized and cross-referenced and stored every one of them.  I think he would have loved computers.


[Images from bingdotcom]

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Cats And Computers

They go together like mac and cheese.

Pussy Cats 3

I’m on the computer every day, spending lots of time doing “my thing.”  And, many times, either Patches, Rusty or Romeo – or any combination thereof – will be keeping me company.

Today, I’m posting about two of my favorites – pussycats and computer – and show you what happens when the two are combined.

Kittys tiny computer Kitty has his own personal computer.

What do I do now? What do I do now?

How can I learn with all this interruption? How can I learn with all this interruption?

Let's see - will somebody tell me what I'm supposed to do? I do believe this is a one-person keyboard!

Calling it quits.  I got plumb tuckered out. Calling it quits. I got plumb tuckered out.

For some reason, everything looks upside down! For some reason, everything looks upside down!

How come all I see is squiggly lines and shapes? How come all I see is squiggly lines and odd shapes?

Mmmm. This is a great spot - good for chin scratches. Mmmm. This is a great spot – good for chin scratches.

Wait! You were going to show me what to do with this keyboard. Wait! You were going to show me what to do with this keyboard.

I'm just warming up for my first computer lesson. I’m just warming up for my first computer lesson.

I do believe I'm starting to get the hang of this thing with all the buttons. I do believe I’m starting to get the hang…

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Browser Controller Took Control of My Browser

I lost control of my computer when on the Internet last Thursday – one week ago.  I couldn’t believe that I, who writes a “Computer Tips” article for my local newspaper, got “hooked” by a “pop-up.”  Of all things!

Totally Lost Control

Totally Lost Control

My settings included the disabling of pop-ups.  So, how did this happen?  I can’t tell you, because I really don’t know.  All I DO know is:  a pop-up appeared while I was busy on the Internet, and almost absentmindedly, I clicked on the “OK” button.  Moral:  don’t be absentminded while on Internet!

What did the message convey?  My Adobe Flash needed updating.  Unhesitatingly, being glad for the reminder, I clicked on “OK.”

Does Adobe Flash need updating?  Yes, but it happens automatically and quietly, behind the scene.

So, how did I regain control?  I couldn’t, even though I found the adware culprit, “surfkeepit,” and uninstalled it from my Programs and Features on Control Panel.  Ads were popping up all over.  They were jiggling, duplicating, full of bright colors.  It was awful.  It was insidious.  It sent out crawlers in all website cookies and history, etc.  My email access was disabled.  My Mozilla Firefox was disabled.

Finally, I had to admit that solving this problem was beyond my “expertise.”  I gave in and called my “computer guru,” Gary, and asked him to come over and give me back my computer.  I was desperate!

computer repair tech

When did I get my computer back to working again?  Four and a half days later.

Happy Computer Person Again