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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-24-09, 03:10 PM   #26
enine
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wait, if your getting rid of your computer then what are you doing with those external hard drives, what are you plugging them into. I'd get a laptop if you want to save space, then swap in the biggest drive you need, you don't want to be plugging your data drives into someone elses system and getting who known what on them.
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Old 03-24-09, 03:21 PM   #27
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wait, if your getting rid of your computer then what are you doing with those external hard drives, what are you plugging them into. I'd get a laptop if you want to save space, then swap in the biggest drive you need, you don't want to be plugging your data drives into someone elses system and getting who known what on them.
I'll be plugging them into my husband's computer, or library computers, or whatever.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:06 PM   #28
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I wouldn't plug them into whatever, libraries for example a lot of times don't have a lot of money for IT staff so there may be virus' and such on those computers. Also remember most of those external hard drives are just a cheap desktop drive inside, those were not designed to be carried around a lot. I'd consider getting at least something like a netbook and put a bigger drive in it. I do that with my small laptop, every couple years I run out of space so I buy a larger drive then place the one that was in the laptop in an external case. For one thing a laptop drive is more robust, designed to be carried, and I now have everything in the laptop and the external is truly a backup copy not a primary copy. I bought the laptop with a 20G, bought a 60G after that then a 120 and finally a 160G so the 120 is my backup drive. This lets me dedicate 120G to data and the rest on the laptop's drive to the OS or non important data (i.e. if I would copy an install cd or dvd over that can simply be copied over again later if I had to recover).
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Old 03-24-09, 07:08 PM   #29
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Well, I won't be picking a laptop up here in Canada ..... maybe eventually, in Australia. Meanwhile, I do want to keep my info somewhere.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:14 PM   #30
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What I'm meaning is don't just go plugging your drives into any system, espically if they are the only copy, be very picky about where you plug them in. I used to run windows myself and had my system extra secure and still got hit with things occasionally, practice like there is no if you get a virus or something else that causes data loss, plan for when it happens.
As I simplified my life and got rid of things my data became that much more important, its an extension of my memory.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:25 PM   #31
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As for newspapers, the problem usually cited is competition with the Internet. Craigslist took away classified revenues, and online papers plus bloggers got people used to the idea that news should be free. Of course the blogs will lose most of their free content if newspapers go under, so they're shooting themselves in the foot when they refuse to pay for links to newspaper articles.
I think the Craigslist phenomenon is a wonderful development. I've always thought that destroying a forest to provide information that most readers merely glance through, then throw away, was a ridiculous idea. It was a business model that really grew up in the 20th century and was running itself out of business.

That's not to say that there aren't some wastefulness with the Internet, but the potential for presenting very time sensitive (ie, throwaway) information certainly doesn't work when you commit it to newsprint.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:41 PM   #32
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I think the Craigslist phenomenon is a wonderful development. I've always thought that destroying a forest to provide information that most readers merely glance through, then throw away, was a ridiculous idea. It was a business model that really grew up in the 20th century and was running itself out of business.

That's not to say that there aren't some wastefulness with the Internet, but the potential for presenting very time sensitive (ie, throwaway) information certainly doesn't work when you commit it to newsprint
.
I use craigslist too. it's pretty tacky, but it works, sort of.

The problem is that newspapers got something like 40 % of their revenue from want ads, now they get almost nothing, and they have nothing to replace it with. I know it's the papers own fualt that they failed to keep up with the times and the changing technology. I don't even mind reading my news on the computer. But the problem is that if the papers don't gather, write and edit the news, who will? Like somebody said, it's not the newspapers that we'll miss, it's the newsrooms. Bloggers just don't have the training and skill to report and analyze events.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:48 PM   #33
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. Bloggers just don't have the training and skill to report and analyze events.
Neither do newspapers. Our local paper is a complete ripoff, nothing but stories they found on the internet printed on paper and they come around every two weeks and can't understand why I don't want to pay for it. Newspaper needs to go away.
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Old 03-24-09, 08:16 PM   #34
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Neither do newspapers. Our local paper is a complete ripoff, nothing but stories they found on the internet printed on paper and they come around every two weeks and can't understand why I don't want to pay for it. Newspaper needs to go away.
+1

Most newspapers are written at a very low reading level ... anywhere from Grade 3 to 9, and quite often at the lower end. If you go through a newspaper (at least, my local newspapers) with a red pen, grammar book and dictionary, you'll be able to circle heaps of grammar and spelling errors. The newspapers here report old news ... most of the stories have been on the radio or TV for several days before they appear in the newspapers, or they report on minor events that happened 2 or more weeks ago. And quite often the stories are brief and meaningless ... you read them and think ... "And so?" or "And then what happened?"

Now I do have to say that the online papers I've read in Australia, especially those reporting on the fires, were better written.

But a lot of newspapers aren't much more than fashion magazines or home decorating magazines. My local one has a small section for international, national, and local news, and the rest of the paper consists of the comics, lifestyles, entertainment, etc. etc. ... stuff you can get all over the place on the internet.


Here's one entire article in my local paper, for example:

"St. Luke’s Anglican Church may become a city historic site if its congregation gets the designation from city council."

Yep. That's it. Now, I don't know ... if I were the journalist writing that exciting bit of news, I might do a little bit of research and find out when that church was built. I might add the fact (and I found this out the other day myself, quite by accident) that it was built from sandstone from a quarry which used to exist on the local river. I might mention a little bit about what the city was like back when it was built.

I know which church it is, and it looks like something right from England, but I don't know anything else about it, and a well-written article could have told me a few things. But all I get is one sentence.

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Old 03-24-09, 09:04 PM   #35
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Neither do newspapers. Our local paper is a complete ripoff, nothing but stories they found on the internet printed on paper and they come around every two weeks and can't understand why I don't want to pay for it. Newspaper needs to go away.
True, some newspapers are pretty bad. Others used to be good, but have cut back so much that they're barely worth reading. But a lot of good ones are in trouble too, and about to close down. If they do "go away" what will take their place?
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Old 03-24-09, 09:46 PM   #36
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If they do "go away" what will take their place?
Online newspapers.

But if they go that route, I think they need to change the current format. The current format for online newspapers is very similar to an actual newspaper and I think it needs to be overhauled to be more user friendly.
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Old 06-30-14, 08:18 PM   #37
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I wish I could zap the rest of my stuff and reduce it to a file on my computer!! Wouldn't that be great ... you'd travel to some other part of the world, hook up your harddrive to a computer somewhere and print yourself out a chair and table etc.? I can dream.

Funny ... and now they've got 3D Printers.
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Old 06-30-14, 08:28 PM   #38
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I use my laptop for photo scanning, music mp3 format and now checking into using it as my tv. I do need to get some hardware for the tv adaption.

How do you use tech. to live lite ?

The obvious one ... unless I've missed it on a quick skim of this thread ... is online shopping.

Instead of flying to the UK or New Zealand to pick up cycling stuff, we order online, and our stuff is shipped to us, along with shipments from many other people. Yes, there is still an airplane involved, and yes, there is still a delivery van involved, but it is potentially less flying and driving than would be involved in going to get the stuff individually.


There is also online window shopping. I can sit at my computer and look for all the homeware shops that might sell candy thermometers, and then go to the most likely options (some of which are within walking distance of where I work) rather than driving around from place to place. If I felt so inclined, I could send the most likely shops and email enquiring whether they have candy thermometers and how much they might be ... and then I can go directly to the one that suits my needs the best.

Same with online house hunting ... rather than driving around to every possible house found in newspaper ads or somewhere, to see what they are like ... we can browse all the available places online. We can look at the photos of their interiors and exteriors, we can use Google Maps to see where they are located, and what they look like in Street View, and we can eliminate a whole bunch that way because they just don't meet our needs. And thus our house hunting is more efficient.
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Old 06-30-14, 09:30 PM   #39
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This thread is so old that the technology has changed quite a bit. They still had desktop computers! Not to mention that most of the people who posted on it are probably in a nursing home by now. Really, Machka, wouldn't a new thread have made more sense at least in this one case?
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Old 06-30-14, 09:40 PM   #40
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This thread is so old that the technology has changed quite a bit. They still had desktop computers! Not to mention that most of the people who posted on it are probably in a nursing home by now. Really, Machka, wouldn't a new thread have made more sense at least in this one case?
Are you in a nursing home? I'm certainly not.

Renewing this thread is an interesting idea. It gives us a chance to look back at where we were a mere 5 years ago, and to see where we are now.

So ... instead of being a wet blanket again, how about offering a real contribution to the thread?
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Old 07-01-14, 01:08 AM   #41
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Are you in a nursing home? I'm certainly not.


Renewing this thread is an interesting idea. It gives us a chance to look back at where we were a mere 5 years ago, and to see where we are now.


So ... instead of being a wet blanket again, how about offering a real contribution to the thread?
Ok then, I'll play along. Not to brag, but I think I made the most accurate prediction about Amazon dictating terms to book publishers. This is a big thing that's happening right now in real time.

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...
Another problem is that the bookstores will die if Kindle2 takes over. Without independent bookstores, if Amazon doesn't want you to have a certain book, you will not have that book. The best sellers will be whatever books that Amazon decides to promote. This is already true to some extent, since Amazon already has enormous control over publishing decisions. So does Walmart...
I'm probably just paranoid, but things like this really are starting to worry me. I think that the control of materials and ideas by a few corporate monopolies is very troubling.
And one of your predictions hasn't come true yet. Online newspapers haven't yet figured out how to make enough money to finance good original journalism.

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Online newspapers.

But if they go that route, I think they need to change the current format. The current format for online newspapers is very similar to an actual newspaper and I think it needs to be overhauled to be more user friendly.
.
The big thing that everybody missed five years ago was the rise of smart phones and tablets. These are rapidly in the process of replacing desktops and laptops for personal use, and they didn't exist five years ago!
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Old 07-01-14, 02:17 AM   #42
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And one of your predictions hasn't come true yet. Online newspapers haven't yet figured out how to make enough money to finance good original journalism.
Actually, if you re-read my comments, I didn't predict that at all. All I said was that if paper newspapers went away online newspapers would take their place. I didn't say anything at all about making money or the quality of journalism.

Fortunately some online newspapers have adjusted their format to make them more user friendly.



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If they do "go away" what will take their place?
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Online newspapers.

But if they go that route, I think they need to change the current format. The current format for online newspapers is very similar to an actual newspaper and I think it needs to be overhauled to be more user friendly.

[HR][/HR]

Anyway ... newspapers aside ... has technology over the past 5 years (or longer) helped anyone live car-light?

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Old 07-01-14, 10:56 AM   #43
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Here's one that helps me live without a car: GPS-based real-time transit arrival predictions available on my phone or on displays in train stations. Although this did exist 5 years ago in San Francisco, we're just now getting it here. I also carry transit schedules on my phone in PDF format. GPS mapping/navigation, combined with the built-in compass on my phone is pretty wonderful too. I use this to figure out routes for my bike or walking trips in unfamiliar areas.

BBM has a really cool feature called Glympse. It shows your location on a map and continuously updates your position as you move. This is great when you're meeting someone on transit, bike, or foot because you can see everyone on the same map, and know where they are and how far apart you are. Also makes it easier to find someone in a crowd.

Another nice thing for transit trips, since they always involve waiting, is e-books on my phone. I always have something to read in my pocket! In fact, a smartphone has replaced my computer for most things. I still have computers but they mostly get used for work and for stuff that involves a lot of typing, although I could pair a bluetooth keyboard with my phone to do that, even.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:30 PM   #44
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If public libraries or even the library of congress go digital then there will be even more access to books. Libraries could let people download books with built in time limits or no time limits. There would be no waiting for digital books to be returned. If you want the book you get it instantly.
Publishers and copyright compliance limit access to ebooks. The public libraries that I am familiar with use Overdrive to for ebooks. But publishers limit copies of ebooks, aka if the library licenses 2 copies of the ebook, then it can only be checked out to two people at the same time. Some publishers will also limit the format the books is available in, epub versus kindle, for example. Some will also have a time limit on the license, aka the library will have to buy a new license after a year or two. Hard copies on the other hand can last for years or decades.
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Old 07-01-14, 01:40 PM   #45
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The public libraries that I am familiar with use Overdrive to for ebooks. But publishers limit copies of ebooks, aka if the library licenses 2 copies of the ebook, then it can only be checked out to two people at the same time.
Just like real books! I think I have about 3 books on hold right now. I use the Overdrive ap too. I love always having plenty to read on the bus.
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Old 07-01-14, 02:35 PM   #46
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I was thinking about replacing my flint tools with some bronze ones, but they just don't seem to take an edge as well.
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Old 07-01-14, 02:45 PM   #47
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Besides e-books, I save magazine-type feature articles from the web to an app called Pocket. Then I can read them offline on my tablet if there's no wi-fi available, like on a bus. Pocket also renders articles in a nice format for reading. It now does color photos and I believe it does videos too. (I hate reading on a phone.)
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Old 07-01-14, 02:56 PM   #48
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I was thinking about replacing my flint tools with some bronze ones, but they just don't seem to take an edge as well.


I use wood spoked bike wheels also. They're kinda heavy for hill climbs, but that just makes me stronger. And if a spoke breaks out in BFE, I can always cobble a new one with my frame-mounted flint axe. Win-win!!!
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Old 07-01-14, 05:30 PM   #49
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It gives us a chance to look back at where we were a mere 5 years ago, and to see where we are now.
Well, I made a lot of progress...5 years ago I didn't even know how to use a cell phone to send a text message...Fast forward to 2014 and I now have a smartphone and my daughter taught me how to text. I am serious it's true. I only started texting last year.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:34 PM   #50
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Well, I made a lot of progress...5 years ago I didn't even know how to use a cell phone to send a text message...Fast forward to 2014 and I now have a smartphone and my daughter taught me how to text. I am serious it's true. I only started texting last year.
I still don't text ... never have. But Rowan has become quite adept at it in the last year.

We talk occasionally about getting me a mobile phone. But I've never owned one, and I'm not all that enthusiastic.
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