Computers making a difference

We take computers for granted but it wasn’t that long ago we were doing a lot of things we now do with computers by hand.

I suspect the world’s become a different place since the arrival of computers.

Let’s consider a few places computers are making a difference.

Banking

I remember the days when a bank teller wrote entries by hand in your passbook every time you deposited or withdrew money, and the long queues at the bank. When I started working in a bank, they were still using passbooks but a computer did the writing, and then passbooks became plastic cards and the computer sent you a monthly statement.

Then banks replaced tellers with safes attached to a computer (automated teller machines) which identified your account from that plastic card and dispensed cash into your hand.

Hardly anybody uses cash these days. We get paid electronically, we pay our bills online and use those plastic cards to make our purchases. There’s even talk of us becoming a cashless society, thanks to computers.

Continue reading “Computers making a difference”

Working Smarter

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We’re all looking for clever ways to work smarter and get more done, hoping the next new productivity app will be the one that helps us get things done faster and with less effort.

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, when you think about it, some of the steps you can take to work smarter don’t involve apps at all. Continue reading “Working Smarter”

What’s blocking your personal productivity?

10Productivity is an economic concept that arose as a way of measuring the efficiency of production processes.

Now, it’s routinely applied to employees – people like you.

You are expected to be more productive every year.

You need to deliver more from your personal effort to justify your continued employment.

‘What, you want a raise? Show me how you’re going to be more productive. This is a business, not a charity!’

And, don’t think you’re immune if you are self-employed – all productivity depends on your personal effort. Continue reading “What’s blocking your personal productivity?”

Digital libraries

40 years is a long time to live in one house.

It’s definitely sufficient time to accumulate a lot of books.

We’re moving out and going overseas for a while.

Photo_kazuend_UnsplashImage by: kazuend | Unsplash

We stood together in the library and looked at the seven floor to ceiling bookcases holding somewhere in excess of two thousand books, and at the six yellow containers of children’s books piled up between two of the bookcases. Continue reading “Digital libraries”

Erasing your hard drive

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With the continual upgrading of operating systems, and all the other bits inside computers, there comes a time when the old machine has to go out with the recycling.

Unfortunately, simply deleting files before dropping off the old machine at the e-recyclers will not protect your privacy. Continue reading “Erasing your hard drive”

A view from Australia

Leaves on pathAustralia is having an unusual double dissolution election, where every member of both houses of the Federal Parliament is up for re-election. Usually, only half the Senate is contested at a federal election. So, this one could be interesting.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived back in Australia from the USA on Monday, and watched the TV coverage in the lounge at Melbourne airport while waiting for my connection, was the difference in the tone of the campaign being waged here. Continue reading “A view from Australia”

Fire trucks in New York.

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Image by Anthony Delanoix | Unsplash.com

The fire trucks go a lot slower in New York than they do in Adelaide.

For someone used to seeing fire trucks moving along city streets at speed, watching them thread their way through traffic on Eighth Avenue, with sirens wailing and horns blaring, is disconcerting – and hard on the ears. Maybe things burn a lot slower here than they do in Australia. Who knows? Continue reading “Fire trucks in New York.”

Meaningful work and wage justice

Most of us spend a lot of time working. Some of us are lucky enough to spend that time doing things we love.

A lot of us are looking for meaning through our work or are on a quest for meaningful work.

Is this quest a dream? Perhaps. Continue reading “Meaningful work and wage justice”

A short history of walls

Walls are not new to Americans. There used to be one on Wall Street.

opejnart.org

Some Ancient History

The Chinese built a wall. We know it as the Great Wall of China. They’ve had their wall for more than a thousand years. It didn’t keep out the Manchurians – they came in through a gate, and it didn’t keep out the Europeans – they came by boat. It’s probably been more successful as a tourist attraction than as a defensive barrier. In fact, they’re restoring parts of it so that we can marvel at the engineering feat that created it. Continue reading “A short history of walls”