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Technology is crippling us

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holy cow
(@holy-cow)
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We have become so dependent on technology that simple solutions have largely disappeared, either through lack of availability or lack of people thinking that way.

In a thread today about attaching pictures to FEMA forms a very simple solution was provided.  Print out the picture, cut it out with scissors and then tape it to the form.  You can then print however many copies are needed.

A similar but non-survey situation happened to me last night at a Board Meeting.  We were to have two Zoom presentations and both were to use information that could shown to us from their computers.  We were in a meeting room which is the smallest of three such rooms that can be opened up to form one large room.  The technology used to allow different the large screens in each room to show the same or as many as three different presentations at the same time is wonderful and expensive.  The system is used almost every day, Yet, last night it was contrary.  We probably spent 15 minutes waiting for everything to get synchronized correctly.  During that lull I turned to the Board Member on my right and commented that my teacher in the two-room school where I started my education never had such a problem.  That got a conversation going around the room.  I followed up by saying that Monica, the primary presenter, probably couldn't even find a chalkboard and piece of chalk so she could illustrate the message for us.  The Executive Director assured me that I was correct about that.

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 8:02 am
SReeserinPA, RADAR, OleManRiver and 2 people reacted
Rover83
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If I'm presenting or instructing digitally, nobody better get in my way when I arrive 15-20 minutes early to sort out connection issues and ensure I'm able to do my thing.

I wouldn't say technology is necessarily "crippling" us, but like anything else there has to be a backup, and a backup plan. Overall, the time lost when tech does fail is small compared to the time saved when it does work.

It's strange that there was no blackboard/whiteboard. All our conference rooms have a whiteboard in addition to the fancy TV or screen. They still get used. (As a side note, I love the whiteboard feature in Teams/Zoom and use that a lot too.)

On Monday/Tuesday I was out on a high-precision survey and we made use of a total station, a high-density scanner, a scanning total station, a level, and plumb bob & tape for swing/cross ties. We had to get some very tricky shots with the total station, so we observed a combination of high-precision traverse kits, active-tracking 360s, passive 360s, checkerboard targets, plumb bob/gammon reel string and, in one case, a sticky target cut down to size, placed on a pocketknife and held over a point of interest that had very little clearance.

The "old" tools are still valid, the trick is knowing when to switch to them, or how to use them to supplement the fancy new tech.

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 8:36 am
Ken Salzmann, OleManRiver, jflamm and 1 people reacted
jim.cox
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Not so much "crippling" as enabling, I think

We can do amazing things our Grand-parents could only dream of.

But it also enables laziness, of both mind and body.

A double edged sword...

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 11:12 am
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Dave Karoly
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The required Corner Record form is a fillable PDF.  You are supposed to make a JPG or BNP out of CAD and insert it in Acrobat (which is terrible software but I digress).  I have never been able to get an image out of CAD which scales correctly or even works.  So I gave up and PDFATTACHed the second page of the form into CAD then put a viewport over it then printed to PDF.  Probably a violation but the only way I can get the stupid thing to work.  The first page works fine, it's just the second page with the sketch that is difficult.

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 11:18 am
OleManRiver
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So true.  I comped points the other day on a line every 25ft because all i had was a starting coordinate and a bearing.  Then about half way through the internet started working again and a cad guru spit out the file and emailed it to the field crew. I had about 15 points done by hand and a note pad but he beat me lol. But i did ck my work and we agreed. Sometimes people need to pause and say ok this doesn’t work how can I still do the work. My first go to still in a hurry up situation is grabbing my hp and a note book. But i am sure as I learn the software i will dumb myself down. 

 

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 11:41 am
OleManRiver
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@dave-karoly i had to do the same thing on one and my LS kept saying thats not right. After a few days I said did you figure it out he laughed and said i stamped yours it didn’t work for me either. Lol. He said he cussed that stupid form.

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 11:43 am

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holy cow
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And, then the last battery dies.............................ARGH!!!

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 2:00 pm
350RocketMike
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@rover83 

Have to think outside the box sometimes. Sometimes a solution includes technology and sometimes it excludes it completely. 

 
Posted : November 17, 2022 3:47 pm
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RADAR
(@dougie)
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GIF
 
Posted : November 17, 2022 4:06 pm
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thebionicman
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It is common to watch tech slaves burn hours where a T1 and tape would suffice. Simple triangle solitions are ignored in favor of bloated cogo and data collection software.

I love technology, but it's not always the best choice...

 
Posted : November 18, 2022 6:54 am
SReeserinPA and hpalmer reacted
holy cow
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I've been around long enough to remember seeing a planimeter used on a scaled drawing of the survey to arrive at the area for a complex tract.  Dividing it up into rectangles, triangles and calculating (inside or behind curve) areas could take forever even with a calculator.  The opportunity for an error was great.

 
Posted : November 18, 2022 8:28 am
thebionicman
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Perhaps we should keep these in the truck...

 

 
Posted : November 18, 2022 8:32 am
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holy cow
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I feel old but I'm not THAT old.

 
Posted : November 18, 2022 8:50 am
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FairbanksLS
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Technology allows me to do more with less and makes me less reliant on others.  I love technology.

 
Posted : November 18, 2022 8:04 pm
holy cow
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@fairbanksls 

You bet.  Until it's not there for some reason.  Then most everyone panics because they can't even think of a way to get by without it.  The reason they can't think of anything else is because they have never had to do without it.  Ever.

It doesn't have to be complex technology at all.

A chiropractor in this area sent his brilliant son off to college.  But, dear old Dad had always taken care of all vehicle-related issues.  One day Dad gets a call from the son telling him that when he turns the key all he hears are a few clicking noise.  Dad tells son that the battery must be dead.  Son says, "I might have forgot to shut off the lights last night.  What do I do now."  Dad says, "Remember that battery charger I got you for times like this?. Use it."  A few minutes later Dad's phone rings again. Son says, "I found the battery charger but it doesn't do anything."  Dad asks a bunch of questions until finally, "Did you plug it in?"  Son says he can't because the cord is only about four feet long and it's much further than that from the street curb to any outlet.  Dad mutters, "Get the 100 foot extension cord I got you and put in your trunk."  Son says, "Oh.  Never thought of that."  The son never thought of contacting any of his buddies to jump start it for him.  He was in a city with many steep hills.  Bet, he could have got it going with a little shove and jump in all by himself.

Back in the day I would do a drag start with any standard transmission car, truck or tractor (and even a combine backwards a few times) as long as I had a means to do the tow and had enough uummph to pull it.  Even learned how to get an automatic transmission to drag start, but, at a dangerously high speed.

Recently learned of a guy who has a small dozer and a really big dozer.  The pony engine on the small dozer is shot.  They drag start the little one with the big one and a really big chain.

 
Posted : November 18, 2022 9:04 pm

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