September Offerings

Mike here – your acting president

Cathy and I have just come back from a trip to somewhere else, and it could have been anywhere else in fact. It was just good to get away and great because the road wasn’t cluttered up with other people getting away – yet. On the other hand they may have already left and come home.
The motels always had rooms, the restaurants always had tables, save the only ones we really wanted to eat in. It was a bit eerie. And everyone was doing the right thing, well apart from the folks at  local Bowlos and RSLs, where the average age was umm “mature”. There, it was party time, live now die later…

But we still had to conform to the requirements of our present situation and it was a pleasure to see that in some ways there is always a place for older technology .

Everywhere we went, before entering a building, we had to register and they nearly all had the new fangled QR code available to use, so those tracing hounds could track us down.
So being techie and all that, we decided we’d use a QR reader to let everyone know we had been there, no wonder there were queues waiting to get in! Me, using a smartphone, wow! Downloading Apps – wow! Do I know how to use them…ummm?
It took several QR Apps before we found one that didn’t take 5 minutes to let them know we were there, whilst the queues built up behind us. Cryptic was a word that sprung to mind when using them, and the annoying invasion of advertising. Have you noticed the new roll over background fad, grrrr. Why can’t they give us something useful for nothing – the cheek…
I was gobsmacked that we couldn’t put our details into the reader after we downloaded it, before we went anywhere. No, we had to scan the code which gave us a link (it took Cathy and me a while to work out what was happening until a 15 year old receptionist with rolling eyes showed us the way)…and then we had to put our details in, every one wanting slightly different info. Anyone who can create a scanner that one just waves the phone over the code and the details are automatically recorded somewhere, not in  China, (they’ve probably had a device for decades) is going to make a fortune. John will give you further insight into these Apps a bit later, if you have no idea what I am taking about, most people don’t, even me.
And then we realised there was another way – faster taking about 20 secs and requiring very little in the way of technology – An exercise book and a freshly wiped pen. Bliss….

A good hint from David…

Organise your browser bookmarks

Using bookmarks in your browser can be a slippery slope: you find something cool, you bookmark it for later and then you keep browsing and find more stuff. Rinse and repeat. Who knows how many handy tools and useful articles you’ve buried in a pile of bookmarks? To make sure you keep track of your favourite websites and online finds, give a go. This handy tool will help you categorise and colour-code all of your bookmarks so they’re much easier to browse. It’s easy to use and it can help you stay engaged with the content you find instead of filing it away and forgetting about it.


From John who has just returned from the north….

 QR Codes (Quick Response)

Various hospitals, restaurants, and other venues are using QR codes so you can register your details for Covid-19 safety.  This makes it a lot easier to register, and relieves staff of the manual screening process.

For example, this was in a hospital foyer.

And this one was in a restaurant.

Note: I have corrupted the QR codes above, so they won’t work.

If you have an iPhone, the Camera app will automatically detect QR codes, just open your camera app and point it at the code.  You will be taken to a web page that contains a form for you to complete.
If you have an Android phone you need to install a QR scanner app.  Go to the Google Play Store and search for “QR scanner”. Choose which one you like.  A good secure one is Kaspersky QR Scanner – it checks that the website is safe.
Then you just open the scanner and point At the QR code.

If you want to practice scanning a QR code on your phone, point it at the one below which will take to the Wikipedia mobile site.  Remember to install and open a QR app if you have an Android phone.

More about my experiences with QR codes in our next Newsletter.

And now from Amanda

Another way of looking at the world

This is an entertaining YouTube clip that bears multiple views

Margaret is the eternal optimist…

Travel at 60

! am aware that we cannot travel too far at the moment. However there is a website called Travelat60  that offers travel options for the 60 + age groups. Travel is available as a single, couple or in a group. They also offer a range of insurance options.  The only country I have not seen offered is Great Britain. They offer holiday packages/deals, cruises or rail travel and I think are quite reasonably priced.

Now time for the birds..

From Charmaine before she heads off into the far west of NSW…Penguins?

What is Live Penguin TV?

At sunset every night (AEST) the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins waddle up Phillip Island’s floodlit beaches to their homes. Since we aren’t able to welcome visitors to enjoy this natural phenomenon in person at the moment, we’ve decided to bring the penguins into homes across the world instead.

How can I watch it?

Viewers can tune in on either our Facebook page or YouTube channel to watch live and ask questions in real-time. You can watch on your phone, laptop or if you’re feeling extra savvy – stream to your TV to enjoy the little penguins on the big screen!

And from Mike the ardent Traveler

Google Maps.

This android app that comes with every android phone is an essential to traveling. Forget those old paper maps we could never manage to fold up the right way. For once Google has nailed it. It’s not perfect and a bit clunky at times but when it works it is great.

If you use Google maps then I’m preaching to the converted. For the others, you need to be online with your phone, otherwise Maps will not work. It will also ask you if you haven’t already, to turn Location on your phone. Otherwise it is as lost as your are.
When it starts, it will generally find you where you are now and a map will appear with a blue dot, that’s you…wave!..

There’s all sorts of links on the start page but for the moment forget them. Up the top click Search here and type in a destination. As you start typing it will suggest options, tap one if it is where you want to go. A map will open with the destination at the top and down the bottom three options: Directions, Start, Save.

Click Directions, the page will change with a map showing you the route and 4 means of getting there near the top. Car, Bus, Bike, and Walking.  The walking option to the local Newsagent is great, though to Darwin it could take a while and your phone will probably run out of battery, or you’ll lose it before you get there. So choose the best option. Walking is good when cruising on foot around a town.
You may also be given route options with times attached to them.The Blue route is the preferred choice of Google. Apparently the scenery is better.

To change a route, touch the one you prefer and the route will change to blue. If in the settings you allow the navigator to find an alternative route whilst traveling, it will and give you a yes or no option.
Once you are ready, all packed up, and started driving, driven 100 yards down the road, turned around, got out, then returned to the car after you picked up the three things you remembered you’d forgotten after you got in the first time, press the Start button.
A voice will tell you to head east, west or whatever. Of course you’ll have no idea where these are, so just start driving. The voice will direct you onto the right route even if you have to turn in a circle to get there.
You’re off, and directions will be given before you get to anywhere you have to make a turn. It is best to have your passenger have access to the phone.  At the top is a visual prompt of how far away is your next turn and which direction you will need to go.You will be prompted abut 600m before the turn and reminded just as you need to turn.
Eventually you will arrive. That was easy wasn’t it.
Once you are at your destination you can turn off the navigation. Use the Back arrow at the top to return to the map and you can find somewhere to eat. Type cafe in the Search here box and the map will change with little icons scattered around the map. There will always be an ad at the bottom for one but click on the map and it will go.

You can move the map by sliding the map with your finger or If you zoom in or out with two fingers  the names will pop up with their location. To check them out touch the icon and more details will appear at the bottom. Touching the popup picture will give you more information. Or you can slide the picture sideways and it will show you another location and also highlight it on the map, by enlarging its icon to show you where it is.To return to the map use the Back arrow at the top.
Cathy and I have found it is a good idea to have 2 phones, One dedicated to Maps,  the other one playing an audio book to your Bluetooth speaker, you do have one of those don’t you?

You are now almost a professional. There is heaps of stuff in Google Maps, check out Google for all the other possibilities. Check the settings, remember the hamburger and three dot options, well forget about them, tap the user icon, top right next to the microphone, here you’ll find the settings and options. Standardization, it was a wonderful dream once. The more you use it the better it gets. We find it best not to fiddle with the phone when using it, although you can still answer calls  if needs be and then return to the map. It will still navigate whilst you are doing other things.

Bon Voyage

And now for something totally different, what do these mean and where on earth did they come from?

Who on earth was Bob?

Over the moon…

Under the weather. …

Hit for six. …

Beat around the bush. …

Blow your socks off. …

Easy does it. …

Barking up the wrong tree. …

To get the wrong end of the stick.

That’s it, we hope to see you soon until then, stay safe and well