Tag Archives: technology

Book Review: The Word Exchange

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[also posted on Goodreads]

The Word Exchange – Alena Graedon

I picked this novel up at the library and decided to read it based on the back blurb. I’ve been working on a project about a dystopian story of a world without words, so I wanted to see how someone else handled this topic. The answer: very differently. But still, enjoyable themes. Plus I learned something as a writer from this book that I can apply to my own revisions from this author’s first novel, things I didn’t care for.

There are some really deep layers in this story, from philosophy of language, how important it is to we humans, to the impact of technology, our tools, on our ability to be human. Graedon exposes the risks involved when we don’t think clearly about those risks and what could go wrong.

I enjoyed the characters and dealing with occupations we don’t think about – lexicographers and dictionary publishing. Be honest now. When is the last time, if ever, you thought about who does this work?

The possibility that the really bad things that happen in this fictional world would/could really happen is probably at the low end, but there are already impacts of our technologies that we are experiencing: reduced emphasis on hand-writing, reduced reliance on memory, and poor spelling. These are forms of aphasia – damaged language centres – so maybe she is on to something and we are sleep walking into a major shift in our use of language. We may be communicating worldwide and with more frequency than in the past but are we really doing it well and clearly?

A good effort.

Recording with a basic Kogan PVR model KGNFSTBVAA

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I have a ‘new’ old Kogan PVR from a friend because my Supernet recorder ‘broke’ again. This Kogan one is a model KGNFSTBVAA – which presumably stands for Kogan F? Set-Top Box (VAA??). It requires an external memory device such as a memory stick or external harddrive. It is a single HD tuner, so nothing flash on this inexpensive model.

The manual leaves a lot to be desired. It is available from the some old Manuals websites if you look around.

The reason for this post is that I searched for over an hour on the internet to find out why I couldn’t record using the timer. To save others some grief, I thought I’d put up the solution, which was simple once I realised it was there.

– Timer Service. There is a selection of Channel or Record. Change to record. Otherwise, the system just turns itself on and you can watch the broadcast. The Channel option is handy if you’re watching something to fill in time and just want to switch to a program you really want to watch. NOT so good for recording.

So the steps are:

  1. EPG
  2. Pick the channel where the program will appear
  3. Arrow through until you find the program on the listings
  4. Press the green button to open the timer
  5. choose if this is once or daily with the arrows
  6. **set the timer service to RECORD**
  7. If your stations tend to run over the appointed times, adjust the start/end time for the recording so you don’t miss the ending (happens to me ALL the time)
  8. Save

I am recording my first timed session right now on an 8Gb memory stick. I want to find out how much data space 1 hour of recording takes up before I go buy any more memory.

Hope this does others some good if you get a ‘hand me down’ gadget. Otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward using the manual for set-up. Even the menus are relatively fine without the manual.