One of my customers in my bookshop who is older than me and over the years has become a friend, decided to bite the bullet and get connected to the internet and as he doesn't have a credit or debit card, has never used the internet before and whatnot, I said I would help him.
The remit here,was to buy a new largeish - 10 inch tablet, (he is about 80 so a smaller one would have been difficult in terms being able to see the screen, touch screen motions and so on) and get it working on a mobile WIFI, on pay as you go, using cash only, without going out of Ramsgate, within a budget of £200.
We went to Argos and bought a Lenovo A10 10.1 Inch Tablet - 16GB for £129.99.
We took it back to the bookshop, signed it on to the WIFI here, went to Gmail.com and created a firstname.lastname@example.org email adress for my friend, this is best for the next stage, as otherwise his home landline phone numer, intead of his email adress would have to become the primary contact for his isp. as it was he didn't have to give his phone number to anyone, so no difficult phone calls for his older sister.
Then we went to the EE Shop, also in Ramsgate High Street and bought a pay as you go 4GEE SIM FOR WIFI AND TABLETS, this was £15, 2 GB, which have to be used during the next month, once the month is up the minimum top up is £10, see http://shop.ee.co.uk/price-plans/pay-as-you-go/about-packs
We then went out the EE shop, of course as he had bought the sim, this then made him an existing customer.
We then went back in the EE shop and bought a Mobile WIFI hub, see
https://shop.ee.co.uk/dongles/pay-as-you-go-mobile-broadband/osprey-2-mini-from-ee-payg/details as was now an existing customer, this cost £28 instead of the £49.99 that he would have paid if we had bought them at the same time.
Having spent just over £170, we were well in budget so spent £10 on a memory card as my friend had started playing with the camera in the tablet.
I downloaded MS Word, as my friend can’t spell and liked the idea of his spelling mistakes being underlined in red, I also helped him set up a Google Plus account so all of photos would be saved online, just in case he had a senior moment that destroyed or lost his memory card, showed him how to search for things online, using the keyboard and voice search, showed him how to copy and paste and that was about it really.
I guess there are all sorts of complex issues related to this one, some related to buying something you can afford in a way you feel comfortable with, what struck me however was the actual business of using the thing for the first time didn't seem markedly different from when I first got tablets for my teenage children.
Now the answer to life the universe and everything. This is I think a very old story, and I think it was first told to me by a buddhist although it could have been an Indian guru type. In the 1960s and 70s I was in some small way involved in examining what aspects of oriental religions could be usefully introduced into anglican contemplative communities, so spoke with several guru types.
The great guru lived as a hermit, in a cave that was difficult to reach, up a mountain perhaps, we shall call him Wavey and the unhappy man seeking enlightenment, we shall call him Drowny (in homage to S Smith and nothing to do with one hand) traveled an arduous journey to the cave.
So eventually Drowny arrives and approaches the great guru Wavey, who bids him sit down and eat his humble meal with him. And of course Drowny asks Wavey. “What is the answer to life the universe and everything.” To which Wavey replies. “Eat your rice slowly.”
I guess for a while this phrase became a sort of catchphrase among young religious, engaged in the business of teaching anglican clergy meditation techniques, so I was surprised to find no mention of the story on the internet.
Next some thought about bookselling, job descriptions and the like. With the new Laurie Lee out, oh for the days of the net book agreement, when we would have had stacks of them and you could have bought the book from a bookseller who had already read and digested the proof.
Here is the link to the stock that did go out in my bookshop today http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/some-tasty-books-for-bookshop.html so not all bad.
Having been in the monkey business and the mechanical business here are some comparative job titles.
Monk = Engineer, Religious = Mechanic, Contemplative = Quantum Mechanic. Well something like that.
Finally the video of the TDC extraordinary cabinet meeting approving spending another ten grand on checking out the indemnity partner for the cpo to turn build an airfreight hub and aircraft dismantling facility on the Manston Airport site.