Does fiction include about 50% of the technical documentation available?
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Two things helped me so far:
1) A Sleep Study
I thought I was sleeping well because I fell asleep easily and stayed asleep. Nope: That
was my body trying to make up in quantity what the sleep lacked in quality. I thought my problem was
caused by too many electronic distractions (yeah some, but not most of it).
You don't get enough deep and REM sleep, you don't have focus and your ability to remember new things takes a BIG hit.
My problem was ridiculously easy to treat and I deeply regret spending several years not realizing I was being fuzzier than
I needed to be for want of a couple slightly uncomfortable nights wired up.
2) Turning off the router at night
Also helpful: I put my home router on a timer. 10pm, BANG! No internet on anything but my phone, which is OK to use
for short periods as an internet device and keeps me in touch if need be. Nonetheless it's much easier for me to decide to close
my eyes now. That probably only works because my phone screen isn't very big.
Pity we can't have this for capacitors (or so I expect: too cheap a part). I've never lost anything to an exploding battery but exploding capacitors....yes. On the other hand, the capacitors I'm involved with have never been directly dangerous to my flesh.
At my job it was noticed I was getting increasingly conservative about the systems. Some of that was justified but eventually I found I had a medical problem that made learning new things hard; it had been gradually messing with memory....very very slowly so as to be hard to notice until it became obvious something was very wrong indeed and being fired became likely.
Learning new stuff when you can't reliably remember what you learned the day before will rapidly decrease ones enthusiasm, even if one recognizes change as necessary.
Before losing insurance, I started insisting on checking out possible causes. If you're lucky (I was) there might be a simple fix: diet change, CPAP, whatever. That's the good news. Not so good: the longer a problem goes on, the longer it may take to recover and one may never get back to 100%. Very scary but it's better to get back 90% than to continue to degrade.
I'm convinced that for some significant fraction of older workers, this kind of thing can be some or all of their problem and I urge people reading this who have memory and learning problems they didn't use to have: check out stuff like sleep apnea, vitamin deficiency and the like.
It doesn't and yes that is sad....although Android was single-user-account until recently. I have wondered if that's a feature for Apple: makes sharing a single device trickier so each person has one.
Link to Original Source
Addons for web browsers (e,g. Certificate Patrol in Firefox, there are others) can clue you into certificate changes. Rather like Ghostery (which shows where stuff is loading from in a web page): it is an eye opener.
Very often low use ATMs still use dialup. If it's very slow to connect, that may well be the case. Very rarely I even come across one with the speaker on.
So a lot of us may have used dialup very recently indeed.
I get your point but:
In todays economy there are still a few pockets of stability and they tend to be in the
places I put in this list. Not all positions, but some. E.g. We do hire some temps but they know they
are temps and are about 5% of the workforce. I obviously don't work for Microsoft.
These are places where they need (and more importantly: know they need) some working memory
of how the place is runs. They are places where it is a big hairy deal to hire or fire certain positions.
They are of a size that it is not unusual for exactly ONE person to know how to do a critical task.
Even if cross trained, there is usually one (or maybe two) people who are really good at that critical
task so you better have responsible people who would like to stay awhile.
I am a sysadmin, I've been here for a decade, my most junior co-sysadmin has been here for years.
No degree by the way, just a massive list of accomplishment. Me, I have a degree in a related field
and fewer accomplishments.
Even our web people have been here for years. That said, we all sometimes find ourselves working
outside our original job descriptions from time to time. Money is tight but they want us to stay as long as
we are doing a job that needs (or will soon need) doing.
My particular organization has been through many expansions and contractions in the last century
but makes extraordinary efforts to keep sharp people. My part is to stay sharp and grow. We have
let go sharp people in the recent contraction, but we try to avoid it.
In 2013 this is an exceptionally good situation to be in I know but these situations exist and are
worth looking for.
Emphasize stability if you can, this can make age a plus. Not that age
guarantees stability or youth means not responsible but you are more
likely to be considered in a place looking for stability.
County government,especially smaller counties. They typically run on shoestrings but they
can really appreciate someone who can keep systems running well. Likewise midsize
towns and cities.
If you have some oddball skills, that can be a plus. In fact if you know INGRES, are willing
to live in Seattle and are stable: Drop me a line!
Medical computing often wants someone a little older. Banking will often hire someone older.
Midsized organizations 100-500 can be an especially rich vein, places that have been around
awhile so gray hair isn't unusual and small enough not to automate the initial job search. They
also often have enough work to keep a small team busy.
Surprisingly, these can be research departments at
Universities (yes, they sometimes happily hire people without degrees. Who
better knows a degrees worth for day to day computing? Arguing with the person
with an MS who wants to convert everything to Python is not fun.).
I think it a fair bet there are security companies watching the news
that are going to be more accepting of someone older than they were
a month ago.
Some of us need the Socratic Dialog. I was driven to learn about mathematics. I had real drive and read a LOT. I was smart. Yay me. I managed to mis-learn a heck of a lot that way. It wouldn't have been so bad later on but I mis-learned some basic things. It was unpleasant and time consuming to go back and edit out what I got wrong and I needed someone outside my own head. I couldn't see what's wrong in my own head alone. Sadly, even in college, that kind of teaching isn't available so much but it's golden.
Further, the few farmers I know couldn't care less.
In short: Archer had to successfully play with the big kids in a toy ship.