Stories from my Past: My great grandaddy was in the Civil War

Curiosities: History’s Forgotten Images. It was hard to choose a photo from this group. There was also a touching photo of a Civil War veteran shaking hands with another civil war veteran from the opposite side.

I once worked at a place where I supported people who worked in the south. Just as a silly joke I said that the computer problem was like not knowing what side of the civil war it was on. The gentleman I was helping told me that his great grandaddy was in the Civil war for the Confederate side and he was caught by Union forces. He was given a choice to either die or switch sides. He switched sides. I wonder how that would be accepted now? Summary execution or working with your former enemy?

I once interviewed at a place that had a role in helping with the polio vaccine. I didn’t get the position, but it would have been an interesting job. There are many jobs that I didn’t get in my career, but if I had, I would not have been in the position I am now. I only wish the best for everyone and grateful with my life situation now. Isn’t it surprising that we can be happy not because we get what we want, but because we learn that what we want isn’t really what we need.

What was life like for the kids in this photo? How long did they life? I would have rather died than to have an existence like this. In Star Trek Nellix was restrained to a bed for a medical reason. I wouldn’t have wanted a life like that. I agree that life at all costs is not worth living. Now I am going to Google and find out what happened to these kids. Was the extra time they lived really worth it?

Update: On this rare historical photos page you see the above photo and another sad one. A photo of dozens of iron lungs and people tending to them. You also learn that the life expectancy for these people were short. Most of them died quickly for reasons that weren’t readily apparent. It was a scary time for everyone, and when the vaccines were announced they were jumped on by everyone. The article said that long lines formed to get their dose. It was free and given out at churches, schools and so on. It seems so hard to believe this once existed. More dark ages than medicine.

Calling one iPhone called another

I saw the strangest thing once with two cell phones that both had an Apple ID on them. When you called the number of one of them, it would call the other one about 10 seconds later from the first phone. I immediately thought this was because of the way Face time associates a phone number with an Apple ID. It was probably trying the second phone since the first one didn’t pick up. Sort of like an automatic hunt group where a number will ring on the next phone in a group of numbers.

So I turned off the Apple ID or “signed out” of the Apple ID on one of the phones. It immediately stopped calling the second phone. So I had the person go to Settings > General > Reset and then Erase all Content and Settings. Then she used her second Apple ID and we called the first phone and no more calls to the second phone.

iphone six plusSo this behavior is very confusing for the typical person. It should have been made explicit when a second phone is added to an Apple ID. There should have been a warning that comes up that says “This phone may be called when other phones with this Apple ID have been called.” This was not obvious to the typical person. In addition, many, many people complain that the iTunes and iPhone are complicated. I agree. I work with them everyday and I learn things everyday about them. For a casual user, it is too much.

One of the things that I loved in software programs was the idea of “context aware icons”. That meant that you got an icon for functionality only when you were in a position where you needed that functionality. This is opposite to the Ribbon in Microsoft where they show you everything, and overwhelm the average person. All software should only show you the options that apply in that moment. There should always be an icon for help or troubleshooting that people can click and it can walk you through a wizard of common things that can go wrong. Software is great, but it has always been too complicated for people.