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The ghost of the iPad Repair Man
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Christian Tillmanns    

I can’t change electronic devices like my underpants. I always wait till things really break and then I change. My iPhone 4 still does the trick. This blog still runs on Lotus Foundations and my Mac Book Pro is a mid 2009. I had a hard disk crash lately but with Time Machine changing the disk is painless … provided one has all the passwords ready on paper and not only in the Key Chain (hint hint). By the way, an SSD does wonders to an old Mac. The speed gain is amazing.
A week ago my iPad 2 gave up the ghost. Suddenly the screen was black and that was it. I was able to make a backup, therefore I suspected the screen was done. Happily I went and bought a shiny new iPad Air 2. No, not the gold one (yuck). Space grey.
With the backup, the setup was almost painless. Apart from a few orphaned apps and some not so nice apps, which wanted money, for stuff I had already bought.
Just a thing. If possible restrict all the purchases on your iPad to one Apple ID. Makes life a lot easier, because somehow it accepts for a certain time – 90 days? – only one Apple ID per device. I was a bit confused with all these pop ups about the Apple ID.

The old iPad then started to collect dust and I went with my ex girlfriend – I am married to her now – to Lyon. Nice, very nice. I like it much better than Paris. Food is in general way better than any other place I have been in France. Even for Swiss standards, it is a very clean town (much less dog poo than Paris). I like the stone they used to build the town and the public transport system is extremely good.
Actually we went there, because I had something to tick of on my bucket list. I always wanted to learn how to drive a rally car. Sideways that is. On gravel or snow. Therefore I booked a one day course for me and my wife with Team Pilotage 42 about 50 minutes west of Lyon. Luck wanted it, that we were only 3 students. One young man, my wife and me. The guys father has been a rally driver, therefore we suspected, he would drive circles around us. Damien, our instructor, holds an official diploma as a racing instructor from the department of sports of france. I love France for things like that. In a time where political correctness almost forbids to like driving cars fast, France is still proud of its long tradition of racing and shows it.
After a bit of theory we went out to the tarmac track for a first training session. It was all about how to sit and hold and turn the steering wheel. It is pretty hard to unlearn something one did wrong for so many years. Years ago during another safety training with BMW, they showed me an other technique which does not work on a track apparently. At least my seating position was right and I got the first point against my wife who mentioned once in a while for the last twenty years, that I am sitting to close to the steering wheel. I don’t.
Next thing, the foot rest. That is not what it is called, it is the “call pieds”, which keeps you firmly in your seat and holding that with force isn’t restful at all. But it works. The morning was spent almost entirely driving around the track and unlearning stuff. How to hold and turn the steering wheel, where to look, where to start your turn, where to hit the apex and so on.
Lunch was again a reminder, why one should take life not so serious. In Switzerland we would have had some sandwiches or other “light” (speak “cheap”) stuff. In France one gets fed with a mille feuille au saumon and some kind of boeuf bourguignon. All inclusive. No wine though. But a dessert.
The afternoon was spent on the dirt. Now things got serious. Finally driving sideways. The Citroen C2 isn’t a powerful car. Especially not the diesel version with 90 bhp. But it is plenty, if you know what to do. Now the funny bit. My wife, who never drove anything fast around a track before, was a second faster than the boys. Which isn’t so hard for me, because I am used to it. My mother was faster than me 25 years ago, when we drove slalom races for fun (still hurts a bit). It wasn’t so easy for our young friend who pushed hard to beat my wife, which was exactly the wrong thing to do. It is all about finesse, not power and a heavy feet on the throttle. It really looked damn good when my wife came screaming around the corner sliding sideways through the apex almost perfectly. Unfortunately she broke two cars within 5 minutes and that was it for the day. Just punctures. Happens all the time on this track. And it was anyway at the end of the course. No harm done, but a good story to tell.
After a few more days sightseeing in Lyon without the monsters, we picked them up and drove home. One of the first things daughter no. 2 did when she came home, was trying the old iPad. Lo and behold the damn thing showed on the screen, who wouldn’t budge a week ago, that the battery was almost empty. The darn thing repaired itself while we were away. That isn’t the first time it happened. A year ago our Casio (do not buy) piano had one key that lost all its dynamic and sounded awful. We sent it away but the service center said that they could not find anything. It had mended itself while en route. We must have some really good feng shui for electronic devices here. I almost start to believe in higher powers. There is certainly a perfectly natural explanation, but that does not make a good story. A house haunted by an ancient computer expert who has to fix things before getting eternal live, is much more interesting. Actually, I know a few people, who when they die, should roam the earth in search of equipment they fixed badly during their live and do them correctly until they are allowed to IT paradise: a place full of Exchange servers with strange error messages, active directories with corrupted databases, Fortran and Visual Basic programs with syntax errors one can not find. Or is this rather hell?

For me at least, the bucket list is one item shorter. Wait, probably half an item. Have to do that rally driving stuff again. Next time when something breaks here, we just go and do something fun and political incorrect and that should do it for fixing anything electronic here at home. Can’t wait.

Oct 21, 2015
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Recent Blog Posts
You are not alone if Gamification does not work for you
Mon, Oct 10th 2016 2:25a   Christian Tillmanns
I am really sorry. I am so yesterday, probably last century. I just can’t get the hang of gamification. I just don’t care about virtual buttons (and friends). I do have to rely on my own imagination to get enough happiness hormones from achievements. Ugly buttons just don’t cut it. I just want to tell everybody out there, who can’t get the hang of all the gamification, fitness and health apps … You are not alone! The reasons why this will not change in the foreseea
Beating a dead horse or rather a dead cash cow
Thu, Sep 15th 2016 3:27a   Christian Tillmanns
The latest Notes & Domino fix pack is out and some news from IBM about the future. There are some really good articles about it: Peter Presnell: Was that it? It probably was. Peter’s insight and thinking are as usual spot on. But are there really still 50’000 ND customers? I heard that number years ago and it must have changed since then. What I would really like to know is, how many developers in IBM are still working full time on ND? Five? Ten? How many do you need to make 8
Dooooom … not again!
Thu, Aug 25th 2016 9:44a   Christian Tillmanns
Notes is doomed … again. Or for good this time? What happened lately is interesting. Well, first something on a personal note. I am not affiliated with a IBM Partner anymore or with IBM in general. I don’t have to be considerate to anybody anymore. Not that I ever really was. There are more and more of us who talk about the end of Notes/Domino lately. We see signs on the wall. Where is the road map? Slow (well, glacial) update cycle and so on … Notes/Domino is in decline. It h

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