Monday, November 23, 2020

Internet Use ‘Good for the Brain’


Using the internet can counteract the age-related physiological changes that cause the brain to slow down, according to a report from the University of California. It is already accepted that tasks such as crossword puzzles stimulate and exercise the brain and keep the effects of ageing at bay. 

I have thought for a long time that computer use, not necessarily internet surfing, can have the same beneficial effects. It now seems that there is a glimmer of proof in the new report. According to the lead researcher, Professor Gary Small, the results indicating that emerging computerised technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults.

It is all part of keeping an active mind and I find it sad that many older people are completely opposed to computer use and pour scorn on anyone who wants to send them an email. For older people, computer use and access to the internet provides a new opportunity to learn and make new friends. At a very basic level, the internet is a means of reducing purchase costs of many every-day items and major purchases.

Learning and using a foreign language is also good for the brain, as I know from my own experience, and retirement is an ideal opportunity to start a new language.

Bluetooth Headsets


Am I alone in wondering about the effectiveness of Bluetooth headsets? I've been trying out the iPhone Bluetooth headset and love the design and the nifty way of charging via the combined iPhone/headset adaptor cable. It works well, although I have experienced some of the problems I've noticed with previous in-ear bluetooth devices. Callers often claim they cannot hear you properly. You do have to shout a bit. I have also never liked the multi-function single button--one press for this, two quick presses for that. I'm often left wondering just what is happening and what I've initiated.

I have tried the Apple device over several days but am not convinced that it is for me. I feel a bit nerdy wearing it in my ear and, frankly, it isn't all that secure. I can imagine it falling out and getting lost. I actually prefer the standard wired headset/microphone which comes with the iPhone. At least I can listen to music or a podcast and select a call easily. And callers are not always complaining. I have now improved on this by the purchase of the Sennheiser iPhone earphones. They are very comfortable, the sound is great and the microphone (with activation button) is very conveniently placed on the cable. Also, I have the feeling that it is less nerdy to appear to be listening to an iPod than to be ever ready for a phone call by wearing a bluetooth device.

Mac User Groups


This evening I'm paying my first visit to the London Mac User Group (LMUG) and it turns out to be a friendly and informative affair at The Hobgoblin pub in Balcombe Street NW1. For anyone new to the Mac world, a MUG is an ideal introduction and a way of getting to know some fellow users. Meetings usually take place every month and the format includes a presentation by an expert and a very useful question-and-answer session. Similar MUG groups operate throughout the country. You can find a complete list of local groups at Mac Users UK.