Since arriving in San Carlos, on the mainland side of Mexico, a lot of things happened to us in less than a month. John got COVID and fully recovered after a week or so. My COVID test result was negative, his was positive. I lost the sense of smell for five days, John did not. John had a 102 degree fever; I had no fever at all. John could barely talk, and I enjoyed the silence. I am recovered but still coughing. Our friend is still dealing with his COVID symptoms.
When we were recovered, we drove to the USA and brought all the boat parts that John ordered to his friend’s house for the last one and a half years. Shipping to Mexico gets complicated so it is better to drive to the USA. The duties and taxes on imported goods can run as high as 30%. The duty calculation can be complex. Crossing the international border between Mexico and the USA was simpler and easier than we thought. It was just a lot of long hours of driving. Eight hours from San Carlos to Phoenix, with two cats in a Mexican Rental Car.
During this time, I had a tragic event: my laptop crashed. I was using a Sony laptop with Windows 7 and an old version of Microsoft Office. My main use of the computer is emailing, bill pay, weather and web search, trip/sailing planning, blogging my website, and photo modification. I was perfectly happy with my 10 year old laptop.
Luckily, I didn’t lose much data because I routinely make a backup on a portable hard-drive. Sailing life doesn’t let us have fast internet connection for 24×7. I don’t use cloud data storage. We buy cellular data from a local company as we go. It gets expensive, thus we limit our internet usage.
My new laptop was purchased in the USA, it came with Windows 10 S operating system. On the first time that I started my new laptop, it automatically upgraded itself to Windows 11 S mode, which allowed me to install only Microsoft Verified apps from Microsoft App Store. After reading about the need of S Mode, I decided to change to non-S Mode (Microsoft Windows 11 Home Edition). Microsoft alerted me on this. However, I wanted to install an old version of Microsoft Office.
The new program “Office 365”, would have cost me an ongoing monthly/yearly subscription. If purchased one time, it is about $249. Again, I don’t need fancy features so I installed the old one with no cost. I realized that my new laptop doesn’t have a CD drive. I had to copy the old Office program from a CD to a USB to install it on a new computer.
I am not paranoid but I have been spending days deleting unneeded features in my digital world. It is so easy to leave digital ghosts blindly on the net. It is amazing how much time it requires to set up my Google Account my way. With my new computer, I am back to Microsoft browser, “Edge”. Internet Explorer is history. I use DuckDuckGo for a search engine. I prefer not to leave dust everywhere I go. Even with my limited internet use, I found there are lots of digital ghosts. I will continuously clean up the setup and junk.
Technology changes at lightning speed. I worry what the 21st century will bring to new generations; it is a BIG question mark to me. I pray for, regardless how fast technology evolves; we keep our heart and act as human as possible, spreading kindness and goodwill.