Are You Hoarding Technology?

When does that shiny new device become junk? How long do you hang on to superseded gadgets? Do you still have a video cassette recorder in your home?

We’ve got a box of old mobile phones at home and several other outdated bits and pieces either in our shed or stored elsewhere in the house. The VCR is still connected to our TV, along with new technology like our recently purchased Blu-Ray player.

A new study by Australian telecommunications company Optus says that here in Australia we don’t like letting go of old technology.

While Australians sit at 127 per cent with mobile technology penetration ahead of countries like the US, UK and Japan, the research revealed 72 per cent of Aussies are hoarding tech products for up to 11 years.

74 per cent find it hard to part with a product they paid big money for years earlier despite the fact the device is out dated and no longer useful. – TechGuide

In the past we would buy something, keep it for years and even have it repaired if needed. These days, even before we’ve taken our latest purchase out of the box there’s a new improved version on the shelves so we tend to keep upgrading and moving on.

It would seem that part of the problem of keeping old technology hanging around is that around 60% of Australians don’t know how to dispose of outdated technology.

I’m wondering what old gadgets you have at your place. Do you still use old technology or is it just sitting there? Are you the sort of person who throws old devices out as soon as you upgrade? Does the fact that we live in a disposable society worry you or is that simply the price of progress?

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Clouding the Issues

Our lives are being lived in the clouds. We’re storing more and more of our data online with services like Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud.

Now Google has jumped on board with their long awaited Google Drive which offers 5GB of free online storage.

Google Drive is everywhere you are—on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just…there. Ready to go, ready to share. Get started with 5 GB free.

Some people have been sounding warnings about the security of storing private documents online but the convenience of being able to access our data from any computer or device is hard to resist.

On Wednesday during my Morning Café radio program on 98.5 Sonshine FM I chatted with our technology expert, David Cook. We discussed the whole issue of storing files online and looked at some of the pros and cons.

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Is Your Password Secure?

How secure is your online life? Are your passwords easy to hack? Are you using a password that could be easily guessed or discovered?

Even having a great password is no guarantee of security if you leave copies of your passwords near your computer. If someone was in your home or office would they find it fairly easy to discover your passwords? Do you use the old hiding spots of under the keyboard or under your desk?

SplashData, a well-known provider of password management applications. has revealed its 25 worst passwords for 2011 with their article, When “Most Popular” Isn’t A Good Thing: Worst Passwords of the Year – And How to Fix Them.

The top five are all fairly simple passswords which would prove no match for even the most basic online hackers.


The rest of the passwords on the list are fairly simple with people expecting passwords like ‘iloveyou’ and ‘trustno1’ to offer them some security. It’s worth checking out the original list to see if any of your passwords are featured. If they are, change them right away. (We should all be changing our passwords regularly any way.)

On Wednesday during my Morning Café radio program on 98.5 Sonshine FM I chatted with our technology expert, David Cook. We discussed passwords and looked at the best ways to create good passwords or passphrases. If you want to stay safe online you can listen to our chat by clicking the play button on the audio player below.


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My New Café

I’m starting a new venture tomorrow. I’m creating my own café.

I’ve been on annual leave from my job at 98.5 Sonshine FM for a couple of weeks but tomorrow I’ll return with a re-branded morning program. What used to simply be called ‘mornings’ will become the Morning Café. It’ll be a mixture of good friends and great conversation, just what your favourite café should be. The strangest part of the whole café experience in this case is that you’ll have to provide your own coffee or beverage of choice. I’m sure to be sipping on a long black throughout the morning.

From nine to midday, Monday to Friday, it’ll be a place to talk food, footy, leadership, relationships, spirituality, fitness and health, technology and a whole lot more including national and international guests.

Many of my regular guests will remain as part of the Morning Café but there’ll also be a range of new segments which really excite me. I’ll reveal more as the days and weeks go on but it will certainly be a much busier program with plenty of ways for listeners to get involved.

If you’re in the Perth area you can listen in by tuning to 98.5 Sonshine FM. If you’re anywhere else in the world you can hear the Morning Café streaming live online. You can check what day and time you need to listen by going to and searching for Perth, Western Australia. If that means that it’s in the middle of the night for you, you’ll still be able to listen to many of the Morning Café segments by visiting the Audio on Demand page at 98.5 Sonshine FM’s website.

What kind of radio programs do you enjoy? Who would you like to hear me interview? I’d really enjoy reading your comments.

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Feeling Disconnected

Ever feel that you’re disconnected from the rest of the world? I’m not completely disconnected but I am far enough away from home that I am without the technological comforts of home. We’re in Dwellingup for a couple of days and so we’re facing life without immediate access to billions of terabytes of useless information. How will we survive? Quite well I would suggest.

Don’t get me wrong, we still have access to most television stations, even if reception isn’t 100% crystal clear, our mobile phones have full service and we have a number of choices in electronic entertainment. What we don’t have is the Internet or any SBS Television reception, so staying up to date with live coverage of the final moments of the Tour de France is proving to be a problem. It’s not a complete technological detox, more of a partial fast. (Feel free to text me with results of the Tour de France. Just remember to be gentle with me if Cadel Evans doesn’t win.)

Now to the positive side of things. We’re staying in a wonderful A-Frame cottage with a roaring wood fire and huge servings of relaxation. Carol King’s Tapestry is playing in the background and I’m tapping out this post on my ‘disconnected’ iPad. I don’t have to rush the post because I won’t get to publish it until we next drop in to some place with wi-fi or 3G coverage.

Life is good

Life is good, very good, and it’s not the times like this that make it good, it’s times like this that we have opportunity to reflect on how good it is all the time. When we’re rushing from one thing to the next we can focus on the struggles and difficulties that we all experience, but when we slow down, take a breath, and look at the whole picture, we start to gain a little clarity. Life is tough and there will always be battles to be won and obstacles to be overcome, but that’s all part of the journey we travel. Life is tough, absolutely, but life is also very good.

I’m dispensable

One of the things I love about taking time out is the reminder that the world can do just fine without me. I am not the answer to the world’s problems. I am not even someone who is essential for my workplace to continue functioning. If I met with an untimely end anytime soon, the world would go on.

That may sound morbid but to me it’s incredibly freeing. It’s an enormous weight off my shoulders when I remind myself that I am simply walking through life one step at a time as God leads me. Yes, I am an important person in the lives of a few people and I have the privilege of doing some important stuff in my work but I’m just a very small, dispensable, cog in the machinery of life. I’m not the saviour of the world but I know the one who is and he’s far better at running this crazy world than I could ever hope to be.

I’ll be back

Our time here won’t be long, in Dwellingup I mean, but I’m hoping it’ll be a time of refreshing for our little family. I’ll be connected again before I know it but the secret is to take the lessons learned in times like these back into the busyness of life.

When was the last time you took time out? Did you manage to relax and de-stress? Did your time away from routine change the way you approached things when you returned to your normal day to day life?

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