Where do you fit in the world’s population?

I have been playing with an interesting calculator on the BBC News website. You can see the rise in the world’s population and find out where your birth came on the graph by entering your birthdate. They don’t store any of your information, they just use it to calculate the numbers for the display for you. Here’s mine:

BBC population calculator

Of course this is only an estimate based on the date; it cannot be exact. When I went through the same exercise for my husband, who was born nearly four months before me, the difference in our numbers was over 18 million. 18 million people were born in four months around the world!

You can then enter your country to find out about your country’s population. Make sure you watch the world population counter rising steadily before you enter your country; it’s astounding!

BBC population world

It is almost beyond comprehension to imagine 15,000 babies born every hour around the world. I wonder when the counter will get to 7,000,000,000?

Here is Australia the numbers are not quite so staggering, but they are still surprising:

You can then watch the population counter of your country tick over. Even in Australia, with 33 births per hour, you will see some action there.

I clicked to find out why Qatar has such a rapidly-growing population. This is what I was told:

In developing nations, where improvements in health care and sanitation are seeing death rates fall, birth rates still remain relatively high. This is leading to rapidly rising populations. In fact, 97 out of every 100 new people on the planet are currently born in developing countries. Qatar – which has a large immigrant workforce – has seen its population rise rapidly in recent years.

Moldova is shrinking because of emigration.

Then you can find out your life expectancy based on the country you entered previously:

BBC population gender

Finally you are shown a summary of what you have just seen:

BBC population summary

It is staggering to think of how quickly the population is rising and how much higher our life expectancy is than it was for our ancestors. How many of your ancestors lived past this age? My two Australian grandparents both lived past ninety so my odds are good!

The website is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515. What number were you in the world’s population?

Ask Google!

GoogleIf you are having problems with a computer application, or a new wireless router, or a printer, or even a cake that won’t rise, type your problem into Google and look at the answers.

I’ve been struggling since Wednesday with a new wireless router. It worked fine for all the computers and phones in the house except my Windows 7 Professional laptop, and despite spending hours on the phone with technicians at Netgear and Dell I fixed it myself by finding the answer in a forum that I found by using Google.

Then I couldn’t get the printer to work, and I used Google to find the answer, which was to delete the printer and then reinstall it.

Then the printer would print the same document over and over again until I took the paper out of the printer. I typed this into Google: “hp laserjet p1102w printer prints multiple copies” and read through the first 3 results, and one of them had an answer. I had to uncheck a box that was ticked in the printer configuration options. Now it works fine. Only one copy.

I have a fair few years experience with computers from my days as a computer programmer. If I have trouble getting things to work, I can imagine how hard it must be for people who have spent their time more productively. And I am always encouraged to see that other people have the same problem as me.

Ask Google! There are people out there who have had the same problem, and others who know the answers and take the time to write them in a blog post or a forum question. If you don’t understand the answer, or the next person in the discussion says it didn’t work, move on to the next result in the Google list. Find one that spells out the steps you have to take in a way you can understand.

Here’s another example. One day a few years ago my husband’s ageing laptop wouldn’t start. I went looking in Google for suggestions. One of them said take the hard drive out and put it in the freezer for a while, then put it back in and try starting it up. We didn’t try that one. Another person had suggested turning the laptop upside down and pressing the power button. We tried that and it worked! The laptop started up normally and we were able to get everything backed up.

Remember what you did so you can undo it if necessary, especially if it tells you to change a setting somewhere. Write it down if you think you may not remember, or keep the page open that has the instructions so you can go back and do it again in reverse it didn’t work. The chances are it won’t matter if you don’t change it back, but it might.

You are not alone.

I don’t use website bookmarks any more

ChromeI use Chrome as my internet browser. Chrome was built by Google to be faster and more efficient, and I think it is. Also it doesn’t close all Chrome windows just because one has a problem, which I really appreciate.

One of the things I like best about Chrome is the address bar at the top. As well as typing an address into it, you can type a word or phrase into it as though it was a Google search and it will find what you’re looking for. It will guess, based on what you use most often. Only if it can’t guess or you reject what it comes up with will it give you a normal list of search results like a normal Google search. I really appreciate the time this saves.

I used to have a long list of favourites/bookmarks, organised into folders. I’ve carried and added to this list over the years, copying it from one computer to another and one browser to another. I started a new list in iGoogle, the Google homepage that you can customise yourself.

Now that Chrome and I have got to know each other better I don’t need bookmarks. I type the first letter or two of the website I want in the address bar and Chrome figures it out for me. Instead of clicking on my bookmarks, opening a succession of folders, and then finding the website I want (yes, it had got to that level of complexity), I only need one or two keystrokes.

When I type in a p, for example, it looks like this:

Chrome search P

The symbol next to each choice reflects where Chrome got the result from, I assume. A star is one of my favourites. If it was Google+ that I wanted (and it usually is) I just need to hit Enter and it loads automatically. Easy!

Here’s a list of my most commonly-used websites and what I type into Chrome to get them:

A = ANZ anz.com.au or Ancestry depending on whichever I have used most recently (ANZ is a bank)

ANC = Ancestry www.ancestry.com/, I use a world subscription so it goes to the American site

B = Birth and death index search for the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?event=births

C = Carole’s Canvas caroleriley.id.au which is my own personal website. My family tree is here, so I can check people in it without having to open my family tree software. I can also select http://www.cityrail.info/ a bit further down the list to check train timetables.

D = Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/. I rely on Dropbox for sharing files instantly between computers and to other people.

E = Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia, the English version.  W takes me to wikipedia.org, which makes me select a language.

F = Facebook https://facebook.com/ or FamilySearch www.familysearch.org or FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.

FI = Fiji Genealogy http://fijigenealogy.com/.

FIN = FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.

G = Google, Gould Genealogy  or Yahoo Groups groups.yahoo.com/mygroups, where I approve new members to the TMG Sydney User Group. Google usually opens at the Australian site for me, but may not for you.

H = Heritage Genealogyheritagegenealogy.com.au, my business website, to which this blog belongs.

I = Internet Movie Database imdb.com or PIXEL http://images.maps.nsw.gov.au (NSW Lands Department maps) or http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/Search.aspx State Records NSW Archives Investigator, the catalogue search, depending on what I’ve used most recently.

J =Jetstar jetstar.com.au, but only because I’ve been flying a lot lately. There are not many sites with J in them.

KKu-Ring-Gai Orchid Society http://kuringaiorchidsociety.org.au/ which I help look after on behalf of the society.

L = LibraryThing http://www.librarything.com/home/caroleriley or LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ or LPMA http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/ which doesn’t work any more because the NSW Lands Department has changed their name again.

M = Google Maps http://maps.google.com.au/ or Mashable http://mashable.com/, depending on which one I’ve used most recently.

N = National Archives of Australia http://www.naa.gov.au/ or NSW Genealogy http://nswgenealogy.com.au/, which is the alternate address for my business website.

O = Optus http://optusnet.com.au/ my internet service provider.

P = Google+ https://plus.google.com/ or it may give me PayPal https://www.paypal.com or the Public Record Office of Victoria at http://prov.vic.gov.au/ .

Q = Qantas http://www.qantas.com.au/, again because I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately. Not many sites with Q in them.

RState Records NSW online indexes http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online.

S = Society of Australian Genealogists http://sag.org.au/.

SL = State Library of NSW http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/.

TTwitter https://twitter.com/.

TR = Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/ is the National Library of Australia’s catalogue of just about everything, including digitised newspapers.

UUnlock The Past http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/.

V = Vodafone http://vodafone.com.au my mobile phone company.

WE = Westpac http://www.westpac.com.au/ my bank.

WI = Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia. I then have to pick a language.

X = I never use, but when I type it it guesses http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online State Records NSW online indexes.

Y = YouTube http://www.youtube.com/.

Z = it guesses ANZ (my bank) unless I’m not quick enough to accept, in which case it guesses Zara, which I’ve never heard of.

You can perhaps see from this list that the letter I type is not necessarily the first initial of the name of the website. It’s more likely to be the first letter of the address after the http:// as in R gives me  http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online. If I want to be more specific I have to type more, as in FAM to distinguish between Facebook and FamilySearch.

If I’ve already made that site a ‘favourite’ it will be higher on the list, and if I’ve used it a lot recently it will select it automatically. The only confusion is where there are multiple sites for the same letter, as in F for Facebook or FindMyPast.

If you use Chrome already, give this a try for yourself. If you don’t, download it for yourself and see if you think it is faster.

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