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My digital life

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I went to the customs office to pick up a package, ended up told that I need more papers than …

I went to the customs office to pick up a package, ended up told that I need more papers than I brought in, specifically a PayPal bill printout which I didn't have. Now, the usual thing to do would be to return home, print it out, then return back to the customs office and proceed from there. What I did instead was amazing - from the point of view that almost nothing of that infrastructure even existed a few years (and especially decades) ago.

So, I can access PayPal from my mobile phone. My first idea was to find an "Internet caffe" and print it out. But then - would I want to login to PayPal from a random computer in a public Internet caffe? No, I wouldn't. Plan B was to somehow save this page in a form which can be printed. There is no "Save As..." in Android's default browser so I Googled for information on how to do it - and found out that the latest Firefox beta for Android can save to PDF! This was excellent news and I downloaded and created a PDF of the PayPal's bill page.

The next step was to print it. Google Maps showed me the location of nearby Internet caffes and I headed to the nearest one - about 5 minuts walking. Unfortunately, when I got there it turned out it wasn't really an "Internet caffe" but a normal caffe with Internet access - and no public printers. Luckily, there was a small photocopy / printer service office near the caffe so I went there. The place was very old and a very old gentlemen was running it, so I had doubts if I could do what I wanted there. He didn't have a microUSB cable (which I didn't really expect him to have), but was very enthusiastic when I mentioned Internet - which he did have! So I e-mailed him the PDF, he got it, and sent the documents to the printer. I paid him double just for saving me the trip across the town.

All this is amazing - first, I have PayPal on my phone. Second, I have beta Firefox on my phone which can generate PDFs from a page. Then, I found an old photocopy / printer office which had Internet access as a matter of course. It's an amazing mesh of technologies which finally exists - and this is my future.

Unfortunately, the customs office is staffed by assholes who made a bureaucratic clusterfuck which took half a day to solve and I will probably end up paying around half the value of the package just to finally get it (through various fees and stamps). I sincerily hope they will all lose their jobs when this clownish country gets accepted in the EU, but that's another story.

#1 Re: My digital life

Added on 2011-11-03T18:20 by

Bilo bi za očekivati da čovjek prije nego ide po neki paket nazove i pita koji papiri su potrebni za preuzimanje. Ali telefon je moderna tehnologija...

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