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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embed Code

On Flickr, YouTube and many other sites you get the choice to use "embed code" in order to put any media (picture, video or audio) on Facebook or another website. Here are the steps for using the embed code:
Go to the site that has the picture or video you want to use. To find the embed code choose SHARE. You will be given a choice to post to various places or get the link to copy and an embed code (on Flickr it was called HTML or BBedit code). Copy the embed code.  

    Go back to the page you want the media to be on. To go back to the place that you want the picture to show up, choose EDIT HTML or whatever you need to do in order to edit the code. You can guess where you think the picture should go by looking at the code on the page. It includes the words that are on the page, so if you do a search (CTRL-F or F3 on a Mac) for those words you can paste the code directly into the HTML. Here is an example: (I searched for the words "Here is an Example:)

    Hephaistos Temple
    When I pasted the code into the HTML on my blog this is what actually showed up!
    Now you can save, publish or preview to see that the picture or video that you wanted to show is now on your webpage.

    The reason to use embed code is that the picture STAYS on the site where it was originally and you just put in a pointer to that place. When someone looks at your page the computer automatically gets the picture or video from the other place and puts it on your page.

    Tomorrow we are back to Facebook!

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Detour from Facebook-Video, YouTube, Vimeo and others

    Last week I was in California helping out my Mom and so I didn't write all of the posts I was planning to about Facebook, so we will have to come back to that.

    Today's post is about video. I was motivated to write it because a professor I know asked me about posting his lectures on the web. Since I had to look up and try things I thought it would be a good topic to share about. I hope I will be able to do more writing about issues people ask about as time goes on. This is especially for my teacher friends who might want to do something, but have no time to figure it out.

    First of all video files are HUGE. The size depends on what resolution the video was taken at. High resolution videos are the best to watch on your big screen TV or to submit to festivals like Sundance, but if you just want to put your video on the web so that someone can see it there are lots of options. Each of these sites resizes your video automatically to make it perfect for viewing on a computer screen.  They also provide embed code (We will have to talk about that tomorrow) so that you can put your video onto your blog or website.
    The best known and most used video site is YouTube. There are videos up on YouTube on every topic you can imagine (and some that you can't even imagine). If you want to post a video to YouTube first you need to sign up for a free account.

    Next set up your own channel. You can use your channel as a place to collect videos that you like as well as a place to get to all of your own videos easily.

    When you first get to your channel page you will have lots of choices. You can make it look the way you want it to look.

    At the very top of the screen you will see the word UPLOAD. When you have a video that you want to put onto your channel click "UPLOAD" and you will be walked through all of the steps.

    Be sure to set the privacy settings that you want. YouTube offers three settings:
    Public-Anyone can see your videos and searches can find them.
    Private-You can share your video with ONLY 50 or fewer people who already have accounts with YouTube.
    Unlisted-Only people who have the link to the video can view it. The number of people is only limited by your sharing. People who you share the link with DO NOT have to have YouTube accounts to watch the video.

    There are many other video sharing sites and they all work in about the same way. There are a few differences and I will list the ones I know about and their differences here. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list, so if you have one to add it will be welcome.

    Vimeo emphasizes quality and creativity. It was made by film makers and can work with HD video. There are Video classes on the site if you want to learn more.
    Privacy: Public, Only Moderators can view (you need to enter their emails), Password Protected-people do not need an account, but need the password to view the video.

    YouTube created for schools. This has different settings for students and teachers allowing teachers to do more.
    Similar to SchoolTube, but created with teachers in mind. Today when I looked at it the site was extremely slow, so I don't have privacy information.

    Surprisingly I could not find a site for professors to upload their lectures. There are LOTS of sites where you can go and watch the top professors in the world lecture and there are online classes, but not an upload site! One other thing I learned is that you can actually watch MOVIES on YouTube. They cost $1.99

    I am sure there are other sites out there, but these are the ones that I know about and that are FREE
    I hope people will add comments if they know about other places.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    10 Essential Privacy Settings on Facebook

    As I was writing this I took time to look at all of the privacy settings on Facebook. I came away thinking that I have a lot of control of what I want to share and what I want private. I also felt a little strange about how many privacy choices there are and how easy it is to miss some of the settings that seem important.  An article from really helped me to figure out some of the most important settings.

    Facebook privacy settings

    1. Sharing Settings:
    Account > Privacy Settings > Sharing on Facebook
    Facebook allows you to set your sharing settings so that everyone, friends of friends (this means that your friends can see your content and THEIR friends can see them also) or only friends can see your content. Each item is listed and you can either set them all the same way or do a custom setting where  each one has different setting. If you do not indicate what you want it is possible that some of your content (pictures, status updates, etc...) will be seen by friends of your friends. This could be a LOT of people that you do not really know.

    2. Existing Photo Settings:
    Account > Privacy Settings > Sharing on Facebook > Customize Settings > Edit album privacy for existing photos
    It is really important to make sure to set the privacy settings for your existing photo albums. As you create each album you choose what level of privacy it should have. However, your existing albums are probably all set as viewable by everyone. When I went in and checked mine were.

    3. Friends Checking you into Places:
    Account > Privacy Settings > Sharing on Facebook > Customize Settings > Friends can check me in to Places
    If you do not want someone else notifying the world where you are you may want to be sure to change this setting.
    It lets your friends check you in to Places. "Having someone else telling the world where you are can be unpleasant and even dangerous in some cases. If you want to avoid it, disable this feature."

    4. Connecting on Facebook 
    Account > Privacy Settings > Connecting on Facebook
    These settings determine how people can find you on Facebook. Can anyone search for you? Are your listings open to everyone? 

    5. Apps You Use
    Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Apps You Use
    Facebook is full of additional apps (or applications). For example Yelp, Pandora, etc... Each one has its own privacy settings. Either go to each one and be sure that you are in agreement with how they are sharing your content or remove them and only keep the ones you use regularly.

    6. Instant Personalization
    Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Instant Personalization
    This allows third party companies to access your information so that they can tailor their information to match your interest. I think this is sort of spooky and also sort of amazing. These sites can only access information that you have marked for public sharing.

    7.  Info Accessible through your friends:
    Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Info accessible through your friends
    You may think that you have set all of your settings so that only your friends can see what is there, but until you have gone to this level and indicated which information can be shared through them you are not done with setup. I was pleased to see that the default was that NO information was shared and that I had the choice to add specific things to share.

    8.  Public Search
    Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Public Search
    Do you want people to be able to search for you through Google or another search engine and find your Facebook page? They will still have to request to be your friend, but you can set it up so that your profile does not even show up when someone searches in Google or other places.

    9. Friend Lists
    Friends > Edit Friends > Create a List
    You can simplify setting up your privacy settings by creating lists of friends that fall into different groups. For example: family, work friends, childhood friends, etc...  You can then set up privacy settings that apply to a group rather than an individual.

    10. Using HTTPS
    Account > Account Settings > Account Security > Secure Browsing (HTTPS)
    Now go back to the main page and choose Account>Account Settings rather than Privacy Settings. There is a setting called Account Security. It talks about secure browsing with HTTPS.  HTTPS is a programming language behind Facebook that will make it more difficult for anyone to hack into your account. It is recommended that you choose this setting to be more secure.

    One problem with these settings is that they keep changing. Keeping up with new ones can be a problem. Even now there is a warning that appears on top of the privacy settings:
    I have decided to do the best I can to set up my privacy settings so that they work for me. I know that they are not perfect, but the benefits of using Facebook in my opinion outweigh the questions of privacy. I know and respect that everyone does not feel that way and so each person has to decide for themselves about this issue.


    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Pros and Cons of Joining Facebook

    It seems like everyone is using Facebook these days. Some people are still unsure about using it. This week each post will be about Facebook. It is not a attempt to get you to use it if you have not. I think it is good for you to make your own decision. That is why this first post talks about the pros and cons of using it.  If you have any questions or comments I hope you will add them.


    Facebook is the largest Social Network (online program that connects people) and has around 750 million active users. Listed below are some of the features of the site:

    Facebook exists to connect friends to each other. When you sign up for facebook at first you do not have any friends. You have to invite people to be your friend and they have to confirm before they are added to your page and you get their status updates. Some people try for the most friends possible and 'friend' anyone that they possibly know, others only 'friend' family members. It is up to you. You can also UNFRIEND someone. This takes them off of your friend list, but they are not notified and must take notice themselves that they are no longer receiving your updates.

    When a person is logged into the site there is a box at the top where you can type a little about yourself. You can also post a picture here or link to something on the Internet. People often link to YouTube videos. Whatever you put here can only be seen by the people that you have set up in your privacy settings. When you have friends you will see a list of their status updates when you log in. When they log in, if it is near the same time you posted they will see what you wrote.

    If you use the SEARCH at the top you can find people. On their page you can see what they have allowed you to see in their privacy settings, but you can also "POKE" them.  All this means is that they get a note saying that "_____ has poked you, do you want to poke them back?" If you don't have something to say to someone, but want to let them know that you have been to their page you can POKE them.

    Younger people tend not to do email anymore. They do Facebook. They get on and check the status messages on the front of the page. At the top there is a little red bubble with a number on it that shows what has changed since you last logged in. It indicates if you have any messages. You can then go and read them and reply. It works a lot like email.

    This is the largest reason that many people use Facebook. It is easy to upload photos from your computer or camera and to make them available to anyone. Again, this is something you set up in your profile. When you put a picture up on Facebook it is stored in the cloud on one of Facebook's servers. You can create albums of pictures with a maximum of 200 pictures per album. This is all free.

    Organizations or companies can start pages and instead of 'friending' them you like them. When a LIKE PAGE posts something it will go on your page and be listed in your STATUS updates, but when you post it does not go to their page. Lots of companies are asking you to "like" them on Facebook. They are hoping that this will get them more business. I'm Not a Geek has just set up a LIKE PAGE. It has 7 friends so far! People are only allowed to have ONE Facebook page.

    If you have a group of friends or a committee that needs a place online to share and connect you can sign up for a GROUP. A group creates a password protected space whoever created it is the Administrator and everyone else needs to be invited or request and be approved to belong.

    This is a little like a blog. You can write longer posts about anything you want and it scrolls chronologically with the newest at the top.

    You can actually purchase (for real money) gifts for your friends on facebook. These are virtual items that cost $1.

    Facebook has targeted ads that show up on the side of your page. These ads show up depending on the location and interests of the person who is logged in. The person who creates the ad pays Facebook every time the ad is clicked.

    Facebook has a feature that allows you to CHAT in realtime with any of your friends that are online. Either on the right sidebar or on the bottom of the left bar it tells who is online. If you click on one of them the chat window opens at the bottom and you can type a message that will show up immediately on their page. Then they can type back. Facebook is

    Facebook is popular worldwide. When I was in Bethlehem all of the kids knew about and were using Facebook. I have friends in Turkey who post in Turkish, in the Palestinian West Bank who post in Arabic, in Mexico who post in Spanish, and even in Denmark who post in Danish

    There are many positive reasons for using Facebook.
    • Many people have reunited with old friends or family members. 
    • It is an easy place to share photos of yourself and your family for others to see. 
    • It allows people to see things about you that you may not have shared or had time to tell them. When we were recently doing a home remodel I posted pictures of the progress as it happened. I was surprised at the number of people from my work that commented on it. I have also been aware of vacations or important things that have happened to coworkers that I may not have known about and it helped build closeness.
    • It is easy to share one thing to everyone you know with one message.
    • Many people are concerned about privacy issues with Facebook. At times the company has seemed to not respect the privacy of users, but because of backlash has set up easier to use settings. Setting privacy settings in Facebook will be another post. There are many choices so that you can customize who can see which parts of your page. However, there is always concern about privacy when so much of your own content is stored on someone else's servers.
    • Another common concern is bullying. This has become quite a problem for teenagers. It is very easy to victimize someone online and make fun of their profile. Some people have also found out how to hack into others accounts.
    • An interesting and unclear topic is who owns all of the content on Facebook. Do they have the right to your information and photos or do you still own them after you have posted them there? What about when someone passes away? What happens to their profile and their page?
    Much of the content of the Intro to Facebook came from Wikipedia.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    I've Downloaded Something and I can't find it!!

    Where do items go when you download them and how can you find them?

    Usually when you download something you are asked where you would like the item to go. If you are like many of us you have often just pressed OK and the item downloaded, but you are not sure where it went.


    First of all to set up WHERE your downloads go you must do it in the browser (a browser is a program that allows you to search the Internet). That is either Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or any other browser. You can choose to download things to the default folder which is usually called downloads OR you can designate another place where you would like your downloads to go. To do this in a Mac go to the Preferences (located under the name of the program). It is usually under General. On a PC you will use the TOOLS menu and choose Options. Once you set this up you should know where your downloads are going and be able to find them.


    Most programs have a folder called "downloads" where anything that is downloaded goes to automatically. Once you find that folder you can put a copy of it on your desktop so that it is easy to find.
    On a Mac there is a copy of the downloads folder on the bottom left on the dock. If you would rather have one on your desktop here are the steps.
    When I search for the word Download using Sherlock (the magnifying glass) on my Mac it finds the folder for me.
    I can click on it then and it opens and I can see where it is sitting.
    I can also press control while I click and choose Make Alias and an alias of the folder will be made. This is not a copy, but just a pointer to the real folder.
    Then drag the alias onto the desktop and now it will be easier to find.

    I do not have pictures for the PC, but the process is the same.
    1. Search for download using START>SEARCH
    2. When you find the folder click on it. A window should open showing you where the folder is. 
    3. Right click instead of CTRL click and choose Short Cut instead of Alias. A short cut of the download folder should appear.
    4. Drag the short cut to the desktop and now when you download something it will be easy to find.

    But what if you already downloaded something, but you cannot find it? There are several ways to search your computer to find something. On a Mac you have Sherlock (see image above), represented by a magnifying glass. When you put a little information into the box that you know is part of the download the computer will search all over and give you a list of what it finds. If you do not have success this way you can go to the Finder (just click anywhere on the desktop) and on the left side you will see the words "search for" and "yesterday" "past week", etc... This will also return a list of items that were saved or downloaded on those days.

    On a PC you can also search for what you have downloaded or saved. Click on the START menu and look for the word Search. This will open a window where you can designate what you are looking for and the computer will return a list.

    Hopefully this has helped you to find what you downloaded. If not, feel free to contact me at for some one on one help! Next week is Facebook week, so look forward to Facebook tips.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Working with Several Open Windows

    When you are working on a computer you can have SEVERAL programs open at the same time. Each program shows up in a WINDOW. Usually they fill the whole screen, but sometimes they are smaller boxes. At the top is an example of two windows that are open at the same time.

    You can open several things and easily switch between them by clicking on the icons that show they are open.

    No matter what kind of computer you have or what operating system you use there is some way to do this. It looks different on each one.

    On a Mac each of your programs shows up on the dock.
    The white dots below the programs show which ones are open. If you have too many things open your computer begins to run slowly. You can close them by either going to each application that is open and choosing to Quit or by holding your mouse down on the icon long enough for a menu to appear and choose Quit.

    PC's do the same thing differently. On the bottom bar anything that is open shows up. If you have several windows open you can switch between them using the buttons on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. The button that is dark is the one that you are currently using. To switch click on the one that you want to work on.
    Browsers also have ways that you can open several websites at the same time and then switch between them. These are called TABS. If you find your computer is running slowly you may want to check how many tabs or programs you have open.

    You can also resize windows so that you can see more than one window at a time. Some programs have a choice to "arrange all" and will automatically arrange all of the windows you have open in that particular program.

    Every window has a way that you can manually resize it by rolling over an edge or corner and dragging it in to make the window the size you want it to be.

    On a Mac there are lines on the corner and you can drag that to change your window size. On a PC you can do this on the edges or the corner. Watch to see how your mouse arrow changes into a double arrow before dragging.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Bookmarks or Favorites using Delicious

    When you find a site that you like and want to find it again you may bookmark the site or make it a favorite. It is then added to a list kept on your computer. This is helpful, but ONLY on the one computer that you are using. If you go on a trip to visit a friend and use their computer or to the library and use that computer you will not be able to access your bookmarks or favorites.

    That is why many people use Delicious, Diigo or other online tools to save their bookmarks. For this post I am going to use Delicious as an example ( as an example, but there are many others that do similar things.

    When you go to Delicious for the first time you have to sign up for a free account. This will give you a password protected space where you can save your bookmarks. You can decide to share them with others or to make them private. You can even have some shared and others private.

    Once you have an account you can sign in and begin using it. Begin by following the directions to import all of your current favorites or bookmarks into Delicious. You can also add a browser button to the top bars of Internet Explorer or Firefox (or whatever browser you use). There are instructions for doing this that you can get back to at any time using the HELP menu.

    When you add a bookmark to Delicious it is now saved on "the cloud" so that you can access it from any computer. You can also use Delicious to search. Just log in and there is a search window on the first page. You can search your own bookmarks or everyone's shared bookmarks. Each bookmark has a number in a blue box on the right that shows how many people have saved that particular bookmark. Sometimes this is helpful information to show how good a site it is. The words on the bottom are called TAGS and describe the site so it shows up when you search for those things.

    Now when you go to any site you want to save you can just click on the Delicious button on your toolbar or the Menu at the top of Firefox and choose Save new bookmark. It will be added to your list of bookmarks in Delicious and you can find it on any computer!

    Here are some other bookmarking online sites you may want to try:

    Diigo- - Diigo can do more than just bookmark sites. You can save highlighting, comments and other annotations on a site. You can share these with others or make them private. It can also do many other things.

    Stumble Upon - Stumble Upon gives you a bar with an icon that takes you to a different website every time you click it. It can be a fun way to explore the web. You can set up your interests so that it sends you to sites that you may like. It also sends a weekly email with suggested sites depending on your settings.

    List of many sites:  - Look through this list!  Each of these does something in addition to saving your bookmarks.

    Remember I am available to help you in person to set any of these things up or explain them more and answer questions. Just email And as usual please add helpful information to the comments!

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Searching with Google

    I just spent time with family and I realized that most people really have no idea how to search the web. Most people 'google' when they want to find something, but is it effective?

    When you put a search term into Google it automatically finds MILLIONS of pages. Sometimes they are not what you want at all. Here are some tips that might help you find what you want more quickly:

    1. Reading search results is a new type of reading that they do not teach you in school. Here are some important things to remember. I will use the example that your child (or you) have a stomach ache that you want to find more about:

    • Ads are always the first things at the top of the page and down the right side. People are paying to have their ads show up in these locations. Click on them first if you want to purchase something. Sometimes they can be helpful even for information about something, but be aware of why they come to the top.
    • Right below the name of the site is the URL (or web address) of the site. You can tell A LOT by breaking the URL down. is called the kernel. Often by the name you can tell if it is what you want. For example when searching for "stomach ache in children" I found this might be a helpful site, but I can tell that it is a person giving advice. It may or may not be the information you seek.
    • Search Tools - Along the Left side of the page you may see something that says "show search tools"

    When you click it you will see a list of different ways to search. One of my favorite is that Google can help me find the latest news on something when I click "past hour". There are also very visual ways of searching. Try these different searches out and see if there is anything helpful for you!

    2. Search basics - When you search you will have the most success if you put in as many search terms that you can think of that relate to what you are looking for.


    •  - A minus sign narrows your search. For example when searching for snakes I might put -plumbing so that I just get animals.
    • "" Quotation marks mean that there is a phrase you are looking for. "1011 Olive Street" I don't want the search engine to return a bunch of results on 1011.
    • Google also makes suggestions when you are typing in your term. Sometimes clicking on one of these is helpful.
    • Advanced Search-Google will do all of this and more for you if you chose the ADVANCED SEARCH.  It will give you a screen that will help you to narrow down your search.
    3. Other Search Engines

    Contrary to what many people think Google is NOT the only search engine. In fact the WEB is so huge that it is impossible to really search everything. There are many other search engines and some of them are specialized to find certain types of websites. At the top of the screen you may have a pull down like I do that makes it easy to change to a different search engine. Here is a list of other search engines to try:

    Most of these search engines were found at on the Webquest page which is a project of Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University. There are more at this link.

    • Alta Vista was one of the best search engines before Google came along. It has been purchased by Yahoo and so when you do a Yahoo search it goes to Alta Vista. 
    • There are a few search engines that actually search OTHER search engines and put all of the results onto one page. Here are two of them Dogpile-   and Webcrawler-
    • Microsoft has come out with a very different search engine. It is really worth trying. It searches in a whole different way. Bing-
    • Delicious allows you to search the bookmarks of millions of other people who have made their bookmarks public. The benefit of this is that you are finding things that other people thought were helpful. (Delicious is so helpful I will talk about it also in another post).
    • Internet Movie Data Base is where to go when you want to find out ANYTHING about a movie. It is amazing!
    • If you need a map here are two map databases Perry Castenada Library at UT- and Mapserver-
    • You can find any Webcam that you are interested in looking at here: Earthcam-
    • Technorati is a search engine for blogs. It goes out and searches blogs for the terms you are interested in. 

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Getting pictures on your phone without the camera

    On your iPad or your iPhone you can get a picture of what is on your screen or a screenshot really easily. At the top of your iPhone and iPad there is a button which turns the device On and Off. It is at the opposite side from the HOME button. If you hold BOTH the On/Off button and the HOME button at the same time and let go at the same time it takes a picture of whatever is on your screen. To see the picture go to the Photo Library and look at the Camera Roll. It should be the last photo on the roll.

    From the Photo Library you can email it to someone or even set it as the wallpaper (background image) on your device. The screenshots that are used in my blog today were taken with the method described. I then emailed them to myself and opened and saved them into my laptop so that I could use them in this blog. On the Apple site it suggests that you could also use this method to prove to someone that you got a high score on a game!

    Another thing you can do is to take a picture that you find on the Internet and save it into your Photo Library so that you can use it some other way. All you need to do is to hold your finger down on the image that you want to save. A window will come up asking you what you want to do with the photo. You can choose to save it in the Photo Library and a copy will be made. You can find it by going to the Photos on your device.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Organizing your Apps on the iPad or iPhone

    Both the iPad and the iPhone allow you to organize your apps into folders in version 4.3.5 of the operating system. If your iPad or iPhone screen does not look like what you see below you may need to plug into iTunes and update the operating system.

    If you are doing this directly on the device hold your finger on the app that you want to move until all of the apps are jiggling and have the minus sign in the top left corners. When the icons are jiggling you can delete them, but you can also move them and if you drag one on top of the other it will become a folder with both of them in it. The device automatically names the folder, but you can change the name to whatever you want it to be.

    Another way to organize apps is to plug your device into a computer and open iTunes. Click on your iPhone on the left and then choose app from the top menu.

    You will see a window with all of your apps pictured as icons. On the right side are the pages that slide by when you try to find an app. In this view you can drag the icons to create folders or easily drag an icon to a different page.
    When you finish all of your apps will now be in the folders where you put them and it should be easier to find what you need.  Now I only have two pages of apps and I can more easily find what I am looking for. I went from having 6 or 7 pages of apps to having two pages arranged in folders!
    To find an app use the SEARCH window. If you slide your finger across your screen to the right until you get to the very first screen you will see the SEARCH window. When you start typing the device finds all of the apps that meet your criteria and lists them below. When you have a lot of apps this is a great way to find something.