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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Prezi

If you have to make a presentation and you are tired of Powerpoint there is a different way to do one and it has some real advantages for certain types of presentations. You can find the program at http://prezi.com.

Powerpoint has been around for a long time and some people are tired of the same templates and the fact that it is linear. If you are working with content that is best presented in a linear way you might want to use Powerpoint, but Prezi encourages you to be creative and show your information in a new way.



To begin you need to sign up for a Prezi account. You can sign up for free to try it out and upgrade later if you need more space or features.

Next choose a username and password. The account you create is nice because it allows you to work on them and show them from any computer. You can make them private or public. You have control over how they are used. So, create a username and password that you will remember (not the same one you use for your bank account and other important places you log into) and write it down on a piece of paper or booklet and keep it somewhere you can find it.

After you have signed in the best thing to do is to take a look at some of the Prezis that other people have created and made public. That way you can see how they work and start to imagine the way you might use Prezi. There are lots of great examples to look at to get ideas.


You start by choosing a template. There are many templates to choose from Then you can import pictures, video and of course use text. You can even import already finished Powerpoint Presentations. First put all of the content you want to use onto the page. It does not matter exactly where each thing is placed because in the end you will create a path to show what order you want to show it in.

Once everything is in place you choose to create a path and a line shows up with each item (text, picture, video) numbered.  Then you can play it to see what it looks like. You can make it go automatically or have it move from each number to the other with clicks.

See the one that I created while writing this blog post.
http://bit.ly/YDRVxR

What is a BLOG READER (RSS Service)?

NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTION

Every morning when I get up, I go out to the driveway to get my newspaper and most of the time it is there. I have subscribed to it and so it comes every day. I pay for this service.



BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

Blogs are different.  A blog writer may write twice a day or once a week or once a month.  How is a person who reads blogs supposed to keep track of when new posts appear? What if you want to read more than one blog and don't want to keep going back and checking if there is something new?

That is what Blog Readers (or RSS Services) do!  They collect notices of your favorite blogs all in one place so that you can look at one place online and the unread posts from favorite blogs will be listed. You can read the ones that sound interesting to you and skip the other ones. It is free.

You may have seen this symbol.  The letters RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication (or easy subscription!) It means that a blog, or a newspaper column can be added to your Blog Reader. The blog with that symbol has a feed.  A feed is code that allows it to show up in a way that you can read it each time there is something new. Sometimes you can click that symbol to get the blog into your reader and sometimes blogs have a link to "subscribe" and you click that. Below I will walk you step by step into how to subscribe to this blog.

So, if you want to SUBSCRIBE to my blog so that it is easy to check in your Blog Reader to see if a new post was written here are the steps:

1.  Choose a Blog Reader. I decided to use Feedly. Google is retiring Google Reader, so many people are just transferring their "feeds" or subscriptions to Feedly. There are a lot of programs out there that will do this for you. I have made a list below. Find one that looks inviting to you and give it a try. You can change to a different one later if you decide it doesn't work for you.  See below for a list of Blog Readers to try.

2.  Sign up for the service by following the directions on their site. You will have to have a username and password like you do for most sites.

3.  Click to open a new tab or a new window in your browser and come to the "Help I'm not a Geek" blog http://helpimnotageek.blogspot.com.

4.  Look for the words "Subscribe" on the left side.

5. When you click on the button below "Subscribe" with the word Posts you will be given several choices. I am using Feedly and it is not listed, so I will have to click the one that says Atom and copy the URL (the web address that starts with html://)

6.  Then go to Feedly and click on "+ website" paste the address into the window that shows up and it will find the blog and you can click on it to subscribe. If you just click + website you can also type just a word into it (I typed in "recipes") and the program will go out and find lots of websites about that topic. You can then look at them and click on the ones you are interested in subscribing to.

As I was going through these steps it was difficult to show you all that was happening. Feedly does a lot automatically. You will have to try it to see.  In Chrome, Feedly shows up on the main screen after I scroll it to the right when I go to a new tab.

If you have not started reading some blogs you really should give it a try. There are great ones on every subject. I will list a few at the end of this post. Feel free to comment and ask if you are looking for a blog or information about a certain topic!  I will look for it!

Great Blogs to try out
The Huffington Post     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
The Pioneer Woman Cooks      http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/
The Laughing Squid Interesting Art    http://laughingsquid.com/
PopWatch (Celebrity Info)    http://popwatch.ew.com 
Arts Beat-Art Section of the New York Times  http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com 
Mental Floss     http://www.mentalfloss.com/
Golf     http://www.hookedongolfblog.com/
All Things Dog     http://www.allthingsdogblog.com/
Obsessed with Scrapbooking  http://www.obsessedwithscrapbooking.com/

RSS Services (Blog Readers)
http://feedly.com
http://netvibes.com
http://newsgator.com
http://myyahoo.com
http://bloglines.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Solving Problems and iPhoto Faces

Sometimes this blog is personal. That is, I write about a problem that I have been having and how I resolved it (or didn't). This is one of those posts,


The other day I was meeting with a Mac Club and one of the members wanted to organize her pictures. I told her that since she had a Mac she might find that iPhoto was the best way to do it. We went into iPhoto and started looking around. I showed her how my pictures were organized into events and how to tag pictures and give them titles. Then someone else said that you should use FACES as a way to organize your pictures. Well, I have never used Faces. It seemed like it would just take too long and not be all that helpful. I am still not sure what I think about it, but I found out that my copy of FACES was not working like it was supposed to.


When you open iPhoto and click on Faces you get the message saying that to get started open a photo, then click Name and then type the name of the person in the photo. Well, after I had found Name icon (in the bottom left side) I typed in the name and the corkboard did not change. It should have put that person's picture on the corkboard and found all of the pictures that matched that person. My corkboard still had the picture above on it.

I tried this several times with no results.  So I decided to do what I usually do to try to figure something out. I Googled it. I used the words "iPhoto faces no change in corkboard".  There were lots of results, so I knew that this was a problem for more people than just me. Some of the results said iPhoto 11, so I had to confirm my version of iPhoto first. When I clicked on the iPhoto menu and then clicked "About iPhoto" I found out that I had version 9.0. Since there were still problems with iPhoto 11 I knew that upgrading would not solve my problem.

In one of the discussions that I scanned through there was a comment from someone 

1. "While holding down the Control key (bottom left on keyboard-says "control"
2.  we clicked the iPhoto library that was in my pictures folder 

3. and selected the "Show Package Contents" menu option. 



Then we threw out (click on the file name and drag it to the trash-usually at the bottom right of the dock) the face_blob.db and face.db and restarted the computer - 




(my note) The files are automatically recreated when you restart your computer, so don't worry about losing them.

Now iPhoto works fine - the Faces thing ran showing some sort spinning clock icon as it found all the potential faces in all my photos - "



I tried this and it solved my problem! It took a long time to scan through all of my photos. Now when I click on NAME and Name someone it goes through all of the my photos and tries to find matches. I have to confirm or deny that they are the person that I typed and then their face shows up on the corkboard! 




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Places to find REAL Geeks


Today’s post is a little different. I want to share with you some things I have been learning while trying to make connections. One place I am contacting is small IT companies. These are companies that are started by people who are real Geeks. They know how to repair computers and they often buy, sell or repair all types of technology. 

The very first thing you should do when you are going to purchase a computer is ask WHAT AM I GOING TO USE THE COMPUTER FOR? If you just want to type some papers or look at Facebook online and email a bit you will not need a brand new computer with lots of memory. However if you are wanting to watch movies or edit photos and video you need a computer with enough memory and speed that you do not have to wait every time you click until the computer works. Always be ready with that information when you talk to someone about purchasing.
I started by looking at http://yelp.com. I think that YELP is a good place to look when you are wondering about a service (or restaurant, or business). Many businesses are listed and ordinary people who use their services write short reviews of their experience with the business and rate them with one to five stars. Usually you can learn a lot by reading what people say about businesses and how many stars they give. There are always some customers who are not happy, but if it is only one or two out of 25 usually that is a pretty good sign.

Here are some of the companies I learned about through Yelp.

StarTech PC 




PC Genie 
Voted the #1 Computer Repair place in Austin in 2012. They have a page on recycling computers. They will take your old, non fixable equipment (Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer, Hand Held Device, Mobile Phone, Games Console, or Flat Screen Monitor). Shocking Fact: Up to 20 million “obsolete” PCs are discarded annually in the USA alone. They say, “let’s waste less” 

Nerd Austin




Mr. Notebook



Mr. Computer 

Computer Medic of Austin



If you need a new computer or laptop and cannot spend what it would cost to get a brand new one you may want to check out these businesses (first on Yelp to see what other customers say!). Most of them have used computers for sale at a very affordable price.

Questions to ask about a used computer purchase:
1.  How long will this computer in it's current condition last?
2.  Are there some things that cannot be loaded on this computer? (older computers have smaller memories than newer ones and you may not be able to install more memory.
3. How long is the warrenty on this computer? As soon as you purchase the computer use it as much as you can during that time to be sure it does not have problems. 

Besides the savings when you purchase a used computer think also of the fact that you are keeping one more computer from being thrown into a landfill, at least until you are done with it!

P.S. I have I’m not a Geek listed on Yelp. If you have worked with me and have anything to say feel free to rate your experience and write your comments!