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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Arranging the Icons on your iPhone or iPad

The iPhone and iPad are amazing. There are so many apps that eventually you have too many and it is difficult to find anything. In this post I will go over several ways that you can organize your apps so that they are easier for you to find.


1.  Alphabetical Order

You can only organize the apps that you have downloaded and added to your iPhone or iPad. The ones that come with the phone cannot be changed.  Go to:
              • Settings 
              • General 
              • Reset 
              • Reset Home Screen Layout
Now all of your apps, except the ones that came with the phone are in alphabetical order. If you like it this way you will have to redo this each time you download an app because they download to the first empty space or to the end rather than in alphabetical order.

2.  Putting them in Folders

It is possible to put your apps into folders so that you can sort them into types. You can name the folders yourself.

        • Hold down one of the icons until they all have x's and shake.
        • Drag one of the apps onto another one that you want in the same folder.
        • Click the name at the top of the folder window and erase the name that is there and type what you want it to be.
        • It will be the same size as the icons before, but when you click on it the folder opens to reveal all of the apps inside.

3.  Pages by subject

At the bottom of the iPhone window above the bar with the programs that do not change when you go to a different page of icons there are dots. Each dot represents a page of apps. When you swipe the dot that represents the page you are on becomes bold.

Some people like to organize their apps by making each page one of their categories. They might put all games on one page or all music apps on another page.


Probably the easiest way to organize the apps is in iTunes on your computer with your iPhone or iPad plugged in because the icons are larger and you can use your mouse. 

  1. Plug your iPhone or your iPad into the computer that you use for syncing.
  2. Go to the iTunes Program and you can see all of the pages of your apps at one time. 
  3. Now using your mouse you can do the same organizing that you were doing on the phone before. You can drag apps from place to place and create folders or pages with your organized apps. When you are finished click on apply at the bottom to make sure to  have the same set up on your phone.
  4. The only thing that is more easily done on the device than on the computer is alphabetize the apps. Remember that alphabetization will not reorder the default apps that came with your phone. 


The iPad works in the same way that the iPhone does and so if you follow the directions above they will help you to organize your iPad

I cannot help you with your Android or Windows devices because I am not sure if they work in the same way or not.


I recently had to do an update to my phone and the message it sent me was that it could not download the update because there was not enough empty space on the device. 

The way to deal with that is to open your phone and go to SETTINGS.  In SETTINGS choose GENERAL

In GENERAL choose USAGE. This will give you a list of all of the apps that are on your iPhone or iPad and then you can look through the list to decide if there are apps on there that you never use.

Remember that on your computer you have a comprehensive list of everything you have had on your iPhone.  It keeps track of the apps that you have removed. You can always add them back in without paying for them again if you paid or if they were free!  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The End of Windows XP

As I write this the end of Windows XP is soon and sure. The website where I learned about it ( gave this time-
Countdown to the Death of XP

When you read this more time will have passed.

They give many good reasons why you should make a change in your Operating System before then:
  • When the end comes Microsoft will not be sending updates. These updates are important because they often fill security holes and not having them will make your computer vulnerable to viruses.
  • The drivers for XP will not be updated, so if you get a new printer or other device the XP will not be able to connect and work with it.
  • The will also be ending their support for Microsoft Office 2003.
  • This is also the end of Microsoft Security Essentials.


Depending upon your current operating system you can check this in different ways. Right now there are mainly four versions: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows 8 or 8.1.  It is easy to know if you are using Windows 8 or 8.1 because it looks so different. Here is an example of what you will see when you turn on your computer:

If you have Windows 8 or 8.1 you do not have to do anything.

If your computer has a desktop with a picture and a START menu in the bottom left corner you have Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. To find out which one of them you have you want to check the Properties. 

One way to do that is to open the START menu and find the word 'computer'. Right click on the word computer and choose Properties.

Another way is Click the Start button Start button, click or type Run at the bottom of the menu and then, type winver into the space that opens up

Press enter and a window will open up that will tell you the version.


It is time for you to make a change.

It is possible that your computer is old and slow and it is time to upgrade by getting a new computer. This may be the easiest solution, but I know that everyone cannot afford to do that.

If that is not true of your computer or you can't afford to buy a new one you can download the new Operating System by going to:

Look for the words  
  • Here is a summary of the requirements.  This may not be meaningful to you, but the Windows Upgrade Assistant will tell you if your computer can run a new operating system.
    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
    • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • If your computer is too old it may not be able to run a different Operating System. 
If your computer can run a new Operating System the first step is always to back up all of the files on your computer. Backing up is a whole subject to figure out. Look at the link below for more information.

In order to upgrade you will have to remove your files and programs from your computer and put them back in after you have run the CD that will install the new version of Windows. This is a complicated process and it is made more confusing if you have lots of software downloaded onto your computer. It is not hard to back up your files and settings and then reinstall them (there is a program that will do that for you), but then when you are done you will have a "clean install" withouth any software that you downloaded before. You will have to find your CDs or look online for where you downloaded them and get them again. If you have old versions you may have to pay for newer versions.

If you have very little software or just want to start out over again without all of the programs you used to have the upgrade will work easily. You can upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows 7 costs a little less, but since it is not the newest version it will need to be updated sooner than Windows 8. 

Here are some articles on the web about upgrading your version of XP. 

This webpage has a step by step tutorial and a video to explain what you need to do.

A helpful article on upgrading to Windows 7

Recommendation to buy a new PC rather than just upgrade.

Comparison of Windows 7 and Windows 8

You will have to purchase the new operating system on disks. It will cost from $75-$125 depending on where you buy it and whether you by Windows 7 or 8. Since 8 is new it is a bit more expensive.

Here are some places online that you can order it. You can also find it at local Computer Stores and stores like Staples or Office Depot.

eValue Software

Microsoft Store



My main advice is to start with a few questions:
  • What are you going to use it for?
  • How much do you have to spend?
I have a 13 inch MacBook. Even though it cost more at the beginning I felt it was a good value because it had a camera and microphone built in. Also, it seems to work without having to download lots of drivers or add on other components.

How to Buy a New Computer

Finding the Right One for You -

Buying a Refurbished Computer

Helpful Laptop Buying Guide

PROS - stable, you might be used to having one and just want to replace it. If you do not use WiFi in your home and your computer plugs into the Internet with an Ethernet cord a desktop is a good answer.
CONS - With a desktop you are tethered to one spot. You cannot bring your computer with you anywhere.

PROS - Can do everything a desktop can do. Is portable so you can work anywhere. If you have WiFi in your home you can sit in any room or even use it in the kitchen. 
CONS - The screen size is more limited than a desktop. Laptops are too heavy with a large screen. 

TABLET: Pad, Nexus, Surface, Asus, etc... 
PROS - Tablets have a touchscreen, which can be a good thing. Make sure to try it out at a store to see what you think about it. They are lightweight and easy to bring anywhere. They have a camera built in so you can take pictures and store them there or upload them to Picasa or another program online. There are a lot of apps that you can download for free.
CONS - For lots of typing with it you may want to purchase a separate keyboard. It is possible to print from these, but not easy to set up. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snapchat and Instagram

The saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words. It must be true if you think about how popular pictures are on computers and mobile devices. Today I am going to talk about two apps for download to your iPhone, Android or Windows Phone. In some ways they compare to Twitter because in a very short time you can communicate to all of your followers. The main difference is that these apps both use pictures instead of text as their way of communication.


Instagram has been around since 2010. In April of 2012 it was aquired by Facebook. Instagram is an instant photosharing app. When you open the app you can take pictures and instantly send them to one person OR to all of the people who follow you. You can set your profile to private so that only people you approve can follow you, or you can leave it open and anyone can follow you and see whatever photos you send out.


  • You can send photos you take immediately out to a bunch of friends at one time. So it is an easy way of sharing with friends or family.
  • A copy of each photo you have taken is kept in your profile, so you can go back and see what you took in the past.
  • You can delete pictures that you took in the past. At the bottom of each picture there are three dots ... When you click them a menu opens up that gives you the choice to delete, share the photo, copy and share the URL, email the photo and tag people who are in it. Each photo that is uploaded is kept on the Instagram server and can be accessed that way.


  • The photos you take and send are out of your control once someone else receives them. They have the ability of sharing it with someone else and even to put it onto their Facebook.
  • These pictures are not easy to print or even to save to your computer.

Why would people want to use this?

Receiving photos exactly when people have taken them is exciting and makes you feel more a part of their life. Teenagers like to send funny photos to their friends to make them laugh. It is also possible to edit the photo and write captions on it before sending it. (the picture at the top was taken when I was looking at a webpage on what age people should stop driving. I typed the words across it!)


The guys who created SNAPCHAT were feeling frustrated by the privacy issues with Facebook and Instagram. The problem of photos being resent to others and downloaded and saved could cause a person problems. Even if you delete your account you never know if someone downloaded and saved one of your pictures and it will show up when you least expect it. These Stanford students (age 22 and 24) created an app very similar to Instagram, except that the pictures are only available for 10 seconds when the person who received them opens them up. The picture then vanishes and is removed from the server.  It is possible, but difficult to copy a picture that shows up for just 10 seconds.


  • A person can send a funny picture without worrying that it will be around forever. 


  • People can use it to send inappropriate photos (nude, etc...) that will not get them in trouble.

Why would people want to use this?

Like Instagram it is possible to send things immediately to friends or family when something is happening. You can send funny pictures that make you laugh without worrying that they might show up later and not be so funny.