Category: Facebook

How To Make Your Technology Less Frustrating and More Fun This Year

“It’s that holiday time of year again, and that means it’s over the river and through the woods to…well, fix my family’s Wi-Fi and other tech problems.”  From: The Complete Guide to Giving Better Family Tech Support  by Jason Fitzpatrick
family-dinner-3407701_1280
Do you have someone in your family who takes care of your techie problems for you?

I was that person for my mother. In fact, she was the one who suggested that I start this tutoring business to help other retirement-age adults.

I often laugh and tell people, “I’m your person, when you don’t have access to any techie relatives or you don’t want to impose. ; )

I recently read a fun article by How to Geek. The Complete Guide to Giving Better Family Tech Support  and I realized that it’s time to remind you that, “a few times a year someone needs to make sure computers are up to date,photos are backed up, and the tech is humming along as it should, so you won’t be in a in a position to have people exploit your computers, lose your photos to a hard drive crash, or otherwise be miserable because you just didn’t know any better.  After all, you aren’t out there keeping up on all the tech news and reading how-to guides.”

image of computer with 2019 on the screenAnd, there’s another great article for the New Year… Lock Down Your Tech With These New Year’s Resolutions by Justin Pot.  It urges people to:

  • “Use a freaking password manager
  • Lock Down Important Accounts With Two-Factor Authentication
  • Backup Your Computer (Seriously)
  • Update (or Upgrade) Your Router
  • Clean Out Your Browser Extensions
  • Remove Unused Third-Party App Access From Google, Facebook, and Other Accounts
  • Encrypt Your Computers and Phone”

As I often say, “using technology is like driving cars, they need check ups from time to time, and you have to know the rules of the road for your safety and security.

sparkler-839831_1280No Worries…There Are Easy Ways To Get It All Done:

  • Read the two articles and follow their very clear instructions or
  • Send these tips to your “Family Tech Guru” so he or she can do it or
  • Hire me to teach you how to do it or
  • Hire me do it for you

Whatever you decide is fine, but  please make a decision and “get ‘er done” so you can have less frustration and more fun.

Wishing you a very happy new year and may your techie world be simple, easy and fun this year!

Enjoy!

Mardi

P. S. Please share this with your loved ones so they can get the help they need too.  Thanks!

Can’t Type? Try Dragon Naturally Speaking

Can’t Type?   There is a great solution.

 Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon

Dragon is similar to the speech recognition apps on smart phones like Siri and Google Voice, but you can train Dragon to recognize your voice and your speech patterns so it gets more and more accurate.  It will even scan the emails in your “Sent” folder to learn your speech patterns. You have to be a little patient in the beginning to correct its mistakes, because that’s how it learns to become more accurate but it’s easy to do.

I have helped several clients with Dragon and I’m currently working with a man who had a stroke several years ago and is using Dragon to write his emails.  I also connected his computer to his big screen TV so he can see the typing better.  He’s really enjoying it and that has inspired me to consider using myself.  I often feel like my hands can’t keep up with my brain.  My typing is fast but makes so many mistakes, especially when I’m journaling or writing Techie Tips.

I used it years ago when I was in Real Estate and it worked in all my apps:  email correspondence in Outlook, web searches, composing documents in Word, and making notes in my contact manager.  The newer version of Dragon is even more accurate and easier to train than before and it’s not very expensive.

Dragon Dictate
You can get the app for your tablet or smartphone too.
iTunes                     Google Play Store

And you can use your smart phone as the microphone for your computer.

 iTunes                      Google Pla

If you, or someone you know, would like to learn how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking, please let me know. 

This is a great way to “make peace with the ups and downs of computer technology.”

Pre-purchase Consultation Questions

One of my services is consulting with people to help them choose the best computer or gadget for their individual needs.  So much frustration can be avoided by buying the right product in the first place, and I have already test-driven quite a few of them in order to pave the way for others to have a more pleasant experience.  See my previous posts for the gruesome details.  LOL

Here are the questions I use for my consultations.  Please forward this to your friends and relatives so they will have it when they are considering a computer or gadget purchase.   They will thank you for it.

1. What is your budget?

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5. How much battery life do you need?

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low, Medium or High)?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, etc.)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer, Blue Ray ROM/Writer, etc ?

12. Please tell me about the brands that you prefer and the brands that you don’t like and explain the reasons.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell me any additional information if needed.

Additionally… you should consider available support options in your area. If you buy something abroad, will you be able to have it fixed near where you live? Does the warranty apply? How quickly do local accredited technicians fix laptops?

This Might Surprise You

As you may know, I have not been a big fan of Facebook, and I always empathize when my clients talk about all the reasons it’s bad.  I don’t have extra time to “mess with it” either.

Well I must confess, I’m having second thoughts.  Yes, it’s true.  I downloaded the Facebook app to my smart phone, so I could see what it does.  After posting a few things on my page, I heard from people that I hadn’t been in touch with for years. They loved the photo of Katie and me at the beach this summer and it was really fun to reconnect.  Then I started seeing all the inspirational and hilarious things that my friends were posting on their pages.  It’s amazing how much love and inspiration is circulating via Facebook  Seriously!  It’s a great antidote to the news!

One of the posts that moved me to tears was a video of an 82 year old woman’s audition on “England’s Got Talent”.  (See the link below.)  I guess it moved me so much because I’m getting older, my Mother is 92 now, and I work with many amazing elderly people like her, who are enthusiastic about learning techie things. I’ts just so great to see people follow their passion right up to the end of their lives.


Watch video

Another inspiration for me was a fun lady, who had me come work with her every week last season so she could learn Facebook and keep in touch with her 4 children and 12 grandchildren.  We had so much fun!  She joked about how some of her friends spent way too much time on it and she just wanted to see all the latest photos and make short comments.  She got really good at it.  Can you imagine how much that means to the children and their parents?!  So many times, our children end up living out of state, and Facebook can really help to keep the family together.

I’m eager to share what I’ve learned and to show you how rewarding it can be.  I think you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy it.  You don’t have to spend a lot of time, or sift through a gazillion emails notifications.  I can show you how to adjust the settings to calm it down and make it manageable.

So to this end, I’m planning to offer some Facebook playshops in the new year and I hope you will join in the fun.

We can do my usual private sessions or you can invite up to 7 friends to a “Play Shop” at your home or office.  (8 gadgets is the maximum for home Wi-Fi routers).  The host is free and the other participants only pay $20 for the 2 hr. play shop. (The minimum requirement is $80)  I will also be happy to do more Play Shops at the Mastermind Seminars’ office on Date Palm.  Just let me know the best days and times for you.

I hope you are having a lovely holiday season with your loved ones.  I hope you will give Facebook a try, so you can re-connect with loved ones you haven’t seen and keep up with the ones you have.  Let’s keep that love and joy vibration going all year long!

What Is The Cloud?

I’ve been explaining “The Cloud” to a lot of people lately and decided that a visual would help. The Cloud is just a sexy name for server computers that host your stuff–your email, your photos, your docs, your blogs, your Facebook pages,

etc. The companies that run the server computers are constantly adding new ones and improving security for you. The reason “The Cloud” has become so important, is that so many of you have multiple computers and gadgets. When you use the computers and gadgets to go to The Cloud, you see everything in real time and you don’t have to synchronize changes between gadgets. Also, if your computer breaks, you can see your stuff using any computer–at your neighbors, your kids, or the library. Another advantage is that your stuff is secure–if you choose the right company to host it. You should always have a backup on The Cloud. Much of my tutoring these days involves teaching folks how to do cloud based backups and how to use web mail.
Facebook’s Arctic Server Farm – wordlessTech  www.wordlesstech.com 
Facebook announced that the social network will locate its new data center in The North Pole.

Should You Use Your Facebook Login To Create New Accounts?

I’ve been helping an artist friend of mine get her art uploaded to internet sites marketing.

She asked me what it means when she is invited to create and account for a website using her Facebook login.

I have run into this also, and have been meaning to look into it.  (When in doubt, I don’t do it.)

Here is the info I found on logging in using our Facebook login.  I’m glad I finally looked into it.
I appears that in some cases, an app company is just trying to streamline the account set up process for us so we don’t have to fill out another form and they don’t have to create a form to fill out.
In other cases, the company may be harvesting information about you and posting commercials to your wall.
The bottom line is that you need to take the time to read the agreements and choose carefully.
Below are two articles that explain the options.

http://www.sctimes.com/interactive/article/99999999/CUST/120213001/Why-Sign-Facebook?nclick_check=1

http://thepcspy.com/read/never-login-with-facebook/

I clicked on the Facebook’s Application Settings screen link in the second article to check my settings.
Here is how it looks.  They are all sites that I trust.

App Settings

You have authorized these apps to interact with your Facebook account:
  • Yelp

    August 23

    Edit

  • TripAdvisor

    August 23

    Edit

  • Meetup

    August 22

    Edit

  • bitly

    August 9

    Edit

  • MyCalendar – Birthdays

    April 26

    Edit

  • Bing

    More than 6 months ago

    Edit

  • Pandora

    July 29

    Edit

  • Blue Mountain eCards

    July 12

    Edit

  • WordPress.com

    June 1

    Edit

  • AWeber Email Marketing

    July 8

    Edit

  • Facebook Platform Opt In

    More than 6 months ago
    I probably will not be using my facebook login to create new accounts in the future, but if I do, I will read the fine print first.
    I always appreciate your questions.  I love doing research and keeping “up to speed.”

Share Your Vacation Photos

As many of you have discovered, it isn’t always easy to email photos to your friends and family.  The reason is that email service providers have placed limitations on the size of file transfers. The best way to share photos is to post them on a website and send your friends and family a link so they can go there and view them.  Some sites even provide options for others to add their photos.  This is particularly helpful if you have attended an event and want to pool all the photos.  Everyone can enjoy each other’s photos.  You can even choose which ones you want to print.  Another advantage, is that you have your photos in another place for back up.

There are many sites that will host your photos with no charge. When you get to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can upload multiple shots at once and unload your memory cards for tomorrow’s adventures. All of your shots will be displayed in a beautiful digital gallery.

Shutterfly – is a popular photo-sharing community. It gives you an interactive Web page to display all of your pictures, and your friends and family can comment on your photos.  The site displays your photos as a gallery, slideshow or a digital photo book. If you want a physical book, Shutterfly will print one for a fee.  It includes basic photo editing, including filters and a red-eye removal tool.  There is also an APP that allows you to post photos to social media sites right from your Web album or iPhone.

WinkFlash  is a site designed to turn your photos into prints. It handles everything from an 8×10 poster to a canvas to hang on your wall. You don’t need to purchase anything to store your photos, though.  It has an email feature so that allows you to snap a picture with your mobile device, compose an e-mail and send it later when you have access to Wi-Fi.  You can email pictures to your friends as well.  If you want to share on social media, simply copy and paste your page’s link to Facebook or Twitter.

Snapfish has all the usual ways to upload photos, but it adds Facebook and Flickr as well. There’s even a handy mobile app  if you like to snap pictures from your smartphone.  In addition to prints and posters, Snapfish will turn your pictures into just about anything. You can put photos onto an iPhone skin, water bottle or even a kid’s growth chart!  Snapfish makes it easy to decorate your whole home with your favorite photos.

Protect Yourself from Facebook Advertising

I love using the “Like” button but I’ve noticed that I start getting ads from places I liked and I’m not so sure I like that.  I see now that when we like and un-like various pages and products, we are giving Facebook more and more information about us that it shares with advertisers.  Also, I’ve noticed that Facebook shows other people who have liked sites.

If you want to opt out, here is the procedure. Log into Facebook and click the upside down triangle in the upper right corner. Go to Privacy settings>>Ads, Apps and Websites>>Ads.  Click Edit Social Ads Settings and choose No One in the drop down menu. Your name won’t be linked to any ads, even for pages you’ve liked.

Go back to the Ads, Apps and Websites menu and select “How people bring your info to apps they use.” You’ll see a list of check boxes. Any box that is checked is something that could appear on a third-party site.

You’ll see everything from your current city, photos and the things you like. Deselect each box. That way, Facebook and advertisers won’t be able to use your information for marketing.

I haven’t done this yet, because I’m not that worried about it, and I like to watch how it plays out.  But I know some of you are concerned and would want to know how to take control of the situation.  I might do it later.

In Joy,

Mardi

Restoring peace and joy to your life through computer tutoring.

%d bloggers like this: