Category: Computer Fun

Your New Mobile Device!

So it just arrived.  You got a new Kindle, or Nook, or iPad, or Droid Tablet, Nexus, or SmartPhone.  Now what?

Flick it on, and a totally foreign set of icons, sliders, and hidden gestures await your every command.  Kind of like being plunked down in the cockpit of stealth fighter, no?  Wheels up in 10!  Now where is that instruction manual anyway…

Don’t be intimidated, forget the manual for a bit.  We recommend you just start exploring and touch icons, follow where they lead, then try to find your way back to the home screen.  Pick another icon.  Try out a couple gestures that always look so cool on that primetime detective/cop shows where a lead character is mining forensic data for clues on their translucent floor-to-ceiling touchscreen.  With surround-sound of course.

At some point before you decide to chuck it out the window, search the internet or even the (gasp!) manual for how-to steps.  There are likely a gazillion poorly produced youtube videos demonstrating just what it is you want to know.

The reason we suggest this approach is to integrate the intuitive-ness in design of the device with your own cognitive approach to discovery and problem-solving.  Is there science behind this method of learning?  Maybe, maybe not.  But probably most of us learned to communicate with words before we learned to read.  We played the instrument before we read the manual.  Also it’s what we’ve found to work best, and many clients have told us the same.

So back straight, chin up.  Feel the wind in your hair and go boldly forth.

Happy Computing!

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Dropbox Review

Keep yourself synced across your office PC, your home laptop, your smartphone.  Get Dropbox.

You left the draft for your presentation at the office and you need it now that you’re at the client meeting.  Good thing you put it in Dropbox.

This is a free app that uses the cloud to sync your files across all your devices.  Sync means it keeps the most up to date copy available to you no matter where you are.  And it’s free up to 2GB.  Which is a lot of documents.  You can get more gigabytes by “spreading the word” and referring colleagues and friends too.  And they’ll be happy you did because did I mention it’s free?  No pyramid scheme here.

Of course my favorite part of dropbox is interacting with my smartphone.  I snap a picture or two and it immediately sends it to the cloud, then back to my desktop computer.  Can’t tell you how many of those little SD cards that have corrupted on me.  But doesn’t matter since there’s already a copy on my PC.

And, get this, it also acts like a backup similar to Carbonite and Crashplan and Mozy.  If you have a document that has been edited many times, it keeps all the copies as you go.

This one is a no-brainer, check it out as soon as you have time.

Happy computing!

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What is Snapchat??

A new front on the internet has arrived!

As the online world has developed, you should know that anything you put on the internet – your website, your blog, your comments to the local news website have been immortalized in the ever expanding web.  It doesn’t just disappear into the ether.  Maybe you didn’t already know that but careers have been ruined by just one whimsical Facebook post of a person at a party or a political comment on a letters-to-the-editor forum.

This was seed to a new industry that has adopted the “Mission Impossible” mantra of “this tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds, 4,….” .  The Snapchat app is one such agent.  You can send a pic and it will display for 10 seconds and then disappear.  Facebook has launched Poke to compete with Snapchat but results are mixed.  Still the idea you can send chats, messages, videos and pics that self-destruct points out the need for balance in the invasion of privacy that social networking brings upon us.

In the business world, the rule of thumb is still “If you don’t want your best client to see it, don’t put it out there.”

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