While this blog is a posting of computer related items, cell phones are in fact a computer and this is a potential life saving issue. I am doing this post that indirectly relates .
In case of emergency (ICE) is a program that enables 1st responders to identify victims and contact next of kin in case of an emergency. Hence the acronym ICE. All cellphones should have one or more ICE listings should the unfortunate happen.
That said, cellphones and particularly smart phones have password protection mechanism where your phone, ICE and all other information cannot be accessed without keying a password or drawing a pattern to unlock all of this. What I am trying to get at here is if your phone is password protected, ICE is not able to be accessed. Please have an alternate form of identification that lists an emergency contact(s). Don't feel a false sense of security having ICE on your phone where there is password protection enabled.
For those using Gmail who wish they could schedule their messages for future delivery Boomerang is for you. You can write that email now and schedule it to automatically be sent at the date and time you choose. You do not need to be logged in to Gmail, the internet or have your computer on at the time scheduled. An advantage of this is when sending an email to someone outside your time zone, you can make sure they receive the message first thing in the morning their time. Say you're emailing a friend/customer in London during the early evening your time. You can schedule the email to be sent 8AM their time so they receive it during the start of their day while you are asleep. It will be closer to the top of their inbox.
You can design a birthday card, anniversary card, etc. attach it to an email a few days prior and have the email sent to that person on that special day. You may forget to send it but Boomerang won't.
While you can use Google Calendar for reminders, you also can use Boomerang as an email reminder service. You can set an email to be sent to you reminding you of a meeting, to pay a certain bill, etc. Further if you receive an email confirming an event, you have the ability to send it to Boomerang. Boomerang will remove it from your inbox and put it there at the time you designate to remind you of the event. If the confirmation mentions a date and time, Boomerang will suggest a date and time to send the reminder.
You can also set up a reminder for you to follow up on a message you send. You can set it to remind you to follow up if the person you sent it to does not respond or regardless if the person responds or not. The reminder will go to your inbox at the top and is marked unread. You also can use this feature for a cleaner inbox. Boomerang will store a message on their server and return the email to your inbox at the time you note that you need it.
Go to http://www.boomeranggmail.com/
to download the program.
Libraries are not only good for books, DVDs and reading magazines. These days they also have a web presence. While you can get local information by going to your local library's web site, the web sites mentioned offer a vast amount of information and you do not need to leave your home.
Our own Library of Congress
(America's library) has a website that is also a good source of learning. On their site is a vast amount of information. You can easily spend a day going through it and still have a lot to see all that is on it. You also can download and play podcasts and webcasts as well as viewing and downloading photographs from various collections. Informative transcripts and collections can be viewed. There are dedicated sections for kids, librarians publishers and teachers. Certain old newspapers are also available for viewing. There is a lot here related to American History. You also can order at a charge certain videos of historical significance. Simply put there is more than I can ever say in a post of what is here. By going to Thomas.gov
which is a part of the Library of Congress you can find legislative information. Status of bills, current activity of the House and Senate, searching the Congressional Record are just some of the things available here. LibrarySpot.com
is largely a reference site. It also is a good gateway through links to other informative sites. It is worth checking out. Again, so much information is at your fingertips. Links to dictionaries, almanacs, calculators, etc, are on this site.
My local library Queens Library
has a web site that for starters allows me to reserve books, movies and see the availability of these items at the various branches. My library card allows me to research various databases online including encyclopedias. For example one can get information on companies that they are researching for a job interview or other reason by going to the Business and Company Resource Center available through NOVEL NY which my library is part of. Community information is also available on the Queens Library
So if it is 3AM and you cannot get back to sleep and want to do some research head out to the library. The online library.
These days a lot is mentioned about Cloud Computing. In a nutshell cloud computing is another term for the internet. When services like Mozy.com mention online backup what they also mean is that your data is backed up in the cloud. When you are on vacation and check your email, that email is stored in the cloud. If you are using a spreadsheet program in Google Docs and calculations are made to that file, the calculation is done in the cloud. These are just a few applications that are done in the cloud. Google has been designing a new operating system Google Chrome OS that will work exclusively with web applications. It is expected to be released later this year.
The beauty of the cloud is that you are able to access your files anywhere there is an internet connection. If you are halfway around the world and need to know where that Tuesday meeting after you get back is and with who, you can go to an online product like Google Calendar to find out. Items in the cloud do not take up space on your hard drive.
Needless to say it isn't perfect and there are issues and concerns the biggest being privacy and security. Since you are trusting your data to a third party you want your information to be secure and not easily accessible to those you wish to keep it away from. You also want to be assured that the provider will not lose your data. As we know Facebook has had security and privacy issues. I believe that as we move more into the cloud, these issues will resolve themselves. Security and privacy will be much improved because of competition and technological advances. Another issue is the accessibility of the data. What if the internet goes down or either you or your provider lose internet access? The quick and short answer to this is unless you have backed up your data locally you have to wait until access is restored. That said, web services are continually improving as to access and security. Like any service providers there are good and bad. Keep in mind if your hard drive crashes or you cannot get on your computer for some other reason, having backups is important. Cloud applications do guarantee the safety of your data. Any reputable company storing your data online will have backups of their own. I will say this in closing for those of you who do online banking and/or get credit card statements online. The bank statements you see in your account where you do your online banking that saves you space(you do not need a hard copy of them) is in the cloud as are the credit card statements you see in your online account. Businesses are starting to move their data into the cloud accessing and storing it there.
Due to the recent acquisition of by LastPass, Xmarks will continue on. It is a great tool for backing up your favorites/bookmarks as well as for syncing them across browsers and other computers. You can sync your bookmarks currently among Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers.
You need to decide which computer and browser is where you will make initial changes to your bookmarks. Usually this will be the browser that you use most often on your main computer. From here, you can sync across your other browsers and any other computers you have. Xmarks allows you to merge bookmarks on Xmarks server with your browser, keep bookmarks on your browser discarding those on the server (main bookmark), keep the bookmarks on the server while discarding those on your browser. You also can integrate passwords (not recommended), and open tabs as well as enabling automatic synchronization. This is a great timesaver that eliminates the need to do this manually. A feature of Xmarks is also that you can be away from your computers but can retrieve that necessary site that you wish to access but cannot remember the name by accessing the website and logging into it. I found the instructions easy to follow and the program is user friendly.
A paid version of Xmarks ($12 annually) allows you to sync between your smartphone and track and backup all changes to your bookmarks. My personal opinion is that this is not needed.
While there are ways to save your bookmarks on your computer and sync using your saved bookmarks on your computer, Xmarks is a free way to do this saving time and aggravation.
I also want to extend my best wishes to those celebrating a very Merry Christmas and to all a very Happy and prosperous 2011.
My 17 year old son who is somewhat tech savvy got a new laptop computer last month. As such, I did not expect him to ask me for help in setting up his new computer. Even afterwards he had a question since his screensaver was not working properly which I promptly fixed for him.It got me thinking and realizing how much more there is to setting up a computer than just taking it out of the box, making the necessary connections and following the on screen instructions. I always knew, but with my 17 year old asking for help did not realize how much more it truly is.
Here are just a few things to consider:
1. Do you know which programs need to open when you start your computer? Unnecessary programs opening
when you start your computer up will slow start time.
2. Do you have a system recovery disk should you ever need it?
3. Do you know the correct update setting for your computer to use? Make the wrong selection and you are
more likely to get a virus or have another computer problem.
4. Do you know what to do when your factory installed antivirus program expires? This will occur shortly after
you purchase your new computer. The right move will keep your computer virus free and save you money in
the long run.
5. Do you know how to set up your computer to find and open your favorite programs and files quicker?
If you live in Queens or Nassau County, NY call me at 917.572.3468. Installing computers is just one of the technology services I offer. I also provide expert computer training as well as training on your iPad, iPhone or Android in the convenience of your home (seniors a specialty) as well as computer troubleshooting, printer setup, computer repair, computer support,wireless networks, and more.
Computer Concierge NY LLC, provides expert computer services in the Bayside, NY area, Including Queens, Albertson, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellrose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park, Flushing, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park, New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside vicinity.