Monday, November 29, 2010

MAC: Opening Applications at Login

Have you ever wondered how some of the computer lab computers automatically open software when you login?

Watch this short video from Apple to see how to set applications to open up automatically at login (or disable the applications).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

EBooks for free

Are you looking to read books on your iPod touch or even your computer?  It's one of the latest and fastest growing craze.  You'll hear the words - Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, Microsoft Reader, etc. they all refer to devices that are developed and geared towards holding eBooks.

If you have an iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, Android phone, BlackBerry, PC, or Mac; you can download the Nook software for free from Barnes & Noble.  There are tons of free eBooks on Barnes & Noble's website.  Some authors are known such as James Patterson and there are authors that are not as famous.  If you are a book lover, you will enjoy reading books for free.

To be honest, I never wanted to try an EBook. I prided myself in the fact that I love the feel of the book in my hands and being able to turn the page. However, after a weekend with my brother-in-law, I was convinced to give it a try.  I downloaded the Nook software for my iPod touch.  I love it!  I downloaded the book, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and only paid $5.14 for it.  I don't even think it's available in paperback for that cheap.

A few reasons that I love the idea of having books in a PDF (portable document form) on an iPod (or other device) is the fact that it is better for the environment, it's portable and not huge to lug around.  Textbooks are even starting to come in a pdf version so it is portable for the teacher and student.  Of course, we know books will always be around - but this is the technology of the future.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

iGoogle (Web) Part II

Recently, I wrote about how Google can change your life.  I discovered a new 'toy' within Google.  Google offers a free service when you sign up for a Google account.  The service is called web history.  When web history is enabled, you can:
1. View and search across webpages you've visited in the past, including Google searches.
2.  Find trends on your web activity, such as your most visited sites and top searches
3.  Get more personalized search results based on what you've searched for and the sites you've visited.
4.  Not have to hunt or try to remember what it was you looked up the other day or last week and forgot to bookmark!

The web history is stored on Google's servers instead of on your own computer.  This way, no matter where you are in the world, you can login to your Google account and see your web history.  You must be signed in to Google in order for your web history to be tracking.

If you have a Google account and are interested in Web History, visit
You can also pause the web history at anytime while you are logged into your Google Account.

Are you Googling?      

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why does my computer crash?

The word crash in a computer sense doesn't necessarily mean that your computer dies or the hard drive fails.  It means that you may see the BSoD (Blue Screen of Death), rebooting for no reason, shutting down for no reason, or the spinning Apple.

Heat is probably the most common reason that computers crash.  As you probably know, there are fans inside your computer that help keep the computer components cool.  Laptops often will overheat due to the fact that we block the airflow easier.  You should try a cooling laptop desk or a table when you are working on your laptop to ensure that it will not overheat.  Desktop computers can have their fans plugged easier due to the dust and other items.  It's always a good idea to unplug your computer and open it to clean out the dust bunnies and spray your fan with some Dust Off.

RAM (random access memory) is a big culprit when coming to crashes.  Failing RAM is not something that will happen overnight, but it may take awhile until you see the affect on your computer.  If programs are crashing every time you load them, I would start to wonder if your RAM is going bad.  You can easily purchase RAM at a store like Best Buy and put it in yourself (it is so easy!).

Your hard drive can begin to fail too.  You will first start to see messages that say bad sector, couldn't load properly, etc.  Disk access may become slower with time as well - meaning that it will take your computer longer to load or bring a program up.

I can't say it enough -- BACK UP!  You never know when your computer may crash, it's an electronic system!  Without a proper back up it is really hard to know if your family pictures and videos will be able to be recovered.  It will also cost you a lot to have someone attempt to get that precious information off of your disk.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

iGoogle Do You?

Sorry for the lack of posting...the school's network was not allowing me to blog.  I've got it all figured out now.  :)

Google - it's an amazing, dare I say, invention?  I truly feel that it is.  It's much more than 'just' a search engine.  It keeps me organized with a calendar, tells me what I am suppose to do today with 'tasks', emails me my 'tasks' schedule, forwards my school email to my phone, creates and opens Microsoft Office documents, allows me to customize my homepage (iGoogle) so I have the things I often use at the tips of my fingers.   Heck, it even stores this blog!

All I have to do is log in to Google, no matter where I am at, and I have my personalized little Internet helper :)  If you are not Googling, you should.  Start slow - you don't have to jump in like I did.  Just get an email address through Google.  When your kids complain that they can't do a paper at home because you do not have Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint, login to Gmail (Google's email) and click Documents at the top.  Your child will be able to create his/her project - send it to the teacher or save it in the email to get at a later time.

Happy Googling! -- click SIGN In in the top right-hand corner & click Create An Account Now