iPad Classroom Help – all iPad topics now!!

Please send me your favourite Apps

Sharing is the best way to learn more about our iPads.

Please send me your iPad tips & tricks you have found, and some of those amazing Apps!! I will create iPad App reviews as well a providing free iPad tutorials. gregwest (at) AlternateCloud.com 20140307-095940.jpg

A New Year – A …

A New Year – A New Column
Introducing “APP Yap”

by Gregory West

Are you ready for change? I am introducing a “smart phone” section in this column, along with the current computer tips talk. This column will be in two parts: Computer Tips and APP Yap. APP Yap will cover all things “smart phone” APPs (software applications for the phone).

Computer use is changing rapidly. In 1970, futurist Alvin Toffler wrote his book: “Future Shock” and in it he discussed the “rate of change” and that people would not be able to handle the many new advancements. He stated there would be “too much change in too short a period of time”.

Well, I don’t know about the “too much”, but I believe we have handled change quite well, from monster computer desktops to thin Macbook Air laptops to touch-screen tablets and now to smart phones that can do much more than your computer and then some.

My prediction for 2012: Cloud computing will make a huge appearance in 2012. Smart phones will be everywhere and people of all ages will be on them. Everyone will understand the “Cloud”, unless live in a cave on the South Pacific island of Niue. We will be a truly “connected” society, online, and in the cloud. My very first presentation on “Cloud Computing” was to the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group (scug.ca) and Lambton Toastmasters back in October of 2008 (http://bit.ly/scug-cloudcomputing). 

COMPUTER TIPS: Protect your laptop. Do not drink or eat near it…you do not get a second chance on spills – I know first hand! Do not run your laptop HOT. Videos and games increase the heat on your laptop and can quickly cause major problems in extended periods of time. Learn more about how to monitor the temperature of your laptop and get a free gage: (http://bit.ly/watchtemp) for both MACs and PCs.

What if your laptop is stolen? Get yourself a free program that can locate your computer’s exact  location on a map, take a picture of the thief while they are using your computer and also take a screen shot of what the thief is looking at on your computer. As well, you can set a siren to go off every twenty minutes to drive the thief nuts. This is an amazing free tool to help you find who stole your laptop and where it is right now! Go here to get your free program: http://preyproject.com – make sure you watch the how it works video.

If you are like me and are new to the iPhone make sure you check out APPLE’s iPhone website to get yourself going: http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/
APP Yap is a new part of this column and like before please send in your own tips and questions about iPhones and apps for other phones as well. Don’t forget other app stores for your computer too:
Google: http://bit.ly/appsforgoogle
Apple’s Computer apps store: http://www.apple.com/mac/app-store/
Microsoft’s new Apps store challenges Apple: http://bit.ly/microsoft-apps
Don’t forget to keep emailing your questions and answers…Next month should prove very interesting in the world of APPS. You can also visit 

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
Visit the free website for 50+ learning computers: http://alternatecloud.com
Free Basic Computer Help Workshops: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

FREE Kindle eReaders Available Online

FREE Kindle eReaders Available Online
“Turn Your Computer Into an eReader”

by Gregory West

It just keeps on getting better in Cyberspace!

“WOW,” I hollered  when I learned I could get a free app (software program) that turns my computer into the Kindle eReader. It was a fluke coming across this beauty.

I ordered a technology book to review from OReilly Media. Usually my review books get emailed as a PDF or a real paper book. This particular book came as a an attachment in an email that my computer did not recognize, nor open. I tried and tried to open the file without success. Finally, after emailing OReilly’s back, they explained about the free app to run the Kindle eReader on a computer.

Marsee Henon, from O’Reilly Media (www.oreilly.com/ebooks), explained that “our ebooks work not only on a Kindle, but also on the Kindle app offered on Macs, PCs, iPads, and other devices.”

At first I didn’t believe it would actually work. I clicked to the amazon website (listed below) and downloaded the program, all the while, still thinking it probably won’t work. Even when I had the program downloaded, it wasn’t until I clicked on the ebook attachment in OReilly’s email when a miracle happened. The ebook opened on my computer and I had my very own Kindle on my laptop. Amazon also through in several free books too. Yeah!

Marsee sent me the links (listed below) for the free download. If you have a Windows computer less than 12 years old, or a Mac computer with an Intel chip, you should have no problem using your computer as a Kindle eReader. You can check the required specs on the following websites.

Choose one of the links below and download the Kindle app for your computer.

Windows PC computer users:


Mac computer users: Snow Leopard and Lion

Mac computer users: Leopard

The Kindle application for your computer offers many functions, “including functionality such as zoom and pan, highlighting, note taking, dictionary lookup, and bookmarks,” according to Amazon.com.

Once you get your free Kindle eReader app  visit the Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) where there are over 30,000 book titles. These books are free as the copyrights have run out. There are some real gems to be had here. Treat yourself this free eReader; you will be amazed with this easy-to-use technology. I know I enjoy my new free Kindle.

PROBLEM – Last month a reader emailed me that he had a problem after downloading the anti malware program (Superantispyware.com) I wrote about in the June issue called: “Make Your Computer Run Brand New Again”. He said the program worked fine then “it began asking for $19.95”. He also said he had an difficult time trying to remove this program.
SOLUTION -After several emails and a telephone conversation it was discovered this reader clicked the “UPGRADE” button. This took him away from his free version to the paid version. Moral of the story: Be careful what you click. “UPGRADE” usually means a better program and one that costs. The reader was thinking he was getting an “UPDATE”. Therein lies the difference: UPDATE is when a program fixes or makes it better or safer to use. UPGRADE is taking you to the paid version.

PROBLEM –  Another reader said his computer had a virus. This nasty thing disabled his anti virus program and he could not get rid it. The virus warned him if he paid for their anti virus his computer would be fixed. His computer had been “hijacked” and he was being held for ransom. This is quite common and usually simple to fix.

SOLUTION – I told the reader to start his computer in “SAFE MODE”, then run his own anti virus program. This caught the nasty virus, deleted it and now he is a happy computer user. Be careful what you click on in Cyberspace…It may cost you!

If you have a computer problem or a great tip, please pass it along to Greg at First Monday and he will post it in the next issue.

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
A website for Seniors learning technology: http://alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

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My Review

InDesign Production Cookbook (CS2)

By Gregory West from sarnia, ontario, canada on 9/2/2011


3out of 5

Pros: Easy to understand, Helpful examples

Best Uses: Intermediate, Student, Novice

Describe Yourself: Sys Admin, Educator

This book is full of full color graphics, loaded with ideas and step-by-step easy instructions. The cookbook comes loaded with 169 “recipes for graphic designers and desktop publishers” and others who are looking for new ideas or concepts.

The book is laid out beginning with text, pictures, drawings, color, and transparency. The Pages and Documents section explains the inner workings, taking you on a journey to complete a book, magazine, newsletter, or any document you need to prepare and complete. I particularly like the document setup section that guides one through the entire process.

Throughout the book are “Tips” relating to given information that enhances your learning in ways you may not find out otherwise. The graphics are easy to view and the text is just the right size for easy viewing. Each section is color coded for easy access to a topic. Once you get used to the colors you will not need the very well established TOC.

This book is what it claims: “Production Cookbook” whereby you find yourself coming back quite often for that little tip or process that gets you back on track with your project.

Not only is this book a must have as a reference and “follow-along” book, I love to refer back to it from time to time simply to get new ideas for any project I am working on.


My Review of The Art of Community

Originally submitted at O’Reilly

Online communities offer a wide range of opportunities today, whether you're supporting a cause, marketing a product or service, or developing open source software. In The Art of Community, you'll learn about the broad range of talents required to recruit, motivate, and manage c…

The Art of Community

By gregorywest from sarnia, ontario, canada on 9/2/2011


3out of 5

Pros: Easy to understand, Helpful examples

Best Uses: Intermediate, Student

Describe Yourself: Educator, Sys Admin

Amanda McPherson, of the Linux Foundation, declares this book “isn’t just for technology leaders – anyone who wants to harness community for their cause should read this book.” I agree.

This book is about “B E L O N G I N G”. Bacon tells us this should be a sign in everyone’s office and should be “at the forefront of your inspiration behind building a strong community. If there is no belonging, there is no community.” I agree.

This book gives us the tools to build “strategic plans” to build our own communities, whether it be in a church, a computer group, on an online forum. Bacon speaks to all communities. Bacon also demonstrates how “communication is the key to tying it all together and “leading by example” as many examples are given throughout.

I agree with Bacon’s principle that “simple is sustainable”. He talks about “processes” that keep things in perspective, “eyes on the prize”, keeping things in perspective with our said plan for the community and how it functions. We are shown how to build alliances and then test how we fare in the community in by using a “conflict resolution process”.

My need for this book is to help build my community within my website. I find it helpful while setting up a training structure for volunteers who help seniors learn about computers and technology. Building an effective community is what this book is all about. We are taken by the hand in a sort of step-by-step process, one that works in the Linux community, and others across the globe. We need to work and build effectively together, this book show us the way.

Leo Laporte says that “Jono has written a guide with everything you need to keep your online groups healthy and productive.” Online or off, every group should read this book.


My Review of Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One

Originally submitted at O’Reilly

Master the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator and watch your designs come to life. With Deke McClelland's unique and effective learning system, you get step-by-step tutorials, hours of DVD-video demonstrations, and lots of hands-on projects to help you improve your knowledge and hone your ski…

Adobe Illustrator CS5 Deke McClelland

By gregorywest from sarnia, ontario, canada on 9/2/2011


5out of 5

Pros: Easy to understand, Accurate, Concise, Well-written, Helpful examples

Best Uses: Student, Novice, Intermediate

Describe Yourself: Sys Admin, Educator

How do you review the best Abobe author and trainer. Actually, it is quite easy, as Deke McClelland takes us on a training journey that goes the extra mile. This book includes a step-by-step 6 hour DVD training video that works directly with the book. This winning combo is worth every penny.

“Read, watch, and do,” says the author. I walk you through Illustrator just as if I were teaching you in a classroom or corporate environment.” McClelland’s statement is true. I found this training method simple to learn at my own speed. I bookmark the book and pause the video, thus working at my own leisure. This is especially good if you have a project you are working on and need some help in a certain area; look it up in the book’s well laid out Table of Contents, fire up the video and away you go.

I love the full color graphics and easy-to-read text. There are lots of really good ideas in the graphics and font alone. The book lays flat on a desk and the pages stay open as you work. At the end of each session there is a check list to see how you are doing. It is called: “What Did You Learn?”, with 12 questions covering key concepts. Yes Deke includes the answers!

Tips are abundant and come in the form of “Pearl of Wisdom” wherein you are given some extra information in short digest that can save you time and effort.

As an instructor myself, I can use this book to create mini or full length college courses for night school. This type of training is excellent for employees wanting to learn more. Not only is this book a must have as a reference and “follow-along” book, I love to refer back to it from time to time simply to get new ideas for any project I am working on.