beyond bullet points – Create Top PowerPoints

learn to create effective slides iPowerPointReview: by Gregory West
gregory@alternatecloud.com
VP of the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
scug.ca
APCUG Advisor apcug.net

beyond bullet points
by Cliff Atkinson

Published by Microsoft Press
ISBN– 978-0-7356-275-2
Pages: 330
USA: $29.99 / CDA: $34.99
Websitehttp://bit.ly/beyondbulletpoints

All of us have had, or were forced, to sit through a PowerPoint presentation wishing we were somewhere else. The speaker was so boring, the presentation slides were cheesy and extremely confusing, and our insides screamed for us to get up and leave the room.

Beyond bullet points is designed in such a way that this will never happen when you give your next presentation. This book takes us through the proper steps in creating  the most interesting and very definitive presentation possible. Here is where we learn the importance of telling a story with our slides. Layout is another import issue that is fully covered in Chapter 4: “Planning Your First Five Slides”. This is where you learn how to grab your audience right away and keep them focused on your presentation.

You will learn why graphics are so important and how they can make or break a presentation. Chapter 8 is where the fun begins as you learn how to  add graphics to various areas within your slides. You will learn how to use the graphics you already have on your computer, and how to get graphics from “Stock Photography Web Sites”.

Your PowerPoint presentation comes together in Chapter 9: “Delivering Your…Presentation”. The amateur presenters are separated from the professionals. This chapter prepares you for the delivery of your presentation. Here you are shown the basic ground rules for removing distractions, prompting a dialogue and how to enhance your presentation effectively.

A real treat is found in Appendix A where ground rules and checklists act as an overview  ensuring you have created a very professional presentation.

Added features: This book comes with website links for “Companion Content” with key tools and a bonus Chapter 11, introducing a “Visual Improv”, PDF version of the ground rules and checklists. You also get a voucher for your free online version of this book. For anyone who is serious about their presentations, this book is a keeper.

GEEK CRUISE January 2012

geeks at sea

GEEKS at SEA

GEEKS @ SEA can you imagine?

computer convention at sea

The Florida Association of Computer User Groups (FACUG) is presenting its Third Technology Conference@Sea January 23, 2012 to Friday, January 27, 2012. APCUG plans to team up with FACUG and hold the 2012 Annual Meeting on the cruise.

There is no better vacation bargain than a cruise and no better cruise bargain than this one. Add to it a full-fledged Computer and Technology Conference on the high seas, add an Association of Personal Computer User Groups component (APCUG) and it becomes an outstanding event not to be missed. Do you want to be part of FACUG’s 3rd annual Conference@Sea on what promises to be another outstanding Sail-a-bration.

The cost of the 5 day/4 nights (interior cabin) is $249/person + tips including the FACUG $45 early-bird incentive refund; ocean-view is $299/person + tips. The Technology Conference Bahamas Cruise will be on the Norwegian Sky: Sailing on Monday, January 23, 2012 to Friday, January 27, 2012. FACUG is doing the work and dealing directly with Norwegian Cruise Line, since no travel agent allows us to offer this outstanding rate and some amenities.

Sailing from the Port of Miami, calling on the Grand Bahamas Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay then returning to the Port of Miami. The $249 rate includes fare, port charges and taxes minus $45 early-bird refund. This offer is valid only for conference attendees until May 15 or until we run out of cabins allocated to us; whichever occurs first. The Technology Conference@Sea registration fee is $75 ($100 for non-members). The first person in the cabin must be a member of an FACUG or APCUG club and $25 for the second person, who need not be a club member. Included in the conference fee are many extra perks, including a Welcome Bag full of goodies, two Meet & Greet cocktail parties which were a big hit last year and a few additional surprises.

There will be buses from several locations around Palm Beach County to the Port of Miami and back for about $15/person each way. We will look into buses from other points in Florida if there is sufficient demand.

Last year, we had 175 occupied cabins with 350 people. After the cruise, a survey was taken and 3/4 of the responders, including spouses, rated the event an “A”. It was called a great balance between conference time and party time. Ask your friends who were there.

If you are interested in sailing with us at the above early-bird rates, you first need to go to the FACUG website (www.facug.org) to register for the conference. You will then be directed to NCL directly, using the access information on the website to book your cabin. Remember, May 15 is the deadline whereby a $100/person deposit, will hold your cabin. It is refundable until 70 days prior to sailing. The balance is due 90 days prior to sailing. So get on board now and click this link www.facug.org to start this wonderful journey.

Our ship

BEST iPAD APPS – a review

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16(at)gmail.com
Member of Computer Groups
bwcomp.orgscug.caapcug.net

ipad apps book review Best iPad Apps

The Guide for Discriminating
Downloaders

by Peter Meyers

Published by OReilly Media Inc.

ISBN- 9781449392475
Pages: 230
USA: $21.99 / CDA: $25.99
oreilly.com

Everyone now owns an iPad. Well maybe not everyone, however the number of sales are far reaching into the millions. If you look at a graph depicting the sales of Apple’s iPad you will see a line that looks like the path of the Space Shuttle taking off. The iPad has taken off with an huge explosion of sales. There is a good reason: Apps.

Apple announces the iPad has “thousands of apps…available in every category”, which is mind numbing to say the least. How does one sift through such numbers to find the top notch apps and not get stuck with one that, well let’s just say stuck with an app that is not the best? How does one find the best of the best in iPad apps?

Well you need to look no further. Peter Meyers’ book offers the easy solution to such a complex issue of sorting through thousands of iPad apps to make sense, with precise reviews on each one.

Meyers says that “this book helps do some serious chaff snuffing” in that he has gone through the thousands of apps to bring us the best. The book is sequenced with seven  color coded chapters, making referencing easy. Each chapter takes us to a new use for the iPad: At Work – At Leisure – Creative Corner – At Play – At Home – Out and About – For Your Health. Browsing through these chapters is fun to see what you can really do with your iPad.

For instance, in Chapter 6, “Out and About”, you will find numerous apps that cover “Finding (and booking) a Restaurant”, “Finding Cheap Airfares”, to “Driving Instructions in Your Car”. For the more serious users you can get one for your “Health” such as: “Portable First Aid Reference”, “Dieting and Weight Loss”, and even “Bird Watching”. Games were not left behind, not at all. Meyers offers Chapter 6: “At Play”. Here you get to read about the best apps for “Arcade Games”, “Puzzles”, “Racing”, “Combat” and many more.

Each App review page lists the price, the version, and short synopsis about the App. The review page also includes a graphic and an explanation of how it works. From reading sheet music to drawing to gaming to buying online, Meyers book has it all covered and then some.

Gregory West is a Mac Computer Instructor at Lambton College, Ontario. He is also a crew member for TVCogeco. In his spare time he runs a free computer “drop-in” centre that assists people who want to learn about technology. He can be reached at prospector1(at)gmail.com

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Windows 7 – the missing manual REVIEW

Windows 7 the missing manual

"A keeper"

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of Computer Users’ Groups:
COMP: http://www.bwcomp.org
SCUG: scug.ca

Windows 7
The Missing Manual 2010

By David Pogue
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-596-80639-2
Pages: 887
USA: $39.99 / CDA: $43.99
missingmanuals.com

As a computer user since 1984 and an instructor for the past ten years, I found this book an amazing read. David Pogue’s humor keeps me turning pages and I simply could not put it down. The information on this new operating system herein is an invaluable resource for both the novice and the well seasoned computer user.

This book is packed with so many excellent tips, tricks and general computer knowledge I highly recommend reading it from cover-to-cover. However, most people won’t and that is good too. You can follow along in a systematic manner, or simply use the Table of Contents or the vast 30-page Index to quickly find what you need within the 8 parts and 27 chapters.

The Table of Contents begins with “Getting Started” covers the desktop and start menu and is an excellent place for novice users to begin. This is where you learn how to search the computer, organize files, decorating your Windows screen and most importantly: “getting help”.

Internet Explorer 8 (web browser) and Windows Live Mail (email) are fully explained from setup to tricks and tips that will take you well beyond the average user if you care to go that route. A complete step-by-step for your email setup from sending, reading, calendar syncing, RSS feeds, and the infamous junk mail.

Part Four will interest many these days with the complete guide to pictures, music and TV. The main tops include: Live Photo Gallery, Media Player, Media Center. Part Five takes the pain out of setting up how to Print, Fax, and Scan.  Part Six can save you money. This is aptly named: PC Health, Maintenance and Speed Tweaks. I know that most people don’t backup, but if you do want to change, Chapter 22 takes you through the easy steps in preserving your data for that day when things go bad.

This book is for those who want to not only learn Windows 7, but who do not want to hire an in-home computer tutor. I recommend keeping this book close to your computer for easy reference. For me, it is a great read, packed with information, help, and neat tips and tricks.

CHROME won’t play VIDEO

Google’s web browser is the BEST, well until today that is. Chrome stopped playing video, including all videos on Google’s own YouTube.

I have to switch to Firefox or Safari to watch flash video…HTML5 maybe?

For the full story go here…

Google ethos speeds up Chrome release cycle | Deep Tech – CNET News.

Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts

I do not use Windows except for teaching purposes. My OS flavours are: Ubuntu and Snow Leopard.

Microsoft Drops the Ball AGAIN - come on guys!

WARNING: MICROSOFT FAILS SECURITY TESTS AGAIN…

click here for details:
Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts.

80% of Canadians Aged 16 and Older Use The Internet

You are not alone in Cyberspace anymore…
In fact, the number of Canadians using the Internet has risen 73% since 2007, according to a 2009 Stats Canada report. That means 21.7 million Canadians navigated the web for “personal” reasons. You probably agree  that those stats would be much higher if they include kids using the Internet.
ARE YOU A TYPICAL USER?
The TV has a huge battle with Internet users. The report shows: “Most (96%) Internet users aged 16 or older reported going online from home during 2009, while 42% said they used it from work, 21% from schools and 15% from libraries.
Those who use the Internet at home counted for “75% [who] went online every day during a typical month, up from 68% in 2007. In 2009, 55% were online for five hours or more during a typical week, up from 49% in 2007.”
EMAIL STILL NO ONE
Not surprising, email (93%) is still the number one program used online, although many more people are now searching health issues online, an increase use of 59%. Here are some more usage stats:
General browsing for fun or leisure       78%
Obtain weather or road conditions        75%
Education, training or school work       50%
View news or sports                                    68%
Make telephone calls                                  14%
Full Stats Canada Survey: http://bit.ly/statscan
PEOPLE STILL HARBOUR FEARS IN CYBERSPACE
Are you afraid to use your credit card or do your banking online? Apparently, the more experience people are with the Internet, “the less they worried about security issues. It revealed that Internet users with “less than five years, 55% were very concerned about online credit card use and 50% about banking over the Internet.
These proportions dropped to 42% and 37%, respectively, for those reporting five or more years of Internet use.” Not bad considering there was a large segment of the population who arrived late on the Internet scene.
Social Networking sites such as Facebook increase the popularity of the Internet. If many of your friends, neighbours, and relatives use Facebook…Chances are, so will you. Baby Boomers are extremely attracted to Social Networking, finding old friends,
keeping up with current ones and also family members. Oh yes, let us not forget those who seek for mates…Online Dating is huge, sorry but that is for another survey 😉
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: http://central-united-church.org/news Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com

Watch Windows Video on a Mac

If you are a Mac user and have been sent a video from someone who made it in Windows Movie Maker you will know how frustrating it is not to be able to open this monster.

FEAR NO MORE

watch windows movies on your mac

Free Flip4Mac Player

Download Flip4 RIGHT HERE

This software loads fast. Once you have it you can open Microsoft and play them instantly on your Mac. If they the movies are sent as an attachment in an email you just right click the attachment and click “Open With” and select this program.

Happy viewing…

A Windows 7 moment…

CAN’T RUN THAT OLD PROGRAM IN WIN

Oh yes you can…maybe!

See the missing manual series for more

Try this:

Click START an right above in the new search box start typing:
compatibility
until you see “Run programs made for previous versions of Windows”
Press Enter/Return button on your keyboard.

Tip: Right-click to get the wizard: Right-click a program’s icon, or shortcut icon, or even its name in the START menu; from the shortcut menu, choose “Troubleshoot compatibility.”

Answer the questions. You will come to a screen giving you a choice of auto or manual modes:

  1. try recommended settings (means let Windows do its thing)
  2. troubleshoot program (means find out what is wrong yourself)

Work through the question screens. When it is over you get a “Start the program” button to test if the program will run.

If this doesn’t work, return to the troubleshooting wizard and click “Next” for a new round of troubleshooting tests.

Good luck out there…

This is taken from a current review I am working on for OReilly Publishing:
Windows 7
the missing manual

by David Pogue

iPad Shoppers Beware!

Please Note: This article is published in First Monday magazine April 2010.

iPad Shoppers Beware!
by Gregory West

Apple's iPad

To Buy or Not to Buy?

If you are bent on getting an iPad don’t ready any further. However, if you are trying to decide between buying a laptop and an iPad this article is for you.

I like my laptop because I can load any software, connect any device such as a digital camera, memory stick, backup drives, by USB connections. I like the idea of being able to load free software from any company or source and not be restricted to one company such as Apple.

“Your computer should be yours to control,” said Peter Brown, the Free Software Foundation’s executive director. “By imposing such restrictions on users, Steve Jobs (APPLE CEO) is building a legacy that endangers our freedom for his profits (The Microsoft Blog).”

For me, choosing a laptop is simple: Macbook. I run Windows XP and Windows 7 on my Mac laptop without a glitch. Of course there are many other laptops, notebooks and net books that work great too and all of them avail you the opportunity to install third party applications, many at no cost.

The iPad has landed in North America and is creating huge hype. Rightfully so! It is a wonderful device allowing for various functions. According to Wikipedia the iPad “is part of a device category between a smartphone and a laptop computer.” This may be true but it is not close to my Macbook laptop, not by a long shot.

For starters the hard drive is only 16 to 64 gigabytes (GB) of flash memory (a technology that is primarily used in camera memory cards). My laptop is 250 GBs and with a terabyte hard drive connected by USB, I now have a grand total of 1274 GBs of hard drive space. Very different from 16 to 64 GBs of the iPad.

The iPad’s 9.7-inch (25 cm) screen has a low end resolution of 1024 X 768. What this tech talk means is that the iPad will not support HDMI video which many have come to love. With high definition the rave…Why go back to a lessor screen resolution. This does not make sense.

Other features lacking in the iPad are: no camera, no webcam, no multitasking, no drag and drop file management, no USB port, no SD slot, no Flash, no HDMI out, no 1080p playback, and no native widescreen. Are we going backwards here? In 2005 it was “the Year of High Definition Video,” according to cnet.com. How come the iPad lacks these features?

Many are saying the iPad has its neat functions and is esthetically appealing. Just make sure you are getting the exact features you require in any tech device. Do your homework on this one.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of the new COMMUNITY Computer Room at: http://central-united-church.org/news

Gregory Can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com

FarmVille Hype

FarmVille: 81 Million Users Online?
www.farmville.com
by Gregory West

Over 81 million active users flock to FarmVille to perform virtual farming daily. These people do chores they would have never dreamed of doing a year ago. Some are saying that this game is the largest and fastest growing game in history. Just think, this game started online June 19, 2009. The developer, Zynga, states that FarmVille “is bigger than Twitter and [was] valued at $1 billion last month (mashable.com)”.

FarmVille’s popularity is exploding online and won the most prestigious award this year: The 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards ceremony declared last month in Los Vegas that “the top honor in the ‘Social Networking Game of the Year’ category went to Zynga’s massively popular Facebook game FarmVille”.

Since this game is connected with Facebook, the developer Zynga, believes while people check in on their Facebook sites, they will also check into FarmVille and tend to their crops and help their neighbours with their farm work as well.

In the virtual farmland of FarmVille, farmers must first create their own avatar (a virtual image representing themselves). According to the rules there are “six plots of land, four of which are in the process of growing, and two (eggplant and strawberries) which are fully grown”. As in real life farming, the market calls the shots where items can be purchased such as “seeds, trees, animals, buildings, decorations, vehicles and more using “farm coins”.

The game comes with a few hooks as well and thus there is some controversy (depending on your viewpoint) in that you can buy virtual goods. “Zynga the game-makers encourage you to buy game things with real money. Some people (Techcrunch, Guardian) say that’s an exploitation of users who are swapping real money for fake things,” reports Leach. However, this is nothing new on the Internet and people can spend money virtually anywhere online if they so choose.

Upon beginning a farm, the player first creates a customizable avatar.[8] There are six plots of land, four of which are in the process of growing, and two (eggplant and strawberries) which are fully grown.
The game is based around the market, where items can be purchased: seeds, trees, animals, buildings, decorations, vehicles, and more land using “farm coins,” the generic money of FarmVille (which is earned by selling crops) or “farm cash”. (which the player earns at a rate of one dollar per experience level).

So, all of this begs the question: Why are people so drawn to FarmVille each day to milk their cows and chase chickens into coups and to “sow, grow and harvest crops (Anna Leach of shinyshiny.tv)”?

My wife is also working hard in FarmVille. She says that “you can play along, online, with all your friends” from across the globe. “You get a sense of guilt when you find your crops in desperate need of water and fertilizing,” she said.

“To me, Farmville works the same dynamic of calling on your nourishing instinct and then guilt-tripping you. The Tamagotchi effect, reported Leach. Tamagotchi is “a handheld digital pet [online] created in 1996. Over 70 million Tamagotchis have been sold as of 2008 (wikipedia)”. Remember the “pet rock” several years back? Even my mother bought one of those little pets.

For me, FarmVille is not an attraction. For those of you who are not into FarmVille you can go here to learn how to stop FarmVille posts on your Facebook site: http://tinyurl.com/ydk3ew2

Happy hoeing out there folks…

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software
reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic
Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church this Fall. For info: http://www.centralunitedsarnia.ca/free_computer_lessons.html
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Also, check out his Blog: Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

A re-Blog: Computer Buyers BEWARE!!!

A Couple of Computer Tips For You

Computer Buyers BEWARE!!!
The Internet is Getting More Speed
and You Need Wireless “n”…

by Gregory West

Ok, without going into a rhetoric of computer mumbo-jumbo, the bottom line is DO NOT buy a computer that does not have 802.11n for a wireless Internet connection. Why, because it will be an old computer you are buying that will not connect to the Internet fast enough to keep up. The older computers have 802.11g. So, to sum up, you need the “n” version, not the “g” version for a wireless Internet connection. Don’t get fooled by an overzealous clerk.

Downloading movies will be a snap with “n”. As David Wylie, Canwest News Service says you will “download using wireless Internet devices [that] will be so fast you’ll be able to download a high-definition movie in less time than it takes to pop a bag of microwave popcorn. (go to (http://80211n.com) for full details on wireless Internet information.

Very soon, computer manufacturers will manufacture WiFi enabled computers to the former lower standards if they wish to have their products certified by the alliance. The old standard is 802.11g. The new faster and longer distance is called: 802.11n (g and n being the important namesakes with “n” now taking the huge lead in the wireless Internet world of WiFi).

The speed you are probably getting with your older WiFi 802.11(g) Internet connection is 7 times less than the newer “n” version. The “n” version covers twice the range. which is great for home computer networks. For some time now laptops have been selling with the 802.11n built in. Mine does; does yours? Check before you buy, remembering buyer beware.

Help Yourself Troubleshoot for Answers the Easy Way

I will probably be shooting myself in the foot and losing clients but here are two good ways to get free computer help.

First: Many reputable companies have a “Support” box on their websites that you can click for help. The support comes by way of CHAT. It is very easy. Once you have made the connection, usually by the click of a button on the website, a company rep will appear in text asking you what is your problem. You then type it in the box and wait for an helpful answer. I use this quite often for troubleshooting, not only computers, but also software that does not seem to be doing what it is supposed to.

Second: Forums, Forums, Forums. Can I say it again? One of the most valuable devices on the Internet for help is called an “Online Forum”. Basically, these are websites that are designed specifically for you. I own a Macbook. When I need to know something about my Mac I head over to the Apple’s website and click on their “Forum”. If I have a problem with my Kodiak Travel Trailer I go to that Forum for help.

Some Forums are designed by the companies themselves on their websites. If there is no forum quite likely someone has started up one that will help you with whatever product you have. For instance, my daughter and son-in-law’s central air conditioning quit. Yes right in the midst of the August heat wave. They quickly went to a forum for these devices and got help almost immediately.

Remember, people from every part of the globe use Forums and that makes it a 24/7 free troubleshooting paradise.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church (http://central-united-church.org) this Fall.
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Check out his blog for more free Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

NOTE: This article appeared in First Monday magazine September 2009 and received flack from a local used computer outlet. They claim that people do not need wireless “n” in their computers. However, one must remember that they sell “Used Computers” so they have an axe to grind. If you are putting out good money for a brand new computer/laptop make sure you get the best for your money…Which is wireless “n” capability.

Leopard OS X – A Review & Preview

Missing Manual Leopard OS X

A Must Have

Mac OS X Leopard

The Missing Manual

by David Pogue
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52952-9
Pages: 893
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $34.99
missingmanuals.com

If you love your Mac, you will love this book. This book details every aspect of the Leopard operating system, from simple to advanced. Looking up how to do something is fast and easy, although this book is a real treat for simply browsing topics to learn some tricks and tips that you won’t find in most other Help sections.

For instance, only about 4% of us back up our computers and now there is no excuse. Leopard comes equipped with its own backup system, Time Machine, and with this book you can easily follow the simple step-by-step process to ensure you never lose anything again. When working through these types of sections you can easily set up the process, read the technical stuff, or try out some of the exciting tips that are all highlighted: basic, moderate, and advanced data. But the bottom line is all these sections are designed to get you going, give you the “under-the-hood” scoops, and show you some magic tricks to boot that helps make this book a good read.

Apple created 300 new features inside Leopard, however they failed to let you in on many of the tricks and tips that “demystifies” this amazing new operating system. In this book David Pogue also shows “refugees”, who escaped Windows and moved to a Mac. Windows users need no other books, as Pogue shows where they went in Mac OS X 10.5.

This book is spread out in six parts: The Mac OS X Desktop, Programs in Mac OS X, The Components of Mac OS X, The Technologies of Mac OS X, Mac OS Online, Appendices.

In the first part you discover folders and windows and how to organize your data. Pogue takes you through the various items such as: Spotlight searching, using the Dock, Desktop and Toolbars and gives you an expert feel as you see how simple Leopard is to use.

Without a doubt, this book is a great refresher; it is one that you will refer to when you you’re stuck. The thing I really like about this book is that you can pick it up and open it anywhere and begin reading.  I highly recommend this book for all level of users, both as a learning tool, and as a quick reference guide. Before you call a technician for a problem, treat yourself to this “must have” book first.

GET A SNEAK PEEK PREVIEW OF THIS BOOK –  CLICK HERE

Review Written by Gregory West – Member of COMP & APCUG

FREE Computer Help 24/7

Please Note: This article will appear in the December issue of First Monday magazine.

No Strings Attached …

“Computer Problems Solved FREE OF CHARGE”
24/7 Service for the Public

http://tinyurl.com/ask-pamela

by Gregory West
prospector16(at)gmail.com

The title of this article is true. Just ask members of the Sarnia Computer Group: SCUG (www.scug.ca), as they know first-hand how fast and efficient this free service works.

All too often we find ourselves sinking in the mystery sea called Windows. We know what we would like to do but just can’t figure out the “how”. The further we click through our computers the worse our adventure becomes. We end up at a DEAD END and completely frustrated to the point of never wanting to turn the computer on ever again.

If the above situation sounds even remotely familiar, read on because now you are in luck and at no cost this time. Our saving grace: “The Computer Tutor”, Pamela Tabak.

When I was the editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group (scug.ca) I met Pamela somewhere in Cyberspace as she was writing a monthly article in another computer group’s newsletter. The one thing that struck me strange was that this person was offering a free computer-help service, not only for free, but offered answers back within 24 hours. Of course, it wasn’t long until we had The Computer Tutor column on the Sarnia computer group’s team as a columnist. Many SCUG members who began using this free service quickly began raving how simple and fast the answers back came.

Pamela tells the story of an “old gentleman” who told her he purchased a new computer.  He contacted Pamela for help because he was “tired of waiting for a phone call from his children and grandchildren” for computer help. Pamela did help this man to learn about his computer. Pamela quickly points out that “it is never too late in life, or even impossible, for seniors to learn about them.”

So how does this free 24/7 help service work?

Simply go to this site: http://computertutorinc.net/survey/questions_2008.htm and fill out the form with the details of your problem/question. One thing to keep in mind is that you must fill out the entire form, not forgetting to enter your email address so Pamela can reply to your issue.

After many suggestions and requests Pamela made the decision to publish a book that demonstrates the main questions others have queried via email. Pamela’s new book comes with the “most frequently asked questions” by seniors using computers. It overflows with excellent “how to” computer tips.  Check it out her website at: http://www.computertutorinc.net and see how she is helping others. Oh yes, Pamela is also a certified Ebay instructor so if you have questions on Ebay fire away!

TIP OF THE WEEK: BUTTERSCOTCH

Almost everyone likes butterscotch, right? Well if you do you will like it even better now. Butterscotch is now online, you cannot taste it, however you can use this website to get free video training on hordes of subjects, programs and more.

How about free tutorials on MS Word 2007, Blackberry Basics, Finer Points of FACEBOOK, Buying and Selling on Ebay, adding your Photos to Flickr, using gmail and Google Earth and so much more.

As well, Butterscotch has a downloads section where you can get some free software, shareware and demo programs for every computer system. (www.butterscotch.com/tutorials.html)

Thanks to Gerry Timm of Sarnia, Ontario for Emailing me this excellent find.

Gregory West is a Mac Computer Instructor for Lambton College.  He also holds free “Basic PC Computer and Internet Training” seminars at Central United Church: 
http://central-united-church.org – (Click on “Groups).
Gregory can be reached at prospector16@gmail.com
More TIPS on Greg’s Blog: http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

FREE VIDEO ADVICE

TIP OF THE WEEK: BUTTERSCOTCH

www.butterscotch.com/tutorials.html

Almost everyone likes butterscotch, right? Well if you do you will like it even better now. Butterscotch is now online, you cannot taste it, however you can use this website to get free video training on hordes of subjects, programs and more.

How about free tutorials on MS Word 2007, Blackberry Basics, Finer Points of FACEBOOK, Buying and Selling on Ebay, adding your Photos to Flickr, using gmail and Google Earth and so much more.

As well, Butterscotch has a downloads section where you can get some free software, shareware and demo programs for every computer system.

TRY THIS EXAMPLE VIDEO ON Ebay Shopping

Thanks to Gerry Timm of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada for this great tip.

eHow To Do It EASY

Here is a website that shows you HOW TO in many areas.

GREAT HOW TO DO THINGS WEBSITE

I find this site http://www.ehow.com/guide_5-computers.html very useful in the latest computer tips in PLAIN ENGLISH.

If you like video tutorials this site has them too:
http://www.ehow.com/videos.html – scroll down where it says: More Featured Videos and use the slide bar on the right to see tons of topics.

let me know how you find this site???

Mac How-To Videos FREE

New to a Mac? Want to learn more about your Mac?

Mac Tutorial Videos FREE

Mac Tutorial Videos FREE

Maybe, just maybe, you want to “tap into your potential” with your Mac…

Look no further – CLICK HERE for the FREE VIDEOS

What’s New at Google Laboratory?

What’s New at Google Laboratory?
www.googlelabs.com

by Gregory West

Editor’s Note: This article will appear in the October Issue of First Monday magazine

Google has a secret place: Google Labs. It is not well known to most humans. This is the place some insiders refer to as the “playground” for Google engineers. For those of you who have never explored Google in the past, other than using Google Search, you are now in for a real treat inside Google’s Labs. Come on and check out the programs.

Let’s head to http://www.googlelabs.com and see what Google is currently testing. Here you will find twenty five software programs you can try and use for free.

FAST FLIP: (http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/) This program is one of my favourites. When you click open this program you are before a magazine stand displaying various newspapers and magazines with current content. You just click on one and begin your reading experience.

Newspapers and magazines are beginning to suffer due to their content being displayed on the Internet, Google feels this service can help. Tony Bradley of PCWorld reiterates that “Google feels that recreating the print media experience online will attract more readers and help its partner publishers transition more smoothly to delivering information over the Internet”. Time will tell, but for now, give this program a go and enjoy the FREE newspapers and magazines on your very own news stand.

GOOGLE NEWS TIMELINE: (http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com) This is another collection of news media presentations wherein you find the major stories of the day. Timeline is also a news “time machine” where you drag the dates and go back in time. A calendar allows you to change dates from DAY, WEEK, and YEAR to see how a subject changes over a certain period of time. According to cnet.com this “project is the baby of Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original designers of the Apple Macintosh software and something of a Silicon Valley icon”. It is a definite program to keep an eye on.

SIMILAR IMAGES: (http://similar-images.googlelabs.com) Is a fun program where you type in a name, place, or whatever you choose to retrieve “similar” images. I typed in “sarnia, ontario” and was amazed at the tons of photos that people have uploaded to the Internet. In fact, there are “about 467,000” Sarnia related pictures found in that search. Type in your own name and include sarnia, ontario and see the many times your related photo has been uploaded to the Internet. To check your name type it like this: “gregory west” sarnia, ontario (include the quotation marks). This is a good time waster and it is an interesting program, to say the least.

There are twenty two more programs to check out. Some of my other favourites are: Google Mars, Google Trends, and Google Dashboard Widgets for Mac to go nicely with my Macbook. Remember, this is Google’s “playground” and the programs are in the beta or test mode and are not ready for prime time just yet.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software
reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic
Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church this Fall. For info: www.centralunitedsarnia.ca/free_computer_lessons.html
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Also, check out his Blog: Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

Get All Your Local News FREE

The Most Popular Way to Get News

The Most Popular Way to Get News

Did you know that “Google News has 5 to 10 times the reach of MSNBC, the Guardian UK, the New York Times and Digg

BUT NOW YOU CAN GET LOCAL NEWS FROM WITHIN YOUR HOME TOWN WITHOUT BUYING THE NEWSPAPER (that offers news that is well over 12 hours old) OR HAVING TO WAIT FOR THE RADIO STATION (which usually never gives you ALL the news).

Check out:  http://news.google.com/
On the left side of this site you will see “Personalized”. Click on the arrows and find your town…Enjoy

Here is an example of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
http://news.google.com/news/section?pz=1&geo=N7V+2Y3&ict=ln