Free computer & tech help for seniors

Computer & tech help for seniors

Computer & tech help for seniors

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:

http://amzn.to/windows_kindle

Mac computer users: Snow Leopard and Lion
http://amzn.to/snowleopard_lion_kindle

Mac computer users: Leopard
http://bit.ly/leopard_only

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

Facebook for Beginners

HOW TO GET A FACEBOOK PAGE – HOW TO SECURE YOUR FACEBOOK

CLICK HERE WATCH THE HOW TO VIDEOS

facebook for beginners the easy way

Want to learn more? Alternate Cloud is here for you!

AlternateCloud.com helping seniors learn tech stuff

Visit us today for FREE HELP – so CICK HERE

 

help for seniors the easy way

HELPING SENIORS LEARN MORE - THE EASY WAYS

 Seniors learn the easy way right here at AlternateCloud website for FREE

Want to learn more?

Want to learn more?

 

New Google Search Series

This is a change from my normal blog. This time the article(s) and videos are in the LambtonShield online newspaper.

I am doing a 3 part series on the new Google Search. This is also part of a live presentation I am doing for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group in Sarnia, Ontario.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND ARTICLE: CLICK HEREgoogle search

 

MAC Users Should Protect With Software and Common Sense

There is a lot of hype in the media today about a security issue for Macs. In Krebs’ blog KREBSONSECURITY he wrote a blog entitled: “Weyland-Yutani Crime Kit Targetss Macs for Bots“. In this blog Krebs clearly pointed out that users are responsible and must maintain common sense while online and using a computer, be it Mac, PC or even Linux.

The media has hyped this issue up because it could involve Mac users. Krebs tells us that “A new crimeware kit for sale on the criminal underground makes it a simple point-and-click exercise to develop malicious software designed to turn Mac OSXcomputers into remotely controllable zombie bots. According to the vendor of this kit, it is somewhat interchangeable with existing crimeware kits made to attack Windows-based PCs.”

Apple news site offers this resolve:

What does this mean for normal Mac users? For the moment, only that you really do want to stay up to date with security updates to Mac OS X and Web browsers. If Weyland-Yutani were to become popular with criminals, the anti-malware market on the Mac would certainly heat up.

But for the moment, just be sure to install security updates, be careful opening email attachments that could contain code, and stay away from dodgy Web sites pushing pirated software, gambling, and porn. Oh, and keep reading TidBITS for news of changes in the security landscape. In other words, use your common sense, since the Internet simply isn’t an entirely safe place and hasn’t been for years.

Any Mac user who takes their computers seriously have read Apple’s advice on Security that is posted near the bottom of the Apple website:

Mac OS X – Security – Keeps safe from viruses and malware

The built-in defenses in Mac OS X help keep you safe from viruses and malware without the hassle of constant alerts and sweeps.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/security/

Security Advice

The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection.

and…

Here are some other ways to help keep your information as safe as possible:

  • Download files only from known and trusted websites.
  • Use FileVault to encrypt your most important documents.
  • Control access to your Mac by locking your screen after a period of inactivity.
  • Securely delete outdated sensitive files with the Secure Empty Trash command.
As a Lambton College Mac computer instructor I advise my students to download and use a copy of iAntivirus and ClamAV

Check out our FACEBOOK Page
 – CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON to get in.

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

facebook logo

Set Your Security

By Gregory West

Are you protecting yourself on Facebook? Are your children protected on Facebook? Not sure? Please read on…

A 2010 Consumer Report shows “23 percent of Facebook users don’t even know about the site’s privacy controls or just don’t bother to use them.” (full report: http://bit.ly/2010_report) and it doesn’t stop there. With over a half billion users, one can only imagine how many people do not use their security settings properly or even at all.

I became aware of this recently when I ran a free “Facebook for Beginners” seminar at Grace United Church in Sarnia, Ontario. Most people in attendance were using Facebook, yet none really knew how to protect themselves with Facebook security settings. In fact, many were surprised to see how easy it is to protect yourself in Facebook.

The Consumer Report goes on to point out the seriousness of this as they found “The survey, which seemed to focus primarily on Facebook, also discovered that 7 percent of people had posted their street address on their profile, while 3 percent had revealed times when they’d be away from home.”

It gets even more frightening when the report shows that “Among Facebook users with children, 26 percent had posted photos of their kids on the site and 13 percent had included the names of their kids in the captions, both of which Consumer Reports believes could expose the children to potential online predators.”

Have I scared you yet? I hope so.

Facebook is becoming extremely secure and a very important utility in today’s society. I personally believe this is the platform where most people in a community will gather…Let me rephrase that: Most people, who are online, now are involved in a Facebook community in one way or another. Facebook is rapidly becoming part of the mainstream media as well. So hang in there and don’t rush to delete your Facebook account just yet.

Here are a few items you can check on Facebook to tighten up your security as you so choose. Please go over the following to check and set your privacy controls to your liking.

  1. Go to your Facebook profile page (just open Facebook) and click on “Account” located at the top right of the webpage.
  2. Click “Privacy Settings”
  3. Now you will be on the page that says: “Choose Your Privacy Settings”. Now look for where it says: “Control basic information your friends will use to find you on Facebook. View Settings” and click on the “View Settings”.

You will now see a list of topics where your security settings can be changed. The topic list includes: Search for you on Facebook, Send you friend requests, Send you messages, See your friend list, See your education and work, See your current city and hometown, and See your likes, activities and other connections.

Those settings can be adjusted so that you can allow one of the following:

Everyone – Friends of Friends – Friends Only and there are some that allow some customization.

If you are at all concerned about who sees what, about you and especially your children, I highly suggest you go each one of these settings and adjust accordingly. Make sure you do this with your children so they realize the importance of privacy settings.

Of course, these privacy settings are not for everyone, and many people such as myself leave them open so that it expands my community and communication. The decision is yours do decide. Don’t listen to others, go and check out YOUR SECURITY SETTINGS today.

If you want further Facebook security information go to this website:
www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php#basicinfo and www.facebook.com/policy.php

The public is welcomed to attend another Free seminar on Facebook Security on May 9th, 10:00 a.m. at Grace United Church. Please bring a food item for the Food Bank.

Be safe out there!

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

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
Member of Port Huron, MI Computer Group
Blog: gregorywest.wordpress.com

Power Friending
“Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business”

By Amber Mac (Amber MacArthur)

Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2010
978-1-59184-328-3
Pages: 245
USA: $24.95 / CDA: $31.00
http://www.ambermac.com

I bought this book as an aid in my research into the world of social media, knowing that Amber MacArthur would have it all explained in plain English, covering all the bases. I was right, she did, and then some. 

As an avid listener to Amber Mac and Leo Laporte via the Twit.tv network, with the show: Net at Night, I learned how deep Amber’s involvement is with technology and more so, social media. Her insights into this subject are extensive and I knew this book would reveal a guide that would set me on my exploration of social media.

Anyone, whether you own a business, operate a nonprofit group, or simply want to promote you own media for fun, this book is a guide, and Amber sets out to help you “build up your social media strategy, one Internet friend at a time”.

The book consists of nine enlightening chapters starting with a “brief” history on the evolving social media which helps put thing into perspective and sets the groundwork for this book. Amber continues on in this journey telling how real people and companies struggle though mistakes, lies, and failures as well as many success stories. From the failures we quickly learn what not to do in creating our own social media awareness. The success stories are many and they help to give us not only ideas but courage to continue through the social media wilderness learning a little bit more with each step Amber takes us.

Amber demonstrates three rules at the onset: “A IS FOR AUTHENTICITY” – “B IS FOR BRAVERY” – C IS FOR CONSISTENCY”. Each rule is explained with examples of how people / companies both failed and prospered by either following or disregarding these rules.

In chapter four: “CARPENTRY AT ITS BEST”, we are given the necessary social media tools to work with such as blogs, videos, wikis and more. Each tool is explained how and why it works and what it can do for you. Following each tool is a real life example how it works for others. I found this chapter most interesting and helpful. Chapter five is one of my favourites in which Amber discusses “The Strategy”. Time management, spreading your word, responding and bringing the message home are a few topics covered. Here Amber shares her “Ten Best Practices…”A must read.

Amber points out success stories and failures too, all with examples so we don’t make the same errors. One thing I really am a glad about is the Notes in the back of the book. Here are Amber’s gems that refer to a topic on a certain page in the book with a website source that will take you deeper into the world of social media marketing.

I must give this book is easily a ten plus in not only content and information but Amber’s personal stories that keeps the material moving.

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

Mac & Chrome Users BEWARE

I have been a Chrome web browser user since day one of it’s inception. Now I have to go back to Firefox browser.

THE REASON WHY: Chrome supports less and less than other browsers, including its OWN GOOGLE GEARS.

THAT IS CORRECT…
GOOGLE DOES NOT SUPPORT ITS’ OWN SOFTWARE
ON ITS’ OWN BROWSER:
CHROME.

Gears, Docs, Chrome: a nonfunctional combination.

Why?

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

Evernote – Keeping an Online Diary Of FINDS

When you see something online that catches your eye but you don’t have the time right now to pursue it further, save it, don’t bookmark it; that is sooooooooo “old skool”.

NEVER LOSE YOUR INTERNET TREASURES AGAIN!

Evernote works in all browsers for both Mac and PCs. If you are working on a project and gathering data from the Interent Evernote is the best way to collect data, photos, charts, music, video etc. on the go.

Watch this video and see how it can work for you:

BOOK REVIEW: iWork Certification

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16(at)gmail.com
Member of the Computer Operators 
of Marysville & Port Huron (COMP)
Sarnia Computer Users Group (SCUG)

Get Certified in Apple's iWork suite

iWork

By Richard Harrington
Published by Peachpit Press
ISBN-10: 0-321-61851-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-61851-1
Pages: 827
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $45.99
They say that the only way to really learn a program is “hands-on training”. This book provides excellent step-by-step lessons to learn all about Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.
For the newbie this book provides, easy-to-learn, steps that will take you from the beginning throughout the three sections and sixteen lessons. The first seven begins with Keynote where you will learn how to create professional presentations and publishing it in several different formats. The second section is Pages where you will learn publishing letters, reports, newsletters, brochures, posters and more for both print and Internet copies. The third section is Numbers where you will learn about spreadsheets, reports, and budgets. Here is where you will also learn how to create amazing charts, graphs and even a wedding planner to “track the events”.
The material inside the book and the DVD-ROM that comes with the book is not only for beginners who are new to iWork programs, but also for those professionals who would like to brush up and ready themselves for the Apple Certification exam. The book has everything you need to train yourself to become a professional at using these three programs.
You begin with Keynote, Lesson 1, learning about themes, sizing, outlining, custom layouts and much more. Other lessons show you how to add photos, charts, sound, and video. If in another life you were a PowerPoint user you will learn how to import PowerPoint presentations into your Keynote presentation. Learn how to easily animate your presentation too. In Lesson 7 you learn the professional touch for presentations. From printing handouts, exporting to PDFs, or to turning your presentation into a movie that can be uploaded to the Internet, slowly you are becoming a professional presenter.
Pages lessons take you learning the basic word processing skills to creating reports, newsletters, brochures, posters, certificates, and how to add sound to a word document that can be uploaded to the Internet.
Numbers is Apple’s own spreadsheet. This section will teach you how to use a spreadsheet and much more. For instance, you learn how to import spreadsheet data, add media, create address books, and “Advanced Charting” where you learn things such as “Creating a Stacked 3D Bar Chart” and more. The nuts and bolts of a spreadsheet are covered in areas of formatting, referencing data, performing calculations with variables, etc.
I highly recommend this book and the DVD-ROM for users of all levels wanting to learn how to use these three excellent programs to the max.
System Requirements are found at: www.apple.com/iwork/systemrequirements.html
Information on Apple’s iWork ’09 go here: http://www.apple.com/iwork

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

Note: This article will appear in First Monday Magazine next month…

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

By Gregory West

As a computer consultant and instructor I get asked which type of computer is a good deal and one that will last. As I explain the pros and cons of various computers, I know that they are in for a major change, and very soon computers will be a thing of the past.

We are now racing towards one of the most drastic changes in computer history. Welcome what I coin as: CLOUD COMPUTERS. We have all heard of the “Cloud” that exists on the Internet. Simply put, a “cloud” is a program where you store things such as photos (Flickr or Picasa), and videos (YouTube or Vimeo). Of course EVERYONE knows that you can store these on Facebook as well which is also a “cloud” program online.

I know, enough of the mumbo-jumbo computer talk and let’s get to the point.

Google is soon to announce its online operating system. This means you will not use your computer to use programs such as Word or Excel etc. These will be offered free in the new Google operating system. Soon there will be no more need for Microsoft’s XP, Vista, Windows 7, or even Apple’s Snow Leopard. It also means no more complicated computer systems. It will be somewhat like your TV and it will “just work”. You MUST watch this video: <http://bit.ly/91Fnm7googlecomputer> to see how it works.

No, Google’s new online operating system will not replace Apple or Microsoft systems just yet. However, this is a start to a very interesting future that is quickly unfolding before our very eyes. This new online operating system idea will virtually change the need for a computer. All we will need is a device that has a browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. These will connect you to your online computer system.

Just think, many of us have been doing this for sometime now and not paying much attention…When you go online with your Smart Phone you are using a “Cloud Computer”. It can only get easier and better and less expensive. A full report on how this works is found here: <http://bit.ly/azhyJ6cloudcomputers>

George Orwell predicted 1984 as the year of “Big Brother” and I say that 2011 is the year we see “Cloud Computers”…I can’t wait.

[bi-line]
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&gt;. This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com

TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THIS MUST-SEE VIDEO

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.

Free iPhone 4 Case: How About Switching to Android?

Who likes Android instead???

Free iPhone 4 Case: Apple To Offer FREE iPhone Bumper To Solve Antenna Issue.

Google Bans Windows PCs

Well, they have banned their employees from using any Microsoft operating system claiming they are NOT SAFE TO USE.

The employees can use either Apple or Linux based computers.

Computer World’s, Preston Grala, informs us that “John Pescatore, an analyst at Gartner who specializes in security issues told Computerworld “If [hackers] know that Google uses Macs, then they’ll just target the company with Mac malware.”

My take on this is that Google is flexing its’ tech muscle against a country and keeps its’ citizens repressed and restricted via Internet usage. Google wants to show the world they won’t put up with a hack attack by China or anyone else.

However, isn’t Google coming out with their own operating system that will compete against Micrsoft’s Windows 7? Yes they are.

Hey, would the US Army allow free access for Russian or Chinese agents to check out any files and computers they please? This is what China threatened through Microsoft’s known unsafe systems…

Hey, we all know that any computer can be hacked…It is simply an matter of time.

Personally, I believe Google and so does many security experts who are now stating that:

China hacked Google to steal U.S. industrial secrets

FireFox Fading Out?

Here We Go Again

Can Firefox Be Saved?

So says its’ Co-Founder…

Can Firefox Be Saved?

Many of you will remember the 1990’s when Netscape took a huge chunk from Microsoft’s web browser: IE’s 90% market share.

In fact it was during these web wars that the mighty Netscape was taking down by Microsoft. What happened doesn’t matter today. What matters today is that Firefox is being intentionally let sink below the other browsers.

Chrome, Google’s web browser is winning the race this time. It is faster and more people are switching over to Chrome. Even Apple’s Safari and Microsoft IE8 are gaining ground. This is serious.

I was a former Netscape user and NEVER did like IE and still don’t. This is sad times again; a decade since Netscape faded away.

To be honest, I have been test-driving Chrome and find it very interesting and fast. The only hold back to Firefox for me right now is a app that I happen to use that isn’t available for Firefox. However, I just might forget about the app and make the complete jump toChrome and click that little checkbox that asks something like: “Do you want to make Chrome your default browser?” Answer is soon to be YES 😦 not without regret.

To get the scoop from the guy who designed Netscape and Firefox and has moved  to Facebook, read this interesting article on the demise of Firefox: CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE in Techcrunch

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…

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

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.

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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.