Information Technology related posts

10 top tips for this week

Here are 10 top tips for this week:

1 ) Check out Shawn’s post about Wordles.  Interesting!

2 ) Be sure to claim your profile on Google. You will need a Gmail account.

3 ) Be sure to back up your RoboForm2Go files on your U3 USB Key with their free online sync service, RoboForm Online.  If you don’t have an account yet, get one free here.  I ejected my USB key and for the first time in years, it actually corrupted some of the data on it since I didn’t safely eject it.  The Roboform Online backup saved all my data and I was able to successfully restore everything. Read more

iGoogle

What web site do you have set for your homepage?  Mine was recently set to pull up www.ping.fm so that I would be reminded to update my social media status every morning.  It was a good start page.  There is something SO MUCH BETTER.

I was talking to my good friend, Matt Simpson, about iGoogle today.  Basically, iGoogle is a widget aggregator.  What I mean by that, is that you can set up tabs in a web page that contain all sorts of useful tools.  I highly recommend you browse to www.igoogle.com and set up your personalized page.  All you need is a Gmail account and you have access to this tool.  If you don’t have a Gmail account, catch up with the rest of the world and get one here. Read more

Update on DropBox and WordPress

Dropbox

Dropbox
So I have implemented Dropbox for a few companies and everyone is loving it.  I wanted to make sure and throw out a couple of interesting things that I have learned after paying for additional storage, etc.

You can get up to 5 Gigs of storage for free with Dropbox.  The pay-to-really-play options are $10/month for 50 Gigs and $20/month for 100 Gigs.  Many people (including yours truly) make the mistake of thinking that paying for 50 Gigs of storage will allow you to share 50 Gigs of storage with anyone, including free account holders.  This is not true.  The concept here is that YOUR storage is YOUR storage.  You can have multiple computers set up to hit your Dropbox account and your decision to purchase additional storage HELPS YOU.  If you wanted to share 20 Gigs worth of your content with someone else on Dropbox, they would have to have 20 Gigs of space available to them in their Dropbox account.  Obviously, the free version won’t cut it.  They would need to upgrade their account to a paid account to be able to share that much data. Read more

WordPress, Why did it take me so long?

WordPress

WordPress

I have been hearing about how great a blogging tool WordPress is. For some reason, it took me a while to see what all the hype is about. I am going to chalk it up to the fact that I already had a gmail account, and blogger was a free service with that account.

So now I have dug in a little bit to WordPress. Bottom line, it is worth all the hype. Implementing a WordPress blog is a straight forward process. The famous 5-minute installation is right here. I use Crystal Tech as my web host, and I highly recommend them. Read more

SanDisk and U3

U3

U3

I mentioned earlier this week that I have learned to love the SanDisk U3 smart drive platform. Some of it may sound technical, but here is the bottom line about why you should care. The U3 platform runs from a USB key. You keep the USB memory key on your keychain. You can store all your passwords to every web site you go to and a ton of great applications right from the USB drive. That way, if you are going to a friend’s house, or home, or whatever, you still have your web site links, passwords, and common applications right there with you. I just bought a 16 Gig version of the SanDisk Cruzer from NewEgg and can’t wait to get my dirty mitts on it. Read more

TweetDeck. How tweet it is.

Everyone talks about Twitter. I am getting on board. What is it? What do you do with it? There are tons of resources to dig into for answers to these questions. I found that TwiTip by @problogger has a bunch of great advice. (@ denotes a user’s name or handle on Twitter). Here is a link to one of the articles I started with called “13 twitter tips and tutorials for beginners.”

Once you start using Twitter and “Following” people, I highly recommend downloading and installing a free desktop application called TweetDeck. It allows you to organize the information overload that will start coming at you. Read more

Hosted Exchange 2007 for a song

Apptix

Apptix

I first learned about Apptix when I set up a hosted Microsoft Sharepoint site a year ago. I enjoyed working with them and their customer support was excellent. Also, the price point was compelling for a small business owner. I learned that Apptix acquired Mi8 about 3 years ago. Mi8 was a well known hosted Exchange provider prior to the acquisition. I needed to move my terryinc.com domain to a Hosted Exchange platform so that I could sync email, contact and calendar traffic with my iPhone.

The steps for converting from a simple POP3 email account at my web hosting company (http://www.crystaltech.com/) to a full-blown hosted Exchange account were straight forward. Read more

What to do about Blu-ray?

If you haven’t been in a Costco, Sam’s or Best Buy recently, you might have missed the newest in home entertainment… high definition video in a format called Blu-ray. There was a big contest between the Blu-ray format and HD DVD format and Blu-ray won. Thank goodness! Now the manufacturers can standardize on the Blu-ray format. For more detailed information on what the Blu-ray format is all about, click here to go to the Wikipedia entry on Blu-ray. The bottom line is that Blu-ray is a noticeable improvement over standard DVDs. The images jump off the screen and immerse you in the presentation. Read more

iPhone 3.0 Software coming your way this summer

Apple iPhone 3G

Apple iPhone 3G

 Cnet.com has done a great article on the new features that will be available in the newest version of Apple’s iPhone software… version 3.0. Here is a link to that article.

Boiling it down for you… here are the things that I am excited about:
1) Copy and Paste… FINALLY
2) Landscape view mode for all applications
3) Push notifications (was supposed to be ready for version 2.0 but got delayed. This feature will tell you which apps need some attention with the little red message indicator. For example, software updates available, new messages on Facebook, etc.)
4) GPS – 3rd party developers now have the doors opened to provide GPS applications with turn-by-turn directions. Nice. I prefer my Garmin, but this will work in a pinch.

The only bummer? STILL NO ADOBE FLASH SUPPORT. Seems like a simple thing to do, but who am I to judge? :)

Version 3.0 will be free for iPhone 3G users, $9.95 for Touch users and not available for the original iPhone.

Kindle 2 – The verdict is in

Amazon Kindle 2

Amazon Kindle 2

So here is the story of how I got my Kindle 2 and what I think of it as a replacement for paper books. I ordered the Kindle 1 on December 25th, 2008 as a Christmas present from my family. The Kindle 1 was out of stock because Oprah did a show on it. I was told to “get in line” and that my Kindle would ship sometime near the end of February 2009. (8-12 weeks!)

In the middle of January, I received a great email from Amazon explaining that I was going to get a free upgrade to the Kindle 2. My supposition is that it would be more costly for Amazon to provide me with the 1st edition Kindle than to give me one of the new Kindle 2’s that had already been riding along in a container ship.  So I got the Kindle 2 at the end of February. As always, I tried out every feature on it and proceeded to read 2 books on it over the course of the following week. The verdict is in. I love the Kindle and what it represents. Why? Read more