Dec 302011
 
Geeks on Tour

Happy Holidays from FloridaWe hope you all are having very happy holidays.  We are spending them in typical holiday style by going to the beach, watching cruise ships sail, and splashing with the grandkids in the pool! 

My apologies to our friends in the northern climates, we just can’t help but rub it in when we’re in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this time of year!

 


Become a Member Now!

There is no better time to become a member of Geeks on Tour.  Our $39 price goes up to $68 after the first of the year, but you can lock in the low $39/year if you sign up right now.  Since this newsletter is a bit late, we will postpone our rate-hike until next Wednesday – 1/4/2012.  If you are already a member and would like to switch to a recurring payment to lock in the $39 for years to come, click here and login.

Membership benefits: Many of you have been receiving our free newsletters for years and may wonder why you should pay money.  These newsletters (Geeks on Tour and Picasa Tip-of-the-Week) will always be free and you are welcome to continue.  Reading the Questions and Answers on our forum is also free for all.  Paying for a membership includes:

  1. Videos: Paying for a Membership gives you access to all of our tutorial videos – the first 3 in each topic are free so you can ‘try before you buy.’ 
  2. Forum: Paid membership also gives you access to ask questions in our forum where we (Chris or Jim aka Mrs. Geek or Mr. Geek) promise to respond. 
  3. Online Coaching Calls: We are also testing a new member service called ‘Online Coaching Calls.’  Here’s what our test cases have said,
    “Chris, what can I say but WOW!  Your coaching call "trial" was even better than I  expected.  Such personal service.  The sign up thru "Simplify This" was quick and easy. I telephoned you at the appointed time, and the computer setup so that I could see YOUR screen thru Join.me was a piece of cake.  I even had the option of letting YOU see my computer screen and offering helpful suggestions over the phone. Paul”
    ”Thank you so much for the personal telephone coaching session this afternoon!  This method was quick and easy, and the screen sharing worked well.  It was very helpful to have you talk me through the answers to the problems I was experiencing. Tanya”
    There will be a fee for coaching calls, but this service will only be available to members.
  4. eBooks: With our rate increase, we will also make our ebooks (Picasa and Windows Boot Camp) available at no additional charge to recurring members.

Upcoming Appearances

  • Jan 23-27 2012: Florida Association of Computer User Groups, 2012 Conference Bahamas Cruise.
  • jim-chrisWed, Feb 1 1pm: Cascades Computer Club, Port St. Lucie
  • Thu, Feb 16, 7PM: Valencia Lakes Computer & Technology Club, Boynton Beach
  • Mon, Feb 20, 10AM: Cascade Lakes Computer & Technology Club , Boynton Beach
  • Mon, Feb 20, 7PM:   Valencia Falls Computer & Technology Club, Delray Beach
  • Wed, Feb 22, 2012, 7PM: Boca Raton Computer Society, Delray Beach
  • Mon, March 19, 2012, 7PM: Bellaggio Computer & Technology Club, Lake Worth
  • Techno-Geek Learning Rally April 22-28, 2012 in Bushnell Florida

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This is a joint rally with our friends at TechnoRV.  Please follow the link to see details, indicate your interest, and join the conversation.  We will be open for registration in mid-January.

 


fblikeWe are posting a regular GOT (Geeks On Tour) Jeopardy question on our Facebook page.  If you ‘Like’ our page, then these posts will show up on your Facebook news feed.  Try your knowledge by responding, or learn by reading the correct response posted the next day.  For example:

  • When you upload a photo to your blog using Blogger, it is stored in an album on this photo-sharing website.
  • True or False – in Facebook, your ‘Wall’ and your ‘Home’ page are the same thing..
  • The generic name for the application that allows you to view websites. Examples are Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.

Ask the Geeks

Screen Captures3

Our Q&A Forums are a good place to ask questions, here are some examples from the past month.  Anyone can read the Q&A, but you must be a member to post.

Do you have questions like this?  If you are a member of Geeks on Tour, you can ask anything you want in the forum.  Mr. or Mrs. Geek promise to respond, and we have several other knowledgeable members who will add to the conversation. If you’re not a member, Join before the end of the year and lock in our low $39/year price because it goes up after Jan 1.


2011: End of Year Thoughts

Chris teaching PageMaker in 1993 at her business - Computer SavvyComputer Training is our business, and has been since 1983.  The picture at right is me (Chris) in one of our classrooms during our 10 year anniversary at Computer Savvy. We’ve seen lots of changes, from DOS to Windows and Macintosh, from CompuServe and 300 baud dial-up modems to Web and wireless broadband, from VisiCalc and WordStar to Excel to Google Docs and Blogger, and the birth of digital photography.  But, even in that whirlwind of innovation and change, this year stands out with the use of smart phones, tablets, and Facebook.  Not since the office fax machine have I seen such a new technology being used by so many people so quickly.

When we became fulltime RVers in 2003, we left the world of teaching business applications and learned about the fun stuff like managing digital photos and using maps and GPS navigation.  We focused on computer training for travelers.  We are travelers and we teach travelers.  We pay attention to the technology we find the most useful – and fun – to travelers. 

smartphone-rversJim got his Droid smart phone in 2009, I followed in 2010, and it quickly became our favorite device.  It did everything we travelers like – take pictures, help us navigate, do our email – and it stayed right in our pocket.  We think every traveler should have one – and this year, it seems like everyone does!  And, not just travelers, but truly everyone!  I’ve read that it took 60 years for telephones to be adopted by 90% of the population, I think we’re easily on track for 6 years and 90% adoption of smart phones!

Ifacebook2 joined Facebook in 2008, I don’t even remember why.  It was probably to become ‘friends’ with Jim Guld!  He was already on Facebook and liked it.  Today it has become an astonishingly effective tool for keeping in touch with far flung friends and fellow travelers.  Some people think it’s for youngsters – but that is just not true.  Whenever we teach our seminars at RV rallies, we ask for a raise of hands on who uses Facebook.  Would you believe that hands always go up for a majority of that primarily senior crowd?! 

Geeks on Tour officially began in 2006.  Our most popular topic then was how to connect to the Internet on the road.  Within 3 years our ‘Managing Digital Photos with Picasa’ became the clear winner of the popularity contest, we even started a separate website, www.PicasaTutorials.com.  For 2011 our Facebook seminars drew the biggest crowds.  In 2012 we’ll be working on the best way to teach people about using their smart phones.  That is, as soon as we can catch our breath!


2011: Best of Geeks on Tour

Throughout the year we write articles and record videos on our GeeksOnTour.com website, as well as for PicasaTutorials.com and RV.net.  As 2011 comes to a close, we want to remind you about some of our favorites from the past year.

  • Picasa Releases version 3.9
    Dec 2011 – Google came out with a new version of Picasa – version 3.9.  There are some major differences between this version and its predecessor, version 3.8.
    Read the article …
  • Hate Typing on your Droid?  Try Swype instead.
    Swype is a new way to type on mobile/touch-screen devices.  Instead of needing to lift your finger from the screen after each character, you only lift your finger after each word.  You touch the first character of your word, then, keeping your finger on the screen, you swype to the subsequent characters.
    Read the article …
  • Import Pictures from an Android Smartphone Using Picasa
    I love my Droid, I now take the majority of my pictures with my Droid smartphone.  This article is about how to import them to your computer.  It’s a lot simpler than you might think.
    Read the article …
    Watch the video (members only) …
  • Review of our Picasa Book 
    Our little book on Picasa caught the attention of a Computer Club in the San Franciso Bay area – The Golden Gate Computer Society.  They have a tradition of reviewing computer books and contacted us to see if we would send them a copy for review..
    Read the article … 
  • Forget about Picasa and Learn Files and Folders
    In Windows it’s called ‘Explorer’, in Macintosh it’s called ‘Finder.’ It’s the computer’s way of storing and organizing files and folders. Picasa is software that sits on top of the files and folders.  Picasa does not store your pictures, it is a tool for working with the pictures that exist in your computer’s folders.
    Read the Article …
  • Part Time Mobile Internet Connections
    As fulltime RVers, we have no problem signing a 2 year contract for Internet service from Verizon, but we know many people who only travel part time. What are their options for mobile Internet service? A couple years ago, your only option was to rely on Wi-Fi which is very UNreliable! Now there are several options for short term cellular Internet connections.
    Read the article …
  • Facebook Privacy
    Who can see your information on Facebook?  This video has been updated to reflect changes made to Facebook privacy in September 2011.  Now, you use the Inline Audience Selector for each time you post information in Facebook.  This video will show you how.
    View Video (members only) …
  • Droid: From Email to GPS Navigation
    You know we love our Droids! This ‘touch an address’ feature, we just gotta show you. This is a very short video showing you how to simply touch an address and let Droid take you there!
    View the free Video …
  •  Gabbing with the Geeks #13
    Coming to you from upstate New York, this video was filmed inside the motorhome at Chris’s new office where she shows you how to turn a laptop into a desktop and Jim shows you his new iPad!
    View the free Video …
  • Dropbox: Free Synchronizing Among Computers
    When I first heard of Dropbox I was skeptical, I thought it was a way to work with your files directly on the Web – something that just isn’t practical in our world with flaky Internet connections as we travel.  But no … what it actually does is to upload a file to the web, then download it to your other computers. 
    Read the article …
  • 3G vs 4G: The Tortoise and the Hare
    Without getting unnecessarily technical, we are talking about the technology that Cellular communications companies use to deliver wireless Internet connectivity. The ‘G’ stands for ‘Generation’ so 3G is third generation technology and 4G is fourth generation technology.  4G is better.  It’s faster and it goes farther.  That’s the good news.
    Read the article …
  • Picasa Tags can Make Albums
    I’ve started using Tags much more extensively.  Tags are a way to attach an identifier to the picture itself. If you ever lose your album, they can be recreated from tags.
    Read the article …
  • Google Maps-More than Just Directions
    It’s been a while since I’ve focused on Google Maps in this blog, and they’ve made so many improvements.  If you’ve never visited Google Maps, you’re in for a treat.  It’s completely web-based, ‘in the cloud’ according to the current lingo, so just head on over to www.maps.google.com.  What you see depends on whether the little icon in the upper right is set to Map or Satellite.
    Read the article …
  • Blogger Pages for Websites
    Blogger.com isn’t just for blogs anymore! With the addition of ‘Pages’ you can create full-blown websites using these free tools. Pages are standalone web pages that can supplement your blog ‘Posts.’ This video explains by showing you examples, then shows you step-by-step how to create pages, and how to set up a menu of Tabs, or sidebar links.
    Watch the Video (members only) …
  • Internet Connections While Traveling
    Many travelers carry several devices that can connect to the Internet.  Computers, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Androids, Blackberries, game consoles, printers, and more.  These devices often use WiFi to connect. … To connect all your devices and have them all connect to the Internet, you can create a Local Area Network or LAN using a Wireless router.
    Read the Article …
  • Using Picasa to Post a Screenshot in a Forum
    If you’ve ever used a forum to ask a questions, you know that a picture is truly worth 1,000 words.  Let’s say for example that you want to ask, “What are the buttons at the top of each folder in Picasa?”  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a picture of those buttons, so your reader knows exactly what you mean?
    Read the article …
  • Clickfree Backup
    If you could backup your computers without any fuss, would you do it?
    Read the article …


jointoday_thumbOnly days left to lock in $39/year

As Geeks on Tour’s website has grown and improved we have maintained a very low annual membership fee of $39.  On the first of 2012, we will be raising that fee (and adding new services), but you can lock it in now by subscribing to our Annual Recurring Membership of $39.

Read More …

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MrsGeek

Traveling the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. We present seminars at RV rallies and computer clubs all over the country.

  2 Responses to “Geeks on Tour Newsletter December 2011”

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