June 2012 Newsletter: Smartphones and QR Codes, Picasa Collages, Internet from your Smartphone

Geeks on Tour

June was primarily spent preparing and attending the Good Sam RV Rally in Louisville, KY.  We presented 7 different seminars.   The large seminar room ‘C109’ at the Kentucky Expo hall was basically all ours for the week of the rally! 

We also offered 2 hands-on sessions on the Early Bird day. We had a full house (20 people) for our hands-on Photo Editing with Picasa class, and just a few less than that for our Smart Phone Boot Camp.  We loved every minute of it, and were thoroughly exhausted by week’s end.

A Sad Note About our Friends at TechnoRV

Life is not always fun and computers.  On June 25, we attended the memorial of Josh May. Josh was the 14 year old son of our friends Phil and Tracey, and brother of Ally, from TechnoRV.  It tore our hearts to see friends in such pain.  It also warmed our hearts to see the outpouring of love for them and the memory of Josh.  Many family members were there, having flown over from England.  Friends were in attendance from as far away as California.  Their extended RVing family also showed up by the score as well as people from the campground and the local community.  Nearly 100 people attended.  Goodbye Josh.  You were loved.

July Schedule

In July we have a few appearances scheduled thru the APCUG, the Association of Personal Computer User Groups.  On July 10 we will be in West Nyack, New York and we’ll present back to back seminars on Picasa and Smart Phones for the joint meeting of the Rockland PC Users’ Group and the Westchester PC Users Group.   Next comes the Mid-Hudson Computer User group in Poughkeepsie, NY, then the FMCA NE Area Rally in Essex Junction, Vermont.  At the end of July we’ll come back south to Connecticut for the The PC Users Group of Connecticut. To see everything on our schedule, check out our monthly calendar. You can also click on the map at right, then any placemark to see the details.


Forum Topics

The Q&A Forums on the Geeks on Tour website are a great place to discuss the topics we cover.  This is where we answer our members’ questions.  Anyone can read the forums, you need to be a member to post.   Here are some topics of interest:

  1. Unwanted Messages on Facebook 
  2. DVD Maker
  3. Comments on a Blog
  4. Streets & Trips: Adding POI Megafile to current map
  5. Droid 4G LTE connections
  6. Scanning and Saving
  7. Streets and Trips on sale at Staples $20

What are QR Codes and How do I use my Smartphone to Read Them?

I’m sure you’ve seen them, those black and white, square codes.  Like a computer’s digital attempt at finger painting, these are called QR Codes for Quick Response.  They started with Toyota as a way to track cars thru the manufacturing process.  Because they can hold a lot of data and be read very quickly with a smartphone, they have taken over printed promotional media.  With one square inch (or even less) of space on a printed flyer, business card, or brochure, a business can disseminate an entire website of information.  A QR code can even be programmed to play an online video, show a map location, or download a file.

It’s called a QR code – but it’s just a special type of Bar Code so all you need on your smartphone to read it is a Bar Code scanner app.

Here’s the video that shows you how to do it:


Read the Article …

New ‘Short Course’ of Videos on Picasa Collages

I love Picasa’s Collage feature and use it almost daily.  Up until recently our Geeks on Tour Learning Library for Picasa only had one, older video about creating a collage.  There’s so much to the collage feature that it was impossible to make one of our short tutorials that would do it justice, so we made a series of them and put them together with some written instructions as well.  We call this a ‘Short Course’ and we expect to have more of them on other topics. 

Here is one of the videos from the short course.  It’s about using Picasa’s collage feature to create a banner collage for your Facebook Timeline.

Read the Article …

Internet from your Smartphone with PDANet or FoxFi

You may remember this video we did a couple of years ago when we first got our Droid smartphones.  It shows how we use some software called PDANet to tether our phone to our computer, giving the computer an Internet connection.

New Smartphones with New PDANet = WiFi Hotspot on your Phone

Both Jim and I now have Droid RAZR smartphones and they have the ability to be a WiFi hotspot.  If you go thru Verizon and turn on that feature, it will cost you an extra fee.  However, if you use the PDANet/FoxFi software, you just pay once for the software and the hotspot gets its data from your phone’s data plan.  It’s really amazing. 

After you’ve downloaded the necessary

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