July 2012 Newsletter: Five Facebook Rules, POI Megafile, Don’t trust GPS, Slideshow in your Blog

Geeks on Tour

July was Full!

It started in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where we driveway camped in the 100 degree heat!  We enjoyed celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary while taking in the sights and parades of Philadelphia on the 4th of July.   Then we went to 2012071work!  Traveling into New York where we presented Smartphone and Picasa seminars to computer clubs in West Nyack and Poughkeepsie. Then to Burlington, Vermont for the FMCA NE Area RV Rally.  After a week at the RV rally, we traveled south to Milford, Connecticut to present a seminar on Facebook to the Computer User Group there.

Now we are in Michigan, after a long highway drive and a night at a rest area.  This week we’ll be on the learning end of some seminars at Screencast Camp, where we’ll learn more about using Camtasia 8 for creating our tutorial videos.

Calendar: Coming up in August

  • Aug 7: We’ll be presenting our Picasa seminar to the Chicago Computer Society
  • Aug 18: Public Hands-on Picasa class in Moline, Illinois 3hrs/$30 register here
  • Aug 20: Television interview KWQC Paula Sands Live, Davenport, Iowa
  • Aug 21: Smartphone Seminar for Quad-Cities Computer Club Moline, Illinois.
  • Aug 22: Public Facebook Seminar at Center for Active Seniors in Davenport, Iowa
  • Calendar-augAug 22: Public Hands-on Picasa class in Davenport, Iowa at the Center for Active Seniors.  3 hrs/$30 Register here.
  • Aug 27-30: FMCA RV convention in Indianapolis. Presenting 8 seminars and 2 hands-on classes (Picasa and Smartphones) Hands-on classes require pre-registration at the rally 8am on the first day.

For more details, see our website Calendar.


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. FoxFi Droid App stopped working with laptop
  2. Facebook: Turn off Text Notifications
  3. Chris Guld and my Blog Smile
  4. Upgrading to Streets and Trips 2013

Collages9Five Do’s and Dont’s for Facebook

We are big fans of Facebook.  The way it allows us to so easily stay in touch with all our family and friends – no matter where we all are – enriches our lives.  Old friends stay connected, and new friends become close because of the easy communications provided by Facebook.  If you are a Good Sam Club member, I hope you saw the article “Get Away, Stay Connected” in the April/May issue of Highways Magazine.  In it I wrote all about Facebook and other social networking.  You can log in and read it online at Highways magazine – page 46.

We always start out our Facebook seminar with a few Do’s and Don’t’s.  Here are the top 5:

  1. DO use Facebook.  It is simply the best way of communicating with friends and family.  You owe it to yourself to at least give it a try. Post interesting tidbits about your life and see who comments.  You will learn things about your friends and family that you never have enough face-to-face time for.
  2. DON’T accept friend requests unless they are truly your friends.  The purpose of Facebook is for real people to connect with real friends (and family.) It is not a popularity contest.  To become Facebook friends requires confirmation by the people on both sides.  If you receive a request from people you don’t know – just ignore them, or click ‘Not Now.’
  3. DO follow the instructions for account security by using a special, secure password, entering a second email, your cell phone number, and a secret question.  You can hide this info from everyone except Facebook.  The purpose is for Facebook to have a way to verify your identity in the event you forget your password, or in the unlikely event that your account is hijacked.  The other recommended security setting is to always use the secure connection (https) option.
  4. DON’T post any information that would upset you if you saw it printed in your local newspaper. The privacy controls on Facebook are trustworthy, but did you set them correctly?  And, might your friends repeat what you said outside of Facebook? Once something is on the Internet and even one person can see it, it can be copied and posted elsewhere. If you don’t want something known, don’t post it!
  5. DO use your Smartphone to post pictures and status updates to Facebook.  You may find that the only computer you need as you travel is your Smartphone.

Have Fun!  And learn more about using Facebook with Geeks on Tour Tutorial videos on our Facebook Learning Library.

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Streets and Trips Megafile


As we travel by RV, we’ve gathered lots of different sources for finding places to park and stay. Our favorite is the Streets and Trips program, with the POI Megafile. This is a file that is used in combination with Microsoft’s Streets and Trips program. POI stands for Points of Interest. It is currently a compilation of 220 categories, containing thousands of points of interest. Many of them are very near and dear to RVers . That includes campgrounds like Thousand Trails that usually do not show up on other lists because it requires a membership. Same thing with Elks Lodges that offer RV parking for their members. You can download this POI Megafile for free. It is updated every month or so. The current file is meant for the S&T 2013 program and it is dated June. It is specifically made for MS Streets and Trips. If you don’t use Streets and Trips, you are limited to downloading individual sets of POIs yourself from places like Discovery Owners.

Each set of data is called a Pushpin Set and once you’re viewing Streets and Trips, you have the option to Show or Hide any given pushpin set. Look at the image above. The list of pushpin sets from the Megafile are showing on the left side, if you scroll up or down, you’ll find all 220 sets. Pick one you want to see, right-click on it and choose ‘Show Pushpin Set.’ In the example, I have chosen to Show Elks Lodges, Corps of Engineer parks, and Fairgrounds. They each have their own unique icon and are very recognizable as you look on your map.

I like the Streets and Trips Megafile for several reasons:

  1. It is a collection, all in one place, of so many places that I’ve had to look up separately in the past.
  2. You can turn each set on or off as desired so your map doesn’t get cluttered, yet you have everything you need.
  3. It’s right on the map that we use for our trip planning. So we can plan our route more efficiently. No more looking up campgrounds in one place only to go back to your map and find it.
  4. No Internet needed – all the data is on your computer.

You can read more about the POI Megafile on the Streets and Trips blog. And, if you want to learn how to use Streets and Trips, check out the Geeks on Tour Tutorial Videos on our Learning Library for Streets and Trips.

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Don’t Trust your GPS!

We have several GPS devices, some are test units, some are our old standbys.  Every time we encounter an issue with driving an RV on this country’s highways, we like to check out the various devices to see what they tell us to do.  We often have two or three of them talking to us in different voices at each turn.  We love it when they all agree.  When they don’t , I tell Jim to follow the female voice … mine!

We are currently in New England.  The northeast has more low bridges and other RV unfriendly roads than other parts of the country.

Read the Article…

Putting a Picasa Web Albums Slideshow into a Blog or Website

Although Google+ Photos has now given us a way to view a slideshow of our photos, I still see no way to grab that slideshow and put it into a Blog or other website.  But, that feature is still there if you use the Picasa Web Albums interface.

Sometimes it is just so much more efficient to view a slideshow than to have numerous pictures posted on your page.

Read the Article …

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