Author Archives: MrsGeek

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

204. Plan your travels – our favorite maps and apps

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above.

Scroll down to see the show notes, these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  • Quick Tip: putting all your travel apps in a folder on your phone
  • Travel planning steps: Research, Plan, Navigate, Stay, Remember
  • Google Maps, Roadtrippers, RVParky, Google My Maps, Allstays, Google Photos – navigate to a photo

Download show notes .pdf (you’ll see a dropbox login, but you can just close it – no Dropbox account is needed)

1:40 Beginning Tip: Add all your travel apps to one folder.

On iPhone: Long-press on a travel app’s icon and tap “Edit Home screen”. You should see the icons wiggling. Drag one icon on top of another to create the folder, then drag others into the folder.

On Android: You can also drag one icon on top of another to start a folder. Dragging other icons into the folder can be a bit tricky, you can also open the folder and tap the + icon. Then choose the app(s) from the alphabetical list and Done.

8:09 Hello everyone and Happy New Year. We are coming to you from our home in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We are headed to Tampa for the 2021 Florida RV Supershow this week. We will be presenting a seminar every day on Maps and Apps for RV Trip planning!

10:39 Maps and Apps for Trip-Planning

Google Maps can do it all:
Each of these 5 steps have their own tools. Google Maps can do it all, but there are some other apps that are better at certain of the steps. Research is being done all the time, thinking about places you want to go and things you want to do – Google it! Plan means putting a specific trip together. Where you’re starting from, where you going and when you’re getting back. Google My Maps lets you make your own map. Navigate with turn by turn directions with Google Maps on your mobile device. Where you’re going to stay? you can Google for “Campgrounds near ___” The Remember step is extra but we think it’s important – Google Photos and Google My Maps provides our permanent record of where we went and what we saw.

14:11 Roadtrippers

The photos in this slide represent 3 memorable places we visited that we would not have known about but for using Roadtrippers. Whenever we had a few days to spare, we pull up Roadtrippers and see what pops up as fun things to do in the area.

You can use Roadtrippers even without an account. Just go to Roadtrippers.com and enter a start and a destination. You will see major sights along the way. As you research places you want to go. As you zoom in more places will pop up. You can specify what types of places you want to see by clicking the icons at the top of the trip list. And you can adjust the tistance from your route that you want places to appear by adjusting the slider at the bottom of the list. See this article for more info about using Roadtrippers.

22:25 More research and Want To Go markers on Google Maps

When you learn of places you want to go – save those places on a list that shows up in Google Maps. With each saved place you can also add a note. Whenever you are in the area, the marker you saved will show up. This way you’ll remember those places even if its been years. You can even make separate lists for different purposes. To see all your lists, go to google.com/collections.

36:04 Making your own maps with Google My Maps. When I want to start planning a particular trip, I use My Maps to make my own. If the “want to go” saved paces is like pushpins on one big map, My Maps is for creating a file folder for each trip. Go to MyMaps.Google.com and create a new map, then you can search for places and add them to your map. You can also use the marker tool to add places on your map that aren’t on Google Maps – like a special desert parking spot.

See video 585: 585. GM-make your own map

RVTripWizard – is the most complete trip planning tool specifically for RVers.

Trip Planning Tools

  1. Google Maps – go-to app for searching and navigating, anything travel related
  2. Google My Maps – for creating your own custom maps
  3. RoadTrippers – the easiest and best way to find points of interest
  4. RVTripWizard – the most complete planning tool specifically for RVers
  5. RVParky – wonderfully simple trip planner which automatically calculates dates of arrival at each stop
  6. Furkot – free website (Furkot.com) for complete set of tools for any kind of trip planning, including motorcycle, car/hotels, and RVs. This is the only one that includes a tool to say, “I want to travel from here to Boston and drive 300 miles each day – show me where to stop each night.”

and probably lots more

45:26 Navigate

Google Maps is the best, most up-to-date turn by turn navigation available. It behooves everyone who travels by RV to learn how to use Google Maps. BUT, it doesn’t know about height restrictions, so if you are traveling by RV that is over 9 feet high, you need an RV aware GPS system that will be sure you are not traveling on a road with a low-clearance overpass! Garmin is one. An app on your phone is Togo RV GPS See video 674

Favorite travel tip = navigate to a photo. If you use Google Photos and Google Maps and your phone is set to record the GPS location when you take a photo – Then

  • open that photo,
  • swipe up on it to reveal the map of where the photo was taken
  • tap “Open in Maps”
  • Now you’re looking at the spot in Google Maps where that photo was taken and you can tap on Navigate.

51:23 Review Questions

January 2021 News: Use Google Photos for free, Make your own maps, Year of Zoom, 2021 Survey

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  January 2021 | Issue 161  | Archives
What’s Up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks?

2020 – the year that Zoomed right by

The world stopped for a pandemic this year. We stayed home. The photo above is from last weekend when we couldn’t stand it anymore and made camping reservations at a wonderful county park, just 4 miles from our house!
With no travels to mark the passage of time, the year went quickly. Luckily we had the Zoom meeting software to hold our Google Photos workshops, Club meetings and other workshops were also delivered over Zoom. So many people have gotten comfortable with Zoom that we are starting a new, monthly “Member Orientation” to welcome people to Geeks on Tour and answer questions about our website.
We even used Zoom for various social events, birthdays, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and a memorial service. In looking forward to 2021, we count our blessings that we are healthy, financially stable, and able to continue our work and passion for teaching technology – by using technology!
See our tutorial videos on using Zoom at this playlist page. Learn Zoom

What Does This Button Do?
Note – we took December off from our live YouTube shows. See you again on January 10.

New Tutorial Videos


What’s coming up – Our Calendar Jan/Feb 2021

We’re Presenting LIVE – online and in person!
Lots of stuff on our calendar this month!
  • January 5, 7pm: Presentation for Sterling Heights Computer Club “How do I make my own custom Google Map” will be live on our YouTube Channel
  • January 10, 2pm ET – Episode 204 of What Does This Button Do?
  • January 10, 3pm ET – Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • January 13-17 Florida RV Supershow Live Seminars 10am Daily
  • January 18 at 3pm ET – Google Photos Live Q&A streaming to Facebook and YouTube. Chris will demo and take questions.
  • January 20, 11am-1 ET – Google Photos Workshop 1 $49. Must pre-register.
  • January 24, 2pm ET – Episode 205 of What Does This Button Do?
  • January 24, 3pm ET – Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • January 29, 3pm ET – Member orientation via Zoom
  • January 30, 3-5pm ET – Google Photos Workshop 2 $49. Must pre-register.
  • February 4, 9pm ET – Wisconsin All Computer Users Club Presentation
  • February 7, 2pm ET – Episode 206 of What Does This Button Do?
  • February 7, 3pm ET – Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • February 10, 11am ET – Google Photos Workshop 2 $49. Must pre-register.
  • February 15, 3pm ET – Google Photos Live Q&A streaming to Facebook and YouTube. Chris will demo and take questions.
  • February 15, 8pm ET – Tucson Computer Society presentation via Zoom
  • February 21, 2pm ET – Episode 207 of What Does This Button Do?
  • February 21, 3pm ET – Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • February 26, 3pm ET – Member orientation via Zoom
  • February 27, 3pm ET – Google Photos Workshop 1 $49. Must pre-register.
Live YouTube Shows Sundays at 2pm Eastern time “The Button Show”
January 10th and 24th
February 7th and 21st
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Ask the Geeks

Ask the Geeks Q&A forum.

Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions:

  1. Adding Text to a Photo in Google Photos
  2. Collecting Photos from a Computer
  3. Accessing Google Photos when Composing an email
  4. People and Pets are missing

Google Photos Workshops
Did you notice the Google Photos workshops in our calendar above? These are 2-hour classes delivered over Zoom with no more than 8 people.
  • Workshop 1 = Getting the most from Google Photos using your smartphones
  • Workshop 2 = Gathering photos that were not taken with a phone. Computers, USB drives, other cameras, prints and slides.
The classes are taught by Chris Guld, a Google Product Expert for Google Photos. These 2-hour Workshops include a printed handout and several hands-on exercises. See more detail at GeeksOnTour.com/Workshops

You can still use Google Photos for Free
There has been a lot of outcry over the Google announcement that Free Unlimited storage for all your photos and videos will be ending on June 1, 2021.
Three things to know:
  1. All photos and videos uploaded in “High Quality” before June 1 are stored for free and will be grandfathered in beyond June 1. (So upload everything NOW)
  2. Even after June 1, Google will still offer unlimited storage for all photos and videos – there just may be a fee.
  3. Even after June 1, Google will still offer Free storage for all photos and videos – it just has a limit of 15GB.
In other words, even after the change, Google will still provide unlimited storage and they will still provide free storage. They just will not provide unlimited free storage. If you upload everything you have now, then starting June 1 you keep your new uploads under 15GB, it’s still FREE!

2021 Learning Survey
We may be old dogs, but we learn new tricks every day. And we’re going to keep learning in the year to come.
How about you?! Learning keeps you young y’know. We have a long list of topics, and we want to know what most interests you.
Just click this link and then choose your level of interest for each topic. There is also a space where you can write in any other topics that we don’t mention.

Make a map for your 2021 travel plans

Make your own maps

Most people have not heard of Google My Maps. It is different from Google Maps. My Maps is just that – it is for your maps. The base map comes from Google Maps, but you mark the places you want to go. You can also add lines, routes, comments, links, and photos to your places. You can get to
My Maps by going to MyMaps.Google.com. Make sure you are signed in to your Google Account, then you can begin to Create a Map. You can also get to My Maps from Google Maps – click the 3-line menu at top left, select Your Places, then you’ll see a tab for “Maps” at the left.

Read More


Leave us a Review

Have you learned something from Geeks on Tour?

If so, we’d love to get a review from you. Click the link below and you should see a right sidebar with all Geeks on Tour stuff, scroll down a bit and you should see Reviews and Write a Review.

 If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters. If you’ve learned something from us along the way, we’d love a Google Review from you!

2021 Learning Survey

Help us pick our topics for 2021 by rating your interest in these suggestions.
We’ve listed many possibilities, don’t fret over each one, just click level 4 or 5 if you’re interested, level 1 or 2 if not. Mark 3 if you have no opinion.
There’s room at the end to tell us about anything else you’d like.
The survey will only take you a couple minutes, please help us pick our topics.

Make a map for your 2021 travel plans

I don’t know about you, but we had lots of travel plans that never happened in 2020. I’m hoping we get to make up for lost time in 2021, so I’m going to start building my map now. There are several different tools I use for mapping out our travel plans, RVParky and Roadtrippers are important, but its Google My Maps that is my foundation. I add places to the map at the beginning of the year, then I edit those locations as we travel during the year and at the end, I have a history of where we went. Check out our collection of maps on our Blog here.

Google Maps vs Google My Maps

Most people have not heard of Google My Maps. It is different from Google Maps. My Maps is just that – it is for your maps. The base map comes from Google Maps, but you mark the places you want to go. You can also add lines, routes, comments, links, and photos to your places. You can get to My Maps by going to MyMaps.Google.com. Make sure you are signed in to your Google Account, then you can begin to Create a Map. You can also get to My Maps from Google Maps – click the 3-line menu at top left, select Your Places, then you’ll see a tab for “Maps” at the right.

Markers and Layers

Markers are what you put at individual places. They may be general destinations, like Atlanta. They could be specific places like the Day’s Inn motel in a certain city. They can also be stops on a driving route. Markers on your map may be places you make up – like “Family Reunion” or they can be places that exist on Google Maps that you want to appear on your map. Markers can be customized with different colors and icons.

Layers are groups of markers. You may have a layer for work and another layer for play. You may have a layer for destinations and another for the driving route. You may have a layer for westbound and another layer for eastbound. You are limited to 10 layers per map. Each layer may have many markers. If the markers are simple places the limit is 2,000 places per layer. However, if it is a layer of directions, the limit is 10 destinations per layer.

The legend is on the left. On the map, the teardrop markers are on the winter layer and the stars are on the summer layer.

Start your map

All you need to do is go to MyMaps.Google.com, make sure you are signed in with your Google account, click Create a New Map, and then start adding markers.

Add markers by searching: If the place you want to mark has a name on Google maps, you can use the search box at the top to find it. e.g. “Disney World.” Click the search icon and it will take you there and open the info card for Disney World. Now you can just click on +Add to Map to place a marker there.

Add markers just by clicking: If the place you want to mark is unique to you, first select the marker tool from the toolbar (looks like a teardrop) and then click the spot on the map. Now you can give the marker a name.

In either case, you will see your markers appear on the map as well as in the left sidebar. You can give your map a name at any time by clicking on “untitled map” at the top of the left sidebar. You can leave your map at any time – it is automatically saved. Return to the map by visiting MyMaps.Google.com.

View our collection of videos for learning Google My Maps on our Playlists page.

December 2020 News: Google Photos Free No More, Make a custom map from a photo

  December 2020 | Issue 160  | Archives
What’s Up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks?
We are Thankful for you!
To all of our newsletter subscribers and especially our premium members, Thank You! It is your curiosity and desire to learn that keeps us on our toes, and it is your financial support that makes GeeksOnTour.com possible. We miss seeing all of you in person this year as all our normal RV Rallies were cancelled due to the Pandemic, but we are thankful that online video meetings via Zoom have allowed us to stay in touch.

What Does This Button Do?

We added two new episodes to our YouTube “Button” shows in November.

Tutorial Videos – for members


What’s coming up – Our Calendar Nov/Dec 2020

We’re Presenting LIVE – online!
  • December 2, 10am – noon ET Google Photos Workshop $49. Must pre-register. Contact Us
  • December 9, 7pm ET: presentation for Sun City Center Computer Club “How to organize your photos” will be presented on their YouTube channel
  • December 11, 3pm – 5 ET Google Photos Workshop $49. Must pre-register. Contact Us
  • December 21 at 3pm ET  Google Photos Live Q&A streaming to Facebook and YouTube. Chris will demo and take questions.
Live YouTube Shows Sundays at 2pm Eastern time “The Button Show”
No shows in December – see you next year!Read Mor
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Ask the Geeks Q&A forum. Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions:

  1. Connecting a Router to a MiFi
  2. Google Photos Map Info
  3. Loading a DVD to Google Photos
  4. Getting Google Photos Images to OneDrive

Google Photos Free Unlimited Storage is Ending

Google Photos has been known for offering free, unlimited cloud storage for all your photos and videos. With the billions of photos being uploaded to their service, it has become unsustainable for them to continue that policy. They have announced that, as of June 1, 2021 that policy comes to an end. However, all photos and videos already uploaded in High Quality will remain free, it’s just the
new uploads that will be subject to the new fees.

Making a custom map with Google My Maps

This video is about making a custom map using Google My Maps. What if the spots you want on the map are out in the ocean? Or in the middle of the desert? How do you get the coordinates to add them to your map? Take a photo! This video will explain. See Episode 185 of our Button Show for more info on how to make maps.How Do I Make a Custom Map Using GPS? Tutorial Video 612
Leave us a Review

Have you learned something from Geeks on Tour?

If so, we’d love to get a review from you. Click on this link

 If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters. If you’ve learned something from us along the way, we’d love a Google Review from you!

203. Learn Google Photos – Excerpts from the Book

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above.

Scroll down to see the show notes, these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  • Quick Tip: finding photos using the Map on Google Photos
  • Chapter 3: Uploading photos from your computer to Google Photos
  • Does Google upload duplicates?
  • Uploading from CDs
  • Searching
Continue reading →

November 2020 News: Old phone as webcam, Getting rid of passwords, Google Photos and Snapseed

  November 2020 | Issue 159  | Archives
What’s Up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks?
We actually got out on the road for a couple of small trips in Florida during October. The photo above was just snapped out the window as we drove through the Northern Florida countryside. The original photo isn’t so pretty. I used Snapseed to enhance it
and create the picture you see here. See the article in this newsletter on Google Photos and Snapseed.
Have you checked out our new YouTube channel specifically for Google Photos? You’ll find it at YouTube.com/LearnGooglePhotos. Go watch a few tutorial videos and be sure to subscribe because next week we will start our monthly Live Q&A for Google Photos.
Did you know that Chris has been writing a technology newsletter since 1983?!? She’s been feeling a little nostalgic lately and pulled out her archives of old issues. See the article and read her newsletter from Spring of 1989 all about WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3 and Corporate Computer Training.
Would you like to get rid of passwords? Hang in there, because that is the direction things are going. Learn how to use “Sign in with Google” now and be prepared for passwords to become a thing of the past. See the video below.
What’s coming up – Our Calendar Nov/Dec 2020
November Workshops for Google Photos
We have scheduled Google Photos workshops for Nov 10 and 21, and Dec 2. If you purchased our Book Launch Special with the 2 hour Google Photos workshop, please click here to register for the date you would like to attend.
If you didn’t sign up during the special, but you want to register for a workshop at the regular price of $49, click here.

We’re Presenting LIVE – online!

November 7, 2-3pm ET Google Photos APCUG exclusive Computer User Group presentation for member clubs.
November 10, 7-9pm ET Google Photos Workshop $. Must pre-register.
November 16 at 3pm ET  Google Photos Live Q&A streaming to Facebook and YouTube. Chris will demo and take questions.
November 21, 2-4pm ET Google Photos Workshop $. Must pre-register.
December 2, 10am – noon ET Google Photos Workshop $. Must pre-register.
Live YouTube Shows Sundays at 2pm Eastern time “The Button Show” about every other week. Check our Home Page at GeeksOnTour.com where we post a yellow note about our plans for the upcoming Sunday.
If we don’t do a live Button Show, we’ll do a Member Zoom at 2pm Eastern.
Live Zoom meetings for Premium Members after the live shows. Watch your email for announcements of scheduled shows, or check the message on our home page.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Ask the Geeks Q&A forum. Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions:

  1. External Drives
  2. How to delete a Group Album
  3. One-Drive wants Money for Storage
  4. Editing Photos in Albums
  5. Force Photos Upload

Need a new webcam? Use an old phone.

When you get a new phone, do you keep the old one? I want you to know that the old phone is still a great camera. Add a stand, and a little software app and you get yourself a high quality webcam.

I use my old iPhone and this $20 phone holder stand as a “Document Camera” for recording demonstration videos.

This same setup can be used as a camera for video conferences like Zoom. This article will show you how.


Sign in with Google

This video is about using Sign in with Google. The time is coming when you don’t need to set up accounts with their own password. Start learning to “Sign in with Google” now. See Episode 202 for more info on passwords.Sign in with Google


Make your photos beautiful with Snapseed

Snapseed is a free app from Google for either Android or iOS mobile devices. It is almost PhotoShop-like in how much it can improve your photos, but it’s a lot easier. Just a tap here, and a swipe there, and you’ll have a photo that people say “Wow” when they see it.

The great thing is, you can get to it right from Google Photos. First you need to install the app. It’s a free app from Google, get it in your iOS App store or your Google Play Store. All my photos are in Google Photos, so I can just open any one of them, then choose to edit in Snapseed. The process is slightly different in Android
and iOS.

  • Android: tap the Edit button, Choose “More” at the right end of the list, choose Snapseed
  • iOS: swipe up on photo, Choose Open in Snapseed. If you don’t see that option, you need to force quit your Google Photos app and restart it. See video in this article.

Leave us a Review

Have you learned something from Geeks on Tour?

If so, we’d love to get a review from you. Click on this link

 If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters. If you’ve learned something from us along the way, we’d love a Google Review from you!

From the Archives: WordPerfect

by Chris Guld

Did you know that I owned and operated a Computer Training Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 1983 to 1996? It was called Computer Savvy and, among other things it was an Authorized WordPerfect training center and I was a WordPerfect Certified Instructor.

Because of Computer Savvy, I wrote a regular computer training newsletter. Here is one from Spring of 1989. It discusses why you should update your WordPerfect software, why you should attend our company training fair, and then some tips on Lotus 1-2-3, DOS, and Pagemaker.

202. How to make your passwords secure

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above.

Scroll down to see the show notes, these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

Passwords are the bane of our existence. Security requires more than a good password. You need 2FA, Two Factor Authentication. Geeks On Tour will help you with your password conundrum, including the eventual goal of getting rid of passwords altogether.

Continue reading →

Need a new webcam? Use an old phone.

When you get a new phone, do you keep the old one? I want you to know that the old phone is still a great camera. Add a stand, and a little software app and you get yourself a high quality webcam.

I use my old iPhone and this $20 phone holder stand as a “Document Camera” for recording demonstration videos.

1. Demonstrating on an iPad 2. My old iPhone acting as a “Document Camera” to project what I’m doing 3. My computer, using iVCam to display what the Document camera is seeing

With the iVCam app installed on the phone and also on my computer, everything the phone is seeing below it is being displayed on my computer where it can be recorded with something like Camtasia, or Live-Streamed over Zoom or YouTube.

The same setup can be a camera for Zoom video calls.

I can use the same phone holder stand but set it behind my computer and adjust it so the phone’s camera is pointed at my face. Then, using the iVCam software, my old iPhone becomes a camera that is selectable in Zoom.

1. The same stand as the first example, just adjusted differently. 2. My old iPhone, running iVCam, with the main camera lens pointed towards me. 3. A zoom call using the iVCam as the selected camera.

To select your phone as the camera for Zoom, click the up arrow next to the video button in the lower left and, under “Select a Camera” choose e2eSoft iVCam. e2eSoft.com is the maker of iVCam.

The steps are:

  • You need an old smartphone, either iPhone or Android
  • Connect the phone to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer
  • Install the iVCam app on the phone and also on computer – Windows only. If you have a Mac, you can google for WebCam Phone software for Mac
  • Open iVCam on phone and point camera as desired. Note: if using it for a webcam pointed at your face, be sure to use the rear camera, not the selfie camera. The rear camera is much higher resolution.
  • Open iVCam on computer to record or live-stream your screen
    or
    Choose e2eSoft iVCam as your camera in Zoom or other video calling service.

If you try it, let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about what to do with old phones, watch our “What Does This Button Do?” YouTube show Episode 201: What can I do with an old phone?