Author Archives: MrsGeek

Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She's been teaching technology since 1983 and still loves it! People appreciate her simple yet complete teaching style. Chris is a scuba diver, RVer, and world traveler. She takes a LOT of photos and uses Google Photos to manage over 100,000 of them from her life. Google recognizes her as a Diamond level Product Expert for Google Photos, she's written a book on it and loves teaching others how to manage their lifetime of photos with Google Photos.

Feb 26, 2024 Golden Gate Computer Society: Hodgepodge of Tech Tips for Everyone

We’ve presented at the Golden Gate Computer Society several times in the past. Initially we were there in person because we lived in our RV and traveled the country. Whenever we found ourselves in California we would stop by Marin County and visit with GGCS. This time we are in Florida, so we will be presenting using the Zoom meeting platform. Here are the slides for the presentation:

Private Link for Chris

February 2024 News: Google Photos Classes, Zoom Meetings, Google Maps gas prices, more…

Newsletter: February 2024 | Issue 198 | Archives 

If this email was forwarded to you sign up for your own copy here.

Image

January Photo/Video

Aloha! We started January with a cruise in Hawaii. We were a group of 14 and we all contributed photos to a group album. Hawaii was our 50th state that we’ve visited – and it was special. Read about it and see our group album and a highlight
video in this article.



Calendar of Upcoming Events

February

  • “What Does This Button Do?” 2 pm ET Sunday Live on YouTube
    • February 4th and 25th  Episodes 270 and 271
    • Members Only Backstage Zoom after the shows
  • Feb 6 3pm Google Photos Workshop #1. A zoom meeting for members-ony Recording Here.
  • Feb 19 at 7pm ET Google Photos Open Q&A
  • Feb 26 at 10pm Eastern Golden Gate Computer Society class over Zoom
  •  Tech For Senior’s Selected Mondays at Noon ET “Fun With Photos”

March

  • March 5 3pm: Google Photos Workshop #2 for members only. Pre-registration required.
  • “What Does This Button Do?” 2 pm ET Sunday Live on YouTube
    • March 10th and 24th  Episodes 272 and 273
    • Members Only Backstage Zoom after the shows
  • March 3rd, 17th and 31st Fun With Photos Podcast at 2 pm ET
  •  Tech For Senior’s Selected Mondays at Noon ET “Fun With Photos”

Ask the Geeks Q&A Forum

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

  1. Editing RAW files
  2. Change Blogger header
  3. Sharing photos from within an album
  4. Specify Folders on Phone to Upload

Arranging your Zoom Meeting Views

We are in Zoom meetings multiple times each week and we’ve noticed some new issues recently.

  1. A barely noticeable dialog box is preventing people from unmuting or turning on their camera
  2. If your view is set to “Full Screen” (which
    happens by default when someone shares screen) you do not have access to top, bottom, or side bars.

You have my Google Photos book, but have you read it?

We have a lot of teaching materials avaialble for Google Photos that supplement the Learn Google Photos book. We’ve broken the book down into “Top Tips” for each chapter. And, we are now offering a hands-on class over Zoom each month.

Both the Top Tips and the Zoom classes are reserved for our Premium
Members at no extra charge. The plan is to offer one workshop each month. It will take 5 months to complete the whole series. Here is the list of Workshops:

  1. Gathering your Lifetime of Photos and Videos (covering chapters 1-3)
  2. Exploring your Google Photos Library and Backing Up (covering chapters 4-6)
  3. Editing to Improve your Photos and making Creations (covering chapter 7 and 10)
  4. Organizing and Sharing your Photos and Videos (covering chapters
    8-9)
  5. Getting the Most from Google Photos (overview and workflow)

We completed Workshop #1 on Feb 6. Workshop #2 is scheduled for Mar 5. Pre-registration is
required
.

Read the Article


Navigate from a Calendar Entry

If you use Google Calendar, you can add a location to your appointments, then when you’re ready to go,
you can navigate.

How to Navigate from a Calendar Entry Tutorial Video 837


How to Change the Frame of an iPhone Live Photo

Question from Mary:

Sometimes when I take a photograph with my iPhone, the snapshot moves
briefly when I view it. Why?Sometimes this exceedingly brief “video” has an image I would like to save and print at the beginning and not at the end of the movement. Specifically dolphins leaping from the water. Is there anyway I can stop the motion where I need to?


Google Maps shows the price of gas … and Diesel

If you search for gas stations using Google Maps on your phone or maps.google.com on your computer, it will show you all nearby gas stations and the price of regular gas will also appear. Now, if you click thru on any gas station and scroll down, you will see the
price of all gas grades available there.  Read the Article


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Updates in Process

You have my Google Photos book, but have you read it?

My book, “Learn Google Photos” is available on Amazon in Print or as Kindle eBook. A lot of people have purchased it, I don’t think many of them have actually read it. This is not intended to be a guilt trip, I’m just recognizing that reading a comprehensive manual from cover to cover is not something that people want to do. They’re overwhelmed, I get it. I would hope that you would skim it from page 1 thru page 151 in order to be aware of what is between the covers. That way, if you hit a problem with Google Photos, or you have a question, you’ll know what is contained in the book and it will help you when you need it.

Updating the Printed Book

The book was written 2 years ago. A lot changes in web-based products like Google Photos in that amount of time. Reading the book and understanding the concepts will help you even if the step-by-step has changed. When you understand the purpose of a feature, you can figure out how to make it work even if the menus have changed.

My dillemma is whether or not to do the work to update the book, when I know that the update will soon be out-of-date again. But, yes, I need to do the updates. I am working on it and have about 1/3 of the book updated. If you are a premium member of GeeksOnTour.com you can access the updated version, in .pdf format, on the eBooks page. Meanwhile, I am keeping a running list of changes in the Google Photos product at GeeksOnTour.com/GPUpdates. Please check that out if you are interested in what has changed.

Top Tips

I am interested in teaching. I want people to learn what they came here to learn. If I recognize that people are not going to read a book cover to cover, what else can I do to help them learn? More and more I understand that people learn in bite-size pieces. Short tips are more easily digested than full chapters. Sometimes, after reading a short tip, people are ready to dive in and learn more. People learn when they are ready to learn. It’s called “the teachable moment.” My latest endeavor at GeeksOnTour.com is called “Top Tips.” Our website has been gathering video tutorials and other written lessons for nearly 20 years. There’s a lot of content here. If you look on the Tutorials menu, you’ll see a new option called “Top Tips.” That is where I create short, written tips on things I think people want to learn. At the bottom of this short tip there is a section called “Learn More.” Tutorial videos, articles, and other links are listed here, easily available when people are ready to dive in to further learning.

Learn Google Photos Tip by Tip

It occurred to me that maybe the entire “Learn Google Photos” book could be better digested with Top Tips. What I have done is to create one tip per chapter. Each tip gives a brief summary of the chapter and then lists further resources if you want to “Learn More.” The list of Chapter Summary, “Top Tips” are shown in a Learning Guide. It’s called “Learn Google Photos Tip by Tip” and it looks like this:

For members only

I teach because I love it. And I’m always trying to get better. The only way to be sure I’m giving value is if people are willing to pay. There is a LOT of free material on our website and on our YouTube channel but we still need to charge for our premium content. I consider these “Top Tips” to be premium content. You must be a premium member, about $60/year, in order to have access to these tips.

Hands-on Classes to Learn Google Photos – Members Only

I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that the best way to learn technology is hands-on. When I started teaching in 1983, we had a classroom of computers. Students sat at those computers and I had hands-on exercises so they could learn Visicalc, WordStar and later, WordPerfect.

We no longer have classrooms or students sitting before us in chairs, but I still believe in hands-on teaching. Zoom is the best approximation we have these days, so I have begun to offer Zoom-based classes to teach Google Photos. These workshops are free for our premium members. It takes at least 4 sessions to cover the contents of the book:

  1. Gathering your Lifetime of Photos and Videos (covering chapters 1-3)
  2. Exploring your Google Photos Library and Backing Up (covering chapters 4-6)
  3. Editing to Improve your Photos and making Creations (covering chapter 7 and 10)
  4. Organizing and Sharing your Photos and Videos (covering chapters 8-9)
  5. Getting the Most from Google Photos (overview and workflow)

The first workshop was held on Feb 6. Workshop # 2 is scheduled for March 5. Pre-registration is required. You can see all scheduled workshops listed on our Classes page. The goal is to offer one a month.

Google Maps shows the Price of Gas … and Diesel

When we lived on the road, we used an app called Gas Buddy all the time. We could see at a glance if gas (or Diesel) was cheaper on this side of the state line, or the other. We still use it for that when we travel, but Google Maps is catching up. Search for gas stations in Google Maps and it will pop up the price of regular gas for each station.

Here’s what’s new

When you see a gas station and you see the price of Regular, you can tap on it to open up more information. Below the photos, and the menu headings, you now see the prices for all the grades of fuel available.

Google Maps may be the only travel app you need!

Show270. HodgePodge of Tech Tips for Everyone

  • 0:00 Begin
  • 2:01 Settings for Rotating your phone’s screen
  • 6:41 Hello and Introduction
  • 10:54 List of 10 tips
  • 11:31 Google Maps has gas, and Diesel, prices
  • 17:54 Navigate from a Calendar entry
  • 20:19 3 ways to scan a QR code
  • 27:08 How to create QR codes
  • 32:23 Google Photos little known Editing features, Shadows, Pop, Vignette
  • 36:10 Google Photos is not a backup – Chris’ backup system
  • 42:24 Zoom Views – Full Screen
  • 43:18 Cloud computing – Free Powerpoint – crop to circle
  • 50:24 Review Questions
For Members Only

How to Change the Frame of an iPhone Live Photo

Question from Mary:

Sometimes when I take a photograph with my iPhone, the snapshot moves briefly when I view it. Why?
Sometimes this exceedingly brief “video” has an image I would like to save and print at the beginning and not at the end of the movement. Specifically dolphins leaping from the water. Is there anyway I can stop the motion where I need to?

The snapshot that moves is called a Live Photo and it has been a feature of iPhones since the 6s. Turning on the Live option in the camera will result in 3 seconds of video being captured along with the still shot. You know if your Live option is turned on if the bullseye at the top right of the camera does not have a line thru it. If it does have a line thru it then Live is OFF. Just tap it and you will briefly see the words LIVE or LIVE OFF.

When I learned  about Live Photos, my first reaction was “Cool! A way to pick the best frame from 3 seconds of video for the perfect photo, without using Burst shot.” This is what Mary wants to do in order to get the shot of the dolphins in mid-air, not just the splash.

How to See the Video Portion of a Live Photo

Using the Photos app that comes with your iPhone, you will see a brief glimpse of the live photo as you view the photos in your camera roll. To see the entire 3 seconds of video, you must press and hold on photo. You will see – and hear – the 3 seconds of video.

Using the Google Photos app, when you view a Live Photo on an iPhone, you will see a button that has two positions, play and pause. When it is in the play position, the video portion will play over and over. When in Pause, you see the still photo.

play-pause

The Easy Way to Change the Frame

What shows up as the still in an iPhone Live Photo is called the Key Photo. It is easy to change the key photo to another frame using the Apple Photos app that comes with your iPhone.

A different procedure using Google Photos

Using Google Photos, you can view the Live Photo, play it, then tap the 3-dot menu in the upper right (or just swipe up on the photo) scroll to the right and you’ll see an option to Save as Video. This will separate the 3 seconds of video and make a standalone .mov file. Then, when you view the video, you can tap the edit button and see a filmstrip of every frame. Tap the frame you want and then tap “Export frame.” This results in a new photo of just that frame. If that’s all you want, then you can delete the original Live photo and .mov file since they are all separate files.

Learn more about Live photos, as well as motion photos on Android?

The “Motion Photo” button on Samsung camera

Episode 223 from November of 2021 is a show we did on “Why do my photos move?” On December 5, 2022, we were guest speakers on the Tech for Seniors show and presented lots of smartphone photography tips including Live and Motion photos. The video below starts at the point we demonstrate Live and Motion photos.

Hawaii – our 50th State!

Jim’s 70th birthday was this January, we had to celebrate big. He wanted to go to Hawaii, it’s the only state he had not visited. We decided to do a cruise on NCL’s Pride of America because that way we could easily visit 4 different islands in one week. We have now visited all 50 States … together! (If you want to make your own map of visited states, see this article.

For this birthday celebration, Jim said “the more the merrier” so we invited family, friends, and Geeks on Tour friends too. We ended up with 14 people on board the “Pride of America” cruise ship. Starting at the port of Honolulu and including ports of call at Maui, Hilo, Kona, and Kauai. We get it now – why everyone speaks so highly of Hawaii, it is beautiful both in natural beauty and in the beauty of the “Aloha Spirit.” We’re so glad we went, and the cruise was a great way to visit 4 different islands in a short time. Here is the group photo album. Everyone went to different places, so it was great to get photos from everyone. Stay tuned and we will be teaching exactly how to make a group album in Fun with Photos set to stream on Sunday 2/11/24.

Meanwhile, here is a highlight video:

If you want to learn how to make a video like this one … here’s your tutorial!

Zoom Meeting Views

We are in Zoom meetings multiple times each week and we’ve noticed some new issues recently.

  1. A barely noticeable dialog box is preventing people from unmuting or turning on their camera
  2. If your view is set to “Full Screen” (which happens by default when someone shares screen) you do not have access to top, bottom, or side bars.

Dialog Boxes

It’s normal for a dialog box to suspend all other screen activity until the dialog box is handled. For example, when you click a command to Print you will see a large dialog box appear in the middle of your screen with all the print options. It’s clear that when this dialog box is up, you cannot click on anything in the screen behind it. The problem with this Zoom dialog box is twofold:

  1. It’s easy to miss because it is a single line at the top of your meeting screen rather than a big white box in the middle of the screen.
  2. The position of the OK button might mean “Ok, leave meeting” rather than “Ok, this meeting is being livestreamed.”

While that dialog box is up you may not be able to unmute or turn on your camera (the buttons at the lower left.) Click the blue OK button to make the dialog box disappear and release the hold on the mute and camera buttons.

Full Screen View

A Zoom meeting may be viewed in Full Screen mode. When that is the case, your Zoom meeting takes over the entire screen – as if it is the only thing going on with your computer. You will not see the Windows Task bar at the bottom and you will not have your normal Window controls at the top (minimize, maximize, restore.) If there are other people in the meeting, their boxes will be covering up some of main person talking or their screenshare. If you are not in Full Screen view, then the people can move to their own row at the top of the screen, any chat screen can be pinned to a right side bar, and you will regain your window controls and taskbar.

To switch between Full Screen View and not Full Screen View, click the “View” button in the upper right. You will either see “Exit Full Screen,” meaning that you are currently IN Full Screen View, or “Full Screen” which will take you to Full Screen view.

Full Screen View
Not Full Screen View

We hope these tips help you feel a little more in control when you’re in a Zoom meeting.