Category Archives: Blog

Computer Tips for Travelers and anything else that these Geeks feel like writing about will show up here! For additional articles on Picasa, see our separate site PicasaGeeks.com
. For additional articles on Internet Connections on the Road, see our separate site WiFiSavvy.com

January 2022 News: Streamyard, Bitcoin, Travel maps, and Google Photos book

  January 2022 | Issue 173  | Archives
What’s up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks

Keys

We hope you all had happy holidays.
We were home for the whole month of December. We celebrated the holidays with lots of friends and family. For Christmas, Jim and I gave each other the gift of travel! On January1 we will be going on a 3-week trip called “Route of the Maya” with Overseas Adventure Travel. All the planning is done for us. I still laid it out in Google My Maps. Click the link and you can see the map. We will add notes and
photos to the map when we’re there. If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you will get a link to our photo album so you can follow along with us day by day.
Classes in December
During the past month we presented a class over Zoom on using LastPass.  You can review the whole class at the link below. It will be public until February when it changes to members only.
In this newsletter:
As usual, we have an eclectic mix of smartphone and technology tips for you.
  1. Live streaming with Streamyard, it’s easier than you think.
  2. Our Travel map for 2021
  3. Video: Overview of Bitcoin and Blockchain
  4. Praise for our Google Photos book
  5. Sample videos: Long exposure photos on iPhone, Time Zones on Google Calendar

  • Thank you to our premium members for supporting us and making this newsletter possible! If you learn something from us, and you’re not a member, consider joining us now.

What’s coming up – Our Calendar January 2022

We’re Presenting Online
Things are all online-only on our calendar this month.
January We’ll be out of the country most of January but we plan on going live on YouTube and Facebook during our travels.
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, click on the bell for notifications, and Like us on Facebook.
We expect to do a Button Show January 30th with a recap of our trip.
  • Jan 30, 2pm ET- Episode 227 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Jan 30, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
Live YouTube Shows Sundays at 2pm Eastern time “The Button Show”
Also on our Facebook page
Be sure to subscribe and like the page
February
  • Feb 13, 2pm ET- Episode 228 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Feb 13, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • February 21 – 24 Riverside RV Resort 3 sessions
  • Feb 27, 2pm ET- Episode 229 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Feb 27, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Get vaccinated.


Ask the GeeksAsk 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. Dictating a message then have it typed out
  2. Cloud Storage and backup options
  3. HDMI wired and wireless
  4. Adding text to a photo
  5. Scanner no longer links to Google Photos

Live streaming with Streamyard, it’s easier than you think.

Have you ever taught a class or spoken up at a meeting about a topic of interest? Might you want to reach a bigger audience on that topic? How would you like to have an informal group of people who talk about that topic and broadcast their discussions to anyone else who is interested – anywhere in the world. And, you can do it for free!

Our Travel map for 2021

I add markers to this map all year long. Now that the year is over, I can consider our travel map complete. The red line is going out, westbound. The green line is coming home. Clicking on the map will take you to the original, interactive, MyMap. Then you can click on the markers to see more information and some
photos.

If you’re interested in making these maps for yourself, check out this article. It includes links to all our teaching material on Google MyMaps.


Praise for our Google Photos Book

We were so excited to get this email from Sue Hepler today. So I don’t have to tell you about how good my book is! You can listen to Sue!
 “I just received my new Google Photos book from you.  Came home, heated up a cup of soup, plopped down at the table and opened your book for the first time.  I just grabbed a chunk of pages at random and came to Chapter 5.  I read page 73 about archiving.  I’ve never used archive before because I didn’t really understand it and didn’t think I’d ever need it.  Now I think it is a MIRACLE!!!!
My biggest problem of scrolling through all our photos by date is the issue of seeing all the housewatch photos we take on a daily basis.  NOW (thanks to you) I know I just have to select them and hit archive.  I still have the photos if I should need them for future reference but I don’t have to scroll through them all to get to the one or two photos I took that I want for my blog or for personal use.
THANK YOU!!!!  If I hadn’t ordered your book, I would never have realized a simple solution to my ongoing problem (annoyance).
You remain WONDER WOMAN in my world.  I am a HUGE fan.
Sue Hepler”

Learn about Bitcoin and Blockchain

One of our motivations for visiting El Salvador specifically, is that they are using Bitcoin as legal currency and we’d like to see how it works. Here is a 20 minute excerpt from Episode 206 of our YouTube show.

Have you seen these tutorial videos?

Here is a sample of our tutorial videos.Apple Photos, soft waterfall effect

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!


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Have you thought about live-streaming? With Streamyard, it’s easier than you think.

Have you ever taught a class or spoken up at a meeting about a topic of interest? Might you want to reach a bigger audience on that topic? How would you like to have an informal group of people who talk about that topic and broadcast their discussions to anyone else who is interested – anywhere in the world. And, you can do it for free!

What is Live Streaming

Your ‘show’ starts out live and unedited – think SNL (Saturday Night Live.) People who subscribe to your YouTube channel get a notice on their phones and computer – “Chris and Jim are LIVE, click here to watch.” Live Streaming is easier to produce because you don’t do any editing. Live Streams can get more people watching because there’s a sense of urgency and viewers can ask questions that can be answered during the live show. When you’re done, it’s automatically recorded and anyone can watch the recording at any time.

We use a product called Streamyard to do our YouTube show. If you watched Episode 225 a couple weeks ago you saw our neighbor, Keith, talk about how he decided to do a video podcast when Covid shut down his business. Streamyard made it almost effortless to broadcast a weekly show. One year later, his show often has 20,000 viewers!

Keith learned that, using Streamyard, he could live stream to Facebook as well as YouTube, and it was easy to do. Since he started with Zoom, he was accustomed to video and wanted people to watch. But, he was encouraged to have an audio only podcast and, guess what? Streamyard gave him the ability to download just the audio from the Live video show. Then he uploads that audio to another system called Buzzsprout that provides the platform for delivering the podcast.

Here is a 7 minute video that demonstrates the basics of using Streamyard to Live stream

If you want to learn more, there are lots of learning materials at Streamyard.com. We also recommend our friends at TinkeringWithTech.net. They’re the ones who taught us!

Our travel map for 2021

I add markers to this map all year long. Now that the year is over, I can consider our travel map complete. The red line is going out, westbound. The green line is coming home. Clicking on the map will take you to the original, interactive, MyMap. Then you can click on the markers to see more information and some photos.

If you want to learn how to make these maps, we have lots of materials to help.

Learning materials free for anyone

Learning materials for Members only

Keith Willard uses Streamyard for podcasting

225. Podcasting and Streamyard, Interview with Keith Willard

  • 0:00 Begin
  • 1:44 Finding Podcasts
  • 6:34 Hello and intro
  • 9:57 Meet Keith Willard
  • 16:39 Why Keith started a podcast
  • 19:52 How he started with Streamyard and Buzzsprout for the podcast
  • 30:30 Basic Streamyard tutorial
  • 38:46 Conversation with Keith
  • 48:39 Recap of Streamyard and YouTube
  • 52:17 Review Questions
  • 56:18 Final thoughts

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above, or the link to any ‘chapter’ in the video.

Scroll down to see the show notes (coming soon), 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.

Continue reading →

Your smartphone has a setting for that … if you can find it.

All smartphones have dozens, maybe hundreds, of settings that customize the way your phone works. For example, does your phone’s screen go black when you don’t want it to? If you’re writing an email and you take a minute to think about what you want to say, your phone thinks it’s time to go to sleep and your screen goes dark just as you’re about to type the next word. That’s aggravating, right? Well, there’s a setting for that. On Android phones it’s called Screen Timeout. On iPhones it’s called AutoLock. Yours may be set to 30 seconds, which means you don’t get much time to think before the screen goes black! You can change it to something more reasonable, like 1 or 2 minutes – IF you can find it.

How to get to settings

Once you get there, I encourage you to scroll around, check out all the possible settings. You’ll learn a lot. But if you’re looking for one particular setting, it may take a while because there are a LOT of settings.

Use Search

Once you get into the Settings for your phone, you will see a Search option at the top of the screen.

How to Search for Settings on AndroidHow to Search for Settings on iPhone

There is a basic difference between how iOS and Android handle settings for specific apps. With iPhone, in general, you open the system settings, then find the specific app and its settings are there. On Android, generally, you open the app, then find the settings for that app in a menu, usually indicated with a gear icon.

To learn more about settings, see Episode 162 of our YouTube show, What Does This Button Do?

Taking photos with Chris’ new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra phone – A Surprise Feature

My new phone arrived! Two days early. So exciting. Now if I could only get the box open!

 I did finally get the box open! Then I turned it on and followed the instructions to turn OFF my old Samsung/Verizon phone so that the new one (the S21 Ultra) could automatically activate. Amazing. I didn’t have to deal with the SIM card at all, it just did everything for me. After that, my Google Backup and the Samsung “Smart Switch” utility went to work transferring everything from my old phone to my new one.

Top of the Line Camera

OK, now let’s go have some fun with that camera! It has 4 – yes, four! Different lenses. Think of it like a digital SLR camera like my old Canon where I bought separate lenses for different purposes. With the Canon I had to detach one lens and attach another, it’s a bit of a process. And, I had to lug around all these lenses. With the Samsung S21 Ultra it’s all built in.

On the camera, you select the different lenses by tapping on the on the selection on the camera screen.

1. Ultra Wide 2. Normal wide 3. 3X Telephoto 4. 10X Telephoto

I found a pretty spot in our neighborhood where there was a sign and I got a ways away. I stood in one spot and took 4 photos, one with each of the different lens settings. You can’t even see the sign when I use the wide angle or the normal lens. With the 3X You can see that there is a sign there. With the 10X you can almost read the sign – and if you zoom in a bit with two fingers, you can clearly read it. WOW

Zooming in with your fingers, using the 10X lens. I felt like I was looking through binoculars!

Surprise! Samsung has an Object Eraser

I bought this phone because of the lenses. I knew that taking telephoto shots was going to be awesome. What I did not know is that the Samsung Gallery app has a feature called Object Eraser. I strongly considered getting the Google Pixel 6 instead of the Samsung, and one of the reasons is the Google Photos feature called “Magic Eraser” which is only available on the Pixel 6.

I usually do not use the Gallery app that comes with Samsung phones because I use Google Photos instead. But I do open it up and take a look around, saw an option called “Object Eraser” and asked myself, “What does this button do?” And, look what I found!

I used the “Object Eraser” feature in the Samsung Gallery to erase the people in the background.

So, how easy is it? Pretty darned easy! All you do is

  • Open the photo using the Samsung Gallery app
  • Tap the edit button (pencil icon)
  • Tap the 3-dot menu and choose Object eraser
  • Then you just touch the object you want erased – I touched the first person, then I touched the second person. It figured out where the outlines of each person was.
  • I touched the “Erase” button, then Done
Notice how the people look highlighted in purple. All I did to make that happen was to touch them.

Organizing your photos with Google Photos – Step 1

Open the Google Photos app

This is the Google Photos App

That’s it! That’s step 1. You need to open the app in order for it to do its job. The Google Photos app on a smartphone is designed to copy all the photos from your phone to your Google account in the cloud. If you never open the app, it can’t do its job.

The very first time you open the app, you will need to set it up with your Google account, and whether you want your photos uploaded in Original Size, or Storage Saver size. We recommend Storage Saver. You should then see a message about the number of photos that are being backed up.

When you open the app, it will start uploading all your photos. But, if you never open it again, it will go dormant. I have a friend who lamented that she hadn’t been “organizing” her photos since the last time she saw me! That was several years ago. I told her to open the Google Photos app and she saw the message, 5,074 photos to upload.

What does it mean to “organize” your photos?

Organizing your photos means different things to different people. I call it the “IPO” scale. Your Inner Photo Organizer. At the low end of the scale are the people who don’t care that much, they’re lazy when it comes to their photos. They like to take photos occasionally, not all the time. They would like to know how to see them again, but they’re not interested in doing any work to make that happen. As you go up the scale, you may be willing to do a little tagging, or adding specific photos to albums and sharing those albums with friends and family. I’m a 3. I’m willing to put in a little work to mark my best photos and put them into albums by month, but I don’t worry about deleting the ones that are left behind, and I don’t have any system for naming photos.

If you are all the way on the Ambitious end of the scale, you’ve been passionate for years about organizing your photos. You look at each one, delete the ones you don’t need, rename your keepers, tag every one and keep them in organized folders or albums. You do this on a regular basis for all your photos.

Google Photos is great for people who are 1, 2, or 3 on this scale. If you are a 4 or a 5, you will need more tools than Google Photos offers. For example, you cannot rename a file using Google Photos.

Step 1 is the same for everyone

I’ve read books on photo organizing. I’ve attended seminars on photo organizing. I’ve helped many people organize their photos. The first step is agreed by all – gather all your photos in one place. If you take all your photos with your phone, and you use Google Photos, Step 1 is handled automatically.

IF you open the Google Photos app!

What happens to my Google Photos if I don’t pay for storage?

Google gives everyone 15GB of free cloud storage. If you need more, you’ll need to pay.

If you think of your Google Account Storage like a real world storage unit, these concepts will be easier. Let’s say you had a small storage unit that would hold 15 boxes of stuff. Once it gets full, what happens? You can’t store any more stuff! If you take out some of the old boxes, you can put in new ones, but you’re limited to 15 boxes total.

3 Choices when your storage is full

It’s the same with your Google Account Storage. Google gives everyone 15GB of storage for free. Once you fill that up, you have 3 choices:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Get rid of some stuff
  3. Pay for a bigger storage amount

If you choose #1, you won’t be able to add any more photos to your Google Photos but you will be able to access what is already there. That may be acceptable but there’s a catch. You also won’t be able to send or receive any new emails to your Google (gmail) address. Why? Because the Google storage allotment is shared by Google Photos, Gmail, and Google Drive.

If you choose #3, go to Google One to see the prices for bigger storage allotments. The current (November 2021) prices are:

  • 15GB = Free
  • 100GB = $1.99/mo or $19.99/yr
  • 200GB = $2.99/mo or $29.99/yr
  • 2Terrabytes = $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr

How many GB do you need for photos and videos?

People always ask, how many photos can I fit into 1Gigabyte? Well, it depends on several factors, your camera, how many videos you take, whether you use Original size or Storage saver. A rough estimate is between 500 and 1,000 photos per Gigabyte. If you know how many photos and how many videos you have, and you know their average file size, here’s a calculator you can use to find out how many Gibabytes you need.

To get a number directly from Google Photos, I uploaded 7200 photos and videos to a fresh account (Alice) after June 1 using Storage Saver size. Her storage shows 9.66 GB used by Google Photos (which works out to 750 photos/GB). If I had used Original size, I believe it would have taken at least twice the storage.

What happens if I stop paying?

Let’s say you filled up your 15GB of free storage so you started paying $2/mo for the 100 GB. You kept adding photos, email, and Drive files and are now using 40GB of storage. If you stop paying then your account’s storage allotment reverts to the 15GB Free plan. You are now 25GB over your allotment. You will not be able to add any more photos, send or receive emails, or add new Drive files. You will get warnings from Google telling you to either delete content until you are within your allotment, or pay for more storage. If you ignore them and do nothing, Google will keep bugging you but they won’t delete any of your content until you have ignored them for 2 years, after 2 years they may delete your content or even delete your account. See the official help page for Managing your Google Storage.

What is Google One?

If you pay for storage from Google, that makes you a premium “member” of Google One. When you are a premium member, you get additional perks like one-on-one support via phone call, chat, or email. Google One members will also see premium editing features in Google Photos like Dynamic, HDR, and Portrait. If you don’t pay for storage, you are still part of Google One, but you’re on the Free plan. You still visit One.Google.com to see storage statistics for your account.

But wait – I thought Google Photos was free and unlimited?!

Google Photos used to be free and unlimited but that all changed on June 1, 2021. For more detail, see the article I wrote before the June 1 change to Google Photos storage plans: Google Photos free unlimited storage is ending – here’s everything you need to know. Any more questions, you can use the comments below.

November 2021 News: Motion Photos, Bitcoin symbol, Notifications and more!

  November 2021 | Issue 171  | Archives
What’s up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks

Keys

Roadtrek Rally and enjoying Florida

There’s a reason we live in South Florida. We love the warmth and the ocean. We took our kayaks out into the ocean a couple of times this past month. Then we were booked for a Roadtrek Rally in Sarasota. We had a very attentive audience for learning about Trip Planning, managing photos with Google Photos, and a slew of smartphone tips and tricks. You can see the class materials at

After the rally we took an afternoon to visit the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, then headed for the Thousand Trails park at Peace River for a couple of nights before heading home.
In this newsletter:
As usual, we have an eclectic mix of smartphone and technology tips for you.
  1. Since our next YouTube episode is about Live and Motion photos, we’re delivering a quick tip about saving a motion photo as an animated gif.
  2. Then, as a follow up to last week’s show on smartphone keyboards, we have a tip on how to type the Bitcoin symbol ₿ on an iPhone.
  3. Our third tip is about controlling notifications on your phone.
  4. And, last but not least is video that shows how Live view on Google Maps can superimpose directions on top of the real life scene in front of you.

What Does This Button Do? (YouTube shows)

  • Thank you to our premium members for supporting us and making this newsletter possible! If you learn something from us, and you’re not a member, consider joining us now.

What’s coming up – Our Calendar October 2021
We’re Presenting Online
Things are all online-only on our calendar this month.
Live YouTube Shows Sundays at 2pm Eastern time “The Button Show”
Also on our Facebook page
Be sure to subscribe and like the page
November
  • Nov 7, 2pm ET- Episode 223 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Nov 7, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • Nov 15, 3pm ET- Google Photos: Ask Chris Anything Live
  • Nov 16, 1:30 ET – Senior Planet Lunch and Learn: Time Zones
  • Nov 19, 10am ET – Deerfield Beach Computer Club Zoom meeting
  • Nov 21, 2pm ET- Episode 224 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Nov 21, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • Nov 22, 4pm ET Hilton Head Island Computer Club Google Photos
  • Nov 29, 7pm ET- Members Only Orientation and Q&A Live
December
  • Dec 5, 2pm ET- Episode 225 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Dec 5, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • Dec 8, 7pm ET- Sun City Center Computer Club  Zoom meeting: How do I use LastPass?
  • Dec13, 3pm ET- Google Photos: Ask Chris Anything Live
  • Dec19, 2pm ET- Episode 226 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Dec19, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Get vaccinated.

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. Transcribing Old Documents
  2. Free Up Space on Android
  3. Google Drive Checking Sync and Photos
  4. Sharing iPhone Plan
  5. Adding Symbols to Picasa Captions
How to make an animated gif from a motion photo using Samsung Gallery
Most Samsung phones have a camera mode called “Motion Photo.” When it’s on and you snap a photo, it captures a few seconds of video as well. Once you have a motion photo, there are many ways you can view and use it. This short article is about the Samsung Gallery app and how to create an
animated .gif.
To learn more about Android Motion photos, iPhone Live photos and how Google Photos can work with both of them, make sure to watch Episode 223 of What Does This Button Do? This Sunday, November 7, at 2pm Eastern.

How to type the Bitcoin symbol ₿ with your iPhone

We use the $ symbol all the time. On the iPhone’s keyboard, you’ll find it by first tapping the [123] key. If you then hold down on the $ key, you will see other currency symbols, such as: ¢£¥

But, what if you want the Bitcoin ₿ symbol?


Sometimes you want your phone to beep and sometimes you don’t
When we were doing our Smartphone Help Desk duties at a recent rally, someone had this question:
“I don’t like that my phone beeps a loud notification every time I get an email. Emails aren’t that important. When I receive a Text message though, I do want a notification sound. Can I do that – turn off sounds for email and turn them on for Texts?”
This article gives step by step instructions on how to accomplish this on both Android and iOS.
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!


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