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

Cellular Phone and Data for International Travelers

233 Cellular Phone and Data for International Travelers

  • Our Google Fi Cellular Phone/Data Service worked for us in the Maldives. Would yours?
  • 0:00 Beginning
  • 1:56 Quick Tip: use Airplane mode to improve your cell signal
  • 6:37 Intro and scuba with Manta Rays! (Manta video here: https://youtu.be/Ayev4qZGByA)
  • 11:47 Intro to today’s program and our favorite plan – Google Fi
  • 15:16 “Data Plan” defined, and cell towers
  • 26:15 Verizon Travel Pass for international travelers
  • 30:57 T-Mobile international data roaming
  • 32:23 AT&T international data roaming
  • 34:32 Google Fi – a true international plan, includes using phone (Android) as hotspot
  • 40:57 Google Fi and T-Mobile must be used primarily in the US
  • 42:19 SIM cards, and using 2 SIM cards
  • 48:35 Learn more at MobileInternetInfo.com
  • 52:21 Review Questions
  • Here’s your link for $20 off Google Fi :https://g.co/fi/r/VYM26F

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 →
Editing photos with snapseed.

April 22 2022 Deerfield Beach Computer Club: Snapseed to “beautify” photos.

Description

Deerfield Beach Computer club welcomes us back to present to their group via Zoom: Guest speakers Chris and Jim Guld will demonstrate Snapseed on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. In addition to generally enhancing photos, we will demonstrate the Healing function to remove small blemishes, the Brush feature to apply fixes to just parts of a photo, and how to use the Stacks feature. We’ll also show how to smooth those wrinkles on photos of your face! 

Below you will find a link to all of the class materials.

Click here for all class materials

Here is the Link to the recording of the Zoom meeting for the Deerfield Beach Computer Club members https://youtu.be/u2R6tBGhdds

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Google Photos: How to Free Up Space on your phone

If you take a lot of photos and your phone is getting full, you may one day see a message that there is not enough free storage to take any more photos.

Google Photos has a one-click “Free Up Space” command that will delete all photos and videos from your device if they have been backed up to Google Photos in the cloud.

Just select your account button in the upper right and you should see something like the image below.

This command is the correct way to remove photos and videos from your device. Don’t use the trashcan icon in Google Photos because that will delete all copies, both on-device and cloud, of the photos. And don’t use the native photos or gallery app because they may delete photos from the device that have not been backed up to Google Photos.

When you use the Free Up Space option in the Google Photos app, those photos won’t be “gone”, they just won’t be taking up space on your phone anymore. You will still be able to see and access them all in the cloud when you use the Google Photos app.

“We recommend copying your photos and videos to an additional location (such as OneDrive, or DropBox, or your computer) before using free up space. If you don’t, then your only copy is the Google Photos cloud copy. You still need a backup.”

See Chapter 6 in Learn Google Photos book.

Apple devices:

  • The Apple iOS system has its own version of a recycle bin, so using the Google Photos process still does not free up the space on your device until you go to the Apple Photos App, select Albums and Recently Deleted, then select the photos and Delete from there.
  • You also need to know that, when you delete photos from your iPhone, the iCloud copy will also be deleted. That’s just how iCloud works. Its job is to keep all your Apple devices in sync. If you delete from one, it deletes from all. If you use the Google Photos “Free Up Space” command, all the photos deleted from your iPhone will also be deleted from your iPad, your Mac, and iCloud.com.

Even after letting Google Photos “Free Up Space” you may still see photos on your device using the native photo or gallery app. This may happen for a variety of reasons:

  • The photo did not get uploaded to Google Photos for some reason. Try manually uploading it.
  • The photo or video is stored on your phone’s SD card. The Free Up Space feature will not delete from the card.
  • The photo or video may be stored in a device folder that is not being synced to Google Photos.
  • The photo or video is corrupted in some way. Use the native app to delete it.

Google Calendar gives us the easiest way to know the time across different time zones

We schedule our live streaming YouTube show at 2pm Eastern time. We have people who join us from all over North America, some in Europe and some in Australia. What time is it for them? I got it all figured out and listed the time in multiple time zones … then came daylight savings. I need to recalculate and make special adjustments for Arizona because they do not follow Daylight Savings.

I found a better way!

I use Google Calendar settings for World Clock. This is the best way to ask Google to calculate the time in different time zones.

  • Open Calendar.Google.com and click the gear for settings.
  • Find the section for World clock
  • Click “Add Time Zone” then click the drop-down arrow to see a looong list of possibilities.
  • Add as many time zones as you want, then click the “back” left arrow at the top left of the screen to return to your calendar

Once you are back looking at your Calendar, you will see the World Clock locations in the left sidebar. When you first open your calendar, before selecting any appointment, the World Clock will be showing the current time in all those locations. For example, if I look right now (12:11 EDT) I see 9:11am Los Angeles time and 6:11pm Germany time.

It’s not just about the current time

Unlike the clocks for New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, Google Calendar is not limited to showing you the current time in other places. Just select another time and the calendar will recalculate.

As soon as you create, or select another appointment in the calendar you will see the corresponding time in all the other time zones. For example, if I click on our scheduled show on Sunday at 2pm my time, I see 11am Los Angeles time, and 8pm Germany time.

What a relief to know that my time zone calculations are accurate! No more will I be heard to say, “So sorry I gave you the wrong time, I was confused about the time zone.”

231 HodgePodge of Tech Tips

  • 0:00 Begin
  • 1:31 Zoom meeting tip
  • 3:21 Intro to Geeks on Tour, Hello to live viewers
  • 8:03 Overview list of tips covered
  • 9:04 Bitcoin – see separate video at https://geeksontour.com/2021/12/727-o…
  • 10:29 Scanning QR codes, new shortcut
  • 16:51 How to copy/paste on iOS and Android
  • 22:13 Reboot phone, Force Quit app
  • 29:11 Google Photos “Best of Month” memories
  • 34:42 Samsung S21 Ultra camera exposure
  • 37:31 Samsung S21 Ultra Gallery erase reflections and erase object
  • 40:47 HEIC overview
  • 47:57 Google Maps – give directions to a dropped pin location
  • 51:20 Google Photos – Navigate to a photo
  • 53:40 Review

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, 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 →

March 2022 News: Photography tips, WiFi & Bluetooth, Blast from the past

  March 2022 | Issue 175  | Archives
What’s up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks

Keys

During February we enjoyed being in South Florida
Jim went scuba diving several times with his life-long dive buddy Jimmy L. I’m happy to have our freezer re-stocked with the lobsters they caught! The photo above was taken at Ding Darling wildlife refuge. Thanks to Prudence G for taking us there at the perfect almost-sunset time for pictures! The shot was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra using the 10X zoom lens. Those pelicans were a ways
away!
Classes in February
During the past month we presented 1 private classes over Zoom on using Snapseed for Photo editing.  You can review the class materials at the link below. They will be public until mid-March when it changes to members only. We also presented some in-Person classes at Riverside RV in Arcadia, Florida.
In this newsletter:
As usual, we have an eclectic mix of smartphone and technology tips for you.
  1. Ten Practical tips for Smartphone Photography
  2. Blast from the Past – TechnoGeek Rally in 2012!
  3. Quick tip for WiFi and Bluetooth
  • 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 March 2022

We’re Presenting Online and Live
Things are all online on our calendar this month.
March
  • Mar 20, 2pm ET- Episode 231 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Mar 20, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • Mar 21, 3pm ET Google Photos Live Q&A
April
  • Apr 3, 2pm ET- Episode 232 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Apr 3, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
  • Apr 24, 2pm ET- Episode 233 of What Does This Button Do?
  • Apr 24, 3pm ET Backstage Pass for Members Only Zoom meeting
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, click on the bell for notifications, and Like us on Facebook.
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. Storage Question
  2. Getting Old Photos in Chronological Order
  3. Adding to Information in a Shared Album
  4. Google Drive for Desktop not working
  5. Smartphone Protection

10 Practical Tips for Smartphone Photography

In your pocket you have one of the best cameras ever made. I was in a conversation with a couple recently who traveled to some exotic location together. The husband is a professional photographer with thousands of dollars worth of lenses and other heavy camera equipment. His wife snapped many of the same locations with her smartphone.
The husband, sounding quite dismayed, said he preferred many of her photos to his!

Check out the article and see how many of these 10 you’re already doing!


Quick Tip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Do you ever find it aggravating when you need to connect your phone to a WiFi signal or a Bluetooth device that it is so many steps? I mean there is a shortcut button for WiFi and for Bluetooth,  but tapping either of those just turns the feature on or off.  If you need to select a WiFi network or a
Bluetooth device you need to go to settings,  connections,  WiFi or Bluetooth,  and only then will you see the choices of networks or devices.


Blast from the Past – TechnoGeek Learning Rally in 2012

In 2012 and 2013 we joined forces with TechnoRV and held 3 week-long RV rallies with food, partying, and lots of technology classes. Read all about it here and watch the 3 minute video below. Those were the days!!

Praise for our Google Photos Book
We were so excited to get this email from Sue Hepler. 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”
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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10 Practical Tips for Smartphone Photography

I’m not going to talk about manual mode or using RAW – that is for professional photographers. I have no desire to be a professional photographer but I love pictures of my life and I want the photos to look as good as possible.

In your pocket you have one of the best cameras ever made. I was in a conversation with a couple recently who traveled to some exotic location together. The husband is a professional photographer with thousands of dollars worth of lenses and other heavy camera equipment. His wife snapped many of the same locations with her smartphone. The husband, sounding quite dismayed, said he preferred many of her photos to his!

There are just a few things you should know to get the best photos from your smartphone. Here are my top 10. We did episode 230 of our YouTube show on this topic. The links below will take you directly to the spot in the video where that tip is discussed or demonstrated.

  1. Clean the Lens. If your phone’s lens is dirty you cannot get a good photo. This is why I make it #1. Be especially aware of the selfie lens. Since it is right on the screen it often has greasy fingerprints on it. Click this link 1:02 for the demo.
  2. Flash off. If you have your flash set to auto it will trigger in low light. These flashes are not very powerful and the current crop of smartphone cameras are much better at setting exposures for low light without the flash. Click this link 12:48 for the discussion.
  3. Hold the phone like a camera. Generally we mean use both hands and hold the phone in a horizontal orientation. First of all, if you view the photos on a computer or TV, you will love it when you see the photo fill the screen because it is horizontal, just like the computer. Secondly, when you use both hands you can hold the phone more stable. Click this link 14:08 for the discussion/demo
  4. Ways to snap the shutter (without jiggling the phone) It can be awkward to keep one hand free so you can tap the shutter button on the phone’s screen. If you’re holding the phone with both hands, you can press a volume button to snap the shutter. That usually will be smoother. You can also set a timer, or use the volume buttons on a wired earbuds. Click this link 16:12 for the discussion/demo
  5. Know how to edit. This tip is second only to clean the lens. You can’t always take the perfect picture, but with a couple of click in a photo editor, you can make it perfect. All smartphones come with a photo management app that includes editing features. I use Google Photos, and when I want even more tools, I use the free app Snapseed. Click this 25:52 link for the demo. And, here’s an entire hour show just on Snapseed.
  6. Settings. There are several settings for the operation of the camera on your smartphone. Familiarize yourself with them and know the correct setting for you. Click this link 32:03 for the demo.
  7. Take Panoramas Most all smartphones have the capability to take a panorama photo in one shot. When you want to capture a very wide scene, know how to use this feature. Click this link 36:42 for the demo.
  8. Pick your lens. Most all high end phones these days have more than one lens. A wide angle and a telephoto. Know how to pick the right lens for your shot. Click this link 40:28 for the demo.
  9. Use Portrait mode for people and flowers. If your camera has a portrait mode, aka live focus or background blur, use it when you’re taking closeup shots of people or flowers. It will focus on the face and blur the background for a very professional look. Click this link 43:36 for the demo.
  10. Use Live / Motion photos. We did episode 223 just on this feature. Many people know about the Live photo feature on iPhones, but many Samsung and other Android phones also have a motion photo feature. Once you’ve capture motion along with your photo, you can pick a frame for the best photo. Click this link 46:00 for the demo.

Quick Tip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Do you ever find it aggravating when you need to connect your phone to a WiFi signal or a Bluetooth device that it is so many steps? I mean there is a shortcut button for WiFi and for Bluetooth,  but tapping either of those just turns the feature on or off.  If you need to select a WiFi network or a Bluetooth device you need to go to settings,  connections,  WiFi or Bluetooth,  and only then will you see the choices of networks or devices. 

Here’s the tip

Yes you can use the shortcut buttons, but instead of tapping them, you need to Long press. When you long press the WIFI button,  you’ll be taken directly to the settings with all your choices, and it’s the same for Bluetooth. This works for both Android and iOs (with iOs you may need to long- a second time). All you need to know is where the shortcut button is. On Androids, you usually just swipe down to reveal shortcut buttons at the top. On iOs devices you need to get to the Control Center. On older iOS devices, you swipe up from the bottom, newer ones you swipe down from the top right corner.

You’re welcome!

229. 15 Years of Geeks on Tour

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. Or we have eBook compilations of several shows available here.

Not a member? Join here.

Continue reading →

Feb 21-24, 2022 Riverside RV Resort “Geek Week”

Private sessions on smartphone photography max 12 people: non-member = $30 per person; member = $10 per person. Become a member at GeeksOnTour.com/join-now

  1. iPhone – explore your camera’s features and learn principles of good photography
  2. Android –  explore your camera’s features and learn principles of good photography
  3. Click here for class materials

General session: a free afternoon of learning about smartphones and technology for travelers.

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