Tag Archives: Allstays Camp and RV

Live Broadcast from Walmart Parking Lot Studios!

We were scheduled to present a Google Photos seminar to the Quad Cities Computer Society in Moline, Illinois on Monday night.

QCS-googlePhotos

imageWe were in our RV in New Jersey, and Monday was a travel day for us. We left the Jersey shore and headed south to go home to Florida. We planned to spend the night at an Elk’s Lodge in New Castle, Delaware after a stop near Atlantic City to visit with Jim’s Aunt Julie.

If you don’t know, many Elks lodges offer parking for their RVing members. We became Elks members during an Escapees RV Rally in Gillette, WY and, using our Allstays App to find them, we have stayed at many of them all over the country! We arrived at the Elks Lodge about 4:30 – perfect! We needed to go live on the web about 7:30 to present our seminar using Youtube Live Streaming services. We’ve stayed at this Elks Lodge before and really liked it. They have a nice big parking lot and one electric hookup for an RV. We were the only RV there.

elks

As soon as we pulled in to their parking lot we started checking our phones for Verizon signal. We have an unlimited data contract with Verizon and we find they usually have the best speeds of any service wherever we are. We turn our phones into hotspots, I connect my computer to my “Mrs. Geek” phone hotspot and Jim connects his computer to his “Mr. Geek” phone hotspot. To do a Youtube Live Streaming event you need a fast Internet connection and plenty of bandwidth. We can easily burn thru a couple of Gigabytes during an hour show.

As I mentioned, we’ve stayed at this Elks Lodge before- on our way north in July – and I remembered there being good Verizon Internet signal here. Unfortunately, I have discovered that trusting my memory is a bad idea! I was only seeing 1 bar of 4G on my phone, Jim was down to 3G on his! A speedtest by Ookla showed less than 1Mbps – not nearly enough! This won’t work. We turned around and headed out in search of better Verizon signal.

We found a Walmart not too far away (also using our Allstays app!) and saw 5 bars of 4G and 16Mbps of upload speed! That will do (upload is more important than download for broadcasting.)  Now to park and crank up the generator for electricity. Then to get the “studio” set up. We usually don’t put out the motorhome slides when we’re in a Walmart parking lot. It’s not good ‘etiquette’ to set up camp for an overnight parking lot stay. But there just isn’t enough room for everything with the slides in, so we compromised, parked in such a way that the one necessary slide was on the curb side and we put it out.

All looked good, and we connected with our audience with plenty of time to spare. Just as Jim was about to click the button to “Go Live” his phone’s hotspot crashed. No clue why. He quickly connected to the MrsGeek hotspot and we continued on! We demonstrated Google Photos for about 40 minutes then took questions from the audience. Somehow Chris’ microphone went missing early on, where DID our stage manager go?

Although we had a live audience in Moline, Illinois, anyone in the world could have tuned in because of the way Youtube works. For a worldwide broadcast from our RV in a Walmart parking lot – I think we did pretty good! Since Youtube automatically records, you can watch the presentation now if you’d like by clicking on the image below.

rv-studio

Here’s what Judi, the president of Quad Cities Computer Society wrote to us afterwards,

Chris, thanks to you and Jim.  As always you did a great job and we really, really appreciate your time and effort.

I am sorry I did not interrupt you once I suspected there was a microphone problem.  I thought at first it was a volume problem and turned up the speakers.  But we did hear through Jim’s Mic and I think being able to listen to the recorded version will help catch anything that I missed.

Your presentation helped me a lot and the book is a great resource. I know now MY confusion was about the computer not syncing like the mobile devices and the book lets me read and re-read about the correct methods for deleting photos from each source.

You guys are the best–your dedication to teaching is remarkable and NEEDED by so many of us “older” adults.  I hope you continue for many more years.

Thanks Judi! Let’s do it again sometime!

Here’s a photo of our Walmart Parking Lot Broadcast Studio.

walmart

p.s. I’m writing this blog post from another Walmart parking lot! In North Carolina now.

#47 Lessons Learned. What Does This Button Do?

 

There are show notes below which document what was covered in the show and include timeline links, so you can watch just the part of the video that you want. If you are not a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch Episode 47 video on YouTube, but you won’t get the show notes.Become a member here. This episode covers:

  1. Quick Tips: A potpourri of tips today. Emergency info on your phone, Camera settings, Saving places on Google Maps, Facebook autoplay videos, iCloud Backup limits, and more

Continue reading →

March 2014 Newsletter: RVillage, Google+ Auto Backup, Jim’s Galaxy Note 3, Allstays Camp and RV, Learning Picasa

Geeks on Tour

Monthly Issue # 77 March 31, 2014                                                    www.geeksontour.com
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If you are already a member, THANK YOU – we love answering your questions in the forum.

March in Florida

Pictures from February

Do you blame us?!  While winter is still raging in the rest of the country, we hang out in Florida and even get to indulge in our favorite pasttime – Kayak Diving.  It’s lobster season too so we go out on the reefs off of Fort Lauderdale beach and caught our dinner!  Here’s a video on Youtube of Jim G. and Jimmy L. catching lobster and showing how it’s done!

In addition to Fort Lauderdale, we also spent some time in northern Florida at Ginnie Springs and Orlando on our way coming and going to the FMCA rally in Perry, Georgia.  See all our March photos on our Web Album, or read our personal travel blog for March.

By the way, our pictures, Blogs, Web Albums, maps, and videos are all examples of what we teach.  If you’re a traveler, we teach you how to plan, preserve, and share your travels.  It makes the experience that much more enjoyable to get creative on the computer and share your travels with friends and family.  


New Tutorial Videos in March include Google Maps and Smartphone topics.  Check ’em out at Recent Videos.

new videos


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Calendar: Coming up in April/May

  • April 2 7pm: Sarasota PC Users Group – Cloud Computing
  • April 6: SLOBytes Computer Club – a remote presentation on Cloud Computing
  • April 9 1pm: Cascades User Group in Port St. Lucie – Cloud Computing
  • May 2-6: FMCA International Area Rally in Lebanon, TN
  • May 10-11: Escapade pre-rally workshops on Windows 8, iPhones/iPads, Android
  • May 12-17: Escapade in Goshen, IN
  • May 28-June 8: appearances in the Quad Cities – Moline, IL / Davenport IA

For more details, see our website Calendar. 


Q&A Forum

Some Geeks on Tour members tell us that the Q&A forum is worth the entire cost of membership!  Here are some of the topics that have been discussed this month. Anyone can read the forum, only members ca ask questions.

  1. Getting Photos from Google+ to Picasa Web Albums for editing and printing
  2. Adding pictures to Blogger
  3. Opinion on RVTripWizard
  4. Printing a CD Cover with Picasa
  5. Google+ Hangouts
  6. Posting Photos to Blog with Live Writer
  7. Best Laptop Computer

RVillage.com

RVillage

It’s called RVillage.  It’s for RVers, but we pronounce it like Our Village, a social network just for RVers. Now, before you immediately say, “I don’t need another social network” check out the special features RVillage.com offers.  Each one who joins RVillage can easily ‘check in’ whenever you pull into a new RV park, and when you do, you get an icon on the map so friends can easily see where you are.  You can also join all sorts of special groups within RVillage.

Read More


Google+ will Auto Backup all the Pictures from your Computer

Image

I’ve been using Google+ Auto Backup for the pictures on my computer for a couple of months now.  Once you understand it, and use it appropriately, it is wonderful.  You never have to worry about losing a picture ever again! They’re all in the ‘Cloud.’

However, there are some very important things to understand:

  1. If you let it back up your full size pictures, you will probably need to pay for more storage.  If, however, you change the default size to 2048 pixels, you get unlimited Free storage from Google
  2. If you have a limited, metered, Internet connection this will be using it up.  You may incur substantial charges, and probably won’t want to use Auto Backup at all.
  3. It’s not really a “Backup” in the traditional sense of the word.

The full article will explain more

Read More


Must Have App: Allstays Camp and RV

Allstays Camp and RV

We’ve run into so many people who already have Allstays Camp and RV, that we won’t spend much time telling you all the details.  Suffice it to say, if you travel the USA or Canada, and you camp or RV, this is a Must Have App!  It has a price tag of $9.99 – and it is well worth it!  

You can visit theAllstays website and search all the campground listings for free, but if you want to be able to look at your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet and find the best place to park, where you are, the Allstays Camp and RV app is the way to go.

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Update on Jim’s Note 3

Galaxy Note 3

I chose the Note3 for its screen size and cool features. It is so big, it rivals my Nexus 7 tablet. I find the Nexus 7 being relegated to the bedroom. Some people refer to this form factor as a “phablet,” or phone-tablet. The feature list for this device is extensive, almost mind-boggling, and I am enjoying learning all about it.

So, how do we learn about technology? I start with a web search. I read the manual. The manual for this device is 184 pages in pdf format. I copied it to a folder on OneDrive so it is accessible on all my devices for reading anytime, anywhere. There are tons of learning resources on the web, too. Some good, others not

Read More


Learning Picasa the Easy Way

Image

Some people want a book.  They like to read instructions, take notes and make highlights.  They need to be able to skim information they already know, and be able to go back and quickly refer to instructions. Other people don’t want to read.  It’s tedious and not clear enough. They want to sit back and watch a video that shows exactly how something is done.

Our Picasa Beginner’s Guide book has both.  It is a 66 page printed book with written instructions and screen shots.  Read thru the printed material, and when you need more, you will see a reference to an online video that you can watch to see exactly how the procedure is done.


RVTravel.com

RV Travel Newsletter by Chuck Woodbury

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Happy Computing!

The Geeks on Tour website is an online learning library for Travelers who want to learn to use their computers and mobile devices for managing digital photos, making blogs, using maps and other online resources. Anyone can watch our free videos, read articles on our Computer Tips for Travelers Blog, sign up for our free monthly newsletter, or Picasa weekly tips. A small fee makes you a ‘member‘ and you can then view any of our 230+ video tutorials on these subjects in our Learning LIbrary.

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Geeks on Tour

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Must Have App: Allstays Camp and RV

imageWe’ve run into so many people who already have Allstays Camp and RV, that we won’t spend much time telling you all the details.  Suffice it to say, if you travel the USA or Canada, and you camp or RV, this is a Must Have App!  It has a price tag of $9.99 – and it is well worth it!  You can visit the Allstays website and search all the campground listings for free, but if you want to be able to look at your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet and find the best place to park, where you are, the Allstays Camp and RV app is the way to go.

imageAllstays has it all!  Notice this screenshot where you can specify that you want to see Army Corps of Engineer parks, County/City Parks, even Elks Lodges.  And this screen is just the basic list, there is also the advanced filter where I’ve asked for Escapees, Passport America, and Thousand Trails parks specifically.  It will show you Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, Truck Stops, and Rest Areas.  This is my go-to App whenever we need a place to park the RV.  If Allstays can’t find you a place to park, you’re in trouble!

Once you’ve located a park, just a tap will open up the detailed information about that park.  You can see their amenities and read reviews.  If you’re using it on your phone, a simple tap on the phone number will dial for you and you can make a reservation.  Once you’ve decided to go there, another tap on the directions link and up pops your map and turn by turn directions to get you there.

If you haven’t ever used your phone (or tablet) for navigation, be sure to watch our member tutorial video: Google Maps: Navigating with Android or iPad.