Tag Archives: #ButtonShow

Dashcam Apps to Document your Travels

Would you like to have an automatic recording of the road you traveled? Think of the beauty you could capture driving through the mountains. Or how about just a documentary on getting out of town.  When that jerk pulled out in front of you, how would you like to capture that license plate?

Maybe it’s not important enough for you to buy a dashcam. Did you know you could use that tablet that’s just been gathering dust? Just add a free Dashcam app, mount it onto your dash (velcro will do) and turn it on! No data connection required. You do want to have it plugged into power though, since it is running all the time it will drain your battery pretty fast.  Here is a sample of the video and stills captured from our RV as we got out of town!

We used a 7 inch Samsung tablet and the Daily Roads Voyager app for Android. If you need an app for iPhone/iPad, we found one called DashCam. We discuss dashcams in our What Does This Button Do show #101. Here’s a link to the point where we start the section on dashcams.


How Does a Dashcam Work?

If the dashcam is running all the time, how does it store all that video? Does it use the Internet? No – you do not need an Internet connection, everything is handled directly by the phone or tablet. The vidoe is stored on a loop. It’s recording all the time, but when it reaches the specified time limit, it starts deleting the beginning of the recording. Any time you want to keep a portion, just tap the screen to save and a specified amount of video, or still frames, will be stored in a separate file. If you’re in an accident, the accelerometer in the device alerts the app and it automatically saves that segment.

Some dashcams are now calling themselves “Black Boxes” because they can record not only the video out your windshield, but also audio, and diagnostic information from an OBD – On Board Diagnostic – device. We haven’t tried it yet, but CaroO is one that makes this claim. Next trip, we’ll give it a shot.

The Button Show, 100 Episodes … with Notes!

imageImagine that your local community college offered a free course for anyone interested. You don’t even have to register, you just show up every week to learn more about the current state of personal technology; smartphones, tablets, computers, and the Web. You love your smartphone but sometimes it seems to outsmart you and you want to learn more, so you start attending the class. Now imagine that you don’t even need to go to the community college, you can take the class in the comfort of your own home, sitting in front of your computer or your Smart TV!

Welcome to “What Does This Button Do?” aka The Button Show

If you like technology and you like to learn, you’ll love our show! It’s a weekly educational show on YouTube by Geeks on Tour. We usually go about 45 minutes. Past topics include “What is the Home Button?”, “What are Location Services?”, “Facebook Tips”, “How to Keep my Battery Charged”, “Navigating with Google Maps”, and “Google Photos FAQs.” The show is usually just Jim and me (Chris) but we sometimes have guests as well. We use multi-media to teach our lessons. We do some discussing of topics, but there’s a lot more than chit-chat. We usually have a PowerPoint slideshow to explain concepts and go over important points, and we always have live demonstrations using both Apple iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad and Android devices like Samsung phones, or Nexus tablets. Sharing our computer screen, we also demonstrate features on the web.

Even though we’ve produced 100 episodes, we’ve just begun! We keep learning new things, getting new devices, and there is constant change!

Show Notes

imageWhat if you don’t want to watch the whole show? Or, what if you watched a show a few weeks ago and just need to remember one thing? We’ve taken your class notes for you! Here’s a sample: Show Notes from Episode 93 in .pdf format. Every section of the notes includes a time link. Clicking that takes you to the YouTube video at the point where that section begins.

Three ways to get the show notes:

  1. Become a member and you get all of them. If you are a Geeks On Tour member, you can visit the Weekly show page and there is a link to every show with notes.
  2. $.99 per episode at TheButtonShow.com. If you are not a member, we are starting to make the .pdf versions available for $.99.
  3. All 100 .pdf show notes are on our Learning Library USB Drive for $49. It also includes all our tutorial videos and eBooks.

How to Watch

  1. Live (Sundays at 2pm Eastern) on our Youtube channel
  2. Anytime on TheButtonShow.com

If you Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (and click the little bell for notifications) you will receive notice whenever we are going live. Usually that is every Sunday at 2pm. If you watch live, you can leave comments/questions in the chat window and we may answer during the show. We also sometimes invite viewers to jump into the live stream after we stop broadcasting for further discussion.

On Wednesday, we post the show on TheButtonShow.com, complete with show notes. The show notes are a benefit of membership. If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you have access to all the show notes.



What’s with the Propeller Hats?

If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it! We try not to take ourselves too seriously. I can get a bit too “teachy” sometimes and Jim can get too “techie.” The hats are meant to remind us to have fun.

Propeller-Head is another word for Geek!

These beanies have been our signature since we were married nearly 20 years ago!


How I Cleaned up the Contacts on my Phone

clean-out-contactsI got my first cellphone in 1994. Some of the contacts I entered back then were still on my current Samsung Galaxy smartphone, 22 years later! As of last week, I had nearly 1,000 people in the My Contacts list, and 2,294 in Other. Many of these entries had no phone number. Many of them were only Google profile listings. Lots of names I didn’t recognize, and even worse, some of them I recognized as people who died years ago.

How did this happen? First of all, I admit that I hate to delete anything, I may just be a digital hoarder. But that’s not all. Every time I bought a new phone, starting with my first cellular “flip-phone” in 1994 to my third Android smartphone in 2014, the sales person would make sure that all the contacts in the old phone were transferred to the new one.  Smartphones make it even easier to add more contacts. They can be added without my even knowing by  automatically entering from my emails, Facebook, and Google. So my contact list only got larger, never smaller.

I just bought a  new iPhone 7+ and I plan on using it as well as my loyal Samsung Galaxy S5. I am no longer having a salesperson transfer contacts from one phone to another. In fact, I try very hard to not store contacts on the phone at all, it’s all cloud storage for me. So, when I first started setting up my new iPhone, I wanted to prevent it from using the default Contact system which stores contacts on the phone and backs it up to iCloud. I decided to set it up with my Google contacts, and nothing but my Google Contacts. If I can do the same on my Samsung, then I can use my computer to clean up my Google Contacts and, voila! both phones will match.

The Steps I took

  1. Back up my Google Contacts using the computer, going to contacts.google.com and Exporting all contacts to a .csv file that I can view using Excel. This way I can always get a contact back!
  2. On iPhone: Settings, Accounts, Gmail=turn contacts ON, iCloud=turn contacts OFF
  3. On Samsung: Contacts, Settings, Contacts to display=only check my gmail account. Whenever I add a new contact, make sure it shows my Google account at the top as the place where contact is being added.
  4. On Computer – go to Contacts.Google.com, view “Other” contacts and delete them all. 250 at a time.
  5. Still on Computer, start reviewing everyone in My Contacts and deleting!
  6. On either phone – I can now trust that all devices are seeing the same synchronized set of contacts, so I can start cleaning them up with whatever device I have handy.

With my new-found confidence of clean contacts I am now filling out the information on the good contacts that are left! What a concept! A contact list that actually has valuable contact information! I’m even setting up their photos whenever I get a chance. I especially love this little trick for adding a photo to a contact – when you don’t have a photo of that contact! We taught this in episode 22 of our “What Does This Button Do?” show. Here’s the link:  Adding a Photo to a Contact when you don’t have a photo!

Keep On Learning

Keeping your contact lists clean is a continual struggle. First, you need to understand where your current contacts are coming from, and where a newly added contact is going to. There is no magic bullet. There’s a lot to learn. We did 2 complete shows on the topic, I recommend you watch! Each show includes separate tips at the start and end of the show, then the “Beginner’s Lesson” is in the middle.

I also recommend reading  Google’s Help pages on managing contacts.