Tag Archives: Geeks on Tour Seminars

How to Play a Video from a Printed Page

imageWhen we present our seminars to live audiences, we cover a lot of information. We want people to be paying attention and not taking notes, but we know they’ll forget most of it unless they have a takeaway – something written, so we offer detailed handouts for everyone in the audience. We also play some of our tutorial videos during the presentation.

How can we give our audience one of our videos as a takeaway?

QR codes is the answer! A QR code is one of those funny looking square barcodes. When you scan them with your smartphone or tablet, they act like a Link on paper. Whatever is programmed into that QR code will be accessed by your smartphone.  Here is a piece of our Picasa handout that includes 4 different QR codes. If you scan them, they will play different tutorial videos about using Picasa. We think this makes our handouts even more valuable than they already were. A seminar on a piece of paper!


If you don’t know how to scan a QR code with your smartphone or tablet, here’s a past article for you to read: What are QR Codes and how do I use my Smartphone to Read Them?

Make your Own QR Codes

Many people are now putting QR codes on their business cards and brochures. They can be as simple as a link to your website or email address. They can also be a geo location that can help people navigate to a given location. Or, they can be a video about you or your products, or whatever you want! There are several websites that will create QR codes for you. Our current favorite is QR Droid Zapper. This website can create a QR code for:

  1. A website URL – that can be a simple page, or a link to a video or other content
  2. Text
  3. Phone #
  4. SMS – a text message. The person scanning the code will instantly be sending the specified text message to the specified number
  5. E-mail – an email message. The person scanning the code will be sending the specified email message to the specified address
  6. Contact – a way to give the person scanning the code your complete contact information
  7. Calendar Event
  8. Geo Location – a Latitude/Longitude which opens the specified place in Google Maps
  9. Android App – will point to App’s details in the Google Play store

Add a Video to a Greeting Card

So, let’s say you made a video of your family vacation and you want everyone on your Christmas Card list to watch it. You just need to put a QR code on the Christmas Card! 

First, you need to make the video and upload it to Youtube  (Geeks on Tour Videos can teach you how to do that!) It doesn’t have to be a public video if you don’t want, just make it Unlisted and only people with the direct link will be able to see it.


We have a video of last year’s family vacation already uploaded to Youtube. I just visited it, clicked the Share button and copied the link provided. I pasted that link into the URL box as shown in the screenshot above, then clicked on “Generate QR Code.” Here’s what I get:


To get that image to your computer, simply right-click on the image and find “Save Picture as …” or “Save Image” or something like that depending on what browser you’re using. Then you can save it to a specified folder. It is a .png picture and can be used just like a .jpg picture. There are a lot of ways to make greeting cards and add your own pictures. One that we can recommend is SentOutCards with our friend Laura Baker. In fact, we have an hour-long webinar/video all about it: Send Out Cards Webinar.

Can you scan that code above? It’s intended for paper, but you can point your phone at the screen and scan it just as well. Watch the video and tell us if you’ve ever had a family vacation like ours.

A Working Visit to Hilton Head

We knew we would be passing thru the Hilton Head area on our way back to Florida and we had a few days to spare, so we contacted our friend Catherine with the Sun City Hilton Head Computer Club and asked if they were interested in us presenting a seminar on those dates.


Their monthly meeting happened to fall on the day after we could arrive so, we scheduled our Cloud Computing Seminar for the full group, and then hands-on classes for our Smartphone/Tablet topics.  We’re continually revising our topics and welcomed the chance to teach their members on both iPhone/iPads as well as Android phones and tablets.  Within a few hours both classes were full, and there was a waiting list for the iPhone/iPad class – so we agreed to open another session. 

Here’s the Sun City Computer Group at our Cloud Computing Seminar.  See the ‘Cloud’ over Jim’s head?!

The club has a fully equipped computer lab where they teach their own classes all the time.  I hope the residents here know just how lucky they are to have all these resources!  An interesting part of teaching Smartphones and Tablets however, is that you don’t need any computer equipment!  In fact, we had to push the keyboards out of the way so they had more desk space to work with their device and take notes in their workbooks.  We did enjoy using all the teacher presentation equipment and we got in some practice using AppleTV to project the iPad.  We could even enlist a helper to display her iPhone on the big screen while she was sitting at her seat in the back of the room.  They also had a document camera we could use to project our phone complete with seeing our hands so they could see the touches involved.


We made people pick a buddy and gave them exercises to do.  This worked quite well, but we found that 3 hours just isn’t enough time, even though we’re just teaching basics!

We were quite pleased with our workbooks.  They kept us on track and gave students a reference as well as specific exercises to complete.  We might even figure out a way to provide the books so the club could teach our class themselves.  Cool idea don’t ya think?  Wouldn’t you know that a new version of the iPhone/iPad operating system was released the day before our first class!  The books will have to be modified … again.  That’s why we like producing them ourselves … print on demand!  We change them before every class!


Hilton Head Island Computer Club

When the Hilton Head Island Computer Club heard we would be in the area, they asked for a seminar too.  Sure!  When we were finished with the classes at Sun City, we stayed one more day and were able to present the same Cloud Computing seminar to the Island group.

They had new facilities since we were there last.  A nice big room and a Smart TV for display purposes.  And a fast, fiber-optic connection to the Internet!

We still brought our own cloud! Smile

If you look at our calendar and see that we may be coming your way, please contact us to present to your group.  We’ll give you all the details.  You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive we are – sometimes even free!

Escapee’s Rally–The Escapade

Another great rally!  We went back to Gillette, WY for this one.  And here’s the schedule of seminars we gave:


The Windows 8 seminar was a first for us, and the Movie Maker seminar is one we’ve only given once and the computer didn’t work so well.  This time we used a different computer for the Movie Maker and we made sure to practice the Windows 8 seminar – so they both went well.  If you attended a seminar when we ran out of handouts, or you weren’t able to attend, all of our seminar handouts can be downloaded from our website. 

We LOVE doing this!  So many people came up to us to say thank you!  Some said they felt SO smart now because they learned so much from our seminars.  Others told us they needed some down time because their brains were overflowing with all the information we presented.

The most popular class was the smartphone overview.  WoW.  The only picture I snapped was this panorama with my Droid phone.  I apparently didn’t hold the camera well cuz it’s a bit blurry, but you get the idea – it was a packed house!  Teaching smartphones is just sooo much fun, the main comment we hear as people leave is, “I had no idea they could do so much!”  We especially like showing Google Translate.  As long as you have your phone, and an internet connection, you will be able to speak the language of whatever country you’re visiting – or your phone will at least.  And, it’s free!  Just unbelievable. We also show a video clip from NBCNews that explains the amazing medical uses of smartphones.

Our Windows 8 seminar had a respectable turnout also:

And Jim got to show off his Windows 8 Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet/computer.  We met a couple other people at the rally who had the Surface Pro and they loved theirs just as much!

When we weren’t teaching a seminar we were at our booth in the exhibit hall.  It was great getting to see our friend Phil May, of TechnoRV – our booths were right next to each other so we took down the barriers to make a TechnoGeek booth!

The Verizon booth was nearby and I think I recognized most of the people buying phones because they attended our smartphone class – then had to buy one!  Too bad we don’t make any commission eh?  Just kidding, we don’t want any commission.  That’s why people trust our information so much – we don’t make anything from it.  Our sole source of income is from our members who learn from us.

It was a busy, busy week, but we still found time for some fun as well.  Here’s our parking space, and we were right next to Nick and Terry Russell of Gypsy Journal fame.  We spent a couple of evenings just swapping tales – it was nice to catch up with them, although my sides did hurt afterwards from laughing at Nick’s stories!

On Tuesday night, Jim was told his presence was requested at the evening entertainment.  ???? Uh-Oh, we were also told it involved him wearing a wig!  It was a hoot, here’s a little video that I put together using Movie Maker:

Thank You to Bob and Molly Pinner – the directors of the Escapade, and Cathie Carr – the President of Escapees.  We had a great time!