Tag Archives: learning picasa

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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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



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


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.

Read More

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


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.


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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New, Improved Learning Library

library2Big News at the Geeks on Tour website!  More videos.  More accessible.  Check it out.  Go to www.geeksontour.com and click the menu for Learning Library and you’ll see all our topics; Basics, Blogger, Facebook, Google Earth, Internet on the Road, Photo Story 3, Picasa, and Streets and Trips.  When you click on any of those, you will now see a complete list of all the videos for each subject. 

Starter Lessons

A few of our topics, like Picasa and Blogger, have so many tutorial videos that they’re overwhelming. For those topics, we’ve added a special screen that organizes just the most important videos for beginners to watch. So, instead of navigating thru 50 different lessons to find the ones you need, you just click once on the Starter Lessons link and those 7-12 videos will just start playing one after the other. In less time than it takes to watch a feature movie, you will have learned the basics!

Three Free

Each topic has many videos.  The first three are free for anyone to view.  For the others, you need to be a paid member and login using the form at the top of the right sidebar.

Click any video to watch it, click ‘Back’ to return to the list.  Each video lesson has an introductory paragraph describing what is covered.  So, if it’s not what you thought, you’ll know before spending the time to watch it.

Use your iPad or Download Videos

Want to watch them with an iPad?  As you may know, iPad does not support Flash – which is required to view the videos on our website.  We’ve been working on this!  Now, below each video, you will find another link called ‘Alternate Link’, or Download.  If the main video doesn’t play, try the link below it.  You can also use this link to download the video to your computer for later playback offline.

Most Recent Show-Me-How Videos

In addition to seeing the tutorial videos listed by topic in the learning library, you can also see them by date using the Category Show-Me Video.  If you click that now, you’ll see that the most recent videos include how to Import Pictures from an Android Smartphone, How to plan a multi-stop trip with the Rand McNally GPS, and all about the new Facebook Privacy Settings.  Most of these videos require membership in Geeks on T our.  If you’re not a member yet, you can join before the end of the year and lock in our low $39/year rate.

Five Deadly Sins of Picasa

Have you heard the one about the lumberjack who decides to turn in his trusty old axe for a new chainsaw?  After struggling for several days with the chainsaw and not felling even one tree, he decides to return it to the store.  He tells the salesman that the chainsaw doesn’t work and he wants his axe back.  The salesman decides to see what is wrong with the chainsaw so he starts it up.  The lumberjack jumps back with surprise saying, ‘What’s that Noise?’

Picasa is easy, but it’s not foolproof.  It’s important to take some time up front to learn how it works.  There are 5 things I keep seeing people do with Picasa that are wrong.  Because they don’t have a good foundation of understanding the program, they use tools the way they *think* they work, rather than learning how they really work.  The results is a mess.

  1. image Using the Import tool instead of the Folder Manager.
    As you collect more and more photos, I see people putting photos on an external hard drive.  This is a wonderful idea, BUT – when they open Picasa they use the Import tool to be able to see them.  The Import tool is meant to copy pictures from an external device (usually your camera) to your computer.  Now they have the pictures twice!  Once on the External Hard Drive, and again on their computer’s built-in Hard Drive.  What they should have used is the Folder Manager.  The Folder Manager tells Picasa to watch the pictures in their original location – not copy them.
    See past article, including Show-Me Video: Using Folder Manager
  2. imageCreate an Album – then delete the original picture
    Picasa is designed to be an efficient manager of all your pictures.  You store your pictures in Windows (or Mac) Folders with some simple, logical storage system either by event or by month.  Without changing your folders, Picasa gives you tools to view your pictures in different ways.  The Album feature is a way to create different categories of pictures regardless of the folder in which they’re stored.  (Note: This is *not* Picasa Web Albums I’m talking about here … it’s just ‘Albums’ in the Picasa software on your computer.)
    So often, I hear people say, “I copied my picture into an album, then I deleted it from the folder.”  NO!!  The picture only exists once – and that is in the folder – albums are like playlists, they just point to the picture in whatever folder it is stored.  If you delete it from the folder … IT’S GONE.
    See past article: Using Albums
  3. imageMoving pictures with computer tools outside of Picasa
    If you want to move pictures from your computer to an external hard drive, *don’t* do it with Windows Explorer (or Mac Finder.)  If you do, your Albums in Picasa will be destroyed.  Remember, an album is a list of pointers to pictures in their folders.  If you move a folder’s location the album pointer needs to know about the change.  PIcasa makes it very easy to move folders and, when you do it with Picasa, it will update all the album information to follow the new locations.
    See past article: Moving folders with Picasa
    also Basic Show Me Video on moving folders with Picasa (Membership required)
  4. imageUsing Export instead of Save
    When you edit a picture, Picasa doesn’t change the actual picture.  Picasa remembers all your edits and displays the picture to you accordingly, but if you look at the picture outside of Picasa you won’t see any of the edits.  To make a picture outside of Picasa that looks like the edited version, many people use the Export command.  This creates an entirely new picture … now they have two!  If they had used the Save command instead, it would have applied the edits to the one existing photo.
    See Article: To Save or Not to Save
    Also: Different Ways to Save
  5. imageI don’t Need Backups because I use Picasa”
    This one truly surprises me, but I hear it over and over.  People have heard that Picasa includes Picasa Web Albums and, for some reason they think that it automatically puts all your pictures on the Web Albums.  No, No, No.  Picasa is software on your computer, PIcasa Web Albums is a free online photo-sharing website that is a companion to Picasa.  First of all, even if you do upload your pictures to Picasa Web Albums, I don’t consider that a backup.  Picasa Web Albums is a method to share your pictures with friends and family.  You still want your original safe on your computer and backed up to CD/DVD or external Hard Drive. Secondly, Picasa doesn’t do anything automatically … it’s good, but it’s not magic!  Picasa includes a command to ‘Backup Pictures’ … it’s very easy … USE IT!
    See past article: Picasa Web Albums
    Also: Backup!  Backup!  Backup!

Although Picasa is easy to use, it is SO important to understand how it works.  A little up-front time spent learning will save you so much time in the long run.  We have lots of resources to help: