Tech Answers

Top Reasons to Wait on a Smartphone Purchase

Top Reasons to Wait on a Smartphone Purchase

Even though it may not seem like it to me, smartphones are not actually a necessity of life. Shocker, right? I love the suckers! To see if my affinity for all things “smart” was shared by my peers, I conducted a highly scientific survey of whichever of my Facebook friends chose to respond, asking them whether they owned a smartphone and if not, why?  A surprising (to me) number of them confessed they did not own a smartphone.

My Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts

My Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts

Inspired by a recent computer training-on-demand session I instructed, here is a list of my favorite keyboard shortcuts.  A mouse and keyboard are a powerful combination, but with the proper keyboard shortcuts you can be a far more time-efficient user. 

The 2013 Holiday eReader Tech Guide

The 2013 Holiday eReader Tech Guide

I'm sure by now you're all-too-familiar with the annual mobile device product line refresh. Every fall we get updated versions of the now ubiquitous mobile devices. Apple, Amazon, Google, and others all push out slightly updated hardware just in time for the holiday shopping season. This year's upgrades are almost all incremental. If you already own a 2012 device, you should feel comfortable hanging on to it. Users looking to upgrade from models that are two or more years old or shoppers new to mobile devices have good reason to be excited.  

Repurposing Your Old PC

Repurposing Your Old PC

Updated November 15, 2013: Your old computer is capable of one more major feat: helping to cure diseases.

A Very Brief History of Android

A Very Brief History of Android

In preparation for my soon-to-be-released 2013 device guide, I thought it might be a good time to explain the different versions of Android, the mobile operating system that powers the majority of the devices that I will be writing about. I've written a lot about Android in the last two years, but I've almost always assumed a certain level of knowledge on the reader's part - knowledge that you may in fact lack.

The Only Web Software You Need

The Only Web Software You Need

When library customers ask me to show them how to use their laptops, I can't help but notice all the junk they've got that's slowing their computers way down. Some of this is manufacturer-loaded software, but the lion's share of it is from Web sites they've browsed to which inform them they need a particular program or plug-in to run correctly. This is something I addressed at length in my post on Avoiding Sneakware.

Even More Common Computer and Tech Myths

Even More Common Computer and Tech Myths

About a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote a blog post entitled "Common Computer Myths" that sought to debunk some of the misinformation I hear frequently regarding computers. Well, I'm always running into new techno-falsehoods, so for your consideration: "Even More Common Computer and Tech Myths" and their realities!

BARD Mobile Introduction

BARD Mobile logo

The NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) is creating a series of instructional videos to introduce and discuss using the BARD mobile app. Check this blog post occasionally to see the latest additions. 

BARD Mobile

BARD mobile screenshot

The BARD Mobile app allows our Talking Book customers to access Braille and talking books directly from NLS (BARD). BARD offers a  collection of nearly 50,000 books, magazines, and musical scores, with new selections added daily.

BARD is up and running again despite the government shutdown. There has also been a mobile app set up for iPhones or iPads. You can obtain the free app from the Apple iTunes store.  

An Intro to "Geek Music:" Chiptune, Nerdcore, Filk, and Video Game Soundtracks

An Intro to "Geek Music": Chiptune, Nerdcore, Filk, and Video Game Soundtracks

It is such a fantastic time to be a geek. When you think about it, a not insignificant portion of our popular culture has come to embrace geekdom in many forms. And while some in my tribe decry this as the homogenization and dilution of what they snobbishly declare “true” geekdom, I, as a pudgy, pale, balding, aging, once bully-bait bull geek, am quite pleased with how things have turned out.