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Showing posts from 2009

Evernote reaches two million

This is a big deal.  Evernote has reached two million users.

Congratulations.  My only question is, why isn't everyone using it?

Why isn't there a high tech solution to shoveling driveways?

I grew up east of Lake Erie, in a town that received awesome amounts of lake effect snow.  Awesome at least to a six year old when you struggle through chest high snow.

The one place you could walk safely on recently snowed upon side walks was in front of one storefront down town.  Its sidewalks were at most wet, never icy, and never with snow.  And no one ever shoveled them.

The storefront was the corporate headquarters for a small local Natural Gas company.  When you can pass your energy costs to your customers, you can afford to have hot water pipes right below your sidewalk.  The warm sidewalks melted snow on contact.

So many years later, I'm living in an area forecasted to received as much as 24 inches of snow tomorrow.  Today I was in Lowe's and people were snagging up shovels, salt and snow blowers.

Why do we have the same snow removal solutions in my son's teen years we had in mine?  Think about it.  He has access to communications (i.e smart phones), research, fu…

Merry Christmas Android Users - from Evernote

Evernote has released their client for Android phones.  TechCrunch in a post today first had the news.  It is available for download now.

I so want an Android phone.  And Evernote's blog now has word of it.

Preparing a Computer to Give as a Gift

Getting a new computer for Christmas or anytime, gift or not, is like buying a car with some assembly required.

You really can't just fire it up, and take off.  There are a host of irritating little jobs you need to do before that new computer is truly useful

About once a year it seems, someone here gets a new computer.  Since there are three of us, that's about right.  Rotating your computer every three to four years isn't extravagant, especially for the two here who carry laptops out into the world--that's rough on a machine.

My son and wife truly want the power up and go experience from a new computer, so I've gotten rather used to prepping a new computer.  If you are giving a new computer as a gift, perhaps my little workflow can help you.

Note : This is going to assume a Windows 7 laptop with wi-fi as an example PC.

Take Notes

Before you even take it out of the box, open up either a paper notebook, or if you have another computer close by, open up a Notepad or w…

Avery Design Pro

Avery, the people who make all sorts of labels you can print with your PC, have a a great free PC program.  Avery DesignPro lets you design and print to all sorts of Avery media.  Business cards, CD labels, shipping labels, name tags and more.

It can be downloaded for free.  It can be used even with non-Avery labels, if they show their equivalent Avery number and most do.

Evernote, Chrome and Add-ons

Yesterday, Google announced extensions for their Chrome web browser.  I've been using Chrome as my primary browser for the last several months.  It is fast and much better on memory management then Firefox.

There are a few Firefox extensions I missed.  Xmarks for coordinating bookmarks was a big one.   About the only time I think I'd need to go to Firefox now was if I was dong some Ajax/Javascript development. Firebug is pretty handy.

Ironically, I stopped my only real javascript app.  It was my own tool to store the snippets of information I needed.  Evernote did what it did and a thousand times more, so I was glad to stop having to re-invent that wheel.

In Chrome, I could use an bookmarklet for grabbing content to Evernote.  However with the release of add-ons for Chrome, there is now a legitimate Evernote Web Clipper.  Evernote's blog today details it.

Right now, Chrome extensions only work with the developers version.  You can get it here.

As TV, Newspapers and Magazines Converge

How different will newspapers, televisions news, and news magazines be from one another in 10 years?

That might sound ludicrious to ask.  But think about it.  What's the one thing each of those news outlets have now?

Web sites.

The television web sites of course have written stores, just like the newspaper web sites do.

And the newspaper web sites increasingly have videos

I got to thinking about this from Time Magazine's demo of their new technology for bringing magazines into the 21st Century.  Take three minutes and watch it.

Wouldn't a newspaper be able to package its own news in a similar fashion? And TV stations too?

TV sets are rapidly becoming computer like. I suspect in the near future, we'll have touch pad remote controls that let us control our TV's just as we do our computers. Instead of moving a mouse to move a pointer around as we do on computers now, or touching the screen as we do on our smart phones, we'll move the pointer on the TV around by …

What to do if your Evernote quota is gone?

I did something stupid earlier this week.  I imported a bunch of big image files into Evernote.  I intended to put them into their own local, non-sync'd notebook.  I failed to designate the notebook as local when I created it.

In one act, my Evernote quota nearly maxed out with a week to go before rolling over.  I had maybe 200K left.

My first advice to anyone in the same predicament, is go Premium.  In fact, you can invoke Premium for $5 a month, and then cancel it after the first month.  Phil Libin, the Evernote CEO said as much in one of their podcasts.  Premium would have given me 500 megabytes a month right then and there, instead of the 40 megabytes a month the free account does.

I didn't for a variety of reasons.  The thought occurred to me the week would be a good opportunity to find strategies and blog about them.  Use them only if you can't go Premium.  Premium is a great value, and Evernote richly deserves their only income from users.

First off, I made a new l…
Great Danes and small children do mix. Both the 13 month old boy, and the seven year old Dane seemed to enjoy one another. Even when the boy crawled through the legs of Sol from one side to the other.

Uh oh!

Only 3 days to go though.  Can I muddle through without going Premium right now?

I am addicted to Evernote.

Delicious or Evernote?

Update same day as publish (11-20-2009 6:51 PM EST) : The Delicious import was forever on the Web Client's Settings page.  I see now Evernote has redone that page, and now has a separate Import page.  However that page only lists import from Google Notes.  It does not have Delicious anymore.  I'll leave a message on one of the forums asking about it and will update here when I get an answer.

Update 11-22-2009 - Evernote says "The delicious API changed its behavior enough that it failed more often than it worked for our users. We disabled it until we have someone who can sort out whether there's a better solution."  Let's hope it isn't too long.  When I see the import ability is back, I'll create a new post here.  

Some men collect cars, or golf clubs, or coins.  I collect bookmarks.
As I surf the web, I am forever finding things that I either want to be able to find again, or find interesting but do not have the time just then to read.

My early bookmar…

How has your Smartphone changed your life?

I'm writing a piece on Smartphones as Christmas gifts.  By Smartphone, I mean a phone that can surf the web and maybe run apps that help you out.  Not only do I mean iPhone and Android phones, but Instincts, Palm Pre's, Blackberry etc.

I am looking for feedback to quote.  Please leave in comments any things you have on the questions, "Has your Smartphone changed your life?  How?"  Please mention your Smartphone's name.

All comments are assumed to be free to print as quotes with attribution to you.

Thanks for any help.

Are you your family's geek?

If over Thanksgiving, you are likely to hear "While you are here, can you take a look at my computer.  You know so much more about those things then I do." then you are your family's geek.

You may not think of yourself as especially knowledgeable but to those around you, in comparison to themselves, you seem like a whiz kid.

This week's Family Tech column at is a few things to help you maintain your miracle worker status.

Let's give the traffic reporters some 21st century tools

I've always been a big fan of traffic reports on news radio stations.  When I lived in San Francisco, KGO freely promoted their phone number to call with traffic news. I was surprised when you did call, it was the on air reporter who took the call.  You'd think they'd be busy gathering info from all the resources they had to compile traffic information from.

I called so much, Lyn Durling in the morning used my full name while using everyone else's first name only, prompting my boss to ask if I was moonlighting for them.  Lyn asked me to call every morning when I passed over the 680 grade so he could get an accurate read on conditions.

It was surprising when I moved to DC that WTOP never says their phone number on air during the weekday.  I've caught it a couple times on weekends.  When I've called, they have been nice, and again it was the on air person who answers.

Stuck in really bad traffic the other day, I started to think how all the people stuck in the tr…

An Evernote Twitter List

I have created a public Twitter list of Evernote users.  If you would like to be on it, please leave me a comment here and I'll add you.

It would be ideal if Evernote created such a list.  I'm dong one myself because a lot of people that follow me, and that I follow, do so because of our common appreciation of Evernote.  Hence the list.

If I added you and you are not an Evernote user or interested in Evernote, also let me know.

Aside : Twitter Lists is great, but Twitter needs a few things :

Show you a list of people you follow or follow you that are not yet on one of your listsHave a way for you to record for yourself why you followed them in the first placeThe ability to send a Tweet to juse those on a given list
Not knowing the latter is why I suspect I've added some people to the list who are not Evernote users.

One Million Users of Google Voice

It is always gratifying to see a service you like gaining popularity.  A recent Business Week article says Google Voice has over a million users now.  And there are hints they are going to roll out to some other countries besides the United States.

As I've said many times before, it is an awesome service.  If you haven't requested an invite, do so.  It's free.

Special Anniversary Today

On this date in 1969, Arpanet went live.  Arpanet later became known by different names, the Internet and the Web.

Three months earlier, man walked on the moon for the first time.  That received a ton of publicity world wide.

Did the hooking together of four computers around the country warrant even a single newspaper mention?  I doubt it.

Yet look at which event triggered the most change in the world, and the most benefit.

I feel like I should send flowers, but where?

One interesting trivia tidbit I found in the Wikipedia entry for Arpanet.  The first time the internet was mentioned in popular TV show was in 1985, on an episode of Benson.

Number Porting into Google Not Yet There

Google Voice gives you a new phone number to hand out.  Many people have wanted instead to have Google Voice features on their current phone number that their friends and customers already know.

Google has said that capability is coming.  It will take, I think, negotiation with the telcoms, and I'm not sure the telcoms will want to give up the customer control inherent in controlling the phone numbers.  Google may surprise me, but I don't expect to see comprehensive number porting anytime soon.

Today, Google announced an almost number porting ability.  In a nutshell, they tell you how to auto-forward your cell phone calls that would normally go to your cell's voicemail, to Google Voice.

Their help system shows that a lot of advantages of Google Voice are lost when you do this. If you already have a Google Voice number, you can choose to have your cell phone routed to Google Voice.  When I tried to do this, they warned me Sprint might charge me for each voice mail until Spr…

When I was a kid

When I was a kid I was fascinated with fingerprint kits.  I wrote Hoover's FBI asking if I could buy one.  I received a nice letter saying no.

If I were a kid today, this kit would be cool.  It has a fingerprint kit and other tools for a young CSI.

The list of cool toys they did not have when I was a kid grows longer.

This is for all the future Grissoms and Abbys out there.

Read about the CSI kit

Your First Day with Evernote

I've written many times before about Evernote.  I love this program.  It is my brain's memory on steroids.  I have over 6000 notes in it now.  And I keep finding ever more uses for it.

While originally written in 2009, this post has been frequently updated.

New January 2012:  If you like what I write about Evernote, check out my 136 page e-book,
 "Get Productive Fast with Evernote".  Just $10.

Sunday October 11, 2009 I wrote about Evernote in my print column, Family Tech. If you are wondering what is Evernote, and why would I want to use it, start with the column.

I promised in that column this post to help new users get efficient fast with Evernote.

I thought I'd write a quick plan for someone's first day with Evernote. This is really meant for after you've installed the client to your computer, so this picks up after you've gone to  Evernote's Get Started Page and created an account and downloaded and installed a client for your primary computer.

The Many Uses of Evernote

I'm even starting to see some specialized lists for particular professions:

DoctorsJournalists (and also this)Surgeons Realtors
Real Estate AppraisersWriters (added 4/12/2010)DJ's and Musicians (added 4/26/2010)Ministers (added 5/3/2010)Students (added 12-17-2010)
The good list is maintained by Evernote itself.
Update 11/5/2009:  Andrew Maxwell posted 100 Different Evernote Uses.  Great List.
This is a list of what I use Evernote for, and ideas I've garnered from the web.  When anyone asks on Twitter what do you use Evernote for, I'm going to send them here.
Here we go...leave in comments all the ones I've missed. 

receipts, both  real and from online paymentsbillsnotes from phone callswhere did I park my car?What is my hotel room?tasks I need to remember to dobookmarksscans  of billsbusiness cardsuser guidescartoons I've enjoyedjokes I've heardinspirational notes to myselfideasrough drafts of blog posts, letters, reports etc.things I