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Showing posts from September, 2009

Hump Day Tech

I'm hoping I'll be one of the 100,000 who receive a Google Wave invite today.

Lifehacker.com had an interesting tip on using Evernote, and a scanner to tame your physical filing monster.  The method is similar to what I do, but I don't bother with a fancy label maker.  Pens work fine.

Basically it's this:
Create a Folder with a title of today's date
Scan any new piece of paperwork into EvernoteRecord in the Evernote note, the date of the file folder you created in step 1.File paper in fileDo steps 2 to 5 until folder is full, then create new folder
Then in the future you search for the document in Evernote, and if you need a physical copy, it directs you to the appropriate file

One thing I've done is I no longer buy file folders, but instead buy file jackets.  They cost more, but things don't slide out of the sides when you have them laying on your desk.

And my favorite file storage/sync took, Dropbox, now has an iPhone app in the Apple App Store.

Welcome to Readers of Family Tech

Welcome to visitors who found this blog through my new column in the News & Messenger, Family Tech. 

Links for today's column and future columns can be found here.

Many of the tools I talked about in this first column, I have blogged about before.  Feel free to click the logos to the right for other blog posts on those topics.

Update: The column is now on their website.

Common Evernote Questions on Twitter

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

One search column I have going in TweetDeck shows anything anyone says on Twitter about Evernote.

The same questions often come up.  So I thought I'd create this post to answer some of them.  I am not with Evernote, so these are not official answers.  When I see these questions on Twitter, I'm going to reply with a link to this post. I hope no one considers it spam; I'm just trying to be helpful.

Does anyone use it?  Do you like it?  Love it!  It has become one of the programs I install any every new computer that comes into the house.  I just wrote about students using Evernote in the the local paper .and also an article advocating it for everyone.  I blog about it like crazy here.  Look at the bottom of this post for links to all I've written here about it.

What do people use Evernote for?Here's a whole list of uses.

What should I do to get up an…

Picasa 3.5 with Facial Recognition Spookily Good

For years I've used Thumbsplus to organize my digital photos.  When Google first released Picasa, I downloaded it but didn't find anything in it I liked better than Thumbsplus.

Two days ago Google upgraded Picasa.  The new version has facial recognition in it.  The geek in me just had to try that out.

First it has to make a pass through all your photos on your hard drive and isolate out each face it can find in each photo.  While it is doing that, you can begin telling it who the person is.  Once you identify a face, it finds other photos with that person in it.  If it isn't confident enough in its match, it sets the photo aside and asks you if it really is who it thinks it is.

This takes a bit of time; it has been churning away now for over 24 hours and isn't even half done.  I do have thousands of photos going back over ten years though.

It is spooky how good it matches up faces.  I identified my son in a photo when he was 18, and it linked up a baby photo of him.  O…

New Evernote Podcast Up

A new Evernote podcast was published this week, just in time for me to move it to my phone and listen to it yesterday on a flight home.

Also, Guy Kawasaki published "14 Practical Ways to Use Evernote".  Guy is something of a legend in high tech.  For him to be a user of your product, and enthusiastic enough to write about it, speak volumes for Evernote.

I had a chance to use the Mac Evernote client this week.  It is much nicer then the current Windows client.  I can't wait for Evernote to finish the 3.5 version and have a similar experience on Windows.

Dropbox has new web features

Dropbox, my preferred file storage/file sharing/synchronization site just improved its website.

They have added File Search as well as the ability to do bulk actions against more then one file at a time.

One nice feature is the ability to select several files, then download them as a Zip file containing all the files.

Details are on their blog.

Dropbox is one of those "first-apps-to-install-on-a-new-computer" for me. I can't work as well without it. It is especially valuable coordinating the team that produces the slides for our church service each week.

The Global Inbox with E-mail, Text, Voice Mail is Closer

Back in March when I really became infatuated with Google Voice, I made five predictions about where Google might be taking Google Voice.

One started coming true last night.

To review, the predictions were :
Google will have a phone spam list similar to Gmail's spam listfax send and receiveGoogle will have their own soft phone, maybe even buy SkypeSomeone can send an email to you by sending to [your Google voice phone number]@gmail.comThe Google Voice inbox and the Gmail inbox will merge, making a Global Inbox
Last night Google announced that Text messages sent to your Google Voice number could be forwarded to your email address.

Since you have long been able to have incoming voice mails sent to e-mail, #5 is done. You are able to check for email, SMS text messages and voice mails all in one inbox.

To set this up, in Google Voice, go to Settings, Voicemail & SMS tab, and click the checkbox by SMS Forwarding to select it.

Let's take a moment to review the other four predictions; …

Could Skype now move to honoring standards?

Looks like E-Bay has managed to sell Skype, or at least 65% of it. Never did make much sense to me why they bought them in the first place. I guess there was thinking at one time it would give buyers and sellers a way to communicate. They never really implemented that.

I know a lot of people swear by Skype. I know people in the US with family and business contacts oversees. Skype makes it affordable for them to stay in touch. Several years ago while my family did an archaeological dig in England, it cost me $2.48 a minute via AT&T to talk to them. With Skype, today, it would be twenty-one cents a minute.

In March a study showed Skype handled 8% of international calls. That is more then AT&T. Think about that a moment. A piece of software has seriously undermined the bread and butter of what was once one of the predominant corporations on the planet.

This internet thing is sure causing some upheavals, isn't it?

One thing I could never understand was why Skype didn…