Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Evernote Web Interface

On their blog today, Evernote announced a shiny new web interface.  It is still a work in progress and missing a few features, but it is more like the Windows client then the old web interface was.

Why would you use the web interface?  Maybe you are at the library or somewhere else you are working on some one else's computer.

The big reason I think Evernote is putting the effort here is so Evernote will have a good presence on the Chrome OS.  Sixty thousand laptop were given away with Chrome OS on it, and the reviews seem good.  This summer, inexpensive laptops (I hear like $200) will be coming out with Chrome OS.

I think a lot of non-geek users will love Chrome OS.  No antivirus programs needed.  Lots of good, free software (like Evernote and Google Docs).  And very little self maintenance needed to maintain the environment.  I think it could be a big winner for family users.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dropbox - one of the best tools I use

My Family Tech column this week is about Dropbox.  My wife and I consider it be one of the best tools we use, if not the best.

See the column for a description of the value of Dropbox.  Links mentioned in the column are here.

Dropbox is so widely used, many have built little utilities to make it even more useful.

I mention in the column one of its best uses is to unify the eco system between your PCs and your phone.  I can save a file to Dropbox on my PC, and  view it on my phone.

Note: I have't used most of these tools except where noted.

What if you get an email on your phone with an attachment you want to store in your Dropbox?  iOS on Apple products (iPad, iPhone etc.) won't let a user save a file to Dropbox.  My GMail app on my Android phone won't let me either.  Enter sendtodropbox.com.  This free service links to your Dropbox and gives you an email address.  Any email you send to that address with an attachment, automatically puts the attachment into your Dropbox.  This service, I have used.

To make it easy for people to upload a file to your Dropbox, you can embed a form from JotForm that does the trick.

Another one I have yet to try is DropPages.  It lets you host a simple website with Dropbox.

There are Dropbox apps for both iOS and Android.

If you are an iPad user, Apple's own Pages and Numbers word processing and spreadsheet apps do not save to Dropbox.  This website shows a way to make them do it.

There are apps that will let your directly edit files on Dropbox on your iPad, like PlainText.  PlainText is free and works with simple text files.  Apps like Documents to Go and QuickOffice let you edit Office documents in Dropbox.  There are other apps in the Apple App Store.  Just search for Dropbox to find them.

GoodReader and iAnnotate let you read PDF files from Dropbox and even annotate them.

On Android, there is QuickOffice and Documents to Go as well.  I use MyNotes to edit text files from Dropbox on my Android phone.

You can see all the Android apps that mention Dropbox with this link.

People are always coming up with new and interesting uses for Dropbox.  This blog post lists many good ideas.

If you don't have a Dropbpx account and want a free 2 gigabyte account, you can click here to join Dropbox with an extra 256 megabytes (and give me 256 megabytes extra for referring you).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Family Tech: Location Aware apps

Your phone knows where it is.  Your apps can use that information to your benefit and to your peril. This week's Family Tech column.

Family Tech : Saving Digital Memories

Digital is not forever.  Musings on CD longevity and how history will see our times with mostly digital source material to draw from.  Will there be much digital source material to survive?  A Family Tech column.

Family Tech : Non Geeks Love Tablets

I've started what should be an interesting new chapter in my life, and I have yet to adjust my rhythm of getting things done around it.  One of those things, is updating here when a new Family Tech column comes out.

March 6, I wrote about new tablets on the market.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sad news: Gizmo5 is going away

There's no doubt I love Google Voice.  Now sad news from Google.  They are closing down Gizmo5.  The desktop VOIP client usable with Google Voice will be no more.

Google bought Gizmo and integrated its technology into the their Gmail phone service.  Rumor has it that there was once a wonderful Google developed/Gizmo5 based Windows Voip client being tested inside Google, but it will never see the light of day.  They instead want 100% web options.

TechCrunch has all the history and a copy of the email going out to Gizmo users.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Family Tech : Online Wedding Planning

It's the ultimate personal collaborative project.  Wedding planning involves the new couple, and their families.  Anything that can help this new group work together smoothly is a good thing.  Online wedding planning is the topic of this week's Family Tech.