Saturday, December 26, 2015

Family Tech: Here’s some tips on operating some holiday gifts - December 25, 2015

Think of this as a stocking stuffer column.

When 7-Eleven starts selling drones, you know it’s a hot holiday gift and perhaps you received one this year.

What now?

I do not have a drone, but I was listening to a podcast recently from a drone owner. One thing he strongly recommends is not to try learning to fly one outside, certainly not an expensive one. You will inevitably crash any drone you have.

You might be better off setting the expensive one aside for the time being and finding an inexpensive one in an after-Christmas sale or online for under $30.

Learn to fly that drone safely before trying to fly your more expensive one.

And, at first, fly both kinds inside as you learn how to maneuver them. If it gets away from you, it cannot go far and won’t end up in a pond. Air currents wreak havoc with flying these lightweight aircraft so learning in a benign environment is a better idea.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently decided to require many drones to be registered. Drones weighing more than .55 pounds must be registered. It can be done online and only costs $5. If you do it by Jan. 20, the registration fee is waived.

Read the rest at

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The First Website went up 25 years ago today

Interesting note from Engadget.  It was 25 years ago today that Tim Berners-Lee put up the first website.

It wouldn't be public for a few months, but was the genesis of the World Wide Web.

That first site simply described the web and how to create your own pages on it.  You can still read it today.

I find these kind of anniversary's intriguing.  They remind us how fast we are moving.  And considering how change seems always to be speeding up, to ask ourselves, where will we be in 25 more years?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Family Tech: Don’t leave a digital roadmap when you leave for the holidays

Are you are going away for the holidays and do you plan to share your adventures via social media? There is a group who will pay rapt attention – and most importantly – when you will be home.


I’ve always found it unsettling how much information about being away from home

some share online. Recently, a young couple we know avidly documenting 
their cruise.

Another friend, who travels frequently on business, uses Tripit to manage his various

 itineraries. Tripit will share your travels to Facebook, if you choose. I always know
 when he is leaving, and I am alerted when he’s on his way home. I worry about the
 wife and teenage daughters when he leaves at home.

A recent Facebook post from county police confirmed the danger of sharing your

 travel information online. It points out posts mentioning travel or showing check-ins
 at airports or airline lounges can indicate travel – to bad guys.

Read the rest at

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Family Tech: Psst, Santa: This is what geeks would like for Christmas

Dear Santa,

I realize I am a bit old to be writing to you but I thought perhaps you would like a few suggestions on what to give self-professed geeks like me. Apparently, we are not easy to shop for.

Not everything we covet is expensive. For example, Google Cardboards begin at $5. They are cardboard headsets – much like the old View Masters – that hold your phone. It lets you watch 360-degree videos. Youtube even has a special section for the videos so they are easy to find. Cardboard lets you experience something close to Virtual Reality for just a few dollars if you already have a smartphone.

Where it can get expensive is if you want to begin making your own videos or have 360-degree photos. Ricoh makes the Theta S, a small camera that does just that. It cost about $350.

If your records show anyone coming close to being naughty for cursing about the phone battery giving out too soon, you may want to consider giving them a spare battery and charger for their Android phone, if it has a removable battery.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Family Tech: Make photo books to preserve digital photos in your phone - December 4, 2015

We are awash in photos. Once, families took a roll of 12 pictures on a week-long vacation. Today, some people take 12 photos before breakfast – mostly selfies and shots of their breakfast.

Yet, our children may have fewer pictures of us and their own childhoods then we do of our own parents and our childhoods.

The digital cameras in our phones are always with us. With no cost for film and the delay of processing, we are able to take multitudes of photos. Burst mode in many camera apps let us take a dozen photos of one single shot to get the one with the best look on the subject’s face or the right moment in an action shot.

We send the photos to Facebook to share with friends. The rest reside on our phone, until we replace the phone.

Perhaps you use an app such as Google Photos, Amazon, Facebook or others to back-up your photos to the cloud.

So how can I say few photographs will be available for the next generation to view?

Read the rest at

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Family Tech: Wifi is now essential to our lives – here’s how to maximize it - November 20,, 2015

For something most of us didn’t even have 10-15 years ago, wifi has become virtually indispensable in our homes. Sixty-one percent of American homes have wifi.

And wifi can be maddening if it fails to reach all rooms in our home.

Wifi provides the internet to more and more devices every year. Our first router back around 2003 served two laptops. Today, in an average home, many more devices are linked to wifi routers including laptops, mobile phones, game consoles, portable gaming machines and more.

And more devices will continue to login. Devices such as your refrigerator, washing machine, light bulbs, door locks and those little Dash Buttons from Amazon that let you reorder things at the push of a button.

Does your wifi reach all areas of your home? If it doesn’t, you are losing valuable functionality.

In this column, we’ll tell you how to easily find dead spots in your home and what you can do to get the internet throughout your home.

Read the rest at

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Family Tech tips for family tech issues - November 13, 2015

This is the time of year for traditions. A tradition of this column is helping techies get ready for the inevitable requests from family members to take a quick look at their computer.

It’s never quick.

Being the family tech is a thankless job. If you do one thing to help someone, for years after you will hear comments/requests such as, “I can’t find a file I downloaded” or “What did you do wrong when you fixed my computer?”

That column is still relevant. I’ve posted it to if you want to check it out.

Despite the thanklessness, those of us not intimidated with technology often want to help our family. For seniors especially, having working technology keeps them in contact and engaged with family via Facebook and email. It helps them not feel isolated if family is not nearby.

Here’s a few new thoughts this year on that topic.

Read the rest at

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Family Tech: Tips for shooting and editing family videos - November 6, 2015

Last week, we talked about interviewing family members with a story to tell. This week, let’s talk about how to make a good video of the interview. Surprisingly, we can do a good job with just our smartphone.

Even if you do not want to record a family member’s memories, there might be times you will want to shoot a short video interview. Whenever I watch a reality show about a family, I always enjoy the interviews with the small children, and their unfiltered answers.

What a delight it will be for the parents long after the show goes off the air to have these memories. How fun it will be to show some of them at their wedding reception one day. We can interview our own children at different points of their lives or after major events. Talk to them a week after a vacation to find out what memories stuck. After a major family event, such as a wedding, interview them about their understanding and feelings about the event.

One of the favorite things I do when I video a wedding, is a pre-wedding interview done separately with the bride and groom.

The first thing to know about shooting a video with your camera is to hold the phone horizontally. Vertical videos look odd, while horizontal videos look more like the aspect ratio we are used to from television.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection

What do you do if you're a bizillionaire, and in touch with your inner little boy?

Well, you might buy a really big yacht, old tanks, rockets and cool old airplanes.  

And you might invest in artificial intelligence, brain science, and other really cool things.

I wasn't invited to hang out on any of the yachts but last Sunday I was in Seattle, and visited Paul Allen's (Microsoft co-founder) Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everette, Washington.

This collection does something interesting.  Each aircraft's informational plaque explains not only the model of aircraft, but the history of this particular aircraft.

With only a few exceptions, each of these aircraft are in flyable condition, and do fly once a year.  I saw one aircraft that was the sole surviving aircraft of its type, so while flyable, it was not flown.

The wreck of a Japanese Zero found in New Guineau

A restored Zero found in much the same condition as the hulk above.

A flyable Zero.

A Curtiss Jenny.  One of my favorite aircraft since it was built not far from where I was born.

A German V-2 Rocket. Always heard about them. Never saw one.

A British Spirfire.

A German Storch.  Anyone who has read WEB Griffin's Honor Bound series have read about these.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

New IFTTT Capabilities for Evernote


I have always found using IFTTT to send things into Evernote useful.  I currently have all Starred Gmail's, Saved Reddit posts, Archived posts in Pocket, and more all flow into Evernote, thanks to  

When my wife showed me Trello, I found Evernote and IFTTT didn't work together quite as well as I hoped.

If you haven't checked out Trello,it is a more visual version kind of Evernote.  It is great for doing some kinds of project management.  I do not actually use it, but I could see myself using it for a future project.

One drawback when I looked at Trello was it didn't have a Web Clipper.  You couldn't just save a web page to Trello.

I had the bright idea of capturing the web page to Evernote, and then have IFTTT to move the post from Evernote to Trello.

Alas, I had never looked at the Triggers IFTTT supported for Evernote.  It didn't have one to take a new note and copy it to another service.

Now good news.  Thursday IFTTT announced two new triggers to Evernote.  New Note in Notebook and, New Note with Specific Tag.

I immediately thought of my problem I'd had with Trello, and apparently, so did Trello.

There are many things you can do with these triggers.  I haven't played with it much yet, but I could see having a free blog at Blogger where you can post Notes created in Evernote to blogger.

IFTTT's blog entry on this suggested similar things.

Family Tech: Holiday gatherings are a great time to capture the past with video - October 30, 2015

Everyone has a compelling story.

Just in the last couple of weeks, I’ve talked to a retired Marine about his service in Vietnam. And another told me about being a young bride in Germany and her move to the U.S. with her GI husband.

The next several weeks brings family together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is an opportunity to ask family members to tell their stories.

StoryCorps, an organization that has made an educational project for adults and children, is holding “The Great Thanksgiving Listen” project.

The nonprofit has long gathered individuals stories on video in kiosks in New York’s Grand Central Station, and other cities. It also has an app for iPhones and Androids that videos an interview, and if you choose, uploads it to its site as well as to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

A man at a Woodbridge continuing-care facility recorded interviews with residents about their World War II memories. The interviews were submitted to the Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project.

These first-hand accounts enrich our understanding of history and will be of value to researchers.

Involving young people in the interview process can give them an appreciation of their elders and the road they have travelled.

Read the rest at

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Family Tech: We are living in the future – let’s enjoy - October 23, 2015

I glanced over at my son playing on our gaming PC. He was speaking into his headset, talking to other players. They were from all over the world of various ages and backgrounds.

I was struck yet again with a sense: we live in the future.

The video games are not the only trigger for me. I have a new app on my phone, FlightRadar 24, which amazes me.

It shows all airplanes overhead. Select one and it tells you its type, airline, flight number, origin, destination and route. If a plane declares an emergency, it alerts me if I want to follow its story.

What’s really cool is if I aim my phone at a plane overhead, it identifies it for me.

All this is done using a database of aircraft under Air Traffic Control, but also the GPS sensor in my phone telling it where it is, plus the other sensors that tell the software where the phone is pointing to and how it is oriented.

There are also devices like Microsoft’s Kenect 2 for the XBox. It has a series of cameras and microphones that could almost be living in the future. It recognizes who is watching TV at a given moment. And it understands hand and arm gestures.

Read the rest at

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Family Tech: You don’t have to give out your phone number, there are apps for that - October 16, 2015

The telephone is often the bane of our existence, yet it is the necessary enabler of business and personal interactions. If you sell things online, have a home or family-run business, or if you are a single wanting to talk to someone you met online, you need the telephone. 

Yet there are risks to giving out your own phone number you should avoid.

For example, you sell a bicycle online. You don’t want to give the person your phone number to avoid the possibility of them calling you a year later telling you the bike has broken and they feel you sold them a defective item.

Or you want your one- or two-person family-run business to look like a bigger company but don’t want to hire a receptionist, what can you do?

There’s an app for the iPhone and Android called Burner that lets you purchase a phone number that is good for a time period you choose. That way, you can list that phone number in your online ad. Any calls coming into the app from that phone number, come into the app where you can answer or let them go to a voicemail setup for just that number and use.

Read the rest at

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Family Tech: Now it is Google’s turn to release new phones and other devices - October 9, 2015

Google has two new phones, the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. The chief advantage of a Nexus device is that it is first to get new operating systems. These phones come with the latest Marshmallow version of Android, announced a few months ago. When the next version of Android comes out, these phones will be first in line for them. And the upgrades come direct from Google.

Other Android phones have to wait until the phone’s manufacturer releases a version of Android for the phone, and your carrier approves and transmits it out to you. Some current phones won’t get Marshmallow for months; some older phones not at all.

The 5X is made by South Korea’s LG and sports a 5.2 inch display. The 6P, made by Chinese maker Huawei, sports a bigger 5.7 inch screen.

Read the rest at

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lot of news out of Evernote recently

Evernote's new CEO Chris O'Neill is hitting the ground running.  Evernote has announced they are laying off 13% of their staff world wide.  And the spin off product, Evernote Food is gone.

The emphasis seems to be a needed re-focus on the core product.  They have recently released a new Android version with an  updated widget. Its number one feature is the ability to quickly enter a note without having to bring up the full product.  That is a time saver.  You can easily forget what you wanted to note in the several seconds it took for Evernote to load. Or maybe that's an age thing.

And there is a new by invitation beta out for the core Windows client featuring a more robust editor inside of the product.  That has been a well requested feature for years now from users.s

Anyone in the beta?  My application hasn't been accepted yet.

I'm feeling a bit more confident, but I'm still worried, as I'll talk about in a future post.  I'd feel better if they stopped selling overpriced socks.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Don’t trust yourself to be your computers’ back-up plan - October 2, 2015

All hard drives fail eventually. Yours will, too.

I’ve come to the realization we should not to be trusted to back up our own computers. Backing up is planning for an unpleasant future and insurance agents will tell you how hard it is to get us to do that.

We need to make backup automatic and let our computers do the drudgery of protecting themselves.

Think about what’s on your computer – family photos, important documents, financial information, contacts phone numbers and addresses and more. All kinds of things you would not want to do without.

Until recently, I might have suggested services such as Crashplan, Carbonite or others that back up your computer to their cloud service. Most had drawbacks such as a high annual cost. And some of the plans only backed up the internal drive in your PC and none of the external ones.

Read the rest at

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Family Tech: You are not walking home alone if you have a companion app - September 25, 2015

The young college student was startled to hear her college library was closing. “Midnight, already?” she said.

She dreaded walking across campus to her dorm alone so late. Bad things had happened recently on campus.

A guy emerged from a bar and realized he was further from his apartment that he had planned and had had a couple more beers then he should. The streets would be full of other drunken guys and he’d seen fights over trivial things.

If you know anyone who has to take risky walks, there is a new class of apps to help keep them safe.

I first read about Companion Safety App in a “Business Insider” article a few weeks ago. I took the unusual step of posting about it first at because I was so certain it could help someone and I wanted to gain some feedback on this class of apps before writing about them here.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Family Tech: Good geek month – lots of new products coming - September 18, 2015

September is a good geek month. Apple usually announces new iPhones and iPads this month; and they didn’t disappoint this year.

And later in the month, Google is expected to announce new Nexus phones.

The most interesting thing is Apple announced the iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch version. Standard iPads are 9.7 inches. 

The Pro model is aimed at Microsoft’s Surface market – a powerful tablet with a near laptop-sized screen. It can be mated to a keyboard for a laptop-like experience.

While the Surface runs Windows 10, the iPad Pro will run IOS. With Apple’s productivity software or Microsoft Word for the iPad, users can get a lot of work done. IOS was originally built as a phone operating system, but Apple has upgraded it to be closer to a PC OS.

The iPad Pro starts at $799 for a 32-gigabyte model. The 128-gigabyte version is $949. A keyboard is $169.

And the iPad Pro is the first iPad with a stylus. Steve Jobs said some disparaging things about products with styluses in the past, so wags claim that is the reason Apple is vehemently not calling theirs a stylus, but rather the Apple Pencil.

Read the rest at

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ride a new roller coaster before anyone else

If you enjoyed the Family Tech column for September 4th about Virtual Reality, and bought a Google Cardboard for yourself, check out this ride on Cedar Point's newest roller coaster in this article from The Verge.

There are apps for Android and IOS.

Originally Posted at

Evernote's Phil Libin moves to Venture Capital firm

The Wall Street Journal, and others, are reporting Phil Libin, co-founder of Evernote and until two months ago, its CEO, has joined General Catalyst Partners as a general partner.

Former Googler Chris O'Neill was named Evernote CEO in July.

Making sense of Amazon's dizzying array of services

Ever look at Amazon's vast number of web services, and vaguely suspect there is something there that would benefit you as an individual?  But the dizzying names and obscure descriptions written by one IT professional for other IT professionals put you off?

Here's a plain English explanation of the various services..  It popped up in my RSS reader yesterday, and I'll have to look at it more closely when I am more awake (it's 5:30 am here). Maybe it will help you too.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Family Tech: Don’t block online ads – they help pay for free content - September 12, 2015

Apple’s pending IOS 9 – and Howard Stern’s big mouth – have conspired to bring on what many fear will be a radical change to free content on the web.

How many websites do you pay to use? Probably none, although hopefully you subscribe to the Prince William Today so you get unrestricted access to And maybe you pay for a couple of the national newspapers as well.

Other than that, the content and services most of us appreciate such as Facebook, Google, Google Docs, Google Keep, Google Drive and others are free.

Much of the content is free because it is supported by advertisements. For the cost of seeing a few ads along the way, we get to connect with friends, create documents, make lists, store files and much more.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Family Tech: Virtual reality gadgets on the market, so just imagine - September 4, 2015

I looked to the left and was surprised to see a fighter jet there. Even more astonishingly, I looked up and found another fighter just above my head, only feet away from my own aircraft. A voice startled me and I looked behind me to realize I wasn’t alone in the plane; there was a pilot behind me.

The Family Tech gadget budget is – shall we say – “restrained” so I wasn’t flying my new F-35, but instead my $20 Google Cardboard.

Virtual reality, or VR, may finally be poised for the home.

VR goggles let you see different views as you turn your head. Imagine you are wearing VR goggles and it appears to you that you are at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum near Dulles. In front of you is a big silver-colored airplane. If you turn to the right, you see more airplanes. Look up and you see a variety of planes hanging over your head. Look down and you see the floor. While it’s not as good as being there, you get a sense of what it is like to be there.

Read the rest at

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Family Tech: Friending your boss, just one pitfall of social media

The Facebook post was simple. It was a photo of a child on a beach, with the heading “Playing hooky,” posted by Prince William Today and Editor Kari Pugh.

The first comment was from her publisher Bruce Potter, “Caught you!”

Further down in the thread, I commented, “And that is why you do not friend your boss, ever.”

The exchange above was in jest and they both knew it. Kari is almost always working online and knows her boss knows that and would see the post. Some downtime is always OK.

Social media is a reality of life. For many, it is how we relate to friends and family when geography and work schedules conspire to keep us apart. It is hard to avoid being on social media; peer pressure is intense if you are not.

I’ve mentioned before that I have friends in Australia I’d have lost contact with years ago had it not been for social media. There are many friends from my Pennsylvania, Missouri and California days that I’d have lost touch with too. Social sites are a blessing.

But that can also be a curse.

Read the rest at

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Whew! Feedly, you scared me.

Feedly, on my Android phone, almost caused a bit of a heart attack today.

When my heart stopped racing, I clicked through to the next page.

Not sure why it surprised me; I'd read about Food closing down yesterday.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Family Tech: Here’s some back-to-school family tech suggestions - August 21, 2015

This week's Family Tech column is about sending your children off to school.  While parts are specific for the county the Prince William Today newspaper covers, it has elements parents in any school district can use.

Soon the tykes and teens of Prince William County will head back for a new school year and the logistics of life for their adults will be complicated by bus schedules, snow days, after-school events, car shuttling, etc.

Thankfully, technology can make some of the issues easier.

The Prince William County School website ( has a plethora of information from bus schedules, meal plans and much more. Parents should sign up for the Parents Portal to better stay on top of their child’s school lives and communicate with the schools and teachers.

The parent’s page has a lot of valuable information. Even if you’ve been shepherding your kids though the district for years, it doesn’t hurt to review the information on these pages.

The same is true for the student’s pages for both students and parents. There is valuable information there.

The one critical page you must visit allows you to sign-up for email and text alerts. News of school closings for weather and other issues can come directly to your phone.

The link for that and the other resources talked about are at in this week’s link post.

As with much in life, sending your kids off to school requires you fill out a lot of paperwork. Take a second before sending filled out forms back to school, to take a photo of them with your phone so you have a copy you can refer to wherever you might be.

If you have an Android phone, you might want to consider downloading Google’s Keep app. It is a simple, easy app to store photos, lists and notes and makes them easy to find later.

Read the rest at

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finally, Kitty Hawk. My Wright Brother's pilgrimages conclude.

Inspired after reading David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers", I have visited several significant Wright Brother's sites including :
  • Huffman Prairie - site near Dayton where the brother's tested their planes starting in 1904
And on a recent Smithsonian Bus Tour

  • The 1903 Flyer at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC
  • Fort Meyer, Virginia - site of the Wright's demonstration to the US Army in 1908
  • College Park Airport in Maryland - oldest airport in world. Began with the Wright's teaching Army officers to fly.

As you can see, there is a glaring omission from my Wright pilgrimages.  And it is even more embarrassing as that I've lived within a four hour drive of the Outer Banks for 16 years.

Two days ago, I finally visited Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Evernote : Web Client leaves Beta

During the several months my Evernote Windows client was not syncing properly, I relied on the Web Beta in its absence.

While not a full featured client (no multiple notes selection for example), it is suitable when you need to access your Evernote notes from someone else's PC and cannot install the Windows or Mac client.  Or at a public PC like a library.

The Web client is now out of Beta and available at

Evernote : Some ruined it for all

When Evernote realigned their offerings a couple months ago, they gave Evernote Premium unlimited note uploads each month.

Alas, people began using Evernote as a full backup system; something it was not meant for nor engineered to handle.

In a blog post, Evernote announced Premium would not be limited to ten gigabytes of uploads.  That should be more than enough for 99.9999% of users in their estimation, and I agree.

They'll gladly refund your Premium subscription if you are unhappy.

Family Tech: Getting IT certified has many benefits and there’s lots of help available - August 14, 2015

Is someone in your family comfortable with computers, but maybe not quite right for college? Or do they worry a four-year degree is more likely to put them into debt than into a job?

Do you have a college-bound high schooler who could use a shot in the arm confidence wise, and maybe an achievable goal that might help them get a good part-time job in college?

Are you wishing you had a job working with computers; a burgeoning field?

Or, are you knowledgeable about computers but do not have anything in your record proving what you know?

Comptia is an Information Technology industry trade association. It offers a variety of computer-knowledge certifications such as the basic A+, Network+ and Security+.

Many starter jobs in IT, such as help desk, repair technician, or printer technician, require a Comptia A+ Certification.

To obtain one of these certifications requires a test taken at a Pearson Testing Center.

There are many paths to the first A+ certification. You can begin by going to Comptia’s site and seeing the objectives that are used for the two A+ required tests, the 801 and 802 tests.

There are a variety of ways to learn the material needed to pass the tests. Some are even free.

Read the rest at

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yet another Wright Brothers site visited

We found ourselves driving through Dayton, Ohio on I-70 Sunday, so I couldn't resist the urge to see Huffman Prairie, where the Wright Brothers tested airplanes where, according to Wikipedia, the brothers "made about 150 flights at the field in 1904–1905, leading to development of the 1905 Wright Flyer III, which they considered to be the first practical airplane."

The Wright's leased the property outside Dayton so they could take the streetcar out to the site.

Replica's of their workshop and the catapult they used to get the planes in the air are onsite.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Family Tech : More information about Windows 10

Windows 10 is here, arriving a couple days ago on Wednesday. 

When Windows 8 appeared, the world seemed to ask. “Do I want to upgrade to 8?” And in fact, many users did not do it, instead staying with Windows 7.

For those who have read about Windows 10 and downloaded the trial version, most are eager to make the move. There are many good things about 10.

First of all, if you are a home user of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, then Windows 10 is free. That is always nice.

I wrote about the new features of 10 in June. Check to read it again.

What I did not stress enough then however is that Windows 10 is a new concept for Windows Operating Systems. It is no longer an application you purchase. It is now a service.

Read the rest at

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Email into Evernote if you do not have Premium

Recently Evernote reduced a feature of the Free tier.  Now only five emails a month can be made to your Evernote account, unless you have Premium level. reports on Digital Inspiration's post telling about how you can use the Evernote Gmail clipper to send Gmails to Evernote.  

And Lifehacker goes on to note two recipes to send information to Evernote via email.

There are not perfect, but they get back some of the lost functionality.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Day Learning about Early Aviation

Yesterday, I went on a day long tour of early aviation artifacts and sites located in the Washington DC area organized by Smithsonian Associates (link to tour)

The tour was lead by Paul Glenshaw.  Paul was acknowledged for his help by David McCullough in his book :"The Wright Brothers", a book I read in preparation of this tour.

We first visited the National Air and Space Museum to view the early Wright gliders, and of course,the 1903 Wright Flyer.

We also saw Lilienthal's early glider, and the Langley Aerodrome.  #5.  This aircraft was flown successfully unmanned near my home, off of Chopawamsic Island (map) itself just off Quantico Marine Base.

The next visit was the Smithsonian Castle.  The garden there was the site of Professor Langley's construction of the Aerodrome.  
Afterwards we visited Haines Point, site of the unsuccessful attempt to fly the powered Aerodrome by pilot Charles Manly.

Next was the Air Force Memorial.  And then Fort Meyer, where in 1908 Orville Wright demonstrated the Wright airplane for the U.S. Army.  On one test flight, the plane crashed, injuring Orville, and killing Lt. Thomas Selfridge, making Selfridge the first airplane fatality.

In 1909 Orville successfully demonstrated the airplane's usefulness to the US Army at Fort Meyer.  As part of the contract to sell a plane to the Army, the Wrights had to train two pilots.  That training was done at College Park.  After the Wright's left, training continued at the nascent College Park Airport, the oldest airport in the world.

The College Park Aviation Museum was our final visit.

I chose some photographs from the many I took, and captioned and shared them.

Note: click the first photo, and then Info button
to see captions and a map where the photo was taken.  Hover your mouse over the right edge of the photo for an arrow to the next photo.

Google Assistant did the same programmatically.

This post was my way of documenting and remembering the day, but thought others might enjoy it too, if for no other reason then to know about the wonderful resource that is Smithsonian Associates.

Note: This blog post contains one Amazon Affiliate Link.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger

If it were from anyone but Anker, I'd be dubious, but I own several Anker products and love their products.

This is not only a portable charger for your devices, but will jump start your car.  It will jump start your car 15 times!

Amazon Affiliate Link

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Open Office 365 Files from Google Drive

Google released an add-on for Office 365 allowing a user to open and save Office 365 files to your Drive space.

You can download it here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Evernote has a new CEO

Evernote announced today on their blog that Chris O'Neill is their new CEO.  O'Neill replaces the founding CEO, Phil Libin.

O'Neill comes from Google.  I've long thought Google should buy Evernote, but I don't see this as a prelude to that happening.  A Googler has never become a CEO of a company that Google was interesting in acquiring, that I know about.

Business Insider is reporting 
Libin will remain as executive chairman.

The move comes a month after Libin revealed in an interview with The Information of his intention to step down.

Libin told Recode that his decision to resign is largely due to his lack of passion leading a company that's about to go public."
I've interacted with Libin on line, and hope he enjoys his new roll, and that Evernote continues to thrive.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Evernote on Android Wear Watch

You know if I bought an Android Wear watch, Evernote would be my first install.

Here's what AndroidCentral says the experience is like using Evernote on a watch.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Facebook's Instant Articles : Am I right to be concerned?

If I were the publisher of a newspaper, I'd be thrilled by Facebook's new partnership with newspapers.  And I'd be scared to death of it too.

In May, Facebook and nine media outlets, The New York Times among them, announced a partnership, Instant Articles,  where Facebook would publish the paper's content in Facebook's news feed.  Ads served with the stories sold by the papers will generate revenue for the papers they do not have to share with Facebook.  Revenue for ads sold by Facebook will be shared with the papers, with the newspapers getting 70%.

Eventually, more newspapers will be included.  Maybe even your local paper.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Google Keep Community

Have I ever mentioned, I am the founder of the Google Keep Community over on Google+ ?  It has over 4000 users.

If you have questions or needs regarding Keep, that is an excellent place to begin.

Google Keep Community on Google+

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Change your LastPass master password

I've written about LastPass before as a good repository for your passwords.

LastPass is urging users change their master passwords after a recent intrusion.

Doesn't sound like this is the end-of-the-world for LastPass users, but I have changed my master password, and suggest everyone follow LastPass' advice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Facebook's "Other" inbox - Have you checked it? Do you know it exists? I didn't.

Did you know Facebook has an "other" inbox?

If someone is not a friend, and they send you a message, it ends up there.

A couple years ago, I found a message there that was over a year old.

I suggest you check your "other" inbox today.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wonderful Wright Brother's Photo ColorizedI

Jared Enos' wonderful colorized edition of Wilber Wright at Kitty Hawk in the 1903 Glider just three days before the first powered flight.  The colorization is amazing.

Wilbur Wright clings to his damaged flying machine after an unsuccessful trial on December 14, 1903 (note how white his knuckles are from gripping the machine). Taken in the Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Photo licensed by Jared Enos under Creative Commons/

Portable Chargers - or how to make your phone last all day

A friend mentioned earlier today that she wished her phone could hold a charge during one of her longer days.  It might be 14 hours from when she leaves the house in the morning, until she gets home.  It would be nice if her phone could last as long.

I told her about portable chargers, and showed her my 15,000 mah Anker.  She made a note of it.  

When I got home, it occurred to me that she probably spelled it Anchor in her notes.  I found myself about to write a long email to to clarify, and add some extra points.  

Instead, I thought I'd make this blog post.

A portable charger is a device about the size of your phone, although it can be larger and heavier, that is in itself a separate battery.  Being that it is nothing but a battery, they can recharge your phone several times over.

You have seen these a the checkout of your pharmacy.  The ones there are small tubular ones that look much like a lipstick.  Those are about 2200 mah.

Google definition:  A milliampere hour (mAh) is 1000th of an ampere hour.

Phone batteries are generally 2000 to 3500 mah.  Therefore, if your phone is 2200 mah, and your little lipstick Portable Charger is also 2200 mah, it means you can charge your phone a single time from it.

Larger batteries are available.  Personally, I like the Anker brand and have bought several for the family and as gifts.

They have one giant one of 25,600 mah.  That would recharge a 3000 mah battery over 8  times.

As of today (June 2015), that sells for $80 at Amazon.

This link takes you to the Anker Portable Chargers at Amazon

I think the way to find the best value is to discover the cost per mah.  That 25,600 mah charger for $80 would get you 320 mah per dollar.

A 3200 mah device for $20 would be about 120 mah per dollar.

The closest to the one I own is a 16,000 mah for $40.  That's 400 mah per dollar. I think that is a pretty good value, but I didn't do the math for each of the many Ankers Amazon offers.

The Portable Chargers generally do not come with their own charger, but charge from any charger for an Android phone.

They are dirt cheap.  Here are a few I found on Amazon..  

Note:  All Amazon links here are  Amazon Affiliate Links.

Cross posted at