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Showing posts from August, 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.


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.

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 pag…

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 1904And on a recent Smithsonian Bus Tour

The 1903 Flyer at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DCFort Meyer, Virginia - site of the Wright's demonstration to the US Army in 1908College 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.

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 Co…

James Salter's excellent New York Times review of David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers".

James Salter's excellent New York Times review of David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers".

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.

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