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 www.FamilyTechOnline.com


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 www.FamilyTechOnline.com 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 www.FamilyTechOnline.com

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.