Yearly Archives: 2009

Need Tech Help? Google it!

Modern hardware, software, and web services are loaded with useful and customizable features, but figuring out how to use them is usually time consuming. Traditionally, people learn new features or resolve tech issues by following some combination of these time-consuming steps:

  1. Tinker.
  2. Read help files or manual.
  3. Call the most knowledgeable person or relative you know.
  4. Call Tech Support, if available. Wait on hold a long time then talk to someone who may or may not be able to help you.
  5. E-mail Tech Support. Hope that the reply comes soon and actually resolves your issue.

beautiful-question-mark(MarcoBellucci-on-Flicker)

Thankfully, there’s a much faster, more reliable way:  Google it.

Google for help first, and you can save yourself tens of hours per year. In this post, I provide specific examples and helpful tips on how to quickly get tech help using Google. Read More »

Filed in category: Browsers and the cloud

The Desktop or the Cloud?

A growing number of people are migrating much of their computing work from the desktop to the cloud, including myself. Why? What exactly is the cloud? What’s it like to work in the cloud? What are the pros and cons of the cloud? Who should consider (or not) migrating much of their work to the cloud?

Software resides on a server . . . in the cloud

Software on a server . . . in the cloud

This post is an attempt to answer these questions from a balanced perspective. Read More »

Filed in category: Browsers and the cloud

Best Upgrade? The Browser . . . Five Browsers Compared

The best upgrade you’ll ever make? It’s not a new computer. It’s not an operating system upgrade. It’s a browser.

NOTE: In March 2011 I posted a comparison of the latest browser versions, Best Browsers . . .

Most individuals access the web using the browser initially bundled with their computer, and typically don’t update it. Accessing the information superhighway with an outdated browser is like driving today’s roads with a Model T—slow, unsafe, unreliable, and in many places not usable at all.

How Old is Your Browser?

In this post, I explain why it’s so important to use the latest version of Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari—speed, security, reliability, and compatibility. I describe each of these browsers, to help you decide which is best for you. And I lay the groundwork for the next post on cloud computing. Read More »

Filed in category: Browsers and the cloud

Filters for Distraction-free Writing

writing-with-pen

Is the pen mightier than the computer?

Distraction-free reading is not a fully solved problem–which is why the last article was so long. Distraction-free writing is a solved problem, which is why this article is short. Read More »

Filed in category: Reading and writing

Filters for Reading on the Web

woman-hugging-book-page

Will reading on the web ever be as good as reading a book?

Will reading lengthy text on the web ever be as comfortable as curling up in your favorite chair with a paperback? In theory, computers offer some reading advantages such as fast look-up and infinite storage. In practice, conflicting priorities of site design and current display technology get in the way.

For people like me who read hours per day, there has to be a better way. Luckily, there is. Read More »

Filed in category: Reading and writing

Site Design for Reading

Site Design for Reading – sounds like an oxymoron, right? When is the last time you read a 1000+ word article on the web that was just as easy to read as a chapter of a paperback? Never, if you’re like me. Read More »

Filed in category: Reading and writing

Info Overload or Filter Failure? Introducing FilterJoe

Since 2001, I’ve noticed a trend: People are gradually getting less productive, efficient, and focused, caused in large part by an ever growing list of technology distractions.

Checking email.  And facebook.  And RSS, IMs, SMSs, Twitter . . .

email, facebook, RSS, IM, SMS, twitter . . .

To this point, many articles on the subjects of information overload, Internet distractions, and declines in reading and focusing abilities have appeared during the past few years. Some of the more interesting ones are here, here and here. Read More »

Filed in category: Uncategorized