Let me ask you this question. Do you have a smartphone? Do you want a smart phone? I have had a PDA (personal data assistant) or smart phone now for over 11 years. I started with my first digital assistant, a Compaq iPAQ. This thing was the greatest! It actually kept all my contacts, calendars and tasks in a digital format. I synced it to my desktop two or three times a day. I also had my cell phone and my 20GB iPod. I was a total tech head! Then a year passed and Verizon had just started really marketing their Smart Phones. It was the Samsung SCH-i730. This phone was so sweet. I actually got emails on this thing! My calendars, contacts, tasks and emails all synced wirelessly. I was a mobile office! I had my smart phone and my iPod. I was ready to take on the world. Ok so, lets fast forward past the next few phones to today.
Two weeks ago I just got my Droid X. This phone is EVERYTHING I need. All I can really say is WOW! I have had lots of phones in my day; this by far is the best. I am a Verizon Wireless user so I never got a chance to really experience the iPhone. I have setup a lot of them. I just never got to use them in my everyday life. So I did not really know what it was all about. Let me just say that was dumb of me. I can do everything from email to watch HD movies on my phone. I can even play HD video to my 62 TV at home. The phone has an HDMI out! Are you kidding me? Ok enough about my phone.
All I am trying to really say is that the world of mobile computing is like computers were 10 years ago. Smart phones are still a very new technology. They are still learning what these things can do. Each phone that comes out is faster than the one before it. The new iPhone 4G is getting closer and closer to that Dick Tracy watch I used to dream about when I was a kid. Heck who am I kidding I would love to have one now. I have found myself spending more time on my phone consuming data than ever before. On my blackberry the screen was so small and the roller ball was not very friendly. I only really used it for work. I used to love my Blackberry. However, I did not realize how much I was giving up for so many years with my Blackberry. I now carry one device with me. My phone! It has an 8MP Camera, 720P HD Video Camera, GPS Navigation, Phone, MP3 Player, Video Player, Games plus all the other stuff the phone does. My wife calls it the other woman. I might have to agree with her. In the mornings, I dont watch the TV any more I watch my PodCasts on my phone. I prop it up on my dresser and press play. While I am getting dressed I can keep up with the latest in technology news. I even was joking around in my networking group this week, and said that it may even save my life one day. I took all of my reward program cards that were in my wallet and on my key ring and scanned them into my phone using a great little app called KeyChain. Now, I when I need to present my rewards card. I just present my phone. I am telling you it has made my wallet half the size! My chiropractor has to love that.
Even though I am in technology every day, no one can keep up with it all. The social and casual uses of these phones are what I really like. Application vendors out there are trying their hardest to make applications that really help us. Google has an application called Buzz. The function of this let you comment on what youre doing or thinking. It keeps track of where you made this comment using your GPS. Well imagine if your friends went into a new restaurant and loved it. You dont know they went to this hip new place and you go and check it out. When you arrive you check out the Buzz about the restaurant. You know what they ordered and how it was because they commented about. It is like twitter but with GPS. I am just starting to use it so we will see where this takes us. Like I said before the mobile platform is changing very fast every day. All I can say is enjoy it. It has really made a difference in my life! I even have my own light saber now!
It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and in just a few weeks, we will be sending the kids back to school. Here are a few tips I found that may help make the transition a little easier for them (and us).
Remember Routines. Family routines tend to slide in the summerafter all, whats summer without crazy bedtimes, a popsicle habit, and wearing swimsuits for days on end?and it can be hard to readjust come fall. Before school starts, focus on choosing sleep, exercise, healthy foods, and time together. Practice school bedtimes a week before school starts so that the new routine is established.
Get Ready! Dont underestimate the fun and importance of new stuff for the big day. With younger kids, a bag full of school supplies, a new backpack and a few new items of clothing tend to gear them up without any further encouragement. For an older child, this may be the time to give the thumbs-up to that must-have trend item, especially if hes earned some money over the summer to pay for it. Another way to get everyone prepared is to plan a fun family weekend outing to celebrate the end of summer and welcome the new school season.
Show Them the Way. If shes new to the school, show your child her classroom, what entrance and exit to use and where the bathroom is located. If shes taking the bus, visit the bus stop location and explain how to get on and off, especially if its the first time. Show her the drop off and pick up spot at school, tooif youre not sure where it will be, call the school ahead of time to find out. Most schools will allow you to take a tour and to meet the teacher.
Prepare the Teacher. Let your childs teacher know about any specifics about behavior or health, such as a bladder infection. You dont want a child to have a bad experience because hes asking to go to the bathroom every half hour and the teacher says, No, thinking he doesnt need to go so frequently but really he does.
Talk, Talk, Talk. Try to think of all the positive things that they like about school and talk about them as much as possible. Ask about friends they havent seen over the summer. Also look at your kids and note anything different that their friends will notice, such as a new hairstyle or if theyve grown over the summer. Never mention homework or teachers they werent crazy about.
Remember that learning doesnt stop when school does, so you need to convey, in a low-key way, how important learning is to you. Be a role model throughout the year, not just during school time. For example, show how much you like reading, or talk about math and measuring when youre making a recipe together.
Reading school stories to your kids will help get them ready for what to expect. And for the younger kids, its a good idea to explain the role of the teacher to your child. Encourage the child to speak up and let the teacher know if theyre having problems. This is especially important if a child is getting bullied, which can happen even on the first day. They need to know they can, and should, talk to the teacher.
Be Organized. Ease back-to-school anxiety by being prepared. Help your child to lay out her clothes and pack her backpack the night before. Be sure to include a healthy lunch and a snack that your child can open and eat on his own.
Take It Easy. Preparation is greatbut dont go overboard. You can make back-to-school too big a deal! If August was a hard month for you as a kid, it might not necessarily be the same for your child, and vice versa. Youre the best judge of when your child needs reassurance, and how to go about giving it. In the end, remember that its normal to feel a little nervous or fluttery about that first week back. Everyone, including the teachers, feels like that.
Last week, I was upgraded to Office 2010. Here are a few of my favorite updates.
1. Open Recently-used Files With Two Keystrokes
In older versions of Office, the File menu always displayed your recently-used documents, which you could open by typing Alt-F1, then the number of the document on the list (1 for the most recent, 2 for next most recent, etc.). This feature isnt turned on by default in Office 2010, but you can activate it by entering the Backstage view (File Menu), selecting Recent, and adding a checkbox next to "Quickly access this number of recent documents." Change the number to whatever number of documents you want to see on the list. In the Recent Documents list, you can "pin" a document to the list so that it will always appear, even if you haven't opened it recently. A nifty new feature lets you "pin" entire folders to the list of Recent Places in the right-hand column on the menu.
2. Customize The Ribbon
Office finally lets you rearrange the Ribbon the way you want by clicking the File tab to go to Backstage, selecting Options, and then Customize Ribbon. In the right-hand column, you can create a new tab or a new group on an existing tab, remove or rearrange items already on the Ribbon by selecting them in the right-hand column, or select items that you want to add from the list on the left. Long-term Office users may want to use the "Commands not on the ribbon," function because you can now add a command that you used in older versions of Word that nixed from the Ribbon due to lack of demand. Note: A button the lower right lets you export your customizations to other Office setups.
3. Make Your Own Quick Steps in Outlook
Outlook's new Quick Steps feature lets you create one-click (or one-keystroke) e-mail actions. For example, moving a message to a folder you use for archiving messages. You create a new Quick Step by going to Outlooks Home tab, then clicking Quick Steps, Create New. There you'll assign a name, shortcut key, and tooltip for your Quick Step, then use the drop down menus to select one or more actions. When you're done, your new Quick Step will be available from the gallery of Quick Steps in the Home tab, or via a shortcut key.
There will be more in our tip of the week of Facebook, so follow us there to learn more.
Are you like me where you can barely get a signal from your cell phone in your home? Well, cell phone providers have figured out a way to eliminate poor signals in your home where you need a strong signal the most. Now introducing what is called The Femtocell.
You are probably saying A femtowhat"? Trust me, I said the same thing. A femtocell is basically a mini cell phone tower that is designed for use in a home or a small business. It uses your existing broadband internet connection to provide the 5 bars of cell phone coverage we are all looking for. With femtocells, the days of standing outside or near your window to get a signal will be over.
Femtocells look similar to wireless routers and are used to route cell phone calls through broadband internet connections and then back to cellular networks. A phone call is made from someones cell phone, and as it is being made it is redirected to the femtocell device, then sent through your internet connection and from there is redirected back to the cell network. Even writing that made my head hurt.
Femtocells allow cell phone users to get better signal in indoor areas where before they had little or no service because of a dead zone. Another added benefit of using a femtocell within your home involves better data performance which results in a better experience with music, photos, and live video on your cell phone.
At this time most femtocells can support up to 5 cell phones at one specific time and they work with all major cell phone signal types. This means that a femtocell can be used with most major U.S. carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon.
Most wireless customers should be able to purchase femtocells direct from their cell phone company. This would generally include availability from electronics retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.
AT&T is offering their version for a one-time fee of $150, although I have heard of some people receiving one for free if they complain enough. Verizons offering when it goes on sale should be available for around $250 dollars. Sprints variation of the femtocell sells for around $50 with a $15 a month single line plan or a $30 a month family plan.
In summary, many of you are probably asking yourselves, do I need this contraption? The answer to that question is, maybe. If you live in an area that does not have great coverage then I would suggest looking in to one. I myself might be forced to get one because no matter the cell phone provider, I just do not get any kind of signal at my home. Shelling out $150 (yes I am on the dreaded AT&T network) for a usable phone at home is worth it in my opinion. If you have a good signal at home then you probably do not need to worry about it.
If you have any questions at all or would like help determining if you actually could use a femtocell then do not hesitate to contact Kotori Technologies.
Everyone is confused right now, What is A Cloud Computer?, and Where is this Cloud? Why in a Cloud? Whats up with the Cloud? Hey, Hey you, get off of my Cloud! Well Cloud is just another name for the Internet. Period. We all know what that is right? Well thats all it is, except its your own special Internet, your special Cloud, used only for you.
Most people dont care where the information is coming from as long as its coming. No down time, No server issues, No storage issues. Just be there when I need you. For you the Business owner this Cloud is the diamond in the rough of your checkbook. No more spending thousands of dollars on servers as your business grows or the tens of thousands on storage as you need and the regulations kept on you by government entities to keep your data safe. Heres The Cloud.
You as the user might not even know, when at work, the files you use or the programs you run every day, yes they are right there on your workstation, but they are stored somewhere. Right now that somewhere is in a back room full of all kinds of cool looking computers and switches and stuff that looks like NASA used yesterday. The owner of the company or the corporation you work for has spent thousands and thousands of dollars in that room so work can keep going on.
The Cloud now eliminates all the mess in the back room and all your files and programs that you use are now in your own little Internet (Cloud) only used and accessed by you. So no more big closets full of switches, no more servers off line and cannot get things done today, no more worry of losing critical information that has been forgotten to be backed up. Wheres all your info? Its in the Clouds. So the next time conversations come up about Cloud Computing, youll know your heads not in the Clouds, your information is.