Learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript,etc... From Home!!

[caption id="attachment_2295" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image from W3 Schools"][/caption] A couple years ago when MySpace was the place to be, I taught HTML in a course at a youth center in which they created their own myspace profile from scratch. In order to prepare some lessons and teach the kids new codes,  I would reference w3schools, an online tutorial site, that provides the tools to create a website. One specific feature I enjoy is the try it out editor which enables you to view the code and the output on the same screen (as shown below). I recommend this site if your are interested in learning more about web design and creation.

[caption id="attachment_2296" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Insert Code on the Left see the output on the right"][/caption]

W3Schools: http://www.w3schools.com/

Lets Make A Deal!!

That time of the year has arrived once again. The time in which the majority of the population begin spending great amounts of money and causing businesses to make more money. Before going out on Black Friday in hopes of getting a good deal, there are actually several deals on a daily basis going on for different items. Instead of you searching for the best deals, why not let some other people do the searching for you?  Below are some of the sites I frequently search for with good deals in technology, promotion and FREEBIES!!!!!

Black Friday Ads

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Image by Ian Muttoo via Flickr"]Best Buy, Toronto[/caption]

Black Friday is around the corner and it's that time of year when people go crazy over low prices. I have some friends who are doing a tailgate to gather some cheap electronics: flat screen TV's, hard drives and much more. I smell some very good deals. How would I know where to go? Some individuals leaked some ads  to some major stores. Below are some:

Tutor/Teach From AnyWhere Via The Web

Has a friend every asked you for assistance in a math problem when they are several miles away and you want to help them out over the web instead of texting, taking cellphones pics, or calling them over the phone because they need a visual? Well, this has occured to me a couple times and I have utilized Scriblink.

Scriblink is an online white board that enables you to draw figures as well as an online chat area on the page. Users on the same page view whatever the other user do on the board. A personal link is provided in order to have a private lesson if needed.

http://www.scriblink.com/

SUPER Meets All Your Needs

I am confident in saying that at one point in our tech lives we would open a media file and it would not play whether it be on a personal computer or some kind of media player. There are many solutions out there but many are limited in some form and/or require some kind of monetary fee. I have tried several converters many were limited in conversion types and the best ones were free to try but were costly. BUT as always there is a free alternative!!

SUPER by ERightsoft

Provides all the neccessary to convert over 90% of files to a file of your choice. I have also made gif from videos with this software.

Although what may prove to be an obstacle for you if your a regular pc user,  whom utilizes the computer for just web, e-mail, and basic media use. The reason is because I feel the interface is difficult to figure out for those first timers out there and non power users.

The program WILL require some playing around with the options to get the best quality conversion possible. I say its definitely a must for those media users that like to share media through various file mediums for example convert a video that will play on iPod converted from and original format that is not supported by the iPod.

SUPER ERight Softwebsite

http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html

Use Audacity to Create Ring Tones

Want to stop paying for ring tones for your phone? Why not make your own with Audacity. Audacity is free and lets you edit mp3 files easily.

  • Open up Audacity and import the file
  • Edit the file to keep it under 30 seconds ( some phones will not let you set the file as a ring tone if  it exceeds 30 secs or if the file is too big)
  • go to File->export as mp3
  • if it cannot find the Lame encoder, you can find it here
  • Save it.

The final step involves transferring the file to your phone and it varies from phone to phone. Most commonly, USB or blue-tooth can be used but again, it depends on the phone!

Out of Warranty!? DIY!!

Have you ever purchased an item only for the item to not work after warranty expires? I'm sure many of us have experienced that scenario or know someone who has. Today, I will specifically discussing my experience taking apart a note book, specifically a Toshiba A105-S4084. [caption id="attachment_1850" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The LCD and Motherboard Case"][/caption]

A bit of background first. I purchased the computer in 2006, without warranty. Following the subsequent purchased it has been pretty reliable until the hard drive failed which i replaced and upgraded my self to a 320 gb and 7200 rpm hard drive from the original 120gb and 5200 rpm. I always try to make it point to others that often you could do the fixes yourself, especially when sending it in for repairs could be more costly. Most laptops these days have easily interchangeable parts.

[caption id="attachment_1851" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Keyboard, Hardrive, CD Drive, batter, ram modules"][/caption]

Unfortunately, the past year or so my laptop has had problems charging the source of the problem was determined to be the DC power jack. I looked up how much it would cost if it were taken in for repaired it would be more than $100 while the part alone costs $10. Therefore, I took this as an opportunity to put my skills to the test and learn something new about computers by disassembling the computer. Fortunately, i had backed up all my data two weeks before predicting the day it would not charge at all would be soon.

 

[caption id="attachment_1852" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="DC Power Jack (The Problem)"][/caption]

As mentioned earlier, i did my research. I goggled searched for guides on how to take disassemble the computer laptopka provided a good guide to do so. (NOTE: laptopka has guides only for toshiba for others ones try laptoprepair101)

[caption id="attachment_1853" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Motherboard"][/caption]

Subsequently, the process went smooth, I did not break anything- i think. The entire disassemble took about it 2 hours but afterwards could do confidently do it again in less than an hour. This is my first time taking a notebook apart and fairly comfortable working with the necessary tools. The guide i used also listed the required screwdrivers to make the repair easy. The only difficulty i experienced was with disconnecting the ribbon type connections for example the connector with the keyboard and motherboard. Eventually, I found the source of the problem but did not have the replacement part. Unfortunately, the part was set to arrive the day after the disassemble but sadly has gotten lost in the mail :'( . I have to reorder the replacement. Hopefully, next weekend I could update you with how everything went being my first BIG repair. In the future, I hope to fix my broken camera LCD screen so look out for that as well.

Video or it didn't happen: Why screenshot when you could screen record!

Have you ever wanted to make your own how to do videos ? Especially when related to how to do videos on a computer? One day in order to show an audience how to access a site visually without being there in person and posting it on a site so easily accessible to others I decided to look up ways I could do this. Therefore I searched for screen recording software for my computer. I tried a couple free trial ones,  ones that required more work than I would of liked. Fortunately,searching under the “freeware” category lead me toCamStudio - Free Streaming Video Desktop Recording Software.Once installed you may select a specific area of the screen to be recorded in case you only want one a specific portion to be viewed.My recommendation is to learn the short cut keys to record and stop while recording the entire screen. You want to maximize the area (and resolution) for the best quality video.The video files may be saved as either SWF (which are good for websites streaming) or.AVI (ideal for uploading to youtube).Unfortunately,there are limits to this free software:

  • No annotations
  • No post video editing
  • No support for other video formats (MPG, DIVX, FLV, MOV, MP4).

Overall, the software is great to share some how to do on your computer videos or some demos of software. For example, a visual of the steps to  remove Ping from Itunes or where some steps are better supplemented with visual steps aside from  screen shots. If you are in need of more advanced features similar to those mentioned under limitations of this software expect a monetary solution.

Upgrade Your System with CPU-Z

The only time some us ever look at our computer specs is at the time of purchase. Well what about if it occurred that it is time to upgrade? I would like to introduce this resource friendly program called CPU-Z.

The common upgrades in increasing difficulty order include:

  • RAM
  • Video Card
  • Operating System
  • CPU
  • Overclocking

The program's strength resides in providing all the crucial information required to perform the desired upgrade. For example, it is not uncommon for a computer user to purchase the correct RAM only to realize there are power differences!

It's impossible to cover all the upgrade topics for the sake of keeping the post sweet and simple, but I encourage you to check the program out and make informed purchase decisions when you feel it's time to upgrade! If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Print More for Less

Being the "tech guy" within my circle of friends, I often find myself fixing common printer problems! Usually a simple power cycle does the trick, but what alarms me instead is how often people don't look at their printer settings. Usually, under Windows and maybe Mac/Linux OSes, printers by default are set to print at normal quality. There are actually more options to print using less ink! The actual way to do this slightly varies for each OS aforementioned, but to keep it simple, I will cover it for Windows 7.

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Search for print
  • Under Hardware and Sound click on Devices and Printers
  • Find your printer and right-click to printer preferences
  • Change to desired settings
  • Start saving money!

You might be hesitant to lower the quality but the difference is minimal (my college professors can't tell, don't know or actually care about the environment). As a side bonus, using less ink, allows for faster printing (I like being on time to class)! Skipping the complicated math calculation, I do find getting a longer-lasting printer cartridge and saving money (for food) in the long run! Try it for yourself, feel free to post questions and see if you like it!

Things to Look for When Buying a Computer.

There are a few things in making your computer fast and useful. Somethings to look for when buying a computer are, having a enough ram (2-4GB),  good processor speed (2.20-2.9GHZ), a big hard drive (250-500GB). These things will make your computerdurable and keep the speed that you have never seen before. All these things speed up your computer. So choose wisely when buying a computer, because it is better to waste more money in the beginning, then in the end having to buy separate parts to make it speed up.Choose wisely.

What in the World is Google Voice?

Well, Google Voice is a program provided by Google that lets you call and text for free in the USA and Canada. With this, you can customize your voice mail greetings and choose who and what greeting they get when they call. It also has this ability called Voice Mail Transcription. This transcribes the voice mail that was left into a text and sent to you to via email/SMS. You can either use a Google number or a non-Google number for this. So check it out now.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Not a tech savvy but you want to have a easy home network!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH05NBDFFsg&feature=player_embedded] This new Cisco Router called, Valet, is the latest technology that Cisco has come out with. Not only is it easy to set up, it allows someone to be in charge, like a boss. With this new router, you can link computers, video systems, printers, mobile devices, and TV's that are capable for internet. With this new router, you can quickly add someone to your network from the main computer, by adding them as your guest. You would just give them a temporary password. To setup up this router is as easy as plug and play. Because the setup software is in the cisco usb device.  The Valet starts with the price of $99.99. However, for a better range, and better utilities, there is a better one, known as the Valet Plus, which costs $149.99.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Pic from this link

IMAX Theaters

Just recently, I came back from my first experience at an IMAX theatre after attending the Lakers' championship parade (It was awesome). Now, what I went to is what's considered to be a true IMAX theater. These past couple of years, old theaters have been converted into "IMAX" theaters with larger screens and better sound system. I use quotation marks around IMAX because the projector they use is not the same and the screen is much smaller compared to a true IMAX theater. For some, people may not care or notice what projector is used but others do. The theater that I went to was the one in Universal City. You can find all the info you need at the end of the post. The LFexaminer link also has Google Maps of all the IMAX theaters and labels them according to the projector and if it's a true or MPX IMAX theater. BigScreen and LFexaminer.

Charge your device connected to your TV or game Console

Have you been lazy and did not want to turn on your computer to charge an ipod, cell phone, Gps, camera, controllers, etc.? Did you know you can charge your gadgets right in your living room? Yes, many people have big screens and game consoles with USB ports. Plug in those devices and keep them charged while you watch TV. Many USB ports should have power running to them. If not,m try another or maybe it is not supported. Take advantage. Happy charging.

Picture by [rockinfree]

Charging Your Devices on the Road (in the Air)

If you're going on a trip any time soon and need a way to power up your electronic devices, you should look into investing in a power inverter. These handy devices come in all sorts of sizes but the one that does the job for me was Kensington's Auto/Air Power Inverter. It successfully charged my MacBook Pro and my iPod while on my way to school. It comes with a three-prong plug and two USB ports. That was the biggest selling point for me was the capability to charge two USB devices without using the three-prong plug. They not only work great if you're going on that long road trip, but they also help out during emergencies. Just recently, the power went out in my house leaving me with my phone and its' battery that was about to die. Having only around half an hour left on it, I went over to my car, turned it on and hooked up my phone and charged it for a good 30 minutes. The only drawback is that my car was using its' gas to charge my phone and with gas being so expensive, it's tough to make that choice. My phone was running low so I had to make that sacrifice so I could receive and important messages or phone calls.

If you have that long road trip or flight, it works in airplanes (that have DC power available) too, look into getting an inverter to charge your devices and sat connected.

You can get the one I have on Amazon here.

A USB power outlet? Cool!!!

Recently, I have bought my HTC Incredible and have had the need to charge different gadgets but with one problem. I needed to plug them in to my computer. I have run out of USB ports and just want to charge them. I discovered a U-socket. This is a regular power outlet with two USB Plugs. Genius! I love this idea. I have Pre-order this U-socket. It will be available in October for about $20.  It will support USB 3.o and will supply a full 10 watts of power.

Need a faster system? Have you considered RAM?

I have fixed peoples computers because of how S....L....O....W... they are  and have seen very little RAM in these 5-10 year old machines.  One of the major fixes is making sure you have sufficient ram. In today's world I would say 2GB is that minimum. I use a company called Crucial. If you go to their page you can see on the front page a way to see what kind of RAM you might need. You can find your exact computer or download a program to see which RAM you need. Next, it will show how much it cost and the maximum amount of RAM you can install. It is easy.

Is Your Computer Protected?

Well maybe it says its protected but actually its not. This program called Threatfire, is an anti-virus program that protects your computer like no other program. This program not only deletes the viruses or dangerous files, but vanishes them permanently, so they will never harm your computer again. If you are wondering that if there is a price to this, well don't wonder anymore, because it is free to anyone out there. So come and check it out here.

Difficulty Level: Easy

What Is Google Now Going to Come up With?

Google is going to soon like literally take over the world. They have things ranging from maps to docs to ads and to software. They will be soon be attempting to invest into a multi-million dollar project in Google TV. They will be wanting to be hosts with Sony. This is going to be a huge deal but, will this bring a good thing into the future or a bad thing into the future. To read about the article press hear.