With all of the many devices out there I believe many people are confused on what device they should buy. You can buy small things, big things, portable things, powerful things, fast things, multi-functional things, light things… the list seems endless. I’m going to try and make it a simple flow chart so let me know how it works out for you.
I’m not claiming to say that one answer fits all, this is intended for the general run of the mill non techie person who needs a little guidance when making a purchase. For example my parents need to replace their aging laptop and I am recommending a cheap desktop (I may try and refurbish one of mine) for them to plonk in the corner of their house so that they can store photos and video on it and let guests access the internet easily. Then I’m also suggesting they get an iPad or similar device for the everyday internet browsing and Skyping with me and my family.
If you were thinking of making a purchase I hope this helped somewhat. I am still available to chat with if you’re still unsure.
People have been screaming for it, and finally it’s here. Even better, it’s free. You can now create Microsoft Office documents right on your iPad and have them automatically transferred right to your computer’s desktop. Using the iPad app CloudOn you can create Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly on your iPad. You simply download the app to your iPad from the app store, create a account for CloudOn, create a account for Dropbox, and you’re well on your way to creating Microsoft Office documents directly on your iPad. Creating accounts for CloudOn and Dropbox are extremely simple and can be done right on the iPad within the CloudOn app once you launch it. The Dropbox account is used to store all of your documents. You can also download the desktop version of the software from https://www.dropbox.com/. Right now you’re probably thinking “so if I download the desktop application of dropbox will the files I create on my iPad go directly to the Dropbox folder on my desktop?” Yes, indeed. All of your Microsoft Office files that you create on the iPad will sync directly to your desktop as long as you have the Dropbox program installed on your computer. In addition, you can also edit files that you have already created on the iPad. Say, for instance, you have Microsoft Office files saved on your computer that you want to take with you somewhere so you can edit them. Simply put them in your Dropbox folder on your desktop and you will be able to open them on your iPad so you can edit and save them.
This is a very awesome and powerful app that allows you to take full advantage of the iPad. For those of you who have iPads and are on the go a lot, I strongly recommend you download this app and take a look. I think you’ll be very happy you did.
Since I have a toddler at home, it’s nice to have pictures available all the time. Our normal trip to the mall or grocery store usually results in seeing people we know and them asking how our daughter is doing. If she is not with us, my wife or I usually whip out our phone and show them a few pictures of her. Not just pictures that we’ve taken on our cell phone, but pictures that actually reside on our home computer. You know, the pictures that are actually clear and you can tell that you looking at a person and not some dark blurry blob that cell phone pictures usually look like. Whether the pictures are of your kids or your most recent vacation, it’s nice to have access to your pictures all the time, from anywhere. You will need a smartphone (IE iPhone, iPad, Droid, or Windows Phone) and internet access in order to make this really cool process work.
There are 4 steps that I will outline below that you will need to follow in order to set everything up.
1. You will need a gmail account.
If you don’t already have a gmail account simply go to www.gmail.com and click on create an account to create your gmail account. This account will not only allow you to access your pictures from anywhere, it will also allow you to use gmail which is a very cool email service. Creating a gmail account is free.
2. Download Picasa to your computer and upload photos
Go to www.picasa.com and download and install Picasa to your computer. Picasa is a free download.
Upon opening Picasa the first time, it will do a scan of your computer and automatically import all of the pictures on your computer. You can simply organize yourself by creating folders and dragging and dropping certain pictures into certain folders.
Once you have your pictures in Picasa, you can simply right click on the pictures you want to access from your phone and select “Upload to picasa web albums”
You will be prompted for a username and password. This is the username and password that you created in step 1. IE firstname.lastname@example.org and your password
At the top of the screen you will notice that you can create new albums very easily. Just click on the “New” button in the top right hand corner, give your album a new name, and just like that you’ve create a new album.
Now you can upload pictures to that particular album or any other album you wish to create.
3. After you create your albums and upload your pictures, you need to install the Picasa Web Album app on your smartphone/tablet.
If you have a droid go into your market and search for Picasa Tool and install it. It is free.
On the iPhone/iPad there are several different Picasa apps you can download, some of them are free and others you have to pay for. All of them are going to work pretty much the same. On my iPad I have the Picasa iShowPhoto HD. It’s free and it works well.
After you have the Picasa mobile app installed, you will have to login with the account that you created in the first step.
After you login, you will be able to select the Albums tab and view the albums that you created in Picasa and all of the photos that you uploaded to those albums.
4. Access to your pictures from anywhere
Now, not only will you be able to access your pictures from your smartphone, but you will be able to access your pictures from any computer that has Internet access.
Go to www.picasa.com and click on Picasa Web Albums underneath the Download Picasa link (right hand side of the page).
Login with your username and password that you created in step 1.
As long as you you’ve uploaded photos through Picasa (step 2), you will be able to view your pictures.
This is a fantastic way to share photos with family members and friends. I realize that Facebook and Twitter can do the same thing but some of your family or friends may not have Facebook or Twitter accounts. This will provide and alternative solution for you to share pictures with them.
The best part about all of this, is that it’s free. Google gives you 1 GB of free online storage for your photos. However, if you have tons of photos that you would like to share or are planning on using this as a backup for your photos Google also offers extremely reasonable prices if you wish to upgrade. You can get 20 GB for $5 per year, 80 GB for $20 per year, 200 GB for $50 per year, 400 GB for $100 per year, and 1 TB for $256 per year.
For those of you who have iPhone’s and iPad’s, iCloud allows you to do the same thing. But for people who have droids, this is a great way to access your pictures from anywhere. As always, if you have any questions please let us know.
Steve Jobs paced the stage at the World Wide Developer Conference in June wearing his usual jeans and a black mock turtle neck. He introduced the newest Apple operating system and highlighted all of the new features it would entail. At the conclusion of his presentation he stopped, turned, looked at the audience, and said the phrase that everyone was waiting for. “But there’s one more thing.” This phrase had been made famous by Jobs in his keynotes when he had one more ground breaking announcement to make. This one more thing had been in the works since 2002 and was something that Jobs knew would change the face of computing. Back when he revealed the iMac he referred to it has a “hub for all of your information.” This new announcement was a hub for all of your information that could be accessed from anywhere and he called it iCloud. Instantly, the audience was in awe of his announcement. He explained that there would be no more need for syncing your iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, or iMac. It would all be done for you through iCloud. Take a picture on your iPhone? That picture would be automatically on all of your other Mac devices there waiting for you. Purchase a new song from iTunes? That song would automatically be on all of your devices.
iCloud was released last week and I took the plunge and updated both my iPad and iPod Touch to the latest version. iCloud is very impressive, clean, and easy to use. It automatically syncs your entire iTunes library, photos, documents, contacts, calendar, and mail. If you are an Apple user and all of your devices are Apple, I would highly recommend updating your devices so they will be compatible with iCloud. If you have a Mac it must be running Apple’s latest Operating System, Lion, in order to be compatible with iCloud. If you are looking to update to Lion, it’s available in the App Store for $29.99. iPads and iPhones are able to update to iCloud and no additional cost. Before updating any device, be sure to open up iTunes, click on Help, and select “Check for Updates.” Your iTunes version must be 10.5 before installing the iCloud update to your devices. Once you have iTunes 10.5 installed, you can simply plug in your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and access it through iTunes as you normally would. Select the device within iTunes and click on check for updates. This will start the update process to your device. Be patient. The update could take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete. After the process has finished you will be able to go into the settings portion of your device, select the iCloud tab, and configure iCloud the way you want. Another cool feature of iCloud is the ability to open a web browser on any computer and go to www.icloud.com to access the data that you chose to have on the cloud. You can even track where your devices are on a map so if you lose them you can simply login to your icloud account and see where they are anywhere in the world.
If you have any questions about iCloud please feel free to ask us. It’s very easy to back up your pictures, videos, appointments, emails, and anything else you may choose. Give it a try, your life may get a whole lot easier!
Upper school students, this morning our print server that houses mainly mac printing failed. Luckily we have another server ready for you to connect to. Below you will find instructions on how to install printers on both Mac and Windows.
IMPORTANT NOTE - Windows users should remain unaffected from this morning’s crash, but if you do experience any problems just follow the instructions on the video.
Below is a list of Printers available (entered in the Queue and Name fields) and next to them is the driver needed in the ‘Print Using’ field.
Does this sound familiar?
You are at work and you spend a good 30 minutes working on a word document for class the next day, you save it and go home. When you get home you realize you forgot to save the document to a flash drive/desktop/folder on your laptop etc. So you have to do the 30 minutes of work again and then continue editing for class the next day.
You are not alone. But there are ways to help. One such way is Windows Live Mesh and it’s free. The hard work has already been done for faculty and students at St. Paul’s because your new email account is fully compatible. The main other requirement is to ensure you have the software on your PC or Mac (yes it works on a Mac too - how exciting). Watch the video and you’ll see how to check if you have it but here’s the link to Windows Live Essentials download if you do not.
To put Mesh in a nutshell you create/use a folder on computer A and add it to Mesh. This uploads it to a section of your Skydrive. Then you synchronize the same folder to computer(s) B, C, D, E, etc. however many you want. When you make a change in that folder on one of the computers it will immediately make changes on all of the others*.
If you use this folder as your default location to save and open files your documents will always be the same no matter what computer you use. As an added bonus you can still access the files for download from any computer even if you do not have Live Mesh enabled by simply going to the Sync Folder on your Skydrive (shown in video).
Words make it difficult to explain so watch the video and if you have more questions just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.
I mentioned in the video that there was a Live Essentials blog to look at, well I was slightly mistaken. We have talked about many of the features of Live Essentials but not the suite itself. Look at Windows Movie Maker for one of the features of Essentials and we’ll try and do a post on essentials soon. In the meanwhile you can read about it on the download link above.
*A computer only syncs when a computer is: on; has Mesh signed in and running; and has an internet connection.
We all have tons of video. Whether it’s still on our video cameras or computers one things for sure, we all have tons of video. Almost all of us take video for an extended period of time resulting in us having to “cut” certain parts of the video that we don’t need. Have you ever wondered how to do this? It’s actually very easy. Apple ships its computers with a built in software called iMovie that you can edit your videos with and create professional looking video montages. Likewise, Microsoft also has a free product called Windows Live Movie Maker. PC’s usually do not ship with Windows Live Movie Maker but can be obtained for free by downloading and installing Windows Live Essentials. Windows Live Movie Maker allows you to trim down video as well as creating video montages like the aforementioned iMovie. Both programs are very easy to use and allow you to create transitions between clips, add music and text to your movie, and publish your move in a format of your liking.
In addition, within the past few months the online video giant, YouTube, has introduced video editing right from their site. All you have to do is simply create an account, upload the video of your choice, and edit it with their tools. You can do just about everything you can do within Windows Live Movie Maker and iMovie right from YouTube’s site. It’s actually a win, win. I am sure that most of you would like to share your video’s with family and friends that aren’t close by. So why not upload your video’s to YouTube, edit them the way you want, and then publish them so your friends and family can see them as well?!?! Not to worry, there are privacy settings that you can set to make the video “Private” or “Unlisted” in case you don’t want the whole world seeing the particular video. If you do set the video to “Private” or “Unlisted” you simply send the person a link to the video and only that person can see it.
In this blog you will find the basic features of the Skydrive associated with your @stpaulsschool.org account.
I can’t stress enough how useful this can be to you. You have FREE access to a basic version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote (Mac and Windows users)
You also have 25GB of online storage space for any file type (50MB per file max size). This means your homework, assignments, or classwork can always be accessible at anytime from any internet connection - YOU CAN’T FORGET IT OR LOSE IT!
Watch the video for the basics and contact either of us for more advanced use if you so require (you may have to wait for a minute for the video to buffer).
Excitingly enough it is sort of compatible with the iPad. I will create another video outlining that soon…
We hope that it has been a smooth transition from summer to the school year for all of you. We also hope that you have been enjoying our new e-mail system. We have heard nothing but good things from students and teachers and are very happy with the finished product. If you have yet to setup email access on your mobile smartphone, it’s very easy to do. Below are step by step instructions depending upon the particular type of phone you have.
1. Go into your mailbox and setup a new account
2. Choose Exchange ActiveSync
3. Enter your email address (email@example.com) and your password and touch next
4. Fill in the following fields: Email address: enter your email address Server Address: sn2prd0102.outlook.com Domain: Leave blank Username: enter your email address again (Note: not just your username the entire email address) Password: enter your password. Finally, make sure the box that says “this server requires an encrypted SSL connection” is checked and click on Next. On the next screen, make sure Mail, Calendar, and Contacts are all checked and touch Finish Setup.
1 Go into your mailbox and setup a new account
2 Enter your email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) as the username and your password and touch next
3 Your Account will setup automatically
For iPads and iPhones…
1. Go into Settings
2. Touch Mail, Contacts, and Calendars on the left
3. Touch Add Account on the right
4. Touch Microsoft Exchange
5. Enter your email address
6. Leave the Domain field blank
7. In the username field enter your full email address
8. In the password field enter your password
9. Type a description in the Description box IE school, SP, work etc
10. Click on next in the upper right hand corner
11. When the account finishes verifying click next again
12. Make sure Mail, Contacts, and Calendars are turned on and click Save