Just recently, I needed to video tape a short demo of a painting technique I was using only to discover that my video camera is considered an antique! Now, faced with the prospect of buying a new one, I felt a little discouraged until the light bulb went on! I'll use my ipad! Then, remembering that I can't hold the thing and paint at the same time, I went hunting on the internet for some help. Low and behold, there are dozens of ipad mounts available, some of which allow you to fix the ipad to your tripod and now you're hands free and the ipad is solid, not shakey! Then of course, you can go crazy and add external lighting and a better microphone to create a really good set-up: by now you could have bought a new video camera, but hey, always nice to have new toys! Check out google by typing in "ipad mounts for video" and tons of them come up!
Since PCs with a mouse attached were introduced, almost every user has become dependent on it. It seems like a good idea, but don’t you hate it when it dies, or gets clogged, or the right-click gets worn out? I know I do. Learning how to type and use your keyboard shortcuts will help you to avoid the mouse. Remember, the keyboard was invented before the mouse, so everything you can do with your mouse, you can do with the keyboard.
Keyboard shortcuts are awesome. Possibly the biggest time saver is the Tab key. It might say Tab on it or it might have two arrows – one pointing right and one pointing left. What the Tab key allows you to do is to move your cursor from field to field. This is especially time-saving when going through a form. Try it, just hit the Tab key a few times to see where the focus ends up. You’ll see a dashed line around whatever you tabbed to, or a blinking cursor if it’s in a text field. If you go one field too far, hold down your Shift key and then hit the Tab key once to go back one element. I use these shortcuts all the time when the batteries in my mouse are dead.
Everyone (especially seniors) should know this handy tip: While holding down the Ctrl button on your keyboard -- rotate the scroll wheel in the middle of your mouse. (see image on right) Go ahead and give it a try, right now. On most computers this will magnify / shrink the size of websites. Rolling the mouse wheel up will make everything bigger, while rolling the mouse wheel down will have the opposite effect. So, next time you are having trouble reading small text on a website, simply hold down control and use the scroll wheel. Very handy -- pass this on to your friends. Alternative method: hold down CTRL and tap on the + and - buttons on the keyboard for the same effect.
Search text within any Web page
Ever end up on a site from a search engine, but can't find the exact words you are looking for? The answer is: Ctrl + f Go ahead and hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and press "f" -- you should see a search box pop-up somewhere on your screen. (Usually near the bottom of the window).
Now you can type any word into that search box and your internet browser with find and highlight each instance of that word as it appears on the page. You can also click the "next" button to allow the page to auto-scroll to the next instance of the word. Neat, eh? I use this feature all the time.
Techy-Tips: Saving Files on your PC computer
The first time you save your work, you should use the "Save As" command, to tell your computer what "file name" to save your work in (in "some" programs, if you use the "Save" command the first time you save, it will act as if you clicked on the "Save As" command, but this is only in some programs, so you should develop a habit of using the "Save As" command the first time you save a new file). The "Save As" and "Save" commands are usually under the File menu (in most programs).
So, when you are typing a new document on your word processing program, the first time you go to save it, click on "File" to bring the File menu down, and click on "Save As" to bring the "Save As" dialog box up.
In the Save As dialog box, you can tell the computer where to put your file and what to call it.
Then you have to tell the computer what "file name" to call your file. You should name your file according to what is in it (for example, if it is a letter to your son John, call it "Letter to John" not "Letter"). When you name your file, on computers with Microsoft Windows, there are also some computer requirements:
- Use letters and/or numbers.
- Use NO punctuation (and especially NO periods).
In fact, your file names can contain some punctuation, but some of the punctuation characters have special meanings to the computer, and cannot be used. Your file names can contain apostrophes, dashes, underscores, and commas, but it is much easier to remember the rules if you use only letters and/or numbers, and avoid all punctuation.
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