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Give a Cool Gift

Looking for a fun gift idea, especially at the last minute? Consider an iTunes gift card.

You can buy it, choose the amount, include a personal note, and send it all online.

No thanks, the person I need a gift for isn’t really into music.”

Wait!

iTunes is so much more than music; an iTunes gift card can also buy movies, tv shows, apps, ebooks, and audio books. Something for everyone.

To purchase an iTunes gift card, open your iTunes program (if you don’t have iTunes, you can download it free onto a Mac or Windows computer at http://www.itunes.com and set up an account), sign into your account, and click the “send iTunes gift” link under the Quick Links section. Fill out the form. The purchase is charged to the credit card you have on file with the iTunes store.

Your recipient will receive an email from the iTunes Store with your message and a link to “Redeem Now.” He/she can start shopping right away or save the credit for another time.

There are also other ways to give an iTunes gift:

  • purchase a (plastic) gift card on line to be sent to you by snail mail and then hand deliver it yourself
  • purchase an iTunes gift card in retail stores (usually by the checkout counter)
  • choose a specific item online in the iTunes store and buy and send that particular item

Consider an iTunes gift card next time you need to send a gift, especially to your grandkids. They will think you are way cool.

Sharing eBooks with your Spouse

Ebooks are genius.

You can’t beat taking many books on vacation that don’t take up any more space — or weigh any more — than one. Or being able to choose your print size, screen brightness, and page orientation. Awesome.

But what about sharing an ebook with your spouse? Not so easy.

Or is it?

If you purchase an ebook from the Apple Store, the Windows Store, or the Google Play Store, the book is owned by the account the device is registered to (your Apple ID, Microsoft account, or Google Account). If you and your spouse do not share the same account on your devices, you cannot share the books. In order for your spouse to read the same book without buying it again, he/she must read it on your device.

However, if you purchase books from Amazon (for the Kindle or Kindle app) or Barnes and Noble (for the Nook or Nook app), you can register your separate mobile devices to the same Kindle or Nook account and share the books in different devices without re-buying them.

Happy sharing!

Is Microsoft Calling Me?

Phone scams have been around for years and we usually recognize them, but this one seems to give pause to even the most skeptical: Microsoft calling to tell you that you have serious computer issues that need to be addressed.

And (so nice of them), they offer to fix them for you.

Really?

Microsoft is not calling you. It is a scam.

NBC News explains it quite well. Click on this link to read the story:

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/were-windows-anatomy-cold-calling-scam-6C10631331

Please don’t be fooled!

Extend Your Range

Is your WiFi signal strong in some parts of your house and weak — or non-existent — in others?

If yes, your router is probably located in one end of your house and the wireless signal gets weaker as you move farther from it.

To more evenly distribute your WiFi signal, you can move your router (and modem, if they are not one combined unit) to a more central location, or you can purchase a Range Extender.

A Range Extender picks up the wireless signal from your router and sprays it further towards the other side of your house.

A Range Extender:

  • is a one-time purchase. Costs range from $40 to $100 and require no fees, subscriptions, or contracts.
  • is easy to set up. Just plug it in near your router, use your computer to “introduce” it to your existing network (instructions come with the Range Extender), then relocate the Extender somewhere about halfway between the router and the farther areas of the house.
  • creates a second network. If your current wireless network is “MyNetwork,” your new network will be “MyNetwork_EXT.” I recommend that you use the same password as your primary network, but you don’t have to.
  • is much cheaper than buying a second cable or dsl modem line for the house.

With your new “extended” network, you can access the internet in more areas of the house by choosing to join whichever of your networks is strongest.

Range Extenders are available in stores or online, wherever electronics are sold.

Enjoy your freedom!