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Holiday Wishes 2013

To my IT Mail Family,

It’s been another year of desktops and laptops
And smartphones and tablets and such.
All of the joys and frustrations they bring —
As we try to keep current and in touch.

We weather the freeze-ups, lost files, and pop-ups,
And low batteries that happen a lot.
We discover the emails that never got sent,
And some, evidently, we never got.

On any given day the printer won’t print,
And the internet won’t load at all.
The screen asks for a password it already has
… one of the many we just can’t recall!

Despite these issues I hope you’ll admit
That your knowledge is growing greater.
You’re able to do much more than before
Though you still may not update ’til “later.”

Please continue to enjoy these weekly tips.
Any special topic you’d like to see?
Your IT Mail returns January sixth,
Ready for a new year of computer reverie!

Thank you for your support in 2013. Happy New Year.

Carolyn Zalesne
The IT Girl

Trade In or Hand Over

If you are thinking of buying a new mobile device, you might be considering trading in your current machine, or giving it to someone you know. Here are some suggestions before you do either:

Trading in a Mobile Device

  • Back up your device to a cloud or computer.
  • Copy your pictures to your pictures folder or photo program in your computer if there are any pictures that only exist on your mobile device.
  • In the case of a cell phone, confirm that your phone number and voice mail work on your new phone before you part with your “old” phone.
  • Restore the machine to its factory settings. This will remove all of your personal data and pictures, delete all email accounts and apps, and roll back any upgrades or updates you performed.
  • Turn the device off and then on again to be sure it looks the way it looked when it was new (confirm that there are no traces of anything you added).

Giving your Device to a Friend or Family Member

  • You can take the same steps you would if you were trading in your device, but you may not want to restore the device to its factory settings; this will roll back the system upgrades that the new owner will definitely want. You do need to remove your personal accounts however.
  • Turn off any cloud-sharing settings.
  • Delete your AppleID, Microsoft account, or Google account.
  • Delete your email account(s).
  • Delete your iTunes account.
  • Delete your pictures from the Camera Roll (Photo Gallery).
  • Unlock and turn off your Passcode lock
  • Delete any apps you added (you can leave them on but if they need to be upgraded in the future, the device will be looking for the password of the original owner’s account). The new owner can always download his/her own apps.

If you are replacing your desktop or laptop machines, there is no “return for rebate” option; nor is there a “restore to factory settings” option. You can give the machine to someone else but removing all your personal information — which includes documents — is somewhat trickier.

Of course with any device, you can decide to keep the “old” one as a back up. If you do, keep it somewhere safe and passcode protected.

And … enjoy the new machine!

It Takes Two?

Most of us can navigate our way through a particular app when it does all we need it to do. (We can easily receive, send, reply, and forward mail all from within the same Email app.) But when we need two or more apps to complete a task, it can get confusing.

Here are some of the more common two-app arrangements (not all apply to all devices):

  • Take a picture with the Camera app but view it in the Photo (or Gallery) app.
  • Purchase music from the iTunes app, Play Store App, or Windows Store but listen to it in the Music app.
  • Buy an ebook from the Amazon app but read it in the Kindle app.
  • Create a group email list in the Mailshot app (iPhone and iPad) but use it in the Email app.
  • Add a birthday in your Contacts app but see it on your Calendar app.

Once you recognize the need to use two apps for some transactions, you should enjoy your incredible devices even more!

Smartphone Fitness Apps

Whether you are a year-round athlete, a “Thanksgiving to just after New Years” workout buff, or a “maybe I should start exercising” individual, you can use your smartphone to¬†help you stay — or get — motivated.

I usually listen to music when I run, but sometimes I listen to an audible book or to an interesting interview on NPR. The better the beat, the story, or the interview, the longer I exercise and the more i enjoy it.

But smartphones — and their many available fitness apps — can do more to help you with your exercise program than just play background audio.

To name a few…

  • There is a Zombie app that tells you when you are being chased by zombies and “encourages” you to walk/run faster to elude them.
  • There is a “Running of the Bulls in Pamplona” app that “suggests” you increase your speed until you are out of danger.
  • There is an app where you simulate the gears of a race car engine and “shift gears” as you walk/run around your route.
  • There are step-counting, mileage-tracking, and pulse rate-recording apps.
  • There are fitness apps that demonstrate specific yoga, balance, cardio, weight lifting, and dance routines.
  • There are calorie counting apps for diet and exercise information.

Fitness apps exist for everyone. You just have to find the one (or more) that is right for you and get moving.

Here are some helpful hints for using your smartphone as part of your workout:

  • Get comfortable earbuds for listening on the go
  • If the earbuds are not wireless, thread the cord from the phone to your ears through a layer of clothing so it does not hang loose or bounce as you move.
  • Some fitness apps drain your phone’s battery at a much faster rate than usual.
  • Create specific playlists of music for your exercise time: perhaps upbeat dance music for walking, running, and cardio, and slower-paced music for yoga and resistance training.
  • Read the description of the app from the developer, as well any reviews from independent sources, to get a complete picture of the app’s features.
  • Check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.

In May, PC Magazine posted a slideshow article of its “15 Best Fitness Apps” (click link below to read the article). You can find these and many other fitness apps in your phone’s app store.

Enjoy your workout!

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