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Photo-Editing Fun

Do you like taking, sending, and receiving electronic pictures? How about editing them?

Here’s a fun website for free online picture editing. You can add text, make collages, place speech bubbles, incorporate backgrounds, and touch up imperfect features.

www.picmonkey.com

Perhaps I got a little carried away with my sample creation — more is not always more — but it is fun to play.

While this site does have a paid deluxe-feature no-ad version (the “Royal” membership), you can do a lot of fun things for free, except save and go back later. In the free version, you have to complete your image editing and save the project to your computer for later use. If you leave the site, you can no longer edit a project you started.

Once your project is saved to your computer, however, you can send it to others, print it, or use it in a book or slideshow.

How creative are you?

Battery Life

Here is a conversation I have had when helping people with their mobile devices:

Me: Your screen is quite dark. Do you like it this way?

Client: No, not really.

Me: May I show you how to make it brighter?

Client: I know how, but I keep it dark on purpose.

Me: Why?

Client: Because the darker screen setting saves battery power. 

I implore you, stop this madness!

Does your battery really run out before the end of the day? If you must save battery power, there are better ways than squinting: turn off wifi if you are not near your network, turn off notifications and location services, don’t automatically update apps, fetch mail less often, etc. Or get a case with a built-in charger.

Use your battery; save your eyesight!

User Guide Suggestion

I am often asked about User Guides, specifically “Why isn’t there one in the box?!”

For many, it is quite maddening to purchase a tablet and find that it only comes with an index card showing the front of the device and an arrow pointing to the “on/off” button. That’s it. Hardly enough to teach even the most basic tablet skills.

While the manufacturers don’t include a User Guide in the box, they do make them available on line — either as a downloadable PDF document or in a web-based interactive format. The problem is that using the device itself to view an electronic User Guide is limiting; you can’t very well follow the instructions when you have to close the guide to try the steps!

My suggestion: use one device to help you learn to use another device.

If you have a computer and just bought a tablet, download the User Guide for the new tablet — or look up the tablet tutorials — on your computer, not on the tablet. You can see the instructions on the computer while you try the steps on the tablet.

Perhaps you wish to learn a new program on your computer. If you access the tutorial options on a mobile device, you can follow the directions on the mobile screen and apply them to the computer screen at the same time.

Of course you can purchase printed books sold by third-party companies — and if one is helpful to you, use it. Just be sure that you purchase the book that matches your device or program: Mac vs. Windows, specific operating system, specific program release, etc.

And you thought that second device was just a luxury! Happy learning.

Screen Clean??

Have you looked at your screen lately? Not just looked at it to read this email, but really looked at it. How clean is it?

Here are some screen — and keyboard –cleaning tips:

Screen

  • Turn the power off. For laptops and mobile devices, shut them down and remove the power cord, don’t just “sleep” them. For desktops, turn the monitor itself off and unplug it.
  • Use a soft cloth: cotton t-shirt, microfiber, or cloths made to clean eyeglasses, NOT a tissue, paper towel, or anything coarse or with lint.
  • Wipe in small circles, not too much pressure and no fingernails!
  • If the dry cloth doesn’t do enough, consider a liquid cleaner: distilled water alone, or mix equal amounts of distilled water with either rubbing alcohol or with white vinegar (not both!). You can also purchase a commercially available screen cleaner. Don’t use anything with ammonia in it.
  • Spray a small amount of liquid onto the soft cloth. (The cloth should be damp, not dripping). Never spray anything directly onto your screen.
  • Dry your screen with a dry soft cloth.
  • Be sure your screen is completely dry before powering it back on.

Keyboard

  • Turn your keyboard upside down over a trashcan to shake out the collected debris.
  • Use a make-up brush or new paint brush to push debris out.
  • Purchase a can of compressed air and blow debris out.
  • Use the same liquid(s) and techniques mentioned above to clean the keys.

And, maybe, stop eating over your keyboard?!