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Video Selfie?

For my father’s 80th birthday, I invited his friends and family to record a short video message for him and send it to me electronically. I strung the videos together to make a video birthday card. It made for a fun celebration.

If you received an invitation to record a video and send it electronically, would you be able to do it?

Not everyone I contacted thought they could, but most got it done. Many even surprised themselves by how easy it was.

 
Record a Video

  • Use your smartphone or tablet. Using the Camera app, choose the camera that faces you, position yourself so you are in the frame, and start recording. Stop recording when you are done. Erase and do it again if you are not happy with it. The video will be in your Photo app.
  • Use your computer’s webcam. On a Mac, use the Quicktime program. On a Windows 10 computer, use the built-in Camera App. Save the file to your desktop or your Pictures folder for ease in finding it later.

 

Send a Video 

  • Video files too large to attach to an email, may be sent by attaching to a text. If the file is too large to text, upload it to a cloud-based service like MailDrop, iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Photos. Video files work just like any other files, but take longer to upload.

 

Or … ask for help! A friend can use your phone or tablet — or their phone or tablet — to record you. Anyone comfortable taking and sending videos should be happy to help.

Most importantly, look at the camera (not at your notes) and have fun!

Reset to 100%

Did you ever look at your computer screen and see that the text is suddenly really really large or really really small? Surprise!

If the text is too large, you can read the words but you can see very few of them. You may even need to scroll sideways (egad!) to read a sentence. If the text is too small, you can see a lot of words on the screen, but reading them is almost impossible.

Neither size is practical.

Here’s how get your screen back to a more user-friendly magnification:

  • Windows computers: hold down the Control (Ctrl) key while you press the Zero key.
  • Mac computers: hold down the Command key while you press the Zero key.

This easy keyboard shortcut will bring your screen back to 100% magnification.

If you want the text larger than 100%, hold down the Control/Command key while you press the plus sign (“+”). Each time you press the plus key, the magnification increases 10%.

If you want the text smaller than 100%, hold down the Control/Command key while you press the minus sign (“-“). Each time you press the minus key, the magnification decreases 10%.

Try it. See what it does.

Play Ball 2016!

The Major League Baseball season starts soon and, if you are a fan like me, you need to know when your favorite team is playing.

Here’s how I do it: I download my team’s schedule to the calendar app on my computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can do it too.

On whichever device(s) you want the calendar:

  • Go to www.mlb.com
  • Click “Teams” (right side of the menu across the top)
  • Scroll down and click on the name of your team
  • Click “Schedule” (top menu bar)
  • Scroll past the current schedule and click on “Downloadable Schedule”
  • Follow the instructions in the right hand column for your specific device (Apple, Outlook, Google, Yahoo, etc.)

Your team’s schedule is now an independent calendar, separate from your personal or work calendar. You can show or hide the baseball calendar by clicking it on or off.

Good luck this season. I hope your team wins, unless it is playing my team!

The Subject Line

The more we hesitate to open unfamiliar email, the more important the “Subject” Line becomes. Please take it seriously.

In the past, the Subject line could be an afterthought. The return address identified you as the sender and the message area said what you wanted to say. Why fill in the Subject line at all?

Today, with the frequent “spoofed” emails that look like they are from people we know, the Subject line takes on new importance.

Spoofers love to pique our curiousity with Subjects like, “Best Video Ever,” or “You Gotta See This!”

Rather than enter something generic — or leave the Subject line blank — we should choose meaningful content: “Monday Tennis Schedule” or “Upcoming Gourmet Dinner Menu.”

You get the idea.

Don’t make friends and colleagues guess what your email is about, or whether the mail is even from you at all.

Be thoughtful about the Subject line. Your readers will appreciate it.