Technology Tips for May 2010

Here are a few new tips I have seen on the Internet. Check them out and and see if you can use any of them.

Help With Newsletters: You don’t have to be a desktop publishing expert to impress your database. Even better, you can do it without software. All you need is your Web browser and a few photos to share. LetterPop is a new site that lets you create graphic newsletters in a short time. Just choose from several templates. There’s a mix of themes for personal or professional newsletters. Next, add your text. You can work with different fonts and add formatting, like headings and bulleted lists. Most templates provide space for photos. You can test drive LetterPop on its Web site. The demonstration includes a few templates and stock photos. A free membership is required to add your own photos and to access all the templates.

Better Than Post Its’ Around Your Screen: Stickies is a powerful program. You can send notes without the aid of a separate e-mail program. You can also share notes directly through a network with others who have Stickies installed. When you do so, the notes will appear on the other computer’s screen. Recipients can edit the notes and post them back to your screen. You can opt to save logs of all sent and received notes automatically. Or, set notes as alarms, complete with sounds and visual cues. Stickies even supports Windows or Palm mobile devices.

Trouble Shooting Your Computer: We have to do some troubleshooting from time to time. Maybe your DVD drive won’t read inserted discs. Or, the computer won’t send printing jobs to your printer. Microsoft’s Fix it Center automatically diagnoses and fixes many common problems. You can download individual tools for specific problems. Or, get them all in one package. Microsoft’s Fix it Center can sniff out the cause of most issues. It can find and remove conflicting startup programs and fix hard drive errors. It can adjust settings to provide optimal battery life. The package version will also anticipate Windows updates. This can help eliminate potential conflicts before they happen. Free

Uninstalling Unwanted Programs: Windows lets you do it with a few mouse clicks. An uninstalled program rarely disappears. You’re often left with unnecessary files, folders and registry entries. These things just junk up your hard drive. Removing this stuff manually isn’t so simple. Revo Uninstaller can completely remove those unwanted programs. It will clean out all the stuff normally left behind. That saves you precious hard drive space. This program can also clean other areas of your computer. Permanently delete specific files and folders. Clean out Web tracks from your browser. You can even remove recent document history from Microsoft Office. (Revo Uninstaller comes in free and pay versions. Be sure to download the free version.)

Great Reminder Notes: What do you write your reminder notes on? Do you use Post-it notes or scraps of paper? This program is a better way. It lets you use almost anything as a reminder note. Write text notes. Save and annotate photos. Record audio reminders. You can even clip portions of Web sites you want to remember.

A Compact Calendar on Your Desktop: Maybe you just want something you can check at a glance. This compact calendar sits right on your desktop. It includes a to-do and upcoming events lists. You don’t have to open a program or search for a document. Just look at your desktop to see what you should be doing.

Maybe a More Powerful Calendar: Short notes and alarms are handy. But for serious scheduling, you need a more complex calendar program. Sunbird is a great option from the organization behind Firefox. You can schedule to-dos, tasks and appointments. Set up alarms and pop-up reminders. You can get an overview of everything you need to do.

Find The Program A Little Easier: You probably have quite a collection of programs. But getting to them isn’t always easy. You don’t want your desktop covered in shortcuts. Start>>All Programs can be a ridiculously long list. Tidy Start Menu offers a better way. It lets you group programs into sensible categories. They are Office, Utilities, Games, Entertainment, Internet, Programming, Graphics, Security and Other. Then you click Start>>All Programs. That huge list is now just nine folders. Tidy Start Menu comes in free and Pro versions. You’ll have to pay for the Pro version. But the free version works just fine.

Hope you find this helpful and if you need anything please give me a call or email me. I am here to help.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson

Tips courtesy of Rick DeLuca and the Real Estate Idea Club.