Showing posts from July, 2009

Getting the Most Out of Your Digital Camera

I recently gave a new seminar at the FMCA International Rally in Bowling Green, Ohio, entitled 'Getting the Most Out of your Digital Camera'. It was a completely new seminar for me, but one that I had a lot of fun writing and even more fun presenting. I had almost one hundred attendees and despite some challenges with the audio visual (on account of my use of a Mac), I think that everyone got a lot of value from it. We covered Camera Basics (History, Terms, Parts of a Camera, Understanding Features and Settings), Taking Better Digital Pictures, and Managing Your Digital Photos).

As always, I'm happy to hear any comments or suggestions for anyone who attended or not.

Summary and Additional Information
Join Phil May of TechnoRV, for this easy-to-understand explanation of features you may have noticed on your digital camera but were always afraid to use. Phil’s topics will include aperture, shutter speed, flash settings and ISO. Understanding how these items are inter-related …

Emergency Light Product Testing Results

Thank you so much to those of you who completed the survey for the Emergency LED Light. Apologies that it took so long getting the results published, but we've been a little snowed under from our visits to rallies at Monaco International, Good Sam in Zanesville and FMCA in Bowling Green.

As for the product survey results, it looks like it was a big hit! It gained a 4.1 out of 5 for usefulness with over 62% of you rating it useful or very useful. The price you'd expect to pay seemed to be around the $15 - $20 price point with around 55% of you likely to purchase and 75% considering it as a gift (to view a full graphical summary of the results, click on the photograph).

Based on your feedback, we're pleased to announce that we will begin selling the Emergency Light for the introductory price of $14.99. Once we have them in stock, I'll send out a notification email with a link in case you'd like to order (shipping will be only $4.80), or stop by our booth at one of our …

Free Telephone Calls

Yes, that's right, free! I often tell my kids that there's no such thing as a free lunch, but I have to admit that Skype is about as close to a free lunch as you can get. Imagine this, free calls to anywhere in the world with free instant messaging, plus no annoying ads or spam. It's free to download, and once you are up and running with your own user name, you can call anyone with a computer who is also connected to Skype. If they don't have a computer you can still call them with the Skype-Out service that is much cheaper for overseas calls than a regular call. For example, to call Canada it's 2.4c / minute compared to 59c with AT&T from your cell phone. Even text messaging is cheaper, for example 11c / message to the UK compared with AT&T's 25c.

So what do I need?
First of all, a computer. Skype is not a particularly demanding application and will run on most PC's and Mac's. You will need a microphone and speakers. Some modern laptops have thes…

Great Campsite Reviews

I don't know about you, but there have been many instances during our eighteen month trip around the US, and after, where we have been sadly disappointed with a campsite. Maybe it's that the facilities don't match what is promised, but often it can be more subtle things like there are only two washers and dryers and one of them is broken, or that they charge $2:00 per load, or perhaps it's that they do have a hot tub but it's never heated (one of my pet peeves).

About half way through our trip we stumbled across RV Park Reviews ( which we found to be very useful indeed. What I like is that not only does it give you all the usual information like number of sites, price, facilities etc, but also honest and frank reviews by fellow RV'ers, for example:

"If you are desperate and want a bargain, I guess this place is OK." or

"I was wondering why this was the only RV campground available in May for reservations over 4th of July. This …

How can I make my medical information available to the emergency services if Locket is password protected?

One of the beauties of Locket is being able to carry all your medical information with you. However, like all the other information in Locket, it requires a password to access. This is great for most information as you don't want people to be able to read your personal information if you lose or misplace Locket, but there are times when you would like someone, for example, the emergency medical services, to be able to access your information.

Luckily there is a solution. You can think of Locket in two parts, one is a secure vault for your personal data (the Locket software), the other is a regular flash drive on which you can store any form of computer readable data. Whilst you don't want to put too much on the drive as space is limited to 2Gb, there is ample room for medical data.

What I suggest is creating a folder on the Locket drive called ICE and saving your important medical information to that drive. Here's how to do it:

Video Tutorial - Making an ICE folder


How to correctly exit Locket

Making sure to correctly exit Locket is a very important part of keeping your information safe. If you pull out the Locket drive with the Locket still running, or even if you fail to safely eject the drive, you can risk corrupting your data and possibly losing your data altogether (necessitating a restore from backup).

Video Tutorial - Exiting Locket

Step-by-step Guide - Exiting Locket

As for backing up Locket, look for the orange Locket icon in the computer's system tray (bottom right of the screen).

Select 'Exit' from the Locket panel.

Hover the mouse over the icon of a disk drive with a little green arrow (called the 'Safely Eject Hardware' icon). A pop-up should appear listing the drives that can be ejected. Move the curson over the drive corresponding to the Locket drive (if you are unsure you can open the 'My Computer' screen to see which is the Locket drive letter).

Backing Up Your Locket

After having spent valuable entering your data into the Locket, you must make sure that you back it up. Although flash drives are a very reliable means of storage, they can be corrupted if you inadvertently remove them from the computer before it is safe to do so (see another blog entry), or by simply losing them. To avoid this, here's how to back up your Locket:

Video Tutorial - Locket Backup

Step-by-step Guide - Locket Backup

Locate the orange Locket icon in the system tray of your computer (you may need to use the left facing arrow to expand the icons to see the Locket icon).

Click the orange Locket icon to show the Locket panel

If your machine if configured correctly, this should bring up the Microsoft backup wizard (if not, you may need to just manually copy over the files from your Locket drive - email me if you are unsure).

Click on the 'Backup Wizard' and then 'Next', specifying that you want to 'Back Up Selected Files'.

Select the files to backup by click…