Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's All This I Hear About Apple Mac's?

Having spend almost 15 years at Hewlett-Packard, you'd think that I'd be an avid PC user. Well, I certainly have used a PC for a long time, but avid I am not. In fact, they drive me absolutely nuts. Having said that, it's not the PC makers fault, it's Windows, and specifically Microsoft that I have the issue with. So much so that the first thing that I did when I left HP was to buy a Mac. I love my Mac! During the creation and delivery of my other seminars, I often referenced a Mac, to the point that people started asking, 'well, what's the difference?". This is how I came to write this seminar. It's focus is on the main differences, some of the advantages and disadvantages and features a live demonstration of downloading photos from a camera, editing them and then uploading them to FaceBook etc, as well as editing and creating a movie and DVD.

Summary and Additional Information
Everyone's talking about Apple Mac's these days, but what's all the hype about? Are they as good as people say and how do they compare to Windows? Should I consider one or should I stick with Windows? If I do move, how easy is it to transfer over my data? Suitable for anyone considering a new computer and are curious, or first time users of Mac's looking for a little help, Philip May of TechnoRV will try to answer those questions by taking you on a tour of the Apple Mac, highlighting some of the main differences between it and Windows, as well as giving you an overview of the main features and functionality. Topics covered include: the Desktop and Application Dock, the File Manager, Backing-up, System Preferences, Web Browsing, Email, Photo Management and Editing, Video Editing, Management and DVD Creation. [TechnoRV is not affiliated with Apple products nor does it sell Apple products].

Computer Safety and Security for the RV

Whether you're a full time RV'er or just like to get away from time to time, having a computer is essential nowadays for email and internet access. However, an RV is a challenging environment for a laptop in terms of safety and security. This seminar was developed to help keep and your data safe while on the road and is based on my twenty years industry computer experience and three years full-time RV'ing experiences.

Topics covered include:
  • Why worry?
  • Protecting your computer
  • Mobile connectivity (WiFi security)
  • Virus Protection and Firewalls
  • Protecting your data
  • Computer Backup
  • Encryption
  • Protecting You (healthy computing)
  • Avoiding Scams
  • Data Recovery
  • Emergency Preparedness
You can find out more information about this seminar as follows:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Managing Your Mail Over the Web

Receiving your mail while on the road is one of the most challenging aspects of the RV lifestyle, and one that we've struggled with in the three years that we've been on the road. Once we left our house in California, we re-directed our mail to a friends house, but quickly found that that wasn't going to work for us. After that we tried the Escapees Mail Forwarding service which was better, but it was still too limiting. The process of manually having to call up someone and go through a description of our mail was just too hard, especially with the challenge of different time zones. Add to that the fact that we were not able to specify exactly what mail to junk, or to have UPS or FedEx deliveries. We needed a better solution.

About 18 months ago we found out about Earth Class Mail, and I tell you, I love it. LOVE IT, LOVE IT! To start with, you get to choose your physical address from their list of addresses. This means that you have the flexibility of deciding which state makes sense for your to officially reside in based on sales tax, income tax, medical insurance and domocile laws. For us, Oregon made sense as we were also using it to locate our business and so the zero sales tax made sense. You can have someone sign for your FedEx and UPS deliveries which is very useful if you order online.

Once you've got your address, you login and are presented with a user interface very much like your email system (see the top image). Clicking on your 'mail' shows you a scanned image of the envelope which is great for deciding what you want to do with it. You then have the options of Recycle, Shred, Scan or Ship. If you select Scan, after about a day they will have opened your mail and scanned the contents. You can then view the contents and download a PDF file onto your computer which is GREAT as it saves you having scan the mail yourself and filing it electronically. If you select Ship, you can define a Shipment and then periodically ship your mail to yourself by FedEx (they have great rates which work out very economical).

Their basic plan starts at $19.95, whereas the plan that makes most sense for us is the Value Plus at $39.95 which includes 100 mail pieces per month and 20 free scans. If you're interested, click on the following link - that should get you an introductory offer and give us a little something too!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Repairing the Locket Database

Occasionally Locket will come up with spurious errors for no apparent reason. This can be caused by a corrupt database (Locket uses the Microsoft Access database) which itself can be caused by the unsafe removal of Locket (see 'How to Correctly Exit Locket').

To repair the database, follow the simple steps.

  1. Run up Locket at before logging in, locate the Microsoft Office icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on the icon and select 'Compact and Repair Database'.
  3. Once the computer has finished, login to Locket as normal and see if that resolves the issues. If not, contact me for assistance.

Field test of the Ecco Keychain GPS in Chicago

A little while ago I did a field test of our Ecco keychain GPS (available for $99.99 from TechnoRV) in Chicago. We were in town for a wonderful food tour of the Bucktown district, provided by Chicago Food Planet (a 'must do' if you get chance). Parking was tight, so we had to park the car in a parking meter giving us an ideal chance to see just how good Ecco is at navigating you back to your vehicle. Enjoy ...