Monday, March 12, 2018

Happy Valley Site

I will be busy for a time developing a Happy Valley internal website to serve as a temporary clearing house for local resident concerns, including your wellness and safety, but much more general.   (There is no such official Happy Valley intra-community newspaper with input from you as at other such communities nearby.) 

Your initial input for it can be submitted to me by EMail. 

That also means that I may not be able to address your WiFi issues.    Ninety per cent of these are not issues with your equipment, anyway, but are issues with Happy Valley.    If you are having WiFi issues, you can always switch to Comcast or cell service.    As apartments are being renovated, obsolete cabling is being replaced. 

Access is currently being limited to those who enroll by contacting me.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Choosing the Best Smartphone

 Normally,  when asked for advice on buying a smartphone,  I like to lay out the various considerations a buyer should have.

Recently, however, I find myself recommending specifically the iPhone SE along with Consumer Cellular coverage.

That does not mean that an Android phone is not a perfectly fine choice.

The iPhone benefits from recent improvements in navigation and the fact that it is essentially a little iPad when many seniors are now, or will be, using iPads.
The iPhone SE  from Consumer Cellular can be had for $170 with a monthly plan of about $25 without being locked in.    

The iPhone Is not perfect.      Siri voice is not as good as Google Assistant,  and the iCloud is not as good as Dropbox, but both Google assistant and Dropbox do run on the iPhone.

If you need a larger phone,  the extra cost of such an iPhone may outweigh these benefits.

All this, can change and I will change with it.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

iPhone Text Too Small?

 Let's say you have an iPhone,  such as an inexpensive iPhone SE,  but no iPad.

There will be times when the print is just too small, but there is an easy fix.

Using an Android app,  the iPhone can be mirrored to any other tablet,  such as a Nook or Kindle tablet.

Then,  making sure that both devices are on the same network,  start up the app and then activate iPhone mirroring From the main navigation screen.     Simple.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Install Google Play Apps on Kindle Fire Tablets (2017+)

Tap or click for the easy way to bring Google apps to your Kindle Fire and greatly increase its functionality.

You DO Need a Smartphone

What!!   You don't do that much phoning?    You don't need a smartphone?

But a smartphone is not mainly for phoning.    (Of course, you might text with it, but who actually phones with a smartphone, anyway?}

The iPhone is really just tiny tablet, a small iPad.    And you need it as such.   Same with Android.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Offline Safety for Media

 Not long ago everything was offline.

Then online became available,

Despite fears, online has pretty well taken over,  even for backup of a computer.
From the beginning there were questions about online safety.      Suppose it went away,  would we lose our books, music and photos?    

The more probable exposure is that our media will not be there when we need it,  as when we are away from WiFi.      Wifi is not always reliable, either.

Cell coverage is more reliable, but much more expensive.

So,  getting down to the point, how do we make everything available offline,  available when we need it, wherever we are?

For convenience,  I decided to put music on a Kindle Fire 7.      I added 128 GB SD memory for the purpose.    Alternatively I could have put it on a memory stick with Wi-Fi.      And indeed,  I did that, but for backup.

Kindle books went downloaded to a second Kindle Fire 7.     Google Books, however,  required the use of internal memory,  and I needed another device with plenty of internal memory for them.

I had consolidated all my music.

LPS and  78s  had been converted earlier to digital format on a PC, using software originally developed for a Linux called Audacity, and a turntable sending the music to the PC.

CDs were converted by the PC,  but using Apple iTunes.     You just insert the CD and iTunes does the rest.

As others have abandoned CDs except for using in the car, I have collected some of them,  especially popular music of earlier times.

Then I have accumulated some music from Amazon where you can get 100 piano concertos for $0.99,  and so on.     When I buy something from Amazon and choose  not to have immediate shipment,  I get a credit for such a purpose.     There is also plenty of free music from the Internet Archive.

Consequently my music library takes up a little more than 64 gigabytes.  Ten thousand pieces.   It took more than 24 hours to send it from PC to Kindle Fire.

That means I can take with me all the music I would ever want to listen to.

My library of books similarly includes anything II would ever want to read, no need ever to go to the library.

Ask for photos, the only steps  I have taken so far is to have them printed out book form.      It would be a simple matter to download them to a Kindle Fire.