Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Ways to Make Things Easy

   I have made a lot of changes over the past year in just how I use computers, especially to accommodate small mobile computers (even cell phones) and travel, and above all to make things easier for myself.

    The idea has been to make it so that I could work anywhere quickly from any computer, large or small, and without risking my data from a computer crash.  Here is how.

    I switched to the simplified Google Chrome for browsing on PCs, and to Opera for some very small screen browsing.     I still use IE Explorer for online Netflix movies.     I use both Windows and Linux machines, depending upon the computer I am using and what I want to do.

    My EMail is Google Gmail, which is kept on Google's server and is accessible anywhere.   Get it here:

    Once signed up for Google, I have access to the rest of Google's armada of applications which run anywhere: Docs, Reader, iGoogle, and the like.   Here is a video on these:

    And here is how to add them:

    Docs is a word processor which can also edited by others with permission.  Docs is compatible with Microsoft Word.  Here is a video on Docs:

    Reader summarizes from media so that you do not need to go to many websites to get updated on the news in all sorts of subjects.     Other software updates podcasts or "feeds" to me to access when ready.     iGoogle puts all kinds of web activity on a single page, such as my calendar, todo list, bookmarks, and so forth, even Picasa to show pictures on the handheld.   Here are explanations of Google Reader:

     Bookmarks provide a simple way of accessing webpages frequently.   Bookmarks (also called Favorites) can also be kept on a server.   I have the ones I use all the time on Google's server, and also on Delicious, and Mobilicious.   More info is here:

     Very often there are two web addresses for the same website, one for large screens, and one for handhelds.    The small screens best display information in newspaper column format, in a single column scrolled vertically.   That helps ease of use with a small screen.  You scroll up and down a newspaper column width screen.

    My computers also now use Skype for telephoning, so that I do not need a cell phone where there is WiFi.  Plus I have a speaker phone and conferencing thru Skype.

    My bookmarks give me access to internet radio and TV, and to my music library, such as Orb, which accesses my home computer for music.     There are bookmarks for Amazon, YouTube, and Google search features.  The latter reminds me how to use Google for definitions, calculations, and the like,   I use Youtube to find out how to do things and access music. not just video.    

    With my handheld, I can access music or podcasts thru a wireless bluetooth headset while exercising.   For more on such tech, check my blog here:

    I recently moved my mail list to Gmail, so that I can get anybody's EMail address and phone number wherever I am.

    If I don't have access to a computer, I can phone Jott to leave a message by voice which later is accessible from text on any computer.   I am just starting to use Jott.
    The bottom line is that I am no longer dependent upon any single computer for most things, and not dependent on any operating system, such as Windows.   I need for the computer to help me do things, not to become focus of my activity.

     If you want to try some of these, a quick search on internet will find where to download and install them.  If all this is too complex, try this site for more help:

    Here is some advice on passwords