Sunday, April 19, 2015


Bluetooth is a short range wireless technology which connects devices and peripherals.

Bluetooth was named for Norse King Harald Bluetooth who united tribes together. Bluetooth provides a single common technology to unite various devices and peripherals. It can also connect two computers together.

Bluetooth wirelessly connects mouse, headphones, speakers, keyboards, and so on to different computers, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and the like.

It works by first setting up the computer device to which you will be connecting a peripheral as follows. In Settings you put the device into bluetooth search mode. You may also need to make visible to other devices.

The next is tricky.  The peripheral you are connecting then needs to be paired. The process is unique to every device. The peripheral is put into pairing mode.

The peripheral you are connecting comes with instructions. You need to be sure to turn that device on. Then typically you need to tap and hold a pairing button on it, or more than one button. That may take as long as 30 seconds or more. Be patient. There may be a flashing light to show that it is in pairing mode.

Finally, if all goes well, the computer device to which you are connecting the peripheral displays a name for the peripheral.

That computer device may also ask for a pairing code and usually 0000 or 1234 will suffice. If not the instructions for the peripheral device you are connecting will provide another code.

Once the devices are paired, they should automatically connect later.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Internet Has Changed How We Read

Internet has effected a change in the way we read and all to our benefit.

The old way was passively to absorb what was presented to us. The new way is to be proactive about it.

They old way was for the media to become the master of what we think. The new way is to look at the media and treat it as something to use as we see fit.

We become the master of the learning process. We become the jury examining evidence.

In that way the internet empowers us in a new way. It just takes awhile to learn to use the new tool.

A little example from the non internet world will illustrate my point.

The story is about Germany and the rise of Hitler. A defeated people was ready to believe in anything without questioning. After the Second World War they learned their lesson.

They had been gullible, but gullibility is part of the old way of taking in information.

I learned that, ironically, from a German professor of philosophy in Germany who had assigned me volumes of German philosophy to read over a weekend. I complained.  It was bad enough to plow through volumes of philosophy and even worse in another language.

Surprisingly, the professor asked me how I approached reading. I explained that I started at the beginning of a book. I got no further when he interrupted.

That's wrong, he said.

Your objective is to learn and any means at your disposal is OK. The objective is to find out what the writer was thinking, whatever that takes. We do not need to be led through the writers work the way he planned it. We treat his writings as evidence of what he was thinking.

Start in the middle if the book. Randomly browse through it. Try another book. Talk about it to other students. Read about the book from other sources. Think. We do not need to be led through the philosophers writing the way he wanted in order to to understand them. We draw our own conclusions.

There is no ethics in learning. We use whatever tool we choose.

In other words, be proactive. There is no one way to learn, no plodding pedantic approach to learning. We use whatever it takes to get the knowledge we need.

In my final exam, the good professor told me he had only one question: Herr Klaver, take Schopenhauer's basic premise and develop his philosophy. Oral or written.

There was the silence. I was stunned. I had never thought how to do that. But suddenly it came to me.

You may do that in English if you wish, he said.

Having done all my research in German I suddenly realized that I could do it and suddenly it flowed out easily.

He had showed me how to master the subject myself. We both laughed when I had finished. He had done the job and I had too. He had taught me how to think, just as the German people had learned how to do so after Hitler.

Internet now gives us the resources for all to do the same, to get all the facts and form our own conclusions and put an end to gullibiliy which still infects too much of what we do

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Printer Solutions

The easiest way to install a printer is to plug it in to your primary computer. With the latest computers the drivers are automatically installed.

That does not work so well when you have more than one computer plus cell phones and tablets and so on.  Many users have both a  black and white laser and a color inkjet printer, to have color available while keeping non-color costs down.

The old way was to set up the printer as a shared printer on your network. That required that the computer be turned on to which the printer was attached. That is awkward.

The best way to proceed nowadays is to obtain a cloud ready printer.

Under $100 will get you a splendid printer with all the bells and whistles.

The cloud ready printer then works as follows: accepts your job from the Internet cloud when you send the job from your computer to the cloud, in other words from anywhere to anywhere.

First you need to set it up Cloudprint.

Two ways. It will be set up either at the computer or at the printer itself, following the instructions which came with the printer. This makes your router aware of the printer.

A so-called IP address will then be assigned to identify. The router now knows where to send the print jobs.

The Cloud also needs to know where to send the print job, so that the printer IP addresses need to be registered there, too

This is accomplished by going to the Cloud Print website which will then automatically register your computers and printers. There is no charge for the service.

It may be necessary to register a printer through a different process whereby the IP address is entered where the website address is normally entered. This is done in the format http://192.168.x.x, where is the x's are the numbers for your specific printer or printers.

To find these addresses I use an Android app called FING.

On your phone or tablet you will need an app for the printer.  You will then be able to share documents to the printer.

For Those Who READ

Those who do a lot of reading need the proper tools for the job. These have changed a lot over time.

It is now easy to read books directly from your local library just with the Overdrive app alone,  on any device, much simplified.

But readers especially need easy access anywhere to their large  personal library.  They need access In an organized fashion.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a good place to start.

It is easily portable, hold its charge for a long time, keeps thousands of books, and provides an easy way to organize them by creating and maintaining collections by subject matter. And even offers a cheap New York Times subscription not available elsewhere.

The Kindle Paperwhite, however, does not read aloud to you nor does it access major Internet sources of books. Yet it can be the best repository for them.

For easy access and reading aloud, and for least cost, an Android phone or tablet would be the best choice.

But, if you are really a dedicated reader, you will need a computer additionally.

A computer is needed to manage your Kindle library and also to organize your library with a program like Calibre.

With this hardware you are now in a position to build and maintain your own library.

That process has been in continuing development and is much easier now than just a short time ago.

To use your Kindle Paperwhite as an archive, it is now easy to email documents to it, once set up for it in the Kindle library manager on a PC.

This setup requires going to the manager and authorizing your Kindle and any other device you'll be using for reading to receive emailed the documents. additionally you must authorize the source email addresses from which you will be transmitting documents.

The major tools for obtaining books are nowadays Open Library and Calibre and available on PC, Mac, or Linux.

Open Library is the librarian's and heavy reader's tool to obtain documents. It is easy to use. More challenging is Calibre, which will automatically subscribe,  organize your documents, and deliver them.

Typically you search Open Library for your book in order to find its availability in all forms, both digital and hard copy.

A digital copy in the mobi format can be emailed as an attachment to your Paperwhite archive or other holding tank for your books. You can also archive a copy in your Kindle library if configured to do so in your library management for Kindle.

Emailing to a phone requires downloading the email attachment and reading with something like ES File Explorer.

Note also that a search of much more limited resources in Amazon may also produce a free or inexpensive digital or hard copy.

Calibre is the tool of choice to obtain subscriptions of worldwide periodicals and newspapers and deliver them automatically to your devices.

In addition to Open Library and Calibre, there are other valuable tools to obtain documents.

The most important is Pocket, which I resisted using for a long time and now use everyday. What Pocket does is to hold for later reading when you come across something you don't want to bother with now but want to read later.

Another valuable tool is Push to Kindle which sends webpage material to Kindle.

Further, documents can be sent to Dropbox in the Cloud for easy access from any device.

Some digital copies can be read aloud in various other digital formats than mobi and not on the Paperwhite. It is also possible in Amazon to buy the read aloud copy in addition to the screen or paper copy.

Further, on your Android phone or tablet there are apps to read aloud.  One of these is @Voice. 

Non Kindle readers such as Mantano and FBreader and many others also can read aloud. These use the ePub digital format. The ePub format is the other main digital format.

Umano offers human read articles of general interest, and Web to go offers computer read articles.

Two very useful apps for reading ebooks are Bookshelf and Pocketbook. I recommend them both.

It is very handy to have all of these tools on your cell phone so that access two documents is available anywhere.