Monday, July 31, 2017

What's New and for the Future?

 I get regular questions about  “what's new in tech” from seniors.  Seniors are generally hungry for anything which will make it easier for them as they age.

So what's new in tech (and also for the future of this website?

That question usually occasions a new posting here about what indeed is new and beneficial for seniors.

For example, the use of Alexa to do phoning, and call the nurse, is new.      A new online photo directory of our 3200 residents and staff is coming shortly which will enable phone calling and emailing direct from kiosk or device.

The new fast Kindle Fire 8 is new, along with new help for seniors in using  it, and the ability to (either) add Google apps or simply switch over the whole device to pure Android.

The Amazon wand is new for ordering groceries, but not much else.

The ability to measure your own eyesight using a smartphone and get a prescription is new  with EyeCue..

I have been asked by many seniors to provide for the future of this website once I am one day unable to maintain it.      The website has steady growth and is on the verge of profitability with advertising.

It  would be a benefit that it could become more of a Clearing House with more and wider support than just a one-man operation.

It  is unique in the sense that its content is prompted by seniors and by problems they are faced with in using computers.    There seems to be no other such website out there.

In this senior community and more and more widely, it is not possible to get by without using a computer.     Kiosks and Wifi are provided here everywhere.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Forgot to Save a Word Document?

If you forgot to save a document in Microsoft Word, there's actually a procedure to get it back.

I don't use Microsoft Word anymore, but do my work in Google Docs, which automatically saves everything as I dictate it.

But if you are still using Word, Tap or click for the link on how to do it in Word.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Simple Fixes versus Hard Solutions for Problems

There are easy fixes and hard fixes for problems.

The best place to go for a fix to any problem is internet, of course, and especially YouTube.

Still,  sometimes the recommended solutions are extremely complex, so that you need to look at a bunch of solutions before extracting a good one.  You need to pick and choose the best solution.


One situation which needs a simple solution is the ability to read most eBooks on Kindle, especially epub formatted books.    Epub. is, in fact, the format for most ebooks, but not Kindle books.*

Kindle uses a proprietary computer ebook format derived from an older .mobi format, whereas most ebooks are in that different format, .epub.     The Kindle format is called .azw.    .azw is added to the computer name of the book as a suffix, xyz.azw.

If you look for ways to convert .epub to .azw  Kindle format,  you will find a number of complex approaches to it, whereas a simple one came up just the other day.

That new approach is simply to download the .epub version and rename the .epub  suffix with the .png suffix.     A book called xyz.epub  becomes  xyz.png.

Then all you do is send that book by email to your special “email to Kindle address as an attachment.  Voila.

So always look for the simplest solution.

*Ebooks come in different technical digital  “formats”,  identified with a suffix to the computer name for the book.     So a book called xyz becomes xyz.epub, or, or xyz.pdf, etc.      .epub or .mobi or .pdf is the suffix.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kindle Fire 8 Help

If you have the new Kindle Fire 8 and need help,

Tap or click for a good book on it if it is all new to you.

I just have to say that this is a lovely book for seniors wary of the complexity of computers.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

All My Smartphone Apps

You asked...   What are ALL my apps on my newest phone?   Well, here they are, in a form you can load any of them just by tapping on these links from your phone...
List made using List My Apps

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cramming Apps on an Smartphone with Limited Memory...

Cramming apps on an Smartphone with limited Memory...

It is the choice of apps which make the smartphone most useful, and my postings about those choices have been among the most popular postings I have written.

The choices have changed over the years, as I have used the phone, and better apps have become available.

I have one set of apps for my oldest phone, with the least available internal memory, and another exhaustive set of apps where I have virtually unlimited space.

The older phone is a Moto E with very limited space and a very small screen.    I have squeezed a lot of apps into a very small space.  

Apps are divided into three categories:  Google Apps which are grouped together in a folder under one icon,  the rest of essential apps installed (listed below) from Google Play Store, and a large number of apps from Hermit.   

Hermit enables you to install apps without taking up much internal space and also enlarges the print for easy reading.  Most Hermit apps were pre-configured by Hermit, and the rest were created by me with Hermit from URLs.

I use only a single home screen with just 14 icons

These essential app icons are Chrome, Camera, Calendar, Phone, one icon for a group of Google apps above, the Play Store icon, then these icons:  Amazon Music, Hermit, Overdrive, and Onleihe, The Old Reader, Waze, Wunderlist, Pandora, and my SanDisk Wireless Stick app with a bunch of music, phoptos and books accessible from the stick.

Onleihe is the German Portal to German libraries.

The Google icon and folder includes Gmail,  Google Maps, Play Music, Play Movies, Play Books, Play Newsstand, Google Drive, YouTube, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google Docs.

Hermit includes the largest number of apps as follows: CBS News, Mobile Reuters, Reuters TV, Amazon, eBay, Gmail,, Dropbox, NPR, BusinessWeek, Mobile New York Times, MSN News, YouTube, CBS News, NPR, Google News, Skype, Wikipedia, Pocket, WeatherBug. Evernote. TWiT TV and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

In the library are also Kindle, Clean Master, AutoSpeaker,  SpeedTest,  Volume in Notifications. Google Plus, Contacts.

All those apps still leave a gigabyte free for working memory.   A reminder is that to conserve space it is always possible to load lesser-used apps only when needed and uninstall them when done.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Best Tablet for the Money

The new Kindle Fire 8 tablet at $80, or $50 when on sale,  is your best computer device for the money IF!!!

The “if” is  that you set it up with Google apps.   That can be done either by installing the capabilities or simply by going to a site like 1market and sideloading the apps.     The process to do either of these is defined elsewhere on this website (search at right) and/or by doing a search online.

There is no guarantee that Amazon at some point will block this capability,  but they have never done so to date.

The device has all of these advancements:

.  quad core processor
.  high speed performance
.  Dolby sound
.  plenty of memory, also expandable
.  light weight, easy portability, easy to hold
.  a decent screen, in appearance and size
.  the benefits of Amazon special offers and Prime
.  longer battery life

And it goes on...

Listen to Podcasts with Alexa

To Listen to Podcasts with Alexa...

Tap or click for how to do it...

Then, read the full user manual here...

Tap or click for the manual...

Easy Backup

For easy backup...

Tap pr click for how to do it...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Online Resources

Your smartphone or other device is only as useful as your knowledge of the resources that are open to you.  You can never know enough about these online esources.

I just learned from a foreign source just how valuable a nearby digital ebook resource is in Philadelphia.

This is the Philadelphia Free Library.      Membership is actually available free to anyone in Pennsylvania and offers much more than a local library could possibly offer.    Foreign users  and those in other states pay a fee for it.

For those learning or studying German,  the major resources of the Goethe-Institut are available.

The Gutenberg website offers a huge library of ebooks for downloading,  such as to your iPad.

The Internet Archive is a major free source of media of all kinds.

Promotional access to the News Journal in Wilmington Delaware costs $29 a year and includes most of USA Today.

For Amazon device users The Washington Post is available at a cut rate.   Amazon owns the Washington Post.

Free news services include MSN news (Microsoft) and Google News.

Online TV news is available at no cost from CBSN news and Reuters

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When Should I Upgrade?

When should I upgrade?

This is a question I get a lot from other seniors.

Often they will ask “When my computer is 5 years old?

I  usually answer, if they have an old Windows tower, to upgrade to Windows 10 where possible. My five-year-old Dell Tower did require a cheap ram upgrade in order to run well.

Before buying anything new, however, I always suggest that they buy a cell phone first,  especially now that they can do so much with voice only.

This goes along with my philosophy of "doing it now" as opposed to later, since my smartphone is always with me.

Often I get the answer that they do not need a cell phone because they don't do that much phoning.      But cell phones nowadays do it all.     For a large screen  all it takes is a nearby TV and a Chromecast or Amazon stick to connect with cell phone.

That cell phone needs to be an inexpensive Android unlocked phone* coupled with a very cheap plan if necessary to use away from WiFi,  $10 a month for phoning away from WiFi,  and $25 a month for data away from WiFi such as for traffic information while driving.

An alternative is to get an iPad, especially if help is needed with a new device.    There was a lot of resistance to this alternative among seniors not long ago,  but no more.

A cheap alternative to iPad is a Kindle Fire 7 or 8,  but only if set up to use Google apps.    These tablets are too big to carry in your pocket and too small for a big screen.      They are a compromise.

For those fond of Windows,  a very inexpensive tablet will drive their old large display.    That tablet needs to be a quad core tablet with plenty of working RAM.

For those who do not want to put up with the many nuisances of Windows,  a Chromebook is a speedy and inexpensive trouble-free alternative. Here, consider also a new compatible printer.

If you do need a new large-screen,  consider a combo TV/monitor as opposed to a dedicated  monitor only.

*  My very inexpensive $30 Moto E phone obtained a few years ago does everything that I need to do.      The newer Moto G4 at $100 is a splendid phone.    

 Consumer Cellular offers a very attractive inexpensive plan, along with Puretalk,  Republic Wireless,  and FreedomPop.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Chrome(Book) Extensions

So, what Chrome and ChromeBook extensions (=apps) do I use?

Here they are, except FB2 & App Launcher

Amazon™ MP3 Cloud Music Player

Play your music on Amazon Cloud directly in Chrome!

APK Downloader

Download free APK files from Google Play Store (Android Market)

Application Launcher for Drive (by Google)

Open Drive files directly from your browser in compatible applications installed on your computer.

Apps Launcher

Launch Chrome apps using a fancy popup. Reorder them as you like.

audlibri Player

For book lovers, the perfect companion to listen while browsing.

Bookmark Manager

Bookmark Manager

Bookmark Search
Search for bookmarks from the omnibox.

Cache Killer

Automatically clear your browser cache before loading a page. Can be enabled/disabled with a single mouse click.

Chrome Web Store Launcher (by Google)

The Chrome Web Store Launcher provides quick, easy access to all your Chrome apps.

Chromebook Recovery Utility

Create recovery media for your Chromebook.

Data Saver

Reduces data usage by using Google servers to optimize pages you visit.

Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google)

Automatically previews pdfs, powerpoint presentations, and other documents in Google Docs Viewer.

Dropbox for Gmail

Send and preview Dropbox files and links without leaving your Gmail window.

EBook Offline Reader

Read epub ebooks for your Chromebook and ChromeOS, works offline

Email Access Online V2.5

Access to your favorite email sites instantly from your new tab page!

Email Dictation

Dictate messages in Gmail™. Why type, when you can speak?

EMS Epub Reader

E-Media Studios Epub Reader

Evernote Web Clipper

Use the Evernote extension to save things you see on the web into your Evernote account.

FB2 Reader

Offline Reader for Chrome
This extension violates the Chrome Web Store policy.

Google Docs

Create and edit documents

Google Docs Offline

Get things done offline with the Google Docs family of products.

Google Hangouts

Hangouts brings conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music for Chrome

Google Reader Open entry in background tab

Open current item in a new back ground tab with the key 'v' for Gooogle Reader.

Google Sheets

Create and edit spreadsheets

HP Print for Chrome

Easily connect and print to HP printers on the same network of your Chrome device.

MIDI Player

Play MIDI files easily on your Chromebook.

Network File Share for Chrome OS

Access your network file shares directly from the Chrome OS files app.


Save up to 95% memory and reduce tab clutter


Over 10 million people use Pocket to easily save articles, videos and more for later.

Send to Kindle (by

Push web articles to your Kindle

Send to Kindle for Google Chrome
Sending and reading web content such as news articles and blog posts to your Kindle device or reading app is now easier than ever.

Simple EPUB Reader

Simple EPUB Reader for EPUB3 books.

Quickly access Skype for Web and Share on Skype through your browser

Sticky Password Autofill Engine
Autofill web-pages with stored passwords in Sticky Password


A text editor for ChromeOS and Chrome.


Android APK packager for Chrome OS


Get the most accurate local current conditions, forecast, Doppler radar and the fastest severe weather alerts. Know Before™

Wunderlist for Chrome

Your beautiful and simple to-do list app