Dec 052012

Close an iphone or ipad app by swiping the image up and off the screen

New users often don’t realize that exiting an app doesn’t actually close it.  We’ve encountered people with iDevices who complain of short battery life or slow performance (or both).  They don’t realize that they need to periodically close open apps.

Here is how in iOS7:

  1. Tap the Home button on the front of the device twice (fairly quickly).
  2. Swipe the image of the app screen up and off the top of the screen.  You need to grab the image of the app, not the app icon below it.

You can use as many as 3 fingers to flick up and close 3 apps at the same time.

Here is how in iOS6:

Tap the minus sign to close the running app

  1. Tap the Home button on the front of the device twice (fairly quickly).
  2. The bottom of the screen reveals all your running apps.
  3. Press and hold on one app.

A red circle with a minus sign will appear in the upper left corner of all the running apps and the icons start jiggling.

  1. Tap the minus sign of each app to close it.

That’s all there is to it.

It’s a good idea to close out of all running apps at the end of each day.

 Posted by at 5:56 pm
Jan 232012

We hear a lot of questions about “The Cloud,” let’s talk about it.

What is “the cloud?”  Simply put, it’s disk space. That disk space can be used for many purposes, including storage and applications. 

Where is “the cloud?”  Typically that disk space resides in specialized data centers. Those data centers have disk backups, power supply backups for the servers, more disk backups, and several generators in case of area power outages.  These are typically heavy-duty IT facilities. Gaining access to a professional data center can be more difficult than getting into NORAD. Some companies keep the exact location of their data centers a closely guarded secret.

How do I get to “the cloud?”  Via an Internet connection.

Cloud computing is when the data and/or application resides on remote servers instead of being installed to your local computer.  If you use Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, you are using cloud computing. The programs and data reside on those companies’ servers; you access them via the Internet.  Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Calendar are other examples of cloud computing.

Cloud storage is when you back up your data to a remote server using backup services like Mozy, Carbonite, or DropBox.

 Posted by at 1:20 pm
May 022009

There is a new type of search engine being introduced by Dr. Stephen Wolfram called Wolfram|Alpha.  It is not like Google or other search engines you are familiar with and not intended to be so.  It is more of an instant analysis type of search engine.  For instance you can type in Mt. Everest and it will tell you all sorts of data about it: how high it is, the location, surrounding towns, weather, etc.  Very interesting.  For more information go to YouTube and type in WolframAlpha.

 Posted by at 7:32 pm
Jan 142009

UPDATE: MelZoo appears to have failed, like many search engines before it.

This is an interesting new search engine.  It’s called MelZoo and it offers a split screen.  As you mouse over the text results on the left side of the pane, a preview of each site appears in the right side of the pane. We found the speed to be quite good on a broadband connection.

MelZoo split screen search engine

Jul 292008

There’s a new search engine in town called Cuil and pronounced ‘cool’.  Started by some Google principals who broke away from the company, it boasts a lot more pages in its database.  It does have an interesting fresh look, and I certainly liked the results when I put in parameters such as ‘network consulting services, denver, co’, ‘network consultants, denver, co’, and so on.

The quirky thing about Cuil is the thumbnail pictures it displays besides each entry.  On one search you might be confronted with a group of marchers carrying a peace sign, and on another you might see a company logo that is unfamiliar to you and has nothing to do with the company being listed.

It will be interesting to see how the market shakes out (few challengers are successful), but it’s worth a try on your next search.

UPDATE:  Cuil was online for a little over two years, but shut down in 2010.

May 292008

I happen to think that RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is one of the coolest things since paper towels.  It’s a way to gather all your websites and blogs into one place instead of jumping from site to site and trying to remember to visit sites that aren’t updated very often.  A picture is worth 1000 words, so here is a screenshot of an RSS program:

RSS Reader gathers all your interests into one program

The above reflects a default screen with all the interests listed.  I’ll delete many of those when I configure it to my persoal tastes.  The point is, when you see a headline and summary that you think might interest you, simply click the headline and if you like, the article appears right inside the reader like so:

Keeping it neat: gathering all your interests in one place with RSS

With a really good RSS reader, you can configure and customize the settings 6 ways from Sunday.

I’ve tried several different readers, but my first choice has been and still is NewsGator FeedDemon.  I started with it many years ago and still like it.  They keep evolving and improving it and it is very configurable.  I tried the reader that you can access on Google and really didn’t find it to my tastes, but you can jump in where ever you want.

I think you’ll see the advantages to RSS with most any flavor of reader that you select.

UPDATE:  FeedDemon is no longer a product of NewsGator; the author sells the program directly.  It is still my favorite RSS Reader and I highly recommend it.  You can download the Free version and if you decide to unlock some of the features of the Pro version, you can purchase the program.  After purchase, just enter the activation code to unlock the Pro features.