TicoByte for July, 2012

Attention PC Club of Costa Rica Members,

Come on down to our next club meeting this coming Saturday, July 21st, at the Pan American School in Belen at 9 AM.  Coffee and snacks will be available from 8:30 on for folks who like to come early and chat.  Bring anything computer-related that you need to give away, sell, get fixed, or show off.

Here are some items to ponder:

Item 1.  Ubuntu’s new Heads-Up-Display (HUD) wins rave reviews.

Jack Wallen reports that the HUD is everything that the Microsoft Ribbon should be and more. One Linux guru says that it responds to the user’s intent and should be called an intenterface.

Item 2.  Are you concerned about Identity Theft?

You should be.  This image from Zone Alarm presents the US FTC 2011 statistics on the subject.  Florida is off the chart. You can click on the “Who, What, & Where” image to enlarge it.

Item 3.  Is the stylus coming back?

Patrick Gray points out many uses for the stylus that make it a candidate for use with tablets. Manufacturers have spurned it, but user demand could overrule them.

Item 4.  Are you tired of stock media players?

Brian Posey points out 5 free media players that have better features than most. I use VLC and Audacity myself and highly recommend them.

Item 5.  Would you like a free timeline addon for Powerpoint?

This great software allows you to put snazzy timelines in your Powerpoint presentations easily. Check this site for other not-so-free Powerpoint addons that might also interest you.

Item 6.  Conditional formatting for Excel can help your spreadsheets.

Susan Harkins presents 10 examples of how conditional formatting can be used to help your Excel spreadsheets work better.

Item 7.  Are you a stargazer with an Android phone or tablet?

Nicole Bremer Nash has published a list of 5 great Android Apps for Astronomy Buffs. The list includes a meteor-shower calendar, a planetarium, a weather forecast, a star chart, and a mobile observatory.

Item 8.  Did you know you can add a pie chart to a Word document without opening Excel?

Susan Harkins explains the simple procedure in this article.

Item 9.  How about a way to gracefully bail out of a Powerpoint presentation?

Susan suggests embedding a link to the last slide that can do the trick.

Item 10.  Are you in the market for some accessories for your iPad ?

Scott Stein of CNET has compiled a list of Must-have iPad Accessories.

Item 11.  A 7” iPad? Really?

Apple CEO Tim Cook is making changes from Steve Jobs’s dream and some are speculating that a 7” iPad may be in the offing.

Item 12.  Do you like to see the innards of new gadgets?

Bill Detwiler is famous for his “cracking open” series.  Here are a few of them:

Tablets:  Apple iPad 2012, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 7.7, Nook Simple Touch w/Light, Acer Iconia Tab A510, Toshiba Excite 10

Phones:  Apple iPhone 4S, Nokia Lumina 900, HTC Titan II, HTC One X

Item 13.  Here is a list of 5 Handy Apps for Recording Audio Notes.

Item 14.  Do you ever have trouble getting rid of old software?

Brian Posey has provided a list of 5 Uninstallers That Really Work. Unfortunately, only one of them (#4) is free.

Item 15.  Google Drive is now available for in-the-cloud storage.

Mark Kaelin reports that the service is available through Google Apps. Ed Bott offers a comparison of Google Drive with other services.

Item 16.  Felicia Day has a new YouTube channel for your entertainment..

Nicole Bremer Nash offers a great review of Geek & Sundry, an interesting show on YouTube featuring Wil Wheaton and many others.

Item 17.  Looking for a good email client?

I recommend gmail, but here are five others that have merit as well.

Item 18.  Linux fans, have you checked out LMDE?

Chris Duckell offers a review of Linux Mint Debian Edition that might interest you if you’re looking for a more conservative version of Linux.

Item 19.  Android phone users, here is a Call Blocker app that might be of interest.

Item 20.  What if Star Wars never happened because George Lucas was able to make the Flash Gordon movie he wanted to instead?

Jay Garmon offers a fantastic speculation that the world might be a different place today. It’s a geek stretch, but it’s interesting.

Item 21.  Looking for a good video communication app?

Katherine Murray has posted a review of Five Video-communication Apps that you can use on PCs, Macs, and many mobile devices.

Item 22. A new Windows 8 prerelease version is now available.

This review by Mark Kaelin describes a version that is ready for prime time. Here is a really thorough video review from ZDNet. Here are more views:

Pro: Excited again, Keeping up, Default No-Track, Lenovo Tablet, Start Screen to Start Menu, New Goodies, Maps, Staples Offer, Shared Screen, Cheap upgrade

Con: No Slam Dunk, Big Questions, Lock Screen

Item 23.  Apple’s World-Wide Developers’ Conference was last month in San Francisco. Erik Eckel posted a lack luster review from the business view. Forbes cited complaints that the desktops Mac-Pro and iMac weren’t mentioned in the announcements, creating the impression that Apple was pushing desktops into the background in favor of laptops and tablets. Here are some photos of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Item 24. Opera 12 is out.  It’s a great web browser.

Dick Sandlin

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