If you are an Android user, you will soon see a noticeable change to the Google Keyboard. One change is in the name. Following the update, it will be called Gboard with all the features that came to iOS users earlier this year. Apparently, Gboard has been big hit with the iOS users. One feature I am seeing that is nice is that you will be able to perform searches directly from the keyboard.
Don’t know how long this deal will last, but you can get the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and Windows Tablets at half price on Amazon. Two things jump out at me that I like and that is it is Bluetooth (4.0) Smart and has full-size keys.
Geek Squeaks (#2015-34) FEATURING — Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) — and MORE GREAT STUFFNovember 2, 2015
Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) – Yes you are seeing that right. Samsung has developed an 18.4″ tablet called the Galaxy View that is in comparison to carrying a portable TV around; AND, that is exactly what I think Samsung is thinking in regards to this hugeous tablet. The pricing on this ($599) is a little steep for my pocketbook; however, if the price were to come within reason, I may consider the Galaxy View for home-based usage.
There are mixed reviews on this, from CNET’s “Samsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen”, to the Verge’s “Samsung might’ve just priced itself out of success”… The Galaxy View is slated for release on November 6th and can be pre-ordered now… To see all the specs — CLICK HERE — scroll down the page and then click on “See All Specs”.
Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Computers, Tablets and Smartphones – The Logitech K480 is an excellent bluetooth keyboard, that works great either as an external keyboard for a Mac or a PC desktop system, or as a keyboard for a phone or a tablet. You can use this device to connect up to three Bluetooth wireless–capable computers or mobile devices. If this is something you may find of interest, check out Logitech’s Immersion Guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this keyboard.
How To Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen – If you do not have your Android smartphone (or tablet) locked down, I suggest that you take the time and lock it down. For example, to use my Nexus 5, I enter a pin number in order to operate the device. The ONLY problem I see with locking down your device is the chance you forget the pattern, pin or password that you used. Well, don’t fret, I came across this article,7 Ways to Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen. A lot of folks don’t want to lock down their devices due that it is an inconvenience; however if you ever lose the device you will soon learn that you wished you had taken the precaution of securing it.
Display A Host Of System Information-Type Data On Your Desktop – BGInfo is a system information tool (portable app) that is very useful for people who manage numerous systems. BGInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. The information that BGInfo displays can be edited, as well as the font and background color. Stick this tool in the startup folder on your computer to display the system information each time the computer boots.
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There are times when I am at my computer where my posture and position are just not ergonomically correct (by all standards). It is called getting comfortable (by my standards). It is when I am in my comfortable posture and position, with feet propped to the side, that typing from the keyboard requires me to become a contortionist (which then defeats the purpose of being in my comfortable position).
To solve this problem of using the keyboard I use the onscreen keyboards that are built into Windows 8.1 and use the mouse pointer to type (using the hunt and peck method). To get to these keyboards and have them readily available here is what you do:
1st OPTION: Using the Windows 8.1 Touch Keyboard
1 – To Activate The Keyboard: Right click the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, select Toolbars, then click on Touch Keyboard.
2 – To Launch The Keyboard: Click on the icon that is now on the taskbar to show or hide the keyboard (you can also click on the close “X” button to hide it, as well).
2nd OPTION: Using the Windows 8.1 On Screen Keyboard
1 – To Activate and Launch The Keyboard: Press the key combination [Windows-Logo]+[R] and type the following command: osk and then confirm by pressing [Enter].
2 – Pinning To Taskbar: After the keyboard launches, click on the minimize button so that the keyboard minimizes to the taskbar. Once it is minimized to the taskbar, right mouse click the keyboard icon and select “pin to taskbar”.
3 – Using the Options: This onscreen keyboard can be moved around and resized; whereas the previous keyboard option presented is stationary at the bottom of the screen. There is an option’s button built into this keyboard that will allow you to add or remove features of the this keyboard. One nice feature using this keyboard is that it has word prediction built in, which makes your typing experience faster (and more accurate); PLUS, it also has a “hover” option (when turned on) that you can hover over a key with your mouse pointer and the letter will be typed for you.
You will see many articles out there on how to turn these keyboards “off”; whereas, for purposes of laziness I have presented you with how to turn these keyboards “on”…
These keyboards are really handy when you need to type in short text strings, such as a web address, a password, etc… I don’t think I will be typing any letters with these; BUT, what I am finding is that I am really getting faster at mouse typing (using the “hunt and peck method” or, maybe I should say the “hunt and click method”).
[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] How To Type the “Degree” Symbol From The Keyboard – I always like sharing personal experiences here on the blog to show that I don’t pull these things out of thin air. Recently I was generating a report where I was typing out weather conditions (such as outside temperature). As I continued doing this I would always type out the word “degree” for the temperature (i.e. 90 degrees). It was at that point I started wondering if there is a way to generate the degree symbol from the keyboard?
If you look at your keyboard you will not visually find the symbol or character reference for the “degree symbol. What you have to do is use what is called “ALT CODES”…
If you hold down the Alt key and on the numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard, type 0176, or Alt+ 248, then when you release the Alt Key, a ° should be there.
If you are interested in learning some more ALT CODES, click on the ALT CODES REFERENCE SHEET below.
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[PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE] Envelope Printer – While I could have used MS Office Word and other 3rd party programs to print out envelopes, I wanted something that was far easier to use and that required a heck of a lot less mouse clicks to get the job done. The program remembers your settings, so once all ready to go you can open the program, open the address book, choose the address hit use this address and the click print. 4 mouse clicks and you are done… @Tweaking.com
[CLOUD STORAGE] How to tie your cloud storage services together – How can you tie your cloud storage services together? It’s actually easy if you use MultCloud. MultCloud ties together all of the most popular cloud storage services so you can upload files to multiple sites through a single sign-on… @TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog
[COMPRESSION SOFTWARE] ZipGenius handles more than 20 types of compression formats – It allows you to browse CD/DVD-ROM ISO image files as if they were common archives. It is the best companion for your daily tasks and you can even use it through command line module in batch operations… @ZipGenius
[PORTABLE APP] A simple and free start menu application that can be installed on USB sticks or local PCs – Portable Start Menu organizes your programs in a simple menu system and launches them via a tray icon. If you close Portable Start Menu on an USB-Stick, running applications can be closed automatically, too… @Portable Start Menu
[COMPUTER HARDWARE] Cable Matters USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station – swappable access to 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD, without having to mount the hard drive, or installing it in an enclosure. It provides a simple, fast, and cost effective solution for data recovery, drive imaging, and testing centers, or any environment that requires fast access to uninstalled/archived drives.. @Amazon
[HOW TO – TROUBLESHOOT] When your computer won’t turn on – A lot of problems can keep a computer from booting Windows (or any other operating system). Fortunately, you can get a pretty good idea by noting how and when the PC fails. If you press the power button and nothing happens, you’ve got a very different problem than if the PC starts but Windows never loads. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities… @PCWorld
[TECH NEWS] How the Internet of Things knows where gunfire happens – SST’s ShotSpotter pinpoints outdoor, urban gunshots for law enforcement agencies. Now it’s moving indoors with a service for schools… @c|net
DEFEND YOUR JUICE with Battery Doctor. If you are experiencing battery drain on your Android devices (smartphones and tablets), Battery Doctor is definitely an app to look at…
TODAY’S RANDOM TECH SITE PICK featuring a blogger who has been at it since 2007. Very nice tech site…
ACCESS ALL YOUR ONLINE DATA with one simple interface. Combine multiple FREE online storage services and decide which should be selected to host your data…
A FUTURISTIC TECH TOILET that just may end up making your crappy day a happy day…
THE CUSTOMER REVIEWS SAY IT ALL on this natural ergonomic keyboard by Microsoft…
Battery Doctor (Battery Saver)
Battery Doctor, the professional power manager, is the best FREE battery saving app capable of extending your battery life. Over 150 MILLION downloads over Android and iOS worldwide supporting 19 languages.
Defend Your Juice!
– Disable unnecessary apps that drain your battery!
– Task Killer kills tasks with one click!
– Kill apps when screen is off!
– Accurate battery remaining time!
– Accurate charging remaining time!
– Schedule power saving modes for work/class/sleep and more!
– Unique 3 Stage Charging system!
– Wifi/Data/Bluetooth toggle!
– Brightness control!
– CPU Management (for rooted phones)!
– Battery temperature!
– Charging Tips!
– 15 languages supported!
– Simple easy-to-use interface!
Today’s Random Tech Site Pick
(as listed @ Bookmarks4Tech.com)
Why Porting your Mobile Phone Number is Obsolete! – A few years back you would need to worry about keeping that number of yours for your friends and family, so they wouldn’t have to worry about updating that number of yours. In today’s time we have a great option for everyone to keep your number where ever you go. You no longer have to tell people to update there numbers for you… READ MORE
Jolidrive – Your Personal Space In The Cloud
Jolidrive unifies all your content from multiple services in one simple and beautiful interface accessible from anywhere.
Built on HTML5 and Open Web technologies, Jolidrive works with all modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer… GET IT HERE
Toilet of the future? You might want to sit down for this
The problem with trying to redesign something like a toilet, however, is that “it is incredibly difficult to introduce something new” since, like many basic pieces of furniture like chairs or tables, it’s “something most people use all the time without giving it much consideration… READ MORE
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
Microsoft’s best-selling line of ergonomic keyboards can pay dividends in greater comfort. According to some studies, ergonomic keyboard designs, such as the Microsoft Natural line, have been associated with significant reduction of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Rest your wrists against the plush palm rest in a relaxed, natural angle with this keyboard’s curved key bed, ergonomic arc, and reversed slope. Apart from comfort and support, enjoy quick, customizable way to reach files, folders, and web pages with handy hot keys. For close-in tasks, use the Zoom Slider, located in the middle of the keyboard, to zoom in and out with the touch of a finger… CHECK IT OUT HERE
Logitech is the best when it comes to the computer keyboard and mouse. One of their keyboard innovations that is quite impressive (in customer reviews) and is couch friendly is the Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad.
The reason I call this a couch friendly keyboard is because you can connect your laptop (and some tablets) to your TV and control the laptop from the comfort of your couch. The K400 has a range of approximately 33 feet (10 meters) and the best part is that it has a touchpad built right into the keyboard to control the functions of the mouse.
Long-range wireless control
- Reliable Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connection with up to 33 ft range*
- Control your TV-connected laptop from across the room
- Turn up the volume, pause or tweet about the movie you just downloaded—all without leaving the couch
Built-in large touchpad with intuitive Windows 8 gesture support
- No need for a separate mouse
- Large 3.5-inch touchpad with multi-touch navigation for easy horizontal and vertical scrolling
- Convenient left and right click buttons
- No cords, software or hassles
- Plug the Logitech Unifying wireless receiver into your USB port and start navigating
- Tiny receiver can stay in your laptop and connect up to six compatible Unifying wireless devices
12-month battery life**
- Go for a full year without changing batteries
- On-off switch helps you save power when you’re not using the keyboard
- Windows 8/Windows 8 RT, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP
- USB port
Today’s post is a short post, but a good one. A London based web developer and consultant has taken the Google Street View technology to another level.
Simply visit Instant Google Street View, start typing an address, place name or location and be instantly taken there via the Google Street View technology. If no Street view exists, a map will be shown instead.
When performing a search, the search box border will change color to indicate the status of the search:
There are also toggle controls available that allow you to perform the following functions:
Very ingenious and very addictive…
GEEK BONUS AREA
FEATURED TECH PRODUCT
As I mentioned in an earlier article, I never had any “hands-on” experience with Windows 8 until it was officially released by Microsoft back in October. I intentionally did this so that I would have that first time user experience (and challenge); like most of you will have.
As I continue to “find my way” there was one thing I started to wonder about. Was there a way to easily close a Windows 8 app once I opened it? In reality, in the scheme and design of things when it comes to Windows 8, you will find that it really does not matter; however, I wanted to know. I eventually found the answer that works for me on my desktop computer and find myself doing this all of the time now.
When you are working from the “Start Screen” (see screenshot of my Start Screen below) and click on an app, the app will open maximized on your screen and you will immediately notice that there is no close button or minimize button.
What you have to do, is this: When the app is open move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen. When the cursor reaches the top of the screen a “hand” will appear (see cropped screenshot below). When the “hand” is visible on the screen, hold down the left button on your mouse, drag to the bottom of the screen, and the app will disappear (and close). As you are performing the dragging action, visually you will see the app shrink down from full screen to a much smaller screen (or window). Once you teach yourself to do this, I will guarantee it will become second nature to you when you want to close an app.
Note: The cropped screenshot you see above is a Windows 8 app called SmartCalc.
GEEK BONUS AREA
A hot news item this week in the world of computers and information technology has been the re-design of Microsoft’s SkyDrive from its’ standard file management interface to the more metro look (that is the defacto Windows 8 GUI). If you have a Hotmail (or Outlook.com) account, then you can easily get access to SkyDrive. I highly recommend you take advantage of SkyDrive, because Microsoft is really getting this right.
With SkyDrive, you get 7 GB of free storage with SkyDrive—that’s enough for over 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos. For most people, this is plenty of space. But if 7 GB isn’t enough, you can add even more storage for a low yearly fee.
It was not the metro look that captured my attention or that you can now upload and store any type of file; instead, it is a very powerful feature in SkyDrive that allows you to remotely access your files and folders on your Windows (or Mac) computer from anywhere you have internet access. For example, if I am at work and I need a document file from my computer at home, I simply log onto SkyDrive account where I am able to see my entire file/folder/drive(s) structure on my computer at home. This sort of reminds me when I used to manage network attached storage devices (NAS), with the end user interface being quite similar to this.
As long as your home computer is “on” and is running the SkyDrive software, you can access any file you need from your home computer—from anywhere.
In fact, you can browse through files just like you would if you were sitting in front of that PC. Want to show someone a photo on that home PC? You can view photo slide shows and videos on that PC from any browser, from any computer.
Fetch files from your Windows PC from anywhere
Here’s how it works, straight from the horses’ mouth:
- Download SkyDrive for Windows.
- Make sure you leave the box checked during setup that will allow you to “Fetch your files from anywhere.” (You can also choose this later by clicking the SkyDrive icon () in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and clicking Settings. On the General tab, under Fetch files, select Make files on this PC available to me on my other devices, and then click OK.)
- Open your browser and sign in to SkyDrive.com.
Your PCs that have SkyDrive for Windows installed will appear in the Computers menu. Choose the computer that has the file you want, and you can view, print, or download the file you forgot.
GEEK BONUS AREA
I love my Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard, but there is one thing I do not like about it. The keyboard does not tell you when the cap locks key is activated. As a result I find myself often messing with the cap locks key to turn it off.
A solution that I came across, that is automated, is called CapsUnlocker.
What CapsUnlocker does is this. Let’s say I activate the cap locks key and forget to deactivate it. CapsUnlocker, after a period of 30 seconds (or whatever you set it at), will automatically turn off the caps lock key for you. I no longer have to wonder if the caps lock key is on or not.
CapsUnlocker is a portable app that can be set to load at Windows startup…
GEEK BONUS AREA
Talk about a nice keyboard and mouse combo… I have always been a fan of Logitech products and the Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 Keyboard and Mouse are no exception. It is a well designed functional pairing of devices that will make your computing experience all that much better.
Features I Like:
The wave design of the keyboard that brings a natural and more comfortable typing experience, featuring Logitech’s ergonomic curve+wave+palm rest.
The included Logitech SetPoint software that allows you to program and customize the multimedia keys on the keyboard and the buttons on the mouse.
The small (very small) unifying receiver that connects both the keyboard and the mouse.
The long battery life. Seems like I never have to change the battery in either the keyboard or mouse.
The keys are very responsive with no lag time from keyboard to screen.
I bet you are someone that uses the computer on a regular basis that resorts to “hunting and pecking” when it comes to using the keyboard.
Folks, I cannot stress the importance of learning basic keyboarding skills. Personally, I learned to type (on a typewriter) in high school and it is probably one of the most important skills I ever learned. I truly believe, that very class paved the way to my future of learning computers, writing, etc… On a a scale of 1 to 10, my keyboarding skill level is probably a 6 or 7. I still have some fine tuning to do…
Knowing how important it is to myself and other computer users on learning or improving keyboarding skills, I periodically post an article about FREE software that is available where you can be “self-taught” on using the keyboard.
One of my favorites is called TIPP10, a FREE touch typing tutor for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
What sets TIPP10 above the others is the intelligent text selection feature that will automatically focus on the area of the keyboard that you are stuggling with.
The lesson texts react instantly to your typing mistakes by repeating mistyped letters more frequently. The system helps you eliminate typing mistakes and learn touch typing efficiently. A wide range of dictations ensures you’ll never get bored. You will become acquainted with all the keys on the keyboard in 20 sequential training lessons. Commonly used characters are practiced earlier and more frequently than those that appear less frequently.
TIPP10 if very popular (downloaded over a million times) and is also available in a portable version.
The “alt” key, located on both sides of the “spacebar” of your keyboard, is a modifier key that when used in combination with the “numeric keypad” has special powers. Those special powers being the ability to type special characters. For example if you wanted to type the copyright symbol “©” , you hold down the “Alt” key and type “0169” on the numeric keypad and the symbol will magically appear.
You can even create mini pics to use in your chat sessions or at the end of an email, etc… when using the “Alt” key.
ô¿ô = Face——-> Alt 147, Alt 168, Alt 147
If you are wondering what other symbols are available using the the magic “Alt” key, I found the a great visual listing [ CLICK HERE ] .
Did you know that there are built in keyboard shortcuts that you can use to shutdown, sleep, restart or logoff your Windows computer? Well, there are, and they are good to remember in the event the mouse becomes unresponsive. The keyboard shortcuts differ between Windows XP and Windows Vista/Windows 7; however, the initial key press for all of these shortcuts commands are dependent on the Windows key (which is located to the left of the spacebar that displays the Windows Logo on the key).
For Windows XP:
SHUTDOWN – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “U” twice
RESTART – press the WINDOWS KEY, then the letter “U” once and then the letter “R” once
LOGOFF – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “L” twice
SLEEP – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “U” once and the letter “S” once
For Windows Vista/Windows 7:
SHUTDOWN – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “U” to shut down
RESTART – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “R”
LOGOFF – press the WINDOWS KEY then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “L”
SLEEP – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “S”