GOOGLE WIFI

From the earliest days, one of the primary rules about computers and related technology has been “No matter what you get, you have to get something else to make it work.” For example: We wanted our new Amazon Echo Dot to play thunderstorms in the bedroom as we were going to sleep. (This is one of those digital know-it-alls that you place on a table and ask it to tell you things, usually simple things, like “what’s the weather out there?”) Naturally enough, this didn’t work, because the bedroom was too far from the office router — all of 30 feet. So we bought a “Google WiFi” extender to extend our Internet signal there. This is what is often called […]

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THE NEW CHROMEBOOK

Topics: the new Chromebook, 3D art and photos, glamorous camping, news, tech tips.

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DRONE ENTREPRENEURS

First there was the Drones Club, then Drone Racing and now: making some money with drones. Our friend Lee gets his family a tech present every year. Last year it was drones. Lee’s 20-something daughter, a civil engineer, started using hers to offer aerial photography and video to construction sites. Then she started her own drone business, offering these services as a certified remote pilot in Wisconsin. If you Google the phrase “how to be a drone entrepreneur,” several sites come up. The first, from Virgin.com, describes several possibilities. One is farming. Drones have been crop-dusting in Japan for 15 years, and U.S. farmers are getting started. American farms are much larger and farmers here are looking for drones that […]

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DOS IS BOSS

Topics: Using DOS instead of Windows to save photos quickly. Virtual reality for kids. Internuts. Digitizing a paper photo with the free Google PhotoScan.

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CHAT WITH A WORLD WAR I SOLDIER

Topics: Texting a soldier, retro game, video trends, avoiding loud commercials, family safety settings, sketching tips, ten enigmas that defy explanation.

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TEXTING FROM YOUR COMPUTER

Joy’s sister recently sent her an email saying: “Look at your text messages.” (She implied, but did not add, “Dummy!”)  We’re much more likely to see email on our computer than texts on our phone and Sis knows it. We’re that rare couple who doesn’t live on their phones. So what we needed was a free Windows app called “MySMS,” which is for Android phones only. The acronym stands for “Short Message Service.” You can get it from MySMS.com. Once installed on your computer, it can copy all the text messages that were sent to your smartphone — as long as you have another app installed on your phone. That’s also called MySMS and you get it from the Google […]

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PAINTERS USING COREL PAINTER

 PainterArtist.com/masters has links to a marvelous group of artists who use the “Corel Painter” program to create their art. Some of them have tutorials.

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BACK TO THE PAST

Every new Windows computer is supposed to be better than the last. But the old ones do something the new ones can’t: they run old programs. There’s an estimated 250 million Windows XP computers out there. They are powerful computers, better than anything NASA had when they landed men on the moon, and they’re cheap. Joy bought a refurbished Dell for $70. That’s less than we paid for an electric toothbrush. And furthermore, it works great. So what’s the problem? Well, Microsoft has abandoned Windows XP — no more support, no more updates. But that doesn’t matter if you don’t go on the Internet. In short, this has to be a stand-alone machine, isolated. They — the mysterious and malevolent […]

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FREE ART FROM THE NEW YORK LIBRARY

Publicdomain.nypl.org/pd-visualization takes you to thousands of items you can download for free from the New York Public Library. These were all online before but are newly downloadable. You can group the collection by century (going as far back as the 11th century) or by color or genre. In the 20th century section, we saw a lot of commercial posters, and we like those, but there’s a little bit of everything.

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FUN WITH PHOTOS

“Fotojet” is a free online program for turning photos into magazine covers, greeting cards, and exotic prints or digital art without the bother of a learning curve (like the long one in figuring out Photoshop).

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