A friend came home from the Grand Canyon with photos she wanted to transfer to her iPad. She used the “iKlips,” a thumb drive with two ends. One end plugs into your computer and the other into your iPad.

She had a thousand photos of the Grand Canyon, which was perhaps one or two more than necessary, since the Canyon is pretty much the same from century to century. But there was no room left on her iPad, give or take a canyon or so. What is a shutterbug to do? Well, you could delete some of stored photos. After all, how many pictures of Aunt Bertha do you need? Then if you change your mind, you can retrieve those from a file called “Recently Deleted,” a kind of trash can in the Photos app.

Or, you could transfer some of those photos to Google Drive, Dropbox or any of several other free storage options. The most generous of these is Flickr.com, which provides a terabyte of free photo storage. That’s a thousand gigabytes, which is more storage than anyone but the National Geographic can use. (Worldwide, about 1.3 trillion photos are expected to be shot this year. Since they are all terribly important, lots of storage will be needed.)

Another way to free up more space is by installing the latest operating system. We thought our iPad Mini was up to date but noted that it had very little storage space left. After we tapped “settings,” and then “software update,” we regained 850 megabytes — almost a gigabyte! And of course you can always delete apps, either under “settings,” or by holding your finger on an app till it jiggles and gives you an “x.” Bye, bye.

Getting back to the iKlips thumb drive, it’s similar to the HooToo “iPlugMate.” One difference is the iPlugMate works with Windows XP, while the iKlips doesn’t. (We want it known that we are not responsible for strange gadget names.) The iKlips starts at $69 for 32 gigabytes, compared to $30 for the iPlugMate. After using them for three months, the iPlugMate stopped working. We have no explanation; probably something political.

Instant Art

Google has a fun new site named AutoDraw.com, and it’s free. It takes scribbles and turns them into something recognizable.

We started by using our mouse to draw a rough picture of a school bus — just a long box with some circles for wheels. Google put a few school buses at the top of the screen. We pointed to the one we liked best, and holy mackerel, our drawing turned into a neat looking picture of a school bus.  Joy painted it yellow. She added red headlights, a tree and a building. Looked good! We couldn’t add people, however. Every time she drew one, the program changed it to some other creature: a dragon, a dog, a bear, etc. Okay, it’s obviously still a work in progress. But it’s free and it’s amusing; we spent an hour on it.

AutoDraw is one of several options on Google’s artificial intelligence site: There’s one that will identify any object in another language when you point your phone’s camera at it. Another option creates song lyrics, like: “We’ve got glasses in this shot; could be eyewear, maybe not.” Okay, maybe no awards this year, but some day.

A Rosie View

Repairing or changing a web site can cost thousands, so we use Esther Rosie, at EstherRosie.com. She’s in England and generally charges around $50, sometimes nothing.

We found her years ago through the freelancer site Elance.com, but she has since gone on her own. (We’ve gone to that site before to contract for other skills, but results have been mixed.) One of the nice things about Rosie is she’s easy to understand, unlike other programmers we’ve dealt with. She specializes in WordPress sites. WordPress makes it easy to make changes to a website without any programming knowledge. If your site isn’t already a WordPress site, she can convert it for you. Every so often, there’s a problem we can’t fix. Recently, it was a hack attack. Why a hacker should bother with our site is a mystery, since we don’t sell anything and offer no political opinions.

Amazon Conspiracy?

If we were conspiracy theorists, we’d suspect Amazon of something or other, perhaps stupidity.

On February 28, Joy wrote a review of the book, “Law Professors,” by Stephen Presser, and rated it five stars. It appeared on the site until April 10, when it suddenly disappeared. Bob wrote a positive review of the book two days later and it too disappeared. We tried to re-submit them and Amazon sent a note saying it will not post reviews of anyone perceived to be biased.

Darn, they caught us. We were biased in favor of the book because we liked it. This is apparently quite different from so-called “professional” reviewers, who accept money for reviewing things on Amazon and are therefore considered not biased. We just don’t seem to understand e-commerce.

How to Turn Your Old Laptop Into a Chromebook

A reader sent us a great article on “How to Turn Your Old Laptop Into a Chromebook.” If you’re even a little bit technically competent, it’s a good way to save $300 and get a lightning fast machine, ready for email, the web and more. (Chromebooks use Google’s Chrome operating system and the programs are free online.)

There are many of these “how to turn your laptop into a Chromebook” articles online, but if you add the words “by Wayne Williams” to your search phrase, you’ll see the one the reader sent us. (Or click here.)  It’s easy to follow and nicely done. We plan to try it the next time we’re ready to dump a laptop.



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