Learning about computers using trial and error

It seems as if a lot of people are hanging by a thread when it comes to understanding their various computing devices and what they are capable of.

Don’t be afraid of breaking these things. They’re practically indestructible short of getting out a hammer and actually bashing on them.

My first computer mentor, Mark Siegel, made this abundantly clear to me and it has been one of the most important lessons I ever learned about computers. It holds true today. Just try stuff. Are you wondering how to connect your phone to your TV and some way? Try it. You won’t break anything. In other words it won’t be irreversible in some way.

But don’t be afraid to try things. It’s this trial and error that gets you so much further in understanding your computer or any other device than any other action you could probably take.

Of course there YouTube now which speeds things along, but just get in there and do it , whatever you are wanting to do.


Initiative and The Message To Garcia

As a little side project at work, I decided to get Elbert Hubbard’s Message to Garcia distributed to about 25 key management positions in our company.

If you don’t already know, Hubbard wrote this short essay on initiative in a single hour back in 1899 and it was so powerful as to be reprinted to the tune of 47 million copies! … 


Android: Faster Note Taking with Google Now

Ever had a fleeting thought you wanted to get jotted down but it left you before you could scramble together a pen and a napkin/post-it/your palm?

If you’ve got a fairly recent version of Android on your phone and you also have the Google Now app (whether you realized it or not–it comes standard),  you are one touch away from capturing that thought (well, one if you have your headset on, two if not). … 


Samsung SG4 Update to Lollipop (Sprint)

phone storage fullApparently it’s necessary in some cases to reset to factor settings after an upgrade to Lollipop.

After a much anticipated update finally arrived, I eagerly went through the motions to get it onto my phone.

After the phone restarted, I immediately noticed I was just about out of storage. Many of my apps needed to update themselves but could not due to insufficient space.

While I wasn’t keeping a super close eye on my storage, it seemed odd I would be almost out since I keep a pretty lean phone.

Deleting apps wasn’t solving the problem either.

So I backed up the phone with Helium and Samsung (for phone log data, etc.) and did the factor reset.

Much better! Phone is only half full now. It’s still restoring a few apps but I don’t see it eating up 6 GB with apps.

As much as I didn’t need the interruption this morning, it’s always nice to get a clean, efficient phone again–at least for the time being.

All is well now. If you have problems with your Lollipop update and storage, I’d highly recommend taking the time to do a reset.


Google Inbox Meeting Invite Fail

No calendar invite functionality in Google Inbox (at least not yet)?

This seems like a pretty important fail but maybe it’s just me.

Just finished setting up a meeting with a friend for this week.

A bit later, I received an email from him and viewed it in Chrome on my Windows PC.

It had a subject, but the email was blank.

Inbox shows blank instead of  invite 2014-12-07_22-14-02 … 


Use Google Inbox Snooze to Place for Coupons

If you get coupons and like to use them, but often forget to like I do, Google’s new Inbox reminders/snooze feature might be of interest.

Here’s a coupon I received today from Michaels.

Inbox Snooze to Place

We like to go in there for homeschool craft ideas, picture frames and the like, so I would like to use this one–especially since it’s a decent discount and doesn’t seem to have an expiration.

So all I need to do is remember to use it.

Google Inbox snooze to place to the rescue!

You can now snooze emails to a time or a place.

So I just looked up my local store’s address and popped it into the place field after clicking on the click in the email (you can see it just above the “Pick place” dialog in the image above).

I’m going to try and test this by visiting Michaels in the next day or so.  I’ll post an update on how it works.


Google Inbox: First Impressions

Wow. HUGE update to Google’s email experience with the new Inbox app for both desktop and mobile.

Definitely a cleaner, more focused feel.

Really like the Compose (aka: “+” ) favorites showing who I email the most.  That’s a nice touch.

And reminders right there too…hmmm. May have to revisit certain reminders which I’ve been tossing into Evernote for lack of a better path.

Also, now that all travel related mail is in one place, it’s clear I need to do more of that. 😉 … 


How to post pictures on Pinterest from your Gmail

gmail to pinterestIf you like to post pictures on Pinterest and you use Gmail for your email,  you’ll want to read this.

Someone sent me  some Pin-able images and I found myself struggling to get them to Pinterest.

Here’s how I finally did it:

  1. Share to Google+ (which I usually do anyway) by hovering over the image and clicking the “Share” button that appears
  2. Go to your profile on G+ and click on your new post of that image.
  3. Click on Pinterest extension in Chrome (or use the bookmarklet in some other browser).


Bonus: using the Chrome Pinterest button means you can also share to Twitter and Facebook from there. So you’ve shared to four social media in a few short steps by simply starting with Google+.