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The Best Ways to Troubleshoot Tech Issues

“It’s not working” is terrible feedback. It tells me nothing about what you were doing, what you were trying to do, and what the app didn’t do. It’s akin to looking at menu items without descriptions of the dishes. When you run into an issue and need to fill out a bug report or support ticket, try to answer these questions…

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Quick Tip: Learn new Languages for Free with Spotify

 So it’s been a while and for that I apologize, but I have been writing for a bunch of other blogs. Today I come to you with a quick tip  that came to me just this morning. Over the weekend I ran into an guy who spoke Italian and after talking for a while I decided to resurrect my New Year’s Resolution to learn Italian. While Rosetta Stone can get expensive, there might be a simpler freer way to learn certain languages.

There are tons of CDs to  help you learn languages, so I  went to Spotify and searched, “Learn Italian.”  Low and behold, a bunch of CDs came  up for me including Let’s Learn Italian!. And Italian isn’t the only language that’s there. You can do the same for Spanish, (some) French, and even Chinese.

If you’re not on Spotify, you can sign up for free.


How to Justify the $5 (or $10) for Rdio

Recently I signed up for online music streaming site Rdio as I was looking to fill the void that lala left after Apple ate them up and never spit them back out. I was using Grooveshark for free, but everything was pretty unorganized. I decided to take the plunge and pay the $5 monthly subscription for Rdio, and justifying the purchase is pretty easy.
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10 Android Apps the Make my Life Easier

It’s no secret that I love Android as a platform, and I favor Android phones over the iPhone. I did my Master’s Thesis on the G1, bought the Motorola Droid- the first Android phone available on Verizon, and recently upgraded to the HTC Droid Incredible. One of the reasons I like Android so much is because of the openness of the Market Place, and the ability to install non-market apps on your phone. Apps are very powerful for any platform because they make your phone more personal. Today I want to tell you about 10 Android apps that have made my life easier!

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My Thoughts on Twitter for Mac

I’ve been using Twitter for Mac for a few days now after TweetDeck went AWOL and started using up all of my CPU on me; I’ve got some thoughts on it. I used Tweetie (the amazing Twitter app for Macs) for a while and loved it (who didn’t?); when they stopped updating it, I stopped using it. Now that it’s back as the official Twitter app for Macs, I’m back in and have high hopes. Here’s what I think.

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Why iTunes Proves Apple is Only in it to Make Money

I know what you’re going to say; “All companies want to make money.”  As a red-blooded, meat-eating, American capitalist, I think that’s a good thing. But there seems to be a thought among computer nerds (and most Apple product users) that Apple is the white light to Microsoft’s Eye of Sauron (sorry…I recently watched Lord of the Rings). That simply isn’t true, and iTunes proves it.  It also proves that you don’t need to have the best, you just need to market it the right way.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why iTunes is the bay window looking into what Apple really cares about most (hint: it’s money).

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My Thoughts on Sparrow

Sparrow is a Mac only desktop email client specifically for GMail. They way they describe it on their website  is this way:

Sparrow is a minimalist mail application for Mac. It was designed to keep things simple and efficient. No fancy stuff here… just your mail and nothing else.

I decided to take it for a spin; I’m not a huge fan of Apple Mail (or most desktop clients), but Sparrow seemed different since it’s specifically for GMail.

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Do We Trust 3rd Party Apps Too Much?

Photo by iowa_spirit_walker

The other day I installed Sparrow, a GMail desktop client for Mac (review on that soon). Without thinking anything of it, I put in my username and password. When it told me I had the wrong username and password, even though I did not, I started to get a little worried (turns out it’s because I didn’t have IMAP enabled in GMail). You see, I was willing to give this brand new software a try without knowing anything about the developers or the software, except that it looked cool, and I willingly gave the username and password to my primary email account of the last 6 years. That got me thinking about how many of us just trust 3rd party applications.

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Facebook Places

A couple of weeks ago Facebook announced the latest service in their social networking scheme, Places. It allows you to ‘check-in’ using your iPhone or the mobile web and post your location to your Facebook profile. You can also tag friends and see who is nearby. I asked my students- college freshmen- what they thought of Facebook Places and got some pretty good replies. Let’s take a look!

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