Posted - November 21 2011 : 08:30:40
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Question: Peggy says, "I have Vista and installed my updates, but now I can't find my favorites. Where did they go?"
Answer: Good question, Peggy. Your favorites are still there. In the process of updating your computer, you installed Internet Explorer 9. This is Microsoft's latest and greatest browser, but it's only available for Vista and Windows 7; XP users can't get it. One of the big things about version 9 is that Microsoft took some cues from Google Chrome and have shrunk the browser's controls and moved them around. Favorites have been moved around a lot in the various incarnations of Internet Explorer, but now they're in that star button on the right side at the top. You've got a picture of a house that gets you to your Home page, on the far right is a gear that lets you get at the menu, and right there between them is a star, and if you click that star, you'll see what they call the Favorites center where you can get at your browsing history, your RSS feeds, and your favorites. The nice thing about the favorites center, which has done this since version 7, is that it drops down when you click the button to use it and gets out of the way after you use it. You can also click a button that looks like a push pin, or one that has a green arrow pointing to the left to pin the favorites center open, like if you're going to be using it a while. The difference between this one and earlier versions is that whereas the favorites center used to open and pin on the left side, now it opens up on the right, but if you pin it, it jumps over to the left.
Cool Site: Alphabetimals: Here's another site that's Zak-approved: Alphabetimals. It's a site that's for kids who are just learning their alphabet and reading and animals. That's where the name alphabetimals comes from. The page features an interactive online book that has animals representing each of the letters from A to Z on it. The X-Ray fish seemed a bit of a stretch, but it's OK anyway. The pages can be dragged with the mouse to turn them just like regular pages of a regular book, or you can click the arrow buttons on either side of the book to move from page to page. The left hand page has a picture of the animal drawn in the shape of a letter. On the right page, the name of the animal is written with a button above and below the name that you can click to either say the animal's name, or play a sound chosen as the animal's sound. I say chosen because not every animal shown makes an actual sound. Beneath the book is a box where you can type words (like your child's name) that appear in alphabetimal letters. You can then print it out, get it on a T-shirt. Scrolling down the page, one finds links to print out coloring pages, flash cards, or a poster. Now the neat thing about getting a T-shirt, mug, or bumper sticker with your child's name on it is that for every purchase made, a textbook gets sent to Botswana in Africa.
Cool Gadget: SelfCharge Auto Jumper: Sure was chilly this morning. It's getting to be about that time. We usually get a good cold snap here around Thanksgiving. And then is when you'll find that your car's battery is run down. Well this week's gadget can help. Vat 19 comes thru again with the SelfCharge Auto Jumper. The SelfCharge plugs into your cigarette lighter and in 10 minutes will recharge your car's battery so that you can start it. Better yet, because it plugs into your lighter, you don't have to find a Good Samaritan to give you a jump. You don't have to open the hood, telegraphing to everyone that you are vulnerable because you can't leave. It is small enough to fit in the glove box, and comes with an AC adapter to recharge it at home. If you forget to charge it at home, you can recharge the jumper just by driving around with it plugged into the lighter/power outlet plug. Don't do that all the time, but if you're going to be driving for longer than about an hour, you can charge the jumper just in case you need it later. It runs $45, but it's such a great idea, you might be able to find something similar somewhere else for less.
Cool App: PictureParty: This week, we've got an iOS app, and I promise to do a Blackberry app soon, but PictureParty is an app for your Apple iPhone/Pad/Pod Touch that gives you a really nice way to display your photos. The app puts any of several themed frames around your pictures when they're displayed. The frames are not permanent as far as I know. It uses various transitions when swapping photos to make the presentation interesting and it can or will play music from either its own built-in library, or your iTunes library. The app costs $1.99 and is available either in the iTunes store, or at the link in the show notes.
It's All "Geek" To Me: Hashtags: This week's term is Hashtag. You might have noticed lately that your favorite TV shows are putting, in addition to ads and their logo bug, a word that has the pound symbol in front of it. That pound symbol is the shifted 3 on the keyboard. That's called a hashtag, and it was invented by the users of Twitter to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. In the case of TV shows, the creators are trying to suggest which hashtag to use so that they can find it and get a better idea what their audience is saying about them.
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Getting started with Internet Explorer 9:
SelfCharge Auto Jumper at Vat19:
PictureParty for iOS:
Hashtag defined at Twitter: