Posted - December 14 2011 : 23:25:49
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Question: Sarah says, "Occasionally, I have a message at the bottom of the screen that the browser may be slow because of "add-ons" and gives me a list of add-ons and how much time they take. Not sure what this means. Should I delete all of the add-ons?"
Answer: Good question, Sarah. You have Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9. This version of Internet Explorer monitors how fast its components load because one of the complaints leveled against Internet Explorer is that it's slow. If any add-on component takes longer than two tenths of a second to start up, then you'll see this message. That lets you stay in charge of how fast your browser loads. Right-click just to the left of the home icon that goes to your start page. If there isn't a check mark next to Command bar, click Command bar. Then click Tools on that Command bar, point to Toolbars, then click Disable add-ons. At the bottom of the window that comes up, right above the Disable All button, is a sentence that begins "Tell me when the delay caused by add-ons exceeds:" click the time shown and set it to something higher so that you don't see the message any more.
Cool Site: HomeschoolMath.net: I've got a site this week for homeschooling parents looking to teach their kids math. HomeSchoolMath.Net is a website that was done by a math teacher who became a homeschooling and work-at-home mom. The site doesn't emphasize memorization of rules so much as the understanding of the concepts behind math. She writes a blog and a free monthly newsletter. The site features free worksheets, links to affordable math books, a list of online math-based games and resources, a curriculum guide, and math teaching articles and lessons on how to teach math. It seems those would be great for someone who's just beginning as a homeschool math teacher, such as do's and don'ts of teaching problem solving, or how to drill multiplication tables. The site now includes videos and a YouTube channel.
Cool Gadget: Marvel Mystery Oil: This week's gadget isn't much of a gadget: it doesn't have any moving parts. But I had to tell you about it anyway. This is the time of year when people go over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house; and we made a trek last week. It was a long trip, 8 hours in the car one way always is. But on those trips it's important to get the best gas mileage you can, and you'll hear about tons of gimmicks that purport to do just that. This week's gadget is Marvel Mystery Oil. You can get a gallon of it for around $15 at Wal-Mart or elsewhere. What you do is that you replace a quart of oil at your next oil change with a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. You also add 4 ounces of it to every 10 gallons of gas in the tank. It cleans your engine on the inside and helps your mileage. Anyway, the best mileage I ever remember getting on those long trips was 26.2 miles/gallon once, and most often 24-ish. On last week's trip, my van got as much as 33 miles/gallon. We went from Texas Motor Speedway on the north side of Fort Worth all the way to Athens before the mileage dropped below 30mpg. We wrapped up in the low 29's/high 28's. By the way, my van has over 95,000 miles on it. I obviously won't guarantee that you'll get 5-6mpg more than before, but I know I did.
Cool App: JaredCo Flashlight: This week's app is for Blackberry phones. Suppose something happens and you don't have a flashlight handy. What do you do? Well, if your phone is handy you can use one of the many flashlight apps for your phone. But most of these just turn the screen white and maybe set the backlight to its maximum setting. This one is different. The Jared Company offers a flashlight app for the Blackberry that turns on the video light. Now, I guess it goes without saying that this app requires that your Blackberry have an LED video light, so check to be sure yours is on the list before you get the app because while it's not free, it's only a dollar. But if you need it, you need it.
It's All "Geek" To Me: Memory: I noticed that we have used the term Memory over and over on Tech Tip Friday and we have never actually defined it, so that's this week's term: Memory. Memory can refer to just about any kind of digital storage medium, but most often it refers to your computer's workspace. I heard a really great analogy for memory this past week: you, the processor are working in a library. You're working at a table, and that table represents memory. The bigger the table, the more stuff you can spread out and work on, but however big that table is, when you fill it up, that's all you can work on at a time. It also is representative of memory because whatever is on the table is quick for you to reach over and grab. The library's shelves represent the hard drive. But to access those shelves, you have to stop what you're doing, get whatever you need and then bring that back to the table and then you can work with it. The shelves have a huge capacity for storing information, and that capacity dwarfs the capacity of the table, but it's much slower to access than the table because they're further away. So, memory is the computer's workspace.
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Disable the "Speed up browsing by disabling add-ons" Message in Internet Explorer 9:
Marvel Mystery Oil:
Jared Co’s Flashlight for Blackberry:
Jared Co’s Flashlight for Blackberry at the Blackberry store:
Memory defined at TechTerms: