April 14th, 2011

So this week’s tech tip is a little bit different, not a program, or a full-fledged website, but simply a little trick or, dare I say it, tip. Google’s search engine has a number of functions which most people know very little about. Interestingly enough, they can be exploited with a little bit of trickery to allow you to do things that you never even thought about! So, without further ado, here’s the tip: Try using the “site:” prefix in an image search. What do I mean? Well, for example, try searching “site:maxkelley.com,” and it will return images only on that website. Or, try searching “site:websterschools.org” and it’ll give you a ton of photos, all from the Webster Schools website. It’s a neat way to explore content on a website, probably unlike anything you’ve ever done before!

NOTE: It’s critical to have no space between “site:” and the website address, otherwise it won’t work right!

March 29th, 2011

So, last week I mentioned HomePipe, which allows you to access all of the files and music on your home computer using its web interface. Our very own Mr. Turner gave it a try, and thought it was neat, and then was inspired to find something that does it better. So what did he find? TeamViewer! TeamViewer is a service that allows you not only to exchange files with your home computer, but also to remote access your desktop from another computer, so it’s like you’re sitting in front of your computer at home! It’s also extremely useful for messing with people, and making your little brother or sister think that the computer is haunted. Give it a try, TeamViewer.com is where it’s at!

March 22nd, 2011

I’m afraid that I’ve found perhaps the most useful Tech Tip in the history of Forever. You will probably both love and hate me at the same time for it. Know how you used to be able to tell your teachers, “Ohhhh, I left my assignment at home, on my computer…” Well. Those days are over. Good news is, if you LISTEN to this tech tip, you’ll be able to actually get the assignment (provided that you *did* do it) using this neat service called HomePipe. Install the HomePipe client on your computer at home (make sure to leave it running and connected to the Internet) and you can access all of your files via your HomePipe account on HomePipe.net. This is a free service and it actually works REALLY well, I even tried it out! (Thanks to Dave, K2DSL, for a correction on the URL)

March 8th, 2011

Ever felt that your internet connection is being slow? Not sure whether it really is, or if it’s your imagination, and you don’t want to call RoadRunner, or Frontier, or your ISP to sit on hold for 50 billion years? I understand completely… I love hold music as much as the next guy, but sometimes, I just want an answer: is my internet connection performing up to par? Well, SpeedTest.net is an excellent place to test that! It will run a connection speed test, and show you charts comparing your connection speed to that of others using the same internet service provider as you, and other neat statistics. Give it a try, make sure your connection is up to par!

Max Kelley's Test Results

March 1st, 2011

I can’t think of any better way to usher in the month of March than with a finely crafted Tech Tip! Luckily, Ms. Alyssa Goodness had her thinking cap on over February break and found a neat site called Pageflakes! Unfortunately, she was incompetent in her copy-and-pasting skills, so all I received as a like from her was www.pageflakes. PageFlakes.what, you ask? Well, I didn’t know either… Luckily, I did some research for you, and determined that it’s www.PageFlakes.com, which allows you to create your own homepage which you can fill with little “Flakes,” or bits of info like forecasts, calendars, photos from your friends, etc. So, when you open your browser, all of the things you want are right there! Perhaps next week’s tech tip will be on how to properly send your friends FULL website addresses? ;)

February 10th, 2011

This week’s tech tip was suggested to me by a Thomas student, Gabby Longmore, who claimed that she “totally had a tech tip for me” and, I quote, that it “shows you every video in the world.” What the heck does she mean? Who knows… but I took it upon myself to do a little bit of research on the subject, and discovered… that she was right! Cooliris is a plugin for your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome) that organizes all of your Facebook photos, Google Image searches, videos, and numerous other multimedia items into one flowing, organized wave in your browser. It’s hard to explain… you’ll just have to try it, from cooliris.com.

February 1st, 2011

Are you sick and tired of settling for poor quality streaming TV shows you get from that OTHER website? Me too… Well, lucky for you, mere mortals, as I have devised a guide to show you how to download TV shows for your watching pleasure (even in HD!) There are five simple steps:

  1. Download a BitTorrent client (for simplicity’s sake, try the official BitTorrent.com client)
  2. Visit Wikipedia and look up the list of episodes for your particular show.
  3. Visit Nerrot.com and type in the name of the show followed by the season and episode numbers. For example, type in Glee S02E06 for the 6th episode of the second season of Glee. For HD, suffix it with HD or 720 or 1080 Click GRAB!
  4. Open the torrent file in your BitTorrent client, pick a folder for it to save the video file to, and let the download start.
  5. Sit back, and wait, then enjoy your video with a media player like VLC Media Player (videolan.org)…

January 25th, 2011

Currently working on a research paper? Will you be working on a research paper soon? Not working on a research paper? Or, do you just need a way to organize your thoughts? Some of us like to use good old paper index cards to do so… but why kill trees, when you can just use Thoughtbox.es? It allows you, after registering a free account with your email address, to create up to three “trains of thought” for free with numerous “thoughtboxes” per train. If you really like it, you can upgrade to the “super” version by paying $1.25 a month, or $15 a year, which… if this helps you, might not be too bad of an investment. For the record, I have no affiliation with this website, I just think that this is a great way to do research papers, because it also allows you to *share* those trains of thought with others, making it a great collaboration tool. Enjoy!

January 20th, 2011

This week’s tech tip deals with graphing calculators once again… This time, it’s not some lame online graphing calculator that sometimes sort of works… This one’s real! Microsoft has released Microsoft Mathematics, which you install onto your computer and will let you graph 2D and EVEN 3D equations! This is all for free, and it looks to be absolutely excellent… give it a try. Download here.

January 11th, 2011

Ever gotten an assignment from a teacher, who gives you a piece of paper with the URL of webpages you have to go to? And aren’t they *always* about 50 thousand characters long? At least! Or, perhaps, wanted to show a friend an eBay auction, but didn’t want to write down the entire, huge, address for it. What does one do? Well, it’s time for a URL shortening service, my friend. How do they work? Well, it’s simple: you go to the website of the URL shortening services, paste in the long URL you wish to share, and it’ll spit a shorter one back at you! Where can you find one of these newfangled sites, you ask? There are quite a few which do a decent job. A year or so ago, I would have told you tinyurl.com would be the place to go… Today, bit.ly is, in my opinion, a superior URL shortening service. It allows you to track how many people used your short URL, how many people tweeted about that short URL, and allows you to customize the short URL into something you can remember. It’s really neat, and really convenient!

Also, try dragging this link ( Bit.ly sidebar ) to your bookmarks bar… it’ll let you bit.ly ANY webpage in one click!