Archive for October, 2011
Monday, October 24th, 2011
If you have a relative that is a technology geek, you are grateful. He can sit down at your computer and accomplish in a matter of minutes what may have taken you hours or days to figure out. Plus, he can save you a ton of money on tech support. If he is a ‘true’ technology geek, he will fit these 10 signs.
- Jealous Wife – If he is married, his wife is jealous, not of other women, but of his electronics, which always have his attention more than she does.
- GPS Dependent – A true technology geek can no longer give you directions anywhere. He is dependent on his gps to get him wherever he goes. Without it, he probably couldn’t find his way to work or back home again.
- Digital Bathroom Reading – You will not find print magazines for reading material in the geek’s bathroom, a Kindle or Nook will be available with magazine subscriptions and the rest of his library. You will not find “The Dummies Guide…” to anything in his library.
- Sweetheart Tweets – When a geek is feeling especially affectionate towards his wife, the world will know it, because he’ll send her a tweet telling her so, even if she’s sitting in the same room.
- Lightning Fingers – Just watch their fingers fly over a keyboard, and you’ll know if they are true geek or not. The fastest typist in the world can’t keep up with the lightning fingers of a techno geek.
- Black Friday Shopper – Yes, you will see the true technology geek out early on Black Friday and waiting in line before the stores open. Of course, he will be at the Apple Store, not Target, and Best Buy will be next on his list.
- Harddrive Multiples – Most people only have harddrives in their computers. A few might have a backup harddrive. A true geek will have many, many harddrives of various sizes and they will probably all be full.
- Trekky – This doesn’t mean that he wears Spock ears and dresses up in Star Trek uniforms, but he is a Star Trek fan nevertheless. Star Trek may have even been his first introduction to the fascinating world of technology.
- Flash drive carrier – If you need a flash drive for any reason, just ask him. He probably has at least one on his key chain and another in his pocket. Why would you go anywhere without one?
- Speaks Geek – He talks in a language that only other geeks can understand. He puts posts on facebook and twitter that are written totally in geek and are responded to in more geek language from his geek network. All of it remains gibberish to the rest of us. Flux capacitor?
If your techno geek does not possess all ten of these signs, then he may not be fully matured into true geekdom, as of yet. If no one stands in his way, he will get there. May he always be available when your computer crashes and your cellphone needs programming. We love our geeks!
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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Tutors come in all shapes and sizes: short, tall, round and virtual. That’s right, fast becoming a “most popular” choice for alternative academic instruction is the online tutor. Online tutoring services are springing up like mushrooms, because they fit today’s scholarly needs so well. Youngsters raised on video games and social networking are often right-at-home in an academic environment that has limited interpersonal contact.
Tests are so important today, for students and business professionals alike, that every possible advantage is sought to gain even a tiny advantage over an increasingly competitive field. Online services work for a variety of reasons, and it is likely that they will continue to expand offerings and programs. With so many new choices, it is imperative that prospective students or parents of students carefully check out a company before committing to anything.
- Cater to Today – Younger students have grown up in a world full of electronic gadgetry, and they are at-home in a learning environment replete with flashing lights and instant gratifications.
- 24/7/366 – Whenever the student is ready to work is the right time to work, and the online approach is available around-the-clock. The night-owl and the early-bird can both access tutors when it suits them.
- Comfortable Setting – Few will opt for the comforts of a school desk if the same material can be covered, while lazing in a recliner or sitting out on the back deck enjoying a cool breeze through your hair.
- Results – There are failures, for sure, but the majority of those who try online tutoring are very happy with the results, and those who administer different national exams say that online tutors have proven to be beneficial. Scores have risen dramatically among those who have accessed tutoring help before taking exams, and overall course work has also improved.
- Self-Starters – Some people thrive in a classroom setting, while others do better when left to themselves. Online tutoring can help the individualist in ways a traditional setting might not be able to help.
- Cost – The price structures of online tutoring may result in significant consumer savings versus hiring personal instructors. You may need more than one tutor, and an online service can make that more convenient.
- Versatility – Online services allow students to delve as deeply as needed in any segment of study, which can be a great help when preparing for specific tests as well as for general curriculum requirements.
- Make-Up Work – If you have been ill or absent from traditional school for any length of time, online schooling may be the way for you to catch-up and re-establish yourself with your group.
- More Options – Finding a tutor that matches your child’s specific needs can be difficult, when dealing with the limited options available in your local area. You have many more options to choose from when it comes to online tutors. You can find specialists in almost any subject and for any age group, from K-12 and beyond.
- Convenient location – For parents of K-12 students, the convenience of having the tutoring done at home is a huge benefit. Parents have a hard enough time trying to get all the kids to their different after-school locations without adding a tutor appointment into the mix.
Before you finalize your selection of a tutor or a tutoring service, make sure you have done your “homework” and compared what is available. Then make sure you sharpen your #2 mouse and you’ll be ready-to-go.
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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Social networking sites were originally created to connect people, but today’s sites do so much more. Everyone knows that successful careers are built on who you know. So, whether you’re looking for a new job or just wanting to move up in your field, these ten sites can help you move forward.
- LinkedIn – The site for professional connections, leads, and jobs. These are all business people, and that’s what you’re looking for. Making connections is an essential part of any career, and, should you find yourself looking to change companies, start a new career, or simply move up in your field, you want a wide range of people to help you achieve your goal.
- Facebook – The go-to site for everyone now, Facebook overtook MySpace as the most popular social networking site and caters to millions of users. The ability to make connections and renew acquaintances allows Facebook users to connect with current co-workers and potential employers they may never have come across in the real world. Be careful of what you post and who you friend though, employers will check you out. Join groups that show what kind of worker you are, and avoid things that could reflect negatively.
- Twitter – Tweeting what you are knowledgeable about just may get you noticed. You’d be surprised how many ‘lurkers’ there are on Twitter, and some of those people may be looking for the next big thing in your field. By following groups and individuals in the field you are in, or one you are interested in, you can garner all sorts of useful information. People can pack a lot in a tweet.
- Classmates – Reunite with old friends and teachers, bond with classmates you never knew in school, and make new connections worldwide. After all, you never know where your friends have ended up. It could be that the class clown is now a CEO and in despite need of some trustworthy employees. You could be just what he’s looking for.
- DeviantART – For those in more creative fields, this site may be the answer for you. Allowing users to post their artwork and original designs, DeviantART provides a medium for artists of all kinds to reach potential employers, gallery owners, and buyers.
- MyLife – Similar to Classmates, MyLife helps to reunite former friends, relatives, and loved ones. The added benefit is that you can search for yourself and see what other people will see when they look for you. This will help you to control and edit your web presence, the contents of which could affect your future.
- LiveJournal – Another ‘artsy’ site, LiveJournal appeals to the writer/blogger-type artist, which is great exposure for such a private field. Connecting to communities and showing off your skills could help move you forward. You never know who’ll be reading.
- MySpace – Ah, the old version of Facebook. Sad to say, MySpace has lost its appeal for many, but it is still the tried and true for some companies. Keep it updated and pertinent; you might be surprised by who is still there.
- Perfspot – The perfect spot for college grads and young professionals, Perfspot is poised to be the new ‘it’ thing in social networking. Connect with other young professionals and share tips, job offers, and info.
- Ecademy – A membership organization for entrepreneurs and small business owners, this site is not free, but it offers help on how to effectively use social networking in your business. Use this site to grow your small business, or just learn how to use social networking to strengthen your ties to the community.
In this increasingly digital age, everyone has a web presence, whether they know it or not. Be aware of what you look like to others online and how that affects your marketability. Use social networking to your advantage, like it was intended to be. And whatever you do, don’t forget- what gets put online, stays online. Forever.
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Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Finding a phone number used to be such a simple thing. Grab the phone book, look up the person or company’s name, and find the number. The phone books are still there, but it seems that I will try a lot of different ways to find the number that I need before actually blowing the dust off one of them and flipping it open to search. Here are 7 tools that I use to find a phone number before resorting to the phone book.
- Cell Phone Contacts List. If the person or business that I wish to contact is one that I’ve spoken to or done business with before, I always look in my cell phone contacts for their number first. Even if I’m 99% certain that it won’t be there, I can’t help looking, just in case. Perhaps I’m hoping that elves or brownies have entered my room over night and magically entered whatever contact information I need while I was sleeping.
- Spouse or other Housemate. Once I’ve determined that the phone number I wish to call is not among my mobile phone contacts, the next tool that I use is my voice. For some reason, even when I know that it is unlikely that my spouse is going to have the number and contact information that I want, I still have to ask. It’s always possible that the elves entered the information in the wrong phone, isn’t it?
- Desk Drawer/Bookshelf/Glove Box. I’m a chronic collector of personal and business cards. I hate to throw them away, but I’m lousy at transferring the information into my phone or keeping them organized. This means that there is also some tiny possibility that I may have a business card with the information that I need. So, before resorting to the phone book, I will spend a significant fraction of an hour searching the piles of cards on my bookshelves, rifling through my desk drawers, and tearing everything out of the glove box in my car. Time management is apparently not one of my long suits.
- Colleagues and Coworkers. If the phone number that I need is for a business contact, I will often call a coworker to see if he or she has the number that I’m looking for. This can be done while standing next to the passenger side door of my car, looking at the mess of stuff on the floor that used to be in the glove box. It makes sense to call from this location because there is plenty of paper scraps laying around for note-taking, in case the coworker has the information I seek.
- Search Engine. Before resorting to the phone book, I always do a Yahoo! people or business search. This often takes more effort and time than simply looking in a phone book would take. Once again, the time management beast rears its ugly head to laugh at me.
- Online Directory. There are white and yellow pages online, and I consider myself successful in having avoided the actual paper-based book if I find the number that I need in this fashion. Yes, I do understand that it’s a pretty fine hair to split in order to declare victory, and I’m okay with that.
- Directory Assistance. I know that it costs money to use directory assistance, these days. I also understand that this is equivalent to having someone else look it up in the book for me. If there is no dust from a phone book on my fingers when I finally make the call I’ve wanted to make, it counts as success in my way of keeping tally.
So, an hour or so after the urge to make a call has arrived, I have the number that I need, and I haven’t used that old, dusty phone book. Of course, now I can’t remember why I wanted to make that call in the first place.
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