The Radar

Helping You Zero in on New and Exciting Technologies

May-9-2012

Print to one page in MS Word

Say you have a two-page word document, but only want to print one page. The option for printing a two-page document on one sheet of paper is not available in Microsoft Word 2010′s print menu.

Don’t despair.

There is a way around this oversight, and it is fairly simple and quick (two things that are nice to hear when trying to do something on a computer).

Go to the File tab and click on Options toward the bottom of the menu on the left. Once the options window opens click on Quick Access Toolbar (shown in the image to the left) and in the Choose commands from window select Print Preview Tab.

In the window beneath, choose Shrink to One Page, click the Add button and click OK at the bottom. There should now be a small icon in the upper left area of your word screen (highlighted in the image to the right).

The new button will take a two-page document and shrink it to fit one page, but one note of warning. There is a limit to how many lines it can shrink to a page.

Posted under Technology
May-6-2012

NEW FOR GMAIL USERS…..AUTOMATIC MESSAGE TRANSLATION

Basically, what this means is that you’ll soon be able to write emails in your native language (probably English.) and have it arrive at its destination in the language of the e-mail recipient (German, Spanish, French, etc.). If you do e-mail with people around the world who have trouble with English or, if you’re like so many Americans, you have no linguistic abilities in a second language, problem solved. Google mail to the rescue.

It’s been in work since 2009 in Google Apps for Business but this is the first time it’s being made widely available to all Gmail users. It has received very positive input from those who have used it. Over a short time every Gmail user will have the convenience of translation added to their email. Next time you get an email in another language just click on “Translate Message” in the header at the top of the message and it will be instantly translated into your language. How cool is that?

Is it perfect? Not yet. For a machine translator it’s said to be “darn good,” just not as good as having a fluent human translator at your side. And if you’re bilingual and don’t need the translation you can turn it off. What we don’t know yet is what languages Google email will support. As of 2009, Google Translate supported 41 languages.

You may not want to rely on Automatic Message Translation for love letters or vital business or legal correspondence, but for everyday stuff many people will find this an invaluable service.

Posted under Technology
May-5-2012

Google Drive

google drive logo

If you have a Gmail account you may have recently received a notification that your “Drive” is ready. That means your Google Drive is now available to use.

Google Drive is a place where you can “Keep Everything. Share Anything.” There are three key components of  Drive: Google Docs, cloud-based file storage with offline access, and third-party apps integration. What sets Google Drive apart from other cloud-based storage options is the ease with which you can collaborate on everything from a spreadsheet to editing video. You could already easily collaborate on spreadsheets, documents, and presentations in Google Docs. The addition of collaborative third-party apps that can help you do everything from create flowcharts to edit photos really makes Google Drive something worth checking out.

YouTube Preview Image Posted under Mobile, Technology
May-4-2012

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage, online storage, online web storage or online space storage are all synonymous for the purpose of this subject.  Basically it is a website that you can use to store or save your digital pictures, documents, music and videos online like you would on your computer hard drive. The advantage is that you can access these files almost anywhere via an internet connection, and it frees up some of your hard drive disk space by saving your files in the cloud storage as oppose to your hard drive.  You can also use online storage to backup your existing files.

Some of the popular free online storage sites are Dropbox, Box.net, ADrive.  They have their own distinctive features.  Google Drive just came out, it features an app that you can access your files from your mobile Android phone, and desktop file sync folder.  Similarly, SkyDrive by Windows offers file retrieval from smart phones as well as from online access, compatible with both PC and Mac.  With iCloud (Apple), you can sync up your cloud storage with the new iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac.

Posted under Mobile, Technology
Apr-29-2012

Floss Teeth, Get 3 Points

Yes, really. With the clever incentive site, DailyFeats, you can take steps toward becoming a healthier, happier, better you. By shifting your goal focus to small, everyday “feats”,  DailyFeats can help you to achieve your larger goals.

What is a feat?

A feat is a small, positive step that you take toward your ultimate goal. DailyFeats has a collection of feats for a variety of goal topics (Health Goal, Money Goal, Community Goal, Learning Goal, etc.). Let’s say one of your goals it to improve your health. Some sample feat choices for this goal include: Eat Organic, Take the Stairs, Running, Antioxidants, and Healthy Fats. Every time you complete one of these feats (i.e. Eat Organic, Take the Stairs), you can click the “Did It” link on DailyFeats and earn points. Feats that are more difficult or meaningful generally net more points than simpler feats.

Points

Once you’ve earned some points, you can redeem them for coupons at online retailers. After you have accumulated a larger amount of points, you can use them to purchase gift cards to a variety of stores. You can also convert your points into a monetary donation to a charity.

Why is this site unique?

The thinking behind this kind of approach toward goal achievement is that small, repetitive steps can lead to lasting behavior change. And, by partitioning a goal into smaller manageable chunks, it can appear less daunting. You can read more about the DailyFeats philosophy here.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of this approach. Am I really going to be more likely to eat a meat-free meal or do the dishes right now because I’m getting points for it? I thought no, but so far, I’ve been pretty psyched to complete feats and claim my points.

Try the site out and let me know if you feel the same.

Posted under Technology, Websites
Apr-13-2012

Get Ready for USB 3.0!

 

 

 

The super speedy Universal Serial Bus Three (USB 3) may be coming to a computer near you!

Already found on some external backup hardisks, smart phone and tablet devices will soon be sporting the 10-times-faster USB 3 ports, which are also possibly destined for new laptops, netbooks, and Windows 8 machines. Other mobile devices may also implement USB 3, but manufacturers want to make the port smaller first.

USB 3.0 is Coming

Posted under Design, Digital Media Lab, Technology
Mar-21-2012

PrintFriendly to the Rescue

We’ve all been there. You’ve found the article you want on a website, click print, and out come eight almost completely blank pages, sprinkled with occasional ads and formatting remnants.

The next time, older but wiser, you click Print Preview in your browser before you print. The preview displays eight almost completely blank pages, sprinkled with occasional ads and formatting remnants. Sigh.

The third time around, you’re searching for a printer-friendly button on a website, so that the content of the page will print out free of ads, navigation frames, or microscopic text. But unfortunately, there is no printer-friendly button on that page.

So you click print, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. And other than the time and date stamped at the bottom, it’s blank. You could vent your frustration in a destructive manner (please don’t hurt the computers, they mean well) or you could head on over to PrintFriendly.

This site isn’t just nifty, it’s nifty cubed. Here’s why:

1) It’s simple. All you have to do is copy the URL of the page you’re on, paste it into the URL field on PrintFriendly, and hit Print Preview. A print friendly version of the page will be generated. You can hit Print straightaway or tweak the page to remove images/extraneous text and adjust the text size—smaller text to save paper, larger text for easier readability.

2) This site doubles as a quick and easy way to create PDFs from web content. Instead of Print, click PDF and PrintFriendly will create a PDF version of the page, which you can download.

3) PrintFriendly is also a handy tool for reading articles. Some sites are extremely ad-heavy, with still ads, text ads, and animated ads, all vying for your attention. Not to mention those evil ads that plop down right on top of what you’re reading. All these pesky elements can be distracting and can slow the load time of the page. Instead of using PrintFriendly as a printing tool, you can use it to filter out this unwanted clutter so you can read in peace.

While not foolproof for every website out there, PrintFriendly was able to create printer friendly versions of most of the sites I tested. Use PrintFriendly when you want to save paper, money, time, and your sanity.

Posted under Technology, Websites
Mar-20-2012

Big Changes for the Library’s Online Learning Offerings!

 

Atomic Learning is now becoming Atomic Training!  Remote (offsite) access will now be allowed, with your SPL card number and last name, but lessons will be available for only 35 applications.

Also, library patron’s ability to remote access Lynda.com will expire at the end of June.  At that time Lynda will be restricted to in-library use only, and only on specific computers (TBD).

Here are the programs included in the new Atomic Training, in alphabetical order:
Access 2010, AutoCAD 2012, Dreamweaver CS5 (Mac), Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Facebook, Final Cut Pro X, Fireworks CS5 (Mac), Flash CS5 (Mac), Garageband ‘11 (Mac), Gmail, Google Docs, Google Earth 5, Google Sites, Illustrator CS5 (Mac), iMovie 11, InDesign CS5.5 (PC), iPad/iPad2, Outlook 2010, Photoshop CS5 (Mac), Photoshop CS5 (PC), Photoshop Elements 9 (Mac), PowerPoint 2010, Premiere Elements 9 (PC), Premiere Pro  CS5 (Mac), Publisher 2007, SharePoint Server, Windows 7, Windows Live Movie Maker 2011, Word 2010, Word 2007      

And there will also be four online workshops available:
Facebook for Students, Google Custom Search, Podcasting and Vodcasting, Searching the Web

 

Posted under Classes, Digital Media Lab, Featured, Technology
Feb-28-2012

Siri for the iPhone 4GS!

Siri is a personal assistant made for the iPhone 4GS.  This great feature can answer questions, make reminders, text, send emails, find directions and more.

Apple claims that Siri has the capability to understand what you say. For example if you ask ”Where is the nearest burger joint?” it will reply, ”I found a number of hamburger restaurants around you.” Siri will then display the list on the screen.

Sounds too good to be true? Siri has trouble distingushing some accents and the system has  recently been overloaded so that it will ask you to try again later. Still, it has been favorably embraced and even has potential to give people who are visually impaired the ablilty to use an iPhone.

Stay tuned to next month’s blog post to see what you can do for your iPhone in our Digital Media Lab!

Posted under Digital Media Lab, Mobile, Technology
Feb-26-2012

Internet Security and You

 

Part 3: HTTP Versus HTTPS

When doing online banking or making online purchases or payments, one quick way to check whether you’re on a secure website connection, is to look at the web address in the top browser window.  Does the URL start with http (hypertext transfer protocol), or https?  Https (hypertext transfer protocol secure) adds an additional level of security, beyond http, with SSL (secure sockets layer).

Https provides this extra encryption layer to create a secure channel for your communication, even if your side is insecure.  This prevents eavesdropping by third parties.  While not infallible, https is used by banks and credit card payment websites.  Always check for https before entering sensitive information into a website.

For more information check out these short articles:
BizTech: HTTP vs. HTTPS
WiseGEEK: What is the Difference Between http and https?
Digital Purview: HTTP vs. HTTPS

Posted under Digital Media Lab, Technology, Websites