Sunday, December 22, 2013

Family Tech: Chromebooks might be valuable for some

Have family members needing a lot more hand holding on their PCs than you want to give?  A Chromebook might be a good gift this Christmas.

The latest Family Tech is up.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Family Tech: Tips for the traveler, or how to be a Road Warrior

Once upon a time I was a Road Warrior.

Lessons learned about using tech while travelling.

The latest Family Tech is online.

Links post is here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Links for Travelling with Tech

The Ultimate Packing List

QuickOffice for IOS and Android

TripIt for IOS and Android

The links below are Amazon Affiliate Links.  If you purchase from one of these links, I receive a tiny commission.

Example Power Squid and Extenders at

Zipper Bags

Grid-It Organizers

Link to the column.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Family Tech : Cord cutting, again

I revisit cord cutting with a discussion of some new trends, the Google Chromecast, and some comments on Comcast.

A new Family Tech column

Monday, July 29, 2013

Family Tech: My Initial time with Glass

I was one of the chosen in Google's #IfIHadGlass program.  I went to New York and bought them.

This Family Tech talks about my initial experience with Glass.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Family Tech : Device Recycling

Do you have old tech laying around?

This Family Tech will tell you how to make some money from it, reuses it, or at least dispose of it separately.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Links for July 18, 2013 - Victorian Internet

If you want to read the book, "Victorian Internet", it is in the collection of the Prince William County Library, or you can purchase it from Amazon and others.

Links for July 18, 2013 - Google Glass

To find out more about Glass and to get on the list of possible future Explorers, visit

While Google Glass is not yet available to the public, they have announced they may make them available to another round of Glass Explorers.  If chosen, you would pay $1500 and have to travel to New York, L.A.  or San Francisco to pick them up; if they follow they same rules they had in place for the latest round of Explorers.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Family Tech: Geek Museums

I went on a Geek Quest a week ago to New York City to pickup Google Glass.  Along the way I thought about other Geeky places I've visited, and places to visit in this part of the country.

That is the topic of this Family Tech column.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Family Tech: New toys from Apple, Microsoft, and Sony

Family Tech for June 20, made it to the web as well today.  There are new toys coming from Apple, Microsoft and Sony.  If you like Mac's, iPhones or game consoles, this is worth a read.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Links for Family Tech June 20, 2013

Apple Mac Pro

Apple Mac Book Air


Xbox One

On June 19, 2013, after the column was already submitted to the paper, Microsoft altered their plans for the Xbox One.  Bowing to public criticism, they no longer require a once daily internet connection to play non-connected games.  And they removed control of playing older games.

Sony PlayStation 4

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Family Tech: Cutting the Cord

Ever thought about cutting your cable's cable?  This Family Tech discusses letting go of everything but your internet.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Links for June 6, 2013 - Cell Phone Charging

ZeroLemon Batteries

Battery Cases

External Batteries

Solar Batteries

Crank Chargers

These are all Amazon affiliate links.

If you purchase using one of these links, I get a small commission, but there is no added cost to the purchaser.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Links for May 30, 2013 - Cord Cutting



Amazon Instant Video

Roku devices on Amazon [Amazon Affiliate Link]

Note: On Amazon Affiliate links, I get a tiny commission if you buy the device from Amazon.  There is no extra cost to you.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Family Tech: Programming for Beginners

Want to encourage your kids to program?  Why should you?  How can you?  How can you program too?

This is covered in the Family Tech column posted today.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Family Tech: Planning for your digital afterlife

What happens to your Facebook, email, and other online content when you die?

The most recent Family Tech column is about planning for your digital afterlife.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Links for Family Tech for May 9, 2013 - Business Apps

I mentioned so many apps that I think there is little use to put in links for the ones I mentioned.  And there are so many more apps I did not mention,

To find useful apps, simply go to the app store for your phone, Apple App Store, or Google Play Store, and search for businesses you use.

Look to  make sure the app is produced by the actual business.  I once encountered an app for a grocery chain and didn't notice at first it was not published by the grocery chain.  All it was, was links to their website.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Google Glass is trickling out to non-Googlers who are part of the Glass Explorers group.  Just before that began, I wrote this column explaining Glass.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Links for April 25, 2013 - Wifi

Links for Family Tech first published April 25, 2013 - WiFi

WiFi extenders [Amazon Affiliate Link]

To create a QR Code for guests in your home to scan to use your wifi, go this page.'

In the "Select ode Action" chose "WiFi Action".  Note: you may have to scroll down.

For SSID, enter the name of your WiFi.

Password, enter the password for your Wifi.

Network Type: choose from the drop down list the same security you set up on your Wifi routers Admin pages.

Finally, click the "Generate Code" button.  Up pops a graphic.  Right click on it to save it to your PC so you can print it out for your guests.

Here is an article about this process.

 [Amazon Associate Link] = If you buy during this session, you pay the same price as you would at Amazon, but I receive a small commission.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Family Tech: Get Fit with Tech

Technology can help us get fit, lose weight, manage what we eat, or just distract us while we exercise.

Family Tech from April 11, 2013 is online.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Links for April 18, 2013 - Google Glass

Since I wrote the column, some members of the public have been able to purchase Glass.  Starting Tuesday, April 16, some who ordered in May of 2012 were able to pick up their Google Glass in Mountain View, California at Google Headquarters.

So much more is known now about Glass.

A good resource for information about Glass is Google+ Glass Explorer's community.

Google published several web sites about Glass Monday night.

Google has said Glass will be sold to the public later this year for less than the $1500 the Explores are paying.  More specific information is not yet available.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Family Tech: Scan those documents now for next tax season

The Family Tech for April 4, 2013 hopes to take some of the drama out of your tax efforts next year by discussing ways to digitize this year's documents so you have them at hand next year.

Be sure to see the links post further down, for links pertinent to this column.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Links for April 11, 2013 - Workout apps

Links for Family Tech column first published April 11, 2013 about Workout Apps

Runkeeper for IOS and Android

Nike+ Running for IOS and Android

Ingress for Android [closed beta - requires invites - I do not have any, nor do I play]

Field Trip for Android



Calorie Counter and Weight Tracker from MyNetDiary on IOS

My Net Diary Calorie Counter on Android

Fitness Buddy for Android

Move! Bike Computer

Be sure too to search in either iTunes App Store, or the Android Play Store for terms like "fitness", "diet", "biking", etc. to see other apps.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Family Tech: Regaining Control of a Hijacked Email Account

One of the scariest things that can happen in our online lives, is to lose control of our email account.  

What do you do if it happens to you?

That is the topic of the Family Tech just published to the web.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Links for April 4, 2013 - Scanning Documents

Links for Family Tech for April 4, 2013 - Scanning Documents

NeatDesk at [Amazon Associate Link]

Other Sheet Fed Scanners at  [Amazon Associate Link]

Document Scanner Apps for IOS [iTunes Links]

 [Amazon Associate Link] = If you buy during this session, you pay the same price as you would at Amazon, but I receive a small commission.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Family Tech: Tech Support Scam

Alert your less tech savvy family and friends that Microsoft will never call them to tell them there is a virus on their PC.

There's a scam apparently that's been going around for a few years that could cost users money, control of their PC and time.

The Family Tech for March 21, 2013 covers it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How To regain control of your hacked email account

In my Family Tech column that appeared March 28, 2013, I wrote :
One of the scariest things that can happen in our online lives, is to lose control of our email account.
With our email account controlled by another, they may get information about your banking, your bills, and many facets of your digital life.
A nefarious person can ask for password resets on other accounts you have, and those resets are sent to the email they control.
Note:  To send a link to this page to a friend, 
use this shortened link :

This How-To is designed to help a person regain control of an email account that has been taken over by someone else.

The intent is to provide a resource we can send friend's who have had their accounts taken over.

And by taken over, we mean had their email account's password discovered by someone else.  That person then logs into the email account, changes the password and other details to prevent the true owner to easily regain control of the account.

That nefarious person then uses the email account to attempt to defraud the users friends, or use the email account to send out Spam that will not be blocked by Spam Filters initially since the account was not previously known for sending spam.

More details about how account passwords are obtained are in the column.  It should be available online around April 4, 2013.

After this break, we'll discuss how to know if an email account has been hacked, how to get control back, and what to after you have regained control.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Free Amateur Radio Course

The Woodbridge Wireless Ham Radio Club is holding a free technical training course May 11 for anyone interested in learning about amateur radio and perhaps even sitting for a Technician test.

There is no minimum age, although the material can be technical.  Even motivated teens have passed the test, and some even younger.

Check out this flyer for details, times, location and web sites to review before attending.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Links to March 21, 2013 - Support Scam

For more information about the Tech Support scam, see Microsoft's page about it, and the FTC's page.

The FTC's site, alerts us to a variety of online scams, and ways to educate ourselves and our children.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Family Tech: Many Cameras at one event

Many cameras in the family, all taking photos of the same event.  How do you consolidate the photos?

One method is discussed in this Family Tech column.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to : Consolidate Photos from Several Cameras using Dropbox

Update 4/21/2016 : This solution using Dropbox is being superseded by a new process using Google Photos. 

See the updated How-to.

In the Family Tech column published March 14, 2013 we discuss how several family members using their camera phones might take pictures of the same event, and how the family might want to consolidate those photos into one place.

For example, a family of four might go on vacation.  Both parents, and both teenage children, have smart phones and are taking photos during the entire vacation.

How can we easily get all of these photos into one place so we can share them as a family, then publish them to friends and family and finally back them up for long term safe keeping?

There are any number of methods, but the one outlined in the column has each person creating their own free Dropbox account.

Be sure to test this setup on your system extensively to be sure it works for you and does not put your photos at risk.  Be sure also
to use this method with another backup system to insure the 
safety of your photos.

The entire process is outlined here step-by-step :

1.  Create Dropbox accounts for each member of the family

     a.  Go to the website
              (if you use this link, the size of your box should be 2 gigabytes + 256 megabytes bonus)

     b.  Create a new account for primary user.
             Be sure to record the email address and password you use to create the account.

    c.  Be sure to log out of Dropbox when you are done creating the account.

    d.  For every other member of the family, repeat steps a, b & c.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Family Tech: Your ISP is watching

Your ISP may have started watching your downloads, and if they feel you are downloading copyrighted material, they might cut your internet speed down, yet charge you full price.

This is the topic of Family Tech for March 7, 2013.  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Links for March 7, 2013 - Six Strikes

There are no links for the March 7, 2013 column.

Update 03-12-13:  Column posted here

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Incredible iPad Case

Today I saw a child take his iPad and repeatedly slam it against a table.

I don't mean once or twice, but probably ten or more time this ten year old raised his iPad above his head and with all his might, slammed the iPad down against the table.

Afterwards, the iPad screen was intact, and the iPad worked.  I had to ask the mother the name of the case on their iPad.

It was a Kidbox. [Amazon Affliate Link]

They run about $35 for a full sized iPad, and about $30 for the mini.

I can't guarantee that it will perform for everyone this well, but today, it was amazing!

Evernote Alert

Security Notice: Service-wide Password Reset | Evernote

Friday, March 1, 2013

Family Tech: Have you thought about your PC lately?

Family Tech for February 21, 2013 asks if you have worried about your PC lately?  Have you checked your anti-virus?  What about backup.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Links for February 28, 2013 - Social Media

This week we talk about some websites besides the well known Facebook and Twitter.

They are Quora and Reddit and Google+

Update March 9, 2013: Column posted.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Family Tech: Commute Tech

Let technology make you more productive, or at least less bored, during your long commute.

This week's Family Tech.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Links for February 14, 2013 - Commute Tech

Links mentioned in Family Tech for February 14, 2013

NPR Podcasts

Podcasts on iTunes

History podcasts

Tech Podcasts

Car Blackbox type apps


Update 02/22/2013 - link to the column

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Links for February 7, 2013 - Ways to Automate your Android phone or tablets

There are simple automation apps like AutomateIt.

The most powerful program of this type is Tasker.  It has a pretty steep learning curve, but it also can control more aspects of the phone than any other app I have found.

Locale is another fairly sophisticated app, but I have not played with it.

Update 07-15-2013 : Column is online here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Family Tech: Free wireless phone. Sort of.

If you have an old Android or iPhone sitting around, you can set it up with free wireless service.  Sort of.

This week's Family Tech column.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Links for January 31, 2013 - Wifi Phones

Here are links to items mentioned in this week's Family Tech column.

Talkatone for iPhone

Android Apps:

Update 02-05-2013 : the column is now online.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Family Tech: Subscription Software

Don't want to shell out huge bucks at one time for software?  Now Microsoft and Adobe will sell you a monthly subscription.  This week's Family Tech is online.

Be sure to see the link post for some more information.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Links for January 24, 2013 Family Tech

Here are some links to topics mentioned in Family Tech for January 24,2013 :

Adobe Creative Cloud

I have no links yet from Microsoft for Office 2013 since it has not yet been release.
Release is expected in the next few weeks.

Update : 1/29/2013  Microsoft released Office 2013 today!

Link to this column is here.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Family Tech: What's New at CES?

Family Tech:  New TVs, new tablets and more fun new things shown at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Family Tech: Tech Changes our Lives

The first Family Tech column to appear in the brand new Prince William Today newspaper, is now available online at

In it, we look at how technology continues to change our lives, and what the column hopes to bring readers of the new paper.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Advanced Google Search Class

In 2012, I wrote about an online Google Search class.  Now they are offering an Advanced Search Class.

Registration closes February 8, so hurry.

Prince William Today available today

The initial edition of Prince William Today is being delivered to subscribers, and hitting some local 711s today.

Family Tech is not yet online at, but I'll post when it is.

You can subscribe to home delivery at

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Family Tech from 2009-2012 no longer online

With the closing of the News & Messenger on December 30, 2012, the Family Tech columns from September 2009 through December 2012 are no longer online.

I am asking the owner of the News & Messenger to grant me the copyright to those columns so that I can reproduce them here.

I'll update here if I am successful.

Links for January 10, 2013 column

Tomorrow sees the first Family Tech for 2013, and the first in the new paper, Prince William Today.  I'll post a link to the column when it appears on

Every week if there are links mentioned in the column, I'll put them in a post on this website.

As it turns out, there were no relevant links for this week's column.

Update 1/12/2013 :    The column is now online.