Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Please, please, please, I beg you. If you are going to give a presentation using some type of presentation software (Keynote, PowerPoint, Impress, etc.), make sure that you have done your homework. Here are a few things that really ruffle my feathers:

  • Don’t just read what is on the slide! Anyone in the room is going to be able to read the slide. If you are just going to read what is on each slide, don’t bother with the presentation. Just print the dang thing and give it to me to read (or toss) at my leisure.
  • Ditch the stupid animations. In this case, less is definitely more. Unless there is a real purpose (rare) to having an animation, don’t do it. It does not show that you are a techno-savy computer wiz. It just shows that you have a new toy and are trying to impress people with the rice-cake equivalent of a presentation (it feels like you’re eating something, but you’re still hungry when you are done eating).
  • Learn to use the arrow keys on the keyboard. The right arrow is for going to the next slide and the left arrow is for going to the previous slide. Don’t use the mouse! It’s tacky when the mouse/arrow/cursor appears on the screen. Learn how to navigate around your slides without having to cancel the presentation and go back to the slide sorter.
  • Make the font large and easy to read.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Before you create a slideshow ask yourself if it is really necessary to have. You may discover that there are alternate, less distracting ways of getting your point across.

I’m sure I could think of more things to say, but I’m hungry and it’s time to eat. Ciao!


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iPad Reviews

Walter S. Mossberg for The Wall Street Journal

David Pogue for The New York Times

Edward C. Baig for USA Today

Andy Ihnatko for Chicago Sun Times

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The Maya were wrong!

It’s not December 21, 2012, but rather April 3, 2010 that will herald in a new age. I’m talking about the iPad that is about to be released. This will be the day that our kids look back on and say, “I remember when the computer died.”

The thing about the iPad is that, it is what you want it to be, when you want it to be it, and not when you don’t. Get it? When you need a keyboard, it’s there.

If computers are so smart, why do we have to take classes to learn how to use them? As advanced as computers are these days, they haven’t really changed much from the days of the Apple II. Sure they are faster and prettier, but we still have to learn how to use them. I don’t think computers will be truly advanced until I can walk into my house and ask, “what’s in the fridge?” and my computer answers. I should be able to ask, “Do I have any messages?” and the computer responds, “You have one voicemail and three emails.” Computers need to do what they do and get out of our way.

I teach computer classes at a local computer store. If computers were truly advanced, I wouldn’t have a job. I long for the day when computers can put an end to having to take classes just to learn how to use them. Most adults feel incredibly stupid around computers and they shouldn’t have to feel that way. The iPad is going to change all that.

What do most people do with a computer? Most people check their email, update Facebook, look at pictures and surf the web. I know many adults that have shiny new computers and all they do is play solitaire. They could’ve just bought a $3 deck of cards and been better off (plus it’s easier to cheat with real cards).

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