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Archive for the ‘Tutorial – How To’ Category

DIY Touch screen gloves

January 19th, 2010 No comments

With everything being about touch screens lately it only makes sense that eventually the problem of using gloves would come up. It’s cold outside, you’re wearing gloves, your iPhone rings, and you have to take the gloves off to answer it because otherwise the screen won’t register the change in capacitance between the screen and your finger in order to execute the command you are trying to give it.
See, that’s how touch screens work. The human body is a conductor of electric current, and when you touch the screen of a capacitive touch screen device it detects the distortion of the electrostatic field (apologies to those of you who know this already, but I’ve found myself explaining it to several of my friends recently who have iPhones but know nothing about how they work).
I’ve heard there are special gloves on the market that you can use to solve this problem. But why purchase a whole new set of gloves (expensive ones probably) when yours are just dandy?
There is a solution. A really really CHEAP solution, that takes just the tiniest bit of DIY spirit.
There is a whole how-to article on Instructables.com, so I won’t go through the steps here. But the gist of it is that you sew a little conductive thread (yes, there is such a thing) into the tips of the fingers of your gloves. It completes a circuit with your flesh and blood finger, and viola! You can now use your touch screens without taking off your gloves.

Now go and check out all the other fun stuff you can do with conductive threads, you crafty DIY nerds you!

Making A Glove Work With A Touch Screen DIY Touch screen gloves

Also, if you don’t want to order a whole spool of thread, you can order just a few feet of it from here

Via Coolest Gadgets

Show Desktop in Windows 7

January 8th, 2010 No comments

I found this little trick playing with Windows 7’s new Task Bar and thought that everyone knew it.  But my fiancee was struggling this evening trying to find a way to recreate the Show Desktop icon.  Even Lifehacker had a complicated process to re-add that functionality.  So I figured I’d post this little tip in case anyone else needed to know how to show the desktop a la the old Vista/XP functionality.

(in the screenshot below, my task bar is oriented on the left hand side of my screen.)

show 600x368 Show Desktop in Windows 7

See that little bar that’s in the area of the time/date display circled in orange?  Just click that and you’ll immediately get your desktop, with all other windows minimized.  It’s that simple.

Want a Google Wave Invite? We have some!

December 1st, 2009 No comments
google wave invite Want a Google Wave Invite? We have some!

Google Wave Invite

Google Wave is a hot topic now. It is Google’s ambitious project for next generation unified real-time communication and collaboration tool. I finally got my invite and can now invite up to 8 others. I’m giving them away so if anyone is interested contact me through the web form. It even works on the iPhone!

What is a wave?

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.
A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

Google Voice Quick Reference

November 3rd, 2009 No comments
google voice quick reference Google Voice Quick Reference

Google Voice Quick Reference

Google Voice is really quite an amazing service with a lot of features – for free. Granted if you have a smart phone with browser or near a computer to manage your calls. For those of you still sticking to your dinosaur phone lacking an Internet browser, this Google Voice Quick Reference is for you. Just print it out and put it into your pocket. I didn’t even know some of these features were available such as conversation recording. Managing Google Voice features is now whole lot faster.

Via TechCrunch

Transfer Your Mobile Number to Google Voice

October 27th, 2009 1 comment

google voice mobile number Transfer Your Mobile Number to Google Voice

Transfer Your Mobile Number to Google Voice

I’ve been using Google Voice since it was owned by Grand Central. It is a great platform for managing free calls, SMS, and contacts with intelligence. Now Google Voice lets you port your mobile number from your carrier to Google as well. This way, your voicemail is accessible from the cloud. By allowing Google Voice to manage my voicemail, it solves my issue with AT&T which prevents me from receiving voicemail notifications. Once you receive a voicemail, you can be alerted a number of ways by transcribed email or SMS text messages.

Google Voice can let you have a single phone number that automatically rings to your mobile, work, home and other phones based on rules and settings. For example, calls from your kids will ring all numbers while office related contacts only ring your work number.

The process to move your carrier number to Google Voice requires a few steps. However, it is very worth it in the end.

Via TechCrunch

Dropbox Online Storage and iPhone App

October 5th, 2009 No comments
dropbox Dropbox Online Storage and iPhone App

Dropbox Online Storage and iPhone App

Dropbox is an easy to use online file storage that syncs your files across all your computers. I installed it recently and must say it is very intuitive, easy, and fast! You simply go to their website, create and account, and then install on your computer (both Windows and Mac compatible). You can then select your drop box folder to by synced. Files or folders that are in your Dropbox folder are then synchronized online. The performance is great. When you make a change, Dropbox sends the “delta” only to the server thus making the change very quickly. You can also access your files through the website.

The free version begins with 2 Gig of storage space with an additional 1 Gig by referring friends. There is also premium paid version which offers much more.

Dropbox recently released an iPhone application to make it even easier to access your files anywhere in the world. This new iPhone app will let you get access to all your Dropbox documents, PDF’s, pictures, videos and much more. Dropbox also introduced offline viewing in the iPhone app, with “Favorites.” If you add a file to your ‘Favorites’, they’ll be accessible at any time. To do so, just hit the star at the bottom of any file, and it’ll be added. Otherwise, your files stay in the cloud. This is great for people who complain that the iPhone does not offer local file storage. Dropbox offers this and more with automatic sync with their cloud!

Dropbox can also let you share files and folders to anyone in the cloud. The iPhone app also lets you upload pictures and video (with iPhone 3GS).

In just a few days, Dropbox reached over 2 million users. Impressive.

When is Google’s rumored GDrive coming? Google???

Google Docs Now Convert Images to Text

September 29th, 2009 No comments

You can now use Google Docs to perform OCR image-to-text conversions when you upload high-resolution files. It is a nice newly added feature from Google (and of course it is free)

For 3rd party webapps or services that uses Google Docs, they can use this URL parameter to accept JPG, PNG, and GIF files for conversions. Keep in mind this is still in beta.

Tell us what you think of Google Docs OCR performance. Was it good for you?

google docs convert images ocr Google Docs Now Convert Images to Text

Google Docs OCR Convert Images To Text

Via Life hacker