Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Tips and Tricks Tag Archive

October 24, 2011 • How to Do It Yourself!

Macbook Pro Utility You NEED for Better Battery Life: gfxCardStatus

Perhaps it was because I was using the Sony Vaio S-series laptop with its 15-hour battery, but I never really looked critically at the battery life on my 2011 15″ Macbook Pro. But recently I have been using it almost exclusively and have felt that I should be getting more hours between charges. My assumption …

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October 23, 2011 • How to Do It Yourself!

Siri and iCloud Turn the iPhone’s Notes App into a Powerful Tool

The Notes app that is built into iOS has always struck me as a bit anemic. That’s hard for me to write, considering that my cousin works for Apple and is one of the key people involved in its development. Unfortunately… it’s kind of true. Sure, Notes is great for jotting down quick memos, but …

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October 18, 2011 • Editorials

Enough Fun and Games; Tips and Tricks for Using Siri for Productivity

Siri is a lot of fun to play with, but it is time to get down to business. After all, with a little bit of patience and a few (many?) tweaks, Siri can become an amazingly useful productivity service. Truth be told, for the first few hours I was trying Siri I thought it was …

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October 9, 2011 • Editorials

OS X Lion Quick Tip: Reorder Windows in Mission Control

  UPDATE (With apologies): Turns out this is only in the current Lion Beta, something I never would have imagined. Thanks to Rodney for pointing it out. We’ll let you know when it makes its way into a full release since it is quite useful! The more I use OS X Lion the more I …

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September 18, 2011 • Editorials

FourSquare Quick Tip: Upload a Profile Picture to Become a Mayor

It had become a running joke in the family. “Dan, did you FourSquare here?” “Dan, still one day away from being mayor?” “Dan, when you can’t even become mayor of your own house what does that tell you?” “Dan, you know the ‘no fly’ list? I think FourSquare has you on the ‘no mayor’ list.” …

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September 4, 2011 • Editorials

GMail to the Rescue!

I have been a GMail user since their early beta days, but three times this week I was reminded of how dead simple and useful their archiving and saving functions can be! First, a bit of background. My best friend is getting married next week, and so I have been wracking my brain putting together …

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July 21, 2011 • News

Quick Google Tip: Multiple Account Sign-in

Several months ago, Gear Diary’s email switched to Google Apps. As a result, I learned about a pretty neat Google trick — multiple account sign-in. Effectively, it lets me be logged in at my primary email address on one tab and have my Gear Diary email opened and signed in on a separate tab. Helpful, …

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July 11, 2011 • How to Do It Yourself!

Mac Quick Tip: Use Faces to Find People and Organize Out of Control iPhoto Libraries

Sometimes it is the little features in a program that can make the biggest differences. iPhoto’s facial recognition is one example of this. I knew the feature was there in the ’11 version of the software but never used it. Last week Elana’s grandma Pearl died. It was and is sad, but at 87 she …

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May 29, 2011 • How to Do It Yourself!

IPad Quick Tip: Want to Read Outside on Your iPad? Go Landscape

Now that summer is unofficially here you may be spending more time than ever outside. As great as the iPad is it leaves a good deal to be desired when you are in the sun. There is the glare. There is the overheating and subsequent shut down safety mechanism. And there is the fact that …

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December 29, 2010 • News

New iPad??? Read This!!!

The iPad-train just keeps on rolling. There’s no question it was the “hot gift” this season and as more and more people get their hands on the “wonder tablet” and discover all it can do the momentum will just continue to build. My own circle has seen numerous iPads make their appearance in recent weeks. …

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December 15, 2010 • News

GV Connect + Talkatone = iPad Phone

When the iPad was first released there were many who commented that one of the device’s shortcomings, among many, was that it could not be used as a phone. That wasn’t quite accurate. Sure the iPad isn’t a device you would want to hold up to your ear but with apps like Skype or Ooma’s …

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August 3, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

Are You A Droid User Feeling Stung By No WiFi Tether Coming With Froyo (2.2)? Easy Root Has You Covered!

I have had the original Motorola Droid since last November just after it launched, and I have been extremely happy with the device and the Android operating system. Aside from the mediocre keyboard (which I’ve gotten used to over time) I have had an absolutely fantastic experience with the Droid – it is my constant …

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July 15, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

Add Custom Words to iPhone Dictionary

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Antidisestablishmentarianism? Okay, so maybe you don’t use those words every day, but what about other words that you do? And they aren’t in your iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) dictionary? Judie was running into this issue recently on her iPhone. For some strange reason, she frequently needs to type the word “Kev”, and the …

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July 14, 2010 • News

The Kindle’s Killer Wireless Feature…Google Maps?!?

One of the major advantages Amazon’s Kindle has over the nook is that the wireless feature is not limited to just downloading books. Unlike the nook, the Kindle can browse the web over its free built-in wireless. While it may not be the world’s greatest browsing experience, it’s still better than nothing at all! A …

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June 7, 2010 • Editorials

iPad Quick Tip- These Don’t Mix Well With iPads…

Here are just a few things that don’t mix well with your new iPad… 1. Water Duh! 2. Magnets I got an email from my friend Michael who warned me about getting any case that has even the smallest of magnets. Seems his brand new case is completely messing up the iPad’s ability to serve …

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May 2, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

Apple 3G iPad on EDGE Using a T-Mobile SIM? Here’s How

If you were grandfathered into a low-priced T-Mobile data plan (remember the $5.99/month deal?), if you don’t mind EDGE speeds, and if don’t want to pay an extra $30/month to use the AT&T iPad data plan, this DIY hack may be just what you have been looking for. Granted, you won’t be able to pop …

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April 19, 2010 • Editorials

Gear Chat #8- The “No iPad Edition”

In Gear Chat #8 Larry and Dan do their best NOT to talk about the  iPad. In fact they make a bet and place a dollar amount on each slip. How do they do? Listen and find out. So what DO they talk about if they are going to stop obsessing about the iPad for …

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April 14, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

iPhone Bluetooth: Flaky but Predictable Corner-Case Problem

Image courtesy of Natalie Jean Lovin Holbrook I find corner-cases.  I don’t want to; I don’t try to; I just do.  Like last week, right?  I was working with some fairly sophisticated online documentation build and publish tools–and they weren’t working right.  I was making my co-workers upset.  I was making my boss upset.  Heck, …

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March 15, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

Quick Tip: Change the name of your iPhone or iPod

I came across this picture over at Howard Forums and couldn’t help but laugh at what the person had named his/her iPhone and what happened when it was “syncing”  (look at the text at the top-middle 😉 ) Then I thought about it and wondered, how many people even know that the name of their …

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March 13, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

Seagate DockStar + iPad = Limitless Storage On The Go

I ordered a 64 GB iPad because I have long subscribed to the belief that you should always order and purchase the device with the largest amount of memory that you can afford. (The only exception to this comes into play when you’re purchasing a new notebook. In that case I believe that you should …

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March 12, 2010 • How to Do It Yourself!

Flip AT&T’s Control Over the Backflip

If you bought a Moto Backflip, you probably noticed the odd use of Yahoo Search over Google, and the incredible amount of AT&T bloatware included on the device. Unfortunately, short of rooting it there’s not much you can do about either of those, but AT&T did something far worse to the Backflip that you WILL …

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