Wednesday, May 10, 2006

TTT19--Parting Tips!

Howdy, ya'll,

Over the past 20 weeks or so it's been my pleasure to provide weekly tech tips to ya via this podcast. Today's show is the last one I'll put up, at least until next school year, possibly forever.

As you may know, I produce another weekly podcast, Snacks4theBrain!, for the Vanderbilt University Center for Science Outreach. Over the summer (my germ of a) plan is to transform that weekly brief (~20 min.) podcast into a bi-weekly longer one (~40 min. to one hour) in a new format that will allow me to play complete podsafe songs of many genres, include a tips feature, and continue to interview cutting edge research scientists about the way they're connecting to K12 students worldwide. I will also be doing occasional "soundseeing tours" of the Nashville, Tennessee area for you poor folks who can't get here in the flesh. If you don't already subscribe to S4theB! I heartily encourage you to do so.

What I'd like to do here, by way of a sayanora, is to share links of sites that I've found to be veritable founts of tippery. Check these out as a way to continue learning and growing your tech skills:

Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers:
I just like to TTTT thing she's got going on. Just kidding: Actually, Tammy--an Instructional Technology Specialist at ESSDACK, an educational service center in Kansas--has assembled a good working set of skills tips specifically for teachers.

Computer Geeks Tech-Tips:
Anybody who will call themselves a geek and smile about it earns a friendship entry in my book. These folks have done a cool job of compiling and archiving a great set of tips categorized under the headings Computer, Computer Parts, Consumer Electronics, Networking, and Other.

Technology Tips of the Month from Oregon State University:
Deborah Healey from the English Language Institute at the above-named institution of higher education has obviously done something like our WiredWednesday project, only on steroids. Here are her categories: Software, Email, Websearching, About the Web, Group discussion/projects, Content-based instruction, Skill areas, and Other.

Micro2000 TechTips:
Oh, those Brits. They have a tip for everything, or nearly, for a total of 91 as of this writing. This site is for the big kids, ya'll, with tech tips from simple Internet tricks to advanced data recovery for uber-geeks. You can download all of the tips in a big zipped file, too. Tasty!

TechTips 101 from Bob Bicknell
Tech Tips 101 and Web Picks are written, produced and voiced by Bob Bicknell. Bob reports on technology for KYW Newsradio 1060. His Tech Tips and Web Picks reports are syndicated nationally to more than 300 radio stations. For those of you who need an audio source for tips, visit the radio station link to hear individual shows. It doesn't seem to show up in iTunes. And also visit iTunes and browse the results from a podcast directory search for "tech tip." I like the One Minute Tip podcast, though it's not nearly as fun as TechTipTuesday has been!

Cheers to all!

Check out the final podcast here.

Photo is all my wonderful colleagues at University School of Nashville Lower School. I've been told it looks alot like something that should be called "Scott and his Posse!" Just an accident of placement and costume, but I sorta agree. One could wish for no better company...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TTT 18 -- Word Tabs

Hey, ya'll,

This week we're laying out the text of our Wired Wednesday card on Tabs in Microsoft Word (image at right, Tab Hunter, heeheehee, courtesy of the Meeker Museum online) . The card and its resulting podcast audio barely scratch the surface of this powerful formatting tool, and because of that I'm adding some links here to additional resources. The folks at VTC (Virtual Training Company) have been creating and delivering tutorials on a wealth of computer related programs for a decade. Many of their tutorials are free, and the quality of the free ones leads me to believe that if one is interested in a tutorial that requires purchase, it would be money well spent. Check these tutorials out at their website. The tutorial about the formatting toolbar is particularly appropriate this episode. Suffolk University's Paul T. Birtwell has some great tutorials of his own, including this one on tabs. Or how about Penn State's tabs tutorial! Heck, you don't need me: Just google "word tabs tutorial" or some other variant of the query.

Download TTT18 here, or browse all TTT's by clicking on "Feeds" in the sidebar. Music courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, a really nice piece from indie label BBE Records group Osunlade, called "Caseblanca of the Soul."

Cheers, all!

Monday, April 24, 2006

TTT 17 -- Word Autoformat

TTT17 moves into the domain of Microsoft, detailing steps to help tame the Microsoft Word "Autoformat" functions. These can be extraordinarily helpful, especially if you typically misspell certain words (I personally can't seem to type New Yourk--SEE! "New York," that is, without adding a u in it, as if my fingers really want me to be typing "your" when my mind thinks "york." The other thing I do (infrequently but enough to bug me) is type the first two letters of a capitalized word in capitals, as in STeve or NEw YOurk. Well, I can set my Word autocorrect features to deal with those sorts of things. In the computer lab I want the thing off completely, and at the first of the school year (and periodically thereafter, since individual users may override my changes) I check and reset "Check Grammar as you type" and "Check Spelling as you type" to my preferred unchecked setting.

Listen up, enjoy, and for this one you really want to listen several times or at least be sure to "ride that pause button" as you may.

Music today by Podsafe Music Network's Mike Norton, from a compilation called "Music from Mano," an instru-bash called "From the Disk."


Monday, April 17, 2006

Takin' a Break This Week

Hey, ya'll,

Taking a break for personal reasons this week, but there's a great "Revisit Show," featuring snipsnipped clips from past episodes of that educational podcast, over at Snacks4theBrain! that I'd love you to go check out. While you're there, click on the "Feeds" link in the sidebar to browse all the past shows.

I'll also use this post to send you, especially if you're a teacher, over to to explore all the amazing resources they have to offer. I learn something every single week by listening to their podcast, which is actually the audio from a live interactive meeting of educators!

We'll be back next week with another TechTipTuesday!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

TTT 16--Spam!

Spam, that marvelous concoction of (what kind of meat?). In our modern world, "Spam" has come to mean "email I didn't ask for, don't want, and dispise having to manage" *my definition.

Listen to TTT 16 here, and please forgive my li'l rant. Everybody needs one of those every once in a while, and I really really mean it. In the show I mention a new service called "BlueFrog" that I'm currently testing out. I think I like it. Stay tuned.

Music for this week's podcast courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, a moody electronic goodie entitled "Slow Magenta" by a young Canadian who calls himself "ghoti" . Thanks, ghoti! Pic courtesy of Dan Garcia's Spam Page, a websited dedicated to the "other spam!"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

TTT 15--Spyware Detection and Removal!

Last week we talked a bit about spyware, which we tech department members classify along with adware and malware under the broad heading "scumware." This week I'm sharing one free tool that I've found useful. While not the be-all and end-all (wouldn't that be nice!), Spybot Search and Destroy is a fantastic free option for the beginning PC housecleaner. Download and listen to TechTipTuesday episode 15 here.

There are a number of other useful tools which the TTT does not mention, and on purpose. Hijack This!, AdAware, and the online Housecall are all tools that all do good jobs thoroughly but whose effective use might benefit from the touch of a more advanced user than this podcast targets. If you're brave and confident, though, they're well worth a look!

Music this week again hails from the wonderful Podsafe Music Network and is provided by a band called "This Spy Surfs," a tune called Spy Beach! In addition to their PMN weblink, the band has its own website, where they share this and several other fun songs.

Have a great, safe-surfing, springtime week!!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

TTT 14-- Spyware!!!

This week's TTT offering aims to share some information that I actually want to share with you, as opposed to the information you may be unwittingly sharing with unscrupulous operators of spyware programs who have tricked or otherwise convinced you to install their automatic reporting software on your machine. This one's closely related to TTT 13, when we looked at Internet Pop-up Messages, because those messages often provide the way a lot of this stuff can propogate.

Be sure to see the original Wired Wednesday card in the sidebar if you're a paper-collecting sort of a fellow or lass, and I'm adding one link that might help you understand this whole topic better. Knowledge is power, don'tcha know: Wikipedia's comprehensive Spyware entry.

Download TechTipTuesday episode 14 here!

Music courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, a tidy little song called "Walkin' the Beat" by a one-man group appropriately named "Electric Spy!"