All posts tagged software

GTask Issues

One of my most used app on my Droid X is GTask. It’s essentially the Google task bar from Gmail on your phone. It will automatically sync up with Google Task bar, and you can keep a list just for your phone if you like.

I really like that you can set recurring events and set reminders. It is really helpful when trying to remember to put the garbage! The problem I’ve been having recently is that these recurring event reminders are accumulating. So now when the remind comes up about garbage night, it literally announces about 40 reminders, which I’m guessing is the number of weeks that I’ve been using it to remind me to take out the trash!

I haven’t really had the time to dig into it, or at least no time when I’m thinking about the issue. I’m guessing that I’m going to have to uninstall it and re-install from the Google store (which I notice is now called the Play Store). The trick is I just have to take the time to do it. It’s not as quick as it sounds because I need to write down all the things I have in there that I need to remember, so that I can remember to put them into the app when it’s re-installed.

Then I need to dig into why it’s doing this. I’m guessing it has something to do with the way that I click off the reminder when it comes up. It goes away until the next week when it comes back double. So it’s either a bug or something I’m doing.

I’ll keep you posted as to what the deal is when I get it all fixed up. Speaking of which I guess maybe I should do it now while I’m thinking of it 🙂

Games Soft Processor

For older games (like from the Atari era) or newer smaller games (like the apps on your smart phone) it is a common practice to set them up and run them on a soft processor. A soft processor is microprocessor core that can be wholly implemented using logic synthesis. To me this basically means a soft processor is something you virtually create using programming instead of an actual hard processor which is a chip on a board that physically exists inside your computer.

These soft processors make a great fit for the older style games. Think Pitfall, Pacman, or Qbert, just to give you an idea. You can make them for different sized but if you really need something huge like would run some of today computer games which are smash hits you would go with a larger hard processor.

These games soft processor are also a nice fit for the type of games which run on today’s smart phones like Angry Birds. Today’s smart phone app games are much more sophisticated then the Atari classics of yesteryear but they are still small by today’s standard for sure.

So if you are looking to run existing smaller games, or maybe even create your own, you definitely need to consider the soft processor.

Microsoft Office 2007 – Free Download

Free Trial Microsoft Office 2007It seems like it really was just yesterday when Office 2007 came out. There are a few perks to 2007 that I really use quite a bit but my first impression was that it was the same thing only they moved all the buttons around and now it’s confusing to use instead of being user friendly! And that heartbeat button up at the top left just makes me feel like I have to rush, lol.

Well it’s been sometime now and I’ve gotten used to where everything is and that’s not longer and issue. There were some bug fixes and technical upgrades, but probably the number one upgrade that impacts my day to day work is that Excel no longer has the 65,000 line limitation. That really is a big one when you are playing around with data files. There is still a limitation but it’s more like a million lines depending on how many columns you have. That is much more manageable.

Microsoft Office 2007 Free Download

While I’m never an advocate of stealing or pirating software there are some legit places you get get a free copy of 2007 for legit reasons. The obvious one is that if you own a copy all ready and something happens to the install and you don’t have a backup disk of some kind, then Microsoft will usually allow you to download a free copy. I suppose that isn’t really like you can download Mircosoft Office for free because you originally paid for it but it counts.

If you really want Microsoft Office free then the best bet is to find a Microsoft Office free trial to get the ball rolling. Some new PC setups come with the trail version installed all ready, and you can also download this trail version Office 2007 as well. It basically it just like the full version except you have a limited number of uses before it locks you out and you have to enter a user key which you get when you go online and pay for it.

 

So if you don’t all ready have Microsoft Office 2007 then I definitely suggest getting a copy especially if you can find one for free, at least to try it out. If you are like me then it’ll take a little getting used to at first, but once you do it’ll feel as comfortable as previous versions and the new upgrades are worth the learning curve.

Online Business Management

small business management softwareOnline business management can mean different things for different businesses. For instance for a very small business this kind of person might be more of a coordinator or a personal assistant. However, for a midsize to large company it can really be a high level long term planning type of position. If you business is based online then it really might be heavily involved in the day to day operations. If you have a large brick and mortal operation though this person might spend more time looking and long term planning for everything from hiring and HR issues to fixed asset management to business planning of dollars and cents.

In my opinion I feel like the best fit and more interesting online business management position is for an online endeavor. If everything is all ready online there is no change that you are really the outside and no reason to think you won’t be heavily involved in the real decision making. Especially in a smaller to mid-sized company this can really be the exciting type of position because you are so involved in the operations and it can be so different from day to day. It really isn’t going to be one of the positions where you feel like you are just punching widgets all day everyday for your whole career. One day you might be working with an IT consultant planning what equipment you are going to need over the next 5 years, and then next you might be working to help put together a major contract that will cover you sales goal for the entire year.

Another common role for an online business consultant is putting together business proposals, typically to help secure financing. Depending on how much money the company is looking to borrow these can be really involved processes and reports with lots of market research and forward thinking of what you can reasonably expect the company performance to look like.

So if you own a company which really needs someone to look after the long term planning while you are in the trenches making sales contacts and dealing with operations an online business consultant can really be right for you. And if you are someone looking for an exciting career and have a great head for business then it can be a great option as well.

Computer System Consultants – How Can They Help?

Computer Consulting FirmsWhen you talk about a computer system consultant you are usually talking about a business setting. If you are looking for help with you home network then it is usually too small for someone like a computer system consultant, so you are usually just going to have the same guy come in that would fix your personal hard drive. A computer system consultant suggests a whole other level of involvement. This is the kind of person or team of people that are going to come in an assess your overall needs and put together you software and hardware, including servers for all you employees, for 10 to hundreds of thousands of employees.

How to know you need a Computer Consultant

The easiest illustration to use when describing how to know when you have a need is the small business that grew quickly. Maybe you started your business out of your garage and it took off. You hired one person then two people, and a year later your have a dozen or so employees. The next year you are walking through you new office space and realize you have people working for you that you’ve never met.

If you find yourself in this kind of growth situation you likely stated with a personal computer. Then you needed more so you have one of your people go online and find the best deal of some PC’s. Then a few months later you hired 5 more people and bought 5 other computers. Somewhere along the line you added a server in the mix for storage. Now you have people in the office, in the field, and working from home all on different setups and you are trying to support it all. At this point it can easily get to where you are spending more resources on getting people connected and working with your next work instead of doing whatever you business does to make money. This is the perfect definition of a time when you need a computer system consultant.

What does a Computer System Consultant Do? 

Basically once you’ve chose the computer consultant and hired them then are going to come in and see what you do, how you use your technology now, and how you would like to use it moving forward. They will then custom make a plan for a whole solution of technology set ups that will work for all your people and operative smoothly. Often these same consultants will offer tech support for a fee, so if you choose you can totally outsource the headaches. Of course this is going to cost you, but it is often much cheaper once you calculate how much you have spend in time and resources trying to do it in house.

So when you find yourself in need of a good computer consultant don’t hesitate. Get them in and let them set up something that will really work for you. And consider hiring them to do the support as well. Get back to making widgets and making money, instead of wasting time and money on things that aren’t going to make you any profit!

Music Download Programs – Apps

free ipod download musicWhen it comes to downloading music there are two major players in the legal category. There are many out there from the Napster days, like limelight and others which aren’t legal (although I heard Napster is legal these days…who knew :). For me it’s not worth the risk, or the guilt of stealing the free music. I mean imagine if you spend years making something that you were hoping to sell and then millions of people came into your garage and took a copy?!

Music Download Programs

Of course the big number one in this industry is the Apple Music Store which is mainly for the Ipod although you can use it for other media too. Digital music had been around for quite a while but it took Steve Jobs to figure out how to make it user friendly for the masses. Once he made the Ipod easy, he then make the music buying easy as well. It was the synergy of those two areas which really made the whole industry flip on end.

The other main player is Amazon. You can get music from the Amazon store just like you can from the Apple Music Store. Typically the songs on Amazon are 99 cents which is cheaper then Apple. Also my understanding is the Amazon files have less restrictions as to how many times you can copy them to your devices. Again, I’m not at all advocating that you buy it and then sell it or give it to others, but if you have multiple Ipods, or would like it on your computers as well then it is your file and you should be able to use it where ever you are!

Not all music downloading programs are created equally of course, but these two really seems to be the most user friendly and cost the least as well (as long as you don’t count stealing the music for free).

How to Transfer Music from Your Computer to Your Ipod

Depending on where you are downloading the music files to they may well end up on your computer, which is handy if that is where you are going to listen to them. More often then not of course you are going to want those files on your Ipod. You may also have an old CD collection from before you had an Ipod that you would also like put on as well. Once you have the software installed and your Ipod linked to your computer it is really easy. It’s just a matter of deciding which songs you want to move and dragging them to the right place. The same is true if you want to move music from Ipod to computer.

What Else Besides Ipod?

Believe it or not there are tons of other devices that play songs out there these days. Sure Ipod was the first and holds the majority of the market share, but most all phones today will play and store music files. I personally have the Droid X and because of that I prefer the Amazon store for my music. The concept really is just the same as with the Ipod though. The point is Ipod was first and they should be acknowledged for it, but don’t be afraid to try something else too. Once something is discovered it can be relatively easy to improve on it by others.

Google Calendar – Keeping Track Of The Family Schedule

Google Calendar AppMy wife and I both have the Droid X. We’ve had them for about a year and a half now and really love them. Sure there are some frustrations that you are going to have with any computer, but over all they are really awesome. Notice that I said computers, and not phones. These things are really little computers that you can carry around that also happen to make phone calls! Both of us came from having flip phones before our Droids and it was like a whole new world!

Google Calendar

One of the really nice perks that we found was the app for Google Calendar. The Droids run on the Android operating system so they all ready came installed with the app. Once we synced them with our gmail accounts we were off and running. We then realized that we could all access to each others Google calendars and life really got easier.

Having a family of four with two young kids life can get really hectic. There is always something going on with school, sports, or some other activity that one or both of us need to attend and be on time. It really used to be a pain to keep track of it all. Don’t get me wrong it can still be hectic of course, but keeping track of it is really much easier now.

Whenever one of us see something that we need to know about we just put it on the Google calendar (which can be easily done right on the phone, or you can do it online if you happen to be at the computer as well). Within minutes, and sometimes less, it is showing on both our phones and online. Also when we have personal meetings, usually for work, where we can’t be available for kid stuff, we make sure to put that on the calendar as well. Then as the days approach and we are trying to figure out the plan we can just take a quick look at the Google Calendar App and know a pretty good idea of what is going to go on. Or if there is a conflict where two things are going on at once, or neither of us is available and need to be, we can see it ahead of time and adjust accordingly.

 

Free Tax Filing Online

Turbo Tax 2011So right now we are all about to celebrate the holidays and its all warm and fuzzy, right? But soon after that the reality of what we really spend is going to sink in and the bills for all that fun is going to come in our mailbox. As we move from the warm and fuzzy to the financial reality the tax man also comes knocking on our door as well. So it’s time to get your mind wrapped around what you tax burden is going to be this year as well. Not to mention if there are things you can do during the year to reduce what you are going to owe then you have just a couple weeks left to do it.

Free Tax Filing Software

When it comes to filling you taxes with your computer online Turbo Tax is king, although there are other competitors out there as well. In recent years it has become popular to offer this tax calculating and filing service for free. Typically as far as I have seen it is just the very basic tax returns which are offered for free. These returns are so very basic that it would be hard to justify charging for them anyway, and I’m sure the software makers hope is that you’ll get working on it and then realize you need to upgrade the software to a pay version because of some complication with your tax picture. It’s the same business model as the garage that offers free inspections on your car in hopes they will find something in need of repair which they can charge for.

So if you are looking for free tax filing online I would highly suggest Turbo Tax. If you are one of the folks that have a very basic return and can get away with the free version then you are in luck. If not then you were going to have to pay anyway, so you are no further behind. The free tax filing year that is coming up with be for calendar year 2011 and is due April of 2012. However if you are looking to file for past years you can search for any of the following:

Free Tax Filing 2009

Free Tax Filing 2010

Free Tax Filing 2011

Data Storage

One really nice perk that Turbo Tax (and other tax software makers) now offer is data storage. So you can put your return together online, print, and send it, but then they will also offer to store your return. This is nice for two reasons. One, if for some reason you need a copy of your return down the line you can just log on and print it out. So no more searching through filing cabinets or piles of paperwork in your basement in hopes of finding a tax return from years ago. Also, if you choose the same tax software maker in future years they will carry you information forward so that you can complete the process of filing much quicker. For example, it’ll carry you address and employers forward on future years returns. This can be very convenient and time saving. Also it might save you some money too as some deductions will depend on past years filings, which the software can catch as well!

Soft Games Data – ZD Soft Game Recorder

soft games downloadVideo games have come a long way since I first started out playing the Atari 2600. Pac Man, Q Bert, and Pitfall were totally awesome, do doubt. But the games of today are about as close to being there as they have ever been. I’d love to see them remake Pitfall on one of the new gaming systems or for the current computer and see what that would look like, but I’m just not too sure it would keep the interest of today’s kids. If they can remake Transformers I won’t give up home yet though.

Record Your Games

There is a new concept though for today’s online and computer based games. Recording your soft games data or basically capturing the game you are playing for future review. Now in fairness this isn’t totally new as I invented in in the late 80’s. Back in my day I was playing around with our home’s cutting edge A/V equipment and put this all together. By this I mean I figure out how to wire the Nintendo through the VCR, and record my game onto a VHS tape. I of course had no real use for this recording other then to say I had done it so it went no where. That’s the difference today though. These games today are just so involved and you can play with people who aren’t even in the room (across the globe for that matter). When you really get into these games it can really be worth recording the game for future review so that you can see where you went wrong and get better.

Proof of How Awesome You Are

Now that I think about it I also remember back in the day the other reason you might want to capture at least one screen of you game. Before home gaming systems we all went to arcade and when we got the high score we could put in our initials for bragging rights. Then once we all started playing at home I remember seeing in magazines how they were having high score contests and to prove that you got the score you claimed you need to take a picture of the screen showing you score. This is of course before the days of digital pictures and photo shop so the picture itself could be trusted.

Ahh the good old days! 🙂

News Apps – USA Today

When I think about the apps that I use most I have to include the USA today app I downloaded shortly after I got my Droid X. It is a really nice working app which is really well done and is a great reflection of what you think an app should be that would reflect the USA Today newspaper.


Headlines

The main tab which comes up when you load the app is for Headlines. It will scroll through about two screens of the top news stories, usually with a thumbnail pictures. If you click the story it’ll take you to the detailed news story and you can usually blow up the pictures when you click on it as well.

You can also click on any one of a listing of the sections of the newspaper as well to get a detailed list of all the stories for that given section as well.

Scores

The next tab is called scores, and as you can imagine it is for getting the sports scores. Sure there are lots of other apps for getting game scores which do a great job but when I just want to check a specific score or the days results I always find myself going to the USA Today app to find them. Its just a nice basic layout of all the scores which you can flip from screen to screen for the different sports quickly.

Weather

Just like the print version I find that I don’t use this section very much. Not that it’s not good information, it’s just that I don’t travel that often so I don’t need the weather for the whole country. And I live in a big state so I’d rather get the weather for my regional area not the whole state. If I travel though I usually will flip to the weather in the USA Today app to see what to expect.

Pictures

This is a cool section that I’ll check out on occasion when I have some downtime. If you are sitting on the train or waiting in a line and are looking to pass the time this is a great way to do it. You can look at the pictures of the day by category. So you can see all the headline type photos with captions, or space pictures, sports, or pictures of celebrities as well.

Snapshots

This is a great little tab which is an electronic version of the great infographics that USA Today is really known for in their print newspaper. If you choose to have you GPS activated then it’ll also incorporate geographic factors into the results as well.