DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

January 13, 2015

2014 in Review, Part 2

This week I will continue with the second half of the links we talked about last year at DoubleClicks.info.

Remember, if the site addresses are too long to type I have shortened them with bit.ly.  Here they are in their order of appearance with short descriptions of each.

  • CNet and Download (both part of CBS Interactive), great reviews, “how tos”, etc. of most everything tech at the first site and good downloads on the other.  
  • Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo, three popular free email and information providers.
  • Thunderbird – a very good email application for computer that can incorporate all of the above emails on your desktop.
  • Firefox.com – One of the most popular internet browsers.
  • Coffitivity and Rainy Mood  – fun sites which make soothing noises while you work.  
  • Barnes & Noble Nook – the B&N ereader, Nook.
  • 10,000+ Free eBooks – a place to get free ebooks including the most recent of many for Android only.
  • CCleaner, Defraggler, Recuva and Speccy – four great computer utilities from Piriform.
  • iTunes – media player and controller for all Apple products.
  • Mighty Text – enables you to send and receive text messages from your phone in your browser.  You may also dial your phone from this add-on.  
  • SnagIt  and Screenshot Captor – the first is a paid screen shot application with many features. The captor is a free app that is similar but does not have as many abilities.
  • Livescribe – the home of the Livescribe pen that records your meeting’s audio and syncs the audio to your written text. Not free.
  • Cogi – a phone application which allows you to capture, review & share the highlights of meetings and lectures.
  • Burger King, Chipotle, Domino’s, Five Guys, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Starbuck’s, Wendy’s are just a few of the many fast-food shops having apps so you can order on your phone. 
  • Calorie King – a site for your computer or phone to get dietary information on all the stuff you order from the aforementioned sites.
  • Realtor.com and Zillow.com – two excellent sites to use if you are buying or selling your home. 
  • Fitbit and Ringly and Water Dancing Droplet Speakers, Spreengs and Shoulderpod are several interesting gadgets you can buy for presents for yourself or others.
  • Ninite – a site that lets you get many applications to quickly install them all at one time without stopping all along the way to ask you questions.
  • AVG or Avast! – two of the better free antivirus applications. 
  • Malwarebytes – the best free app which checks your computer for nasty malware.
  • SpeedTest – you may check the speed you are receiving from your service provider at any time. 
  • Typing Web – if you need typing lessons or a refresher course here is the place to get help.
  • Steam Powered – a few free and many for a cost game site. 
  • PayPal – a very secure site for making online purchases.  

Stay tuned for 2015 and have a very Happy New Year!

November 4, 2014

Cogi

Livescribe.comThe article last week regarding Livescribe generated many emails from readers, for which I thank you.  I really enjoy reading about your technology thoughts and discoveries, as well as tips like the one I got from Lisa this week.  She told me about an application she uses on her phone and tablet which helps take notes too.  It is a free app named "Cogi – Notes & Voice Recorder." 

I had to find out what Cogi stood for — "cogent idea."  So it is an app that helps you keep track of thoughts and information you gain, usually when attending a lecture or meeting.  It is similar in that respect to Livescribe.

After you install Cogi, just start the app when your lecture begins.  It buffers the audio portion of the talk.  OK, what does buffering mean?  When you buffer audio it means the application actually records the voices but does not save it to the memory card on the device/phone.  It keeps a good portion of the audio in your phone/table’s RAM (temporary) memory.

If you hear someone say something really vital and important to remember or follow-up on, click the "Tap to highlight" button.  It then records the audio portion to a file and continues until you click the, "Tap to stop" button.  You can set it to go back from 15 to 45 seconds.

Visit Cogi.comOnce the lecture is over and you have "highlighted" the important parts tap and hold the button and it stops.  It names the session for the date you recorded.  You can rename the file to something more familiar to you if you wish.

During the recording you can also add photos you take during the lecture.  Say someone draws a diagram on a whiteboard.  You can photograph it and add that into the recorded session.  That way you have any visual information with the audio so you have it all.

You also may add any photo to the recording session if you would like.  In their demo they show that you can even photograph a page of notes to add to the audio lecture. 

At this point Cogi is only available for Android or iPhones.  I imagine they are writing code for Windows phones too, but this remains to be seen.  

They advertise that the concept is simple and I agree. When you hear things that are significant, many times you cannot remember or capture them.  So this makes it easy to remain focused on all that is going on and grab the information you need.

I gave Cogi a spin a few times and found that the WAV sound of the voice recording was nearly 5MB per minute.  A little large but it played very well when I played it back on my phone.  It also gives you the options of emailing the files (pictures included) to someone or saving them to your computer, Copy.com, Dropbox, etc.  The pictures I took looked great too, they were large files; however, that is dependent on your camera not Cogi.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  

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