About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

April 24, 2012

Android Tablet Apps

I always receive emails from Android users asking what apps I like to run on my phone and tablet.  I always have to insert when I mention phones that I work for NTELOS Wireless, so there you go.

Anyway, I thought instead of writing each person individually for a while I would tell you all here.  I know many in world like iPhones and all they offer, but I am an Android lover so I won’t mention them much.  However, NTELOS started carrying iPhones just last week so when I get a hold of one my opinion may change slightly… nah.

imageI wrote an article about some apps back in January of this year but these are always changing.  For instance, then it was called the Android Market;s now it is named Google Play and found at a different URL:  I guess one of the reasons the name changed is now you can purchase more than just Android apps.

OK, here is my list of apps I use and like most.  There are others that may do the same things but I like these or have not heard of the others yet. So if you have suggestions please shoot me an email and let me know.

All of these can be found on Google play if you search for them.

Nook for Android – if you are a Barnes and Noble e-book reader you can use this app to read on your phone or tablet PC instead of your nook.

Barcode Scanner – Scan barcodes on products and look up prices and reviews. Also QR for websites, information, contact, etc.

Bible – (by LifeChurch) great bible app with many versions.  You can study; use an annual reading plan and more.

Evernote – this app lets you take notes, photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders, etc.  You can then make them searchable and sync them across most platforms so you can find them anywhere.

Facebook -I cringe recommending this since I am not a fan, but lots of people use it, even me on rare occasions. 

Fox News – I am not much into news but this app works well and that’s the news for now.

Moon+ Reader Pro – You know me; I don’t like to pay for apps, but pay for this one I did. It reads all non-DRM e-books.  There is also a free version to try out.

Office Suite Pro – OK, here’s another I like so well I actually pay for the full version. This replaces Microsoft Office on your Android devices. It does a better than average job of it, too.

See you next week with a few more.  Remember let me know if you have some favorites!

March 19, 2012

2012-03-19 WSVA Show Notes

Here you go the show notes from Monday, March 19, along with the podcast.  Enjoy to fun and games and let me know what you think.

Have fun with your new iPods if you an owner of the “new” iPod.

Tech News
The newest iPad is out
I don’t need to say much just Google for ipadand seen the bazillions of articles. There is one I read where a lady got in line several days before they went on sale (she was #3 in line) and sold her place to a guy for $5,000. Proof that some people are truly insane.Windows 8 Consumer Preview
The next Windows Operating System, cleverly named, “Windows 8” has a consumer preview available to anyone who wants to give it a whirl. This is ONLY for you if you are geeky enough to install it virtually on an existing computer or you have a computer you don’t mind installing it on and then running W8 as your main system.

I have been using it for a week or so and so far I’m not that impressed…unless it is on a tablet PC. For a notebook or desktop I would stick with W7 at least as it stands now.

It bothers me that their online video shows media galore, email and not much else. Why don’t they push some office compatibility.

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(this app can be found on the android market from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
Moon ReaderIn my opinion this is the best book reader out there for non-DRM (Digital Rights Management [copyright protection]) e-books. Read thousands of ebooks for free, supports online ebook libraries.

  • Read local books with smooth scroll and tons of innovation.
  • Support txt, html, epub, umd, fb2, chm, zip or OPDS, key features:
  • Full visual options: line space, font scale, bold, italic, shadow, justified alignment, alpha colors, fading edge etc.
  • 10+ themes embedded, includes Day & Night mode switcher.

Save your Smartphone from becoming a Dumbphone (or any other electronic device) when they get dropped in water.

Water damage has threatened our devices for far too long. Liquipel protects every feature of your device with a revolutionary waterproof shield.

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

At this point in time to use it you must request an invite to the program. Without a “membership” you can only browse a little of the content.

True Crypt
If you carry around free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Thanks for looking, listening and I hope to see you back next month, Monday, April 16 @ 10:00o am on WSVA Radio with Jim Britt.

January 23, 2012

2012-01-23 WSVA Show Notes

Welcome to the first show of 2012!  This is the beginning of our third year and I am certainly glad you are still listening and reading.

I want more of you this year to sign up and be members of the site. It costs (my favorite amount) $0.00, all you need is an email address and I will NOT SPAM you.  I think I sent out one email last year to all the members.

So anyway here you go with the notes from the latest show along with a link to the podcast if you would prefer to listen to the show.

Thanks for joining us.


Tech News
Tablet, e-book ownership soaring, study finds
A study finds the number of people who own tablets or e-readers has soared after the devices proved to be a popular gift over the holidays.A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project set to be released Jan. 23, 2012, finds that 29 % of Americans owned at least one tablet or e-reader as of the beginning of this month. That’s up from 18 percent in December.

Americans are Quitting TV
Has America’s love affair with bigger and better TVs gone sour?According to a survey from Accenture, people are watching less broadcast and cable TV. Less than a third intend to buy a new TV in 2012. Smartphones, tablets and computers are eroding traditional TV viewing — bad news for TV manufacturers and traditional content providers.

The online survey of 10,000 adults in 10 countries, including 1,000 in the U.S., found that the percentage of people watching broadcast or cable TV in a typical week on televisions fell from 71 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2011. The percentage of consumers who intend to buy a TV set during the next 12 months also declined, from 35 percent in 2010 to 32 percent in 2011.

Columbia University says the net may be changing the way we think
The rise of Internet search engines like Google has changed the way our brain remembers information, according to research by Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow published July 14 in Science.“Since the advent of search engines, we are reorganizing the way we remember things,” said Sparrow. “Our brains rely on the Internet for memory in much the same way they rely on the memory of a friend, family member or co-worker. We remember less through knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found.

If your child receives free school lunches, you may qualify.
Internet access for $9.95/month plus taxes.No price increases, no activation fees, no equipment rental fees.

Geocaching with Android
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.

Now you can geocache using your Android phone and Groundspeak’s Geocaching for Android Application.

Dad creates Autism App

imageRon’s nephew, Joe Hill, creates an iPhone app to help his two kids, the family and the rest of the world with Autism.

I hope you are able to listen in and call in next month along with visiting the site between now and next month  on Monday, the 2oth of February, 2012.

November 8, 2011

Take a Tablet

During the summer months I wrote several articles regarding e-book readers in general and more specifically Barnes and Noble’s Nooks (  They are both great to have if you are a reader; however, something different has come to my attention.

I was very happy to receive a gift of a tablet PC and I have to say, "I think it is great!"  I did not get an iPad, which is the most popular right now.  I received a tablet I had never heard of, the Toshiba Thrive.  Now that I am using it I think I may never use another.  It has just about everything I would look for in a tablet PC and some things I would never have thought available.

I will start with a definition just in case you are not aware of what a tablet PC is.  A "tablet" is a crossbreed type of computer.  It is a cross somewhere between a notebook computer and a smartphone…lacking the phone part. Of course, with the Thrive ( and Skype ( that isn’t exactly correct, but more on that later.  Also, it does not have a keyboard on the outside but it does have a digital one built-in.

Toshiba ThriveThe Thrive has a 10.1" high resolution touch screen.  This means that it is smaller than my 17" work notebook but larger than my 8.9" personal netbook.  This screen is great for reading a Barnes and Noble e-book (or any other brand) and watching movies or TV shows on Netflix.  Yes, you can watch other TV networks’ sites too. 

You may ask what I use my Thrive for.  I surf the net.  OK, I realize that was an obvious use.  I also check email for work and home, read the Daily News-Record, read other news sources from around the world, post my columns to, send my columns to the DNR and others for publishing, watch a TV show I missed last week, log onto my desktop computer if I need a file I don’t have on the tablet, write this column…What? Write on a tablet?

OK, in my opinion there are two disadvantages to a tablet.  First is the keyboard, which is adequate for typing an occasional short email or web address.  However, if you are typing a 500-2500 word article it is way too slow, even if you use Swype like I do.  You cannot type as fast as you can on a regular keyboard.  It is more hunt and peck; of course, if you type that way on a regular computer it will be fine for you.

Included with the Thrive is a full size USB port, so that means you can plug in most USB devices.  This includes most full sized keyboards.  You can also plug in a thumb drive for copying pictures to and from the Thrive.  Did I just say pictures?  I did and the Thrive has two cameras.  There is one camera on the back for taking photos and movies.  The other is on the front which can be used to take the user’s picture.  Why you may ask?  I will talk more about that next week.

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