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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Free Up Space On Your Android Phone With Google Photos

You can set up Google Photos app to save your pictures automatically to your Google Drive. First make sure you have Google Photos installed. If not here is the link.
Now open Google Photos app.

Tap the three dashes in the upper left corner. Select settings.


Look for Google Drive and make sure the slide switch is on. Next tap Back up & sync. Make sure the slide switch is on there as well. If you have added camera apps you made have additional folders that contain images. if so tap on Back up device folders and activate the slide switch.

Now give it a day or so to back up your pictures.

If all this was already set you can go back into settings. Your ready to free up space.

So here is the part that will free up storage space on your phone. 

Go back into settings and tap Free up device storage. Or on the previous menu Free up space. A pop-up window will tell you how many files photos and videos will be deleted. It will also tell you that the pictures have been safely backed up to your Google drive. 

So you can easily free up hundreds of megabytes of space on your phone or tablet with this feature. I hope you found this helpful.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mobile Maps - Android

In my opinion maps on a mobile phone are some of the most useful apps available. Here are some of my favorites.

Of course Google Maps has changed GPS usage forever. 
Add Streetview and you have the ability to see what your destination looks like.
You can navigate just fine with Google Maps but the Driving shortcut makes it a little easier to get strait into that mode. For places you goto often.

Find directions
  1. Navigate to the widget section on your phone or tablet.
  2. Find the "Directions" widget .
  3. Tap and hold the widget and drop it on your home screen.
  4. At the top, choose a mode of transport.
  5. Type a destination and create a shortcut name.
  6. Check any boxes that match your preferences. ...
  7. Tap Save.

You ask why do I need a GPS for places I goto often? Because Google maps gives up to date traffic reports. So you can quickly see how your trip to work is going to go for example.


c:geo is a Geocaching app. We'll save that for another post.

That brings us to GPS share. This app allows you to share your location with other people. Via all the methods you can share other information about yourself. For example you can text it to an individual. Making it possible for that person to find you in a crowd. Or you could share it on Facebook or Twitter to give a group of people a link to locate you.

You could also use it to mark a spot you want to remember. These are some of my favorite map apps. Do you have some to share?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Money Saving Tech: Free Magazines

I retired recently. So money saving measures are on my mind. OK maybe that not a new thing for me. Did you know your local public library is a source of free digital media? That's right besides free books you can get e-books, audio books, movies, music, and magazines. This post will be about magazines. Go to your library website. Chances are you will find a link to digital content similar to the one shown here.

Look for a electronic magazine link. You will need an account with the offering company. For me that is Zinio. I plan to check out Flipster soon. Warning! They also sell magazine subscriptions. You may want to purchase a magazine not carried by the library. That is fine, and the prices are usually quite good. However I have to warn you. I only purchase single editions. I bought a couple of subscriptions and had a very hard time keeping them from auto renewing.

Anyway the library selection is really very good. Hundreds of magazines are offered at my library.

The list is also searchable by topic. Photography for example.

You can read them from your PC at the Zinio website or you can put the app on your tablet. Download the magazine (many back issues are available too). Once you get used to the tablet page flipping technique you love getting magazines for free.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Some Online Educational Sites

How to Take Free Courses from Top Universities - Techlicious . I want to add a couple of my favorite online educational sources. Free step by step learning at . Free and paid serious multimedia learning across a huge library of courses are here

Happy learning!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Breaking From Cable TV

Breaking From Cable TV

The latest disruptive technology. Streaming TV from the internet. Sometimes (rarely) things old are new again. This new thing includes an old thing. TV via antenna. It turns out that if you live in a metropolitan area you can get free TV over the air. You just need an antenna. There is a bonus to doing this. A better picture. Yes it's true. Your cable company compresses your local TV channels to save bandwidth. You may notice a slightly sharper picture by using an antenna. I recommend you get an amplified antenna (see the example link). It's probably a good idea to try this before cancelling your cable. Read 5 Steps to breaking with your cable company: before you make the call. Antenna Example:

Besides an antenna you will probably want to have access to the internet. The internet has a huge amount of programming available for free or very little cost. If your internet service provider (ISP) is your cable company you will want to make sure you keep this service when you cut the cable TV service. To get internet programs on your TV you will need a device. The device can be the TV itself. Internet TV's (AKA Smart TV) are available from multiple manufactures in various sizes. If your not wanting to lay out the money for a new TV there are a number of devices to make your current TV "smart". Stand alone devices come with a remote and access the internet to bring programming to your TV. Some of them also allow you to stream video from your computing equipment. Desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, they can all be used to stream to an Apple TV for example. Or you can stream to a Chromecast from Google. WARNING: Your ISP may block premium streaming content like HGTV for an example. However you may still get the programs by going to their website or other websites like

Good Luck. Please share any information you have with me.
Update: Here is a current state of the cable industry.

Stand Alone.
Apple TV:
Amazon Fire TV:

Broadcast from other devices.

Sling TV:
CBS all access:
5 little known sites

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Password Recovery

Have you ever needed to get your password from a site log in?
You know like this ...

Well it turns out it very easy. Just right click in the box where the dots conceal your password.

Select "Inspect element" from the menu that drops down. You'll see the code that makes the webpage. Look for the word "password".

Right click the "password" line, and select "Edit attribute".

Change "password" to "text". Your password will be displayed where the dots were. I hope this will be help you if you ever need it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Case Study: Saving Money In The Digital Age

Everyone has different providers and plans. I thought I would give my example as a way to reduce cost.

Cable TV $120+ cellular service $120+. That's over $240 dollars a month. Think about that. That is what we were paying. When our year with AT&T U-Verse caused discounts to expire we received notice that our bill would jump to over $180. That shocked me into action.


We have changed to Comcast Xfinity Internet, HBO, Streampix, basic service $50+. Hulu+ $8.

Roku 3 is 5x faster and has a motion controller for games A one time $100.


Republic Wireless Moto G phone $150 one time. Monthly cost $10 for unlimited Talk & Text, no Data except via wifi.

New monthly cost: Phone $20 TV $60 for about $160 a month in savings! That is $1900 in savings a year! Minus the one time costs and we will still save around $1500 the first year.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Intro To Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printing

This entry is about the popular and affordable Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) form of 3D printing. Click the following link for a description of the 4 types of 3D printing.
Here are some links and information about FDM 3D printing. The first thing you need for a 3D print is a 3D drawing. You can create your own using software like Tinkercad for beginners and children. On the professional end of the scale is Solidworks, Autocad (free version), or Sketchup. There are more just do a Google search. Autocad and Tinkercad have Chrome apps. You have to save or export your drawing to an .stl file format. 
If you don't want to jump in to drawing yet you can download pre-made drawings. From websites like Thingiverse (free) or Yeggi (a search engine for 3D models), Turbo Squid. Of course the drawing programs all offer drawing in their format that can be saved or exported as an .stl file.
Next you'll need software to "slice" the .stl file. Slice is the term for generating the coordinates in X Y and Z 3D space where the printer will place the melted plastic. That information is saved in a G-Code file (.gcode). Some software for that operation is Slic3r, Simplify3D, and Cura. These can be incorporated into programs designed to give you complete control over your printer. Repetier and Matter Control are examples of printer control programs.  
Of course you will need a 3D printer to bring your object into the real world. Here are some to look at. First if you are interested in the famous do it yourself Reprap Project where a 3D printer is used to print the parts for another 3D printer. After that is the Makerbot line starting with the Mini at $1375 as I write this. I decided on a Robo3D for a balance of cost $799 and features. The market place is exploding. At a recent Maker Fair in Kansas City I saw the Q3D Printer which starts at $199. I was impressed with this tiny printer. 

Currently I mostly use models from Tinkercad. Slice them using Matter Control and Cura. Then load the G-Code on a SD card and print on my modified Robo 3D.

I hope this will help you get started in the fun of 3D printing.