Monday, December 5, 2011


Oh, hello, it's Monday night, and tomorrow is Tuesday, the first Tuesday of December.

It pains me to inform you that there will be no lessons for December. Due to personal issues (the itchy, exterminating kind), and obligations, I will be unable to fulfill my duties here. Or: Christmas is coming, and I have this awesome quilt to finish for my cousin, who is expecting what will obviously be an adorable baby:

See? Obligations!

Have a safe and happy holiday season! I'll see you in January.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Your New Gmail Icons

Gmail changed its appearance earlier this month. Some users were offered this option right away, and everyone else was promised the switch would become mandatory. (This post was written in advance, maybe it already happened!

It was the updated icons that required the most adjustment, so I thought I would cover that. My current system is to separate my messages by "unread" and "everything else" so that may look different to you in the screen shot below.
You'll notice that the icons that usually sit at the top are gone. They appear, as seen below, when you click on a message. 

Like this:
Here are the icons on their own. Maybe you're an Old Person who does well with symbols. Or maybe you're like me. (My overall tip is to hover your mouse over an icon you don't know and wait for a description to appear.)

 The icon on the far left is the SELECT icon. You might use this to SELECT ALL messages.
The next icon is a folder with an arrow on it. This ARCHIVES your messages (to ALL MAIL; it will keep any labels you have applied). The third from left icon is a STOP SIGN. This reports a selected message as spam. The TRASH CAN sends messages to the trash.

I hope "mark as read" is explanatory.

Here's the MOVE TO in action. This is what you see when you click the arrow. You then move the message to the option provided.

And here are the LABELS.
 And this is MORE:
Remember, when in doubt, hover!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Technology Lesson: Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a website where people can submit a fundraising proposal and collect money, via the Internet, to fund their projects. (This is called "crowdfunding.") The subject and goals of these projects vary. One might require only a small sum, whereas another may attempt to fund a film.

I'm feeling mildly lazy. I'll let Kickstarter explain itself:
Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.
A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.
All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.
Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse. We hope you agree... Welcome to Kickstarter!
That's a quick crash course, no?

Here's artist Amanda Palmer on her experience. Palmer, and her husband Neil Gaiman used Kickstarter to fund a tour across the West Coast:
One thing that I've been noticing about Kickstarter, and that was confirmed when I went in and had a meeting with the folks who work there, was that many people WANT TO SUPPORT and will simply SUPPORT AT THEIR DESIRED LEVEL, regardless of what's being offered. Often people will decline to even give their T-shirt size when Kickstarter sends the follow-up email — they didnt' want the shirt, they simply wanted to donate $100 and that level came with a shirt... and they already own 200 black T-shirts, they don't need another one. This is fascinating.

Here is what a page might look like. I've used an expired project by the Graduate. The band wants to release a DVD of its farewell shows.

I forgot to donate. Lest this happen to you, there's a button on the right (where that star is) that will remind you to donate.

You can see the left column features a video. (This is common.) The video explains why this project needs donations, what it helps to accomplish, and what you can receive in exchange for your donation. The right column features a countdown (zero, since the project has ended), the number of backers needed for completion, and the fundraising goal.

Donors are often given a tiered level of donating. From the Graduate's page, again:

In this example, the tiers continue up to $100.

Some other projects, as examples, are Coffee Joulies, stainless steel beans that regulate coffee temperature, Matt Porterfield's film I Used To Be Darker, and Moveable Type, a cross-country print lab.

Additional Resources:
Kickstarter's Twitter
Kickstarter: Does It Even Matter What You Sell? Insight Community
Coffee Joulies
Moveable Type
Arts-donation website helps Matt Porterfield turn his new film into a cliffhanger, The Baltimore Sun

This is not an advertisement for Kickstarter. I ran out of ideas, and Movable Type, which was funded by a campaign, gave me the idea.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Culture Lesson: Human Microphone

The Occupy Wall Street protests, which originated in New York City in September, and may or may not have ended by now (I write these posts in advance), have used a variety of tactics in communicating a variety of messages.

One of these techniques has been the Human Microphone. It's a technology free way to disperse a speech to a large crowd.

What is the Human Microphone? Allow me to explain! This is what happens: A man or woman stands in front of an attentive crowd. He or she shouts, "Mic check!" This signals that the man or woman has something to say. When the crowd responds, "Mic check!" the man or woman knows that he or she has the crowd's attention.

He or she says a short portion of a speech. The section in front of the man or woman, the first group within hearing distance, repeats the speech. A section behind those people repeat it. That bit is repeated, echoed, to the back of the crowd. It's like a round: the speaker does not wait for the stragglers in the back to receive the opening of the speech to continue. (That may take forever.) The speaker waits for the section of people in the front to finish and then continues. This process will go on until the speaker is finished.

This is a speech using the Human Microphone, as posted by New York Magazine:

For measure, here's NYM on the process:
Rather than using an agreed-upon Twitter hashtag, bullhorn, or sound system (the latter two require permits from the city) the group is using a "human microphone" technique: simply shouting back the words of the speaker so the rest of the group can hear. As you might expect, the message can get a bit garbled, and basic sentences (AND BASIC SENTENCES!) can take three times as long (CAN TAKE THREE TIMES AS LONG!) to complete (TO COMPLETE!).

So, why is a group largely organized via technology relying on lungpower to make a speech? Because one requires a permit for a bullhorn. (And a permit was supposedly issued! But the noise level was too loud. I'm still trying to verify that.) From The Nation, which also explains the fine details of camping in Zuccotti Park:
The thing is—there's no microphone. New York City requires a permit for “amplified sound” in public, something that the pointedly unpermitted Occupy Wall Street lacks. This means that microphones and speakers are banned from Liberty Plaza, and the NYPD has also been interpreting the law to include battery-powered bullhorns. Violators can be sentenced for up to thirty days in prison. Further complicating the matter is the fact that Liberty Plaza is not actually a public park. It’s privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties, landlords to Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, and in addition to amplified sound, they’ve also sought to ban sleeping bags, tents and other equipment from what they call “Zuccotti Park.”

Additional Resources:
Video: A Brief Lesson on Using the Occupy Wall Street Human Microphone, New York Magazine
Man Uses Occupy Wall Street’s Human Microphone to Propose to Girlfriend [Video], Observer
Human Microphone, Urban Dictionary
We Are All Human Microphones Now, The Nation
When the Multitude Shouts With One Voice, The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Technology Lesson: Facebook Notification (Update)

Facebook has been making a lot of changes, and hopefully the next few lessons will shed light on these adjustments—which you have surely adapted to—and provide an update to the outdated archives.

Before Facebook enraged its users in September with privacy changes (AGAIN), it e-mailed its users regarding Facebook notifications. I preferred my old settings. If you want to reset your notifications, or modify them in any way, read on.


Click the arrow at the top of your screen (next to HOME).



To undo the changes Facebook made, click the checkbox at the top of the page.


If you'd like to tweak your settings while you're there—maybe you want MORE e-mail, less e-mail, or just need to tweak your notification for unrelated reasons—begin your customization.

The first rows will disable e-mails for the notifications related to your recent activity. My first note is from (previous contributor) Bryan, who liked my Facebook photo. (Thanks, Bryan!) If I click the envelope, I'll disable the notification settings I already have in place. (No e-mail, but a note when I sign in.)

Scrolling down to ALL NOTIFICATIONS will allow you to tweak settings individually. (This is probably what you want.) Click EDIT to see your preferences and make changes.

There are my preferences! We're on personal terms, now.

Click SAVE CHANGES when you're done.

Technology Lesson: How to Get Facebook Notifications

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Technology Lesson: Blue Screen of Death

Windows 8, the newest operating system from Microsoft, has a new Blue Screen of Death (BSoD; above).

The Blue Screen of Death is formally known as a Stop Error or Bug Check. The screen usually pops up unexpectedly, and strikes fear and/or irritation in the user. I'll let Wikipedia explain what's happening when the blue screen appears:

Stop errors are usually hardware or driver related, causing the computer to stop responding in order to prevent damage to the hardware, whereupon, in the latest versions of Windows, the screen presents information for diagnostic purposes that was collected as the operating system performed a bug check.
The old screen, below, was blue with white text. It provided a length bit of code for developers pre-reboot, to "explain" the error. The new screen provides significantly less information for developers. It's still blue, but includes a sad face emoticon. This is laughable in the technology community, but at least Windows acknowledges the stress and frustration accompanied with a Blue Screen of Death?

Additional Resources:
Windows 8 Upgrades the Blue Screen of Death, Mashable
Windows' Blue Screen of Death, PC Mag
Blue Screen of Death, Wikipedia

Previously:Technology Lesson: Emoticons

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vocabulary Lesson: Murk

Today's lesson is provided because I read it in a headline, and I hate to be bested by slang. I love slang! With that established, I want you to know that Old People are not likely to encounter today's word.

And that word is: murk. Webster's New Orld College Dictionary (Fourth Edition) defines murk as "darkness or grim," and notes that the word's usage is ARCHAIC.

Slangily, the word is a verb and means to beat someone so viciously that the victims dies, succumbing to his or her injuries. It is sometimes spelled merk.

Here's the headline that forced me to Google the word: "Protect Ya Neck: FBI Steps In As Crazed 'Fan' Threatens To Murk Ne-Yo And Record Exec Clive Davis!!" 

The link below will take you to Bossip, so understand this isn't going to turn up in the New York Times any time soon. (Though it could end up on an episode of SVU hoping to gain a little street cred, yawn.)

Additional Resources:
Murk, Urban Dictionary
Protect Ya Neck: FBI Steps In As Crazed 'Fan' Threatens To Murk Ne-Yo And Record Exec Clive Davis!!, Bossip

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vocabulary Lesson: Follow Back

Today's lesson is brief, and perhaps speaks for itself, but may be worth covering just in case.

"Follow back" is a social media term used to discuss reciprocity. It might be used as a request ("Follow back?") when one person follows and/or friends another, to ask if that person will follow or friend the first user. (For example, I might add you to Twitter and ask or expect you to follow me in response.)

Or, a person might add to their bio online, "I do follow backs." That person is saying, "When you add me, I add you, too!"

Accumulating friends and followers is important in social networking (unless you are cranky, like me), and particularly important to Young People. A high number of followers may indicate popularity. (As an Old Person, you have every right to scoff, "Right! But do you know those people?!" See, I'm crabby.)

Some accounts—for most sites—exist for this purpose! Personally, I think these accounts as just as bad as spam robots. Some spammers create links, or fake websites, luring users to follow their accounts in return for an exponential increase in followers.

There is also a level of guilt associated with this action, though I doubt it is served in large doses. I found an abbreviation for this phenomenon, ISFBG (I Should Follow Back Guilt). I can't confirm that it's a popular string of letters, but it's worth knowing, I suppose, if you come across it (or suffer from it). Having too many strangers friend you, and pressure from those strangers, can occasionally needle the nerves (and patience) of the user. So, you know, beware?

The request/phrase is also sometimes shortened to "follback." If someone asks you, "Follback?" you have my permission to laugh uproariously at this stupidity. Seriously.

Additional Information:
ISFBG, Urban Dictionary
Follback, Urban Dictionary

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Technology Lesson: Listen to Music on Spotify (by Bryan Dennis)

Today's lesson is by Bryan Dennis, who kindly offered to explain Spotify, a music streaming service that is new to the U.S. (But not Europe!)

Technology Lesson: Listen to Music on Spotify

Spotify is a Swedish music service that became available in the United States in July 2011. It is legal (artists get paid when you play their music) and has millions of songs and thousands of albums and most of the artists that you will want to listen to. It is a magic jukebox but it isn’t. You need a computer with a relatively recent operating system: Microsoft Windows (2000 and newer) or Mac OS X (10.4 or newer) and a high-speed connection to the internet

If you love music and want to expand your horizons without breaking the bank this is the service for you.

Getting Started

There are three ways to get Spotify: Free, Unlimited ($4.99 per month) and Premium ($9.99 per month). Free is the way to start. The only downsides of Free are some ads and a limit on how many hours of music you can listen to in a month (20 hours). Upgrade if and when you become dissatisfied.

To get Free Spotify you must be invited. There are different ways to get an invitation but I just go to the following link where Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) will get you an invite right away. Just enter your e-mail address:

Spotify will send you an e-mail. Follow the instructions to set up your account and download and install the software you need. This may take 10–15 minutes. Then launch, log-on, and you are ready to listen.
Using Spotify

If you have used iTunes or listened to any music on the Internet you will recognize the Spotify layout: search box, forward/backward arrows (upper right), play,pause, next track, previous track, volume (lower left).

The default view is “What’s New.” Click on an album to select it and see the track list. Use the lower left Play, Pause to control playback. Click on the back arrow in the upper left to get back to What’s New. When in doubt, click and see what happens. Nothing to mess up, and you will figure things out the old fashioned way—trial and error.

Type the name of an artist, album, or song in the search box and click on the green arrow to the right of the search box. Search results are displayed below. You can select by Artist, Album, or Song. Navigation is always done by clicking on either an image or text. Give it a try. If you get lost just use the back arrow to return to the search results.

If you click on an artist name in the search results view you are taken to a new view that has sections called Top Hits, Albums (in reverse chronological order), Compilations, Appears On. Select what you want to listen to by double clicking the track you want to hear and use the Play/Pause buttons. Note that the album of the track you are listening to will be shown in the bottom left of the Spotify window.

If you click on album title in the search results view you are taken to a new view that lists the album tracks and may give a review. Double click to select a track and listen in the usual way.

In the search view is a list of all tracks by that artist. Just double click a track to start listening. Hours of your selected artist without further intervention.

Beyond the Basics
I am satisfied with the basics, but Spotify has a bunch of additional functionality. You can put together your own playlists, share the music you are listening to with friends, and even listen to the music you have on your computer from other sources, like iTunes. Explore these features as you wish.

You are tethered to your computer and a high speed connection unless you upgrade to the paid options. Sound quality is good, but not great, so audiophiles may be dissatisfied. You won’t find everything you want to listen to on Spotify (e.g., The Beatles) and it can be very hard to find the exact performance you want to listen to if you are a classical music fan.

For additional tips on how to get more out of Spotify, click here:
Listen and love Spotify. Questions?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Technology Lesson: Uploading To Your Facebook Wall Via E-Mail

This blog previously instructed you how to reply to Facebook posts via e-mail. I think this is a handy time-saver, but did you know you can post more to your Facebook wall than replies? Because you can! (Thanks to my housemate for pointing this out!)

Facebook provides its users with an individual e-mail address for this purpose. (Using it for other purpose will provide you with zero results.) You can send your status or media to the e-mail address, and the content will post to your Facebook wall. Pretty cool, right?

I'll let Facebook explain:
Your personalized uploads email address can be used to upload photos or videos to your account from a computer or mobile phone. To see what your personalized upload email is, be sure you are logged into your account, then go to the Facebook Mobile page. Alternatively, you can take the following steps:
  1. On the computer, go to the Publisher located at the top of your Wall and click the Photos button next to "Attach."
  2. Select "Upload a Photo."
  3. Click the "upload via email" link.

The email subject will be used as the caption of your photo or video, or your updated status if your email contains no photo or video. Note that photos and videos uploaded via email are visible to everyone by default, but you can change the privacy setting of any photo album by going to your Photos page and clicking "Album Privacy."

To review, you obtain your personalized e-mail by logging into your Facebook account, and going to

That page will provide you with your personalized e-mail address. I would provide a screenshot, but this seems fairly simple. Besides, as Facebook says (emphasis mine):

  • This is a secret email just for your Page - don't share it with anyone except other admins of this Page.
  • The email subject will be used as the caption of your photo or video if your email contains photo or video.
  • The email subject will be used as your updated status if your email contains no photo or video.

Some ideas for how you might enjoy using this trick:
  • Posting photos you've taken from your [e-mail capable] mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, or iPad
  • Posting a status from work without having to log in (which I would never do*)
  • Sharing videos shot from your Internet capable devise
  • Posting just about everything without logging in, ever again (I envy you already)
*But totally did at my old job, to Blogger. Probably to this blog!

Technology Lesson: Replying To Facebook Posts Via Your Inbox

Additional Resources:
Expand All
What is my personalized upload email address?
, Facebook

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vocabulary Lesson: Glamping

GLAMPING is GLAMOROUS CAMPING. The word GLAMPING is a portmanteau. This is, according to the evening news, a Thing. It is sometimes called BOUTIQUE CAMPING.

And I can hardly believe that I am telling Old People this. (This is either a new low for me, or a new low for society. Probably me.)

Glamping usually includes the conveniences of home and often focuses on deluxe accomodations and the benefits of a posh lifestyle. This is weird to me, because camping usually involves bug bites, some form of hiking, mud, campfires, and various forms of discomfort. (I am not someone who camps. Or hikes. Or does anything outdoors.)

I think I should let wiseGEEK explain, because I can't stop rolling my eyes:

During a typical glamping trip, for example, the tents are often designed with bright designer colors and materials, not the olive drab canvas tents of yesteryear. These tents can be rigged for electrical power, which means occupants can operate appliances, reading lamps and climate controls. Forget about smelly sleeping bags placed on rocky or insect-infested ground, as well. Those who have gone glamping may sleep on full-size air mattresses, or even regular spring mattresses provided by the outfitters.

Here is Tom Haverford (portrayed by Aziz Ansari), of Parks and Recreation, glamping:

Additional Resources:
Glamping, Urban Dictionary
What is Glamping?, wiseGEEK
Glamping: Its Time Is Coming, The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Technology Lesson: Twitter Security

Q: How can I prevent spammers from following me on Twitter?

A: You have options!

First, you should know that you can unfollow anyone you want, at anytime. (It's Twitter policy!) Twitter explains how to that here. And Twitter is very proactive in zapping spam accounts. (You can report spam here.) Of course, if your account is public, this will not prevent anyone from following you or reading your tweets.

The most effective way to prevent someone from reading your tweets, and following you, while keeping your account public, is to block the user. Twitter explains:
We provide all Twitter users with the ability to block other users. Blocking prevents a user from following you, sending you an @reply or @mention, or putting your account on any of their lists.
Twitter explains how to block users here.

Finally, you can lock down your account and simply NOT allow any unapproved user to read your tweets. (But if you ever go public, any user WILL be able to read your tweets.) This is what I do! I approve each user. I can follow someone without allowing the user to follow me. (Usually I allow someone to read and do not follow. Also an option!) You can adjust this in your settings.

I think this covers all the bases. Questions?

Additional Resources:
Following Rules and Best Practices,
Unfollowing from your following page,
How To Block Users on Twitter,
How To Report Spam on Twitter,
Twitter Settings

*This question has been abridged.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Technology Lesson: Shortening Links on Twitter

Q: How can I shorten links on Twitter?

A: Hoo boy!

Twitter restricts updates to 140 characters. (20 less than a text message!) So if you have a website to share, or a long hyper link, your message will be severely restricted. This is a big pain.

Fortunately, software and programs exist to shorten your URL. The URL will redirected the user to the full link. Most of the time, this shorter URL will last a long time and track page visits for you.

Many tweeters use other programs to Tweet. I used TweetDeck, which shortens the link for me. You can see TweetDeck in action below.

In the first image I've typed the link and TweetDeck is automatically shortening the link for me. In the second image the work is done. If I click the link, TweetDeck will display the full text of the hyperlink.:

In these images TweetDeck shortens the link to tinyurl. There are many options. (I like because I think it's hilarious.) is popular because it shortens urls and tracks page views. All of these sites will shorten links--some will require that you go directly to the site to breven your URL, but some will not. Some will include benefits, but others may not.

Most Twitter clients will provide a number of options. Here's TweetDeck's list. Note that I can add to the list if I want to:

Feel free to "shop around" before you commit.

Additional Resources:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vocabulary Lesson: Yacht Rock

Yacht Rock is a soft rock genre. Inspired by, or named for, the 2005 Channel 101 series of the same name, the "genre" is mostly 1970s smooth jazz and soft rock singers (almost always male).

Some examples include Kenny Loggins*, Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Toto, and the Doobie Brothers. These artist, and this subgenre of soft rock really peaked in the mid-70s to '80s, and therefore a "restrospective" title. In theory, the "yacht" in yacht rock refers to white, WASP-y yacht owners who would enjoy this music. (Or, for fans of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, big box store managers.) Some songs included references to sailing, some performers dressed as ship captains, and some music videos were set at sea.

Some music journalist have long-accepted this as a Thing, and hipsters (as they are wont to do), quickly latched on. The term is often used to lampoon the genre, but Jimmy Fallon's running gag was a gentle mockery based in reverence. So be prepared either way, and feel free to let those whippersnappers know you remember when that music was NEW.

(Make sure you check out Fallon's videos and peruse the resources I've provided below!)

*Who I sometimes accidentally call Kenny Rogers in my verbal explanations. My apologies!

Additional Resources:
Yacht Rock, IMDB
Yacht Rock Docks in New York, The New York Observer
Top 10 Yacht Rock Songs Of All Time, IGN
Monday We're Having A Yacht Rock Party Late Night With Jimmy Fallon The Blog
Yacht Rock 2K11! Late Night With Jimmy Fallon The Blog
Yacht Rock,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Technology Lesson: iChat Basics

I use iChat at work (these screenshots are from home!), and one of my co-workers mentioned that she knows Facebook chat, but is less familiar with instant messaging systems. She's technologically able, but it had never occurred to me that a seemingly newer technology would be better known! (I suppose a Facebook chat lesson is in order, too!)

So without further adieu, here are some basic tips for using iChat.

iChat is an instant messaging service, much like AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) or ICQ. iChat is pre-loaded on all Mac machines and was developed for Mas OS X. Click here for more information.

This is me, logged offline. I've clicked the small triangle next to OFFLINE. If I click AVAILABLE, I'll be asked to sign in to the service. (The program is currently set to use Jabber, which is connected to iChat.)

And here I am, having logged in through AIM, which you can also use. I recently linked my GChat and Facebook chat accounts to AIM, so you can see those groups listed here.

I can add a buddy to my list by clicking the plus sign at the bottom of the Buddy List.

I can chat with a new person by double-clicking my buddy's name in my buddy list OR by clicking FILE and NEW CHAT... at the top of the screen.

From there, I enter my buddy's name and click CHAT.

I can log off by quitting the program OR clicking the arrow on my buddy list and choosing OFFLINE.

Additional Information:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Technology Lesson: Dragging and Dropping A Playlist to an Apple Device

Now that you know how to import music to iTunes from a CD, and you know how to create a playlist, it's time to take your iPod dexterity to the next level by dragging and dropping a playlist on to your iPod.

If you know how to add music to your ipod, then you probably have a firm grip on this lesson already.

Let's get started!

Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.

Remember, your iPod is going to be found in the LEFT column under the heading DEVICES. Your playlist will ALSO be in the LEFT column under the heading PLAYLISTS.

Connect your iPod to your computer. Let the device sync, if necessary.

Find the playlist you want to drag and drop. For this lesson, I'll choose LessonsforOldPeople. (You'll note that it has only one song it, per the previous lesson.)

I have a lot of playlists on my iPod and my computer. So many that I can't see the name of my iPod when I choose my playlist! That's OK.

Click the playlist ONCE. Holding the button on your mouse without letting go, drag the playlist by its name to the iPod. If you can't see your iPod, drag it upward until you can.

Drop the playlist on your iPod. I prefer to drop it on the name so that I don't accidentally drop my playlist into another playlist.

You'll see a little circle with arrows spinning. This is the sync symbol. When the action is complete, you'll see the playlist listed under your device:

Eject your iPod when you've finished dragging, dropping, and miscellaneous organizing.

By the way, you can skip this and make a playlist on your iPod instead of iTunes. You will need to use either music already on your iPod or drag new music to your iPod from your library.

All iTunes Lessons

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Technology Lesson: Sending A Reply Without Attachments

My sister sends us three adorable photos of my niece every day. (I'm incredibly spoiled.) These photos arrive by e-mail as an attachment. Some e-mail clients attach those files to the replies by default. Here's how to avoid doing that.

Because Comcast is popular e-mail tool among adults, we'll look at Comcast first. I snuck into my parents' account and opened an e-mail I sent the night before I wrote this lesson. (As it contained photos!)

You'll notice in the screenshot above that I've highlighted the three attachments. I've done that so you can see that they are above the message you would write to send as a reply.

If the boxes next to the file names are CHECKED then the attachments will send with the mail.

If the boxes are UNCHECKED, they will not.

For bonus material, we'll review Gmail. (Because it's popular, and you ought to be using it anyway.)

It is my understanding that Gmail does NOT include original attachments as a default setting. (If it is, you can probably change this in the SETTINGS or LABS for your account.)

This is the reply area in Gmail. I've highlighted INCLUDED ORIGINAL ATTACHMENTS so you can find its location.

If you WANT to include all or some of the original attachments, click INCLUDE ORIGINAL ATTACHMENTS.

Gmail will list all of the attachments from the previous e-mail. Uncheck any attachments you do NOT want to include.

Now go forth and reply!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Technology Lesson: How to Make a Playlist In iTunes

One of my favorite "features" on iTunes, and my iPod, is the playlist.

Some of the steps in this lesson were covered in a previous lesson, when I showed you how to Technology Lesson: How to Burn a CD (Using iTunes)burn a CD using iTunes. This lesson will go into a little more detail.

Start your computer. Turn it on, and log-in (if necessary.)

Start iTunes. (There's a lesson on that here.)

Click FILE (at the top LEFT corner of your screen; this should apply to Windows users as well).

Click NEW PLAYLIST. (If you have highlighted the songs you want on your playlist, click NEW PLAYLIST FROM SELECTION.)

Apple will drop that playlist into the LEFT-HAND COLUMN. It will be an UNTITLED PLAYLIST. It will be ready to rename.

I've renamed this playlist LessonsforOldPeople.

Now find the music want on this playlist. You can grab the track list of a CD you've just imported, or you can drag individual songs. You can do this by scrolling through your LIBRARY. I prefer to use the SEARCH BAR at the top RIGHT corner of the program. (I type the song or artist so it's the only song available.)

Here I've typed in DIRT. I'm looking for DIRTY PROJECTORS. There's only two songs with DIRTY associated with it, so I stopped short of the Y.

Since I've found what I want, I'll click the song ONCE to highlight it.

I have a LOT of playlists here, so I should scroll through the left column before continuing. If you can't see your playlist "above the fold" you should do the same thing.

Click the song again to highlight it, if necessary, and, while continuing to hold your mouse, drag the song toward your playlist.

Only let go of the mouse when you have highlighted the title of your playlist. This will deposit the song in your playlist. You should see a small green circle with a + sign in it.

Click your playlist in the left column to confirm that the deposit was successful.

Ta da! Repeat as necessary. Keep in mind that CDs do not have limitless storage. Playlists in iTunes and on your iPod should be limitless, however.

Lesson: Starting iTunes
Technology Lesson: How to Burn a CD (Using iTunes)

Additional Information:
Playlists, video