Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Activate iPad or iPod Touch without a Credit Card

[Updated 2/21/2013 fixed link]

You can activate a ipad or ipod Touch without a CC (Credit Card) but  it does take a few extra steps.

You will have to create an  " iTunes App Store account" first.  Very important, this is were a lot of frustration can happen (don't ask me how I know), make sure you are in the App Store, not the iTunes Store.

Then you must install a free app, any free app will work AFAIK, this is basically a work around to create account without CC as far as I can tell.

Rest is pretty straight forward.

You select create new account.

When you get to payment options,  select "None" as the payment option.

Step by step instructions with clear pictures at Apple Support:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learn how Wifi works.

This Ars article on WiFi is well written and informative.

It provides a solid basic technical explanation of WiFi, in words anyone that uses computers can understand.

I am in the planning stages for setting up good, gaming quality, home WiFi LAN, so I am mining this article for hints and tricks for setting one up.

Good source of information and "How To" for people using Blogger

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to improve Prius seats

Don't know how practical this is, but at this link someone adds lumbar support and heat to a factory Prius seat.

I am going to have to do more research on this, I really would like to replace my current car with a Prius, but the factory seats in a Prius are crummy.

Here is Rostra link, the company that sells the aftermarket lumbar support.  They can be bought here though there are two models and I am not sure this is correct model for Prius.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to be Green with Apple iPad & Blackberry Playbook

Alternate Title:  How to mirror iPad & Playbook to VGA Monitors.

I got a Blackberry Playbook recently, thought I had the right mini HDMI to HDMI cable so I could mirror using HDMI connections on TV.  Turns out I need a micro HDMI to HDMI cable/adapter, so I will be getting a micro to mini HDMI adapter tomorrow.  Then I can use the mini HDMI to HDMI cable to hook it up.

My bad, I didn't know there was a micro and a mini HDMI.

Bright side of this frustration, I learned some useful things today while resolving this mistake, I now know I can get a HP HDMI to VGA adapter to connect the Playbook to older VGA.


Also now that I understand bit more about HDMI & VGA, I think we will probably get a iPad VGA Adapter for the iPad my girlfriend got a couple of weeks ago

We originally got the HDMI adapter for the iPad, because I knew her TV had a HDMI connection, now I know we can use VGA.  The way the adapters were labeled at the store we bought the stuff from, I thought the VGA was for the iPad "1" not the iPad 2, live and learn.  Now I know the VGA adapter will work for iPad 2.

Since the VGA adapters for the Playbook & iPad will let us mirror the tablets on the old VGA monitors that we have sitting around.  I realized that this is a lot greener than several of the other options I had been considering for our computer needs. 

Reusing is a lot more efficient than Recycling.  Since Recycling involves breaking stuff down and remaking a new product.  It also saves money.  $30 for an adapter lot less than the $200 for a new monitor. Plus we will have both type of adapters for both tablets.  So when out of town, we can still us them as netbooks or DVR's at hotels or convention centers with full size or large screens by using the TV's, Monitors, or projectors that are available on site.

We are using the iPad & playbook like Notebooks with bluetooth keyboards for heavy typing with email, spreadsheets, blogging, & writing.  For doing email, spreadsheets, writing, or blogging the VGA monitors will work as well as the newer monitors IMO.

Yes I know how much these tablets cost, but we replaced a pair of old XP desktops, that needed new OS & new hardware to make functional again, with these tablets, so we really are reusing and saving money.

I got almost 7 years out of my XP machine, and my girlfriend got closer to 10 years.  So if we get another 3-5 years use out of the monitors we bought with them, that is a lot of years out of a monitor.

Have to see how long they last, but so far they are doing everything for us that the old desktops did.  Additionally they are far more portable than a laptop.

I have tested both tablets on Blogger.  Works fine, just log in to Blogger like you would from a PC and go!  No apps needed.

Have also tested streaming movies from iTunes on the iPad to the TV with HDMI adapter

The Blackberry Playbook does youtube playback at 1080 perfectly.
Live streaming from works fine at 720 , I am a big Starcraft 2 fan so this was important reason for me to get a Playbook over one of the other tablets. 

I think this set up will also make the tablets very useful when people are in the hospital.  With this set up it is easy to watch a movie on the hospital TV that you bought or rented from iTunes and dowloaded to the iPad. 

If you have wifi you can even stream Netflix, or in my case I would be able to see the live streams of Starcraft 2 Tournaments.

You can view pictures or email sent to cheer up the patient.  You can even use the video conferencing with other friends and family in other parts of the country, or even the world. 

Probably only time that I personally would be interested in video conferencing.  That is something that would have cheered me up when I was a patient.

I think it also would have helped me to cheer up friends and family when they were the patient in the hospital bed and I was part of the cheer squad.

Check back for updates on iPad and Playbook.  I will test the VGA adapter for the iPad, though I am certain it will work.  I will also be testing the Playbook on all the other major streams for SC2.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How to decide between iPhone 4 & iPod touch

Iphone 4 vs Ipod Touch?

Wondering which one to get?  I found this really good review.  I have decided I will add a Ipod touch eventually to my mobile electronics collection.  But my SO will be getting a Iphone.  One note, see below for specs, but the cameras are the same.  Might be different software for enhancing but the specs from Aplle's website are identical.

I prefer my Blackberry for most things.  But the Touch will work far better for games, and I will also use it for podcasts and such for office or car use.  Won't worry about using up my phone's battery that way, or more likely forgetting it in the car when I need to make a call or check messages.

See also iPod touch specs & iPhone 4 specs from Apple

Monday, August 29, 2011

How to prepare for a hurricane or other large disaster

It is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  So thought it was a good time to share this wonderful source of planning and preparedness information & insight.

A blog called Listening To Katrina

Shane, the author of that blog, goes over not only how to survive the hurricane.  He also details how to prepare for life during and after the hurricane.  Mundane things like getting a job or saving wedding pictures despite hurricane, wildfire, or other disaster.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Using Transitions in Writing

Using transitions in writing, is one of the critical elements, that separates a hack from a skilled scribe.  As my readers know, my current writing skill is sadly diminished, due to a long convalescence.  Blogging is an essential part of rehabilitating my writing skills.

I was fortunate to receive instruction from an exceptional English teacher in my first couple of years of college.  He not only clarified the hazy elements of grammar, but also provided clear guidance & encouragement on research papers.

I will cover other elements of research papers, and archival research in  general, in a future post.  Today I wanted to share a wonderful resource from the Capital Community College Foundation.  There is a menu widget at the top of that page for help with other elements of grammar.  But the key element I was looking for, was a list of transitions.

I still have the hard copy list my mentor provided me, but it is getting a bit worse for the wear. Thanks to Capital Community College Foundation, I have a handy list available on the cloud, which can be useful if I am at a clients job site.  Or if I am out and about and have to take care of some small issue with my Blackberry.

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Freeze Food including meats

Oddly enough somtime the government does help.  Click on link below for more detailed information.  With the Politicians messing with whole economy, I have started taking food storage a bit more seriously.

"What Can You Freeze?
You can freeze almost any food. Some exceptions are canned food or eggs in shells. However, once the food (such as a ham) is out of the can, you may freeze it."~USDA

For broader information on basic food storage Provident Living which is associated with The Church of Latter Day Saints.

The American Red Cross is somewhere between the sources mentioned above.

I have found useful information from all three sources.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Publish an Ebook

Ever wondered how to publish an Ebook?  This article from The Atlantic Wire covers the topic clearly, concisely, & completely.

The article covers conversion to correct formats, as well as proofreading services, something I appreciated him including.   He mentions marking, wish he would have covered that in more detail, but he does say he will write another report.  I look forward to reading that as well.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to Schedule a Post on Blogger for future date

You can create a post, and schedule Blogger to publish for you in the future.  Which is real useful if your going on vacation, or perhaps big event coming up and you want a real polished product ready ahead of time.

If your using the current editor just click on "New Post" then look for "Post Options" when the new blank form opens up.  It is right underneath the "Labels" section.

Click on "Post Options" that will open bunch of choices below main box, on top right of that section you will see a "Post Date and time" option.  Default is automatic, change to "Schedule at" and then do thing as normal.

Friday, August 5, 2011

How to Plan for Retirement

Ruth Hayden on MPR's Midmorning, Ruth Hayden is very good at explaining in clear & simple words what you need to do for planning for retirement. Or other money issues.

You can listen using streamer below, just click the play button.  Or if you want to download MP3 just right click & save as this link.

How to Create Cash Cushion

From MPR's Midmorning

Comments from regular people plus advice and help for building up a cash reserve.

Mp3 link of above right click & "save as"

Whole bunch of more information from Ruth Hayden

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Open link in new window

How to make Link open in new page HTML help

Need some help with HTML for blogging or basic webpage? quackit
Helps, this makes links open in new window:  <a href="" target="_blank">HTML Help</a> 

All you need to do is cut & paste this: target="_blank"

How to find RSS feed for Twitter page

Just cut and past this link

put name of user (ie the twitter name or Twitter Account/Address) you want after the equal sign.

My Twitter is!/CliffsEsport so my Twitter Name is @CliffsEsport, you leave the "@" symbol out.

So if you wanted RSS feed of my Twitter, it would look like: