Twitter is a great comm device. There seems to be slight learning curve, but basic use is very simple. Get a free account and start tweeting. You need to learn how to re-tweet, a compliment to authors, at http://mashable.com/2009/04/16/retweet-guide/. To search for breaking Twitter news, go to http://search.twitter.com and type in some Hash Tags (#). When people are tweeting about an event someone comes up with a unique word placed after a hash symbol #. So for example I'm trying to find real-time comments on Charlie Sheen's 2nd concert tonight (Apr 3, 2011) in Chicago. Seems like people are using two hash tags #Sheen and #Chicago. So if you go to http://search.twitter.com and specify these two hash tags you will receive updates by those tweeting about Charlie. Hint, you also find Charlie info using #Tigerblood and #Winning. If you want to re-tweet someone's tweet (which shows respect to the original tweet) just preface your tweet with RT (and give credit to the author). It's also good to know some popular twitter accounts, like at http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2058946,00.html
Facebook has become an excellent way to find and connect with people. I happen to be interested in genealogy, so connecting with relatives on Facebook has been a godsend. One important benifit is access to family pictures. Also, discovering other relatives is improved as each Facebook member is an influence center for a number of other people. Security is an issue though, that is, how you deal with security settings. A Facebook Privacy Guide was recently created at mashable.com that seems to explain all this.
One excellent way to learn about computers is to join a computer user group. If you have a Macintosh try either the San Leandro Macintosh User Group or the Tri-Valley Macintosh User Group. If you're interested in the Mac AND Genealogy try MacGen, a group I started in 2009. It also lists East Bay Macintosh User Groups, all of which are excellent. If you have a PC I'd suggest PC Community that meets in Hayward, California. I started or helped start all four of the following computer support groups.
- 2009 - MacGen User Group - For Macintosh users who are into Genealogy. Concentrating on exploring the many aspects of the MacintoshGenealogy program each month and other related topics.
- 1988 - PC Community Computer Users Group - For IBM PC's and compatibles. It meets at the Hayward Adult School, 7:30 pm, 1st Friday of each month. PCC has a Clubhouse located at the Hayward Adult School. They recycle computers, donate refurbished computers and show people how to use computers.
- 1983 - San Leandro Computer Club - For Atari Computers, SLCC - Meets on the first Tues. of the month from 7-8pm at the San Leandro Community Library. Contact Robbie Bridges at email@example.com.
- 1979 - The Nybblers - for Windows, DOS and TRS-80 Computers.7:30 pm, 3rd Friday of each month at Ron Ring's house. Request his address by e-mail.
Additional Macintosh Information
Good place to purchase computer equipment at reasonable price is http://www.monoprice.com
Additional Macintosh Information
I'm learning so much about the Macintosh and related computing machines, that I have a special page just for Mac tips and tricks.
Run Windows on an Intel Mac
- VMWare Fusion - $50 in (doesn't include Windows)
- Parallels - $80 in (doesn't include Windows)
- CrossoverMac - $40 (includes Windows environment... but I found it took more time than I was willing to spend, to get it working.
- OSX "Boot Camp" Free, included with OSX. (doesn't include Windows)
Photo Web Sites
- Picasa - http://picasaweb.google.com
- Flickr - http://www.flickr.com
- Shutterfly - http://www.shutterfly.com also Pardee Picnic Site and George Campout Site are examples of what can be set up, for free, at Shutterfly.
- Photobucket - http://www.photobucket.com (Wikipedia)
- Find Free Image Hosting Sites - http://www.findimagehost.com/
If you're having trouble with Malware or Viruses on your Windows machine, you might try one or all of these sites:
- Adaware - Free Anti Mal-ware Protection
- Spybot - Free Anti Mal-ware Protection
- Microsoft Security Essentials - Anti-Virus software
http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/ - Their download site is http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/default.aspx
Here are some favorite PC software freebies:
- Google - anything - They have free cloud-based software that enhances your computing power, greatly.
- PDF Converter (PDF995) (PC)
- Improved Notepad Editor (Notepad++)
- Internet File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program (Filezilla)
- Zip Compression Utility (ZipGenius)
A couple favorites...
- Free Software Distribution Site - Sourceforge.net
- Mac Downloads
- Top computer book publisher O'Reilly's
Tips from CNet
- Having problems with Windows Update? See excellent CNet Article
Web Utility Sites
- Frefind.com - Index your web site for free.
I have been quietly absorbing Mac/iPhone knowlege. I starting using a Mac-Mini in 2006. I even started a blog. Recently I purchased the Genealogy program "Reunion" and have grown to really appreciate it, especially for printing customized charts with pictures. It also has also led to membership in Mac Genealogy Groups (DVMUG in Walnut Creek, TMUG in Pleasanton and SLMUG in San Leandro). I also started a Macintosh Genealogy group called Macgen in April 2009.