Monthly Archives: April 2015

Keyboard Shortcuts: Ctrl + Z (and Y)

So, you’re working away on something. It could be anything, a paper for school, an online job application, or a Tweet about what you ate for lunch. But then something goes terribly wrong. Your cat jumps on your keyboard, and of course those pesky little paws couldn’t land on Ctrl + S (which is the keyboard shortcut for Save in most programs). No, the lovely fur ball you feed and shelter just did you don’t know what exactly, but that perfect phrase you spent 15 minutes crafting has been deleted.

You are never going to remember what you wrote. Perfection like that is inspired by a Muse, and your cat scratched the Muse’s metaphorical eyes out. The world will forever be denied the most glorious 140 character description of a ham sandwich ever written and it is a lesser place for it.

Now, if you are writing a paper in Microsoft Word, you know that your brilliant, hard work can be recovered by using the back arrow, the Undo button. arrow But you worked hard on your job history for this position you really want, and there’s no Undo button on the Internet. You have to start over, right?

Wrong.

Most of the time, if you type the Ctrl key and the letter Z at the same time, you will undo the last thing you typed (or last action taken). Ctrl + Z works in Microsoft software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) as well as on the internet, and in some other programs. So if you want your followers to know precisely how delicious that ham sandwich was, after politely asking the cat to shoo, type Ctrl + Z, and what was deleted will be restored.

If you should decide after going to all of that work your cat knew best and what you had done deserved to be deleted, Ctrl + Y is what you type to redo your last action.

Shelia

Find Your Lost Smartphone

Would you be able to find your phone if it was lost or stolen?  Not that long ago my daughter lost her phone twice in one month.  The first time she lost it there was no tracking on it, so it cost us a lot of time and worry before we found it.  We added a tracking app from the Google Playstore and the second time we were able to locate and retrieve the phone within 45 minutes.

Many of us have a lot of information or valuable content on our phones, at least valuable to us, so why not add a tracking app to try and locate it if it’s lost, stolen, or even hiding in the couch cushions?  If you have an Android device there are several free apps in the Playstore that work pretty well for locating a device.  With some of the apps you can not only locate the device but you can also remotely lock it, delete its contents, or make it beep so you can find it even if you had it set on “silent”.  I recommend an app that will let you log into an account that you’ve created so that you can track the phone from another device or computer.  Read the reviews and choose an app that includes remote access so you can locate or manipulate the device remotely.

If you’re worried about someone being nosy and spying on you without your knowledge try some different apps and see how they behave.  My daughter has a free app on her phone and I have a paid one on mine.  We each have access to the others log in information to look for a device, so when she lost her device she called me and asked me to locate it.  However both her app and mine send a text message to the device to let you know it’s being tracked.  If I decide to track my daughter using this method she would know she was being tracked, so I do not do that unless she asks me too or I need to know where she is.  She likes that because she doesn’t want to be monitored secretly every minute, but either of us can look for the phone when it has fallen out of her pocket or been left laying somewhere…again.

New Look for Library’s Streaming Service

For over a year Stark County District Library has offered cardholders access to a streaming service called Hoopla. Users can browse hundreds of thousands of movies, TV shows, albums and audio books – all available all the time. It’s kind of like Netflix from the library, except it’s free and offers more types of materials.  Hoopla recently made updates to their website and apps that they hope will improve your browsing experience. Major points of emphasis from Hoopla include:

  • New home screen
  • Borrowing, streaming, and/or downloading in fewer touches
  • Receive a more tailored experience with content recommendations based on your recent activity
  • Discover new content and narrow searches by genre with Browse/Search icon

Let’s take a look at some of the new changes. Home Screen The changes are visible right away as the new user-friendly home screen opens in your browser. There is less clutter making it very easy to navigate the site. All action buttons are in plain sight – Search, Log In, and Browse. Click the Log In button in the top right corner to log in or create an account. Once logged in the titles you currently have checked out appear at the top of the home screen under My Titles. Simply click on one of these to watch or listen. 01_hoopla

If your My Titles area is empty, or you simply want to browse the site, this update makes it very easy to do that. Simply scroll down the view what’s available in Movies, Music, Audiobooks, and Television. A sample of each is displayed on this page. To view more options either click on one of the gray circles below the last row of cover images or Browse All. 02_hoopla

The gray circles will display a few more options. The Browse All link allows you to browse all items in that material type. From here you can view what’s Recommended, what is being Featured, and what is Popular. To browse genres click on the Browse link and select a genre from the list. 03_hoopla

Fewer touches

Once you find a title you like simply click on the cover image. From there click Borrow to check the item out; then Play to begin watching immediately. 05_hoopla

Note the message at the top of the screen that tells you how long you have access to this item:

06_hoopla

Favorites Users already familiar with Hoopla might find these updates easy to figure out. The one exception however could be your Favorites. Hoopla allows you to add items to your Favorites allowing you to quickly find that title in the future. In the previous version of Hoopla this was very easy to find. It’s kind of hidden in this update. At the top of the home screen in the My Titles section there is a See All link. Click that to find your favorites. 07_hoopla

Whether you are new to Hoopla or have already been enjoying this service hopefully this post helps you navigate through site’s new look. More information about this update can be found here on the Hoopla website.

Spring Clean Your Device

As you clean out the closets and sweep up the garage this time of year consider also “cleaning” your devices as well. Below are tips on how to improve performance, extend battery life, and adjust settings to help you stay organized on your device.

  1. Boost your batter life. If you want to conserve battery life the first place to look is in your Settings. Minor adjustments can save previous minutes. Visit your Settings app to make these adjustments:
    • Disabling location services or setting screen brightness to automatic could save precious minutes of battery life.
    • Turn off other things like WiFi, Bluetooth, or GPS if you’re not using them.
    • For a more passive (and battery conserving) relationship with your apps consider turning off notifications. When notifications are turned on your phone will check for them every so often (every 5, 10, 30 min etc.) This means your phone is constantly working and therefore diminishing the battery. If you do not like constant notifications – and want to extend battery life – turn these notifications off (by going either to Settings or your Application Manager.) This allows you to get updates when you want them instead of the app always checking for you.
  2. Create space. Make sure there is open space on your phone. If not, create some. The less free space on the smartphone, the slower it will perform over time.
    • Transfer pictures, videos, ringtones, voice memos, etc. to computer and/or delete them.
    • Delete apps. On average most people use 10 apps or less on a regular basis. Discard any/all that you do not regularly use.
    • Check your Call Log and SMS history. These take up a large chunk of memory. Cleaning them out will not only make these apps run more efficiently, but other apps will, too. If you’re not sure how to do this yourself consider an app like History Eraser.
  3. Organize apps. It’s easier to find apps when they are grouped into folders or organized together. For example: put your camera and all your photo editing apps in the same place. This makes them easier to find. Apple devices actually let you create folders (just tap and hold on an app. When it starts shaking drag it on top of another and a folder will be created.) Android devices do not allow for folders but you can still arrange apps by subject (tap and hold on an app then move it around the screen – or even send it to a new screen. This can be done on Apple devices as well.)
  4. Give your device a new look. Change the Wallpaper. Change the Lock Screen. Give it a new look for the new year.
  5. Virus/theft protection. Consider an app like Avast that offers your device some antivirus and malware protection.