November 29, 2012

two context menus

Posted in office, technology tagged , at 6:19 pm by weiszguy

When I use Google Spreadsheets in Firefox, and I right-click in the spreadsheet, I get two right-click (context) menus, one from the browser, and one from the spreadsheet, like this:

two context menus

Is anyone else having a problem like this? Do you know how I can fix it?

Usually the two menus appear on top of each other, so I have to hit the Esc key to dismiss one menu before I can access the other.

two context menus

UPDATE:

I figured out the answer to this problem. In Firefox, go to Options, Content tab, click the “Advanced” button next to the “Enable JavaScript” check box, and then check “Disable or replace context menus”

Which, apparently, allows websites to disable or replace context menus.

Works in my version of Firefox, 20.0.1
Image

August 17, 2011

The Exterminator released today

Posted in giving, technology, video games tagged , , , at 7:51 am by weiszguy

5 teens in our church built an iPhone game. It’s called “The Exterminator”, and it goes on sale today in the App Store. All proceeds go toward the purchase of the old Rye high school, which we’re going to turn into a community center.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-exterminator/id451668182

Would you do two favors for me?

  1. Buy the game! It only costs $1. (works on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch)
  2. “Like” the game on Facebook. That will help with visibility.

FAQ

Was this game really written by teens?
Yes! I know them personally. They went to a teen retreat last winter, and the speaker there gave each group $100 and told them to make it grow and do something to benefit their communities. This is what our teens chose to do.

Are you really buying the old Rye high school?
Yes! What the Greenhorn Valley needs most is a place for people to hang out. Everybody has a “First Space”, their homes. Everybody has a “Second Space”, their work or school. What’s missing here is a “Third Space”, where people can hang out, chat, drink coffee, play basketball. That’s what we want to provide.

Where can I get more information?
148apps.com reviewed the game.
Our church has a page with a lot of detail.
The game has a Facebook page.
Here’s a YouTube trailer for the game.

February 16, 2011

evernote in dropbox

Posted in stuff I think about, technology tagged , , at 8:37 pm by weiszguy

Would there be any benefit to putting your Evernote database in your Dropbox folder?

At first glance, maybe. If your Evernote database was in your Dropbox folder, then your Evernote database would be automatically synced across all your computing devices.

At second glance, no. Evernote itself is a syncing tool. Any device that you have Evernote installed on will automatically be synced with all your other computers. Thus, putting Evernote in Dropbox is an unnecessary redundancy.

At third glance, yes. The free version of Evernote imposes a 60 MB per month upload limit. This means you may have month left at the end of your uploads. To get around this, store your Evernote database in your Dropbox folder, and make your Evernote notebooks “local”. Local notebooks are not synced with Evernote, and don’t count against your upload limit, but since they’re in Dropbox, they’ll be synced with all your devices anyway.

January 5, 2011

why you should use Google Docs

Posted in office, technology tagged , at 7:18 pm by weiszguy

Google Docs (http://docs.google.com) is an online office suite par excellence.  It has all the components you have come to expect from an installed office package (word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program), plus a few others (forms and drawings).

Google Docs exists entirely online.  You don’t have software on your computer, you don’t have files on your computer.  All you need is access to the internet.

Benefits:

  • You save all your documents online.  You no longer need to worry about running out of space on your hard drive.  And you don’t have to worry about backing up your files, either.  Google’s systems are infinitely redundant.  If your hard drive crashes, you won’t lose anything.
  • You don’t have to try to remember which computer a certain file is on.  Your files are on the internet and you can reach them from any computer with internet access.
  • You don’t have to try to keep multiple copies of a file in sync.  For example, a certain file is on your home computer, so you bring a copy of the file to work so you can have it there, too.  Now you have multiple copies, and you have to think about keeping all your changes consistent across all your copies.
  • You don’t have to install any software.  You also don’t have to apply any patches or upgrades.  When Google makes changes to their applications, you see it automatically when you log in.
  • You don’t have to email documents to other people.  Attaching a document to an email usually isn’t all that hard, but it’s one less step nonetheless.  Plus, no more merging changes from other people with the master document on your computer.  If you want someone to see the document, you just invite them!
  • You can have multiple people working on a document at the same time.  You can see where each person is in the document, and you can see what they are changing.  Again, this also saves the step of merging changes from multiple copies.
  • If you absolutely need a local copy of a document, you can download it in any of several common office formats, and use your local software to edit it.

If you don’t like Google…
Some folks have an aversion to all things Google.  If this is you, Zoho (http://docs.zoho.com) is another great option for you.  Everything I’ve said about Google Docs also applies to Zoho.  Check it out.

January 4, 2011

RSS – simple!

Posted in blogging, technology tagged , at 8:04 pm by weiszguy

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and that is probably the easiest definition possible.  It’s a way to syndicate, really simply.

Not as many people take advantage of RSS as could benefit by it.  Let’s take a look at the benefits of RSS, and then a quick and easy way to set it up.

The Problem

The reason many people are not taking advantage of RSS, is because they don’t realize how powerful it can be, i.e., they don’t realize they have a problem.

Let’s take a hypothetical internet user named Merlin.  Merlin is a savvy citizen of the 21st century – he gave up television news for Yahoo News.  He particularly like the sports section and his local news section.  He also follows blogs about economics, eastern European politics, and miniature shih tzus.  Merlin visits these five news sources every day.  He has them all bookmarked in his browser.

If Merlin wants to add a new source of information, he has to bookmark it, and then visit it every day.  His list of sites to visit every day quickly becomes quite long, and visiting them all takes more and more time with each new source.  To make matters worse, sometimes there is nothing new on his blogs, and so he has wasted his time checking them out.

What Merlin doesn’t know is there is an elegant solution that combines all his favorite news sources in one place, and only shows him new information.

The Solution

An RSS feed reader is analogous to an email program.  But instead of showing emails, a feed reader shows “feeds”.  A feed is a stream of information from a particular source, published using the RSS standard.  When Merlin starts looking for feeds, he discovers that Yahoo publishes all their sports information on a “Sports” feed.  The miniature shih tzu blog also has a feed.

In a feed reader, Merlin subscribes to these feeds, and the feeds of all his other favorite news sources, and can see them all in one place.  When the Vikings win the Super Bowl, Yahoo adds a story about the miracle to their Sports feed, and Merlin reads it in his feed reader, at the same time he reads the latest economics news, and the latest news from eastern Europe.  Merlin never misses an important story, and he doesn’t waste time surfing to sites that haven’t been updated.

To his great surprise, Merlin discovers that adding new feeds is painless, and reading all his feeds takes much less time than visiting each web site individually.  With all the time he has saved, Merlin adds new feeds with reckless abandon, and is able to keep up with all of them easily.

Getting Started

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a feed reader.  If you have a favorite reader go ahead and use it.  If you don’t have a favorite, use mine – Google Reader http://www.google.com/reader.

Sign in, or create an account if you need to.  Then in the upper left corner of the page, click the “Add a subscription” button.  Then type in the name of the site that has the feed you want to subscribe to.  Google Reader will automatically discover the feed and add it to your list.  Repeat this process with each of your favorite news sources, and soon you’ll a list of feeds that contains all the news that thrills you.  If you’re using a different feed reader, you’ll see different buttons, but the process will be the same.

After you have subscribed to all your feeds, you won’t have to visit those web sites again.  Just open your feed reader, read all the news, and save yourself all the time of visiting each sites separately.

Also, please subscribe to this blog in your reader!

 

January 10, 2010

Wave? I don’t get it

Posted in technology tagged at 9:18 pm by weiszguy

I guess I have to throw my vote in with the “Huh?” crowd.  I’ve been on Google Wave for a couple months now.  My list of contacts is extremely short because I know very few people who Wave.  I’ve invited some people myself, and most of them have accepted my invite, but there just doesn’t seem to be any reason to use Wave.

I know, I know, you can take polls and playback conversations – but so what?  I never needed to do those things before Wave, and I haven’t needed to do them since Wave.

Anybody know any reason why I should use Wave?  Had any positive Wave experiences yourself?

November 23, 2009

i’m Waving

Posted in technology tagged at 8:55 pm by weiszguy

I finally got invited to Google Wave.  But now I don’t have anybody to Wave with.  I don’t have invitations of my own, so I’m kind stuck until more people get on the system.

Unless you have a Wave account and you want to Wave with me?

November 13, 2009

anyone got a Google Wave invite?

Posted in technology tagged at 2:32 pm by weiszguy

I’d love to get an invite to Google Wave, but haven’t found one yet.  I could get one here: http://lifehacker.com/5403318/the-google-wave-invitation-donation-thread-is-open, but I don’t have an approved commenter account.  If you have an approved commenter account, you could request an invite, and then send me an invite.  Or if you are already in the Wave, just invite me.  I’ll be your friend forever.

November 17, 2008

no Blackberries in the White House

Posted in presidents, technology, weird tagged , at 8:46 pm by weiszguy

This is really amazing.  The President of the United States of America is not allowed to use email.  George Bush hasn’t emailed in 8 years, and Barack Obama will go at least the next 4 without it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/us/politics/16blackberry.html

I’m not sure I could be President.

July 29, 2008

vonage rocks

Posted in communication, money, technology tagged , at 8:33 pm by weiszguy

A while back we dropped our traditional land line and signed up with Vonage.  http://www.vonage.com  We got a phone number in our area code, but it was a long distance call for our neighbors.  They didn’t like that.

Today I called Vonage to see about getting a new number, one that would be a local call for our neighbors.  I talked to two customer service reps, and both of them were extremely courteous and helpful.  At no point in the call did I hear, “Why didn’t you think of that when you first signed up?”  (And honestly, that would have been my first question if I was them.)  Also, they waived the Change Number Fee, without me even asking them to do it.

When is the last time you spoke with a courteous CSR who voluntarily waived a fee?  Good job, Vonage.  Keep up the good work.

March 26, 2008

Safari

Posted in technology tagged , , at 4:06 pm by weiszguy

I’m a little late to this party, but I’d like to throw in my 2¢ regarding Apple’s newest release of the Safari browser.  I heard from Chris Pirillo that it was awesome, several leaps beyond Firefox.

I beg to disagree.

  1. Before I even learned of Chris’ Safari fanaticism, Apple tried to push Safari on me with their Apple Software Update application.  Apple has become insidious in this way, just like Microsoft.  I didn’t know Apple Software Update was installed, so I uninstalled it.  I’ve also uninstalled iTunes, since WinAmp can manage iPods now.  (And yes, I have Windows Automatic Updates turned off.  I, and I alone, will decide when software is added or updated on my computer.)
  2. Firefox was several leaps beyond Internet Explorer, and I’ve become quite accustomed to Firefox functionality.  One thing Firefox can do that Safari cannot is set links that want to open new windows, to open new tabs instead.  When I click a link, and an entire new Safari window is opened, I’m annoyed.
  3. Unlike Chris, I ran into many, many pages that did not render correctly in Safari.  I don’t know if this is the fault of the web developers, or the fault of the browser developers, but I really don’t care.  When I use Safari, web pages look screwed up.
  4. Another sweet thing Firefox can do is open several websites, all in different tabs, when I click the home button.  Safari would do well to incorporate similar functionality.
  5. Safari is difficult to see.  The black text blends into the dark gray background and I can’t quickly tell what it says, especially from far away.  Is there a way to change colors or themes?  This would make it a lot more usable.
  6. Google Spreadsheets don’t work as well in Safari.  I can’t use the arrow keys to navigate between cells, and switching back and forth between keyboard and mouse gets cumbersome quickly.

If I am incorrect about any of these things, especially confusion about the functionality, please let me know.  If there are quick fixes to any of these issues I will happily look at Safari again.

December 27, 2007

EverNote

Posted in technology tagged , at 5:08 pm by weiszguy

EverNote is a shareware note-taking application.  If you act quickly, you can get a free copy of the portable version of this software.  GiveAwayOfTheDay is giving it away today only.  Check out http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/evernote-portable/ for more details

If you haven’t yet discovered the beauty of note-taking applications, now is a great time to start.

September 7, 2007

RSS

Posted in blogging, technology at 12:07 pm by weiszguy

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a fantastic tool for staying up to date with your favorite websites. Unfortunately, many people are turned off by the apparent difficulty of using RSS. But I ran across a short, funny video that explains the concept in all it’s simplicity. Watch it:

By the way, this blog has an RSS feed. You can subscribe to it in your favorite reader.

July 18, 2007

email etiquette

Posted in communication, technology at 5:16 pm by weiszguy

I’ve run into a couple sites that talk briefly about email etiquette.  See http://www.thanksno.com/ and http://five.sentenc.es/

I love email as a communication tool.  I can send email whenever it suits me, and the recipient can respond whenever it suits him.  But this main benefit also makes email easy to abuse.  I’ve known people to fire off anything they think is remotely interesting.  Even if its epic-length.  Even if its pornographic.  Even if its mind-numbingly boring.

Here’s my general rule.  If I run across something that’s interesting enough that I would call a person on the phone to tell him about what I found, then I feel free to email him.  Similarly, if you find something interesting or funny that makes you think of me, and you would call me to tell me about it if you had to, then go ahead and email it, because I’ll probably think its funny too.  But if it doesn’t pass this simple test, post it to your blog and help prevent inbox clutter.

July 17, 2007

the cost of tv

Posted in money, saving, spending, technology, video games at 9:45 pm by weiszguy

How much does watching TV cost?  Free?  Maybe $500 if you count the cost of the TV set?  Think about it for a minute, try to figure how much it actually costs you (as opposed to a hypothetical “average” person) then click here for a little surprise.

June 18, 2007

video game addiction

Posted in addiction, courage, gender differences, parenting, technology, video games at 9:55 am by weiszguy

We did the nasty.  We pulled the plug on ALL video games in our house.  We did some research and discovered that video games are addictive.  No, I’m serious.  They’re addictive in the physical sense.  Video game playing causes the same chemical reaction in the brain that amphetamines cause.  The brain likes this reaction and soon – very soon – begins craving more of it.  In no time at all the body is physically addicted, and more and more playing time is required to meet the body’s desire.

We dropped this bomb on our kids last night – probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a parent.  Our boys (ages 10 and 6) began crying – really crying, not just watery-eyed.  It hit them the hardest because they’re the biggest players in our house.  Our daughter (9), while not crying, got real quiet and started saying things like, “Well, I guess I could start reading more…,” as if reading more was a punishment.  Our youngest daughter (4), has only just begun to play video games and wasn’t really affected by our pronouncement, but she was crying because her brothers were crying.

My hope is to get them through the teen years without developing a physical craving for anything (video games, cigarettes, beer, etc).  Once they have adult brains this will all make sense to them, but right now it’s tough.

March 28, 2007

ChurchTechTalk

Posted in church, technology at 8:37 pm by weiszguy

ChurchTechTalk is a podcast about using technology in the church.  At least, that’s what they claim it’s about.  The guys spend a lot of time cracking up, and sometimes they bring the conversation around to tech stuff.  One of the hosts, Jason, was a good friend of mine in high school.  Check ’em out.  They’re in iTunes podcast directory, and online at: http://www.churchtechtalk.com