Prezi 101



I did a talk on Prezi.

Step aside, PowerPoint, Prezi is in the room. Learn about Prezi and how it can be used to showcase your portfolio and future presentations on the job.

Prezi 101

Use Skype Translator to Reach Globally


Instant messaging may be dying, but Skype is still going strong. I have used a number of IM clients over the years, but it seems the only one standing is Skype. It is still useful to reach people in a number of ways.

  1. Skype integrates with Microsoft’s Hotmail or email websites. Even if you don’t have the Skype client installed (for example, you are on a public computer), you can communicate with other Skype users.
  2. If you have a webcam or smartphone, you can make free video calls. This could be useful if you need to reach someone outside the country. Skype lets you get a group of friends together at the same on the video call. Caution: video call quality may vary.
  3. Speaking of smartphones, the Skype app is available on iOS and Google Play, so you can make calls on the go.
  4. The new feature that just rolled out is Skype Translator. According to Skype blog, “through voice-to-voice translation, all of our Skype for Windows customers can now speak in seven languages: Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.” Awesome! You will need to update your copy of Skype and enable Skype Translator in the app itself. The blog explains how to turn it on.

Check out Skype’s features here!

Time To Stop Using OneDrive?


Microsoft recently announced that it is reducing the size of storage. For example, if you are an Office 365 subscriber, you had unlimited storage, but it is getting capped at 1 TB. The most disappointing change is that free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.

Why! I am sure it boils down to money. You can read about the reason behind, mostly that some users “abused” the storage policy. I don’t buy it, but as a free user, I can’t really vote with my money.

I think getting free storage reduced from 15 GB to 5 GB makes OneDrive a lot less desirable. Who knows what Microsoft will do in the future. It may start charging for any storage. I have no idea.

I don’t know too many people using OneDrive, even if they are using Windows. I still think Google Drive, followed by Dropbox, is the best choice for consumers. GDrive gives 15 GB free, and additional storage is reasonably priced. Also its integration with other Google services and Chrome make is very useful. I use it and it works well.

Moving the files is a pain, but I think it’s best done over time before the new OneDrive storage limits take place.

Explain Everything


As I use my iPhone more and more, I find it more useful for learning and teaching. I continue to seek apps that I can integrate in my classroom or presentation. I stumbled up on one app, Explain Everything, that I am very eager to explore.

Explain Everything is “an interactive screencasting whiteboard” according to the developers.  It has a laser pointer to draw attention to a specific area on the screen. You can record everything that you do on a screen, with your voice, so show it again or share with anyone. The app integrates with major cloud service providers such as Google Drive and Dropbox, so it’s easier to access files (I love this integrated feature!).

Here is a video that explain the app’s features. Check it out!

Recommended Antivirus Software


As an online instructor, I need to constantly download all types of files made by the students. While I am confident that most files are virus free, you just never know. I use a variety of security software to combat this possibility. One line of defense that everyone needs is antivirus software.

I am not a fan of all-in-one security suite. I prefer to pick the best software for each component. For those who need a simple solution, I say go for the suite. If you are inclined to pick one tool for antivirus and the firewall, for example, here is a recommendation.

Firewall: If you are using Windows 7 and above (and you should), just enable the built-in Windows Firewall. It should be on by default.

Antivirus: I recommend Panda. It is a cloud-based solution that does not need signature updates. The “signature” is a file that contains information on latest viruses. Typically, you or the software needs to download it to keep the protection up to date. Panda takes a different approach, where the signature is always available in the cloud, so it is updated in real-time. The benefit is that the software is light on computer resources, so you don’t even notice it’s running (you see it by looking at the taskbar icon). You don’t have to worry about the signature being out of date, but it is always up to date. Get the free version, as you can get better tools elsewhere than the ones that come with Panda’s paid versions.

Safe computing!

Simplenote As To Do List


Now that I finally have a smartphone, I thought it was time for me to start using a to-do list app. I have never been able to organize any to-do lists effectively, but here was my chance to find one and stick with it. I looked at Wunderlist and Todoist as both have received great reviews.

The problem with me was that, although both are simple and powerful, I still had to learn their ways of things in order for me to use the app fully. I just didn’t have the inclination to learn something; all I wanted to do was be able to create the lists on the fly and have them available anywhere.

Then I heard about Simplenote. It’s available for the web, desktop and any mobile devices. All it is, a virtual notepad. It syncs with all devices and has a search feature. It’s free too! It is the kind of the to-do list manager I was looking for. I make a list, do the tasks, then delete the list. Simple as that.

It helps that the same people who developed WordPress are behind Simplenote.

Use Google Chrome Like A Pro


Google’s Chrome web browser is a popular browser, for good reason: clean and polished user interface, speedy JavaScript performance and its library of extensions that make it even better. But don’t let the minimalist look fool you. There is plenty of hidden functionality embedded just below the surface that you probably don’t know about but should be using. In this presentation, I will talk about tips and tricks hidden inside Chrome that you will want to know.

Topics include:
Omnibox (what is that?)
Tab management
Chrome as file viewer
Drag to search
Bookmarking made easy
Opening tabs like a pro
Zooming in and out
Chrome on smartphone
Hidden settings

And more!