Web Reading Made Easy – Using Your Keyboard and Mouse to Enlarge the Fonts You See

Do you ever receive email where the type (font size) is very small and difficult to read? Or, conversely, you go to an Internet web page and, again, the font is very small and challenging to follow?

The are a few ways that you can make what you want to read easier on your eyes. It’s my intent, with Technology for Seniors Made Easy,  to make using your computer and the web as simple as possible.  Thus, rather than give you drop down menus instructions and a lot of details,  I direct you to your keyboard.

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How to Text Message on the iPhone

Before I purchased my iPhone I had no desire to have text messaging on my cell phone. It was only after I finally purchased my iPhone that I got into text messaging.

Texting is a feature that has to be set up first with your phone service provider.  If you have not set up a plan with your provider, you may be in a situation where you will be charged for both incoming and outgoing text messages.  More than likely your phone company has a package they will offer you that can combine with other services.  Shortly after I did choose to add unlimited texting to my phone service, I found it most helpful in my business and then in a wide variety of other situations.

Now, on to how to work with text messages on your iPhone.

For the visual demonstration, click on the arrow to see the video. If you wish to view it full screen, click on square icon on the bottom bar to the far right.

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How to Set Ringtones in the iPhone

The iPhone comes preloaded with a wide variety of sounds and rhythms.  Many more can be purchased in the iTunes store.  I am quite happy with the simplicity of what’s already available.

You have your choice of tones for:
1. what’s heard when your phone rings
2. adding distinguishing sounds to various alerts.

Or, you can choose none. Click on the arrow to see a demonstration.

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Recording, Storing and Sending Voice Memos Using Evernote

 Today I want to share my excitement around Evernote, a free software program that you can download from the web. It can be used to quickly save notes, recipes, memos, documents, photos and much more.

I love using Evernote and I love, love, love making new discoveries and then sharing them. This morning as I was doing my daily journaling it occurred to me that I might be able to record audio notes to myself and store them by category in Evernote.

One of the benefits I have enjoyed on my iPhone is the Voice Memos feature.  The challenge has been remembering what I record.  If I don’t label it immediately it gets lost in a long list of memos on my phone.

 As soon as I finished my journaling this morning I went to my phone, opened Evernote, clicked on the microphone icon and did a quick recording. You can also record from your computer. A little icon showed up when I was finished recording and it remained on the “new note” I had created. Continue reading

How to Video Chat on Facebook

If you have a built-in camera in your computer or a webcam, you can Video Chat on Facebook. They can see and hear you and vice-versa.  There are two different ways you can open Video Chat.

Before this happens, you will need to have done a one-time download of the CHAT. Once you click on CALL, if your Friend has not done so with someone else, he/she will receive a message to download software.  See the end of this post for pictures of what that process will look like.

In order to initiate the Video Chat, the person with whom you want to chat must have their Facebook page open.  Then when you are on any of your pages go to the bottom of the page.  On the lower right you’ll see CHAT.

Facebook page pinting to Chat

Click on CHAT. A partial list of your Friends will open.  Anyone who has  a green dot to the right of their name is presumably on Facebook at the time you are looking at the list. Of course it is possible that they have walked away from their computer leaving the page open. Continue reading

Face-to-Face Communicating on the Web

Skype on the iPhone while Video Chatting on the Computer on Facebook Chat

Our current technology is making it easier and easier for almost, in-person contact though thousands of miles might separate us. Skype, a software application, has the options for three different kinds of communication:  typed chatting, voice and video.

“Grandparents on Skpe: Video Chatting Redefines Family Time” by Johnny Diaz, a recent article in the Sun Sentinel spells this out.  I’ve heard stories of toddlers pointing to the computer calling it “Grandmom” because that’s where they see her. Continue reading

How I Learned About Features on My iPhone

In my experience, when it comes to learning about a new piece of equipment, there are two types of people. The ones who simply jump in and start using, or putting together, their new purchase, often reading the instructions after the fact.  Then there are those who methodically read every page, sometimes going through the whole manual before starting to use their purchase.

I fall into the first category, always in a hurry to get started.  In a way, it would seem to be even easier to be this way today, since so much of our equipments does not come with manuals. They are usually available online.

Given I was upgrading from an AT&T phone, I purchased my iPhone directly in an AT&T store. The salesperson transferred my phone numbers and gave me a basic overview of using the phone. At least I thought it was basic. I got caught up in watching this tall, broad-shouldered man with big hands, quickly using the keypad, typing with two thumbs.  He assured me that within two weeks I would be typing with ease. That was over 1 1/2 years ago.  I’ve yet to type quickly and accurately, touching the “keys” on the “keyboard.”

Despite still be awkward typing, I love my iPhone for the number of things I can do spontaneously, with almost instant gratification. This includes taking and emailing photographs, videoing and even editing down clips to under a minute for email; recording instructions someone may be giving me or an in-person interview, as well as voice reminders/memos. Continue reading

Didn’t Need It and I Love My iPhone

Have you been thinking about an iPhone or other SmartPhone for yourself?

Not much of a cell phone user (only for emergencies) I made the leap to the iPhone almost 2 years ago.  I had been admiring the daily postings of iPhone photos enhanced with “apps” (applications) that Dewitt Jones, a world-renowned photographer, was doing.  I began yearning to “play” also.

Ironically, a month before I purchased the iPhone I had a conversation with my phone company representative requesting that text messaging be cancelled on my phone.  I wasn’t using it and I was being charged for unwanted texts that I had been receiving. Continue reading

Eliminate the Fear – Have Fun Using Your Computer and Other Electronic Devices

This site has evolved out of my experience of working with friends who are seniors, as well as others, who have a fear of doing something wrong on the computer. Often a sense of overwhelm at all the choices blocks them from taking action.

Having had the same fear myself when I finally started using the computer many years ago, I can understand. Even today, after 20 plus years, 12 of them with websites, I still cringe many times when I am introduced to a new program or a new piece of equipment. I still fear doing something wrong and “messing up” or losing existing work on the computer.

My curiosity and desire to discover new things wins out and I experience the fun and excitement of new learning.  I also know that there are “rewards” on the other side, even as simple as having fun or making new connections.

Recently there was a contestant on the TV show SHARK TANK who was looking for investors in his program for online classes to teach computer programs to Seniors age 50 and over. His proposal was denied by each of the panel members. Continue reading