Photography

Ask The Nice Guy - GPS Cameras, Fall Classes, Inverted Colors

This is the 13th post in a series called Ask The Nice Guy. In this series I will attempt to provide answers to the various questions I get asked throughout the week.

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in this blog post, boiled down to five word (or less) summaries.

  1. GPS Enabled Cameras
  2. Fall Classes
  3. Inverted Colors On iPad

QUESTION 1: Questions About GPS Enabled Cameras?

I have a question about digital cameras that are equipped with GPS. During one or two of the classes I took from you, you demonstrated how a GPS assisted camera is capable of indicating on a map where a particular photo was taken. I’m assuming that in order to do that, you need a particular app. Is that app already on my iMac & iPad, or do I have to download it?

The Photo app that comes with the iPad has the ability to show where a photo was taken if GPS data is present in the photo. On the Mac, iPhoto 09 and iPhoto 11 also have the GPS functionality built in. You will find the map with your photos displayed by tapping or clicking on Places.

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You can view your photos on a map in iPhoto by clicking on Places.

You can view your photos on a map in iPhoto by clicking on Places.

Any recommendations on type of digital camera? I’m leaning towards one with a 20X optical zoom or another camera with a bit more zoom than that. I’ve ruled out the waterproof cameras with GPS because they seem to have only a very basic lens.

I am not a camera expert and I don't consider photography a hobby. I simply like to take pictures at family gatherings and while on vacation. A few years ago, I purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 and I have been very happy with it. Panasonic no longer makes this particular camera, but they do make a newer version of it.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS30K has a 20X optical zoom and built in GPS. This is what I would purchase if I was looking to replace my current camera with another one that offers GPS functionality.


QUESTION 2: Fall Classes?

We took all your IPad classes last year at Prior Lake. Just got the new schedule & was wondering if there is anything new we could take or will you be having a refresher class?

During the 2012-2013 school year I offered three primary iPad classes offering a total of six hours of class time.

I offered the following clases last year:

Getting Started With Your iPad

Have questions about your iPad or iPad mini? Join this workshop to get the answers you need. You’ll learn about the hardware and accessories, how to download and organize Apps, how to sync music & photos from your computer and tips for getting the most out of Safari. Bring iPad or iPad mini to class.

Going Further With Your iPad

Do you want to go further with your iPad or iPad mini? In this class, you will learn how to use advanced multi-touch gestures, keyboard shortcuts, and how to copy & paste. We will discuss how to take full advantage of iCloud, and tips for getting the most out of Mail. Bring iPad or iPad mini to class.

Above & Beyond With Your iPad

You won't want to miss this class where we are we will discuss features like AirPlay, FaceTime, GameCenter, iMessage, Newstand, and Notification Center. We will explore the world of e-books and spend time discovering how to get the most out of Siri. You will also hear about some of Mike's favorite apps.

During the 2013-2013 school year I will be offering four primary iPad classes offering a total of eight hours of class time. One thing that I am trying to do a bit different this year is focus on teaching a set number of skills in each class.

I have heard from many students from last year that they plan on taking the courses over this year so that they can get a refresher on what they have already learned and to stay up to date with the new software (iOS 7 comes out sometime in Fall 2013 and will change the way things look and work).

Get To Know Your iPad

Have questions about your iPad or iPad Mini? Join this class to get the answers you need. Learn about the hardware, accessories, Lock Screen, Home Screen, and the App Store. Bring your iPad or iPad mini to class.

This class will be very similar to Getting Started With Your iPad. It is a great first class for anyone who is new to the iPad. Even students who have owned an iPad for a year have got a ton out of this class!

iPad - Beyond The Basics

Learn how to get the most out of Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, and iCloud. iCloud allows you to sync information, share photos, locate your device, and backup your iPad. Bring your iPad or iPad mini to class.

This class has a ton of brand new content. There will be a little overlap with Going Further With Your iPad (iCloud & Mail). We will dig into some topics never covered before in any of my classes (Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders). I would encourage anyone who took the classes last year to take this class.

iPad - Tricks Of The Trade

Join this class to learn how to get the most out of Safari, Siri, and Maps. You will learn how to use multi-touch gestures, spell check, copy and paste, and other neat tricks as well! Bring your iPad or iPad mini to class.

This class has a little overlap from Getting Started With Your iPad and Going Further With Your iPad. We will also discuss the Maps app. My plan is to do a deeper dive on Safari than in Getting Started With Your iPad since Safari is one of the most used apps on the iPad.

iPad - Exploring Entertaiment

This class is all about Photos, Music, Videos, and E-Books. Mike will show you how to: sync photos and music from your computer, purchase media from iTunes, use AirPlay, download e-books, and get the most out of the Photos app. Bring your iPad or iPad mini to class.

This class will have a little overlap from Above & Beyond With Your iPad. This should be a neat class as we will be focusing on fun stuff (Music, Movies, TV Shows, Audiobooks, E-Books). I know most people didn't buy their iPad to do work on it all day!


QUESTION 3: Inverted Colors On iPad?

My iPad colors reversed....all dark turned white or light and the light colors turned dark. Any ideas?

This is what your iPad looks like if the colors get inverted.

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Kinda funky! To resolve this problem tap on Settings

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Tap on General then on Accessibility

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Turn the switch for Invert Colors to off.

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If you appreciate the free content on NiceGuyTechnology.com please support Mike by shopping on Amazon. If you click on the link and buy something, Mike will receive a small percentage of your purchase and it won't cost you any extra! Thanks for your consideration!

Ask The Nice Guy - Blurry Photos, Email Scams, Backup Problems

This is the 11th post in a series called Ask The Nice Guy. In this series I will attempt to provide answers to the various questions I get asked throughout the week.

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in this blog post, boiled down to five word (or less) summaries.

  1. Blurry Photos On iPad
  2. FedEx Email A Scam
  3. Time Machine Not Backing Up

QUESTION 1: Improving Quality Of Photos Taken With iPad?

The pictures that I take on my iPad are blurry, but the ones synced from my computer are clear. Any suggestions for improving the quality of the pictures/video from the iPad?

My guess is that you have an iPad 2. If that is the case there is not much you can do to improve the quality of your photos due to the camera itself.

The rear camera on the iPad 2 is less than 1 megapixel. When you combine this with a small lens you end up with subpar photos.

The rear camera on the iPad 3, iPad 4, and iPad mini is 5 megapixels. The higher megapixel count on these models allow for better photos.

Here are a couple tips for taking better pictures with your iPad:

Keep It Steady

Because the iPad is larger than your typical digital camera, it can be more challenging to keep steady than a smaller device. You may want to prop the iPad against something or use both hands to hold the iPad steady while someone else taps the screen to take the photo.

Proper Lighting

The lens for the iPad's camera is quite small so it can't let in as much light as dedicated digital cameras. If you attempt to take a photo with the iPad in a poorly lit room you will not be happy with the results. Make sure that there is plenty of light and you will end up with better photos.


QUESTION 2: FedEx Email A Scam?

Is there a scam /virus going around regarding FedEx? I got this message today saying they were unable to deliver a package to me on Dec. 20th and to download this attachment and bring it too the nearest office. The English did not seem correct and I think I smell something bad.
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Note: This was a question I got back in December before I was doing the Ask The Nice Guy blog series.

Yes! This is a very popular scam. If you clicked on the attachment your computer might have been infected with a virus. People are ordering so much stuff online these days that they often fall for this ploy. If FedEx could not deliver something to your house they will leave a door tag on your front door with information and instructions regarding the package delivery.

If you actually were expecting a package you can always go to FedEx.com and type in your tracking number.

If you receive an email that doesn't seem quite right, it probably isn't. I receive emails like this all the time and I just delete them.


QUESTION 3: Time Machine Not Backing Up?

Apparently my Time Machine hasn’t backed up my Mac in 16 days!! What should I do?

If you are receiving a message that Time Machine has not backed up in so many days it is most likely because the external hard drive that it is backing up to is not connected properly to the computer. Plug the external hard drive back into the Mac and click on the little Time Machine menu bar icon in the upper right corner of your Mac.

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You can then click Back Up Now and initiate a Time Machine backup.

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This problem is quite common. Many times the external hard drive will get nudged or a kid will yank the cord out from the back of the computer. This disconnects the drive from the Mac and it no longer backs up!


If you appreciate the free content on NiceGuyTechnology.com please support Mike by shopping on Amazon. If you click on the link and buy something, Mike will receive a small percentage of your purchase and it won't cost you any extra! Thanks for your consideration!

5 Things - Week Ending 6/21/13

This is the 47th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

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Do you tweet? Have you tweeted? Did you read my tweet? Is tweet even a word?

If it wasn’t before it is now both a noun and verb according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which recognized the term and the act associated with posting the 140-character updates to the micro-blog/social network Twitter.

Here is something you can talk about when you get together with people on the 4th of July. Tweet is now officially a word in the Oxford English Dictionary. I always find it interesting how they decide what words get added to the dictionary.


How mobile phones are making cash obsolete in Africa

Geoffrey York:

When he rolls into a gas station to fill his tank, Barkhad Dahir doesn’t get out of his car. He punches a few buttons on his cellphone and within seconds he has paid for the fuel.

With the same quick keystrokes on his phone, he pays for virtually everything he needs: groceries at the supermarket, a few oranges from a market stall, a shoeshine on the street, a cup of sweet milky tea from a café, and even, if he wants, an afternoon’s worth of khat, a mild drug favoured by many Somalis.

A fascinating look at how technology has changed the way one country's citizens pay for goods and services.

When I went to Tanzania in 2009, I was shocked at how many people had cell phones, but lacked so many other things. It was explained to me that it was their primary way of communicating (computers & internet were sparse), and that it was much more cost effective to put up cell towers throughout the country than build traditional phone lines.

There has been talk that one day in the United States we will pay with everything with our phones. I am not sure if we will get there in the near future because of the ingrained culture that exists. Many of my clients still pay with cash or check.


MacBook Air review (13-inch, 2013)

Nilay Patel:

We’ve been recommending the MacBook Air for three years straight now, so this is pretty simple: if you’re a normal person shopping for a laptop, you should buy a MacBook Air. It does all the things you want a laptop to do, it does them well, and now it does them for 12 hours at a clip. At $1,099 for the base model, $100 less than last year, it’s even a solid value compared to its best competition from Sony, Toshiba, and others

I purchased an 11-inch MacBook Air last fall and fell in love with it. Its' small form factor, light weight, speedy performance, and full size keyboard was everything this tech guy needed in a computer. The only thing that I wished the MacBook Air had was better battery life (the 11-inch model that I purchased had a five hour battery life).

When I heard that Apple came out with new MacBook Airs that offered signficantly better battery life, I immediatley purchased one. The MacBook Air is the perfect computer for someone like myself. It is crazy fast, offers "all-day" battery life, and is super light thus easy to take with you. Since I have purchased the new MacBook Air, I have not once brought the power charger with me. I can charge it at night and have plenty of juice to get through an entire work day.

The 13-inch MacBook Air has even better battery life than it's smaller sibling. If you would appreciate a slightly bigger screen, the 13-inch MacBook Air is the computer I would recommend for you!


Qwiki for iPhone review: Turn your iPhone photos into stunning, shareable slideshows in seconds

Allyson Kazmucha:

Qwiki is probably one of the best slideshow creation apps I’ve used and considering your friends don’t have to download the app in order to view them, this makes it an even better overall option. Creation is easy, fun, and quick which means you will probably be more inclined to actually use it to share photos.

If you’re looking for something that removes the complicated parts of sharing groups of photos, Qwiki is it.

This app is really cool! It is an iPhone app, but it does work on the iPad as well. It is free and can be downloaded from the App Store.


Buying the new MacBook Air

Most salespeople would have sold the more expensive computer, but this guy took the time to explain why I didn’t really need it, and convinced me to spend much less.

This article discusses a recent trip to the Apple Store to purchase a new MacBook Air. The customer thought he needed the "maxed out" model with all the bells and whistles. The salesperson asked some questions and helped the customer save $750 by recommending a less expensive computer that would still meet his needs.

I did this all the time during my years working at the Apple Store and I want to help you save money on your next technology purchase. If you are planning on purchasing something, just shoot me an email or give me a call and I will do my best to help you buy the right product while saving you as much money as I can!


If you appreciate the free content on NiceGuyTechnology.com please support Mike by shopping on Amazon. If you click on the link and buy something, Mike will receive a small percentage of your purchase and it won't cost you any extra! Thanks for your consideration!

30 Second Tips - Shared Photo Streams

This is the 39th post in a series called 30 Second Tips. My goal is to show you how to do some neat stuff in 30 seconds or less!

Have you ever been to a wedding or a large family gathering where you took a bunch of photos that you want to easily share with your loved ones? I know I have and there has never been a super easy way to share the photos with everyone.

Apple recently added a new feature to iCloud called Shared Photo Streams. This is a really neat way for you to share multiple photos with friends and family. I am going to show you how to use it on your iPad. The process is very similar on an iPhone.

Before you can take advantage of Shared Photo Streams you have to have iOS 6 installed on your iPad or iPhone. If you need help upgrading to iOS 6 check out my blog post with instructions. You also need to have an iCloud account set up on your iPad. If you need help setting up an iCloud account you can learn how to do so on Apple's website.

Once you have an iCloud account setup, you will want to verify that Photo Stream is turned on.

Tap on Settings

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Tap on iCloud and then tap on PhotoStream

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Make sure that My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams are turned on.

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Once you have verified that My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams are both turned on, you can tap on the Photos app.

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Once in the Photos app tap on Photo Stream

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Tap on the + button in the upper left hand corner.

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Enter the email addresses of the people you intend to send the photos to. You can enter more than one person if you would like to.

You will need to give the Photo Stream a name as well.

I would encourage you to turn the Public Website option on if anyone you plan on sending these photos to don't own an iPhone or iPad.

Tap on the Create button once you have completed the above steps.

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Once you have created the Photo Stream you will see a black rectangle with a cloud symbol on it. Tap on the empty Photo Stream.

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Tap on the Add Photos button in the upper right corner to select photos.

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Tap on the photos that you would like to share. Tap on the Done button in the upper right corner when you have selected all the photos that you want to share.

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If the person you are sending the photos to have an iPad or iPhone running iOS 6 the Photo Stream will automatically appear on their device. If they have another device they will receive an email inviting them to view the Photo Stream online.

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5 Things - Week Ending 7/6/12

This is the 15th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

PhoneSoap Let's You Clean Your Phone While You Charge

Some research indicates that the average cellphone has 18 times more harmful bacteria on it than a handle on a public male toilet, and that 1 in every 6 cellphones actually has fecal matter on it.

Disgusting. Might have to pick up a PhoneSoap when they become available. To know that every night the bacteria on my iPhone is being blasted away is well worth the $40 cost. You can add your name to a list to be notified when the product is available on their website.


Hone for iPhone 4S: Never Lose Your Keys Again

My partner and I lose our keys almost every day, so we decided to do something about it. Hone for iPhone 4S and the new iPad 3 is Bluetooth low energy device for your keychain that lights up and audibly vibrates when triggered so you can find your keys. It runs for six months on an included battery and has a 150+ foot range.

When I show someone Find My iPhone, they typically say, "Now if they could just make that for my keys.". Now you can locate your keys when you misplace them!

This is a KickStarter project and you have until July 17th to back the project. The Hone will ship this October.


Nearly 70% of American Android users can’t figure out how to connect to a WiFi network

We can’t stress this enough, setup your WiFi! Chances are you use your device most often while you’re at work, at home, or at your friend’s place. The only time you should be relying on your 3G or 4G connection is when you’re either commuting or when you need to look something up immediately.

If you aren't using WiFi while surfing the web on your smartphone you should be! By using WiFi you will likely experience faster speeds and you will also help relieve the congestion on the cell networks making things faster for everyone else.


Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind

Amy O’Leary:

On the other end of the line, however, some people may not know how to Google, or do not want to use Twitter. These users may be older, or less technically adept, and they are finding the method of communication they have relied on for a lifetime shifting under their feet. It does not make sense, they say, that a company with products used by millions every day cannot pick up the phone.

I am neither older or less technically adept, but I find it frustrating when you unable to pick up the phone and talk to a real human being when you are having an issue with something. It's unfortunate that many technology companies are taking the approach of only communicating with their customers via the internet.


Over: text+photos

This is a really cool app available on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It allows you to put georgeous text on top of a photo. There are numerous fonts to choose from. Once your photo is complete you can save it to your Camera Roll or share it to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or Email.

Check out a few photos from the Peterson Family Reunion that I took the past few days and edited with Over.