Travel and Technology

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL “HACK?”
Travel Hacks Image“Hack” is shorthand for a shortcut or a trick that can make your life easier. They can apply to any area of life, from cooking to cleaning to dining out. And, they are not only innovative approaches to tackling life’s challenges, but entertaining as well. We’ve taken a look around and come up with a list of hacks you can use when planning your next trip.

TECH TIPS

  • In a rental car, look at the little icon for the gas pump. The direction the gas handle is pointing is the side of the car where you put your gas in.
  • Put your smartphone on “airplane mode” to make it charge faster.
  • Forgot your phone charger attachment or have the wrong voltage? Power up by plugging your cord into the USB port found on the back of most hotel TVs.
  • Take a photo with your phone of where you park your car at the airport. That way, you can remember where your car is.
  • Take a photo of your rental car for scratches and dings BEFORE you leave the lot.
  • If on a road trip, take a photo of your car’s license so you have it when you register at your hotel.
  • Can’t hear the alarm clock? Set the alarm on your smartphone and put it in an empty glass near your bed. The sound will be amplified.
  • Take photos with your smartphone as you pack so you have a visual inventory of what you’ve packed, just in case your bags get lost.
  • Take an HDMI cord to connect your laptop, phone, or tablet to the hotel TV. You can then stream your favorite NETFLIX movie, Amazon Prime or other services you might have. We are addicted to MhZ Choice for International Mysteries.

MAKE DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

  • Use Google Maps even when you don’t have phone service. When you are online, find the point of interest (like your hotel) and load its profile. Tap the three dots in the top right corner, then click “Save offline map.” When offline, locate the place in the Google Maps app under “Your Places.”
  • Did you know you can use a shoe to open a wine bottle? Here’s how: Remove foil. Place bottom of bottle inside the shoe (works best with a brogue or something similar). Find a sturdy wall (brick or concrete) and repeatedly bang the shoe sole (containing the wine bottle) against it. Use force and expect to repeat banging motion about 20 times. The cork will eventually emerge.
  • Smartphone + empty toilet roll = instant boom box.

If you cannot do any of the above tips, please come to the lab. You can schedule either a one on one with your phone or take one of our classes.

See you soon.

 

Wildflowers are Here

poppies

If you live in central Texas this is the best time of year. Indian Paint Brushes, Poppies and Bluebonnets to name a few are in abundance on the highways and in the pastures.

Even if you have hunted down the perfect flower last year, this years crop is different.

For poppies right now, Georgetown and Castroville are in full bloom. Tips on cameras- this one was taken with a phone. Get close, push your finger on the focus spot, wait and then either use a voice command or your ear buds to remotely take the snap.

Here are a few sightings from readers to a site called http://texas.wildflowersightings.org/sightings/202

  • I-20 and Hwy 67 west to 408 – Duncanville, TX
  • Just South of Waxahachie on 287 – Hillsboro, TX
  • TX 16 between Fredericksburg and Llano – Willow City, TX
  • Willow City Loop seems to be spotty at best

TX 16 is on fire according to a report on Facebook

Facebook Wildflower Page

  • Roadsides just before Babyhead Mountain were covered with a mix of bluebonnets and paintbrush. This has expanded over the weekend to include all the way down to the intersection with CR-215.
  • Farther south of Llano along Texas 16 to RR-1323 there are now numerous long stretches of roadside fairly covered with either bluebonnets or a mix. 

Camera Settings

  • When you photograph flowers, shoot in Aperture Priority mode. This enables you to control your depth of field. When you’re shooting lots of wildflowers, you have two options: You can create a photograph where every flower is in sharp focus or where the flowers in front of the scene are in focus and the rest of the image is a dreamy blur.
  • To create the first type of photograph, use a small aperture and focus one-third to halfway into the field of wildflowers. This ensures that the entire field of flowers will be in focus.
  • Create a dreamy look by shooting with a large aperture (small f-stop number). Focus on the flowers nearest the camera, and the distant flowers will be a creamy blur.
  • Use a fast shutter speed as the wind is always blowing and you can stop the action.
  • Bring a prop.chair

Or better yet, take a seminar in the Shooting of Wildflowers on

April 25th http://www.agecomputer.org/seminars0/wildflower.php

See you in class after you go out and about and enjoy our spring.

Navigate and Search the Real World…online and off

It’s official. Straight from the Google Blog on November 10, 2015. You can now navigate and search the real world…online and off.

Roughly 60 percent of the world is without Internet today, and even where online access is available, it can still be spotty. That means that quick and easy access to information is still not possible for a majority of the population. This is a huge problem, especially as people attempt to navigate and explore the world around them, so Google Maps is taking steps to help people across the globe find directions and get where they’re going, even when they don’t have an Internet connection.

Now you can download an area of the world to your phone, and the next time you find there’s no connectivity—whether it’s a country road or an underground parking garage—Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings.

product-offroad-setup-v1-r2

You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, for instance, and tapping “Download” on the resulting place sheet, or by going to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the “+” button.

Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you’re in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route.

By default, we’ll only download areas to your device when you are on a Wi-Fi connection to prevent large data fees.

Offline Maps How it works

Google first previewed these new capabilities during Google I/O in May, and they’re gradually rolling out the first set of these improvements with the latest version of Google Maps on Android (coming soon to iOS). Over time, they’ll be introducing even more offline features to help you find your way—even when you can’t find a connection.

Posted by Amanda Bishop, Product Manager for Google.

Re-posted for all our seniors at AGE Computer Lab who spend time traveling the world with their phones.