Top

Where Am I? An App for Frequent Travelers

October 27, 2014 by Chris Guld · Leave a Comment 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminEver ask someone to write down a local phone number, and later notice they didn’t include the area code? Or how about watching a weather alert that tells you about a tornado warning in xxxyyy county? If you travel all the time like we do, you have no idea what county you’re in, or what the area code is for local phone numbers.  Now you do! All you need to do is tap the icon for an App called “Where Am I?” and all the information in the screenshot here will be displayed. We use this all the time,mostly for the county name, zip code, and sunset/sunrise time. It’s so simple! Another feature that could come in very handy in an emergency, is the ability to tap on the share icon and send your location to a friend via email. If your friend opens it on their smartphone, they can tap on your location and Google Maps will navigate there! App Name: Where Am I? Author: Ejelta LLC Price: Free Available for Android (a similar, but not as complete, App is available for iOS: Where am I at?) To learn more about Smartphones and Tablets, watch the Geeks on... Read more



How I Love Google Maps

August 8, 2014 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

If I could only have one App on my smartphone, it would be Google Maps. How do I use the Google Maps App on my smartphone or tablet? Let me count the ways: I just look at it to see where I am. I get a quick idea of how long it will take to get from point A to point B, whether that is driving across the country, or bicycling to the store. I search for a good restaurant nearby, see a menu, check the hours, read reviews. I view a tourist attraction and look at pictures of the location I ask for directions to the nearest Walmart, Post Office, Trader Joe’s, or Camping World. And, by the way, I can ask by typing my desired location into the search box, or by clicking the microphone icon and literally “asking” Google Maps to give me directions. I ask Google Maps to give me voice-directed, turn by turn , directions.  To Navigate to the desired location. I save a location with a little star on Google Maps so I can get back there again sometime. I look at the 360 degree photographic “Street View” of a location to see if there is a good bicycle path, or to read a road sign, or see a storefront. I get a “second opinion” of our current route, while we’re on the road and our dashboard GPS is navigating. Google Maps is so fast, and so responsive to touch controls, that it’s a lot easier to pick up my phone and check that we are on the right route. If Google Maps says a destination is in a different location that the dashboard GPS, I trust Google Maps because I can actually... Read more



Teaching Technology at the Escapade RV Rally

June 20, 2014 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

The Escapade is an annual rally for the Escapees RV Club. We’ve been teaching technology topics at RV rallies for 10 years now, but this Escapade had more people who were more interested in the topics of computers, smartphones, maps, pictures, and Blogs than any other we’ve experienced. In this post we’ll take you day by day thru the Geeks on Tour activities at the Escapade rally held in Goshen, Indiana at the Elkhart county fairgrounds. I’ve written this blog post with enough detail that I hope our readers feel like they’ve been to the seminars as well. Pre-Rally Windows 8 Workshop First came a hands-on, 6 hour class on Windows 8.  The people who came to the class saying, “I Hate Windows 8!” had all changed their tune by the end of the day.  We taught them how to make the tiled Start Screen more useable by customizing it, or to bypass it altogether and just use the old-fashioned desktop.  We taught them how to use the OneDrive folder on the computer to automatically backup and/or share files in the Cloud with OneDrive and their Microsoft account. We taught them how to Search, so they didn’t get frustrated by not finding stuff.  And, we taught them how to specify that they were using a “Metered” Internet connection.  That way, Windows 8 will refrain from doing all those big Uploads and Downloads when you’re using that connection. Pre-Rally Smartphone Workshops Next came two half-day classes, the first on Android phones and tablets,... Read more



Get Together with RVillage

March 16, 2014 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

by Chris Guld, www.GeeksOnTour.com We are here at the Fairgrounds in Perry, GA (in the rain) getting ready for a week of seminars and fun at the FMCA Convention.  We will have an informal get together this evening at 5 in the Multi-Purpose building by the Geeks on Tour table and the computer help desk area.  How did we arrange this get together?  With a new website meant specifically for just this purpose.  It’s called RVillage.  It’s for RVers, but we pronounce it like Our Village, a social network just for RVers. Now, before you immediately say, “I don’t need another social network” check out the special features RVillage.com offers.  Each one who joins RVillage can easily ‘check in’ whenever you pull into a new RV park, and when you do, you get an icon on the map so friends can easily see where you are.  You can also join all sorts of special groups within RVillage.  Here is a map of just the RVillagers who have added themselves to the Geeks on Tour group.  And, notice that clicking on one icon shows you the details of who that is: Whenever you check into a park, you can immediately see if any other RVillagers are there and if any get-togethers are planned.  So, for example, here at the Georgia Nat’l Fairgrounds, there are currently 9 people checked in, and there are two get-togethers planned. RVillage.com is a brand new website.  It’s been in private development for 6 months or so.  It just opened to the public... Read more



Apps for Travelers: Field Trip and Historical Markers

December 27, 2013 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

We spent some time in the Portland area this summer and one day we took a delightful walk on the Washington side of the Columbia river.  The city of Vancouver maintains a wonderful paved path for a couple of miles along the river’s edge and we were out for some exercise.  Along the way, we were intrigued by a statue of beautiful woman.  We assumed this statue represented Sacagawea, but, as we admired it, the smartphone in my pocket rang a special alert letting me know that the Field Trip App had some information for me.  Aha!  It was an informational card on this statue. We were wrong, this wasn’t Sacagawea at all.  The card that popped up on my screen informed us that this was the Ilchee Moon Girl, daughter of Chinook Chief Concomley and, later, wife of  Chief Casinos leader in Vancouver area.  According to the card, the Ilchee Moon Girl had the power of a Shaman and she paddled her own canoe, the sign of a chief.  Cool! Read Historical Markers while you Drive Both Jim and I love history and we would love to stop every time we see a road sign that says, “Historical Marker Ahead,” but we find that is near impossible when you’re traveling in a motorhome towing a car.  I have the Historical Marker Database app on our smartphones, but I’ve learned that all of that information is now incorporated in the Field Trip app.  Now, whenever I see the sign “Historical Marker Ahead,” I will also hear that special ring on my phone.  I pick up my phone and look at... Read more



The Best Tablet for Travelers

December 8, 2013 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

We won’t even pretend to be able to compare all the different tablets available today.  We do have our opinions however!  And, a few specific features that we think are important to travelers.  We own 3 tablets, a Nexus 7, an iPad mini, and an MS Surface Pro.  We highly recommend any of them, but be sure to read the section below on features and accessories. . . Four Categories There are generally 4 choices in tablets, divided by their operating systems: iPad and iPad mini with the iOS operating system from Apple.  If you already have an iPhone, then this is probably the right tablet for you.  We like the size of the mini.  It’s easier to hold in your hand, and it fits in a small purse/bag … and it costs less. Android tablets like Nexus, Samsung, and countless others.  We have the Nexus 7 and think it is the most bang for the buck.  The Samsung is currently the most popular brand. Kindle Fire HD and HDX.  Although this is based on the Android operating system, it needs a category of its own because it is highly customized by Amazon.   You can only download Apps from the Amazon store and that does not include Google Maps or Gmail.  The HDX is the one with the nifty “Mayday” feature where a live person appears on your screen and can help with anything about your tablet.  FYI you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books.  All of these devices have Kindle reader apps. Windows 8.1 tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro or Surface RT and many others... Read more



Geeks at The Rally in Atlanta

October 25, 2013 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

This past week we (Geeks on Tour) were at the Camping World / Good Sam Rally held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  We were parked in the Infield, along with a few hundred of our close RVing friends!  Another 1-2,000 RVs were parked outside the track area. It was just a short walk to the tent that served as our seminar room for the week.  The topics we taught included: Get to Know your iPhone/iPad Get to Know your Android Phone/Tablet Technology for Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share your Travels Managing Digital Photos with Picasa Every RVer Needs a Blog Facebook for Travelers Smartphones/Tablets Overview for Travelers Video Editing with Movie Maker We gave 14 classes in all over the 5 days of the rally.  Four of them were our special hands-on classes for iPhones/iPads and Android devices.  We kept registrations under 20 people so they could get personal attention as we gave them exercises to do. There was only once that we left our tent and wandered around the vendor Exhibit hall.  We were happy to see the TechnoRV booth looking busy and a big smile from Ally handling business while Phil and Tracey are still in England. We did take advantage of the Entertainment on Friday night and went to see the Beach Boys.  They were great!  And it was a beautiful evening at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Here’s a little video: Beach Boys at The Rally The last night we breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed a nice dinner and bottle of wine with our parking lot neighbors... Read more



Don’t Settle for the Camera that Came with Your Smartphone

August 16, 2013 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

by Chris Guld, GeeksOnTour.TV Your smartphone has a camera lens, a sensor, and a shutter, but it’s the software, the Camera App that makes it a camera.  All smartphones come with a stock Camera app, but there is so much more!  Here is an article by CNET on the 12 best Android camera apps around.  And, here’s an article from howstuffworks on 10 Great iPhone Camera Apps. What is HDR I just want to tell you about the one extra camera app that I use – it’s called Pro HDR.  No, HDR doesn’t stand for High Definition something … it stands for High Dynamic Range.  It is a special photographic technique intended for scenes that have a wide range of exposure needs.  A lot of light, and a lot of dark. The HDR technique takes 3 separate photos of these scenes at 3 different exposures.  This way it can get the perfect exposure for the light parts AND the perfect exposure for the dark parts.  It also takes a middle exposure.  When these three pictures are put together, you not only get a great exposure but also depth in the color.  I love taking HDR photos – they look so special. Professional photographers actually take 3 different exposures manually and put them together later to produce HDR photos.  See some excellent examples here. HDR on a Smartphone To take an HDR photo with a smartphone, you just need an app that automatically takes the 3 exposures and puts them together.  On the iPhone with iOS 6 HDR is a simple on/off option on the stock camera app.  It takes... Read more



Using DropBox to get Pictures from your Smartphone

July 8, 2013 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

If you’re like us, you find yourself taking more and more pictures with your smartphone instead of your normal camera.  That really messes up our procedures of getting the pictures from the camera to the computer and organizing them there.  How do we get the pictures from the smartphone to the computer?  If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch some past tutorial videos on how to transfer pictures by attaching a cable from the phone to the computer: Import Pictures with Android and Import pictures from an iPad/iPhone.  But now, there is an even easier option. Dropbox, is the indispensible Cloud storage and synchronizing utility.  We’ve written about it several times, and mention it in almost every seminar since it’s our Dropbox folder where we store all our seminar materials!  Dropbox also has a special feature called “Camera Upload.”  It is nothing short of magic!  Now I take a picture on my phone and the next time I sit down at my computer, that picture is there in the Dropbox/Camera Upload folder. Add More Dropbox Storage Space by Using Camera Uploads The Free version of Dropbox starts you out with 2GB of storage space.  If you’re going to upload pictures from your smartphone to your Dropbox account, you’ll need more!  The folks at Dropbox realize this.  If you install the latest version of the Dropbox App on your Android or iPhone, you will earn up to 3GB in additional storage.  You will earn... Read more



What is Cloud Computing?

May 17, 2013 by Chris Guld · Comments Off 

We (Chris and Jim of Geeks on Tour) are currently in Colorado Springs at the RVSEF Lifestyle, Education, and Safety Conference.  We are presenting two seminars today for the RVers in attendance.  The first one is on Cloud computing and how we take advantage of it in our Fulltime RVing lifestyle.  We thought our online RV.net readers might want to come along for the ride! The ‘Cloud’ is simply The Internet – but it is taking on special meaning as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are offering accounts where you can have your own slice of the sky.  They also offer device independence.  If you can start a document with your computer, finish it on your tablet, and view it on your smartphone, you’re using Cloud Computing.  With names like DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, or SkyDrive, it no longer matters what device you have in your hand because the application, and the content is in the Cloud. The Cloud is the Internet So, where is this cloud?  And who owns it?  Remember … the ‘Cloud’ is simply a synonym for the Internet.  The Internet is made up of thousands, maybe millions of Server computers, connected by millions of miles of cables, and thousands of routers.  It’s all linked together with an agreed upon system, an Internet Protocol.  Nobody owns the whole thing, although Google, Microsoft, and Apple do own some pretty large chunks.  It is the mother network of networks, it is vast... Read more



Next Page »

Bottom