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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



Sony RX100: The Best Compact Cameras Ever Made

May 12, 2014 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

RV travel and photography go hand in hand. For an outstanding travel camera that’s so small it fits in your pocket, consider the Sony RX100 (http://goo.gl/HkYcXg) series. To add pro video features and wifi to transfer photos, go for the “sequel” RX100 Mark 2 (http://goo.gl/sqJ7qM). These are being called the best compact cameras ever made. They are loaded with professional features, the most important of which is a large 1” imaging sensor. The sensor is the heart of the digital camera. The best compact cameras ever made. (Click the pic for more info.) We have an RX100 Mark 2, and feel it works especially well in the context of RV travel. When we travel, we want to capture great photos. Smartphone cameras often leave us unsatisfied, but we don’t always want to lug around a bunch of heavy DSLR equipment. An RX100 gives you an image quality that’s comparable to a DSLR, but in a wonderfully tiny package. The essential upside of this camera is its size – it offers a high quality image, but the camera is small – it’s truly pocketable, although it’s a hunk of well built metal. If you are wanting a pocketable pro cam, this qualifies. It’s ideal for taking on a hike or casual walkabout. Alas, the RX100 Mk2 feels clunky in the pocket. It’s a little heavy because it’s made of solid metal. Build quality is excellent. It’s fatter than a smartphone, but it also delivers a much higher image quality. Most smartphones... 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



VIDEO: “Top 5 Places to RV Camp” in the USA

March 5, 2014 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

Subscribers to our YouTube Channel already know about this latest video. (Subscriptions are FREE and found at http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=walkaboutgroup) Our new show will address key questions about RV camping and travel that we’ve received from viewers over the years. Of course, one of the most popular questions is always, “What’s your favorite place to go RV camping?” We decided to answer the question in this video. In a landscape as diverse and beautiful as the United States, we couldn’t pick just one. You can watch the new video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzIET2FrnW4 More to come. Got any more topics you want us to gab about?  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



TECH: The New Kindle Fire HDX

November 7, 2013 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

We enjoy using tablets to browse the Internet when RV camping. While Apple practically invented the tablet category with the iPad (http://goo.gl/9dyKVN), Amazon has upped the ante with its Kindle Fire series. The new Kindle Fire HDX (http://goo.gl/KkEQ0U) takes on the iPad Mini (http://goo.gl/8huRKu). With the HDX, Amazon has delivered a powerful tablet with premium features that goes head-to-head with the iPad. Yet it costs almost half the price. Over the past couple of years, it’s become clear that consumers love the small 7-inch tablet size. Steve Jobs swore that Apple would never make a smaller iPad; well, even ol’ Steve was wrong about a few things. The new Kindle Fire HDX is powerful and lightweight. (Click the pic for more info.) Shortly after Steve moved on to that great product launch in the sky, Apple unleashed the iPad Mini. For many people, the 7” size simply feels right; it’s about the same as a traditional book. It’s easy to slip into a bag or purse (or “murse” if you’re so inclined) and take it wherever you want to go. Let’s take a look at some highlights of the Kindle Fire HDX. LIGHT WEIGHT The Kindle Fire HDX is light as a 10.7-ounce feather. That light weight means you can hold the Kindle Fire HDX for lengthy periods of time without getting fatigued. It makes a difference when you’re relaxing in bed with your evening reading. BEEFY PROCESSOR This year Amazon has beefed up the Kindle Fire HDX processor to a quad-core... Read more



ROKU – for TV in the RV

October 31, 2013 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

One of our favorite methods of watching TV in the RV is by using our Roku box (http://goo.gl/BY0VJp). What is a Roku? It’s an Internet streaming video device that delivers 1000+ different channels of video content. You simply plug the Roku into your TV, connect to a wifi network, and start adding channels of interest. If you are paying for cable TV, switching to Roku can save you a lot of money. Content is “free” in that there’s no subscription to Roku (of course there may be a subscription for certain premium channels like HBO). The Roku box is tiny, which makes it ideal for use in an RV. (Click the pic for more info.) The only subscription channels we use are Netflix and Amazon Prime. (Amazon Prime is a fantastic service for Amazon shoppers that offers free 2-day shipping on all purchases, a free Kindle lending library, as well as other benefits. For example, if you are a current subscriber to Amazon Prime, you get access to a huge library of free quality video content on Roku. If you want more info about Amazon Prime click here.) The free channels on Roku range from the weird (there’s an RV news channel?) to the fascinating (I personally enjoy the TED talks channel which is loaded with great public speaking presentations). As for the Roku itself, I admire its design simplicity. First of all, it’s extremely small and lightweight. The size works well in an RV. It’s not as small as a Google Chromecast, but it’s tiny– about the size of... Read more



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