Archive

  • Take a Picture
    When taking a picture with your smartphone you usually see a white circle (shutter button) on the screen that, when pressed, takes a picture.  You can also take a picture on most phones by pressing the volume buttons instead of the white circle.  Give it a try the next time you are taking a selfie.
  • AI for Everyone | ChatGPT is “Connected”
    It appears that the free version of ChatGPT can now search the internet.  I typed: “Browse with Bing to find today’s top news stories” In April the response I received was that ChatGPT 3.5 can’t browse the internet. Today (with the updated ChatGPT), the response was 6 current news articles with summaries.  Not sure I would consider them all top news stories, but they were…
  • Paper in the Digital World
    There are times when writing in a notebook with a pen is more comfortable, and more useful, than anything that a computer can provide.  Sketching, outlining, doodling, brainstorming, note-taking, etc. are some of the tasks than you can get more out of if you do them “the old-fashioned way”. But what do you do with the paper afterwards so you don’t lose the information?  The…
  • AI for Everyone | ChatGPT-4o
    Open AI announced ChatGPT-4o for both paid and free accounts.  If you are using ChatGPT, check the top-left pull-down arrow to see if you can change the version to ChatGPT-4o (“o” for Omni). Among other added features, the cut-off knowledge date is October 2023 for ChatGPT-4o vs. January 2022 for ChatGPT-3.5.  That means that when using information provided by ChatGPT it will be more current…
  • The Hidden Menu
    Did you know that you can right mouse click on almost anything (documents, websites, apps) and most of the time a hidden menu will appear with what you can do in that space? For example, select some text and then right mouse click to get a menu of cut/copy/paste/print/spell etc.  Or try right mouse click in a Canva project . . . or in File…
  • AI for Everyone | VASA-1 is Scary
    Continuing on last week’s article about spotting AI, take a look at this “not publicly available” product that Microsoft has unveiled — VASA-1.  Scroll through the article and click some of the videos. Understand that what you are watching are videos created from a single picture and an audio file.  None of the people in these videos are actually saying what the video shows them…
  • Spotting AI in the Wild
    AI generated images and text are EVERYWHERE.  It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should know what AI is capable of creating.  You have probably heard of Deepfakes*.  It’s the dark side of AI’s capabilities.  There have been several stories in the news lately and it will get worse.  Here’s my #1 tip to help you spot any AI generated media — Question and…
  • AI for Everyone | ChatGPT and CoPilot and Llama and  . . .
    It no secret that there is a LLM (Large Language Model) race happening right now.  ChatGPT (OpenAI), CoPilot (Microsoft), Gemini (Google), and now Llama (Meta) are just a few of the many that are in this race.  There are paid versions and free versions, ones that are connected to the internet and ones that aren’t.  For the average user there’s only a few things to…
  • Clear Some of the Inbox Clutter
    Got too much email from mailing lists that you opted into using your business email address?  To clear the clutter in your inbox, try this: Create a free email address (using Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) that will only be used for opt-in newsletters and mailing lists.  Alternatively, revitalize an old email address. Change the address on the newsletters and lists you want to continue receiving to…
  • AI for Everyone | Search Summaries
    Does the advertising on websites seem to be getting more annoying or is it just me?  There are just too many ads/videos/pop-ups. Check out this AI tool that can summarize searches for you: Before we start, take a look at this page about ADHD (https://www.verywellmind.com/adhd-resources-4014200).  Lots of advertisements, videos, etc.  Now try this: Go to www.perplexity.ai No need to create an account, unless you want…
  • Find That File
    You know you saved a file, but you just can’t remember where.  Try the search feature. Open File Explorer (Windows) or Spotlight (Mac) In the Search Box, type the file name or keyword Press Enter This will search your hard drive and if you are using Dropbox or OneDrive, and have it connected, it will search those files as well. In Google Drive, the search…
  • AI for Everyone |CoPilot Notebook
    Have you spotted the new “Notebook” tab on the top left of your CoPilot browser version? This upgrade expands the character limit from 4000 to 18000 characters and introduces a split-screen layout. Why is this a nice addition? It’s an incredibly useful tool for tasks such as having CoPilot edit or condense a document. Want to try? Simply copy and paste a document into the…
  • What is Cloud Storage
    You’ve heard the term, and you may even be using it, but what is Cloud Storage? You can think of cloud storage as a hard drive in the sky, accessible from any device that has internet access. There are several cloud storage companies . . . Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.  They each have their benefits and drawbacks.  They all have a free version…
  • AI for Everyone | Google App
    I’ve had so much fun playing with these “new” features in the Google App.  Near the top of the Google App (not Chrome) there are buttons to solve homework, identify a song, shop from a screenshot, and translate text.  These aren’t really new features, but Google used AI to enhance them and made them easier to find. Let’s try it out: Open the Google App…
  • Dropbox Scanner
    If you have the Dropbox app on your phone, you have a handheld scanner too.   I recently had to scan a bunch of pages and I knew my printer/scanner wasn’t going to handle the job well. I tried the scanner in the Dropbox app and it handled the job way better than I hoped.  Give it a try: Open the Dropbox App Click on…
  • AI for Everyone | Breaking Down the Steps
    When starting a new task, sometimes it’s hard to see the steps needed to complete the task.  Copilot is able to break down the steps for you.  Try this: Log into Copilot Type “You are a [insert job title and/or industry field] with a defined audience base. Breakdown the steps needed to schedule social media posts for the month” Click the paper airplane Note: The…
  • The Next Step in Protection
    Back in January there were a couple of articles about passwords: Are Your Passwords Secure? Password Managers Hopefully you have been tightening up your passwords over the last couple of months.  If not, consider this your friendly reminder😊 Let’s take a look at the next step in making your information secure — 2-Step Authentication.  You are probably already using 2-Step Authentication on some website because…
  • AI for Everyone | AI Can’t Do Everything
    In case you haven’t noticed, AI doesn’t always get it right.  Recently I tried to get Copilot and ChatGPT to create a resume.  Both failed, Copilot made up everything and ChatGPT wouldn’t even attempt it.  It took a bit of adjusting of my approach, but I was able to get a good resume pulled together.   Next time ChatGPT or Copilot doesn’t give you what…
  • Keyboard Shortcut Printout
    Click on the graphic to get a printer-friendly version.
  • AI for Everyone | Daily Itinerary Help
    If you have trouble making a daily itinerary, try this: Create a list of things to get done (it doesn’t matter the order), use Word, Notepad, Google Doc, etc Go to ChatGPT and login In the box labeled “Message ChatGPT” type the following: Create a schedule between the hours of 9am and 5pm for the following list.  Include lunch at noon. Cut and paste the…
  • Stop Your Phone from Eavesdropping
    Ever wish you could make your phone stop listening to your conversations (and then suggesting related purchases)?  If you turn off voice activation, your phone will stop listening for “Hey Siri” or “Hey Google”, and you can have private conversations again.   iPhone Navigate to Settings > Siri & Search Toggle off the following items: “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’” “Press Side button for Siri”  “Allow…
  • AI for Everyone | Keep Practicing
    The more you use AI the better you will become at giving the tool the information it needs to create what you want.  If you don’t get good results the first time, try rephrasing your request or providing more information.   Try this fun little exercise for image creation:(if you need image generation instruction review this post) On a piece of paper write 3 sentences…
  • F2 = Rename a File
    This is by far my favorite PC keyboard shortcut.   On a PC you can quickly rename a file by using keyboard shortcut F2. Find the file using File Explorer Click once on the file you want to rename to select it Click F2 Type the new name Press Enter On a Mac, select the file you want to rename and use the quick pull…
  • AI for Everyone | Give AI a Role to Play
    If you have tried an AI tool to help write something, you may have become frustrated with the results.  Sometimes AI just gets it wrong.  Most of the time, it’s the style or tone that needs the most work.  To help improve the results, try telling AI to act in a specific role.  For example, start your prompt with: You are a highly skilled Tech…
  • Facebook Chirping
    Not all updates a great improvements.  In my opinion, Facebook’s addition of “chirping” while scrolling on iPhones falls into this category.  If the new feature is bothering you too, you can turn it off: Open the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad Tap on the three horizontal lines in the bottom-right corner to open the menu. Scroll down and tap on “Settings & Privacy.”…
  • AI for Everyone | CoPilot Can Read to You
    The AI text generators (ChatGPT, CoPilot, etc) tend to give long text responses, unless you limit them.  CoPilot has a useful feature that allows it to read the response to you.  Simply click the speaker button on the response box and make sure your volume is turned on. (Anyone else find it funny that CoPilot writes that it is not able to read the response,…
  • Keyboard Shortcut – Alt + Tab
    If you are like me and have a bazillion windows opened on your PC, you might like this keyboard shortcut.   This shortcut will bring up all of the open windows as large icons and allow you to cycle through them each time you press it: Alt + Tab It’s a real time saver when you know you have a specific document open, but it’s…
  • AI for Everyone | CoPilot Image Generation
    This week let’s try CoPilot for image generation. Remember: Check the image carefully before using.  Words, hands, feet, and faces are the areas where the generator will most likely have issues. Go to Image Generator CoPilot In the box at the top of the page copy/paste this prompt A delicious breakfast of fluffy pancakes stacked high on a plate, drizzled with golden maple syrup and…
  • MOAB – What Now?
    You may have heard about the MOAB (Mother of All Breaches).  Simply put, in January 2024 a lot of user information was made available to the dark web.  What this means to you is that your usernames/passwords may have been stolen and are no longer secure. So now what?!?   Here are a few steps you can take to tighten up your accounts: Reread Are…
  • AI for Everyone | CoPilot
    I’m excited to announce a new section of the newsletter called AI for Everyone Else. In this section, I will spotlight an easy-to-understand feature of AI that you can start using right away. Let’s start with CoPilot. Go to https://copilot.microsoft.com/ In the box that says “Ask Me Anything”, type the following: Please create a template that can be used to write emails to clients about a…
  • What’s a VPN
    You may have heard about VPNs and wondered what it was and do you need one.  There’s a lot to VPNs, but here are the basics: VPN = Virtual Private Network A VPN creates a “tunnel” between your computer/mobile and the other location you want to communicate with, such as your bank.  It protect your data from hackers.  Since a picture is worth a thousand…
  • Password Managers
    Let’s follow up on last week’s topic — Passwords.  Unless you have an amazing memory, you will have to store your passwords somewhere.  You could store them in a notebook on your desk, but they won’t be accessible when you are not at your desk.  A better solution is to store them in an online vault.  The passwords would be accessible for all your devices,…
  • Are Your Passwords Secure?
    How secure are your passwords????  Let’s be honest, most of us have passwords that aren’t really secure and probably haven’t been changed in a while.   WAIT! Before you skip the rest of this article . . . We all agree that password management is a hassle, but give yourself a couple more minutes to see if you can quickly and easily tighten up some…
  • Keyboard Shortcut — Select All
    How many times have you wanted to select everything on the page?  You could use your mouse and drag the cursor to select or you could use this easy keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + A (Windows) Cmd + A (Mac) BONUS TIP When using your phone (iPhone or Android) to select all: Tap and hold your finger on the text that you want to select. Tap…
  • Stop Squinting at Your Phone
    Smart phones can be extremely helpful, but only if you can see what is on the screen.  Let’s adjust the text size so you can see the words with less squinting. iPhone Click Settings Click Display and Brightness Tap Text Size Use the slider to adjust the text size Android Click Settings Click Display Scroll down to Font Size and Style, then click Use the…
  • Scanning QR Codes
    QR Codes are becoming commonplace.  We see them everywhere.  But what do you do when you see one on your computer screen?  Do you take out your phone and scan it? Although that way works, it puts the information on your phone.  What if you want it on your computer? Try this instead when using Chrome: Right mouse click on the QR Code Scroll down…
  • iPhone NameDrop
    You may have seen recent articles in the news about iPhone’s new feature (iOS 17.1) — NameDrop.  This feature allows iPhone and Apple Watch (watchOS 10.1) users to share information with other iPhones or Watches by holding the phones/watches close together. If you want to share your contact info, you simply hold the phone next to another iPhone and the two phones will recognize each…
  • Wi-Fi Sharing
    Having friends and family over for the holidays and wanting to share your Wi-Fi with them?  Android users can try this instead of giving the actual password: Go to the Wi-Fi Settings Tap the Settings icon next to the network’s name At the bottom of the screen, click the QR Code The person who wants to join the network can go to their Wi-Fi Settings…
  • Small Screenshots
    Need to take a screenshot of just a portion of your screen?  Press these three keys at the same time: Start + Shift + S (Windows) Cmd + Shift + 5 (macOS) Then use your mouse to select the area you want to screenshot.  The screenshot will be saved to your clipboard so you can paste it where you need it.
  • Searching Google
    Have you ever wished you could get better Google results?  Here are two options that may help you. Option 1 If you know that your search is going to give you a lot of results that aren’t what you are looking for, try using  “-“ to weed out some of those results.                Type Steel Drum into your search bar Notice that most of the…
  • T is for Tab
    Have you ever closed a tab in your browser and immediately thought “Crud, I didn’t mean to do that!”? You could find the “previously opened tabs” option in your browser history or you can try this keyboard hack. Ctrl Shift T (windows) Cmd Shift T (macOS) This shortcut will open the last closed tab.  If you repeatedly press the shortcut, it will open each tab in…
  • The Bookmark Bar
    We all use bookmarks, but can you find them after you save them? Or is your Bookmark Bar full of unorganized links? Let’s go through one way to keep those links in order so you can find them later. The Bookmark Bar is located just under the area where you type a website address. This Bookmark Bar is fairly clean, but it could have a…
  • Let’s Go Incognito
    Ever wonder what the Incognito Window in your browser does? In Chrome it’s called an Incognito Window.  In Safari it’s called a Private Window.  The names give you an idea, but it may also give you a false sense of security. WHAT IT DOESThe private browsing window, no matter what the name, opens up a new private browser window.  The browsing you do in that…
  • Catch That Email
    This was a new one for me.  Definitely useful! Have you ever wished you could “unsend” an email that you just sent?  Most email apps let you recall an email if you are quick enough, but did you know you can extend the time up to 30 seconds?  Imagine . . . 30 whole seconds to call back an email and add the attachment you…
  • Can You See?
    Is the text on a website too small (or too big)? If you have a PC, try this: To Zoom In – Hold down the control button while pressing the plus sign ( + ). To Zoom Out – Hold down the control button while pressing the minus sign ( – ). If you have a Mac, try this: To Zoom In – Hold down the…
  • The Google 9 Dots
    The Google 9 Dots (aka the Google Waffle) Have you ever noticed the 9 dots on the right side of your Google home page, or on any of the Google apps pages (Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, etc)? Those 9 dots, also known as the Google Waffle, are a shortcut to all the Google Apps and it can be customized to better work for you.…