Friday, September 28, 2007

Assignment #170

Serena Miller is the Learning guide for September over at Learning2.1. Here’s her latest.

Thing 40: Retroland

Reminisce about the good old days.

I have a new favorite site and it's Retroland is a social networking site where members can reconnect with the things they loved "back in the days" and interact with people who share the same fond memories. One of the features I like the most on Retroland is it's Retropedia. From the 1990s all the way back to the 1900s you can see a time line of things like music, fashion and school memories that defined (and embarrassed) the decades. If you see something that you remember fondly you can simply add it to your favorites and also add a memory post. When you add a memory post you can upload a picture to go with what you are talking about and what you remember about the subject. If someone likes your memory post they can give you a gold star (just like in grade school) and your posts ratings will increase. Check out the memories users had of the Slinky. You can also get to know other members by clicking on Retrotalk and posting on their forums which are all pretty active. My favorite would have to be the food forum.

Discovery Exercise

1. Create an account on Retroland.

2. Explore the Retropedia.

3. Did you see a tv show, toy, or fashion accessory that you had long forgotten about? Blog about your experience.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

As part of a grade in a class toward a library certification, I had students compose Web2.0 assignments. This assignment was done by Rose Sizemore.

Assignment #169

Typhoon/Hurricane/Cyclone Formation Forecast

Living on Guam, one must be prepared for possible natural disasters.

It is helpful to know what Internet site is available and helpful to

you if you would like to monitor the progress of an impending storm--

while you still have power. Go to

--And once you know a typhoon is out there you’d better get some instructions. We posted an Andersen typhoon preparedness video on Youtube.—RA


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Assignment #168

For Seniors

I found this great column over the weekend from Wayne State University and Jim Miller. It’s called The Savvy Senior and offers advice for us senior citizens on Web resources on a particular topic. This column had to do with my original question about a program called the Senior Home Exchange. And then this one dealt with educational opportunities for seniors. Hold on to your hat mama, life ain’t over yet!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

As part of a grade in a class toward a library certification, I had students compose Web2.0 assignments. This assignment was done by Joe Diego.

Assignment #167

Financial Aid

This website provides the steps to get federal student aid.

Go to

Click on #1 to get an overview of the information you'll need to start the process.

Go to eligibility and check whether you can qualify for federal student aid.

Click on documents and print a checklist of documents needed.

Go to FAFSA on the Web Worksheet and print it out.

Apply for a Personal Identification Number.

Go to deadlines to submit items on time


Monday, September 24, 2007

Assignment #166

Rule the Web Widget and Bug Me Not

Those of you who use my blog will notice that I have a new widget at the top of my right side column. Through this widget you can get the latest 60 second podcast from Rule the Web one of favorite sites. #17 tells everybody about a cool little Firefox add-on and website called BugMeNot. After installing the add-on, whenever you come to a site that wants you to register to use the site, you just right-click, click “log in with Bug Me Not” and bingo your in. No more tedious registering for each individual site. I used it at and it worked like a charm.

Oh! And if you want the little Rule the Web widget for your blog, just click on the GET THIS WIDGET.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Assignment #165


We’ve got both Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone language programs in our library and I’ve also shown people how to get free language lessons from, among others, videos at YouTube, podcasts at Itunes, and the videos over at Now comes a new service called Mango. I played with it for awhile and it’s pretty cool. You get Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and Greek for English speakers and English for speakers of Polish and Spanish. It’s fun and the pronunciation is very good.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Assignment #164

From Whence Cometh?

The other day my son, Reed, asked me where I get all the ideas for these emails. “Steal ‘em” I told him. “otherwise known as research.”

Seriously, there are some good sites to get information like I give you, they just don’t do it in the same wonderful way. Obviously, I’ve mentioned the Learning 2.1 site as a place to go. Then there’s the Download Squad, Rule The Web, Kim Komando’s emails and the podcast Net@nite and then there’s my new favorite Mashable. And that’s just the main ones. But yes, I know, most of us are too busy (or too lazy) to visit these sites for ourselves so we’ll just have to be content with getting our little piece of technology education through this email.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Assignment #163

More Music

Back in March I told you about that WAS offering free streams at which time they started to refuse the service to anyplace outside the fifty states. Anyway, along comes another service called Deezer that will give you all the free streams you want. It’s just the service to use with your Audacity recorder which, FYI, is called streamripping. The down side is that their library isn’t as big as Rhapsody’s but beggers…


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Assignment #162

Picasa on the Web

Even though I’m a big Flickr fan, I’m a bigger Google fan, so I thought I should take a good look at Google-owned Picasa on the Web. Now, I already use Picasa at home to organize my photos so I figured Google would make it easy to upload my albums and I was right. One click and a whole album was started on its way. Once the pictures got on the web it got a bit more awkward but still fine. Everything I could do on Flickr I could do on Picasa including the mapping. However, the first thing you have to do is get Picasa on your computer. Get it here. Then let it organize your pics and away you go. No more sending photos to family and friends. You’ll just send them the URL to your Picasa account for 100’s of pics. It couldn’t be easier and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Here’s ours:

Oh! Oh! And speaking of pictures, try this image search engine. It’s pretty cool.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Assignment #161

Uncle Jay

Now, I don’t often recommend just a website and except for assignment #4, in which I tried to be even handed, I stay away from politics. But a friend of mine recommended it. This is a great site. Uncle Jay Explains the News

Friday, September 14, 2007

Assignment #160

Comic Relief

There was an interesting posting on Learning 2.1 last week but it didn’t transfer to this email so well so I’m just going to give you the URL:


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Assignment #159


So I mentioned the Reference class yesterday. What I didn't mention was that for an "A" students have to come up with 2 or 3 things that I can use in this email. Ed Lamb wants us to know that even if you're not in position to have a copy of Microsoft Office and PowerPoint, you can still view ppt files using Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer available here. And if you're not that great on PowerPoint you can watch a bunch of tutorials here. The tutorials are OK but nothing special. You'd think Bill could invest a couple extra bucks to give us some entertaining "How to's" on his products. And finally, here is an interesting ppt blog with lots of good links.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Assignment #158

Blog Widgets

So they've got me teaching this Reference class for Guam School Library Certification. And, of course, I'm using this email/blog as the main class assignment, numbers 1 - 100 actually, which probably won't hurt my reputation as the Island's premier sloth. Anyway everyone's hard at work learning about blogs and doing there own blog that I thought I'd throw in this great link:
called 50 Great Widgets For Your Blog. I put the clock on my blog because people off island can never seem to figure out the time here. Al least that's what they're telling me on the phone at 3 in the morning.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Assignment #157


Serena Morrow is this month’s Learning Guide over at Learning 2.1 and this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Make video clips like the pros!

You don't have to be Steven Spielburg to create professional video clips online. Animoto is a web application that produces professional videos using their own patent-pending technology. Animoto is the brain child of producers from ABC, Comedy Central and MTV who definitely know their stuff. Animoto analyzes your images and the music you use and pieces everything together to where it all flows perfectly in sync. If you don't like how your video turns out you can click the Remix this Video button and have Animoto automatically change it up for you or tweak it yourself. No two video clips come out the same which makes for hours of fun, as I found out today. (You can check out Serena’s video here or see mine at my blog —RA)
Animoto is still in beta mode which means they are still testing things out and adding new features. One feature it doesn't offer yet is the option to link to your Photobucket account. But rest assured, I contacted the Animoto guys and it should be available in the upcoming weeks. Also, if you want a clip longer than 30 seconds it will cost. But, you can make as many 30 second clips as you want for free.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Create an account on Animoto.
  2. Create a 30 second clip or Animoto Short, by uploading at least ten pictures. Still got the Flickr account from Learning 2.0? Animoto can link directly to it.
  3. Choose from one of the songs in Animoto's music library or upload your own music file to go with your clip.
  4. Embed your new 30 second clip onto your blog. There is a special code just for Blogger that you can use.
  5. Blog about your experience using Animoto.

Note: I’ve been playing with this since yesterday. It’s fast, easy and the family agreed it’s really cool. Thanks Serena!!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Family Video

Assignment #156


One thing we’re getting better at is getting interesting pictures around so everybody can see. Now Digg does pictures within the context of their regular news stories and people have been begging for months to separate them out to their own category. No luck from them yet but some other guy has started and we’ve also got reddit media. Now on these sites you can see just about anything so grab their RSS feed and try to keep up. For instance, here’s some great artwork:;f=3;t=002071;p=


and this one is cool.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Assignment #155

Google Earth Easter Egg

I told you about Google Earth and Sky in Assignment #148 but one of my favorite Blogs Download Squad had news of an Easter Egg in the New Google Earth. Evidently Ctrl-Alt-A gives you a flight simulator that’s great fun. Here’s the article.


Assignment #154

Top Sites

This comes from PC Magazine. Here are their top classics websites:,1206,l=213025&s=25234&a=212961,00.asp

Here are their top “undiscovered” sites though I’d already discovered a few of them.,1206,l=213934&s=25234&a=213919,00.asp

Every time I go through groups like these I marvel at what I don’t know.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Assignment #153

Speed Up Adobe Reader

This is a problem I think everybody has. Adobe Reader just takes so long to start up. Here’s a video to help you solve it along with links to the appropriate program.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Assignment #152

Today’s assignment I’m going to steal from the How-To Geek. I immediately went and got this add-on.

Using Secure Login in Firefox

If you allow Firefox to store your passwords you might be worried about the recent security holes found in the password manager. The solution to these problems is to use the Secure Login extension to prevent Firefox from automatically filling in password fields, but at the same time giving you the automation that saves you time. In fact, using the hotkey means that this method is probably even quicker.

The regular Firefox password manager will automatically fill in the password fields for you, which gives malicious sites and hackers the chance to use javascript to read the password. Granted, this isn't a common occurrence, but it's still wise to be wary.


Using the Secure Login extension, you'll see these gold bars around the login credentials instead, but it won't fill in the fields automatically.


Here's where the magic happens…. just click the Secure Login button and the form will be filled and automatically submitted.


You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt+N (customizable) to login even faster.

The button isn't automatically added to your toolbar after installing the extension, but it's easy to add: just right-click over the back/forward buttons and choose Customize Toolbar. You'll find the Secure Login button in the list.


The preferences have a lot of other options as well, like not automatically submitting the form when you click the button if you don't like that behavior. You can even customize the highlight color around the login elements.

Download Secure Login from Mozilla Add-ons