Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Best Coffee

Just came away from having coffee with friends at Starbucks. I had Espresso, and it's hard to get the type of quality machines at home with the heat and pressure to make good espresso-based drinks. Regular coffee, that's a different matter...
French Press, made by Bodum
The reason your coffee tastes, well, not as good as it could be, is preparation. If you had a French Press ($23 at Target), you'd find that your coffee is great! First, the coffee isn't sprinkled with hot water as it passes through on the way to a pot, where is continuously heated on a glorified hot-plate for Gods only knows how long. Not the best results...

The real way to make coffee is begin with a course ground beans dumped in the bottom of the Press, and filled to nearly the top of the vessel with hot water. Wait about fifteen minutes - I usually check Twitter and Google+ in this time. Put the top on, and slowly depress the plunger until the grounds are trapped at the bottom. Pour and enjoy.

Once you've been spoiled on this, you'll do what I've done... Get a jar of instant for when you don't have time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Playing with QR Codes

Had some time to burn, and began playing with QR Droid. Made multicolored squares for my Blogger, Instagram, G+, and Twitter accounts, as well as a business card that I might try using at work. Fun stuff...

Peter Murphy Cuts You Up (Best Quality!)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Virus encountered in the Wild!

Just got hit with a FBI Warning that I have violated something or other when I navigated from one webpage to the next. They offered me the option to buy my way out via MoneyPak.
But, since I'm running a Chromebook, not Windows... Ha.
A few months ago when I ditched Windows 8.1 preview because Microsoft refused to let me download 8.1 actual, I had no idea I might encounter a virus in the wild, but now, you couldn't pay the price to get me back on Windows.
Hopefully, others will pick up on the trend.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Make Chrome into a Notepad.

Someone on G+ was kind enough to post how to make the Chrome Browser into a quick and dirty Notepad. Very cool!

Three are almost endless ways to take notes on Android and ChromeOS devices, but this is just a fun alternative. Worth playing with...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I walk a lot...

I mean, over 100 miles is a lot, right?


New Year's Back-Up Poject

So, I've come to rely on Google services. A lot! Drive, Docs, Blogger, etc... But a hard truth is that unless you've paid for the privilege to use these services, they can go away, so with the new year, here's how to avoid putting all your digital eggs in one basket.
Google Drive
Opening up Google Drive (15GB shared between G+, Docs, and You-tube), check the little box in front of the folder (or file) you want to make a back-up of. As soon as you do, there'll be a little [more] tab that appears on the top center of the screen, with a [download] option. You'll be asked about format options, and I usually go with Open Document formats (labeled as Open Office). These are readable by Open Source Office Suites as well as by Microsoft. Make life easier on yourself and have Google email you the resulting zip-file, and download.
DropBox, active addition.
Once you've got the resulting files, keep a physical copy on a flash-drive, hard-drive, DVD, etc. But the Gods have decreed that anything that carries current will die, and usually at the worst time, so we're going to use on-line back-ups, as well. Yes, I know Google is an on-line back-up, but we're trying so spread the risk of losing your data around as much as possible... Enter DropBox.
DropBox, all I got in there...
DropBox (2GB for free) takes anything, without caring what format or program made it. I tend to name my back-ups with a /subject/year/month/day name, so I know what I'm looking at, and from when. More importantly, Every OS file-manager that I know of organizes things alphanumerically, so the files I made a month ago are right above what I just uploaded, and I know which one to remove from the virtual drive to free up space.
Microsoft's SkyDrive.
If DropBox isn't enough for you, SkyDrive (7GB for free) offers on-lone storage and web-app versions of their full fledged Microsoft Office Suite. They're absolute crap on mobile, but they've got a storage locker that works pretty well. In fact, I've noticed that if you've got a machine with a keyboard attached, the Word app has more features than Google's Document.

So, there's a lot of ways for you to stash your files in a safe place in the event you might lose your device, have to stolen, or damaged. I'd suggest using them.

20161205 - Update: Microsoft's SkyDrive is now called OneDrive.