Hi, Jenn here, otherwise known as the dumbass who managed to delete her Desktop tile from the Windows 8 Start Screen. And while the operating system is still perfectly usable without that tile (hit the Windows key + D on your keyboard to show your desktop), that tile is quite nice to have around. After some digging around, I managed to obtain a legitimate, original-operating-system tile file (it’s really just a ink. file) that you can use to restore or replace a missing Desktop tile.
- Download and decompress (unzip) the file above.
- Drag/move/copy the file to the following folder: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
View your Windows 8 Start Screen by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard, or moving your mouse to the bottom left hot corner, and poof, you’ll see your newly restored Start Screen Desktop tile! Enjoy.
I’ll have been a loyal and constant Android phone user for four years as of this coming February. I’ve enjoyed several Android phones, beginning with the T-Mobile G1, and ending with the phone I’ve had now for a little over a year, the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide (I know, I know, there are plenty of snazzy touchscreen-only phones out there, including the Samsung Galaxy S3. Sorry, but I need a tangible keyboard to fall back on at times!). I love, love, love Android, and the integration of Google products and Android apps. Here are three randomly selected favorite Android apps of mine:
- Seesmic Ping: Seesmic Ping is a multiple social network update app that lets you send one update to multiple social networks. Pick and choose which networks to send to. Send just a message, or a message with multimedia attached. Send messages right away, or schedule them to be sent later. It’s quick and easy, and most importantly, reliable.
- Out of Milk: Out of Milk is the Android app that syncs seamlessly with OutOfMilk.com. Register or sign in, then create and/or add to shopping lists or to-do lists. My husband and I have a shopping list synced so we can stay up to date with shopping needs (as well as wants).
- aCar: aCar is a car maintenance tracker app I have been using for several years now. I use it just for tracking gas consumption (fill-ups, costs, MPG averages) for both our vehicles, but you can also track services, trips, and other expenses.
I’ve had the same Android cell phone, a T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide, since September of 2011. It’s served me well, until recently, when it’s started to act…weird. There’d be the random home screen crash/refreshes (I can best describe them as being very similar as to when Windows Explorer crashes). There’d be the app crashes. Then, in the past week, on three separate occasions I had to ask Dan to please remove my cell phone’s battery so the damn thing would shut off (this always happened when I was trying to turn off or restart the phone). And in general, the phone was on the sluggish side.
The final straw was this weekend, when I had the ability to make phone calls, and send and receive text, and use a wifi connection for data, but I had no edge/2G/3G/4G. After a day of no data, I gave up and reformatted the phone. Now I have the hassle of re-downloading all of my apps one by one, and re-configuring my preferences, but on the plus side, my phone is lightning fast again, and I have data again. ;)
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Our children have iPads. We’re not rich, and for the most part our kids aren’t spoiled, but nevertheless, they each have their own iPad. Our son, who just turned 6 at the end of July, is autistic, and we purchased an iPad for him last year, and in terms of helping him to focus and handle outings and being in large groups of people (and even at family gatherings), it has been a godsend. Our daughter, who will be 8 at the end of October, received an iPad as a Christmas gift last year.
In any case, children and pricey electronics are generally not a recommended mix. Nevertheless, so far we have managed to keep not one but two iPads safe and sound. In addition to teaching and
hounding reminding our children how important it is to take good care of and be responsible for their iPads (don’t drop them, don’t leave them unattended, don’t eat or drink near them, etc.), we also have decent cases on them that help to protect against spills and falls, and awesome screen protectors that provide additional protection against spills. Based on over a year’s worth of daily use and dragging about (seriously, our son’s iPad goes with us almost everywhere – in the car, to the store, to the library, out of state, etc.), here are my personal case/sleeve and screen protector recommendations for iPads:
- Belkin Access Folio Case with Stand – it holds the iPad securely inside, encloses it fully, covers it, converts to a stand, and features a Velcro-closure pocket on the front that can hold accessories (in my son’s case, headphones)
- Elan Folio – this case is very similar to the Belkin Access Folio, though it’s a little “stiffer”, and it does not have a front pocket
iPad screen protector:
- Zagg Invisible Shield iPad 2 Screen Protector – this screen protector is touted as the holy grail of iPad screen protectors for a very good reason. It’s an amazing product that protects indefinitely (don’t let the seemingly complex installation instructions put you off)!
These products hold up wonderfully, and provide excellent protection for our children’s iPads!
I’ve heard a lot about BillFloat.com recently, both from online advertisers, and directly from two of my own creditors. For the hell of it, I decided to check them out. But when it came time to apply, over and over both my debit card and my husband’s debit card were denied – even though the numbers were entered in correctly, and both were active cards, attached to our PayPal account.
And therein lies the rub.
It was only after I contacted BillFloat.com to ask what was going on, and why I was having trouble, that I was informed that “at this time” BillFloat.com only accepts debit cards that are connected directly to checking accounts. Therefore, PayPal debit cards do not qualify.
And that’s all well and good, except that this wasn’t stated anywhere on their website, so there went nearly an hour of my time, plus their time when I contacted them for help.
Craigslist is one site I have known of for a long time (I’d have to be living under a rock to not know about it!), but one I have never used myself. I prefer the safety and anonymity of eBay, personally. But recently I decided to give Craigslist a try, and I had good results. Of course, I was selling decent items – two cell phones that were in great condition, and I was honest about their condition (one had some edge wear around the USB port, and the other had a hairline crack next to one of the buttons), and I also included photographs, and I priced the phones competitively. I was careful to not reveal my location, and I used a separate email address when corresponding with potential buyers. And when it came time to meet and complete the deal, we picked public meeting spots in public (grocery store parking lots), and I brought my husband, as well as his handgun, along for added protection.
I’ve heard some horror stories about Craigslist, so I’ll do my best to stay off of it unless I absolutely need to sell something. Like I said, I much prefer eBay for its safety and anonymity!
What is Virtualization?
I once heard an economist speak about concerns about outsourcing in the United States. The economist said that the strength of the American economy, and any of the world’s premier economies, is that the key components of the economy ten years in the future will be based on technologies that don’t even exist today. Outsourcing, though an inconvenience in the moment for those who may lose their employment because of it, therefore does not possess the potential to deliver a death blow to a premier economy because the jobs that are lost will simply be replaced by jobs in newly created markets.
The advances in computing technology demonstrate this ability of modern economies to create new and important markets within the short span of years. With new, market-altering technologies emerging rapidly, it is important to maintain an understanding of how the latest technologies offer opportunities for increasing productivity. One of the newest developments in computing is virtualization, which allows for the virtual creation of hardware or multiple operating systems within a single computing unit. Dell virtualization allows for servers to run all necessary processes smoothly, without the complication of using separate machines and separate programs operating independently. It is important to acknowledge that virtualization differs from running several software programs on the same operating system; virtualization uses several operating systems on the same machine. Dell Vmware partnership has produced virtualization solutions that consolidate server space and reduce costs. By working together to improve the efficiency of virtualization processes, Dell and Vmware have continued to improve the capacity of new computing technology.
By utilizing virtualization, a company could reduce the number of servers needed to service computing needs by partitioning a smaller number of machines so that each machine can host several contained systems that each specialize on creating an environment in which a certain function can be performed. Partitioning a server or a hard drive also allows one to test out applications or software that is being developed or is for some reason questionable so that if the application or software causes problems because of errors within it then the problems won’t spread to the entire server or hard drive because it will be contained within the partition that is allotted to it. This makes it possible to quarantine programs until they can be trusted to run without serious error within larger sections of the server or the hard drive.
Virtualization allows individuals and organizations to make full use of the computing power at their disposal. So much of the memory and space in servers goes to waste because of inefficient processes, and through virtualization solutions, individuals and organizations are able to use a greater portion of the resources they have. Wasted resources are inexcusable in a time when it becomes increasingly important to make use of available resources to produce more goods and services out of available raw materials. The increased computing power from virtualization processes will allow for technology to continue advancing as we become capable of greater computing power.
A couple of weeks ago I was out of town, and relying on Google Maps to get me from Point A to Point B. Then suddenly, the app locked up, then crashed. After several repeated crashes, I restarted my phone, and while the app didn’t crash after being loaded for the fifth time, it couldn’t find my location – or any location, for that matter. Luckily, I recognized the route number of the road I was on, and knew I needed to go east in order to head home, so I was able to take a slightly roundabout way back home. Of course, halfway home, Google Maps started working again, and picked up where it left off like nothing was wrong.
Moral of the story? Bring a regular map along. Or, if you’re not one for regular maps, at least check out your route to those massages in Orange county out on a regular map prior to driving it, and commit the bigger roads and highway routes to memory. Or, do like I do, and stash your three year old Garmin GPS system in your car’s glove compartment.
Last summer, we gave our autistic five year old son an iPad loaded with plenty of reading, writing, drawing, puzzle/maze, and calming apps. For Christmas, we caved and gave our “normal” (i.e. no developmental delays) daughter an iPad. For what it’s worth, we had all had a very stressful, trying year, and it’s one thing that she had been asking for repeatedly, so out of parent guilt we went ahead and gave it to her. :/ We’ll try not to make a habit out of that kind of thing.
Anyway! So both of our children have an iPad 2. Each iPad is in a protective case, and has a snazzy ZAGG InvisibleShield screen protector. Recently I’ve been asked by more than one person if I plan on upgrading their iPad 2s for iPad 3s – Apple’s new iPad. My answer? HELL FREAKING NO. iPads are expensive, and to be honest, there is absolutely nothing about the iPad 3 that could justify purchasing one, when both kids have perfectly functional and snazzy iPad 2s.
How about you? If you own an iPad 2, will you be upgrading to an iPad 3? Why or why not?