Friday, August 29, 2014

City Travel Planner - Plnnr.com

 Hi All,

Just found out about this wonderfully odd, interesting travel planner website called Plnnr.com.

So, what does Plannr.com do for you? Plnnr automatically generates your free personalized ready-to-use itinerary in a few short seconds.

Clicking on the 'Get Started Now' icon on the Plnnr.com homepage takes you to the Plannr.com wizard.  There are five steps to get your itinerary:
1. Where to
2. Dates
3. Theme
4. Intensity
5. Luxury Level

Clicking on Where to leads you to a screen with  choices like Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, London, Milan, New York City, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and more.

Clicking on one of the options - I chose Rome - sends you to a page where you choose the date you intend to leave - and an option for you to select how long your trip will be.  Length of trip runs from 2-7 days.  I chose, a four day trip.

Next you come to a screen that asks you to select what your trip is going to be like?  With Kids, Outdoors, The Best of..., or a Culture based trip.  I chose Outdoors.

Users can make choices that vary from Light, Easygoing, Moderate, Vigorous and Extreme.  I chose a Moderate trip.

Users are then brought to a page where you can select the number of stars for your hotel (1-5).  I chose 3 stars for the hotel.

At this point the Plnnr wizard jumps into action and a new screen appears with the trip options that you've chosen.   Users can click on the orange dialog box to view the final results.  And oh, what results! Users can see the itinerary day by day. 

There is a list of sites to visit - and the length of time it should take to view the site.  Specific category of the particular site is listed as well (historic site, panorama, world heritage, history and culture and more). Users have the option to 'rank' the particular sites to either include them in their itinerary or not.

A map of all the sites is available as well.  Users can also book a hotel on Plnnr.com in order to actually make the trip a reality.

Finally, on the right side of the page are a few choices that users can use to further customize their trip. Most importantly is the 'Trip Profile' option which lets users change  the number of adults, the number of rooms, update the mode of preferred transportation and intensity of the trip.

There is also a 'word cloud' in which users can change each category weight to best match their trip preferences.  That is, users can add, delete or enlarge or shrink various categories - which will then be used to further customize the trip experience.

Hope you enjoy the site - Plnnr.com is a great way to get a customized trip if and when you want to go to some of the worlds greatest cities.

Regards,
Stu

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Microsoft....Help!!!!

Hi All,

While the world seems to be migrating toward a tablet-centric world (iPad's, Nooks, Kindles, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, Amazon FirePhones and more) Microsoft Windows is still an important tool in the office workers toolkit.  For example, more than 1.1 billion people still use Microsoft Office - that's 1 in 7 people on the planet!

But what happens if you have trouble using your version of Microsoft Office? Indeed!  Microsoft has a wonderful support page.  Just click on this link and you are there!

Users can search by product (Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, Surface, Xbox, Skype and Windows Phone), download, store or contact Microsoft.  And while there are a lot of options on the page, the section I want to discuss is the Office link.

Users can choose their particular version of Microsoft Office or find a list of questions under the heading 'Popular Topics'.  Examples of popular topics include: 'installing or removing individual Office programs and components', 'Activate Office 20xx programs', 'download/backup/restore Microsoft Office products'.

There is also an very helpful search bar at the top of this page - users can put in any search terms related to Microsoft Office and the relevant results will appear on the page

One last thing: the Microsoft Knowledge Base is an awesome way to get answers on those pesky, problems that users have when using Microsoft Windows. Basically, the Knowledge Base (KB) is a huge FAQ where any and all problems are addressed by Microsoft specialists!  Click here for a link to the Knowledge Base - its filled with answers to the questions that you need.

I hope the answers you are looking for are available on the Microsoft Support site!

Regards,
Stu

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brief History of the Internet

Hi All,

So you like to use the internet to: send email, exchange pictures, post to Facebook, send birthday cards, download games, do online banking, check in with your favorite quilting site, buy books on Amazon.com, send Tweets on Twitter, search for movies on the Internet Movie Database, use Google to find out about gardening, stream movies via Netflix, check sports scores or write a blog entry?  I guess that means that you are a bona fide internet user!  Congratulations.

And now...that you use the internet, wouldn't it be at least a bit interesting to learn about how it came into being? Indeed it would be - its an interesting story filled with lots of technology, history, big names in computing, government sponsorship and much more!

Click on this link from the Internet Society for a very comprehensive (they call it 'brief') History of the Internet.  The article includes a timeline, has sections on internet concepts, proving the ideas, documentation and a very extensive list of footnotes.

Regular readers will not be surprised to see this next link from Wikipedia.  This Wikipedia entry goes to an article titled, 'History of the Internet'.  Similar but different than the prior article. One interesting link from the Wikipedia article goes to 'External Links'....

Another interesting article come from the Computer History Museum - and includes a very interesting (and extensive) timeline of the internet.  Cool stuff - and easy to digest and read.

Finally, click on this link from History.com for an article titled, 'Invention of the Internet' - while fairly brief, it introduces readers to some of the major players and the basics of the invention of the internet.

Enjoy the links - and of course - enjoy the web and the internet.

Regards,
Stu

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AppSmart and Other App Sites

Hi All,

Just found an interesting link on the New York Time website.  Its called App Smart and can be found at this link. App Smart enables users to find the best mobile apps for your needs (tracking fitness, creativity or falling in love...).  Note that App Smart is video based so users get to watch on their device.  A very random sampling of videos includes: Avoiding Sunburns, Writing Poetry, Going Green and History 101.

Below I've listed a major site that reviews various apps for various Android and Apple devices. 
148Apps - includes reviews, new apps, price drops, top 148, how to, feeds and more.  Links also to All iPhone Reviews, iPhone Games, All iPad Reviews, iPad Games, Hardware and more. 

Finally, click on this link from PCMag.com for their section on Apps.  PCMag also has hands-on reviews of iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, BlackBerry Apps, Android Apps, Palm Apps, Windows Mobile AppsMobile Utilities and Mobile Games...click here for a few of PCMag's 100 Best articles: 100 Best Android Apps, 100 Best iPhone Apps, and the 100 Best iPad Apps.

Enjoy the download and the apps!

Regards,
Stu

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Urban Legends - Did It Really Happen?

Hi All,

You probably have heard about 'urban legends'...these are things like stuffing onions in your socks to cure disease or Was Tom Hanks' Dad the Lead Singer of the Diamonds? or Do Birds Exploded If they Eat Wedding Rice?

Urban legends have been around for a long, long time.  And now, with the advent of the internet, urban legends have become more and more prevalent.

And, as the internet giveth, so it shall explaineth - and create a website as an answer...forthwith two sites that discuss urban legends: Snopes and UrbanLegends.About.com.

Of the two, Snopes.com is the more popular - and just might be considered to be the seminal 'urban legends' website on the web.  Its tagline is 'Rumor Has It' - and is a well organized website.

Categories at the top of the page include 'What's New', Randomizer, Hot 25, FAQ, Odd News, Glossary, Newsletter and Message Board.

The Newsletter Subscription link has a form to enable readers to subscribe to the free weekly, Snopes.com newseletter.

Taken in turn...'What's New' lists recent updates and additions to Snopes.com - there are also links to the RSS newsfeed on this part of the page.

The Randomizer link takes you to a random urban legend - and changes each time you click on the word, Randomizer. Fun way to learn new things.

Clicking on the Hot 25 link goes to a page that compiles the 25 urban legends currently circulating most widely.  Fun stuff!

FAQ is a link that goes to the Frequently Asked Questions page on Snopes.  Useful Q&A format makes this a good starting point if you are not familiar with Snopes

The Odd News link features a daily collection of links to news articles and websites of interest to Snopes.com readers. 

The Glossary link  provides definitions for  number of terms that visitors to Snopes.com might not
be familiar with. Some terms come from the field of folklore and others are specific to Snopes.com.

And, finally, the Message Board link enables users to sign-up, partake and to follow various conversations that like-minded Snopes readers are engaging in.  It is a great way to share urban legend ideas and thoughts with other people on the web!!!

And now for the shameless plug part of the blog entry.  Readers can check out - get it - some books at their very own Farmingdale Public Library on the topic of urban legends.  Click on this link and you'll go to the library card catalog under the topic of 'urban legends'. 

Enjoy the legends and the links.

Regards,
Stu

Monday, August 18, 2014

On That Date...dMarie Time Capsule

Hi All,

Suppose you wanted to find out what happened on a particular date in history?  What website would you go to?  Which would you pick?

Well, have I got an answer for you!

The dMarie Time Capsule is a perfect place to visit - click here for the site.

So...what does the site have and include?  Users can enter the date - for example 07/20/1985 - and then have the choice of clicking on 'Quick Page' or 'Advanced Page'.

Clicking on the Quick Page link connects you to a page that gives you the day of the week, top news headlines this week, top songs for 1985, prices for various products in 1985, who the U.S. President and U.S. Vice-President was. In addition there are categories for Academy Award Winners, people who were born on the date in question, what was on television in 1985, a list of hot new toys from the date in question, the top books of that year.

Interesting website - fun, and easy to use.  And you can amaze family and friends by saying something like, 'Back on your birthday in 19xx, the top book was xxxx and that these were popular television shows?'  Yep - its a great way to show a person that you care to surprise them with facts like that - hint, hint...try this on someone's birthday!

Enjoy the site and the memories.

Regards,
Stu

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fun entry - Generac Commercial Series Liquid Cooled Standby Generator

Hi All,

Check out this link from Amazon.com for a very, very, very large backup generator.  You could buy a very nice car for the same amount - or put down a small downpayment for a house - or buy a beautiful diamond ring - or take a very, very nice European vacation.  Enjoy!



Oh, and check out 'customer' comments.  Too funny!

Regards,
Stu