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Extension Inbox from 2012

January 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

If losing weight is at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list, consider using technology to make it easier. Before beginning any new diet, consult with your medical professional or nutritionist.

January 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Small, local shops can use free social media tools to create online gift registries.

I love small downtown businesses. There is just something special about wandering into local shops and looking at locally made pottery, jewelry and other knick-knacks, especially when I am shopping for myself. However, when it comes to wedding and baby gifts, online registries offered by larger companies are usually my “go-to” choice.

January 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Planning a wedding can be an intimidating experience, but technology can help the couple and their guests enjoy the day.

The Internet can be a good source of information about local photographers, caterers and florists, so investigate before signing on the dotted line. Check the reviews of other customers, and be sure to click on the Images tab to see if any photos of the person’s work are available in addition to the pictures on their website.

January 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Shopping online can be extremely useful for busy consumers, but it often leaves small businesses out in the cold.

There are numerous options for the small business owner or entrepreneur when it comes to selling online, but determining the right fit for your growing business can be a challenge. Most tech-savvy folks say there is no perfect online payment system. Rather, it’s a choice between what software helps net the most sales minus the software that gives you the least amount of headache.

February 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Small businesses can entice local customers with online coupons and discounts just like the big box stores do.

February 9, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Valentine’s Day is perhaps the hardest holiday for computer geeks because it requires two things we are not overly fond of -- public displays of affection and people.

Christmas tends to be a very easy holiday for us because we can do all of our shopping online. Birthdays are much the same. Valentine’s Day often requires a conversation with a florist, which is usually someone we don’t know. Because ordering flowers online doesn’t really count as a carefully chosen, personal gift, it usually isn’t an option.

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

February is African-American history month. If celebrating your heritage has you digging for the roots of your family tree, consider using the Internet for help.

Genealogy research is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in America. More and more people want to know where they came from and how they ended up here. The Internet offers many useful tools to those of us who cannot travel to visit historical archives in other states or the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The temperatures are warming up, and the daffodils are blooming. My 2012 gardening adventure is under way. I am confident that my neighbors think I am excavating my backyard in hopes of finding buried treasure. Little do they realize that the buried treasure is none other than tree roots and stumps. Trying to tame the wildness that is my backyard requires tenacity, hard work and access to good information.

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

With the price of gasoline on the rise, many families are opting to stay close to home for their spring break vacation, and planning is as important for a staycation as it is for an overseas trip.

To ensure a fun time is had by all, even the youngest in the group, create a staycation passport using either your computer’s clip art or the site

March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Spring break is just around the corner, and children everywhere are gearing up and packing up to head to their grandparents’ homes. In turn, grandparents are frantically searching for activities to keep the grandkids busy.

March 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The fastest-growing segment of Facebook users in the United States is senior citizens. Unfortunately, many seniors feel lost when it comes to Facebook and other social media.

A common refrain I hear from many seniors is that social media is something that has passed them by or they just aren’t sharp enough to keep up with all this new-fangled technology. This is regrettable because our seniors have a great deal to offer. In fact, most of the information younger generations are looking up on sites like Google, YouTube and Pinterest are things most seniors already know.

March 22, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Many seniors can adopt technology to improve or enhance their quality of life.

Seniors (and others) can use an iPad to keep their minds sharp by playing Sudoko while waiting at the doctor’s office. Or iPads can be set up to remind them of scheduled activities or when to take medications. Home computers can be used to chat with grandchildren via Skype or to reconnect with old military buddies through Facebook or email.

A key barrier for many senior citizens wanting to use technology is the inability to see the monitor or smartphone display.

March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Older adults are sometimes hesitant to adopt smartphones, but smartphones can eliminate one of their most common cell phone problems: text too small to read.

April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Having grown up in a very small town where everybody knew everyone else’s business, I have come to appreciate the anonymity of big (or rather, bigger) city life, and Google is threatening that anonymity for many of us.

Granted, my current residence is not New York City, but I come from a town that counted the people twice and the cows and tractors once in an effort to keep the post office. As a result, I’ve learned to appreciate the ability to go out to dinner with someone and not hear it on the prayer list Sunday morning.

April 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Spring is in the air, and graduating seniors are fighting off senioritis as they prepare to take their final exams. Many of these students are in the process of looking for summer jobs or their first full-time jobs. With a tough job market, students need to use every resource available to market themselves to potential employers, including social media, such as Facebook.

April 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Writing a resume can be a daunting proposition for job seekers, and today’s technologies require most people to have both a traditional resume and one ready to be uploaded to an online database.

April 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and children both young and old are beginning the search for the gift that tells her she is the best mom ever.

Most people do not buy technology-based gifts for their mothers. Instead, they buy more sentimental items, such as flowers or perfume. However, as technology becomes more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, there is room to mesh the sentimentality of the day with technology.

May 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

As graduation ceremonies come to a close, many high school seniors are preparing for their senior trips. Whether they are headed to big cities, sandy beaches or overseas, smartphone apps can help young travelers navigate their grand adventures.

May 10, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

If you want to make Emily Post roll over in her grave, consider texting a thank you message or posting your appreciation to someone on their Facebook wall, rather than sending the traditional, handwritten thank-you note. No matter how much society embraces technology, as long as the U.S. Postal service is still operational, you need to handwrite thank-you notes.

May 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The weather has warmed up, and many of us are cleaning out closets, digging up the yard, mowing grass and generally getting ready for summer. Normally, I take to the couch when these moods strike and let the moment pass. Unfortunately, neglecting to clean up your computer can result in an overgrown jungle of electronic mayhem.

Start your computer’s spring cleaning by taking a look at your hardware. Hardware includes your monitor, mouse, keyboard, and hard drive, or CPU (central processing unit).

The monitor…


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