Geeks On Tour Newsletter Subscribe to this FREE Newsletter November 29, 2009
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Touring the Googleplex in Mountain View CaliforniaNovember was the month we flew to Google's headquarters. It's going to take a while to come down from the high of visiting the Googleplex in Mountain View, California!

Google brought us out for 2 reasons, for a panel on user support and, for a Picasa webinar. The webinar was recorded - you can watch it at Google and Geeks on Tour present an Introduction to Picasa 3.5. It's a 38 minute Youtube video - I cover all the basic editing features in my segment. For more of our videos, in higher resolution - you can join our Geeks on Tour classroom. We also used the Google visit as our deadline to complete our Book: Beginner's Guide to Picasa 3.5

November Articles

So you don't miss anything, here's the other articles we've written this past month.
Gotta Have Internet - Wired is better than Wireless, usually
Picasa Do you Take Crooked Photos?
Webinar at Google's headquarters recorded on Youtube

In this newsletter  
An online classroom offering Computer Education for Travelers with ‘Show-Me-How’ Video tutorials on Picasa, Blogger, Google Earth, Basic Windows Computing and more
. Includes a Members Only Q&A forum.

Join Today! $39 for one year. If you get one question answered in our Q&A forum, you've surpassed the value!

Picasa Book ready for Holidays!

If you have a digital photographer on your list - here's the perfect gift. The Geeks on Tour Beginner's Guide to Picasa 3.5. It shows how to download the free Picasa program from Google, then how to manage your pictures, make them look better, share them with others via email and web album, and finally - how to back them up! 

It's a 60 page booklet with full color screen shots, PLUS a DVD with 25 tutorial videos - over 2 hours of instruction! All for $29 plus shipping. View a sample of the book.

Booklet & DVD: $29 plus shipping

Beginner's Guide to Picasa 3.5 Tutorial Videos on DVD

If you are a Geeks on Tour Member, you already have access to the companion videos. If you're not a member, you can join now.

The book alone is available as a download for $9.95. Just click the Buy Now button above and choose the eBook option.

Going over the 5G data card limit

If you use a cellular data card for Internet access on the road, you probably have a 5 Gigabyte/month usage limit. A past article discusses How much is 5 Gigabytes. In this article you'll learn how we were able to get 10 Gigabytes in one month.

Using cell phone tethered to a router

We us our Verizon cell phone tethered to a router for Internet access on the road. It works surprisingly well. Speeds are usually very acceptable and Verizon signal is *almost* always available. The one problem is the 5 gigabyte limit. Although that is plenty for most users, we have two people sharing the one connection, and - we are geeks after all - we have pretty heavy usage of our Internet resources. If we're careful, we can stay well within that limit, but one month - we weren't careful. It was about the 24th - a whole week to go - and we crossed the 4 Gigabyte mark. We also had one of our hands-on Boot Camp classes coming up where our Verizon broadband needed to provide the hotspot for the class.

Uh Oh.

The penalties for exceeding the 5 Gigabyte limit are very high.

Add a second phone for the month

So, we put on our thinking caps. hmmmm - we have a second phone. What if we turned off the Broadband access on phone 1 and turned it on with phone 2? Does that give us another 5 Gigabytes of service?

You betcha! It cost us another $49, but that's nothing compared to the overage charges we would have had otherwise.


You've heard of the snowball effect right? Well, when it comes to Facebook, we have an avalanche. Facebook started in 2005, but it hit a point somewhere in 2008 I think, where the avalanche started consuming even the most casual Internet user. Why? Because of the way it asks each new user to invite all their friends to join.

Millions of high school friends are now reconnected because of Facebook. We polled our audience at a recent RV rally seminar we were teaching and were shocked that nearly 80% raised their hands when asked if they use Facebook!

Fourth Largest Country in the World

As of September 2009, Facebook serves 300 million users. If it were a country, it would be the Fourth largest country in the world, behind China, India and the US. I'll bet it's even surpassed the US by now. Many people dismiss Facebook as a place where people tell you what they had for lunch today. They're not interested, and I agree if that really was all there was. But, 300 million can't be ignored.

I have a Florida friend, Chris, who told me that she came home from work and her husband said, 'Did you know that Kathleen (her daughter who lives in Minneapolis) was sick?' Uh ... no she didn't. Her husband also happened to mention, "Hey, Suzy broke up with her boyfriend."

"How do you know these things!?" Chris asked.

"Facebook" said her husband.

So, if you want to keep up with friends in a quick, non-obtrusive way, you will like Facebook. But, if you run a business you *must* be on Facebook. As I said, those numbers can't be ignored.

people or pages

A business presence on Facebook is called a Page or a 'Fan Page'. It is completely separate from the 'People' personal profiles. We have a Fan Page at . If you go there and you're logged in to your facebook account, you will see a button to become a fan. Once you are a fan, any time we post something on the Geeks on Tour page, it will show up on your Facebook home page. It's a great way to quickly keep up.

Facebook is a whole new world, and I gotta admit, I don't find it all that intuitive. We are learning our way around just like anyone else. We encourage you to become a fan on our page, and we can figure it all out together!

Q&A from our Members

One of the benefits of becoming a Geeks on Tour member is the private Q&A forum. Here is a sample Q&A from the past month:

Holiday Mailing Labels :

Q: It's that time of year again & I can't figure out how to run mailing labels from my Excel Address Book.  I have VISTA.  Do you have an article or a video on this subject available?

A: We do not specifically cover the Office applications. But, if you click on help or press F1 in Excel and type mailing labels, you will get instructions. We did do a video last year on using Avery's Web-based method for printing mailing labels, including a Christmas or Holiday graphic on the label. It's pretty slick.


That's all for now. We hope you learned something. Your next issue will be next month. Any questions, please email us. If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box - it's free. To see the archives of past newsletters, go to

Happy Computing!

The Geeks on Tour website is an online classroom for Travelers who want to learn to use their computers for managing digital photos, making blogs, using maps and other online resources. Anyone can watch our free sample videos, read articles on our Computer Tips for Travelers Blog, sign up for our free monthly newsletter, or Picasa weekly tips. A small fee makes you a 'member' and you can then view any of our 160+ video tutorials on these subjects.