Archive for the ‘solving IT-problems’ Category

First question: Is there any better way of getting rid of its fear concerning technology than to do something which is fun and makes use of technology at the same time? In my view there is none.

So the little plug-in I would like to present is just a perfect symbol of my personal way through our BusApps course. Starting with a good portion of skepticism I gradually realized that IT is not stressful and annoying per definition. In contrast, it provides us with enormous simplifications in everyday life (it took quite a while untill i got that point). Same thing about our last post. My first thoughts: Oh no, talking about our fears towards technology, all that interconnected with some add-on stuff.. don’t bother me. But then I found one little application which kind of changed my mind, impressively showing me all the advantages of Information Technology.

Although you all are familiar with downloading songs from YouTube – it’s an online taboo topic in most cases, isn’t it? But I’m pretty sure that almost all of us know the following situation: You want to listen to a certain song, browse the internet to find it and the first website to offer that song is usually YouTube. So you enjoy your song and after that the feeling arises that it would be nice to really have this song. Not being dependent on YouTube anymore; you rather wish to store it durably on your hard drive or your mp3 player. (more…)

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From Fear to Fun

Posted: June 27, 2011 by lisabu00 in solving IT-problems

Before I started studying, my computer was mainly a tool to play – for facebook, emails and other distractions. But since my computer is my best friend and working partner, I decided to order my stuff a bit more structured.
After rearranging all my data in different folders, I tried to achieve a clearly laid out formation in my web browser as well, because it’s the tool I use the most.
So I began to collect a lot of links I often use and need and ordered them in folders and bookmarks to get to the homepage I want just with one click.
But for any reason, I thought it could be even more efficient and I started to look for tools to facilitate my surfing in the web and to save time later on.

My web browser is Mozilla Firefox and so I came across Add-ons and Plug-ins which can amplify your browser and give him a lot more features. They both have almost the same functionality – they extend the usability of a programm. But while Plug-ins are often a part of another software that works together with your browser, Add-ons are a specially built for your browser as a addition to the software.
For more detailed information look at ’Difference betweens add-on and plug-in’.

Surprisingly, I discovered, that my Plug-in folder is already pretty filled with programs like Adobe Acrobat, Java toolkit, DivX Web Player and more.
For this reason, decision making was fast and easy – I want to focus on the diversity of Add-ons.

Firefox offers 2.529.060.452 different add-ons to download, which are all cumulated at mozilla.org.
There you can choose between 14 diverse categories like ‘data privacy & security’ or ‘photos, music & videos’ or ‘RSS-feeds, news & blogging’.

To show how my browser looked like before I started the add-on marathon:

(these coloured stripes at the top I just added some weeks ago – fancy, isn’t it?)

To start with something easy, I thought it might be nice to do some little changes in the design. So I looked in the category for ‘tabs’ and installed ‘Colorful Tabs’. After some installing and saving, the window with all my plug-ins and add-ons appeared, where I just had to click on ‘activate’ and I was done. After restarting Firefox, a dozen of coloured tabs appeared. If you have a lot of tabs opened, the colours makes it easier to distinguish between the different ones and in addition – it just looks nice.

But to come to something more useful:
To make reading easier and faster, I discovered the add-on ‘Readability’. It allows you to reduce the content of a homepage only to the necessary – the text itself. Everything else disappears, which makes it very easy to print the text and to read it without distractions. Same old story: downloading – saving – installing – activating – finished. You can try it with every homepage you want. Just use the shortcut: CTRL + ALT + R.
In the same category I found Read It Later, which works perfectly together with the Readability add-on. This add allows you to move interesting articles to a little folder, where they are collected and saved and it gives you the opportunity to read them at a later date. Just get an account, register yourself and you have access to the list wherever you are. You can filter them, sort them in a special order and just look for the newest.


But to come to the one, which I liked most and which all computer ‘nerds’ I’ve talked to recommended – adblock. After pressing the button ‘Zu Firefox hinzufügen’ and 30 seconds of installing, I was a proud owner of this really helpful tool, how I will recognize in some minutes.
Immediately after I restarted my browser, I was asked if I want to add a filter subscription for the cooperation with adblock. I just said yes – and here we go. To show the effect, the example of gmx.net is a pretty good one:
Before adblock:                                                                                        With adblock:

Adblock inhibits all kinds of annoying and blinking advertisement and commercial articles to appear and reveals the real content of the web page. Many sides are now easier to read, important information are more definite and it’s not that crowded anymore.

I could make an endless list of really useful and great add-ons here, but I think this isn’t the goal of this task.
I got lost for hours and my add-on folder has incredible 20 items now (before there were 2). I also installed ACE Foxdie, FEBE, Last Pass , Play Drums and many more useful or just funny additions for my web browser. They all work the same way. They are like the whipped cream on your icecream. You don’t really need them – but with them – it just starts to be fun.

Add-ons are like apps for your smartphone – you can’t get enough of them and they make you spend too much time for it. But as I have to do a lot of research, have to write many documents and emails, it’s much nicer to spend hours in a colourful browser, with tools helping me to be more efficient and faster than without it.
The idea of this little und free inventions are just to facilitate your daily life and to make improvements in your self- organization.

If you combine some features it can really help you to find information very easily and faster and it also supports you in collecting information and transforming them the way you need it.

Say Bye Bye to My Fear of Technology

Posted: June 27, 2011 by lenahaase in solving IT-problems

Customer satisfaction, especially in the technology sector, has become difficult to fulfill. Whenever people buy new computers, they prefer different functions and features. As a consequence, they are often unsatisfied with their choice: either the software does not have the right functionalities or there is an oversupply of different features, which makes it impossible to find the one you are looking for quickly. Customization has become a key element. In order to offer customers a variety of different choices, software developers allow the use of Plugins and Add-ons.The term Plugins and Add-ons often refer to a third party software, which is meant to interact with a certain program.

It mainly extends the functionality of a system by adding different features according to the user’s preference. They are responsible for almost the same activity with only little distinction. Take for example your web browser, in order to watch videos, you would need to install a plugin, called flash player. Flash player is not native to any browser, so it is also compatible to all other popular web browsers like IE, Firefox, and Opera. In comparison, add-ons that are meant for Firefox would only work with Firefox.

Personally, I have installed a Flash player because I wanted to be able to watch moving contents. I am very satisfied with my decision because the installation of the plugin (which is by the way completely free of charge) enables me to get better explanations to my questions or to simply watch short videos. Especially when I research possible solutions to a certain problem, it is easier to understand it when I have the opportunity to watch how things are working (in little videos) than just read about it. Installing the flash player plugin was a good decision for me because it helps me a lot with the learning process.

Another add-on I am using is the Adblock Plus for Firefox. Since surfing on the Internet has become a daily activity for me, I got totally annoyed by commercial pop-ups. Whenever I have opened up a new website I was confronted with shopping offers and new deals. It really disturbed my research work, so I was wondering if there is a way to get rid of it. That is why I became very interested when I heard that there is an add-on, called Adblock Plus. The installation is pretty easy and free of charge. It is offered on Firefox.

This Add-on prevents commercial pop-ups to open up if you visit new websites. It is especially useful if you are changing webpages steadily and you keep closing and reopen sites. All in all it really helps me to speed up my Internet surfing.

Moreover, since many people have a WordPress account, it might be a good idea to inform you about WordPress plugins. There is for example a Twitter plugin, which connects your WordPress account with your Twitter profile. This Process enables you to transfer contents from different sides directly to others.  By using this application, you have the opportunity to reach even more people.

To get more concrete information how it works, check out this video:

 

All in all, I support the further development of plugins and add-ons because I can freely chose among them and install those, which are fitting to my personal preferences. It enables me to customize my Internet experience and I have clear advantages by using them.

Quite amazing what is possible nowadays….

Say Bye Bye to My Fear of Technology

Posted: June 25, 2011 by Stephanie Krogmann in solving IT-problems

I am a person that is naturally scared of technology. I know how to turn on the computer, to open Windows Office and to go online. That is all I usually do. In order to research online I use Mozilla Firefox which is definitely easy to handle even for persons like me. After using this tool for a while I figured out how to use simple bookmarks allowing me to save pages I liked or graded valuable.  It became much easier to work on the web (Well, this might not be something astonishing for computer cracks, but at least for me ;)). A few weeks ago I had another moment of cognition. In class we were introduced to Google readers.  This tool offers you the possibility to follow various pages and always be up to date without having to visit all the web pages. I really was amazed by all this possibilities; you just have to look for them carefully and be open-minded. At that point I decided to learn more about Mozilla and the Web and so I started to research about add-ons.

The first add-on I installed was “HTTPS Everywhere”. It was really easy to download and it ensures a secure travel trough the web, as it enables the user to surf with a coded access. I took comfort and after a while I was ready to deal with Zotero, another add-on that helps you to bookmark and take notes in a really smart way. (more…)

Google Reader

Posted: June 19, 2011 by lisaneubert in solving IT-problems

Oh yeah, all right

Are you going to be in my dreams

Tonight?

And in the end

The love you take

Is equal to the love you make 

(The Beatles, The End)

I really feel like this, because this is going to be my last post! Putting all things together I have learnd from blogging, Business Applications and Mr. Spears, I want to recommend you the fabulous Google Application GOOGLE READER. I have tried out all functions, and I am very satisfied. (more…)

Since we upload our personal data online, we have to consider the consequences. Businesses, e.g. Facebook, guarantee great privacy protection, but when it comes to outsiders, who can still ensure safety?

If we register on a webpage or if we buy something online, we are leaving our traces everywhere. Contact data, bank connection, home address… a real treasure for hackers. A hacker is defined as a person who breaks down the security system in computer networks for several reasons. Some of them hope to make big profit; others just want to show how easily they can crack down the security barrier, or because they are motivated by the challenge. (more…)