Somethings to Think About

Every once in a while, someone suggests a really great idea for one of my tech tips blog posts and then I start to do the research and realize, bummer, someone already did a really good post about that.  Rather than just shove those ideas aside, I thought I would just do a quick round-up of a few topics that I could try to cover, but why reinvent the wheel when someone already did a pretty bang-up job in the first place.

Let me start with one that may seem to be a bit of a downer, but is really important – your digital legacy.  Typically when we think of death and what we may leave behind, we are concerned with appointing someone with power of attorney should we need end of life care and then a will to decide what happens after the inevitable.  What most people tend to ignore is their digital legacy, which runs from accessing financial accounts to what happens to your email, social media accounts, and even your digital photos.  Lifehacker has a very comprehensive guide on the subject and offers a variety of tools to help you keep everything organized so your grieving family and friends will not be left guessing which combination of birthdates and cat names you used for your bank account password.  An odd bonus is, the tips they suggest could be used by you in the here and now, before you check into the hereafter.  The guide covers things such as password managers and ways to get data from accounts you may want to close, should you say, want to leave AOL for Gmail while you still shuffle the mortal coil.

Moving on to a more popular topic - reviews.  I could write a post every month reviewing different types of technology products and not run out of topics for a few years.  But why bother when you can turn to a site like cNet that posts plenty of news articles and tons of technology-related advice, including a really extensive review section While their main site is pretty busy and can be hard to navigate at first, the reviews are presented on a very clean page with easy-to-follow menus.  The left side has a long list of items and for each you can click the subject to get all reviews or go straight to the Best list to get the editor’s picks.  Within each category you will also find a selection of how-to guides and links to other reviews that relate to the category.  For example, the camera category has a how-to-buy-a-digital-camera guide and the streaming media devices category links to reviews on internet streaming services.  Each item that is reviewed typically has a full write-up, a star rating, pictures, videos, and in some cases, price info for major retailers.

Speaking of cord cutting, Tom’s Guide has a concise run-down of what youneed if you plan to ditch your cable and go internet only for your TV and movie service.  The Tom’s Guide website is a venerable internet guide that has been around for decades, offering help to both newbies and seasoned technology users.  Like cNet, it offers reviews and news, but the How To section is a good starting point for everything from how to photograph holiday lights to how to use Facebook Stories.  The cord cutting guide features a video that shows you how to install the devices you will need, but also has a lengthy text section that goes over everything from how to get local channels to where to find specialty genres, like sports or premium channels or goat TV.  Yes, there is such a thing and Tom’s Guide covered it so you cannot get more comprehensive if you need help cutting the cord.

Finally, there is 3D printing and the guide is the best if you are interested in getting started in 3D printing or are just curious as to what all the fuss is about.  The site has almost anything you would need to know about 3D printing, from how it works to what it is used for in different industries.  For the home user, there are tons of reviews, how-to guides, video tutorials, specs on printers and materials, and lots of ways to contact the website staff if you have questions about 3D printing.  Almost all of the guides include cheap options, mid-level priced items, and high-end industrial versions.  Even if you do not plan to every buy or even use a 3D printer, the news section is pretty neat when you see all the different things the printers are used for, like printing medical devices or spare parts for NASA.
-          Laura N., Information Technology


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