Category Archives: Social Networking

Tech Moments?

Is there such a thing as Technology-Induced Alzheimer’s (TIA)? Because I think I’ve got it and I’m pretty sure some of my friends show symptoms. Even more problematic, TIA seems to come in two forms. I think I have both.

Which button do I press?

The first is the refusal of your brain to remember how to do anything differently. I mastered the original remote controls for televisions and CD players. You had an on/off button, two channel buttons and two volume buttons. If you were going ‘high tech’, you also had a button that allowed you to choose between cable and CD player.

Remotes now look like they belong in a cockpit. There are still the original five buttons, but they are hidden among those allowing you to select a program guide, start/stop/fast forward/reverse a CD or DVD, select a channel by pressing button combinations, save channels you like, password protect channels, tilt your recliner to your preferred position, and ask if you would like a soft drink and popcorn.

Each time I babysit for my daughter and son-in-law, she has to show me where the ON button is on her TV remote since I get totally lost. Worse, they have three of the gadgets. At least now, when I babysit, she hides two of them.

The other form of TIA is the inability to remember how things got done before technology. I’ve been caught sitting in the driver’s seat of someone else’s car and been asked why I hadn’t started it up. Was something wrong? No, I was patiently waiting for the seat to move to my preset preferences. Oh, right, that only works in my own car.

I remember having to pass a test on reading PAPER maps before I could get my original driving license. I’m sure I couldn’t even fold one back up now. Heaven forbid that I have to remember how to adjust outside rearview mirrors manually!

My most embarrassing TIA moment was standing behind a set of doors waiting for the automatic door opener to open the doors. This experience was enhanced when I mentioned to my daughter that stores should put signs on non-working doors. She seemed to enjoy informing me it wasn’t an automatic door. 

So, what do you think? Is there technology induced Alzheimer’s? We’d love to hear your stories.

Carol Smith
Training Manager

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Let’s “Talk” Texting

I might be the only living human being on the planet who doesn’t do texting. I know many people who text religiously. It’s part of their everyday routine, much like a having cup of coffee in the morning or reading the newspaper. I wonder if anyone remembers the time before texting existed. I use to be very proud of the fact that I can “LOL” via Instant Messenger. But now I found out that’s very passé. You don’t do the IM thing, now instead of “LOL” you can “ROTFLMAO” and “RUUP4IT” with you friends. Oh I forgot, it’s not “cool” but KEWL. I better get my texting together!

I did try to download a texting program for the iTouch.  Unfortunately I did not find anyone I can text to. Is there a chat room for texting??

Now texting has gotten so main stream that I’ve seen texting within regular emails as well. For instance, I wrote a “Thank You” letter and all I got back is a “YW!”.  I think I should have typed “TY, L8R”!, this would have increased my coolness factor quite a bit.

All kidding aside, texting does have many benefits, allowing us to live out our busy chaotic days with short spurts of communication. Also there are times when a conversation should be private. Texting becomes quite a blessing compared to the loud discussion via the cell phone. Texting also provides “simple” quick communications to get messages across. Another benefit is that texting can reach its destinations more often than not, even in places with very low cell reception.

The disadvantages of texting has stemmed from serious accidents involving texting while driving. Some have raised the issue of too much text can affect interpersonal skills in the younger generation. The State of Pennsylvania has just enacted a law to make it illegal to text while driving.

Ironically texting can be quite a conversation piece with the little toddlers. I can spell out “O M G!” to my 5 year old when I’m excited about something, and she giggles to no end. HCIT?

All comments are welcome for discussion!

Chrissy Le, Technology Marketing Specialist

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QR This…

Why might you use a QR Code?

Scanning QR codes can reduce customer frustration when typing in long URL’s.  QR Codes – abbreviated from “Quick Response Code” – is a trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two dimensional codes) which allow people to connect people with each other and to multimedia digital content via a mobile application loaded on their smartphone.  QR codes allow the digital world to come into the real world. Once scanned, QR codes take you from the real world back into the digital world. There are a lot of different free QR code generators out on the Internet; here is a link to a blog post about “10 Free Online QR Code Generators”: http://freenuts.com/top-10-free-online-qr-code-generators/

Microsoft QR Code Cookies? Really?

QR codes work like this:       

  1. Place the QR Code at eye-level when scanning.     
  2. When designing: QR Codes should not be smaller than 5/8 inches by 5/8 inches when they are printed.
  3. Besides text, you can turn phone numbers, maps, business cards and other information into QR codes.

The QR Code generator that I use is QR Stuff  –   www.qrstuff.com – an easy to use website where I can select my data type, my URL content, pick a color and preview my QR Code before I download the image (pretty simple huh?). 

Things you should consider with QR codes:

  1. Place the QR code at eyelevel when scanning.
  2. When designing; QR codes should not be any smaller than 5/8-inches-by-5/8 inches when they are printed. 
  3.  Besides text, you can turn phone numbers, maps, business cards and other information into QR codes. 
  4.  Use a URL shortener for faster loading:   https://bitly.como   or  https://tinyurl.com

Check out this video on Advertising with QR codes:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYDbFTai0iE

Are QR codes the way of our future? Be on the look-out for QR codes in your magazines, on products in the grocery store, on video games, on marketing literature, or on your local TV station – I am positive you will see them. Stop back and post or tell us where you are seeing QR codes appear in your life? How many QR codes do you think were scanned across the world, during the time you read this blog post – kind of a fun way to market isn’t it?

Check it out, I even found a QR code attached to a recipe.

Who does't like General Tsao's Chicken?

 Check out our website and our blog and tell us how many times you can find the CS Technologies Plus QR code? As always, your comments and ongoing discussions are always welcome.

Happy Scanning!
Holly Berlin, General Manager

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Filed under Free Applications, Phone Applications, Social Networking

Computing for All

Computers are everywhere. It can be a little shocking to realize how many are incorporated into our lives. Cars, thermostats, refrigerators, ovens and stoves, hot tub controls, toys, cellphones, etc. are all controlled through a silicon chip. The best part?  The alternatively abled have been included in this explosion of technology.

Can’t type? Talk to your computer. Voice control has been included in every version of Windows® since XP. The updated version included with Windows®7 is so slick, I’ve started using it. There are also several very good third party voice control software companies around the globe.

There are left-handed and right-handed half keyboards with keys arranged for people with the use of one arm or hand. There are keyboards with one inch keys for people who have difficulty seeing clearly or for small children.

There are on-screen keyboards that you use with a mouse or touch screen. When activated, the one incorporated into Windows® 7 becomes available during system startup so a user can put in a username and password.

Need help using the mouse? There are mice that can be controlled by a thumb, a head movement, a toe or a knee press, moving your eyes, breathing into a straw or worn on a finger. My favorite is an oversized trackball mouse that uses different colors to identify the buttons. It dissolves the barrier for people with arthritis, or other arm/hand motion issues. It’s terrific for small children and seniors.

Remember, you can always slow down or speed up how your mouse reacts to both movement and button clicks.

Eyesight an issue? There are screen magnifiers for people whose eyesight is impaired. There are screen readers for people who are blind. Website programming includes descriptions of their pictures and graphics so screen readers can tell the user what the graphic is.

Fingers too big to comfortably use the miniature keyboards on smartphones? Bring some bling to your smartphone use with a jeweled-tone capacitive stylus. Even people who hinder themselves with inch to four-inch long fingernails can use touch screens with these clever little items. The best part: no more fingerprints on the screen!!

No electricity? Computers have been designed to work off hand or pedal powered generators.

I’m eagerly waiting for one that will clean my house, cook my dinner and run my errands.

As always, Your comments and ongoing discussions are always welcome.

Carol Smith,
Training Manager

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Filed under Blogging, Social Networking

What Are You Doing?

In March, 2006 a public bulletin board, otherwise known as an online social networking and micro blogging service, called “Twitter” was created.  Twitter enables users to send and read text posts up to 140 characters.  Today, over 200 million users generate 300 million tweets and Twitter’s social networking service handles over 1.6 billion search inquiries per day. People tweet about what’s going on at work, what’s going on in their lives, just what’s going on. Twitter is a way to follow friends, industry experts, famous celebrities and what’s happening around the world. www.twitter.com

“Twitterers” or “Tweeters” send and receive short messages, called “tweets” on Twitters website, with instant messaging software, or with mobile phones. Unlike most text messages, tweets are routed among networks of friends.  Strangers, called followers, can also choose to receive the tweets of people they find interesting.

Twitter has become an important marketing tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses promoting a level of intimacy never before approached online. Is that really your favorite celebrity, politician or business owner tweeting? Well, it just could be, but in many cases there are lots of ghost writers, those who are the voices relaying the message of celebrities, politicians or a business. 

I am the twitter ghost writer for CS Technologies Plus @cstechplus. I try to tweet several times a week on behalf of my company, posting about specials/promotions, our employees accomplishments, blog announcements, customer appreciation notes, news related to technology, tidbits of information that might be helpful to our readers along with promoting local community events.

CS Technologies Plus Twitter Page

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Most technology savvy people can relate to Twitter, but to an average computer user (outside of the IT industry), understanding @symbols,# hashtags (#Friday13th), and other strange intricacies of Twitter can be a little overwhelming at times, even though the concept of 140 characters with the question “what are you doing?” seems so simple.  
 
I am a huge promoter of marketing your business (promoting your brand) via social marketing for a variety of reasons but my #1 reason is because it is “FREE” – #2 it helps you gain credibility in your field and #3 it helps you promote your products and services.  CS Technologies Plus has been on the forefront of the social marketing craze in our geographic area and it has paid off, we have gained business because of our social marketing efforts, which is another reason why I promote social networking, “I know it works”. 

What are your thoughts about tweeting? We would love to hear from you, if you are on twitter, be sure to follow us @cstechplus – here are some quotes from some of our twitter friends:

 @laurakellypifer I enjoy meeting and talking to others. I’ve meet some pretty AWESOME folks just from Twitter.

 @randykite I really like the versality of advanced Tweeting with #hashtags and connecting live with fans of reality TV.

 @cinnamonsueholt I tweet because I like people to know about CASA and coffee. Plus it keeps me in touch with the world.

 @jeanne16254 I tweet for lots of reasons,  work, friends, volunteer stuff, entertainment, school and others!

 Happy Tweeting!

 Holly Berlin, General Manager

Follow us on twitter at @cstechplus

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