View Full Version : An "Almost a Geek" Female's Gadget Life-Better Living with Technology!

08-27-06, 10:54 AM
An "Almost a Geek" Female's Gadget Life-Better Living with Technology!

I have amassed a collection of digital gadgets and tools other than my laptop over the years. I will list them, pertinent software, and explain how I use them to manage my time and/or ADD.

iPaq h1930-Software-Pocket Informant by WebIs. No Wi-fi or blue tooth, just my portable planner and quick digital sketch book. Mp3 player. It syncs with MS Outlook. I love being able to write on the screen instead of typing. Low cost compared to ones with bells and whistles. Uses:

Set reminder alarms for meds, refills, appointments, and other crucial stuff-record them right away so I don't forget or lose the appointment card.
Color-code categories and use icons-I am very visual
Use like iPod
List my to-do's and organize them-not anally, just keep a list and then add to my plans when I need or want to. Keep a master list for each category.
Sketch and take notes in handwriting-museums esp when I don't have a real sketchbook-or art materials are not allowed.
Take notes in my handwriting-a favorite feature
Can be used to run the Compu-Dobby I want to add to my loom someday-computerized heddle control and digital weaving design! Dreaming of it!
Cell phone need I explain more? Love having all my phone numbers handy at any time! Just have to remember to charge it and check voice mail. I am not into ring tones and it does not have a camera.

Phone numbers are handy
Travel safety-no talking while driving except when Interstates are not busy!
Use hands-free headset for safety and convenience
I don't live by and for my cell phone but it is an essential!
Olympus DS2 Voice Recorder I am a terrible typist and the mental effort of typing impedes my writing process. Has 5 folders and holds up to 199 files. Records up to 22 hours depending on sound quality desired.

Use in car to record thoughts, ideas, and do work verbally.
Compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Download files to a PC and Dragon NS converts them to text-no rewriting notes!
Record meetings/class lectures-but won't convert other voices to text
Canon A620 digital camera enables me to take pictures and not have to take film to be developed. I have a box full of undeveloped film that has collected from our broke parenting years when we could not afford developing costs-or I just plain forgot to take it in-pre ADD dx.

Keep current photos of family easily
Keep albums on yahoo for back-up, unlimited # of pictures allowed! Can keep them private and away from wackos!
Share my photos with family and friends on-line-no cost involved
Take pictures of my artwork for portfolio and show submissions
Take photos for my digital sketchbook-patterns, textures, foliage, and so on.
Record the creative process of art projects.
HP Scanjet 4670v see-thru vertical scanner unlimited uses for practical and creative purposes. It can be laid on top of books and objects making it easier to use than working with a big bulky book. I fell in love with the design as well as its versatility. It takes less desk space than a traditional scanner too!

Scan handwoven textiles for a digital sample book
Scan images to use in artwork without damaging older books
Copy documents for record keeping
Scan drawings for manipulation
Other uses I have not thought of yet!
Samsung 1570? laser printer printing on fabric can put extra demands-this was cheaper than the toner cartridge so I don't worry so much if it gets damaged-this is an experimental use of the printer.

Used to printing images on fabric-iron to freezer paper and cut to standard paper size-run through on manual feed.
Print digital art on a variety of papers to use in art books etc.
Brother laser printer-Used for all regular printing needs, toner is much cheaper than ink-jet cartridges and I love saving money. I only replace toner every 12-18 months or so, depending on how much I print.

Bernina 1090 S computerized sewing machine-1974, low-level computer chip. It is an awesome machine. I have been told to never sell it-it is one of the best they ever made!

This machine has paid for itself with all the money I saved making the kids clothes when they were small.
Programmable stitch designs for embellishing clothing
Tailoring jackets and coats
Free-motion embroidery for my fiber and book arts
Making pillows and other home decor with my handwoven fabrics.
Machine quilting on my art quilts-when I make them
I am in the process of redesigning and setting up my art/sewing studio so a functional, yet versatile digital set-up is an essential part. The space is very small so all furniture must multi-task. Storage and display is designed to keep everything convenient yet easily moved to use the desk as a work table. I am in the process of finishing the room-my motivation is high since I have a number of projects in process and need a functional space ASAP!

Traveling with so many devices and my laptop presents a challenge. I have considered getting a police belt to hook all my devices to and think a solar recharger and an APC multi-device long-life battery could come in handy! Someday, perhaps when I win the lottery or my fairy-gadget mother grants my wishes!


10-21-06, 01:04 PM
When Good Computers Go Bad :(

During the last week, my computer has been moody and slow and very naughty. I had added some freeware and tried adding MS Vista. I realized something was really wrong when the computer did not recognize my CDRW/DVDRW device! Being an impatient ADDer, I was on a mission to improve its behavior and fix the problems. For a time I though I would have to send it in to be fixed-10 days minimum without my laptop. AUGH! I learned a lot of things that helped me improve its performance-but the uber-geeks on this site surely know much more than I! For us mere technology mortals I offer this information in hopes it will help you at least a little! Please feel free to add your thoughts and correct any mistakes in my directions. I tried to be very accurate, but not being an uber-geek.......:)

After reading about Vista I decided to just say no! It is too iffy right now and I don't want to be a Microsoft guinea pig right now! Returning to XP is a real pain if you don't like Vista! In fact seeing if you can use Vista is a big pain! Trust me-they don't tell you everything you will need before you begin! If they do, it is buried deep in all the "helpful" enticements, oh, information about the wonders of Vista! This may have been what done my computer wrong-or it could have been ClocX or Hottnotes but I cannot pinpoint which one.

Now my Baby is running better than ever! :D But it took many hours to fix everything. What I learned-easily and the hard way! :faint:

RADDmom-perphaps 10% Geek too? :eyebrow:

Keep your machine clean and up to-date! Streamlining is the key to speed and performance!

Update your software and drivers regularly-setting up automatic updates makes this very easy! Most manufacturers provide this option and will notify you when there is an update. Some will automatically install them too! You usually have to reboot the computer after updating.
Go to Add and Remove Programs and remove any program you have not used in the last 6-12 months. You probably have a lot of stuff you do not need that is cluttering up you PC and taking up disk space you need for important things! Note: If in doubt though-leave it alone! If you have the disks to reinstall, this is not as much of a problem.
Remove redundant software-how many photo download/organization programs do you need? Remove the ones you don't use-as per above.
De-clutter your desktop-do you need all those icon links? Or at least group them in folders and chose an icon you like from folder properties customize tab. Right-click on the folder and go to Properties at the bottom of the menu! Then click on Customize.
Clean your Disk! Use the control panel to find Disk Clean-up and run it-at least once a week if not daily.
Defragment you computer once a month-whether it needs it or not! It takes time so set it to defrag and do something else! Someone suggested this and I find it really makes a difference in speed!
Check your disk for bad sectors about once a month. And when you have added'/removed software or made a lot of other changes. Open My Computer, Right-Click on your hard drive-Local Disk C usually. Open the Tools tab and click on Check Now to scan your disk and fix bad sectors. This is time consuming-a minimum of 1.5 hours +or-. Start it and do something else.
Reboot your computer when finished with all these tasks.
Note: Think twice about adding freeware and other software that is fun or interesting-it takes up space on your disk and can run in the background slowing everything up. If you download something and your computer slows, remove it and see what happens! You can always download it again!
Product Support Possibilities

Check your CPU manufacturer's support site and see if they offer a free scan of your system's health or performance. It might also be called trouble shooting. HP has a diagnostic service that will run a health check on my system, hardware, and device managers. It then gives me a report about each item and instructions to fix any problems.

Optimize your software by reading the manuals or using the website to find answers to questions you have.
Use free support services as needed-free live chat has been a great resource for me. Many companies offer this, but not all!
Sign-up for free lessons if offered by the company. You will learn things you never knew were possible! Call them Geek Secrets Revealed!
Download PDF copies of all manuals and other documentation.You might want to make a Word document to keep here with the links to each support site-it saves time when you need to get info or help. Create a My Documents file and name it Tech Manuals etc or something like that! If you lose the paper manual, you have instant access to a back-up. Another plus-most manuals use very small font sizes. You can enlarge the PDF files so you can actually see the diagrams and read the text easily!
Download PDF copies for your non-computer items too! Appliances, clocks, kitchen gadgets, advanced calculators, and so one. You get the idea! You can also save copies of online receipts and serial numbers here too! Just in case you lose something.
Here are lists of of my computer and peripherals in case the geek in you needs to know-or perhaps you know of conflicts?!:

HP Pavilion zv5255us
Brother and Samsung Laser Printers
HP Scanjet 4670v see-thru vertical scanner
Canon A620 Digital Camera
iPaq 1935
Plantronics 400 headset
Olympus DS2 digital voice recorder
Major Software, for the curious who might want to know!:

Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Office
Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Adobe Photoshop Elements-old version
Canon and other peripheral software
Olympus DS2 software
iTunes and Media Players
Adobe Reader
Spy-bot and AVG Free
Plantronics software
iPaq Active Sync and Pocket Informant