Google GMail Email Setup

If you are setting up your phone, desktop or other device to pull in mail from Google’s GMail, the process can have a few problems.  Honestly it is normally quite simple, but if you don’t do it right you can end up locking yourself out and becoming totally frustrated. I would also add that if you have a lot of mail, the initial syncing process can take a very long time and make you think something has gone wrong. So, as with any setup, patience is your best friend.

GMail SettingsBefore attempting to connect your device to GMail, make sure you can get into your mail via the web interface. If you can’t get in via http://mail.google.com then you have bigger issue with your username or password and nothing is going to work until you fix those. So, now that you know you email is working, let’s make sure GMail will let your application get to the mail.

  1. In GMail, go to setting by clicking on the gear icon up in the top right corner. It will drop down and you can click “settings”.
  2. From the settings screen, select the tab labeled “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.
  3. Scroll down and click on “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)”
  4. Scroll a little farther down and click on “Enable IMAP”.
  5. We will leave everything else as it is (unless you know what you are doing and what to change something).
  6. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

OK, so Google Mail is now ready to talk to you application, now we need to set up that app. Since there are so many different phone, applications, tablets and other devices I cannot give you the specifics for each one. How to get to email setup should be something the device instructions tell you. But once you are at that setup, here are the account settings to add into your mail application. Be aware that some applications are smart enough to know a lot of this already if you just tell them you are using Google Mail. Continue reading “Google GMail Email Setup”

A Kindle for Christmas

The tech-gift I am being asked most often about this Christmas is not the iPad or other tablets, but ereaders. A Kindle For Christmas?And the Kindle in particular. Amazingly, the one I recommend for the majority of the folks is the least expensive. It has the cleanest interface, a fantastic display, is rugged, and extremely affordable. Combine all of that with being able to easily check out books from most libraries on it and it is hard to beat!

What about the other versions of the Kindle? Well, the experiences people are having with the touch-screen models are less than favorable, and most folks don’t need the cost and complexity of the Fire. And lets face it, as a present the Fire is a little on the pricey side. The Fire is a great device – for movie watching, web surfing, email checking and game playing, but it really isn’t as good of a real book reader as the lower priced e-ink display Kindles.

And what about the Nook ereaders from Barnes & Noble? Well, they are mechanically great devices. Absolutely no doubt there. But, where the Kindle beats them is the Amazon store. Now I love Barnes & Noble and wish them all the best, however they just don’t seem to have the depth of Amazon. I looked up four or five books I was interested on both Amazon and B&N. While Amazon had every one, B&N didn’t. If i had a Nook I would just be out of luck. And I can tell you from hard fought experience that it is much easier to check out library books onto the Kindle than on to the Nook. So for product availability and ease of use, the Nook fall to the Kindle.

And remember that you can try the Kindle out in all kinds of places like Office Depot and Best Buy. But you won’t find a better price than from Amazon directly, and it will come already registered to your account. And if you are giving it as a gift it is easy to transfer that registration to someone else. Yup, I think this is going to be a Kindle Christmas!

WordPress Setup and Security Presentation

Following are my slides for the session I did at BarCampCHS this year on WordPress. And let me take this opportunity to thank all the great folks who organized BarCampCHS and the fine folks who attended my presentation.

This presentation covered how to do an installation of the WordPress software to your own server, set the basic settings, and how to add security against spammers and hacking. The session was aimed at people who have basic computer knowledge, a desire to have their own WordPress installations, but who are not PHP or WebDesign professionals.

If you would like to download a full copy of the presentation, just click here to download a full PDF complete with links.

Oh! And if you are looking for the one on Podcasting 101, just check here.

Building Blocks of Better Blogs

This is the presentation I gave at the Type-A Mommy Bloggers conference in Asheville, NC, last month. Unfortunately I only had about 45 minutes as I would have loved to have gone into a lot more detail. Additionally, the conversations around these issues with those who attended the session were fantastic. So, please don’t hesitate to leave comments and ask further questions. And always feel free to email me.

Also, the presentation got a little garbled in places when it uploaded to SlideShare. So, here is a link to the PDF of the full Building Blocks of Better Blogs presentation. Enjoy!

3-2-1 Backup!

I got another message today from someone who has lost files due to hardware malfunction. That makes the sixth person in the last two weeks. Seems that as fast as I can get people using proper backup, other people’s machines are failing.

To that end, let’s review the 3-2-1 backup strategy.  This, at least, should be followed for all of your important files and documents. And by important I mean anything you care at all about losing.

Let's Backup!3 – Your important files should exist in three different places. This could be your computer, your spouses computer, an external drive, a burned DVD, a remote backup, a friend’s house, whatever. Just three distinct copies of the files.
2 – Those files should be on at least two different types of media. Media can be hard drive, DVD, memory card or stick, or even original paper or film.
1 – At least one of those copies should be maintained off-site. That is away from the site of the original. Preferably in a different city or state. Think about common natural disasters. Off-site should be out of reach of those natural disasters.

An external hard drive is excellent for one of your backups. Time Machine on the Mac makes this a no-brainer, and there are some good software packages for Windows, such as Acronis True Image. Drive space has come way down in price, and an external drive is easy to pickup and take with you in case of emergency. An external drive such as the Western Digital Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard DriveWD Passport Portable Hard Drive for Backup is a great choice. Western Digital drives are solid and dependable and they have a good company backing them up. Now is not the time to try to find the cheapest thing you can – unless you want to regret that decision later when there is a failure.

Continue reading “3-2-1 Backup!”