Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 172 - Skype and the iPad

Skype Icon/Logo
Skype has been in the news lately because Congress has just passed a bill that allows them to "Skype" with their constituents.  Another example of a noun becoming a verb.  I've heard all the arguments from people who are computer illiterate to justify why they WON'T use it.  It clearly is not a matter of can't.  But there is nothing that makes more sense than having and using Skype.  First argument, no money.  It's free!!!!! Second, I don't know how to do it.  Listen if my mother can do it, you can!  You can have a friend a neighbor or a grandchild for that matter set it up for you.  Don't have a webcam. Listen they are $20 at the local office supply store or for that matter, if you don't want the person on the other end of Skype to see you, you can still use it for your phone service.  So with that said, go to, click on the download button.  Double click on the skype.exe file and it will do everything for you.  Now go back to the website and set up your account.  Just put your name and your password (and if you want others to find  you on skype, put your state).  Now go back to your desktop and click on the shortcut that the program created for you!

You then go to the left column and click on the "search" tab.  You can find other that way too.  Once you have found them, and want to contact them, you press the button and Skype send them a message that they want to contact with you.   They accept and then they will show up on your left column with a filled in green icon (green for go).  That's it.  Now click the green button that says call and you can hear each other.  No telephone, no long distance and no cost.  FREEEEEE!

The third argument that I often hear is I don't have a computer.  Well I can't help you with that one.  I will tell you that the money you spend on a phone and the phone bill each month will be recouped and more if you get a computer and use Skype.  That is the right thing to do for your pocket book or wallet.
iPad Application Icons

Now the iPad is a perfect thing for the Baby Boomers and all the naysayers that have the same arguments as Skype.  First its not the iPad that is in itself that great.  Its the iPad applications.  After winning my ipad at the local trade show (I do believe in miracles) I downloaded some of my favorite apps.  You'd be surprised how it has come in handy...

Google Voice Search
Google Search - A voice recognition app.  No need to type, just say what you are searching for.

Draw - an application that allows you to entertain young children at the dinner restaurant. They can play tick tac toe and draw while the grown ups talk.

Hulu Plus - Any television show can be watched on the iPad with this application anytime after it has aired.  No need to TiVo, record on the DVD, just use the iPad

Dragon Dictation - For all you students, just start this application during class and the iPad app puts what your professor said in written form.

Googe Earth - See your house and anyone elses in the WORLD from a satellite aerial view.

Google Earth
Star Guide or Star Walk - Click Here to see how this app works.  An Astronony Application - Hold the iPad up to the sky at night and it will draw the lines of the start to tell you when you are looking at such constellations such as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper.  (I held it up to Venus, or so I thought and found out it was actually Saturn,,,Duh. This is better than going to the planetarium.

Real Bubble Level - Place your iPad on the picture frame you're hanging and use this application.  It will tell you if it is level or not.

Tango Video Calls - Does the same thing as Skype but I don't think its free.

Netflix - Watch any more anytime for only $9.99 a month.  Who needs a TV?

iBooks - For all you Kindle and Book Nook Fans, ebooks are here for you on this application.  Many of the old classics are free.

Clock! - Its a clock in digital and old fashioned hand form.  Serves as an alarm clock too.

Bible - Nothing more, nothing less, just the Bible.

Yelp - Finds deals based on your location. You are traveling and need to find the nearest sub shop to where you are.

Pandora Radio
There are over 250,0000 applications for the iPad.  Other tablets are about the same price or cheaper the apps are not made for them so your choices are limited.  Its the applications that make you value the iPad.  What I like for the seniors in your life is it is all using one single finger.  No typing.  We all know someone who could use that kind of interaction.  This might be when you first thought about getting a PC, what it would take in your budget to make that happen.  The iPad eliminates the need for a radio (use Pandora), a tv (use Hulu), an alarm clock (use Clock!) and a deck of cards (Solitaire).  Think about it and do the math.

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