Category Archives: Technology

I Heart Snagit for Chrome

Over the weekend, I learned that TechSmith, the company that makes Snagit, a screen capture program, and Jing (another screen capture program and one I use often) has now released a Chrome extension and app for Snagit. Yeah!

Why am I so excited? Because I operate, as much as possible, in the cloud.  Though I have a few programs I locally install, I try to avoid them in favor of apps and Chrome extensions as the latter provides much greater flexibility.  Using apps and Chrome extensions makes it easy for me to do my work in a manner independent of a specific device.  So far, I have not been thrilled by the various ways in which I do screen capture as I end up bouncing back and forth between 3 different tools – Awesome Screenshot, Windows Snipping Tool, and Jing.

But this week, Snagit for Chrome was released and I have installed it and so far, so good!

What I like about it?

  • duh! it’s a chrome extension
  • when you capture, the image is automatically saved to a Google Drive folder that gets newly created – so, I don’t have to take the extra step to hit a “save” button
  • b/c the images are in my Google Drive – I have that folder linked to my Picasa Web and so I can manage photos in Picasa
  • just like Jing, screen capture dimensions are shown as you take the capture
  • just like Jing, there are tools to add text, shapes, and lines of different colors
  • u can quickly get a URL for easy sharing and the url is automatically sent to  your clipboard (thus, avoiding the need to hit Ctrl+C) – they get bonus points for using URL shortner 🙂
  • once you take the capture, if you start typing, your cursor is automatically in the title field to edit the image title
  • the “app” part of it allows you to quickly access your image library in Google Chrome

What I would like next?

  • the ability to crop images
  • ability to save the image to clipboard (in case I want to quickly import in a presentation — the Windows Snipping Tool does this)
  • ability to capture whole screen (below the fold) — Awesome Screenshot does this
  • the ability to screencast
  • would be nice to have a way to send to my Google online photo gallery (selecting a specific folder for it to go into)

Great job to the TechSmith team for making this available! So far so good and I eagerly look forward to future updates that will hopefully add extra functionality.

Our Digital Music Strategy

After several years of indecision and just trying to see how the industry is unfolding, I have finally committed to a firm digital music strategy. Kalonji and I own a lot of CDs.  To date, I have not digitized them as I had not found a system that I felt would work for us.  However, this weekend, I chose to start using Amazon Cloud Player as our digital online music locker storage of choice.

Here are the requirements of what we needed:

  • lots of space
  • cheap
  • easy upload of our mp3 files
  • stream over the web or via Android device
  • playlists so we can segment according to family member
  • company stability, something that I know will be around for awhile

Why not iTunes?  ITunes is great for ripping CDs. I really like how managing music is easily done with the iTunes interface. Their iTunes in the Cloud service met all the criteria except two – no web streaming, and we can’t use it on Android devices.  Not being able to stream on Android devices is a deal-breaker. I am an Android fan gal, not an Apple one. 🙂 

Why not Google Music? I, a self-proclaimed Google freak, was very excited with the launch of Google Music about a year-and-a-half ago. Google Music meets all the criteria. However, the process to upload mp3 files to the online library is horrendously slow. I could not sacrifice the time it would take to get our music library imported to the web account.  I have been waiting on the process to get better, but I have waited over a year and after trying again this weekend, it doesn’t look like it is getting any better. I also do not like their online navigation through the music library; it lacks options that are important for me. 

Google Drive? I do use G Drive extensively, and wondered if I could find convenient way to play music files stored in my account. It too meets the criteria above with the exception of playlists. Though, if I could find a player for music files in G Drive, surely the player would facilitate playlist creation. So far, no luck there either. All the options I have been exploring were insufficient in functionality.

Amazon Cloud Player to the Rescue!   Last week, I received a notice that my free cloud subscription would be ending soon, so I took this as an opportunity to check out Amazon again. I already am a heavy Kindle book user via the apps, and liked what I’d seen during my trial for the cloud service. Yet, I never committed because I was waiting around for Google. Well, I decided to wait no longer and I am enjoying adding our files to Amazon Cloud Player. Especially since not all files have to physically be uploaded.  Just a few months ago, they added a “match” feature where your files are run against their catalog and songs that are present are added w/o you having to upload the file. The upload speed for files that do need to be physically added is great and I’ve had no troubles. In just 24 hours now, I’ve ripped and uploaded around 1,000 songs. I am putting everything under my account, and then using playlists so that each of us can quickly get to our own music of choice on our individual devices. This rocks!  

Updated Website

New year, new look!

Updated the website today to use a new theme.  The old one used the theme New Balance of Blue and my header image had pictures of the kids from about 4 years ago.

The new on uses a theme called Picolight and I updated our family images. I added Social Media stream icons for Kalonji and I, along with a graphic for our Family Genealogy and for Kalonji’s store.

I’m quite pleased with the change. 🙂

We Love Our Kindle Fire

Our Kindle Fire arrived a couple of weeks ago soon after it was released and so far, so good! It is such a cute device!

The Kindle Fire launched to much hype and for us it has very much lived up to it’s reputation.  As with all things technological, whether or not you like it really depends on personal preference.  But, we like it, use it daily, and I predict at least one more in our near future. 🙂

What I really like:

  • the size – it’s smaller than an iPad; bigger than my smartphone. I think this is a perfect in-between size.  It can be held with one hand or two, and though a little on the heavy side, I got used to the weight quickly.
  • access to Amazon digital content – nuff said!  We are Amazon Prime members and thus are able to take advantage of the movies and shows provided as part of that membership.
  • Kindle — of course you can read the Kindle books. Having another device to read them on is handy.  I have been reading Kindle books for a couple of years now so now I have a perfect-sized screen to do it on
  • no fear in letting the kids play with it – it’s right up their alley too. Can you say Angry Birds?
And, of course I can access most of the Android apps I am used to – making it easy to keep up with my social media accounts and such.
What I don’t like?
  • not having a native app for gmail. But, you know what? I have that on my phone anyway, so I can deal.
We traveled with it over the Thanksgiving holiday and it is great for on-the-go. The Kindle Fire is just too handy to pass up! I’m so glad we have one. 🙂