Thursday, August 30, 2012

What’s Going On At The Help Desk

This is Tech Leader Talha with a quick look at what the Tech Leaders have been working on at the Help Desk.  Each day we see dozens of students with questions about their netbooks, about Google Docs, saving to the cloud, printing--- really, any subject you can name. We thought we’d let you hear from a few of the Tech Leaders themselves about what they’ve been busy with. As usual, stop by any time for answers to your questions. Don’t forget, you can submit questions right here on the blog, too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shutting Down Your Netbook When It's Frozen

This is Tech Leader Rahim with a quick answer to a question that’s come in. Sometimes a netbook will freeze up and nothing will work. In these cases, you can’t even shut the netbook down.

How do you shut down a frozen netbook? Easy. Just press and hold the power button for up to 30 seconds. Now, you don’t want to do this every time, but when you’re stuck, this is the way to do it.

Remember, this works on all our netbooks, not just the Asus. Tech Leader Sunny shows you the way in the video below.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Treat Your Power Cord Right!

This is Tech Leader Farzin. Today we're going to show you how to keep your Asus netbook charger in good working order. All the time at the Help Desk, we see students come in with broken chargers, and when we look at the chargers, we see that they've been shoved into backpacks without proper wrapping.

This causes the internal wires to fray. Students with AC adapters in this condition have to pay for new adapters. So, save yourself some money and wrap your charger the right way. We'll also show you how to do this for the other two kinds of chargers, so watch the video that's right for you.

If You Have an Asus Netbook

If You Have A Dell Two-Piece Charger


If You Have A Dell One-Piece Charger

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quickly Restoring an Asus Netbook

We’ve had a great first couple of days with the Asus netbooks; so far there’s been only one call at the Help Desk. That student needed to do a restore of her operating system, and we showed her how.

A Restore is where you essentially re-image the netbook on your own, so that it’s the way it was when you took it out of the box the first time. You can also restore your netbook in such a way that saves your user files (documents, images, etc.).

This is a great thing about Ubuntu--- the ability to fix your own netbook in 60 seconds. I made a very quick tutorial for you as well. Enjoy!

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Here it is, step by step: 

1. Turn your netbook on.
 2. The moment the Asus screen disappears, lightly tap on the ESC key.
 3. You’ll get a screen with some choices.Using the arrow keys, choose “Restore Factory Settings” and hit ENTER.
 4. Now decide whether you want to retain your personal files. We recommend you start from a clean slate by choosing Option 2: Restore Unit completely. Then press ENTER. You’ll be asked if you’re sure. Spell out the word “yes”.

 In about a minute, the netbook will be completely restored. It’s easy! Stop by the Help Desk if you want to know more.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Before You Start Taking Pictures.....

Hi, this is Tech Leader Talha. One of the things we see all the time at the Help Desk is that people are working with images that are way too big for what they’re trying to do.

Most of the time, people are using pictures for presentations. The trouble is that modern cameras take pictures with huge file sizes, and you don’t want these large image files in a presentation.

In fact, in Google Presentations, the application we recommend you use for every  presentation you make, images must be under 2MB. The whole presentation is currently limited to 50MB, so you don’t want to waste all your file size on your images.

Learn to be aware of the sizes of the images you’re using. In this video, I’ve got a few quick tips on how to change the file size of your images.

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Here are links to the services I talked about in the video.

Picresize  Incredibly easy to use. This service has a convenient little dialogue box that lets you pic the maximum file size for your image. Couldn’t be easier! Remember, for web presentations, you almost never need a file size of over 200kb.

Fotoflexer A full-service picture editor with an easy-to-use resizer button. Select the “website” size for all your presentations and you’re good to go.

Pixlr Designed to be the easiest-to-use photo editor, Pixlr may also be the most fun. They have a number of tools on their website. Try Pixlr Express for quick resizing.

GIMP is on your netbook. If you can use PhotoShop, you can use GIMP. Check out this quick tutorial on how to use GIMP to resize images.

As always, we can train you on these applications at the Help Desk. See you next time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

One of the Smartest Things You Can Do

Tech Leader Aliza has a tip that will absolutely, without a doubt, make you a stronger student this year. It may sound simple, but one of the smartest things you can do is to teach yourself how to use the Google Apps before you start having a lot of homework. Check it out.

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Your netbook can do a lot of things; inside Libre Office, there’s a professional word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, and a lot more. We love Libre Office, but we love Google Docs even more! With Google Docs, your work is stored in the cloud--- there’s no risk of losing it. Plus you can collaborate with teammates on every project. And sharing files with your teachers is a snap.

Learn the Google Apps (Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar).  When you walk into a class, open your netbook, and log into your Google account. You have all of your documents, your email, your calendar and tasks all in one place. You’ll be glad you did.

Have you used Google Docs yet? Let us know what you think.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome To The New Year: Time To Get Organized!

Welcome to the new school year, and welcome to our new online space! On behalf of all the Tech Leaders, I hope you have a fun, successful year.

First things first. If you’ve got a netbook, you’ve got a powerful tool for organizing your time, your homework, and all your deadlines. Watch this short video for tips about getting yourself organized. Of all the skills you learn in high school, organizing your time and information is one of the most important. Don’t wait until you have a hundred things due--- get organized now, before school starts.

In this video, I talk about a number of tools available for you. Pick whichever  one you want, but pick something! 

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Here are some links to the tools I talked about:

Astrid: People love Astrid because of the pesky emails it can send you to remind you to do things. Astrid works on the web, on your Android or iPhone, and there’s a Chrome extension.

Todoist: A hugely popular online to-do list that takes only seconds to set up. Also works with your Android, iPhone, and through a Chrome extension. This service has more features. You have to see if it’s right for you.

42Tasks: Used worldwide, and it’s highly recommended. 42Tasks has all the versatilty of the other services with an easy-to-understand interface. Plus it’s been around forever.

Google Tasks and Google Calendar: Works seamlessly with your school Gmail account and is very powerful. This is a great service for NTHS students because so much of what we do revolves around Google Docs; these services are right where you want them.

The difference between successful and failure is often the simple ability to stay organized. Make the choice to be organized.

As always, stop by the Help Desk if you want help setting up these services or more advice.
You can always catch me on Twitter @talha9895 .