Monday, December 31, 2012

Microsoft Fetch to Get Files from a PC with SkyDrive

Martha sent me a link to an article that discusses using Microsoft fetch to get files from a remote PC.  The article, Remotely Fetch Files from your PC with SkyDrive When it Isn't Your on your SkyDrive, is at

The tutorial with step-by-step pictures in online at 

I have not experimented using the the feature.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mac Language Preferences

Chris Breen has a new article on language preferences for the Mac at

It is worth reading if you speak or communicate with others in different languages. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Google Maps on the iPhone

I downloaded the new Google Maps app for the iPhone but had not much time to explore it until today.  Google has a great website with screenshots that show the features at 

One of the features is the ability to view a street view by clicking a site, holding your finger down on the screen and then tapping the address.  The first place I tapped (our home) did not show a street view :-(  .  As it turns out, it is because Google did not have a street view available.  I tapped on another place near the university and it displayed correctly.

One of many differences between Apple Maps and Google Maps is the way you report a problem.  Apple has the report a problem almost invisible (gray print on gray background), whereas, to report a problem with Google Maps, all you have to do is to shake your phone. Google Maps also has a place to enter your home and work addresses.

It is amazing to think back to the many years that we depended upon purchasing a paper map for directions.  I would not consider traveling without having my iPhone or iPad and the map apps.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

eHighlighter - A Research Productivity Tool in the Evernote Trunk

I am multitasking - reading an eBook on databases and researching the Evernote Trunk at the same time.  One of the apps in the Trunk is eHighlighter.  I could not find it in the Apple App store with the search tool (that has happened on several occasions) so I searched for it on the web and went into the "back" door of the Apple app store.  Go to 

eHighlighter has a short tutorial after you create a login and password and open the app.  When working on a research project you would scan the book barcode with the iPad or iPhone camera.  The app grabs the textbook citation metadata and prompts you to create a folder for it. 

Instead of taking notes, you use the mobile device camera to take a photo of the page.  You then used your finger to highlight the text you want to save.  You are prompted to note a page number.  The app then transcribes photo data into text for you to view and edit. 

eHighlighter allows you to save your notes to Evernote, Dropbox, or email.  A YouTube video demonstrating the app is noted below.  

Desire 2 Learn Course Management System - Lessons Learned

The University System of Georgia will be using Desire 2 Learn (D2L) beginning spring 2013.  We have been using the Blackboard WebCT/Vista system.  What that means is very little school break because all of our courses have to be imported & finalized OR created with D2L prior to January 7.  We are fortunate is the USG system to have some very talented IT folks who paved the way to make the transition as painless as possible.  One of two courses imported correctly and required only minor editing. The third and fourth courses had to be created from scratch. However, the transition is still challenging because of the time crunch!

Things learned today:
  1. Creating a quiz using the Diploma Quiz maker that comes with the textbook works!  I zipped the quiz for D2L and used the import feature in D2L.  D2L recognized it as a quiz and filed it correctly. The quiz imported as "inactive" - so I had to make it active and customize the display settings.
  2. Respondus works!  I am able to upload and download quizzes and surveys from D2L.
  3. StudyMate Author will NOT import into D2L.  I had to save the interactive learning as a Flash object (3 files) and then import them into the D2L file manager.The "look" is the same - as a matter of fact, it is a nice way to edit the look. 
  4. SoftChalk files work
  5. The New Topic > QuickLink is the magic tool in D2L!
The "good" news is that there is so much repetition involved with building a course that allows for practicing learning.   

Evernote 5.0- A Free Remember Everything App for Desktop and Mobile Devices

I read an article, Evernote 5.0 for Mac Improves an Already Indispensable Service, at this morning.  Afterwards, I opened Evernote on the Mac and iPad.  The focus for the app experience is "Remember Everything."  The look is different (I don't use it as often as I should/could). I did not know that there were software, hardware, and other services that using Evernote as their hub (Trunk in Evernote).  I also did not realize that Evernote had acquired some of the apps.  Examples include:
  • Skitch - for screen capturing and annotation
  • Hello - an app that helps you remember people (I REALLY need to use this app!)
  • Penultimate - a $0.99 handwriting app that allows you to take notes and sketch with the iPad
Evernote Screenshot
  •  Web Clipper is a screenshot program that works with different web browsers.  What makes it unique is the way it in integrated with Evernote
  • Evernote Food is a free app for your food experiences (recipes, photos, notes, etc.)
  • Evernote Clearly an app for the web browser that facilitates reading web pages, blogs, etc.Similar to Reader where the "distractions" are removed, but it allows you to save clips to Evernote
  • Evernote Peek an app that allows you to create study materials by opening and closing the iPad cover.  It is similar to creating flash cards with right and wrong answers.
If you need a free app to store notes, pictures, and more, Evernote is an app to explore.  It works with the Windows PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. There is a Premium version of Evernote available, but the free version is amazing!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Creating a Shortcut to a Dropbox Folder on the Mac

I read Chris Breen's blog on Automatically Adding File to Dropbox @ .  The only problem was that I could not get the keyboard shortcut to work.  In the process, I was introduced to Automator and the associated powerful features.  I also learned that I could drag a folder into the Finder Favorites list.  Finally, I learned that there are numerous hidden keyboard shortcuts.  For example:
  • Command+D to duplicate
  • Command+Shift+D to open the Desktop window which displays the Finder view
If you are using a Mac, take a few minutes to review the MANY keyboard shortcuts at  You may find a few that would expedite your work.

If you are interested in learning more about Automator, view the YouTube video below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Using a Text to Speech Reader

I had a number of conference proposals to review this morning when working on the Mac.  When planning, I reflected on the text to speech app that L.G. discussed for reviewing a paper.  It struck me that the current computers have the ability to read text to be disability compliant without the purchase of a separate app.  Sure enough, the feature is in the Set Preferences > Dictation and Speech window > Text to Speech tab.

The Mac provides the choice between voices, three female and three male. The default voice is "Alex."  His voice was my favorite, as well.  You can adjust the speaking rate from slow -> normal -> fast and play sound bytes to test the settings.  The default to turn on the feature is to click the Option+Esc keys.  To use the feature, first highlight the text and then click the Option+Esc keys.

The text to speech feature would be useful by students who find audio enhances their learning experience.  Students could listen to text, such as typed class or textbook notes, or online learning resources.  Of course, the feature would be very useful to anyone who has a temporary or permanent vision problem.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

iBooks Author - First Test Run with the eBook and the iPad

I have a working draft of the manuscript for spreadsheet software done, so I did a test run using iBooks Author.  It is one thing to read about using software and another to actually use it.  I learned so much!

I had most of the terms relating to spreadsheets identified and defined.  So the first thing I did was to create a glossary by adding the term to the glossary and then copying/pasting the associated definition.  The glossary supports the addition of graphics and hyperlinks.  I have a few hyperlinks in the glossary now.  The graphics should be really helpful to readers for select terms.

Next, I copied and pasted in the text file for different sections of the eBook.  Since the file was plain text (.txt), I lost the tables and bullets.  The bullets were easy enough to recreate using the text Inspector.  I added a table and copied and pasted the contents.

I also added a graphic.  First, when I pulled it over from a Word file, iBooks Author would not allow me to caption it with the Inspector Layout Wizard.  I suspected the problem was because I had not saved the file as a .png (even though it was a .png screenshot).  I saved the file into Pictures and then dragged it into the eBook.  What was amazing is the saved graphic was much clearer.  The Inspector Layout Wizard worked with the saved graphic.  I created a caption for the graphic.

Finally, I did a test run viewing the eBooks on the iPad.  I connected the iPad using the USB cable and clicked Preview in iBooks Author.  I can see the value of doing small builds and previewing the file each time.

More on Malware - Getting rid of Incredibar and MyStart

The other day, when researching free office software, my computer was infected with the malware, Incredibar.  Yes, in spite of the fact that  I have Malware Bytes and AVG antivirus software up-to-date and running!   I unstalled the malware Incredibar app from the Control Panel, but the malware had infected three of my web browsers :-( UGH!  I ran a complete 2 1/2 hour scan on the PC yesterday and found just one adware file.  It was deleted.This morning, I spent time getting rid of MyStart from Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.  Firefox proved to be the most challenging, but it turned out to be an easy fix.  With Firefox, you actually pull up the configuration window and delete each nasty file.

The amazing thing is that it did not install on Safari!  I had to go into each web browser and change the settings back to my preferred web page.

The good news is that there are several wonderful websites available to guide users to get rid of unwanted adware and malware.

Print from Your iPad or iPhone

Thinking back to what computing was like 20 or 30 years ago and compare it with today is mind-boggling!  When I read Rick Broida's MacWorld blog today about printing from the iPhone and iPad at  it reminded me of how printing options have changed since the release of the iPad and the recent iPhones.  Because I can create, edit, and print from the iPhone and iPad, I often do not need to carry a laptop.  There are a couple of printing options:

  • ePrint printer that provides printing using WiFi or email
  • Print apps
As Broida's blog noted above, a print app that costs $19.95 is much less than replacing a printer with an ePrint printer.  I believe that HP (Hewlett Packard) is still the only printer that provides ePrint services.  When you purchase an ePrint printer you can print using WiFi on a local network system.  You click on the Send To icon on the mobile device, select the available printer, and print.  

ePrint printers allow you to print using email.  Each printer has a unique email address.  Enter the email address, message, and click the send button.  This feature will print most any kind of documents that is attached to the email. 

Broida's blog discussed the FingerPrint app.  One of the commenters for his blog mentioned Printopia.  Both apps cost $19.95.  We can expect new options for printing from mobile devices in the future.  It is an amazing difference from the dot matrix printers of the past.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Translator Add-On for Safari

I have been triaging health sciences learning resources for MERLOT this morning using the Safari web browser on the Mac.  I noted that several of the recent additions were written in Hebrew and Spanish.  Since I did not have the Chrome web browser open, I decided to explore the translator add-on for Safari.  To get the translator go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions > Get Extensions.  Type translator is the search menu and then click on the install button.  After the translator is installed, it will show up as an icon in the URL address menu.  See the screen shot below that shows the gray icon labeled Word.

I used it to translate a neuroanatomy learning resource.  The translator auto-detects the language used for the website.  The translation to English was excellent!  Unfortunately, the translator does not work on website with PDF files.

Google Maps and the Apple App Store

Just yesterday, I wrote a blog about using Apple Maps and Siri. I noted that Apple maps directions did have an error for a Georgia highway.  Today, MacWorld reported that Google Maps is back in the Apple App store as of yesterday.  Sure enough - it is there! 

Apparently, Apple has recognized the problem with the Apple Maps software. The Apple Maps issues are not a problem for me when I am using the app in places where I know how to navigate without the app, but it has the potential of causing significant problems if you are going to an unknown place. 

Beware of Malware and Bloatware with Free Office Software

When writing the chapter on spreadsheets for my eBook, I researched free Office software that included a spreadsheet application.  Caution: LibreOffice was one that I found.  When I went to install it, I noticed that it was bundled with unwanted items (bloatware), so I cancelled the install immediately.  Unfortunately, it had already made changes to my computer!  It changed the apps that opened files, for example, .doc files would not open with Word.  It changed my search engine and default search page.  For example, it changed the search page to Incredibar.  I had to go to the Control Panel on the Windows PC to remove Incredibar malware. 

I decided to include the information in the eBook to warn others that I DO NOT recommend downloading LibreOffice.  Apparently, the problem may have been my own unique experience because a couple of days ago PC World was inviting users to test the app.  My recommendation for free office software is still OpenOffice. OpenOffice is now an Apache product. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Apple - Find My iPhone Update

The Apple Find My iPhone app was updated on December 11th to include driving directions to the lost device!  I was curious to see how the app worked. To see the update changes, open the Find My iPhone app.  Click on the Devices button in the top left corner to select the device. You should see a green icon with a car (Driving Directions button)  to the left of the iPhone name.  Click on the button and Apple maps will open.  Click on the Direction button (top left corner) for driving directions.
I realize that Apple maps are still not perfect.  I have been using the Driving Directions app with Siri audio, just to test the app.  The other day, Siri instructed me to turn right on a particular highway number, but had the number wrong (off by one digit).  Fortunately, you can report map problems to Apple.  When you click on the curled paper on the bottom right corner of the Maps window, you can click on the Report a Problem link.  Caution - the Report a Problem is at the top in dark gray on gray font - so almost invisible :-).  

Chrome Extension - Saving an Image to Google Drive

Google Drive is fostering innovations for use. If you want to save a graphic to Google Drive with a single click of the mouse, it is possible with the Save to Google Drive extension for the Chrome web browser.  To add the extension, go to the  Customize and Control Google Chrome at the far right of the URL menu.

Select Tools > Extensions from the menu.  In the Search menu, type Save to Google Drive.  You should get a listing of extensions relating to saving and Google Drive.  Select on the Save to Google Drive extension and then click on the Install button.  Once it is installed. you should have the option to Save to Google Drive when you right-click on an image. 
Notice that I said it was a one-click procedure, not one second in time.   When you click on Save to Google Drive, the web browser is redirected to another window that asks for permission to add the image to your Google Drive account.  Still another window provides an option to rename the image.  When the image is saved, open up the Google Drive account to view it.  If the image you are using is from the web, you will want to adhere to any copyright issues for use.

If you are using Firefox, you can right-click and save an image to Evernote.  What is different is that Evernote will provide a URL for the image, not the image file.  If Evernote does note appear as a Save option, you can add it to the menu.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Converting a Video File Type

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am writing a book that will be published using iBooks Author on the Mac.  I plan to use Reflector app ( with AirPlay mirroring from the iPad to the Mac to capture video demonstrating the use of spreadsheet and database software for data analysis.  The default file type for Reflector video is .mov; however, iBooks Author requires the video to be a .m4v or .m4A file type (

The conversion was very easy using iMovie!  The first thing I did was to import the .mov video into iMovie.  iMovie allows me to add any audio or text to explain what the video is depicting.  After editing the video, you click Share > Export Movie on the menu.  Because I am a video creator novice, that was initially counter intuitive for me.  I was  looking for an export or save as option on the File menu.  The screen shot below shows that Mobile is the default option for the Share > Export Movie menu selection.

The 45 second .mov file was 2.1 MB.  However, as shown below, the converted .m4v file was 438 KB - much smaller.  That means if I keep the video clips short, like 1-2 minutes, the eBook file size will not be bloated.

To test the video output, I dragged the video into iBooks Author and it worked!  So if you are working on the Mac and have iBooks Author, the free eBook app, and iMovie, you have everything you need to create movies for your iBooks Author eBook.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mirroring the iPad on the Desktop Computer

In a previous blog, I talked about an inexpensive ($14.99) software application that allows you to mirror the iPad on the laptop or desktop computer.  The application resides on the laptop or desktop computer, but not on the iPad.  A recent email noted that the software, Reflection, has been renamed Reflector.  The updated website is at 

To begin the mirroring, the first thing you do is to open the Reflector app on the laptop or desktop computer.  Next, double-click on the Start button on the iPad where you see the menu showing all of the open apps.  Use your finger to slide that menu to the right where you see the menu to play music.  

You will see AirPlay icon (an icon with a blue rectangle outline and solid blue triangle) located to the left of the volume slider.  Click on the icon.  All of the AirPlay available devices will appear.  As a default, the iPad will have a checkmark.  Change the view to the laptop or desktop computer name where Reflector software is open.  The iPad image will automatically appear on the laptop or desktop computer screen.

I have used Reflector in a face-to-face class to demonstrate an iPad feature or software application.

Reflector also has the ability to record changes made on the iPad.  The movie is saved as a .mov file.  That is the good news.  I tested the recording function for 48 seconds.  The file size was 2.1 MB.  I would like to use the feature to create movies for the eBook I am writing.  The next catch is that the iBooks author video has to be a MP4 file.  That means converting the .mov file to MP4.  That process is another blog.

Customizing the Mac Computer Dock

Yesterday, over half of the readers for this blog are Mac users - amazing.  That make some sense because many of my more recent blogs relate to Apple products.  A couple of days ago, Chris Breen posted a new How-To blog on customizing the dock, where selected apps appear on Mac computers at .

The secret, once again, is in the System Preferences.  Many of us were originally Microsoft PC users.  When we migrated to Apple products, we tried to do everything like using Microsoft Windows.  Now that I use Windows and Apple operating systems almost equally, I find myself trying to work on a Windows PC like I do on the Mac, for example, mouse scrolling and finger gesturing.

Because Apple products are designed differently, the Mac experience can be initially frustrating. That is a good reason to explore Chris Breen's How-To postings.  Next week he will focus on System Preferences (analogous to the Control Panel in the Windows OS).  That should be a great How-To!

ISMP Website for Consumer Medication Safety

A recent email with the November issue of NurseAdvice-Err, an ISMP (Institute for Safe Mediation Practice) publication, had great information.  Many of the preventable hospital readmissions relate to health literacy and medication errors caused by patients who don't understand enough about what, how, and when to take medications.  Of course, it is more complicated than that.  The health literacy issue also relates to drug and food interactions.

The ISMP has developed a website, ConsumerMedSafety, at to assist consumers to stay safe when taking medications.

There is consumer information on eleven high-alert medications at

The medications are:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Gmail App for iPhone and iPad

A Google blog posted yesterday discussed a new Gmail app for the iPhone and iPad. Yes, an app! I had not even considered using an app for mail as gmail is one of my email accounts set up using Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.  The screen shots of the Gmail app looked very nice, so I downloaded the app to the iPad.  The Gmail app provides a very nice simple and colorful view of email, which is very different from the regular email app.  You may find it worth exploring, too.To read more and see some of the screenshots, go to

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Setting Notifications for the Mac Mountain Lion OS, iPhone, and iPod

If you have a Mac computer running Mountain Lion operating system (OS), an Apple mobile device, you probably are familiar with receiving notifications.  However, did you know that you can customize them?

On the Mac, go to the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen > system preferences > Personal > Notifications.  On a mobile device, click the Settings icon > Notifications.  You can chose a calendar style alert, select which apps you want for notification, whether to show a badge icon (shows number of alerts), and whether to play a sound.  You can also specify the number of notifications that you prefer (1-20).

Kirk McElearn has a very nice article detailing the notification system for Mountain Lion OS at

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Classifying the BMI Using the WHO Classification System with FileMaker Pro

In the previous blog, there was basic information for creating a calculation of the BMI in FileMaker Pro.

The Metabolic Syndrome database uses the World Health Organization (WHO) classification system online at and shown below.

The FileMaker Pro Formula is a nested formula that uses the BMI field in the Visit table.
The double quotes ("") around each classification level instructs FileMaker Pro output text, such as Obesity Class III. Note:  The Metabolic Database used the term "Overweight" instead of "Pre-Obese."

If (BMI >40; "Obesity Class III"; If (BMI>35; "Obesity Class II"; If(BMI>30; "Obesity Class I"; If (BMI>25; "Overweight"; If(BMI ≥ 18.5; "Normal"; If(BMI<18 .5=".5" nderweight="nderweight" p="p">
The data is displayed in the table as seen below.

    Table 1: The International Classification of adult underweight, overweight and obesity according to BMI
    Principal cut-off pointsAdditional cut-off points
    Underweight<18 .50=".50" b="b"><18 .50=".50" b="b">
         Severe thinness<16 .00=".00" td="td"><16 .00=".00" td="td">
         Moderate thinness16.00 - 16.9916.00 - 16.99
         Mild thinness17.00 - 18.4917.00 - 18.49
    Normal range18.50 - 24.9918.50 - 22.99
    23.00 - 24.99
         Pre-obese25.00 - 29.9925.00 - 27.49
    27.50 - 29.99
              Obese class I30.00 - 34.9930.00 - 32.49
    32.50 - 34.99
              Obese class II35.00 - 39.9935.00 - 37.49
    37.50 - 39.99
              Obese class III≥40.00≥40.00

FileMaker Pro - Calculating BMI

Kevin asked about calculating and classifying a BMI using FileMaker Pro.  The two formulas will be included in the tutorials for the eBook I am writing.  In this blog, I will describe how to calculate the BMI.  In the Metabolic Syndrome Database the patient's height in feet and inches are separate fields in the Patient table.  Generally, the height of an adult does not change.  However, Kevin, as a pediatric nursing practitioner student, should include height in the visit table.   A child's height will change with age.

Use the CDC BMI calculation appropriate for the client.  According to the CDC, the adult BMI formula is (Source: )
Measurement Units
Formula and Calculation
Kilograms and meters (or centimeters)Formula: weight (kg) / [height (m)]2
With the metric system, the formula for BMI is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Since height is commonly measured in centimeters, divide height in centimeters by 100 to obtain height in meters.
Example: Weight = 68 kg, Height = 165 cm (1.65 m)
Calculation: 68 ÷ (1.65)2 = 24.98
Pounds and inchesFormula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5'5" (65")
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96

I prefer to create and edit FileMaker Pro tables from the File > Manage > Database view.  The first step is to instruct FileMaker that the field is a calculated value.  That instruction opens a window to enter the formula.  A really easy way to create the formula is to choose the fields from the pertinent tables from the tables drop-down menu.  You do not need to insert an equals sign (=) before a formula because FileMaker does that for you.

Next, I had to create a calculated field to determine height in inches.  The formula noted below in the Visit table is

The two :: tells FileMaker to obtain the value from the Patient table. HtFt and HtIn are two fields in the Patient table. The caret (^) is used to instruct FileMaker to square the height in inches.

The formula for BMI is (Weight * 703)/(Height In^2)

That is all there is to creating the BMI formula.  Kevin would need to use the BMI formula for children.  It can be adapted from 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Smart Searches with a Mac

Chris Breen posted a new blog a couple of days ago on how to conduct "smart searches" with a Mac.  I learned a new search process that will definitely be helpful in the future.  If you are using a Windows PC, you may have searched for file by type and time.  The Mac allows us to do that same thing - but better.  Why?  Because you can keep the "smart searches" and they will continually update as you make changes on your Mac.  To learn how to do "smart searches" be sure to read his blog at