Recently a colleague of mine set down his passcode-secured iPhone on the desk we were sitting at. As I was marveling at how smudged the screen was from his constant use, I noticed that among the various smudges I could clearly see four distinct fingerprints, whose positions I realized revealed the four numbers he used for his passcode lock. The passcode lock is a feature of the iPhone that, when enabled, requires the user to enter a four-digit code to unlock the phone. It’s a great feature to keep your contacts, email, and account secure should your iPhone get lost or stolen. But because you have to type in your passcode every time you use the phone, the four fingerprints over those numbers can easily become the most distinct marks among the smudges.
Archive for the ‘Home computing’ Category
I spent some time with the lynda.com human resource team and asked them to share a few tips on successful interviewing to help you in your job search. Here are their top four interviewing tips.
1. Do Your Research on the Company
Before going to an interview with a potential employer, always know as much as you can about the company. Find out what drives the company. How long have they been in business? How many employees do they have? What are the main products and services? This kind of information will help you understand what they might be looking for in an individual. Employers like to know applicants have done some research rather than coming in cold.
A good resource to start with would be checking out the company’s About Us page.
Recently, I was trying to figure out how many miles it was from a highway exit to the intersection of the road leading to my house. Some family friends were coming to visit and I wanted to give them an idea of how far they would have to drive before they had to keep an eye out for the tricky turnoff to my neighborhood. But without specific addresses to punch into Google Maps, I wasn’t sure how to plot the path from point A to point B.
This led me to right-clicking (or control-clicking on a one-button mouse) on the Google Map of my area and, lo and behold, up popped a contextual menu containing the command Directions from here. Selecting that placed an A marker on the map which I could freely drag around, so I placed it on the exit ramp of the highway. Then I right-clicked again near the ramp for the road where my friends would have to turn off and chose Directions to here, placing a B marker on the map, which I could again drag to a specific location. And just like that, I had the information that it was 5.3 miles to my exit—all without having a specific address for either the starting or ending points.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking site on the web right now. Friends and students use it to connect socially and start or rekindle relationships, and businesses use it as a low-cost way to grow their marketing base and research potential hires. Family members use it to share stories and photos. Susan’s Facebook Essential training makes it simple.
I asked Susan if there were any surprises or things that came up during the development of this course.
“I found that many people were very concerned with the etiquette and unspoken rules around Facebook,” said Susan. “When is it appropriate to un-friend someone? Is it OK to block my boss from seeing my photos? Because social networking is so new, the etiquette rules around its use are still being determined.”
“There has also been so much in the news about privacy issues with Facebook that people who are new to social networking are nervous about getting started,” she continued. “I wrote this course with social networking newcomers in mind. This course is also good for current Facebook users who have specific question or who want to know more about the new privacy settings that were instituted in December 2009.”
Susan will be attending the Interactive portion of SXSW March 12th - 16th. You can become a fan of hers on Facebook to get more Google Apps and Facebook training, and find out about her upcoming speaking events and webinars.
Surveys often show that one of the top New Year’s resolution goals for many people is to get a better job in the new year. For some, the goal may be to get back into the workforce, either in a new job in the same field, or starting out in a whole new career. Here’s a few tips that will hopefully help you keep your resolution:
Update your resume.
One of our popular recent courses is Creating an Online Resume: Hands-On Training with Laurie Burruss. While Laurie concentrates on creating a resume to present in HTML, her tips on overall resume composition will work for print and text-based email resumes, too. A couple more resources: Broward County’s Workforce One created a video for a Florida career fair with tips on how to update and streamline a resume. Monster.com lists sample resumes for a number of different fields.
Use (free!) apps to get organized.
Google Calendar might be designed for businesses, but it also works for individuals intent on organizing appointments, meetings, phone calls, follow-up emails, interviews, and projects. Google Apps: Calendar Essential Training with Susan Cline shows how to use this free web-based application to manage personal and professional schedules. Proficiency at Google Calendar may also come in handy as a job skill, since many businesses and schools use it as their main time-management application.
Present yourself professionally.
Know and use the formatting features in your email applications to your advantage. Whether you use GMail, Entourage, or Mail, take the time to learn its formatting features so that when your emails are received, you’ll be presented in the best light possible.
Use social networks.
Our recent poll question let us know that many people use LinkedIn for job research, whether they are looking for a job, or employers checking out a potential employee’s’ background. 40% of you said you use it to find new career and job opportunities. Be sure to update your experience and skills, and request recommendations from former employers and coworkers. Another resource: This About.com contributor shares her experience with using social networks to land a job.
Research the company.
Researching companies that you are applying to. Spend time on the company web site, and check out their LinkedIn group and employee profiles. Following a company’s Twitter feed, blog, or Facebook fan page will give you a better feel for the company culture, new products, and more.
If a job listing requests that you send a resume to a particular email address or requires that you fill out an online application, do what they say. Some may request cover letters, some specifically ask that you do not call to follow up. This Washington Post article tells about a job that requires that its applicants apply in tweets.
Check out our job listings.
We’re just a little biased, but we think that working for lynda.com is pretty darn cool. If you have what we’re looking for, and live in the Carpinteria, CA area, check out our 19 darn cool job openings.
Update current skills and learn new ones.
Even if you’re insanely busy scouring the papers and web sites for new positions, try to take the time to check out new and relevant lynda.com courses that could potentially help you in a new job. If you don’t have time to check the site or blog every day, be sure you’re subscribed to our monthly newsletter or the New Releases announcement that comes out every two weeks, or follow us on Twitter.
Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree shows how rewarding and informative building a family history can be. Genealogy instructor Jeff Sengstack teaches how to find lost ancestors, connect with living relatives, and collaborate with others to grow a family tree. He explains how to use the Family Tree Maker application along with Ancestry.com and other internet sites to track down census data, immigration records, and other important documents, and then organize family tree data. Jeff also presents tips on how to scan old photos, create video slideshows, and build family web sites.
In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft’s operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7.
David also covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer’s memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. The video above is just a small taste of the 6.5 hour course.
When Apple first announced at their 2008 World Wide Developers Conference that the new version of OS X would be called Snow Leopard, they included the surprising statement that Snow Leopard would have “zero new features.” Now of course, this was a bit of an exaggeration—there are enough new features to warrant my recording Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard New Features (available now!), but the point was that Snow Leopard’s main focus was under the hood, with the goal of making OS X faster, more efficient, and less bulky. Hence the the name Snow Leopard, which references the similarities of the new OS to the previous OS, Leopard.
Although the cosmetic changes are few, Snow Leopard features several enhancements to the Finder, the Dock, and to most of the built-in applications like QuickTime, iChat, Mail, and so on, but my favorite new feature so far is Snow Leopard’s greatly improved support for scanners connected directly to your Mac or on your local network.
Prior to Snow Leopard, I was locked in a never-ending battle with my moody and unpredictable network printer/scanner, which never seemed to be able to communicate consistently with my Mac. Some days it would work, some days it wouldn’t (I won’t name the brand, but let’s just say it rhymes with Pewlett Hackard). I was constantly updating and reinstalling drivers, restarting both the scanner and my Mac, and it would still only function properly occasionally.
But once I installed Snow Leopard, I was able to leave all the third-party software and drivers behind. Using Preview, which comes as part of OS X, I chose File > Import from Scanner and instantly my Mac found my scanner, installed drivers, and opened the scanning interface, from which I could select my scanning options and preferences. It just worked, and I’ve since tried it with my scanner in my home office as well with identical results. That alone was worth the $30 upgrade price to me.
And even if you don’t use scanners much these days, you’ll be happy to know that setting up a printer in Snow Leopard is just as easy. Again, you no longer have to manually install any drivers. As long as you have an internet connection, choosing File > Print will cause OS X to find your your printer and automatically install the proper drivers from the collection of pre-installed drivers included with the OS, or failing that, it will find the necessary software on the internet, download it, and install it. There’s nothing else you need to do. Of course, I haven’t personally tested every scanner/printer out there, but I’ve already experienced the ease and advantage of this feature several times when I’ve found myself in someone else’s office connected to a printer I hadn’t previously installed on my MacBook.
So if you’ve been considering upgrading to Snow Leopard and you rely on multiple scanners and printers as much as I do, I definitely recommend you make the switch. And be sure to check out my Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard New Features course in the Online Training Library®. I go into much more detail demonstrating how Snow Leopard recognizes and installs scanners and printers, and I cover lots more of what you’ll find in the latest version of Mac OS X.