Productivity on the iPad

You only have to wait a few more days, my impatient friends. Your iPad will soon arrive, and you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content. In order to help keep you occupied, I have found a few videos that showcase some of the features and apps built in to the device. Productivity is important, and many nay-sayers are adamant that the iPad won’t be usable for any type of work. How wrong they are.

Keynote is a very powerful presentation application, and was built from the ground up specifically for the iPad. You can create beautiful presentations from photos, charts and animations. You can use a template to create a new presentation, or bring in an existing document from your Mac or from PowerPoint. The large disply on the iPad will give you a good view of whatever you’re working on.

Pages is a word processor made for the mobile device. It can create newsletters, reports and other documents with a few flicks of a finger. When you rotate the iPad, your page fills the screen. Pages tracks what you type, so it can suggest words, correct your spelling, and insert punctuation automatically. It can even tell when you’re creating a list, and format it for you while you’re typing.

Numbers is the spreadsheet application from iWork that you’re already used to, and it’s powerful on the iPad. It’s easy to work with tables, charts and graphics on a canvas that you can use just by touching. You can again use one of the preset templates to get started, or import an Excel spreadsheet from Microsoft Office.

Who says you can’t be productive on an iPad? These built-in applications would suggest otherwise. While the iPad may not be suitable to be your “main” computer, I think it will do nicely when you’re on the go and need to get some work done.

Playing Tetris Eases Stress

It’s no secret that I am a Tetris fanatic. That is pretty much the only game I play and truly enjoy. Forget the fact that the game is addictive. Researchers at Oxford University have suggested that playing Tetris can assist in the treatment of post-traumatic stress.

According to the research, playing Tetris after a shocking event can help reduce the number of horrific flashbacks that a person may have. According to Dr. Emily Holmes, memories become permanent six hours after trauma. She feels that playing Tetris will interfere with the process of memories being kept by people’s brains. She further speculates that in the future, Tetris could be used to help people who are suffering after accidents or during wars.

I am grateful that I have never suffered a severely traumatic experience. However, I still maintain that playing Tetris is good for keeping my stress levels down.

Is your computer stressed out? Take a look at what’s new in the software center and calm your computer with something new.

Microsoft Office 2010 Comparison Screencast


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I recently asked all of you to submit your screencasts to me for review. The best of the best will be chosen to be featured here, in my various channels and outlets. This provides content of a different perspective for our community, and gives you new exposure for your work! Jack has submitted another excellent screencast, this time showing us a nice comparison between different versions of Microsoft Office.

Jack wanted to show us some of the differences between Office 2007 and Office 2010. One of the biggest changes is that Office 2010 now fully supports 64-bit operating systems. Also, Web Applications (allowing you to co-author documents across the web in real-time) have finally been implemented in the newest release, as well. Office 2010 also includes a redesigned Office button, as well as a nice backstage experience.

Differences in Word include the search function. In Office 2010, it shows up in a navigation pane, instead of a small window. Also in Office 2010, you have a paste preview, letting you see what you’re going to paste BEFORE you actually paste it. There are also enhanced picture editing tools. There are new options for working with text, including changing plain text into Word Art, or using shapes and styles.

The differences in Excel include graphs in single cells, instead of only within sheets like in Office 2007. Formatting tools have also been ehanced and upgraded.

There are also many interesting and excellent differences found within Outlook, Publisher and other Office applications. Thanks, Jack, for this sneak peak at what we can expect when we grab Office 2010 for ourselves!

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Microsoft Office 2010 Screencast


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Recently I threw down the gauntlet, asking all of you to submit your best screencasts. I plan to highlight the best of the best here in my channel, and help promote yours. Jack has sent a few in to us now, and they’re fantastic. This one gives you a quick (but excellent!) overview of Microsoft Office 2010.

Jack started off by letting us know that Office 2010 is only available at this time for developers and technical reviewers. Included features include support for 64-bit, enhanced Office button that leads to a back room of sorts, and web applications for Word and Excel.

The enhanced UI includes a minimizer to give you more work space. This hides the toolbar until you click the button again. The new Office button leads you to a backstage experience where you can edit, save, print or share your documents.

New features in Word 2010 include an improved search function. It opens in a new pane that won’t cover up your document. Other new features include a paste preview, which is very nice. Others include improved picture editing capabilities and more text effects.

Some things new in Publisher 2010 now have pages show up in the side window pane, instead of at the bottom. Powerpoint features include new animations and a video editing capability. Excel doesn’t have too many new features, but it does have a few nice improvements.

Outlook 2010 has a new conversation view, that allows you to group conversations, and even clean them up… allowing you to focus on the most important feature.

Jack did a great job with his screencast. Don’t worry if yours wasn’t chosen to be featured today, though. We’ve received a lot of excellent submissions. We’re still going through them all, and plan to upload one per day (when videos are normally uploaded).

Remember, you need to upload your screencast video to Geeks, and then send me an email with a link to your video, a short description, and of course – tell me where we can find you on YouTube (or wherever you want to be found online).

Keep those submissions coming!

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How to Edit Text Documents on the Web


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I have yet to find a text editor that is the one to beat all the rest. None of them are perfect, so I try them all. On OS X, there really aren’t many I’m impressed with. However, there’s another option – on the Web!

ecoder is an open-source, web-based text editor. It includes a file browser, file uploader, and tabbed system to allow multiple files to be edited at the same time. Keyboard short-cuts lend it the feel of a locally installed application.

All of your basic text-editing commands are available. But what makes it so unique is that it has syntax highlighting. You’ll see the different colors as soon as you input your document. This makes it much easier for you to do what needs to be done. It’ll help you detect any mistakes in your code if there are any.

You might be working away from your own computer, and need access to check your code. Why not just flip open a browser, throw your file in there, and carry on about your work? Check out ecoder the next time you need to edit a document.

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