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Awesome Free Apps for Your iPod Touch

The iPod Touch is a wonderful gadget for transporting, holding and listening to music. But it really is much more than that. The iPod Touch is also a great little mini computer that allows users to gain access to the world wide web, as well as be able to send and receive email messages and store phone contact information. Not only that, but you can check to see what the weather will be like on that day, and check the latest on the stock market conditions. This iPod Touch truly is a powerhouse packed in a little package. Find out some of the free apps you can get for your iPod:

White Noise Lite

Are you an insomniac? Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Then perhaps the White Noise Lite is the one for you. This app offers users a wide selection of calming and soothing sounds and noises that help people fall asleep in no time. There are over 10 sounds you can choose from for free, such as waves crashing, crickets chirping, rain dripping and a spinning fan. There are many more sounds to choose from for an additional price. The great thing about this app is that it allows the user to set a timer so that the white noise fades out after a while – of course, hopefully you have fallen asleep at that point!

Find My iPhone

How many of us have been in a position where we simply could not find our iPod? Countless owners of these expensive little gadgets have been in at least one or two predicaments where you simply could not locate your phone. Thankfully, there is an app just for that – the “Find My iPhone” app gives users a fair chance to track down their iPods with the use of a GPS signal. All you have to do is sign in to your Apple account via the internet, and then map the location of your iPod Touch. This is a great app for those who are super busy, or those who have their head in the clouds half the time.

iHandy Level app

How many do-it-yourselfers are out there? Why should you pay someone to do a simple task when you can – or think you can – do it yourself? Well, Apple has the solution for you. You can now download an iHandy Level app that will help you do all sorts of simple little home improvement tasks, such as hanging a picture properly and evenly.

Your iTouch can now become a level for you, and will tell you if the photo or floating shelf you are hanging and installing into the wall is level or not. There is nothing more frustrating that hanging a picture frame on a wall after all that hard work only to realize that it is slightly crooked. The iHandy Level app will solve such a problem. For an additional fee, you can even get the iHandy Carpenter toolbox to makes things in the home improvement department even easier.

Flashlight

How many times have you been caught in the dark without a flashlight? When you really need the flashlight, you won’t even be able to find it in the dark, considering the fact that most people don’t just walk around with a flashlight in their back pocket. The face of the iTouch will become your flashlight. You’ll be given the option of having a steady white beam, a solid red motion signal, or even an S.O.S. flashing emergency signal in times of real distress. These lights and signals are free. There are others that are available for an additional fee.

Background Check

This is one of those unique apps that can really come in handy in particular circumstances. If you are a lady who has just been out and had a young lad pick you up and showed a great deal of interest in you, perhaps you’d like a little more background info on him to make sure that he is the real deal. The Background Check app can be quite useful in situations like these where a shady background would reveal itself with the touch of a button.

My Take

The people behind these apps for the iPod Touch are truly genius, and highly imaginative and creative. There are obviously quite a bit of apps out there that are quite frivolous and used mainly for nothing other than having a little fun. However, there are many others that are incredibly useful in every day life, and actually provide a little bit of safety purposes and services. Considering the fact that the apps mentioned in this article are free, it may be worth your while to download any of them to play around with to see if they are a good fit for you and your lifestyle.

Tips on How to Easily Replace Your Computer Hard Drive

The hard drive is where your computer stores vital information pertaining to Word or Excel documents, as well as photographs, videos, music and movies. These small and compact hard drives are able to store a great deal of information, but they are susceptible to damage in certain detrimental scenarios.

How to Tell if Your Hard Drive is on It’s Way Out

There are a few signs and symptoms of a failing hard drive. Some of these signs include:

  • The computer does not recognize the hard drive – if the BIOS cannot recognize the hard drive, most likely the hard drive is totally fried;
  • Scratching, screeching and tinging noises are coming from the hard drive – This usually happens if the magnetic disks and heads that are found within the hard drive start to come in contact with the platters;
  • Disk fragmentation fails to complete – The defragmenter, which is responsible for re-organizing the hard drive’s data, may cause an error stating that the disk defragmenter is unable to complete when the hard drive is damaged.

If you have done a bit of investigating and come to the conclusion that your hard drive does indeed need to be replaced, there are a few steps to follow in order to do so successfully. Just make sure that your computer is no longer under warranty before you replace the hard drive yourself. Generally, if it is still under warranty, the manufacturer should be able to replace the hard drive at no charge.

How to Replace a Hard Drive

After you have determined that your hard drive is in fact damaged and needs replacement, make sure you follow these steps very carefully in order to maximize a successful replacement. When you purchase your replacement hard drive, it is essential that you verify that it is compatible with your computer. The best hard drives are those that come with a lot of memory, so it may be worth it for you to purchase one that is capable of holding a lot of information.

Begin By Finding the Hard Drive

After you’ve carefully opened the computer case (after making sure the computer was first unplugged) , locate the hard drive, which is usually found near the floppy drive. If you’ve never seen one before, it is generally about 5″ x 3.5″, and is attached to a ribbon cable.

Carefully Remove the Hard Drive and Install the New One

Removing the hard drive can be done a few ways, depending on how it was installed in the first place. Some of these have quick releases which allow the user to press a button in order for the hard drive to be released. Others have have screws to take off. Any data transfer cables will need to be unplugged before you release the hard drive from the case.

Installing the new hard drive should be pretty easy after removing the old hard drive, as the steps are generally reversed. You need to connect the cables and reattach the screws, after which the hard drive will be secured in place. Make sure all the connections are secure before you lose the computer case.

Close the Computer Case and Turn on the Computer

Remove any dust that may be present on your computer before you lose the case. This will make a difference on your computer’s performance, so take the short time necessary to get rid of this dust prior to closing the case.

After the case is closed, power up your computer and make sure that the BIOS is able to detect the new hard drive, in addition to the storage capacity of the hard drive.

Hopefully you were able to back up any data on your old hard drive. If not, you will have to start from scratch. Make sure you have in your possession the re-installation disks that should have come with the computer when you originally bought it.

Run the FDISK in DOS before you install the operating system. This will set up your partition of the hard drives. After the partition has been set, the hard drive should be properly formatted, and you are now ready to install the computer’s operating system.

Installing the Computer’s Operating System

Install the CD into your computer, then turn it on. After the operating system is installed (which is very simple to do), you can then make minor adjustments for your own settings, and then re-install any information that you previously backed up on your old hard drive onto your new hard drive.

My Take

Make sure that you have some sort of experience fiddling with computers before you take on this task. Although replacing a hard drive is generally considered to be a task that just about any computer owner can do, it is also important to realize just when you are in over your head. When in doubt, consult with a professional – however, be weary of mechanics who are out for your money to do a simple task. Your best bet – when you feel you are unqualified to replace the hard drive yourself – is to take it to a big box computer store that has a specific department for situations like these.

8 Photo Apps You Need For Your iPhone

Taking amazing photos doesn’t necessarily have to be done using a fancy and expensive DSLR camera. Nowadays, most amateur pictures are being shot with a person’s smartphone. The quality of some of these pictures is quite impressve, depending on the techniques used to take these pictures, as well as certain apps that are utilized to take these pics. To really maximize your iPhone picture-taking capability, you need to consider downloading some of the following apps:

1. ColorSplash

This is a fabulous app for taking truly unique and artistic photos using your iPhone. With this app, the user is able to make photos black and white, add a splash of color here and there throughout a black and white photo, and simply accent or highlight a particular feature in a black and white photo to make it stand out.

You can simply paint over a specific area with your finger with your color of choice. When you’ve done tweaking the color of your picture, you can then upload it onto social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.

2. Photoshop.com Mobile App by Adobe

This is an amazing app that you absolutely must download. First of all, it is free, and does some amazing things at no cost to you. With a few slides of your finger over the screen, you are able to adjust saturation levels, change some of the tinting and use different color effects. Performing any of these tasks is done easily and quickly. You can then upload the finished product onto the iPhone’s camera roll, and then upload it to the photo-sharing service that Adobe provides for free.

For those who have a little more experience with photo-taking and are looking for more advanced editing interfaces, perhaps you may be interested in Photogene. This app has a ton of features and settings with a user-friendly interface, including features such as shadows, color temperature, and so forth. The small price tag is worth it.

3. Auto Stitch

If you are a fan of creating panoramic photos easily and quickly, than the Auto Stitch app is for you. Since the iPhone camera does not come equipped with a panorama feature, you need to get an app that will allow you to take a panoramic shot. Auto Stitch will allow you to essentially stitch the items together in proper sequence in order to create the perfect panoramic photo.

All you have to do to use this function is to display all the necessary photos in the staging area, then tap the “stitch” button. It is one of the lowest priced apps for this particular function.

4. Camera Genius

The Camera Genius app provides users of iPhone cameras with a zoom function, timestamp and location tagging, stabilization to prevent shaking and rapid-succession photo shooting. Basically, you must have this app for these basic features that you need to take decent photographs.

5. Flickr

The Flickr app is great for allowing the user to gather all familiar web features right into your iPhone. You can take videos and photos, then upload them and comment on them, and add them directly to sets, all from the comfort of your little iPhone. You’ll be able to find pictures and videos on Flickr by a particular sorting method, such as by subject, places or people, and then save them on your phone.

6. PhotoShop Express

This app is great for those who want to be able to have the capability of rotating, flipping, cropping and straightening a photo. You’ll also be able to change the tint and saturation, as well as convert a picture from color to black and white. You can even add borders, different effects, and add filters.

7. Instagram

This app gives your photos a bit of social media experience through sites like Twitter and Facebook. Once you take a photo with this app, you can then scroll through many filter options in order to get the precise effect you are looking for. Simply post the picture, than add a caption and description, and it will be able to be viewed by whoever you want. People can then “like” your photo as well.

8. ShakeItPhoto

This app is purely for fun and amusement. All you have to do is shake your phone while you’re taking a picture, and you’ll come out with a picture that is quite similar to one would you’d get with a polaroid after shaking the phone while shooting the photo. This app is more for creativity and fun, rather than taking amazing gallery-worthy photos.

My Take

The iPhone is a huge source for photographs that are floating around all over the internet. Instead of constantly carrying around a huge conventional camera to catch a moment on the fly, all you have to do is whip out your iPhone camera and get a quality photo. Using any number of these camera apps for your iPhone will allow you to have much more freedom and convenience to take great, creative and unique shots. Considering how cheap most of them are, they are certainly worth a shot.

iPad vs. Netbook: Tight Race

Many people out there who depend on carrying around a netbook will most likely be wondering if the ipad is something to consider as a replacement. Undoubtedly, the ipad and netbook are quite similar in many cases, but also have a few variations as well. The question is, which one is better for you? Here are a few areas of comparison between the ipad and the netbook for you to help base your decision on.

Browsing the Web

Of course, searching the internet is one of the major reasons why people purchase a device like an ipad or a netbook in the first place. Whether you are searching for vital information for a research paper, or are simply browsing around to kill time, you’ll want a device that will allow you to search online with great ease and speed.

Searching online with an ipad is great, considering the fact that you have the ability to flip between pages, and images on the face look great. The downside to the ipad is that you are only able to browse with the Apple Safari browser, and there is no Adobe Flash support.

The Netbook, on the other hand, is a PC. For this reason, you can use any browser you like, and will have complete Flash support. The only problem is that these netbooks have much smaller screens than the iPads, which cuts down on image quality and resolution. This can make reading on the netbook a little more difficult.

Having said that, the netbook does have a slight advantage over the iPad. Despite the fact that the netbook has a much smaller screen, it still provides you with the ability to use any browser you like and search the entire web with no restrictions.

Portability

One of the major reasons why people choose to purchase an iPad or netbook is because of their portability. The ability to search the web or do some work on a bus, at the park or in a cafe provides users with incredible convenience. So, which of the two stands out as having better portability?

The iPad offers many great portability features. It’s smaller and lighter than the netbook, and the display provides you with a better and clearer view of what is displayed on screen – regardless of the angle of the screen. The battery life is quite long as well, which should allow you to carry it around with you all day without having to worry about it dying in the middle of a subway ride home.

Although the netbook is a lot easier to transport than a traditional laptop, it is still heavier and larger than an iPad. The viewing angles can make viewing the display a little more challenging if you’re not looking straight on at the display. In addition, the images are nowhere near as clear as that of the iPad.

In the portability department, it looks like the iPad has a slight advantage over the netbook. The lighter weight, smaller design, and better viewing angles gives the iPad an advantage for portability.

Working on a Document

A lot of students and business professionals use their iPads and netbooks do get work done while on the go, or even at school or at the office. Having a device that will allow you to properly and efficiently edit a Word or Excel document is important.

iPads aren’t really designed for this purpose. You’ll have to pay extra to get certain applications to use on your iPad, and you’ll have no local storage either. Using programs like Word or Excel are quite difficult with the iPad. Taking long notes or writing a lengthy document will prove challenging on the touch screen keyboard. The iPad is great for hunting around, but for getting any real work done, this is not the gadget for that.

The netbook, on the other hand, provides the user with a keyboard that is a lot easier to work with when producing a lengthy document. Regardless of the netbook’s limited screen resolution, you are still able to get full Word, Excel and Power-Point capabilities and versions.

The netbook is the clear winner in this category. Getting any work done will be made much easier and more convenient with the netbook over the iPad.

Audio and Video Capabilities

The iPad and netbook are not just for doing work and surfing the net – they are also used to watch TV, videos, and listen to music. For this reason, users want a device that will provide them with high quality audio and video capabilities.

The iPad’s display screen really does have fantastic colour and resolution. Video looks great on these devices, although the absence of Flash support does get in the way of you being able to watch any video that requires this support. You can take videos from the iTunes store and transfer it right onto your iPad very easily and conveniently. Audio is a little bit weak, but not too bad.

Netbooks support just about any format available, but they don’t play Flash in full screen and have a tough time with high-definition videos. There is, however, quite a bit of storage space with netbooks so you can easily store plenty of videos and music. The display screen cannot be compared to that of the iPad.

In this case, there is a quite a bit of balance between the iPad and the netbook. Neither one seem to stand out over the other in the field of audio and video capabilities.

My Take

This really is a tough choice, as both the iPad and the netbook come with their own set of advantages. It really depends on the specific activities you plan to be participating in with your portable device. If you are a student or professional who requires full computer capabilities for work purposes, perhaps the netbook would be the best choice. If, on the other hand, if you simply need to browse the web, listen to music, and do anything else entertainment-related, than the iPad is probably the better choice.

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