CES 2012 Overview: It’s Thin, Mobile, and Cloudy

Being a gadget hound, I’ve been ogling over the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show like an eight-year-old with a Toys “R” Us catalog before Christmas. The show is used to showcase the way technology is heading, and this year there is a clear message: Consumers don’t want to stay stationary. Continue reading “CES 2012 Overview: It’s Thin, Mobile, and Cloudy”

If your technology isn’t transparent, it’s not working.

I was driving home from the office the other day and felt the urge to blast some tunes. Without even looking, I hit the power button on the radio, hit the scan button several times, and adjusted the volume just loud enough to blast away all thoughts of the TPS reports and stapler requisition forms due the next day. If you think about it, a car radio is a perfect example of “transparent technology.” They are all designed to fit the car’s environment, the controls are easy to use, and they work without having to put much thought into it…the radio is a part of the car rather than its own special-needs device. All technology should work this same way. Its whole purpose is to make lives easier and more efficient, not complicated and expensive. Many tech-curmudgeons will say “All modern technology is complicated!”, and that’s a true statement. The trick is to make sure you’re using appropriate technology. Continue reading “If your technology isn’t transparent, it’s not working.”

New Gmail Feature – Preview Pane!

Currently, TOAST.net’s Gmail and Google Apps email accounts allow you to see “snippets” of your messages so you can figure out if they’re worth opening or not. However, sometimes a snippet is not enough.

Starting today, a new feature is available in Google Labs that allows for a full preview pane. You may be familiar with the preview pane feature if you have ever used Outlook or Windows Mail — it allows you to see your message in a “split screen” view, allowing you to sort through email faster.

To enable this feature, log into your email account, then head over to Continue reading “New Gmail Feature – Preview Pane!”

TOAST.net’s Back to School Tools

It’s about that time again. Grills and patio furniture are being replaced by 3-ring binders and pens in stores. The shorts are coming off the shelves and being replaced by dress pants. Children are watching the calendar as if it’s a count-down to the end of the world. Yes…it’s time to get ready for school again.

Classrooms have evolved over the last 10 years. The introduction of email and interactive websites has changed the way students operate. The “new” traditional way of typing up reports, term papers, and other fun things that are normally done last minute on a Sunday night require software. A lot of people use Microsoft Word, which can cost upwards of $150 to purchase. Documents in Word are saved on the computer’s hard drive, then either emailed to the teacher as an attachment, copied to a USB drive and carried to school, or printed out and popped into a folder.

This traditional method is also wrought with problems. Students tend to be the forgetful sort, so forgetting to send a paper or forgetting to print it out leads to trouble. There’s also the “My computer ate my homework” excuse, “I hit delete instead of save on my paper,” and the ever popular “My house was robbed last night and my laptop was stolen” story. TOAST.net has a better way to get homework done, and it’s already included with all residential TOAST.net accounts! Continue reading “TOAST.net’s Back to School Tools”