Kids React to an Old Computer

This video is rather long …. but kind of fun.

Kids sit down in front of an old computer and are asked to do different tasks, starting with “turn it on”. :)

Although I think that a few of these kids are a bit over-the-top in their reactions, (hamming for the camera?), in general their responses are quite engaging.

One child looks for the mouse (not invented yet), they lament over no internet, they are perplexed by the whole ‘command’ thing, and they mistake a floppy disk for a CD.

My favorite point ….. that it would take 850 of these old computers to equal the power of a single iPhone.

We’ve come a long way.

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Choosing a Keyboard for your iPad: What do you use?

Screen shot 2013-07-14 at 8.56.12 AMDo you do a lot of typing on your iPad?

Do you use a keyboard?

There are many different styles of keyboards to use with an iPad.

Some keyboards are actually included as part of a case. The good: you always have it with you. The bad: you always have it with you (making the iPad a bit heavier and less portable).

There are also external stand-alone keyboards. The good: they are often full size, familiar-to-your-fingers type keyboards. The bad: because they are stand-alone, you’ll need a stand for your iPad, and you’ll need to bring along all the pieces if you need to travel.

In addition to the case-included keyboards and stand-alone keyboards are many others, all attempting to give you the best typing experience combined with ease of use and a best effort to maintain portability.

I have often been asked for advice in choosing a keyboard, and unfortunately I have none. No opinion. No advice. Nada. I still use my notebook computer for my heavy typing, and so I have had no need to select a keyboard.

Most recently, Lori, one of my friendly blog readers asked the question: I want to get an external keyboard to use to write stories. What do you recommend for keyboards (that might double as a case)

It’s a great question, and I am quite curious myself.

So please please, readers-of-this-blog, if you have a keyboard that you use with your iPad, would you please tell us about it?  Both Lori and I would be very interested in what you have to share …..

And in the meantime,  here are several relatively recent links to some great reviews about iPad keyboards.

9 best iPad Keyboards: March 2013 ZDNet

Buying Guide: Find the best iPad keyboard March 2013 Macworld

Five Best iPad Keyboards lifehacker

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Type Faster With This Quick Keyboard Trick for iPad, iPhone

photo credit: Lori Greig via photo pin cc

When you are typing, and you come to the end of a sentence, you type a period and then you tap the space bar.

This hint will help you type a little faster:
Instead of tapping “period > space”, just double-tap the space bar. A quick ‘tap tap’ and a period appears, along with the required space.

An alternative to the double-tap: tap ONCE but use two fingers. You get the same result, a period and a space.

And, if you need more spaces (in spite of the one-space rule discussed here), you can do that, too. Just tap the space bar with three, four or even five fingers to get more spaces.

Single Space After Punctuation, Not Two: My First Blogging Lesson

photo credit: xlibber via photo pin cc


One of the first things I learned when I started to work on this blog was something that was completely unique and alien to me: The SINGLE space after punctuation. Not only didn’t I do it, I had never even heard of it. Yes, I’m THAT old.

I learned to type in a high school class full of typewriters that went “DING” at the end of a line, and where you’d grab a silver thing to push the whole carriage back to get ready for the next line. The heavy carriage would slide back with a “thump” in a regular rhythm. Imagine the noise: the click-clicking of the typewriter keys and the ding-dinging of the carriage bar and then the thump. Clatter clatter clatter, ding ding ding, THUMP X 30 typewriters.

In those days we all learned “two spaces after punctuation”, and that was the LAW. I followed the rules, and used two spaces ever since. My thumb automatically goes “tap tap” after a period. But when I started to work on this blog, I learned (thanks, Jinna!) that I needed to change my old typing habits.

Apparently the two space rule is history. You can read more about this here and/or here.

(or Google “two spaces after punctuation” to read a great many passionate (really!) articles about this topic.)

How to Add Punctuation with Just ONE Tap: Awesome Keyboard Shortcut for Your iPad and iPhone

Anyone who has done any typing on the iPhone or on the iPad has noticed the multiple steps needed to insert punctuation. You have to tap the 123 button, tap your punctuation,and then tap the ABC button to return to the letter keyboard. That’s 3 taps!

Doesn’t ONE tap sound better?

Here’s how you do it:

When you get to the moment that you need punctuation, put your finger on the 123 button and HOLD. Now, SLIDE your finger to the punctuation you need, and RELEASE.

Poof! Your punctuation has appeared in your text, and your keyboard has returned to the letters so you can continue typing. ONE touch instead of THREE. Hurrah!

Emoticons on Your iPad Keyboard: How to Access A Whole Bunch of Emoticons and Lots of Other Things


If you are writing a text message, an email or a note and want to add a emoticon, it is as simple as a tap on your keyboard. You don’t need to copy and paste from other sources. There are a host of smiley faces, creatures, flowers, shapes and assorted what-nots all built into your iPad/iPhone keyboard. They just hide well.

So let’s find them. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Add a New Keyboard > Emoji.

Now let’s type some text.

Pull up a blank email, and start to type your message. Now look at your keyboard. See the globe on the bottom, to the left? Tap the globe. You are now looking at a multitude of smiley faces. Swipe the screen and you’ll see more, then more.

Now look at the bottom of this new keyboard. You’ll see a clock, a smiley face, a flower, a bell, a car and some punctuation symbols. Tap the clock to see the last symbols you have used. Tap any of the others and you will find pages and pages of cars, sporting equipment, animals, food, symbols, etc. Swipe each page to the left for more.

To insert them into your text message or email, just touch the symbol that you want. Then, to return to the regular keyboard, tap the globe.

One important note: These will only work when sent to other iOS devices….to other iPhones and iPads.

Umlauts and Tildes: How to Find These and Other Variations on your iPhone or iPad

photo credit: londoninflames via photo pin cc

It might not happen often, but when you need to find an umlaut (or a similar something), you want it NOW. But where is it hiding?

Here is how you find them: Let’s say you want an “e” with a little accent mark above it. Simply hold your finger on the “e” key, and you will find that several “e” choices appear. Want that umlaut? Touch the “u” and it will be right there. Need an “n” with a tilde? You know how to find it, now.

Try it. Just stroll through the keyboard, touching each key in turn so you can browse the options. Not every letter has options, of course, but I’m sure you’ll find some surprising ones. (Check out the $ sign, and the question mark for starters.)

Caps for Dummies: How to Yell with Just Two Taps

When writing text,  up pops the keyboard. To make a capital letter, we just tap the up-arrow.   But when I needed to write in all caps ….. to YELL in type-speak ……   I found myself touching the arrow, then touching a letter, then the arrow, then a letter,  arrow, letter, arrow, letter.

Eventually my ah-ha moment occured, and I realized:

Just double-tap the up-arrow key to type yell all you want.  duh.

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