Author: Tracey Holinka, MS

You know how great it feels when you go to a website, find what you need, and enjoy the trip? That’s what I do with WordPress.
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Podcasts to Help You Keep Up with Technology

SpeakersOne of my favorite ways to keep up with technology (and everything else) is through podcasts. A podcast is an audio or video series that you play on your computer or portable device. Subscribe to individual series with iTunes®, or another program, and when new a show is released, it shows up in iTunes or whatever program you use. It takes no effort on your part to seek it out.

Many news radio stations, public radio stations, and TV stations provide podcasts of their shows.

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Blogs to Help You Keep Up With Technology

RSS FeedBlogs offer you a great way to find out what’s happening in the world of technology. You can view a blog through your Internet browser, or subscribe to a RSS feed using a reader (a feed keeps you up to date on new additions to a blog). The advantage of RSS feeds is that you can subscribe to a blog and when a new entry is posted, it shows up on your computer in your reader program. It takes no effort on your part to seek it out. In addition to blogs, you can subscribe to news feeds from all the major newspapers and magazines and even select which topic areas (Politics, Style, Metro etc.) you want to keep up with regularly.

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Understanding the Economic Crisis—5 Internet Sources

CoinsI hate dealing with finances—bookkeeping, accounting, investing, all of it—I’d rather be doing just about anything else, maybe even a root canal. And I’m naturally skeptical of the ability of any big bureaucracy to run anything well. So when Congress started debating a $700-billion taxpayer funded bailout, I wanted to know what the heck was going on despite my distaste for all things financial. The Federal government did a horrible job of explaining the financial crisis so I turned to the Internet.

I began by listening to The Giant Pool of Money from This American Life. The episode explained, in plain English, the role that mortgages played in the current financial crisis. They did a second episode, Another Frightening Show About the Economy, which described what happened beyond mortgages to bring the current financial crisis to a head.

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My Top 5 Firefox Add-ons for Everyone

FirefoxInternet Explorer® may be the most common Internet browser used, but it isn’t the best. I’ve found that most people use Internet Explorer because it came with their computer, not because they actively chose it. Anyone reading this post that doesn’t use Firefox® should take a look at it. It is more secure than Internet Explorer and there are hundreds of add-ons that allow you to customize Firefox to fit your needs.

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I’m Buying a Mac, Now What?

laptopLast week in To buy a Mac or not to buy a Mac?, I discussed how to decide if a Mac® would be a good main computer for you. If you answered yes, what’s next?

Apple® has four main lines of computers: iMac® (desktop), Mac Pro® (professional desktop), MacBook® (laptop), and MacBook Pro® (professional laptop). Most home users don’t need the professional versions of the desktop or laptop unless they are also using it for work or Mac gaming. Even if you want to make movies, a power hungry process, one of Apple’s lower-end consumer models will do the trick.

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My Favorite Non-Partisan Political Watchdog Websites

White HouseAs the 2008 Presidential election draws closer, the partisan spin intensifies. What’s a life-long Independent like myself to do? Slogging through the misstatements and out right lies on both sides can be a daunting task. Thank goodness for great watchdog websites!

FactCheck.org monitors the accuracy of what political figures say. Want to know if Senator McCain or Senator Obama told you the truth in the Presidential debate you just saw? FactCheck.org is there for you.

OpenSecrets.org follows the money and lobby trail. Want to know how much money all the presidential candidates (there are 6) have raised? Or whereSenator McCain, Senator Obama and your own Congressperson or Senators are getting their campaign money? OpenSecrets.org has the answers.

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To Buy a Mac or not to Buy a Mac?

confused personWith the popularity of Apple’s iPod®, more and more people have given Apple® computers, also known as Macs, a second look for their primary computer. And they should. Macs are very easy to use and generally have far less problems than their Microsoft Windows® counterparts. When you sit down to work on your Mac®, you get to do work—not spend your time rebooting and troubleshooting to figure out why your Windows computer isn’t working properly. If you don’t want to be a computer mechanic, then a Mac might be for you.

If Macs are such great computers, why aren’t more people using them? In the past there have been two main reasons, a lack of software titles and the computer itself was expensive. Today most major software is made for both Macs and Windows, and you can get a good desktop (iMac®) or laptop (MacBook®) for around $1,500.