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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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Use the Internet to Learn about Your Technology, Part 1

SearchI love validation for my chosen work, it is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it comes from the people I work with, but sometimes it comes in the form of a rising tide of public attention to issues I am passionate about.

I was reading New York Times columnist David Pogue’s technology column on Oct 2 and was very happy to see him begin to pull together tips that people need to know to make the most of their technology. October 9 Pogue wrote in his blog that after a huge response (1200+ comments) he now plans to write a book on the subject.

I took is as validation of my work and vindication when it comes to the inevitable challenges of keeping a small business afloat. Chaos To Clarity is a business with an approach whose time is now. There are just too many people getting by the hard way who need to know how to use their technology effectively so it can make their lives easier.

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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.

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Digital Survival for Everyone™ Part 2

e-signStill, something is missing and too many people are missing out. Missing out on being able to fully participate in a society that puts computers and the Internet front and center with everything from grocery shopping to dating. If people choose not to do certain things online that is fine, but having the choice means having more knowledge.

To me it seems that education is missing. There are lots of step-by-step instructions, some of which are excellent, but the kind of technology education that helps people develop a basic knowledge base for them to build on as they confront new situations is missing in the lives of too many people. Without it, without the skills and decision making abilities to be an effective computer and Internet user, too many people are missing out on the potential of our times.

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Digital Survival for Everyone™ Part 1

keyboard and mouseGreetings,

After 5 years at Chaos To Clarity working with people who need to make the most of computers at home and work, and spending more than twice that teaching in Universities off and on, I want a soapbox…or rather the 21st century variation that lets me have my say and a great conversation too. Hooray for blogs!

I work with people who want to become confident and competent computer users so that they can fully participate in 21st century life. I get that. And I love being part of the journey. I will admit to being a bit surprised by how passionate I have become about reaching more people. It seems to me that technology education is necessary for amazingly large numbers of people so they can live with less stress, more access to information, and greater possibilities for connection with others.