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Tag: tech tips

How to Prep Your Tech for a Vacation to Europe

The last thing you want when you’re on vacation is frustration with your tech. Either you leave it all at home and go off the grid or do some easy prep…

Bon Dia! My family and I are back from our little trip to Barcelona, and as you might expect, I ran across a few learnings that might be useful for your next holiday overseas…

Eight Tech Tips to Make Your Tech Work For You in Spain

Before You Leave, Download Media for Local Viewing on Your iPad
I discovered that certain streaming video services didn’t work overseas. Amazon Prime Video failed the test. But Netflix worked like a champ! Before we left and without knowing which apps would work for sure, I downloaded a few episodes of my son’s current favorite video series… Amazon’s “Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street.”
(My hedge paid off.)

Not All Streaming Music Apps will Work Either
Pretty much the same story as video apps. Pandora choked in Barcelona, but Amazon Music worked just fine.
(I brought along my portable Logitech Bluetooth speaker to stream some local tunes during my morning coffee.)

Avoid 3% Currency Conversion Fee When You Use Your Credit Card
The way to do that is pay in ‘Dollars’ instead of ‘Euros.’ I found that many of my MasterCard transactions in Barcelona offered the choice. You just have to tap the ‘Dollars’ option on the mobile terminal when it’s offered. (And sometimes for some reason, it wasn’t.)
Thank you, Mastercard for the suggestion.
(I had called customer service before I left to let Mastercard know I would be using the card in Barcelona.)

Don’t Forget to Bring Your Earphones Onboard for Airplane Screen Time
I think by now… most planes that offer seatback monitor viewing are outfitted to use standard mini audio jacks. So your EarPods will work just fine. In fact, they’re a far superior option than using the free earbuds the airlines hand out with your free drink and snack.
(Actually, Delta fed us very nicely… and the stewardess also gave our son his very own Delta wings!)

Clear Up Space on Your Smartphone for Vacation Photos and Videos
One quick way to find large files to remove is to delete a movie or two you’ve previously downloaded from the cloud.
(You can always reload them later.)
You really don’t want to run out of room on your smartphone when you’re snapping that amazing photo of la Sagrada Familia.








Take an Extra Memory Card for Your Camera
If you also carry a separate camera beyond the one in your smartphone, (good for you!) the same rules apply as above. You don’t want your camera to run out of space either! Better yet… treat yourself and start with a brand new memory card! You’ve spent how much on your plane tickets? I say add an extra twenty bucks into your budget for a fresh flash card!

Bring Portable Power to Keep Your Mobile Gear Going
Why risk it? Power stick for your smartphone. Extra battery for your camera. It’s a practical move but also designed to relieve stress. You’re on vacation… right?!

Don’t Forget to Get Your Smartphone an International Plan Before You Leave
If you don’t, your next mobile bill is going to shock you. Alternatively, I don’t recommend hobbling your smartphone and only using the occasional free Wi-Fi hotspot to check in with your world. Again… you’re on vacation! Enjoy your smartphone if you want. Give it full access and stay connected.
(I signed up for the International Day Pass plan for $10/day from @AT&T.)

Release Your Photos!
And when you get back from your big trip, I’ve got one more suggestion for you…

Start sharing your pictures!
(People don’t care about last year’s vacation!)

Five Ways to Help Make Your Tech Behave

I am embarrassed to reveal what is supposed to be a box of ‘organization’ for my tech. And believe me, this is not the end of it. The good news is there are ways to beat back your digital mess. I’ve got some tips to keep your zeroes and ones in order…

Don’t let the cold spring rain dampen your intentions to get your tech better organized. It’s a perfect time to tidy up. Just because your digital files don’t take up a lot of physical space doesn’t mean they’re not cluttering up your life!

Here are my five tips to help you fight the battle…

Delete Half of Your Email
Have you lost an important email recently? If so, I bet you’ve got too much hanging around.

Let’s face it… you don’t need to hold onto most of your personal email. Much of it is probably unwanted marketing messages anyway.
(Usually from companies you naively gave your email address to in the first place)

And if you’ve got thousands of unread emails stacked up, that’s also a sign it’s time to thin out your in-box.

My favorite way to keep the job manageable is to simply sort by sender, select huge email chunks, and then delete away.
Don’t be shy…
(And it feels so good!)

Organize Your New Family Photo Files at Least Once a Week
There’s really only one way manage the hundreds of photos you’re likely snapping a month:

  • You’ve got to regularly go through them on your computer and organize them into content buckets.
  • And to be really effective, you’ve got to delete the mediocre pics.
    (They’re never going to get any better!)

I think rolling up your sleeves once a week should do it.
Here are a few tips on getting the task done.

Buy a New Memory Card for Your Camera
Have you realized that SD cards have become so inexpensive?

Case in point:
On Amazon, I found this
SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC UHS-1 memory card for $6.79.

Originally, the magic of digital photography was the mind-blowing concept that it didn’t cost you anything to snap a photo. You’d just delete the older photos on the card and your camera could keep on going… forever.

But no matter how much memory your card’s got, it does eventually run out of space.
(Especially if you like recording videos)
Because who’s really got the time to pay attention to how many MBs are left?

It takes some ongoing effort to delete the hundreds and sometimes thousands of photo and video files… unless you want to simply clear the whole card and start over.

I don’t know about you, but time is always something I need more of…

Have you ever found yourself struggling to quickly delete the old photos off your camera’s SD card right before you want to capture a priceless moment?
(It’s maddening.)

So here’s a radical concept…

  • Don’t try to keep up with your nearly filled memory card. When it’s time, just replace it.

It’s okay to buy new SD cards every so often to make sure your camera is ready for action. Sure, that’s a bit wasteful, but it’s not like having a tiny stack of old SD cards lying around is going to mess up the house.

Plus, SD cards don’t last forever. So it’s probably a good idea to recycle out the older ones every couple of years.
(You really don’t want to wait until a card with priceless photos turns into an unreadable plastic square.)

Update the Software on Your Computer
Pop Quiz:
How often have you dropped what you’re doing to comply with this message on your screen: “Updates Ready to Install.”


Nobody wants to take the time to update your software. But you’ve got to do it!

I’m not saying you should be the first to install an update.
(That can also lead to problems…)

But if you wish to keep your computer healthy, updated software should be part of your plan…

Get Rid of Your Old VHS Tapes
If you haven’t yet converted all that old content off your dusty tapes into digital files, it can’t be that important.
VHS is dead tech. Let it all go…

Enough said.

Bonus Tip!
Remember that new piece of tech you recently bought?
Register it online now, while you still know where the receipt is!
You don’t want to lose out on the manufacturer’s warrantee…

The Endless List
If you’ve got all of these digital projects already handled, congratulations.
(You must not be the parent of young children.)

So let me throw one more task onto your ‘to do’ list.
Are you caught up on making all those photo albums you’ve been meaning to create online?

Uh huh.

Get to work…!

How to Quickly Delete Multiple Photos from Your iPhone

If your iPhone is running out of space, one way to find more room is to delete photos. But that can take a lot of time if you haven’t been regularly doing it. Here are tips to help you speed through this digital chore.

You really don’t need all of those photos in your iPhone’s ‘Camera Roll.’  Especially if you always download them to your computer or up to the cloud where they ‘officially’ live and are safely backed up. But manually deleting one photo at a time using the Photos app on your iPhone is a losing battle when you’ve built up thousands of photos.

And eventually, you start to run out of space on your iPhone, and then it becomes a real problem.
(Sound familiar?)

There needs to be a faster way to thin out your photos in bulk.
Well, of course there is…

Time for some digital spring cleaning!

Bulk Delete Pics on your iPhone
First, go to ‘Camera Roll’ in Photos…

  • You’ll see the ‘Select’ icon in the top right corner that allows you to tap and highlight multiple photos at the same time. Tap that.
  • Then, tap the trash icon on the bottom right.
  • Finally, touch the delete tab that pops up and you’re done!

But for me, that simple process still feels somewhat limited when you’re trying to move through so many photos. Plus, I’d prefer a larger canvas to work with than the surface of an iPhone.

Ideally, I’d like to be able to manage this process on my iMac so I can see more photos all at once.

Well, guess what?
You can do exactly that using the ‘Preview’ app on your Mac.

Bulk Delete those iPhone Photos Using Your Mac
First, you connect your iPhone to you iMac or MacBook….

  • Then, open up Preview.
  • Select ‘Import from’ your iPhone’s name.
  • Then click on the photos to delete.
  • And finally, click on the little red delete circle icon on the bottom left.


So the truth is both methods are extremely similar. Again, the big difference is you’re working on a larger screen, which makes me much happier.

And if Preview isn’t right for you, the ‘Image Capture’ app on your Mac pretty much duplicates the same process as Preview.

Simple Isn’t Always Easy
To be perfectly transparent, this topic squarely falls right under the
“How Did I Not Know That?” category.

Apple designers have done perfectly fine in setting this up for us.

But sometimes the obvious solution that’s staring right in your face requires a little more thinking on your part.
(Chalk it up to your brain power focusing on more universally pressing issues.)

I must admit… not so long ago, it wasn’t so ‘obvious’ to me either.
Or I’ve never taken the time to want to delete multiple photos from my iPhone.
(I’m not sure which one I should admit to!)

And the fact that you’re still reading this suggests that you also might need a little ‘refresher’ too.

I won’t tell anyone… as long as you don’t!


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