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Bringing you back online

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What do you do when the technology you use on a daily basis gets an upgrade that renders it inaccessible to you? Paula Lepore Burrough, technology coordinator at Island School, sheds some light.

It is already November, but 2012 is still ticking with change. Back on the job this fall, I was hit with some new frequently asked questions (FAQs), and for the most part, the questions I was asked were practical and simple to resolve. However, change and the unknown continue to make us uncomfortable in the 21st Century world of ever-developing technology. Even minor changes and upgrades can turn us away from appreciating and pleasantly continuing with the technology to which we have become accustomed. So here are a few answers to those FAQs.

Driven out

You may have returned to your Gmail account to discover Google Docs has had an upgrade called the Drive. Don’t panic. Your documents still exist, under All files (previously Home) and all your folders are still intact. After you have installed the Drive, you can sync your docs to your hard drive, or drag files into the Drive to upload to the cloud. With folders that have been shared with you, just drag them into the Drive to sync. In Preferences you can select which folders you are interested in automatically syncing. Consider it a new and improved type of Dropbox that will allow you to upload any file type and easily share with others.

Stuck between platforms

Like many of my work colleagues, you might find yourself alternating between various platforms (PC/ MAC). If you are working on the cloud it makes it easy to access files from either platform, as long as you have the appropriate programmes to open the files. If you want to view or transfer large quantities of files between the machines using an external hard drive, you need to format the external hard drive so that it is compatible with both platforms. You can use the Disk Utility Tool on a Mac by formatting to MS-DOS (FAT). Both a Mac and a PC will be able to read and write all the files if each file is no larger than 4GB.

Lost without a compass

The new IOS6 update offers new opportunities for the disabled, educator and parent. At the time of writing, the new Maps app supported by TomTom and Yelp was holding a few of us back from the software update. Google Maps can still be accessed from the Safari browser, however it lacks the ability to track your location. New features you can embrace are the ability to take panoramas with a camera (only enabled on phones), tap and click in an email to attach a photo, delete music and artist with a swipe, share calendars, limit ad tracking and more. As for battery life, the new operating system does not seem to shorten it with either the 4S or the 5S.

All at sea

Whether heading to the city for work or school, ferry trips are often a scheduled time for catching up on laptop work. If you are not connecting to the free PCCW wi-fi spot, there is a way to get you back online. Pull out your iPhone and get your money’s worth. It is surprising that regular iPhone users don’t know that they have the ability to create their own wi-fi hotspot. Go ahead, and set one up instantly. In General Settings simply click on Personal Hotspot, and slide the slider to ‘on’ to create a wi-fi network. A password will then be provided for you on the phone for a secure connection to the network you have created.

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