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Blog posts tagged with 'Jen FitzGerald'

Ugrading Your Tablet & Phone

The notion of upgrading my cell phone or the operating system on my iPad kind of irritates me. The iPad works perfectly fine with whatever the original OS is. Yeah except, the device is almost five years old. I think the OS has been upgraded exactly once.

Of course, the device works fine, the problem really is that some of the apps don’t work fine anymore, nor can I buy/download any these days because they all require the newest OS.

So what’s the problem, you ask? Just upgrade the OS and move on. Yeah, well, that aspect of technology isn’t really my forte and I’ve heard more than one horror story of people unable to properly backup their data before upgrading and then losing it all. I don’t keep much on there, really. Anything in Dropbox is recoverable, right? Right. Any music and TV shows originate in iTunes on my PC. I can re-load those. Okay… So what’s left then, Jen? Not a whole lot, I guess.

There shouldn’t be anything holding me back except know-how. But there’s Google for that right?? Or a tech-savvy husband.

Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

To All You "Mulit-Taskers"

Think You’re a Productive Multi-tasker?? Think Again…

With all the distraction out there—e-mail, music, phone calls, and texting—it’s easy to think we’re doing a lot of things at once and doing them well or being productive on major tasks or projects. A slew of studies, one of the most recent done by M.I.T., say otherwise. Our brains are just not geared toward doing too many things all at once, especially tasks that require the same part of the brain to accomplish, such as talking and writing. Sure we can walk and chew gum and listen to music at the same time, but walking is so ingrained in us that it takes little conscious thought to do. Listening to music is generally a passive endeavor and chewing gum a mindless task.

Yes, there are a few people who can genuinely keep track of and successfully complete multiple tasks seemingly at once or in rapid succession, but most of us need to focus on one thing at a time. That’s not to say a lot of people can’t switch their focus quickly, but that’s where the myth of multi-tasking takes root. People think they’re juggling several things at once, and maybe they are, but they’re focusing on and completing a single task in the grand scheme of things before moving onto the next. But there also comes a saturation point.

For me personally, I make much better progress on certain things when I’m not answering phones and being interrupted every five minutes, when I can focus my attention on that one task and get into a rhythm and go, go, go.

Do you consider yourself a multi-tasker, or are you just proficient at shifting your focus?


Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

Introverts & Social Media

Our marketing dude, Zach, talked in a previous post about using social media as a business tool… But what about your average Joe or Jane Schmo? According to Zach, there are over a hundred social media sites to choose from. I’ve personally probably only heard of maybe a dozen, give or take.

I don’t participate on everything I know about either—that’d just be too much, especially for an introvert like me. But I have to say, for an introvert, social media is a safer (in more ways than one) and less exhausting way of meeting new friends and interacting with people. Generally speaking, you can connect with others who are interested in the same things as you, be it music or art or literature or gardening or whatever, and you can control your level of participation or not participate at all if don’t want to for any reason.

You can also pick and choose what platforms you utilize for different purposes. For example, I use Facebook as a way of keeping in touch with my family who is scattered across the country as well as with a few old and dear family friends and selected others. I also use it for the latest news on my random obsessions, like the BBC’s Sherlock or Harry Potter. Most of my friends are aspiring or published authors and almost all of them use Facebook as a way to network and connect with readers. I had to unfriend them all because keeping up with that much inflow was too much work.

In addition to Facebook, I keep a blog. I generally post three times a week about what’s going on my life. Originally, it kept my mother up-to-date (before I connected with her on Facebook) but I’ve developed a tiny following (2 or 3 people that I know personally) who find my ramblings interesting or amusing or, every now and again, a bit philosophical. It’s also a sort of high level diary of my life for the last seven years. What I was interested in, what was going on in our lives.

There are a couple of other platforms I utilize, some more than others and for specific purposes. Above all, social media from a lay person’s perspective should be fun. If it’s not fun, why do it?

What about you?

What platform do like the most?

 

Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

Smart Phones

I know I must be one of the few people who hasn’t already upgraded to a smart phone. My husband switched to the Blackberry many moons ago when they were all the rage, and my kids have all had iPhones for the last few years. Well, one child tried the Android for a while, but recently switched to the iPhone.

I’ve held off on upgrading because I don’t want to turn into one of those people who lives on their phone. I could do so easily. I love email and there are a few websites I like to visit often. I also love to read (as I’ve mentioned previously) and with a smart phone could have access to my Dropbox where I keep my downloaded fics…

The two things that have made me want a smart phone most, though, are access to Google Maps when I get stuck in traffic and access to weather information in case of power outages. I’ve resisted for the above mentioned reasons.

But now my old dumb phone seems to be acting up, mostly not holding a charge despite the fact that I hardly use it. Much less now that my son is in boot camp and does not have his cell phone with him. I’m worried however that my mind is playing tricks on me and I don’t really need a new phone.

I’m not in the market for the brand new iPhone 6 or whatever the brand new release is, but I was in the cell phone store a few weeks ago on another matter and there’s not a dumb phone to be found any longer. So when the upgrade happens, it looks as if there’s a smart phone in my future.

Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

Watching TV On The TV

Sounds obvious right? But what I mean is that even though I have to watch some of my shows on the network website—remember, no cable or satellite at my house—I can now get comfy on the sofa and watch my shows via the network website on my TV with a handy dandy little thing called an HDMI cable.

Of course, you have to have a smart TV, the HDMI cable, and a computer with Internet access you can hook up to it, but it’s a pretty nifty little setup.

You can also play your computer games this way, too—on the big screen. I haven’t tried that yet, but my son did it all the time. I’m looking forward to Command & Conquer on the larger screen as well. And, oh, oh, oh, I can watch any of my TV shows from iTunes that aren’t also available on Netflix! Oh, man. I can’t wait to try it all out.

I really love that Netflix is available directly through the smart TVs now too.

When I was a kid, we had the three major networks for free (this was before FOX, people), the public television station, also free, and then the pay channels. There weren’t the hundreds upon hundreds of random channels available twenty-four hours a day with a cable subscription package. If you wanted to re-watch something, you had to be lucky enough to own a VCR! Anyone remember those??

 

Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

PC Games

Many years ago when I had more time…well, when I had less to occupy my time, I think is more accurate…I played computer games.

My all-time favorites are Dune 2000 and the classic/original Sim City. I’d spend hours each week playing one or the other or both.

If you’re not familiar with either, although I find that hard to believe, Dune 2000 is a real time strategy (RTS) game wherein you must collect currency and then build a military base and defeat the enemy in a series of campaigns that start off fairly easy and become more and more difficult as you progress.

SimCity is the original simulation game where the player become the mayor of a city or town and must grow his city or town all the while balancing the happiness and needs of the city’s inhabitants against the amount of funds in the city’s coffers. There have been multiple advances and spinoffs, but there’s something to be said for the simplicity of the original.

Another RTS game I loved once upon a time was Command & Conquer. It’s similar to Dune in that you must collect funds, build a base and train your forces, and then accomplish increasingly difficult missions, which usually build upon one another.

The C&C games have been updated and are available through Origin.com, a digital distribution outlet for Electronic Arts, the current owner of the C&C franchise.

SimCity Classic, too, is now available on various technology platforms.

Dune 2000, on the other hand doesn’t seem to have been updated, but during my research, it seems there are ways to play. More research is required.

So how about you?

Are you a PC gamer?

What are your favorites?

Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

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