R.I.P., Google Reader

Heads up! Tomorrow is the last day you can export your Google Reader feeds into another feed reader. Find out how!

feedly logoI think this is the third feed reader I’ve used since I started using readers around 2006. So maybe I’m the wrong person to advise you on this, but I’ve transitioned (more or less gracefully) to feedly.

That’s actually a topic for another day; I’ll be weighing in on the subject of feed readers in a week or so over at CatholicMom.com’s Tech Talk.

But if you use Google Reader right now, make sure to export your feeds so that whole list isn’t gone…forever…like Google Reader itself will be, very shortly.

Breaking up is hard to do.

Hoarders, the Digital Edition

I’m a digital packrat of the most incurable kind.  That whole “I might need this someday” thing rears its ugly head; I still have 5 1/4″ floppy disks with my college senior thesis on them.  Not that I have any software that can access the files, and it’s been at least 5 years since there was a computer in this house that accommodated ANY floppy disks, but I’ve got those disks…

I use gmail for most of my email, but I have it forwarded through some complicated electronic system or other so I can read it in Outlook on my computer.  Therefore, I never go to gmail’s site unless I need to check the spam folder for something that was misfiled.

I had 67,000 messages in my gmail inbox yesterday.  Years and years and years of messages.  And I deleted them all.

And it didn’t kill me or cause bad things to happen to my family. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

But I’m still not ready to dump those floppy disks.

Guess What!

I totally forgot to talk about this, and I really should have said something TWO WEEKS AGO when it first happened, but I am one of a bunch of new contributors to the “Tech Talk” daily feature at CatholicMom.com!  (How cool is THAT?) 

I’ll be writing every other Tuesday about techie topics that are near and dear to my heart as a Catholic, a mom, a Secular Franciscan, a parent of teenagers…

I never considered myself a “Techie,” though I suppose the signs were all there.  My younger brother got a computer when I was in high school (a Radio Shack TRS-80, and if you’re old enough to know what that is, you’re close to my age).  I used that computer as much as he did, learning to write BASIC programs that would print my name 50 times and other useful things like that.  Senior year, I suffered through a half-year of trigonometry so I could enjoy a half-year computer class.  Never popular, I suddenly found myself in demand as students teamed up to work on projects and I was one of the few who knew how to make a computer print my name 50 times.

There wasn’t much wiggle room in college for me to take electives, but I took Intro to BASIC as my math requirement (more making computers print my name 50 times) and found room for a one-credit course on computer applications in education.

After two years of teaching, my career path took a turn for the educational-software industry, where I was paid to break software and tell non-English-speaking programmers what I did to break it so they could make the software student-proof.  (I rocked at that job.)  Eventually I freelanced for that company as a software author, writing lesson “scripts.”

Down the road, I learned about Internet message boards, blogging, Facebook, Twitter and more.  My husband (who’s been a computer programmer since 1995) has kept me in gadgets starting with my very first Palm PDA up through a Kindle, iPad and iPhone.

I enjoy using technology in a variety of ways and look forward to sharing my favorite apps, websites and more, every other Tuesday at CatholicMom.com.  I also look forward to reading what the rest of the “Tech Talk” team shares, and am extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Today’s feature is Digital Prayer, in which I talk about the apps you can use to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

Geek Out

I’m such a geek.

Last year the school librarian taught me how to enter books into the library’s computerized version of what used to be called a “card catalog.” (I used to type the index cards for actual card catalogs when I worked in a library during high school!) This involved using Mac computers, with a whole new operating system, not to mention the software for the library program.

So I made myself a little one-page “cheat sheet” to make it easier to remember these instructions week to week–not like I even had the opportunity to get to this task each week, so I didn’t have enough time to really get familiar with the job.

Now I have a Kindle, and some handy-dandy software that allows me to convert .PDF files to ebook format. I also have some other handy-dandy software that allows me to make .PDF files by copy-and-pasting from WORD. So I took that WORD document, changed it into a .PDF, then changed that into an ebook, which I promptly imported into the Kindle.

I’m a proud geek tonight.

Shiny New Learning Curve

Happy Mother’s Day!

I had little doubt in my mind that my family would give me a Mother’s Day gift of some electronic item. There’s a history here…it’s either electronics or a gift card.

My husband went a lot overboard this year and presented me with a shiny new laptop. Brand-spanking-new with a whole different operating system and everything. Hello, Windows 7!

I was instructed to go to the store sometime soon and purchase a book about how to use Windows 7. My husband has dealt with my frustration over learning new operating sytems in the past (cough, cough…Windows XP…Windows 98…Windows 95…) and while he loves giving techie gifts, he doesn’t love it when I’m stuck in that learning curve.

Right now he is in the middle of backing up all my pictures and documents and what-have-you from the old computer, which my mom will inherit. I, on the other hand, am getting used to a keyboard with things in different places (where are you, DELETE key?) and these flat keys. Ooops. I keep hitting the wrong things and turning on the caps lock when I want the shift, and…oh my, what are THOSE keys for?

If I’m late for tomorrow’s routine mammogram, it’s because I was busy playing.