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GoLocalTech: Your Technology Questions Answered

Thursday, September 20, 2012


When people find out that you write technology columns, they ask you all kinds of questions.

Q: “Should I get the new iPhone?”

A: Yes.

By all accounts, the iPhone is a very good product that includes important improvements over previous versions and its competitors. If you’ve ordered one or decided already that you’ll buy one, I’m sure that you’ll be happy with your purchase. You might have some quibbles, such as the new dock connectors, but those aren’t deal-breakers.

If you’re thinking about buying one, you don’t really have much of a chance not to. The allure of Apple’s products, from the earliest Macs through the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, is such that you’ll buy one or, if you buy something like it, you’ll spend much of your time explaining to others and to yourself why you didn’t buy an Apple product. Your reasoning might be solid, but consumer purchases are rarely about reason. You may end up like the fellow in the comic below.

I have some time left on my current phone contract and so won’t be changing phones soon. If I was in the market for a phone, the iPhone 5 would probably be my next purchase.

Courtesy Joy of Tech





Q: “I’m thinking of getting a new laptop. What should I buy?”

A: As I’ve mentioned before, it’s very difficult to buy a bad computer these days.

All of the brands sold at the major retailers will have good specs. Decide on your price range and watch for sales.  Many people enjoy the experience of shopping at the Apple retail stores. The staff is helpful, patient, and energetic.

Q: “What are some good children’s games for my (phone/tablet/computer)?”

A: I don’t know. I would ask the kids or the friends of the kids.

There is no shortage of guidance about fun and/or educational games. Those recommendations, however, work for the average kid. We all know that our kids aren’t average.

So, find out what the other kids are playing and have look to see if you think that it’s appropriate for your child. Playing games, even on a computer or other gadget, is part of the shared experience of being a kid.

Q: “My mother needs a computer. Nothing fancy. She wants to do email and a few other things online. What’s good?”

A: An iPad.

People of any age above 10, when first encountering an iPad, will wonder how they’ll type and do other things that they have done with a mouse and keyboard. Within a short time, somewhere between an hour and a few days, they’ll have it with them wherever they are.

As with any piece of computer gear, the iPad has its quirks. Getting used to touching the right place with the right amount pressure can be a challenge, but usually less of problem than you’d expect.  Reading newspapers on the iPad is often the breakthrough experience for older people. When I zoomed in on the text of a newspaper for the first time, one septuagenarian remarked with delight, “I can read that without my glasses.”

Q: “I keep getting these emails asking me to join LinkedIn. I don’t know what it is. What is it?”

A: LinkedIn is a network for professionals, allowing people and companies to share information about their work, careers, and job prospects.

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I stay in touch with many people, participate in discussions, and, most of all, find out about people doing interesting work. Most hiring managers will check a person’s LinkedIn profile in addition to the resume and job application. It’s a great resource for helping you take control of your career and work.

If you aren’t a member of LinkedIn, consider joining.

You received those messages because the person let LinkedIn send invitations to people in their email address book. If you know the person who sent you the LinkedIn request, it’s a good idea to accept the invitation and build your network. If you don’t know the person well enough to be comfortable, you can ignore the request.


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