Hi my name is Jon Molesa, and I am “The Computer Deconfuser”. I will be writing an article on a weekly basis in which I will try to provide you with valuable information regarding computers and technology. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or need help with a problem that’s been bugging you for some time now please write to me using the contact information below. The idea is that I will try to deconfuse you in regards to the use of computers. Do not be afraid to ask me anything. I promise you that there are others having the exact same problem and would appreciate the advice as well. Until I hear from you I’ll share a couple of quick tips with you. 1)Buy and use a USB pen drive. These are the greatest little things that have ever come along. I recently switched over two local clients. They were still burning their book keeping data to CD’s to send to their accountants. The real benefit to using a USB pen drive is twofold. For one thing the accountant can make any corrections to the file right on the pen drive and give it back to you. And secondly, they’re reusable. On top of that, no additional hardware is required. You simple plug it into your USB port and it loads as an additional drive on your computer. You can then save files right to it. Even the smallest pen drive of 64Mb is like carrying around 45 floppies in your pocket. I have a web browser and email client on mine. That way where ever I am, I can plug it into an Internet connected computer and I have my bookmarks, saved passwords, and settings right there. For the security conscience ones out there, asking why I would save my passwords, many of the pen drive come with encryption software to protect your data.\ image256MB
Portable Flash
Drive\ 256MB Portable Flash Drive\ 2)If you haven’t already please check out http://maps.google.com. This is by far one of the coolest sites providing driving directions and maps that I have ever seen. The best feature has the be the satellite imagery. Depending on the city your viewing you can zoom within 300 meters of the ground, in full color. There is even free client software that you can download and install on your desktop available at http://earth.google.com. You can save various addresses that you use frequently. As you’re viewing a map using Google Earth, you can switch on different points of interest such as coffee shops, ATMs, airports, schools, hotspots, etc. You can bookmark you favorite locations. And dare I say it, take a virtual vacation to an exotic location. I was able to locate my neighbor’s clunker in the parking lot of my apartment in Raleigh. Give it a try, you’ll really like it. There are far to many uses to list here. Many of the major broadcasters are using it in news broadcasts to create that neat flying effect to Iraq or somewhere else in the world. There is a commercial version for Realtors, marketers, and other businesses. I’d assume that you could load all sorts of demographic and financial data that you could use to locate new customers, or determine the location of your next brick & mortar store. You’re creative, I’m sure you could find a use for it. Thanks for taking the time to read my column.

Again, if you have any suggestions, column ideas, correction, or comments please send them to: Deconfuser PO BOX 987 North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 comments@deconfuser.com

This article was last updated on: 07 Dec 2005