Comment responses

Hi again! I keep meaning to remind you all of something.

I try to go back and respond to many/most of the comments left for me here, but you won’t know that I have responded unless you physically re-check the blog entry or subscribe to the comments. Subscribing just sends all future comments on that entry to your email.

If you are unsure how to subscribe to comments, it’s as easy as clicking on a link when you’re in the commenting area. You can click it before or after you have commented. It will use the email address you have connected with whatever account you’re commenting with.

Here’s a visual aid provided from my recent comment on Brenda’s blog:

If you are commenting anonymously, I don’t think it’ll let you subscribe unless you sign in with one of your accounts. If you don’t have one, you’ll just have to come back to the post later to check on the followup comments (if you care about them).

>> If you’re still not sure how to comment, here are some instructions.

I hope this was helpful!

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Computer Tips: Browsing With Tabs

I’ve been meaning to do more computer-related posts, but I’m lazy. It can be tiring to work up a tutorial about something, obsessing over whether it has too much information or not enough, or whether it’s something everyone knows and you feel I’m talking down to you. Yes, I’m insecure! But I know little tips can be such a big help, and I like to help. Many of you will already be aware of stuff I post here, but some of you might learn something or at least know someone who could benefit from the post, so feel free to pass it on.

Let’s talk about tabs. Once you start using them, you’ll wonder how you managed before.

This is how they in Internet Explorer, but Mozilla Firefox is very similar. I just figure most of you who aren’t familiar with tabs are also using IE.

ADDING A NEW TAB
When you first open your browser window, it will probably just have one tab on the left side. Go ahead and push on that squarish button at the top of your browser and add another tab. You can add a lot of them, if you want! Now click on the actual tabs to get to their individual pages. Easy! If you’re like me, you like to monitor several sites at once (for me it’s my email, my Google Reader, and a few others), so why not have them all open, each on their own tab?

But what if you’re browsing a site and see a link you’d like to follow? Don’t just click on the link unless you’re certain you want to leave that page. Instead, open the link in another tab. There are two ways.

OPENING A LINK IN ANOTHER TAB BY RIGHT-CLICKING
1. Right-click (i.e. use the button on the right side of the mouse) on top of the link and you’ll see a drop-down menu (I would show you, but I can’t seem to get a screen capture on a right-click menu).

2. Now left-click on “Open in New Tab” or whatever is the equivalent menu item.

The link will be opened in another tab.

(Your browser settings will determine whether you are immediately taken to that tab or not. I personally have my browser set to stay on the current page and not jump me to the other tab right away, but it’s a matter of preference. Preferences can be changed in Tools–>Internet Options.)

Here, try it on this link to another of my posts: Deepwood Estate (again)

OPENING A LINK IN ANOTHER TAB WITH THE SCROLL WHEEL
Did you know the scroll wheel on your mouse is also a button? Hover over the link, and instead of clicking with the right or left mouse button, click on the link by pushing down on your scroll wheel. It should open the link in a new tab. If it doesn’t, it’s a settings issue that I might be able to help you with, but not in this post. Feel free to question me in comments or email.

I hope this was helpful to at least one or two of you. My tips won’t always be quite as beginnerish, but I do enjoy helping beginners!

Here’s a variety of things.

First I have a PSA about email/online etiquette. Unless you’re sincerely shocked, angry or joking, never use more than one question mark in a row. It makes casual questions look rude and urgent. Observe:

Did you get my voice mail?

Did you get my voice mail??

Or worse:

Did you get my voice mail????????????????

It should be obvious which of these is the least offensive and impatient-sounding, and yet I encounter multiple question marks on a fairly regular basis, even (especially?) in a professional setting. So do yourself and everyone else a favor and keep it at one. Trust me, you’ll get punched less. Make sense??

Okay, I’m not grouchy, I’m just helping! See, smileys –> πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Do those look like the symbols of a grouchy person? I think not!

Today my friend texted me pictures of her view from a resort in San Diego, while preparing to head out to the pool. Yes, I’m jealous. I actually considered meeting her there (back when she found out about the trip, I mean), but it’s a business trip, so the dates weren’t flexible, and I’m busy this weekend. You know, Eastering and stuff.

But hey, while she’s enjoying palm trees, at least I can enjoy the wind and hail, right? Actually, we’ve had some really nice (though chilly) days this week, and the hail was just on my lunch break.

I went out and took a few natury photos today. Nothing special, just the ground.

Holidays (and also non-holidays) make me want to bake, and I’ve been wishing I could make up a big batch of pastel M&M cookies for friends and coworkers. But I don’t think that’s a very good idea (I’d want to eat half the batch), so my friends should just know I did think of it, and I heard it’s the thought that counts. Nothing says “Happy Easter” like the decision not to bake.

I hope to post this weekend, but in case I don’t, have a great Easter!

Computer Tips: Google Reader

Let’s talk about blog readers! How exciting does that sound? I only bring them up because many of you might benefit from using one. There are many out there, but the one I use is Google Reader. It’s pretty popular.

The purpose of a blog reader is to automatically gather up recent entries from all the blogs you’d like to follow and put them in one place for easy reading. Then, instead of visiting each blog separately to check if there are new posts, you can go to one place and the new entries will show up.

To get started with Google Reader, you need to create a free account with them. Many of you might already be registered with Google without realizing it. If you have a Gmail (Google’s email) address or use a personalized Google start page, you are all set. I sign in with a non-Gmail account–you don’t have to use Gmail to use the reader.

Once you sign in with your new account, it’s very easy to add blogs to your reader. In most cases, all you have to do is copy the URL of the blog you want to follow, and paste it in the “Add subscription” box. Make sure you’re copying the main blog, not just one of the specific entries. (For instance, if you were adding my blog, you would add http://blog.greengatephoto.com NOT one of the entries, such as http://blog.greengatephoto.com/2011/01/san-francisco.html, etc.) It’s usually a matter of clicking on someone’s title banner or “blog” link to get to the main blog as opposed to a specific entry.

Once it’s added, the latest entries will show up in your reader window and you can scroll through and read them. Here’s what mine looks like. Click on this picture for a larger version:

I put in a couple of pink arrows to show you the useful buttons to know right away. The “Add a subscription” button is, obviously, how you add a blog–just like I mentioned above. The “previous” and “next” buttons were two I never noticed for months but wish I had. So often I want to go back to the top of an entry (each entry header/title links to the actual blog post outside of Google reader where you can comment on it and see other comments) and it’s easiest to just hit “previous.” Or, I can tell an entry is not something I care to read, and I can just click on “next” to scroll down past it. Sooooo nice!

You’ll notice along the side I have created my own folders to be categories, but you don’t have to. I opened one (Bible and Faith) to show how they work just like in Windows–click on the + to see what’s inside. You can drag and drop blogs to folders, or you can click on a blog in that menu and go up to “View settings…” to unsubscribe. Mass actions can be handled in “Manage subscriptions” (small link at the bottom left).

I use the “Add star” button to mark recipes or other entries that I want to keep on hand, or I mark “Keep unread” when I don’t have time to read through something but intend to later. Note that as soon as you scroll by an entry, it becomes “read” unless you mark it otherwise. At first this seemed so hasty, but now that I know my way around, it doesn’t bother me. I can always go back up by hitting “previous entry,” or I can go directly to that blog on the side panel and find the entry again.

I’m no expert, this is just how I use Google Reader. I’m sure I’m missing lots of cool shortcuts and features–what are your favorites?

Do any of you use another blog reader that you recommend? Who here uses Google Reader already? Who wants to try it now? Talllkkkkk tooooooooo meeeeeeeeeee.

Commenting + Easter

Some of you have said you tried to comment but had a hard time, so I’m just going to give some basic instructions:

  1. Click on the “Comments” link at the end of the entry you want to comment on. It’ll say “0 Comments” or however many are there.
  2. This takes you to a page that has a big box saying “Leave your comment.” Type your comment here.
  3. Fill in the word verification box, if there is one. Type the crazy, colored letters above it to prove you’re not a robot.
  4. If you don’t have a Google account or understand any of those other things listed, you can leave an Anonymous comment. Click that radio button.
  5. If you have provided your email and you’d like to have future comments left on that entry emailed to you, check the “Email follow-up comments to” box.
  6. Finally, click “Publish Your Comment” (or preview, if you want to see it first). It should give you errors if it didn’t work.

It will not appear in the comments list right away, as I have it set to be moderated by me before I “publish” them. I usually do my blogging in the evenings, so that’s when you’ll start to see comments on a particular entry.

Okay, give it a try! I’m curious who even follows this blog. πŸ™‚ One or two, at least.

I probably won’t post until Monday, so happy Easter! I made you a graphic:

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er his foes,
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!