Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tricks and Tips

I think I might have a future as Gadget Girl. Too bad she's not one of the choices of Superheroes on Facebook, because I just made her up.

Ever since I could remember, I've always loved gadgets. I've used a Texas Instruments electronic diary, a Palm m100, a Palm IIIxe, then rested from PDAs when I became a full-time volunteer mission worker from 2005-2007 (read: no budget to update my Palm).

My first cellphone was an Alcatel in 1998, when Globe texting was Unlimited by default, and I was the first few in our class to discover the pleasures of SMS. When I first touched a Nokia 6150, however, I was hooked to Nokia. I upgraded to a second-hand 6210, then bought My Precious 6600.  Last year, God answered my prayer when Globe gave me an E65 (a verry smartphone), and Smart gave our office a 6300. Nowadays, I sync both phones with my computer - calendar, contacts, photos, and videos. I could spend hours doing just that.

I'm not as adventurous with digital cameras, mainly because they're expensive and I don't take great pictures anyway (Anyone who has viewed my photos in this blog could attest to that). My family got a cheap one a few years ago at SM Department Store, and then my sister sent me a keychain-sized digicam that I was only able to use once. Then, the same sister gave me her old Kodak EasyShare camera, and a couple of years ago my Ninang from the US (yes, once a godmother, always a godmother), gave me an Olympus digicam, which I still use up to this day. It doesn't work well at night, but outdoors and during daytime, it gives me bright and sunny pictures.

I started my love affair with the personal computer in high school, when our family had an XT computer, the one with the green monitor and 5 1/4 floppy disks. I used to share it with my five siblings, all of whom had reports and papers to make. In Fourth Year, I was not the star computer programmer, but I was the resident class program troubleshooter. I could not design my own program but I could check other people's work and make them run. I was called the "Whiz Kid" after that geeky TV show that I loved to watch, but I felt the title was undeserved.

Since 1987, therefore, I've had to share a computer with my family. Even when our monitor and printer became colored. Especially when the Internet and e-mailing was introduced in our household.  I only enjoyed my own computer when I started working.  Still, the computers belonged to the office, and not to me.  I've tried all sorts of laptops and desktops, all running on Windows.

Until January 2008, when I bought my first MacBook.  It was like Ella had gone Home.  It was white, it was cute, it was animated, it was user-friendly, and it was mine.  With Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, I could stay in my room for hours on end and not feel bored.  I even bought those expensive white cleaning sponges and actually used them.  My mother was shocked because I was not usually so careful with my possessions.  But who wants a dirty white Mac?

And so on weekends when my younger nephew Miko would borrow my Mac, with his cute pleading eyes, I would lend it so he could watch Star Wars and Michael Jackson on YouTube.  His mom would be so kind to remind him to keep his hands clean.  I became the Aunt With the Cleaning Sponge, using it after the boys left on Sunday night so all fingerprints and other marks would all magically disappear.

I don't even bring my Mac to the office - it might get dirty or something.  I open it every morning to the Mass readings and reflections on Word Among Us.  I talk to my sister in Sydney on iChat.  I keep all my songs on iTunes.  I save all my pictures on iPhotos.  I sync my phone with iCal and Address Book.  I am in love with my Mac.  The best thing is, I got it at a huge discount.  I was too busy to blog about this new thing in my life, and now it's a 2-month old thing.  Still, the excitement and the connection is there.  It is a major blessing, for I've wanted my own computer since the 80's!

There was one thing that bothered me about the Mac, though.  Too lazy (again) to read the user's manual, I didn't know where the "right click" was for the touch pad, as there was just one long bar below the touch pad.  When I wanted to "right-click" or download something, I didn't know how to go about it, until I checked "Mac Tricks and Tips" last night and learned how to activate the clicking on my touch pad.  I was then able to save the poster for the Tribute to Fr. Honti concert that I featured two blog posts ago.

Last Friday, I gave my first training on Legal Research using Lex Libris to around  70 lawyers.  I included some Tricks and Tips that wasn't found in the User's Manual of Lex Libris, and the lawyers and CD Asia employees all oohed and aahed.  I realized then that passions should be shared, as they would benefit others.  I've been using Lex Libris since 1997 and have accumulated my own shortcuts in using the software, copying and editing to Word.  Little did I know that I would one day be giving product demonstrations and users' training for CD Asia, and having some fun along the way.

So yes, I will be honest about it - I love gadgets.  I just might be a geek, after all.  You can call me Gadget Girl (TM).

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