hard drive and water

When Will Your Hard Drive Die?

I’m always telling people to back up the data on their hard drives. But I know many people never get around to it. Maybe this video that shows — in slow motion —  how a hard drive works will help…

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samsung galaxy s iii

How to Choose a Smart Phone

I did a phone conference recently with some folks from Qualcomm. These are the people who make the processor that’s powering that smart phone you can’t live without. I’ve done my share of “processor-level meetings” in my day. So I have…

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pageonce screen

A Handful of Financial Tools That Get Me Through the Day

Mint.com I rarely carry a checkbook anymore. What with the smart phone, tablet, and cosmetic purse, something had to go from my purse. I do sometimes stash a check in my wallet for piano teachers and other places that refuse…

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guy using skype

A Primer on Skype

Someone recently asked me to help her understand why she should use Skype. Personally, I think it’s fun to download tools that I don’t understand and play with them till I do. But, not everyone feels that way. If you…

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annette hands

Have Fun Watching People Build Stuff

Before I got married, I shared a house with my BFF Annette. She is a builder — maker, tinkerer, creator, artist. She has an art degree so she calls this obsession sculpture. But it is clear to all of us who know…

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rouxbe screen

Going to Cooking School Online

A few months ago, I attended cooking school with my husband and son. We didn’t spend a fortune. We didn’t go to France. In fact, we didn’t even leave the house. We attended a class in pan frying online at…

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Hacking Your Router to Control Your Kids

A version of this ran in my Family Tech column in Family Circle some time ago.   Cowry shells were once a common currency worldwide. Spanish doubloons, too, were once much-traded as legal tender. Today we American’s favor the dollar…

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coffee squirrel

Never Forget a Thing

[ I wrote this piece originally back in 2009. But things have changed. This is an update.] “I turned in all my homework and am now getting mostly As. Will you turn my phone back on?” –my daughter “Will you…

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A Teachable Moment

If you are feeling sad over the passing of Steve Jobs – as are most of us are just now – and you have kids old enough to wonder why, maybe this is what we like to call in the…

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Taking Books in the Water

I’m always trying to find more time for reading. I’m also always trying to find time to exercise. So to save time, I like to do both of these things at the same time. Since I hurt myself if I…

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