Friday Tidbits – 02-22-13

In addition to the formal articles I post here, I also have a What Betty Knows Facebook Page where I sometimes post quick tips that don’t warrant writing an entire blog entry. So occasionally I will round those up and post here for future reference:

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Friday Faves 02-15-13

Firstly, some sad news for sewing and knitting folks in the Boston area: the venerable Windsor Button shop is closing its last remaining store, on Temple Pl. in downtown Boston, due to lease non-renewal. Read about it here, and stop by to pick up sale items as they liquidate their inventory.

Secondly, some more sad news that can be helped: the “fiercely independent” bookstore Longfellow Books in Portland ME suffered massive water damage during last week’s storm due to frozen pipes in the building over their store. You can help them out by buying ebooks from their website, gift certificates (which give them cash now and you/your giftees books later), and/or donating directly. See this letter from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance for more information.

Thirdly, you may recall that I recently recommended a Kickstarter project by ThinkMusicTechnology for an iPad app with musical note handwriting recognition for creating scores. They’ve now canceled the KS project as it wasn’t going to reach their (very ambitious) goal despite much interest. But they are looking for other funding resources and still plan to develop the app – so if you are interested, sign up for their mailing list at their website.

Blizzard Prep For Your Technology


Forecasters are predicting the first major snowstorm in New England since two winters ago. We all know the standard drill about getting in supplies (Milk! Bread! Beer! Chocolate!), but in this now high tech world here are some things you might not think to do:

– Charge up all of your devices, AND any rechargeable batteries and devices that could recharge other things. For me, that means not only my iPhone and laptop, but also:

– my battery-powered air compressor and my portable battery I use for busking. Both have 12 volt outlets, and I have a DC inverter allowing me to plug in AC devices to recharge, like my phone. If you do not have a DC inverter get one – you can also use it to recharge AC devices from your running car with its accessory outlet.

– A battery device on my key ring that can recharge my iPhone.

– All of the AA rechargable batteries I have for flashlights, and ANOTHER phone recharger that takes AAs.

– Don’t forget your Kindle or other eReader!

DOWNLOAD anything you might want to access if the power goes out and/or the wifi quits. It doesn’t matter how many ebooks or mp3s you have in the cloud if you can’t get to the cloud!

– If you still have a landline, do you have a basic fully-wired phone connected to it? A Trimline phone is totally powered by the phone line’s 48V circuit, which frequently stays on when you lose other power. But if all you have is a wireless receiver/voicemail recorder type phone that plugs into a power outlet it will not work if the street power goes out.

– If you have a smartphone, does it allow you to use it as a wifi hotspot? If so, you may be able to continue to surf the web with your laptop when your home router loses power. But be aware that it will drain your phone battery more quickly.

Friday Faves 10-12-12

Books, Writing, Giveaway:

If you like science fiction and fantasy books, check out the Humble Bumble eBook bundle by October 23rd. Pay what you like for six (or eight if you pay as much or more as the current average paid) DRM-free ebooks by both newer and established authors, including Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link, John Scalzi and more. You can also choose how much of your purchase price goes to the authors and/or to charity and/or Humble Bumble’s expenses.


If you want to try writing your OWN book, join me in doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November!

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