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Category Archives: Simple Tip

RSS, What it is, Why you should use it and Why I don’t anymore

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General, Simple Tip | 2 Comments »

This is post in response to reader who had some questions about what this thing he has seen on websites called RSS is.

What It Is

If you’ve done any browsing on the World Wide Internets, you probably have notice a little symbol that looks something like this.It’s an icon for a data format known as RSS. If you want the full definition and explanation, visit the wiki article, but for everyone else, here is the 50 cent version. RSS is a simple page on a site that lists that last 10 or so new posts/articles from a particular site or blog. This blog is an example of one that does (look on the right sidebar to see the link). Every time a new post or article gets written, the RSS webpage, known as a RSS Feed, gets updated. However, this page is not very user friendly, as its stored in XML (View this sites RSS FEED, to see how ugly it is). As you can tell, these pages are not meant to be visited by humans. Instead, there are tools known as RSS Readers that will read these RSS Feeds, and display the information in a human readable fashion. The really cool feature about RSS Readers, is you can have many different feeds from a whole slew of sites in one RSS Reader.

Why You Should Use It

Well, it shouldn’t take long to see the benefits of using an RSS Reader. Instead of going to 10 (or 100) of your favorite sites to see if they have updated, you just go to your RSS reader and it will show you the latest post from all of your blog/sites. The only problem you may face is figuring out which RSS Reader to use. I will not go through and list them all, but I will just say you have 2 main choices in RSS Readers

  1. App for your Computer
  2. Webapp in a Browser
It doeesn’t matter Mac or PC (yes, the order was intended), there are a whole slew of apps for reading RSS ready for your use. Just do a google search (Mac or PC) and you will see a plethora of options. Usually apps are nicer looking, but you must be at your computer to use them.
The other choice is to use a webapp, namely Google Reader. This is nice, because you can access your feeds anywhere in the world, but you must use a browser and not your pretty app. If you have a Google Account (think Gmail or Google+) than you already have access to Google Reader (if not, you can sign up for free). Just go to and you will be able to get started. Just paste in the feeds of the blog you would like to follow (here’s a good one to start with :), and then let RSS do the rest. You should see articles appearing and now whenever you come back to this page, you will be able to see all the latest posts from across the internet.
Quick note: One nice feature about Google Reader is the fact that it syncs with many desktop apps, so you can access your RSS Feeds anywhere in the world from a browser, as well via your nice looking app you have on your computer, and they will all sync together. I guess you can have your cake and eat it to.
Why I no longer use RSS
I have been a big fan of RSS for sometime and have used it to keep up on the latest topics and trends about the things I’m concerned about. However, a new trend has occurred that has caused me to switch how I do things. I now use Twitter to curate the news for me. I just make lists of the different blogs I would like to follow, since most blogs tweet whenever they launch a new post, and I can see the new post the next time I check the Twitters. This may not be for everyone, but if RSS sounds confusing, scary or just boring, you might give it a try.
So what about you? Do you use RSS, Twitter, or do you not see a point to either of these tools?





Posted: March 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General, Simple Tip | No Comments »

If I only had a nickel for every Forwarded chain email I’ve received, I could quit my full time job. While they do fill up my inbox way too often, the more annoying thing to me about Chain Letters is the content. I’ve received  too many emotional or politically charged stories that are suppose to be just the most amazing/horrific thing ever, or another reminder to get my cell phone on the Do Not Call registry, or … ( I could go on, but I’ll spare you the pain). Unfortunately, (well, I guess actually fortunately) over 90% of these letters are FALSE.

They are nothing more than hoaxes drawn up to get people like you to send them to all your friends and see how many people’s inboxes they can plague. I’ve seen people of all sorts of different ranks and positions get fooled by these, and it really needs to stop.

But how are you supposed to know what is legitimate and what is just another hoax. I want to introduce you to an amazing site, that will help you out with the slew of email forwards. It’s a website, specifically designated to this exact thing, figuring out whats true and whats not with tons of  rumors.

A quick example how to use the site. I received one of these unfortunate emails yesterday, about how the UK was going to stop teaching about the Holocaust. I punched in a few words from the email into’s search bar and was directed to this article: Where I discovered the email failed in conveying truthful information.

So next time you get a FWD:FWD: email claiming some sensational truth. Please do three things.

  1. Check it out on before you believe it
  2. Email the person back and let them know they might want to send a correction to their email.
  3. Please do not forward it along to me.

Hope this helps, let me know what crazy rumors you have received news about.


STOP, You Thief! (yes, I’m talking to you)

Posted: March 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General, Simple Tip | 7 Comments »

Today’s topic might be a little controversial to some, but when you take a deeper look at the issue, there’s not a lot to debate. Starting back in the 90’s, with the internet in so many homes, and the transition of music from physical media to digital, a huge phenomenon began, Music Piracy. People who would not think about walking into a store and stealing even a candy bar, are willing to download hundreds of dollars worth of music, and not even blink an eye. Now with digital movies, video games, and Piracy’s Own (well, almost) Traffic Medium – BitTorrent, piracy grows larger and larger every day. I’ve talked to so many Christians that laugh at me when I tell them I won’t let them copy my music. They often respond with one of these arguments:


  • Well, the Artist and Hollywood have enough money, and I’m so poor.
  • There not losing any money, since I’m just transferring digital files.
  • I don’t want to support Hollywood or these industries because they are bad. (there is just so much wrong with this)
  • I’m wasn’t going to pay to go see it anyways so there not losing money.
  • Information should be free!


And then, many other people don’t even have an excuse or care. For some reason, we think its just not an issue to copy around music and videos that other people spent hundreds and thousands of hours on. I was there once too. Its really tempting, especially with how much music/videos you can get so quickly. No one will ever find out?


None of these comments or mindsets are valid. The problem with all of them is, there is a clearly stated law regarding piracy, and no matter how you dice it, it is alway wrong to copy music purchased by someone else that extends past the license agreement on the media. Period. Tim Challies wrote a good article about this on his blog,

The fact is that laws are are not ours to tamper with and interpret as we see fit. The ruling is clear: according to the laws of the land and the copyright of those who own the music, we have no right to copy or distribute it. Period. It makes no difference how much money the record companies make, how rich the artists are, how poor we are or how annoying and outdated the laws may be. It makes no difference how much we despise the militancy of the record companies and their irrationalities.


So what do you do if you have done this already? First, ask God for forgiveness, then Delete all your music or go about buying it the right way.


What’s your thoughts? Do you see it more a grey area then black and white? Let me know.



The Most Important Computer tip…EVER!

Posted: March 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Simple Tip, Troubleshooting | No Comments »

Had to have a good title, to get people to read me !

Ok, actually, if there was only one tip that I could tell people, this probably would be it. But before I tell you, just a quick note about this blog. Click on any of the Who, What, or Why links to find out more about this blog, but the short and quick is this:

I want to provide a place to give out simple tips that you can use today. Most posts will be just a simple concept or tip and how it practically affects your life.

NO COMPUTER EXPERIENCE OR EXPERTISE REQUIRED! I’m serious. Just sign up to follow the blog via one of the right sidebar links and I hope you’ll be pleased with the content.

Enough of that. The Tip you have been waiting so patiently for. (Brace yourself, its revolutionary)

When you have computer problems (or any technology problems for that matter), before you call support, start yelling and physically abusing your computer, or just give up in frustration, RESTART! Thats it!

Its so simple but just restarting (or just shutting down and turning back on) your computer, phone, or other gadget will solve many, many problems, you would be shocked.If its just one program, restart that program and you will many times see your problems resolved. Now, I’m not saying this will fix everything, but next time your having an issue, try to restart the program or device and you will be amazed at how much this little tip will help. I can’t recall how many times people ask me for help, and its just something as simple as restarting their computer.

Let me know if this tip helps or if you have any questions about why in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!