What Type of Scanner Do You Really Need? (It May Be Your Phone)

No. Scanners are not created alike. There are mobile scanners, flatbed scanners, document scanners, and overhead scanners. I’ve used and reviewed a ton of these things over the years. There have been a few points that scanners have piled up like a big collection of old magazines.

So what scanner do you really need? Do you really even need a scanner at all? Here are a few scanners you might consider and why you would or wouldn’t need one: Continue reading What Type of Scanner Do You Really Need? (It May Be Your Phone)

Keeping Geeky Contact In College

“Miss Us?!” was the caption for this photo postcard sent to my daughter in college. Her brother and I worked hard to get the perfect shot. (Image By Rebecca Angel)

ME: Did you find out if you made it into the jazz ensemble yet?
DAUGHTER: Not yet, but I had my first art studio class today and my teacher is really enthusiastic.
ME: That’s great! HUGS!

It has been almost a month since my daughter left for college, and we’ve been exploring the different ways of keeping in touch. Chatting with some other moms with first-year-college students, we all agreed that modern-day technology is great. Gone are the days where there was one phone for each dorm floor, with students waiting in line.

One mom said she had never texted before in her life, but solved her daughter’s laundry crisis with texts and photos. Another mom said her son set up Skype for her, and she wasn’t sure they’d ever use it, but he needed a heart to heart the other day, and she was so glad to see his face, even on a screen.

For my daughter and I, texting is the casual “I’m thinking about you” mode of communication. The above text is typical, and that’s it for the day. We don’t go back and forth, and I don’t text her more than once a day. If she wants to, I don’t mind!

One of my favorite apps is Postagram. You take a picture, add a note, and the app sends a real postcard with the photo via regular mail. (See the top photo. Heh-heh.) Once you have your addresses in, it takes so little time to send something fun.

There’s also the old-fashioned way of using snail-mail: I sent a fan art card of Korra to remind her to finish up season three. I also sent a box of snacks, and she gets a magazine subscription at home, so when that came in I mailed that out, too.

Email has been used for business things: she forwards us things the college needs, or alerts, or whatever, us forwarding her information about schedule stuff with the family.

My daughter has a Facebook page, but doesn’t post much. I’ve gotten a “like” or two on photos I’ve posted. And she did send a photo of one of her art projects to a few people via messaging. Facebook isn’t so popular now with the younger set?

Skype, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, these are things I don’t use and have no idea if she does. I’m sure there are a dozen more social media sites that could be part of keeping in touch with your kid away from home.

We’ve had three phone calls. The first one was right away, and she needed to talk about a college paperwork financial thing. The second was two weeks later. I asked if it was an okay time to talk and she said she was studying and would love to take a short break. We chatted about this and that, and I tried not to tell her exactly how much I missed her, but happily listened to all her adventures. The third was a “I need my mom” call after a particularly harsh day in figuring out college social life.

As the semesters go on, I’m sure we’ll get into a familiar rhythm of communication, but this is where we are now. Of course, there is the dilemma of how or even if to tell about emergencies. For example, I decided to send this text at the end of a crazy day:

ME: Everything is fine, but I wanted to let you know your aunt got her finger caught in the food processor. She’s very lucky. We spent the morning at the clinic, but she has her whole finger! Your cousins were freaked out, but everything is ok now.
DAUGHTER: Poor Aunt! Glad everything is ok. Hugs!

Getting Closer to Samsung’s Galaxy S4



Even as an Apple fan, I thought last year’s Galaxy S3 ad mocking iPhone hipsters was surgically clever. The spot opened on a queue of urbanistas discussing the rumors they were most excited about as they waited to buy what was clearly meant to be their next iPhone.

“This year, we’re going to get everything we didn’t get last year!”

“True 4G!”

“Heard you have to get an adapter to use the dock on the new one…”

“Yeah, yeah: but they make the coolest adapters!”

Cue: one lone hipster holdout announcing that he’s not there to buy a phone, he’s just saving a place in line for someone else. He has a Galaxy S3  and isn’t interested in all of this manufactured drama. As it turns out (and to the horror of everyone else in line), he’s saving a place for… his parents.

“The joke’s on you, hipsters,” the ad chuckles. You could be out enjoying the day, sharing playlists or pictures via near field communication with just a back-tap of your S3 to your buddy’s phone. Instead you’re waiting on line next to someone’s mom!  Continue reading Getting Closer to Samsung’s Galaxy S4

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

Image George Flickinger

As our area of the country continues to bake in the relentless heat, our family continues to stay inside in the air conditioning. When we do venture outside, it is early morning or early evening and for brief periods of time. They are starting to talk water rationing and temperature records are being set frequently. This summer is tied with the hottest summer on record here in Oklahoma .
Some people have to be outside though and the extreme heat is starting to affect technology, specifically mobile phones. Our local weatherman posted that his iPhone actually gave him a warning that it was too hot, while other people he knows have killed theirs completely while sunbathing.

Word to the wise: keep your phone and other gadgets cool.