Annoyed by strange beeps from Alexa or indecipherable messages on your laptop? You are not alone! Below, FearringtonEdge will be presenting links to websites, tutorials, and videos that may assuage the digital angst that accosts almost all of us from time-to-time. And they may even throw in some stuff that’s just plain fun.
If you find particularly helpful online courses or suggestions for your phones, tablets, computers or devices, send links to FearringtonEdge@gmail.com.
To get started, here are some websites worth exploring:
Photo Editing/Enhancing Apps: Creativity can’t be quarantined. Learn some new skills and relive good times with free software that can enhance or even transform your digital photographs. Below are a few of the many apps available for iPhones, iPads, Android phones, Windows, or Apple computers. You might amaze yourself to find previously undiscovered talents with a little help from these fun (and for the most part) easy to use applications. Each is available for free, but you may choose to upgrade to paid versions for more options.
- Ribbet Aside from basic photo editing tools, there are all kinds of options for transforming your photos — tell your friends you have taken up sketching and show them your latest effort, but don’t let them know that Ribbet did the work for you! Or turn your latest puppy dog photo into a Christmas card with just the push of the enter key.
- Enlight Photofox The Photofox Photo Editor App for iPhone and iPad is available free at the App Store. This is a feature-heavy application; you can add multiple layers of photos, backgrounds, wild effects, or funny stickers. If you Google “Photofox tutorials” you will find plenty of instructional videos to get you started, or simply open the App, download a photo, and start playing. Go ahead and play!
- GIMP If you have thought about purchasing Adobe PhotoShop but aren’t sure you want to expend the time and dollars required to use and learn the program, you might try the free GIMP program. “GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program” – does that help explain anything? GIMP is an open-source program for image manipulation – import your photos and get creative. YouTube hosts tons of tutorials and you will probably want to watch a few before diving into this extremely rich, free software.
MacMost.com — An almost overwhelming amount of information about all things Apple (much, but not all, content is free).
Techboomers.com — Offering links to courses and helpful tutorials with a focus on seniors.
For exploring the world, it’s hard to beat Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Expeditions (which is one of Google’s educational apps designed for teachers and classroom use but also very useful for everyone else).
Artsandculture.google.com — a wonderful site for armchair travel or even trip planning. Visit museums and cultural treasures from around the world. For a brief description of this amazing site, follow this link: https://www.blog.google/
If you are thinking of purchasing your own modem and router to end the rental fee you pay your broadband provider( remember you will still, of course, be paying for internet service), read this article first to make sure you understand how to set up your network: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/
If you don’t mind the advertisements, here is a pretty simple description of what your modem and router do and how you might save a few bucks if you purchase your own: https://www.howtogeek.com/
Here is a very well done animation explaining the differences between modems and routers and how the Internet reaches our computers and other devices: https://youtu.be/Mad4kQ5835Y.
Have an Amazon Echo sitting unplugged in a corner somewhere (I do)? This site will reintroduce you to Alexa and its capabilities. https://www.the-ambient.com/
A little bored these days as we avoid crowds and public meetings? Try visiting the only internet site specifically for bored pandas. https://www.boredpanda.com/
Ideas for virtual travel from the comfort of our Fearrington homes:
The Met is streaming operas on in full HD: https://www.metopera.org/about/press-releases/met-to-launch-nightly-met-opera-streams-a-free-series-of-encore-live-in-hd-presentations-streamed-on-the-company-website-during-the-coronavirus-closure/
Travel and Leisure provides some other suggestions for armchair explorers: https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
Curated by Mary Johnson. Check back occasionally for updates.