The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Jack-of-one-trade websites

Tech Talk

 

These websites do one thing and do it well. You won't need them every day, but when you do, they can really save the day.

GIPHY

GIFs are those short video animations you see on the internet, GIPHY (giphy.com/create/gifmaker) will let you make GIF file from an online video or a file on your hard drive. Once you've made your file, you can save it to disk or share it.

How fast is your internet?

The speed of your internet connection determines how fast pages load in your browser and also how long it takes to upload files to your cloud accounts.

The best-known internet speed test site is speedtest.net. Netflix has its version of a speed test at fast.com.

Google can check your internet speed too. Do a Google search for "internet speed test" and click the blue Run Speed Test button in the top search result.

Graphing calculator

Sure, you can probably plot standard form parabolas in your head, but the rest of us need a graphing calculator. And you can get one right in your browser: the Desmos Graphing Calculator can handle some pretty complex math, and also the simple stuff too. Open it at http://www.desmos.com/calculator.

Check a file for viruses

Did you get an email with a suspicious file in it? Upload the file to virusscan.jotti.org/en, and they'll scan it with 15-20

different anti-virus programs to make sure it's safe.

Yes, you have to download the attachment to your computer before you can upload it to the folks at Jotti. Just don't open the file until you hear back from the online scan.

Online scoreboard

If you need a scoreboard to keep track of wins and losses in the office or at home, http://www.scoreboardz.com will do the trick. Whether you're keeping track of a vicious dart game in the family rec room, a trashcan basketball game in the office, or how many times one person versus another person has to get up to let the dog out, Scoreboardz lets you record it.

You can change the backgrounds, too. I rather like Dive Bar. Don't judge me.

Is it down?

Instead of panicking when you can't get Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other site to load, head over to downforeveryoneorjustme.com to see if the site is down for some reason. Make sure you put in the .com, or you'll get a snarky message back.

If the site is NOT down for everyone and it's just down for you, now you can panic.

Convert a file

Sometimes people send us files in strange formats that we can't open. There are lots of shareware programs that claim to convert files between formats, but a lot of them are pretty shady. Head over to http://www.zamzar.com to convert your file online. They support over twelve hundred different file formats, and most conversions are free. Although you do have to create an account to get the results.

Where can I watch that TV show or movie

Have you ever wanted to watch a particular TV show or movie but don't know where you can watch it or how? Try http://www.canistream.it. Enter your title, and the site will look through iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other services for where you can stream it, watch it, or buy or rent it. Legally.

Truth in documentation

"This manual says what our product actually does, no matter what the salesman may have told you it does." - Found in a computer graphic board manual, 1985

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at greg@tech-hachapi.com.

 
 

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