I just started using Google Docs to collaborate. It’s fun.
I enjoy collecting web links, poems and photos in a place where loved ones can view or add to them. That way, there’s no hunting for email attachments or cycling through photo galleries looking for stuff to see or share again.
After someone shares an item, you can go to Drive.Google.com and click “Shared With Me” to see it. It will always be there to view or edit unless one of you deletes it. Another way to view your stuff is with Google’s free app Download Backup and Sync. It adds a Google Drive shortcut to your computer. But if you use that program, be sure to select which folders you want backed up. Otherwise, it will back up almost everything, eating up your online storage space.
A new smartwatch for senior citizens looks like an Apple Watch, but everything is bigger and easier to read. Called the Movetime Family Watch MT43a, it’s coming out this fall for $271 from TCL. Most important for folks my age, it has a heart rate monitor: An alarm goes off if the rate is too slow or too fast. If a fall is detected, it will call an emergency number. It also has an “SOS” button. Push it to call an emergency contact or service.
I’ve been reading about “flexible displays” for years and they’re finally here. The $398 Nubia Watch will wrap around your wrist easily. The display is about an inch wide and 4 inches long. It shows you a lot at once: incoming calls, emails, Facebook posts, text messages and notifications. But it has more drawbacks than an elephant at a tea party.
A Gizmodo reviewer said the Nubia crashed when he tried to import his iPhone photos and music. He couldn’t get phone calls to work either, and it recorded the wrong distance for his run. Besides that, it’s bulky. Worst of all, it’s not available yet.
Backers on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.com can preorder the watch for half off. People adore novelty: It’s already raised 20 times the funding the company hoped for. But not all Kickstarter projects make it to market. Buyer beware.
IT’S ALL SYMBOLIC
A reader wrote: “How do I find the old fashioned symbols for temperature in degrees or the ‘cents’ symbols for my email? It’s tiresome to write 67 deg. I’m a Luddite.”
There’s no easy way to add symbols in email except by copying them from somewhere. Using the Windows extended clipboard, you can copy up to 25 items at a time, by holding the “Control” key after highlighting each item and tapping the letter C. If you want to choose from a list of things you’ve copied, tap the Windows key (looks like a flag) and tap the letter V. Then choose an item to paste. (The first time, you’ll need to turn on the Extended Clipboard by doing a search on “Clipboard Settings” from the search bar in the lower left of your screen. Then click “Clipboard History.”)
Alternatively, there are free apps, such as Clipboard History Pro, for Chrome. Copy as many things as you like by holding down “Control” (or “Command” on the Mac) and tapping the C key. Then go to the menu in Clipboard History and choose one to paste in with “Control V.” Firefox and Microsoft Edge have a similar app.
If you want to copy from a table full of symbols and accent marks in Windows, type “character map” into the search box in the lower-left side of your screen. On a Mac, select “System Preferences” from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen and find “Language and Text,” then “Character Palette.”
THE OLD SOLITAIRE
In 2012, Microsoft removed Solitaire from Windows. Go figure. It was one of the most popular computer games in the world. It came back as part of Windows in 2015, but it was different.
Some miss the old version. A reader told me to I could get it at winaero.com/blog/get-windows-7-games-for-windows-10/. The nice thing about it is you also get classic versions of Hearts, Free Cell, Mahjong, Minesweeper and Purble Place for kids. It also has internet versions of Backgammon, Checkers and Spades.
The good thing about Microsoft’s newer solitaire, however, is that you can choose to play only solvable games, which I love. I can’t stand playing game after game without a win. You can also choose your skill level. I like intermediate.
To find the new version, type “solitaire” in the search bar in the lower left of your Windows screen. Then choose Microsoft Solitaire Collection. It’s also available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets or on the web at zone.msn.com. More than 100 million hands are played daily by 35 million people around the globe.
GOING IN STYLUS
A reader wrote to share his experience with using a stylus on his phone. Now I’m hooked on a stylus too.
One reason I love it: I’ve stopped smudging my phone and laptop screen. For another, it’s more precise. The NOAA.gov weather page, for example, has some links so tiny they’re hard to pinpoint even with a baby finger.
I bought the stylus the reader recommended, the Meko Universal Stylus, for $14. It comes with four replaceable disc tips that are more precise than the rubber ones it also comes with. The disc on the end is clear plastic so you can see what you’re doing.
Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at [email protected]