Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tech Tips [ From Cassette To Digital - Saving Your Audio Treasures + Online Maps Just Got Even Cooler! + Break Out Of The Mess Of Files ] 10/25/2012

WorldStart's Tech Tips WorldStart

ws WorldStart Tech Tips 2012-10-25

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Quick Tip

Microsoft's Bing Map Apps

You know, the more I use Microsoft's Bing search engine, the more I'm impressed with it. Just the other day, I was messing around with the Maps feature and I stumbled across the Map Apps section. Here, I found apps for a food cart finder, parking finder, local events, roadside attractions and even an app to find urban graffiti installations.

Imagine the trouble you could get into with this!

Here's how to find it:

First, browse over to and click on Maps (located along the top).

Now, click on explore map apps.


In the resulting window, you'll see the plethora of different map augmentations you can select from. Just click one and you're on your way!


Give 'em a try and you'll become a Bing fan soon enough!


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Buy One Pack, Get One FREE!

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That's No Typo - These Incredible Flashlights Really Are Just $3.97!

Grab As Many As You Can!

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Plus, this thing is REALLY well built too! Don't let the price fool ya! These aren't some cheap plastic lights - this bad boy is SOLID! We're talking a heavy-duty all aluminium barrel that can really take some serious pounding! Plus, the grip is just fantastic and I can personally attest that even when your hands are dripping wet (or snow covered), it's easy to keep ahold of!

Get this - since this is an LED flashlight, it seems to run FOREVER on a set of batteries! Changing batteries or running out of juice is going to be a very RARE thing now! Oh, PLUS don't forget that you won't ever have to worry about the LEDs burning out - Heck, even if you kept it on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take 11 YEARS before they would burn out! WOW!!!

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Computers 101

Frank from CA writes:

I recently found an audio cassette from 1974. It's a recording that my father made with my grandmother before she passed away. No one has played this cassette in almost 40 years and I am afraid to play it because if it snaps I'll never be able to replace it. I just watched your great tutorial on YouTube about how to use Audacity to convert cassettes to electronic files. My questions are: 1.) are old cassettes likely to snap or is that just my fear talking? 2.) Am I safer taking the cassette to a professional conversion service or is my home cassette player just as safe? Thanks for your advice, Frank

Hi, Frank. Thanks for the great question.

First off, although this probably won't set your mind at ease much, let me say that it isn't just your fear talking.

From the time that cassette tapes first hit the market, they were the leading edge of the music industry. Although they didn't sound as good as records, they were portable. There was another portable tape format called 8-track (so called because it literally had eight tracks: four music tracks with a left and right audio track each), but it was not as desirable because of its tendency to "double track" – meaning it would play music from more than one track at a time. As a result of the 8-track's failure, a LOT of us have a LOT of cassettes sitting around out there.

But the problem with both your cassette tapes and your video cassettes is that they are very fragile. They're basically made of a magnetic ferrous oxide coating on a strip of celluloid. Too much moisture damages them. Too little moisture damages them. Rewinding damages them. Even PLAYING them can cause damage. About the only thing that didn't damage the things was to leave them in their cases. Still, tape was the best format that we had for home audio and video for a long time.

As far as this treasure of a tape that you found goes, congratulations. That's a great score.

Probably the best thing would be to bring it to a professional. And do yourself a favor… don't try to cheap out and take it to Walmart. The reason that I say that is because if you can find someone who primarily does tape transfer, even if they cost a little more, they're probably going to maintain their equipment better, which means less risk to your tape. Don't rewind it. Their equipment is designed to do that much more gently than a home machine. Inform them about what conditions the tape was stored under and the age of the tape. After the transfer is done, put the tape in a case and lock it in your safe and never play it again.

None of that guarantees that the tape won't break, but it'll reduce the possibility considerably.

I hope that this helps.

~Randal Schaffer

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On The Move

Create Folders and Subfolders with Astro File Manager

In some previous Android phone versions, access to – and the creation of – folders was built-in, but in version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), this access was severely curtailed by developers who apparently determined that users were no longer sophisticated enough to manage folder navigation and creation. For ICS owners handicapped by the developers' decision, there's Astro File Manager, the basics of which were covered in an earlier article (click here). An option that wasn't examined in that article was the creation of folders and subfolders; something as advantageous on a phone as it is on a computer. For example, if you'd like to create folders within the Pictures folder, to separate family photos, pet photos, etc., subfolders can be generated for this purpose, making everything easier to locate. For this article, a new folder was created, and subfolders were added within that folder, but subfolders can also be added to existing folders.

Note: Mistakes can cause files or folders to be deleted accidentally, or inadvertently tapping the wrong button can create an even more serious problem. Since Android phones don't include a recycle bin from which files can be recovered, please be careful.

To begin, open Astro and tap the Manage My Files button.


Finish this article here!

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From The Archives

More Undos in PowerPoint

Do you "undo" a lot in MS PowerPoint?

Ever run out of undo steps and wish for more?

If your response was yes, here's what you need to know about PowerPoint to get a few (or a lot) more undo steps added to your list.

Older versions of PowerPoint:

To change the undo number, you first need to go to the Tools menu, Options choice, Edit tab.


There's more at Worldstart!

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Today's Feature

Wise Auto Shutdown - Schedule Shutdown/Log Off/Reboots

Have you ever wanted to schedule your computer to automatically shutdown or power off at a certain time of the day? What about to restart for updates every night at 3 in the morning? Or how about set your computer to go to sleep mode at 10 PM so you can wake it back up in the morning when your ready to use it, without wasting electricity running it at full power all night?

Wise Auto Shutdown is the perfect program for you. This amazingly simple utility lets you setup a daily, specific time or "time from now" event to:

  • Shut Down your PC
  • Restart your PC
  • Log off the current user
  • Put your computer in sleep mode
  • Power off your computer.

So how easy is it to use? Simply run the installer (or download the portable no-install version) and open WiseAutoShutdown. Once open, you'll be presented with a simple menu interface to choose which to do and to select when.

Get the FREE download here!

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Amanda's Coolsite

Katamari Hack

Katamari Damacy was an addictive sleeper hit video game for Playstation 2. The plot was that the King of the Cosmos had wiped out all of the stars, constellations, and moon; he then assigns his son, the prince to restore the cosmos with a katamari.

A katamari is an adhesive ball that anything smaller than it will stick to and make it grow bigger. Your job as the prince was to roll over things, make the katamari grow large enough that you could restore stars, constellations, and eventually the moon itself!

So what is Katamari Hack? Sounds a little nefarious, doesn't it? Well it's a bookmarklet which lets you play Katamari on any web page you want. I love the that site includes a whole section on how it works in detail.

Basically, you paste the code they provide you into the location bar of any site that you visit. Then you have option to tweak the settings of the katamari to what you want. All that's left then is to play!

The other think I really like is that they offer a demo of how it works right on the page. Just click the Katamari link near the top of the page, choose the settings you want, and try it out!

This is seriously fun time waster to help fill in the time when you're bored! Go check it out!


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Send it to Amanda at

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Monthly Wallpaper

4. Wallpaper

It's time for some desktop fall color! Unfortunately, I didn't much in the way of fall color last season, so I'm featuring some images from previous years that were really popular. Enjoy!

Fall Cascades In The Smokies

Sometimes the good shots aren't where you think they are. It was autumn in the Smoky Mountains. If you've never been there in the fall, you can be forgiven for thinking it's a quiet, peaceful time of year when the tourists have flown home and you have the place to yourself. Nope, it's a zoo. I think fall is actually ...(More)

Black Bear Stare Down

It was "Bear Week" in Yellowstone fall of 2007! Seems like everywhere I went, I ended up takin' snaps of bears. This guy was by far my favorite though. He was walking below the ridge line and...

Lamar Valley Trees In Fall

This was taken on one of my week-long trips to Yellowstone National Park. When I first arrived and drove by this stand of trees next to the river, I knew there was a shot there – but the trees weren't "ripe" enough yet, if you know what I mean. So, each day, I'd drive by an (More)

It can all be found here, 100% free:

~ Steve

PS - Remember to try a copy of the Backcountry Gallery Screen Saver too! It's a free trial and if you like it, your purchase helps support the site :)

And hey, it'll make you PC look oh-so-cool when you're away from your desk! See the link below:

You can also view the current newsletter and archives online at

Copyright, Disclaimer, Etc.

ISSN: 1529-336X
Copyright 2012, WorldStart. All unauthorized reproduction strictly prohibited.

WorldStart is not responsible for errors, omissions, or pricing mistakes.

You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter (i.e. print it, store it) for your own personal use. You are also welcome to forward it, in its entirety, to friends and family.

If you would like to reproduce this publication, or any part of it, in any other publication, be it web based or otherwise, you must contact us for permission. Any unauthorized re-distribution will be considered a copyright infringement and grounds for a lawsuit.

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