Tag Archives: Tech Corner

“A Google a Day” Keeps the Doldrums Away…


Flickr user: scobleizer

Google has just launched a new game called “A Google A Day” that can help you brush up on your internet searching skills. The challenge is to answer a question that would be difficult to solve with a single (or simple) search. For example, the question from April 11, 2011 is:

“Two future presidents signed me. Two didn’t because they were abroad. Despite my importance, modern viewers seem to think I have a glaring spelling error. What is it?” (Click here for the answer.)

This is a great way to brush up on your information-seeking skills. But if you want to add an EXTRA level of challenge, play the game at the library … once you discover the answer, try to find confirmation of the answer in a library book! If that feels too much like homework, organize the game with friends, and set aside a prize for the winner. (Friends pick up the tab for ice cream?)

Happy searching!

-John T., CADL Mason Library Assistant

Breaking News: Beatles Catalog still at CADL


flickr user: kyz

Stop the presses.  The Beatles catalog is finally coming to iTunes.  Whew, that was an agonizing wait.  While this is certainly exciting to digital music lovers and their music playing gizmos, this brings up a good question.  Why not get it at CADL?  That’s right. CADL has much of the Beatles Catalog in stock and has had it for many years.  The best thing about it is that you can check it out for free.

-Jeff A., Public Services Librarian @ CADL South Lansing Library

Typing in Spanish

For those of you who have the need to type in Spanish every so often and hate having to insert symbols for every ñ, accent, and ¿¡, here’s a quick tutorial for adding the Spanish keyboard layout. (These instructions are not for a Vista-based machine!)

*Note that you can click on an image below to enlarge it. Use the back arrow to return to the blog.

To be sure that Spanish is installed as a language on your machine, click on the Start button, then on Control Panel. A new window will open.

Click on Regional and Language…

This opens a new dialogue box. Click on the Language tab, then click the Details button.

Yet another box will open. Here, if only English is listed, you want to click on Add. If Spanish is listed, skip the next step.

Choose Spanish (or whatever language you want) from the drop-down menu. (There are two basic layouts for Spanish: International, which is the layout used in Spain, and anything else. I use Mexico because I’m used to the Latin American layout.) After clicking on an option, the drop-down will automatically disappear, and you click OK.

Both English and Spanish should now appear in the “Installed Services” list. Click OK. The Input Language box will disappear. You should now be left with the first dialog box that opened. Click OK again to close this box.  

Now, whatever program you’re in, you can type ¡en Español! Your keyboard will stay in English until you tell it to be in Spanish. To do this, type the left Alt key then a Shift key. If this shortcut is confusing, no worries! Just look for the little language indicator in the desktop tray. Click on it to change languages.  

One last thing – it helps to know where the characters are on the keyboard you just installed! Here are a couple of graphics to help.

-Susan S., Computer Center Assistant at Downtown Lansing Library

The iWhat?

If you have not heard by now, Apple is going to start selling their iPad tablet computer on April 3rd. What is it? A handheld device that you can use to surf the web, type documents, read books, create presentations, and use apps. Sadly, I have not had the chance to see one yet. I plan to try one, hopefully, on Saturday when they go on sale. Until said time, we all have to rely on reviews that are starting to come out. Here is a good link with many reviews on the iPad’s positives and negatives.

If you want to see sites that are currently ready for the iPad, check out Apple’s page on the subject. At the bottom of the page is a link to how to prepare your site for the iPad. Neat Stuff!!

One last thing, if you’re currently deciding on a college to attend, this article may want to make you pack your bags and head to Pennsylvania’s Seton College in the fall. Seton is not only providing a MacBook laptop to all incoming freshman this year, but they are also providing them with iPads.

-Matt P., Technology Librarian at our Downtown Lansing Library

Teen Tech Week @ CADL

It’s Teen Tech Week, and our libraries are celebrating with a variety of events just for teens. Come check these out!

After School Game Time (Ages 11-18)
Wednesday, March 10, 24
3-4:30 pm
Have fun playing Wii, Guitar Hero and other videogames, or relax with board games and cards. Snacks provided.
Webberville Library

Tween Night (Ages 10-13)
Thursday, March 11
6-7:30 pm
Join us for fun for ages 10-13.
South Lansing Library

Wii Game Night
Friday, March 12
4:30 pm
Visit the library to play Wii, have some pizza and hang out with friends on a Friday afternoon. Registration required by calling (517) 694-9351 ext. 3.
Holt-Delhi Library

Teen Gaming Day
Saturday, March 13
10 am–2 pm
It’s Teen Tech Week! Come in to the library for Wii and Guitar Hero games.
Dansville Library

Computer Resources at CADL

As we approach a new year, CADL would like to remind you of some of our great computer resources:

Did you know that the Capital Area District Library offers free computer classes on numerous computer related topics? The Downtown branch offers classes on Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. Additionally, we teach classes on setting up an email account, learning to use the Internet, blogging, downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks, photo editing, job searching, and online research. Many of these classes are offered on a monthly basis. To find out more about the classes, registration, days and times, please visit our events calendar at www.cadl.org. The events calendar link can be found in the Events Calendar module on the right side of the page.

With the coming New Year, we would like to highlight several of our great classes. The Google class offered at the Downtown branch explores the things Google can do, other than a simple Internet search. You can convert currency, find movie reviews, get dictionary definitions and a lot more. However, there are many things Google won’t do. For that, we offer the Online Research class. This class will help you learn how to find articles and information from magazines, newspapers and journals that cover a wide variety of subjects such as health, automotive repair, test preparation, politics and history.

One of our most popular classes is Microsoft Word basics and its companion, Intermediate Word. Word Basics gives a person the chance to start learning Word from scratch. How do I enter and delete information? How do I save a document? What is the difference between copy and paste and cut and paste? You then build on those basic skills in Intermediate Word and learn to format a large piece of text. You will learn to change margins, add borders and shading, insert pictures, format pictures, etc.

If Word isn’t cutting it for your newsletter or flier, or if you’re just unable to arrange items on the page like you would like them, then check out our Microsoft Publisher Basics class in January. Publisher is a wonderful program for creating newsletters, signs, business cards, brochures, award certificates and other specific documents. Publisher allows you to better control the placement of objects on the page, such as text and pictures. You can make those holiday letters much easier with Publisher!

In February, we are offering a two-part Intermediate Excel class that will teach you how to use Excel’s many useful functions. A large list of information is difficult to look at, but you can use Excel’s sorting and filtering commands to change how a list is displayed. You can perform simple A-Z (alphabetical) or Z-A (reverse alphabetical) sorts or create custom sorting lists. You can learn to filter out information by one or more criteria. We will cover even more functions beyond these in the Intermediate Excel class.

Another great way to learn about computers and technology is to use the CBT Nuggets video database. The library subscribes to this resource and it provides streaming video tutorials on how to use Microsoft Office applications and many technical topics such as iNet+, A+, SQL, JAVA, PHP 5, Windows Server, SharePoint Server and many exam packs for CISCO and Microsoft. These videos require a high speed Internet connection and your library card number.

Perhaps you are interested in a more traditional method of learning, the book. We have plenty of those at the Capital Area District Library!  The easiest thing to do is to go to our website, http://www.cadl.org, and search our catalog for a title, author or keyword. You can find books on Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and programming languages (PERL, C++, Apache, etc).  We also have books on learning to use your iPod, Blackberry, Facebook, Photoshop and much more. If you have not visited us in awhile, please stop by and see all that we have to offer.