Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Isn't It Ironic, and Mercury is in Retrograde-WHAT TO DO!

I feel like i'm telling the teacher why my homework is late for some reason. :) i find it simply hilarious that my internet at home (both cable modem and then the airport) have been down since Sunday. I am FINALLY back up, and have received some emails with questions from you guys, and I will be answering them tonight. Thanks for sending them in, keep 'em coming!

In other, yet still related news, someone just told me about this astrological event that is happening right now, and i think it explains why mine, and other peoples' lives, at the moment seem to be in turmoil, especially when it comes to electronics and computers. I have never heard of this before, but apparently it happens 3 times a year. And just to preface this, I'm not an astrology nut or anything...I do believe in the power of the universe, and that things need to be physically and energetically lined up in order for the outcome that you are looking for to become a reality, but I've never read star charts or anything like that. That being said, apparently, when the planet Mercury is in retrograde, (as it is now until March 7th), what you are supposed to do is hold off on major decisions, purchases, contracts, etc., and you are supposed to back up all of your data and systems in the event of a meltdown. This is also supposed to be a time where you re-think your decisions, re-check projects, and make sure that you are listening to your gut instinct on things, and not make rash decisions. For more info on Mercury in Retrograde, click HERE

Lastly, to get off the Hippie Chick kick, I will resume procuction on the Podcast and respond to your questions tonight.

Until then, Cheers!

Geek Girl

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A "Heroes" Aside

Ok, so I know that I wasn't going to blog this weekend because I'm working on the Podcast, but I just caught up on the latest episode of Heroes (which I'm officially and unexpectedly obsessed with) and I just HAD to say something. (By the way, if you haven't watched the last episode, this might be somewhat of a SPOILER for you, so don't read any further!!) I was just thinking that if I could be a hero, I would want the same power the latest new Hero had...the power to connect to the internet and satellites just using her brain and without a computer. How cool is that? I realized that when I was thinking about it today, that it was quite possibly the GEEKIEST power one could have, so sharing my little thought would somehow be appropriate here. LOL.

Anyhow, Happy Saturday, Bloggers. Here's a fun picture I took using the "PhotoBooth" feature on my Mac (the desktop, not the laptop) with the iSight camera that is built into the monitor/CPU unit. There are lots of fun effects you can set it to, but being an official art collector and geek as well, I'm quite partial to the Warhol-esque filter:


Geek Girl

Got a question? Email me at

Testing, Testing, 1..2..3..

This weekend is going to be filled with lots and lots o'testing and learning for Geek Girl! I am in the process of creating a test video Podcast and hopefully will post it by Monday to see how it works with this Blog tool. Stay tuned! I'll need all of YOUR comments and feedback in order to create the most helpful, informative Podcast EVER. (Ok, not EVER, but close).

Just one quick note...I've changed the settings to allow you all to post comments, questions, and/or suggestions without having to give any info. You can remain Anonymous, just how some of you like it. :)

Lastly, I'm putting out a call to ALL of YOU to send me your questions and suggestions on video podcast topics. They can be questions about anything from using software to email to internet to digital cameras to iPod's to peripherals to fonts! Anything that you struggle with in daily life, even if you think it's silly; I bet you it's not, and I bet you I've been asked about it before! I've got most of the season mapped out, but I'd love to do a few episodes that are "BLOGGER's CHOICE" topics. You can also email me reasonably sized questions as video files...I'm hoping to gather enough video questions from you all to dedicate a special Podcast to you all at the end of my "season" that will feature your "live" questions! What do you think? I think it will be really fun and exciting. But then again, I am a geek. ;)

Post your topics, questions and suggestions in the COMMENTS section or email me at To those of you who have already emailed me, thanks for the feedback!! For the rest of you, let's talk!

Cheers and happy weekend,

Geek Girl

Thursday, February 22, 2007

iPod Quickie! (and a solicitation of-dare I say it-PC HELP!!)

Ok, so i can't tell you guys enough how many people I get asking me daily for help with their iPods. On the video podcast and throughout this blog, there will be plenty of help, tips, tricks & accessories that fall under the fun & wonderful category of "All Things iPod!"

So, today's tip is a simple one about how to reboot your iPod in the horrible event that it crashes, freezes, or starts to act up. Before you run wildly to wait in line at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, try the following steps first.

When you can't eject your iPod from your computer because the computer and/or iPod have frozen, don't fret! The first rule of iPods is not to panic about iPods. :) Remove your iPod from the dock (even if it is stuck on the "Do Not Disconnect" screen) or just take it when it's frozen and lay it flat on a hard surface. (Don't worry, we're not opening it and performing surgery or anything--in fact, NEVER open your iPod. It will likely ruin your iPod and void any sort of warranty.)

Next, toggle the "Hold" switch on and off a few times. Finally, hold down the center button and the top "Menu" button of the iPod simultaneously until you see the screen go through the restart process. This consists of the screen going black, then the Apple logo will pop up semi-faded, and then you will hear/feel the hard drive restarting. Then the Apple logo will come up in full color, and the iPod should start up properly. (NOTE: it might take a little longer than normal, don't be alarmed!)

Now, there are a few other things that can go wrong with your iPod, in which case you can do a few other simple things before resorting to a full "RESTORE". This checklist includes downloading and installing the latest, most updated iTunes software, and then making sure your iPod is up-to-date and fully charged. You might sometimes also get the following icon:

if your iPod is out of juice. To recap, Charge it, Update the software, Restart it, and then if you are still having problems with it, you may need to fully RESTORE it. Here is a link to information on how to RESTORE your iPod (NOTE: this will erase everything on your iPod and restore it back to factory settings, so make sure that your music library reflects what you had on your iPod so that you can re-load all of the songs/pics/vids after you RESTORE):



So I want to put out a call to all of YOU bloggers and geeks out there for your suggestions, tips and questions for future posts and the podcasts that are in production RIGHT NOW! Also, I encourage you to all any alternate suggestions (or corrections) in the COMMENT section, especially in regards to equivalent PC options for completing the tasks we talk about here. (I know, I know, being a Mac Geek Girl, I can't believe I'm asking for PC help either! But it's for YOU guys!) Or, you can always email me at

That's All for Now, folks! Stay tuned for more!


Geek Girl

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Photo Email Etiquette

Today's post deals with a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. HUGE. (In fact, I'm going to tag it under Pet-Peeves for future reference; I'm sure that a few more will pop up in the future ;).

The tip & pet-peeve is this: people who insist on emailing you photos and clogging up your email because they don't know how to reduce the size of the jpeg. Has this ever happened to you? I'm sure it has. Like when, say, you log into your email software and it spends about 5 minutes "thinking" about the "Send & Receive" function. And then when all of the emails finally come through, you realize that your sister-in-law has sent you ten 2 MB each pics of your nephew. (and they are all always unfailingly the same shot of the kid).

People, there is a way to share your pics with friends and family and not infuriate us. There are actually a few options.

The first option is one that I would recommend if you don't have any sort of image-editing software (such as Photoshop). Set up a free account with Shutterfly or Flickr or Yahoo!Photos and this will then allow you to create online albums of your images and send a simple, tiny LINK of those albums to your family & friends. These sites also let you organize the photos how you want, create fun little borders & captions, and people can view them as a slideshow on their screen.

The second option takes a bit more time and saavy, but is still really easy. It involves using Photoshop or other such image-editing software. There are two ways to reduce image size in Photoshop. First open the image and then click on the "Image" file menu. Click on the "Image Size" option, and the window that you see below will pop up:

Make sure that you have the "Constrain Proportions" option checked, and you should also check "Resample Image." This will make sure that your image will not be distorted horizontally or vertically; it will only allow the software to change the density of the pixels within the image and it's overall proportions & size. Then change the resolution to 72 pixels/inch (this is all the resolution you need to view properly online and create the smallest file size). You can also change the actual dimensions to make them smaller, and at the same time lower the resolution if you want. Experiment with this and see what yields a reasonable final file size (TIP: check the file properties when the file is closed and saved to see what size it will show up as when you email it and/or upload it).

The other, and simpler, way to reduce file size is by using the "Save As" function. Go to the "File" menu, and click on "Save As." Name your file and choose a location to save it to, and click "Save." The following window will pop-up next:
Here you can choose the quality of the final saved file using the slide at the top. Usually even a "low" quality image is just fine for email and the internet. The degree of the quality in this case refers to the file compression when the software saves the image.

If you are one of those people who like to send lots of pics and have perhaps performed the pet-peeve faux-pas I speak of in today's blog, consider yourself warned and hopefully remedied. :)


Geek Girl

PS-Do YOU have questions about technology-related stuff that YOU want answered? Email me at

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Terms of Endearment and a Photoshop Type Tip

For anyone who has ever wondered, or even for those who have never given it a thought, I would like to explain two common terms that are used to describe something that you already know exists, but probably never knew that it even had a name.

The terms of endearment of which I speak are in regards to typeography, something which is near and dear to my heart (but also something, that when done in the wrong font or style, can drive me absolutely nuts!!). I know, I know, I'm a geek.

The first term describes the horizontal spacing in between characters. This is called "kerning." The second describes the vertical spacing in between lines of characters (i.e. "line spacing"), and it is called "leading." You can usually control both of these measurements depending on what type of software you are using.


While working with type in Photoshop, you have the option of increasing and decreasing both kerning and leading. To pull up the character window in Photoshop, go to the "Window" menu, and select "Character." A little box will pop up with lots of fun little ways in which you can edit and customize your type. The top two options will appear as drop-down menus, as shown in the screengrab below:
They are pretty self-explanatory, and the best way to learn is to experiment depending on the project and the space you have. For more technical info, here are the links to more info on kerning and leading:


Geek Girl

Monday, February 19, 2007

Geek Girl is Coming!!

I am working on an exciting, new, FREE video podcast that will be debuting here soon! Stay on the lookout for will be as fun as it is informative and entertaining.


Geek Girl

Here's a hint about the 1st episode: