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More and more services are Heading for the Clouds: many of the features of Google Docs are found in Click to see full-size! GlideOS. It's like a "virtual computer," allowing you to use it anywhere, on any computer, tablet or smartphone running Windows, Mac, Linux, Android or Solaris operating systems. It has a full suite of productivity and collaboration applications. You get 30GB of storage for the free account that lets you create and administer up to six family member accounts including child accounts (but they may not provide the free account forever, as their website states). For $50/year you can get a Premium account: 250Gb of storage for up to 25 users. Both the free and Premium accounts are ad-free.

You can also download their "Glide One" application for the PC, Mac, Linux, Android or Solaris operating systems and keep your online files in sync with your notebook, desktop or smartphone files. It can import files from Outlook, MobileMe, Windows Live (Hotmail), AOL, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, standard POP and IMAP email, Firefox and Thunderbird (using the *.ldif contact format), and some other Windows apps. It converts those file formats to its own formats when you "sync up" to the online server, and then back to Windows, Mac, etc. formats when you "sync down" to your computer. GlideOS is an intriguing concept... if you can limit all your computer work to Glide's productivity and collaboration applications, because it doesn't backup any other applications. Many people, however, especially casual computer users, might find it quite enough for their needs. The fact that GlideOS gives you 30Gb free and that you can go from one device to another with your files always available (that is, if the Internet is available) are real pluses, so I would give it a B+.

If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time,
no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side. - Orson Scott Card

Several services let you store your files "in the Cloud" and share selected files with friends or co-workers: www.box.com/ gives you 5Gb free for your SSL-secured, encrypted file storage and sharing. They also have business- and enterprise-level services available. Another such service is www.dropbox.com, offering 2Gb of free secure file storage and a "public" folder. The Dropbox application on your computer creates a Dropbox folder that you simply move files into, and it syncs with "the Cloud" so you can access those files from any device anywhere with an Internet connection. However, because any file you place in the "public" folder is available to anyone, this feature has been misused - see Dropbox Abused by Spammers.

You may be familiar with OneNote, a program that's part of Microsoft Office. It lets you store notes from any source (not just Office applications) and organize them for future reference. Of course, you need to buy Microsoft Office to get OneNote. But a similar program that's free is EverNote: you can access your notes from any computer, tablet or smartphone on the Internet, with or without an app installed on your device. And you've doubtless heard of the many online conferencing programs that businesses are using these days: one that has an ad-supported "free" version (for up to six participants) and a paid version is AnyMeeting - great for a virtual family reunion, for start-up businesses, etc.

Click on Online PC Support for our worldwide help   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

With all these new Cloud-based services, Microsoft is playing catch-up: a consumer preview of their touch-oriented new Windows 8 operating system has just been released, and people are already complaining that some of the old, familiar features aren't there. Instead, you're greeted with a series of tiles, like big icons, that run apps ("programs" in old-speak). One of the tiles takes you to the "legacy desktop" where you keep your old program icons from previous versions of Windows. But wait! Where's the Start button?! It's gone! So some enterprising young programmers have already put together Start8 - Bringing back the Windows® "Start" menu. Now all you old-timers can breathe easier! I've already downloaded this beta version of Windows 8, and plan to install it in a second partition on my computer so I can review it more in depth in our next issue.

In the article The Raspberry Pi computer goes on general sale, find out about the $35 credit-card-size Linux computer that is designed to teach schoolchildren programming skills - but the huge demand so far has been from hobbyists and computer enthusiasts. No keyboard or screen, just the processor board with ports for such input-output devices and an Ethernet port.

The Security Blurb:
With the U.S. income tax filing deadline fast approaching, there's been an upsurge in the volume of tax-service hoaxes, so be careful! Also, because all Social Security recipients had to sign up for electronic payments by March 1, the number of hijacked Social Security accounts has increased:crooks pose as Social Security employees to find out someone's personal information including their Social Security number, and misdirect their retirement benefits to a dummy bank account. Don't give out any personal information, especially not your Social Security number, to anyone contacting you by phone or email!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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