Mobile Apps

For most people it’s hard to remember how we got along without smart phones.  Even more so it is hard to imagine how we got along without apps.  Mobile apps are now available in a variety of interests and capabilities.  Do you need to know how many calories are in your favorite fast food meal? There is an app for that.  Do you need to know what movies are playing? There is an app for that.  The list of apps goes on and on.  From games to social network sites to financial help.  Mobile apps can greatly aid in your everyday life.

So what if you don’t have a smartphone?  You are still able to reap the benefits of apps!  Now many devices give you access to downloading and using apps.  Gaming systems, portable tablets, ereaders, and ipod touch are just a few devices that allow you to use apps.  Each device has there own “marketplace” where you can download these apps.  And when I say there is plenty to choose from, I mean plenty.  Currently Apple offers over 691,959 apps for download with an average cost of $1.95. (1)  Although most apps are free, some of the more advance apps or ones with license characters or themes can have a bigger price tag.  The variety of apps is what is so appealing to most consumers.  Games and helpful apps are there but there are now a wide selection of education apps that can help youngsters learn to read and even learn to write. (2)

So if you have yet to add to your app library, what are you waiting for?  Start browsing your devices marketplace to see what apps best suite your needs.  Don’t forget to check and see if your favorite store has an app! Most retailers will post special sales and coupons for apps only.  So get tapping!





Open Source

Open source.  Say what?! What is that?  Simply put, open source is a software that you download from the interent, usually free, that contains the source code to that program.  The source code is included so that, if you are apt, you can make changes to the program.  This enables the program to be frequently updated and , over time, perfected.  You probably have open source software installed on your computer and didn’t even know it.  These programs are usually extremely similar to the commercial counterparts.

Some of the most popular open source programs are; WordPress: a blogging platform, Mozilla Firefox: a web browser, GnuCash: accounting software, Gimp: photo editor.(2)  These programs all have expensive commercial versions and with exceptions are very comprable.  So how do you go about finding and downloading these gems?  A simple Google search will help you find most programs but there are dedicated sites also.  Sites like, offer many programs separated into category to make it easy to find what you need.

So if you are looking to purchase a new program, check and see if an open source program that is similar is available.  You could save some money and maybe find a couple of other programs while you are at it.  As a college student I love open source programs and use them quite frequently!





The Cloud

As we move into Web 3.0 we will continue to see the use of mobile devices, not just in everyday life, but also in business rise.  But when you are out and about it not always easy to access all your needed information.  On of the greatest advantages available now is the ability to store all your information in the Cloud.  When you store information in the Cloud you are able to access that information from any place with an internet connection.  So what exactly is the Cloud and how do you use it?  Well let’s take look at what it is and what it can do for you.

When information is stored in the Cloud you are able to access it through a network over the internet.  So now instead of carrying around flash drives or portable hard drives, you are able to access and share all of your stored information.  These platforms also allow you to easily share files and other documents with friends, family, or co-workers across town or across the world.  There are different types of services to choose from and also different sharing capabilities.  Amazon, one of the largest cloud platforms, deals with large companies like Groupon and Foursquare.  Amazon started Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006, this services lets you customize your cloud for your needs. (1) But AWS is not just for big business, you can get 5gb of storage for free by just being a member of Amazon.  Additional storage is available for a yearly fee.  Prices start at 20gb for $10 a year and go up to 1000gb for $500 a year. (2)  Some other services available are Google, Microsofts Azure, IBMs SmartCloud, and Apples iCloud.  Each service offers similar packages and choosing the right one for you just takes a little research.

As you can see the advantages of storing information in the Cloud are many.  Not only for business but also for personal use, the Cloud can be beneficial to everyone.  With a simple format and easy to understand sharing, you can store and share files quickly and without the limits of email.  I personally love storing information this way.  So now if I forget my portable hard drive or it gets damaged I am able to pull up any file I need.





Contact Management Systems

Today contact management systems is a word that is thrown around by many but understood by few.  So what is a contact management system.  Simply put a contact management system (CMS)  is a type of software that can help you keep track of information that you display on a website.  Along with this, this software also enables you to update or add information without actually coding it into the website.  Sounds great dose it not?  Well to every good thing there is always a negative.

So what is the good?  Most CMS let you easily update existing information on your webpage without paying a webmaster to update it for you.  Previous knowledge of the inner workings of websites is not needed.  You can add new photos or even upload videos all by yourself.  Sites like also boast the capability of a developer reaping the benefits of using their program, “… Joomla’s powerful application framework makes it easy for developers to create sophisticated add-ons that extend the power of Joomla into virtually unlimited directions.” (1)

So then what could possibly be the downside to these wonderful programs?  Well all of these sites boast an “easy to use” system.  These programs actually take some time to understand.  Training is needed to fully understand all of the options available and how to properly use the software.  Some users might also see some break-down of their sites formatting or layout if they do not properly update through the CMS.

So in the end, if you value the look and feel of your website it is best to leave it in the hands of the professionals.


Works Cited




Blog Time

Well it was inevitable.  I knew someday that I would have start a blog for some reason. Well here it is! When I decided to go into the world of graphic design I had no idea the different places it would take me and the different things it would teach me.  So far only a few things have made my head want to explode, but when I look back on those things I see how far I have come.  I am now very confident about the future.  I hope my last year of classes is as exciting as the first class!