The Tutorial Wave

20 03 2013

Have you ever wanted to know more on how to do something? If you are like most people of the computer age you would turn to your trusted search engine of choice and fumble through the results perhaps choosing a free video tutorial. Most of us have watched one or two on a subject at one time or another.

Undoubtedly if the speaker sounds as if he understands the material and is entertaining as well as informative you would be more inclined to view more of said person’s instructional guidance videos. What if the tutorial narrator constantly pauses as if needing to collect his thoughts or looses his place and trips over his own tongue repeatedly in between colorful expressions normally given to those of a less than adequate vocabulary? Imagine now that the speaker is only recording a mere six minutes of such a disaster as if he knew your limitations would not exceed such a time frame. In addition the subject matter consists of an explanation of just one small portion of a section of the material you would like to know more about. You might compare the content value of this video tutorial to that of one word from a paragraph from a whole book several hundreds of pages long, in a series of volumes numbering in no less than double digits. Would you consider it worthy of your time? Would you feel confident that the speaker could actually teach you something or would you absolutely and completely lose all confidence in the speaker and find yourself utterly perplexed by the 200,000 or so views? Well after suffering through the most recent half a dozen such attempts at video instruction I find that it is not only rational to assume but fact of a growing trend online now and you are no one unless you have an equally worthless attempt at instruction.

I have been there a few more times than I would have liked. Normally I am a patient person but I fear that even my poor long passed mother, the saint of patience that she was, would find it outrageously ridiculous and absurd not to mention a complete waste of time not only to view such an atrocity but also the creation of such an obviously useless effort. I do imagine that such must afford the creator some sense, however misguided, of pride and lend value to their otherwise pitifully mundane existence.

Imagine if you can that there are hundreds of these so-called tutorial videos available from just this one speaker on practically any subject you can imagine, and millions of other such speakers online offering the same unproductive and noneducational material. Yes Victoria, anyone can make a tutorial video and pretend they are a teacher with practically no knowledge of the subject to which they speak. Such is the computer age as it presently stands. It is such a pity that the time these individuals willfully and wantonly waste in such efforts to bolster their egos could be better spent reading a book to their children, helping their spouse with the laundry, continuing their own education with an authentic instructor, or any of a thousand more productive endeavors.

These individuals have no concept of the futile uselessness of their ineffective meager attempts at fame having no doubt given up on the dreams of fortune long ago. To a person of average intelligence and less these frivolous attempts to gain notoriety are inspirational, and another star is born! To those of us with slightly more under our hats it is a sad tradeoff for all the vastness of truly informative information that abounds all around us via the internet. Don your snorkel and dive right in because you will have to do a bit of swimming through this ever present muck in the ocean of tutorials in order to find those pearls of wisdom today. Yes, they do exist and you can actually locate a few if you are tenacious enough not to be deterred by the country bumpkin playing school house without all the rocks.

Yes my dear Victoria, you can actually still find informative tutorials by educated instructors that actually have knowledge pertinent to the subject but you must employ you super powers of deduction, reasoning and common sense. Ascertain in the first minute or two if the material is of a level you desire, ignore the page views and other such irrelevant and misleading statistical data. Concentrate instead on the tutorial length, written description and the intro to the subject matter. If the speaker is not well versed and articulate you will need to decide rather quickly by means of the well written description and length of the video as to whether this one might be of some value to you and not simply an utter waste of your precious time. Make it a point to recall the name or at least the image associated with poorly constructed tutorials so that you may automatically avoid them in the future. You have thousands of free tutorials available to you in any particular subject of interest so why waste your time with those that simply waste your time.

I suggest that you create an account in YouTube if this is where you find yourself hunting tutorials and I have no doubt that you will. YouTube is the largest repository of tutorials both good and bad, and all in between. An account, which takes mere minutes to set up, will serve you well in your tutorial seeking endeavors saving you both time and sanity. There are links under each YouTube video which enable you to save the video to a list to view later or a folder which serves the same purpose. If you are new to YouTube let me assure you that it is not hard to find your way around and in no time you will feel quite at ease with your folders and playlists of video productions.

Once you find a worthwhile tutorial save the video in a folder with a simple name easily understood by yourself and any of the public you may care to share it with. Feel you cannot filter out the bad ones because your memory isn’t what it used to be and they keep popping up? Add a rubbish folder and stuff the bad ones into it for future reference of what not to waste your time with, be sure to describe the uselessness briefly in the folder description so people viewing your saved videos will know that the videos are substandard. Now you have saved a few worthwhile tutorials and you are ready to grab a sandwich and some tea and start your studies all from your carefully selected educational tutorials. Naturally you will also want to create some folders for amusement and entertainment after your tutorial studies and it is no problem to do this with all the tools you need directly below any video of interest.

If school was this much fun you would never have played hookey! So off you go now armed with the new found knowledge that you can efficiently paddle you way through the ever growing sea of tuts effortlessly now that you have all the right tools and my swift kick in your keester! Off with you now, go learn something!



Email Hacked

18 03 2013

One of the best favors you can do for yourself, and for free, is to add yourself to your email contact lists. Many of us already have at least two email accounts but if you do not I would strongly suggest that you create a second email account.

Treat your other email accounts as if they were a friend’s email account. Send an email to yourself in every email account you use then add your new “friend” to your email contact lists. When your email account is hacked, usually for the purpose of sending spam to all of your contacts, if you are a contact in your contact list the chances are great that you will be notified of the illegal activity by yourself. Often it is rather difficult to know when your email account has been compromised unless a friend or contact happens to notice that the email they received from you isn’t quite like your others and becomes suspicious enough to inquire or for some reason your email provider notifies you of suspicious attempts to log into your account.

Yahoo is notorious for having a problem with compromised accounts although they try to protect users with information and added security measures. Perhaps because the Yahoo web-based email accounts are so popular amongst the general populous the information thieves find it more lucrative and appealing to conduct their illegal activities there. You would like to know as soon as possible if you have fallen victim to these unscrupulous vandals and Yahoo is pretty good about informing you when your IP address does not match or has changed.

So you wake up one day and head to the inbox only to find an email from yourself that you did not send. Your very next step is to sign into the account that generated this email and promptly change your password. You should be able to come up with a pretty good and easy enough to remember password if you apply a tiny bit of thought to it. Think of a phrase like ‘Pizza Is So Scrumptious With A Friend Or 22‘ then use only the first letters of each word, add a symbol or two (hyphen, dash, slash, asterisk, question mark, etc..),  and a number.


Additionally you can mix the upper and lower case letters in any way you choose and add more symbols to make it even harder to decipher your personal password.


The trick is to make your password as unique as possible. Avoid using sensitive information and well known words or phrases. The more variety the better and adding numbers and symbols will triple your password’s strength. Avoid tell-tale wording such as “my password” or your phone number and sequential numbers such as 1234 and 9876. Try to make the phrase something you will remember and practice it a few times. Make it as long or short as you like but bear in mind most passwords under 6 characters offer moderate protection at best. Until you get used to your new password you may want to keep a cheat sheet for yourself in a desk drawer or a text file in your music folder. You do not want to label such as “PASSWORD” or keep it with your other documents. Why make it easy for a hacker if your computer becomes compromised.

Orange Monkeys Like 2 Buy Blue Bananas At Night Not At 3:00 Or 999.


As you can easily see it is not very hard to make and remember a quite sophisticated password. The more you use it and say it to yourself the easier it becomes to remember and you can always add more to it or move parts around to make it even more of a challenge for bad doers to hack.

Orange Monkeys Like 2 Buy Blue Bananas At Night Not At 3:00 Or 999 And With 43 Of Their Grape-Ape Friends.*


Orange Monkeys Like 2 Buy Blue Bananas With 43 Of Their Grape-Ape Friends At Night Not At 3:00 Or 999.*


Your next move is to change your added security questions and check carefully all your other personal information. The hackers may change information to enable them to be able to gain access to your account even if you change your password and security questions so double-check all of your personal information and associated email accounts carefully. The last thing you should do is notify the email carrier about the compromise to your account information and the fact that you have changed your password and security questions and answers, and verified all your personal and contact information is correct.

Think before you click. Be careful of where you use other accounts to sign in. There are many websites that can become compromised easily and you could end up signing into a bogus website that will save your information for a hacking to occur later. I find it is rather convenient to be able to use my Facebook, Twitter or MSN account to sign into an account on another website but I have found that it is much safer for me to simply try to sign in without the convenient aid of these applications. As with any technology the applications that have the potential to make our lives simpler also have the potential to do harm. Be aware and be safe.

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