Welcome back to Tech-Knowledgy, where your tech question are answered. Have a tech question? Either post your question in the Comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. You weren’t kidding when you said buying an iPad2 was tough (see, Buying an iPad 2 Is Hard to Do!). I’ve been trying since it came out almost a month ago and I can’t seem to get one. I believed a friend of mine who told me not to stand in line because I would be able to walk into a store to get one no problem the next week. So far I’ve had no luck and now I’m kicking myself for not ordering online. I didn’t do that because I kept thinking I didn’t want to wait for weeks to get my iPad and now I’ve waited even longer than that.
Do you know of any place I can get an iPad? I don’t want to pay a fortune on eBay so maybe I should just order it online. Help!
A. I’ve heard from quite a few Wonder of Tech readers who are frustrated by not being able to get their hands on an iPad 2. Apple stores in many cities still have daily lines of people wanting to buy iPads. You could keep trying to buy one at a store, but chances are you are going to end up with a model you don’t really want and then regret not waiting for the model that’s best for you.
If you do want to keep trying stores, try your local Radio Shack. Some Radio Shack stores started selling iPads this week, but not every store and those that do get inventory don’t get much. But not many people know that Radio Shack is selling iPads so you may get lucky.
Here is a link to a site offering links to iPad 2 inventory tracking at Target and Best Buy stores: App Advice. From the comments at App Advice, these tracking links aren’t very accurate, but you could try them to see if they work for you.
My advice is to order the iPad 2 online even though the shipping time is 3-4 weeks. The waiting will be difficult but ordering online is the best way to make sure you get the model you really want.
Q. I already knew about Skype (see, What’s All the Hype About Skype?), but what I don’t know is how to make it so Skype doesn’t turn on every time I turn on the computer. I want it so that I turn on Skype only when I want to use it. The problem with having it on all the time is that then people know you are online so they call you. I hate getting interrupted but I feel like I have to answer because the other person knows I’m online. Plus, if I turn off Skype on my computer, do I have to turn it off on every computer in the house?
A. I agree, it can be quite annoying to be interrupted by a call on Skype, though sometimes it can be wonderful to hear from a dear friend when you needed a break anyway.
I suggest not having Skype open when you turn on your computer, not only because of the interruptions, but also because Skye running in the background can use a lot of memory and slow down your computer.
To change your Skype settings, open Skype, go to Tools => Options and then uncheck Start Skype When I Start Windows. You will have to do this on each of your computers that has Skype, this setting doesn’t work on all of your computers just by changing the setting on one computer.
Q. Thanks for putting the Android app of the day on your blog. I keep forgetting to check Amazon for the free app so your reminders help. My phone is getting full but I don’t want to miss out on the free apps. Can I buy them from Amazon and not download them onto my phone?
A. Yes, you can purchase apps from Amazon and wait to download them onto your phone. Purchase the apps from your computer and wait to download them to your phone until you have enough free space on your phone.
You’ll be happy to know that today’s Amazon Android free app is Weather Bug Elite, one of my favorite weather apps: Weather Bug Elite. This app is very useful because it shows views from live cameras at your favorite locations.
Q. I hate typing on a keyboard to write email messages. Is there an easier way to write email messages?
A. You’re in luck! Google just developed a new technology called Gmail Motion that enables your computer to read your body movements and interpret them as text. All you need is a Gmail account and a webcam. You have a Gmail account and a webcam, right?
Okay, I couldn’t resist a little April Fool’s joke. Here’s another one you might like, whether you’re an Apple fan or an Apple hater:
Other Tech News
Baseball fans are joyous about the start of the baseball season and the start of MLB at Bat, the subscription service allowing them to watch baseball games aplenty. This year Volvo is offering iOS (iPhone and iPad) users the ability to watch games on the MLB.com at Bat 11 app by providing the subscription free for April. The app still costs $14.99 at the iTunes app store and you will still need an MLB subscription after April or if you want to watch the MLB subscription on tv, but many baseball fans are thrilled to take advantage of this free deal.
A Wonder of Tech reader asked me to help spread the word about a security breach in the online game Minecraft. If you or someone you know plays the online game Minecraft, you should be aware that over 1000 user names and passwords were posted on the Internet. If you play the game, make sure to change your password immediately. More information can be found at: Minecraft Universe.
*Photo by Niall Kennedy