Tech Tips – Vacation Notifications

It’s the time of the year where things wind down at site and we have time to travel for camps and to visit other PCVs, right? Nevertheless, one thing is usually on my mind, how will I check my email and let people know that I can’t answer it while I’m away? It’s simple. I set up a “Vacation Notification” and then when I get an email, the person automatically is sent a message from me letting them know I’m gone. Most email clients allow Continue reading →

Tech Tips – SourceForge

Do you ever wish you had a certain piece of software for a certain kind of work but then you realize that you’re a volunteer and you really don’t have an income to spend on software? Yeah, me too. But fear not, there is a remedy. Open source software can help you in your times of trouble. Open source software is free to download and use and it can be just as good, if not better, than the software you buy. A great repository of Continue reading →

Tech Tips – Jango

Did you used to be a fan of Pandora internet radio back in the States? Are you now sad that you can’t just turn on Pandora unless you first start-up Hotspot Shield? Maybe when you did use Pandora you were frustrated with advertisements or that it would stop playing if you left your computer idle and ask if you were still there (that didn’t happen just to me, did it?). I’m going to offer an alternative, though it might not be as good as Pandora. Continue reading →

Tech Tips – Language Immersion for Chome

I’ll admit it, I was going to introduce you to a comparatively lame topic this week, but I scrolled across this one and instantly knew I had to share it. Unfortunately, this is for the Chrome web browser users out there only (if you’re not using Chrome, you should; if you need a few reasons to use Chrome, email me, and I’ll give them to you). Anyway, I came across an extension that will help you learn Russian and Ukrainian as you browse the web Continue reading →

Tech Tips – Ukrainian Train Website

Guys, I think I’m really behind on this but my site mate introduced me to this great website for checking the train schedules. Best part of all, it has an English option. Can’t beat that when it comes to planning complex trips now, can you? Check it out, the URL is:

Tech Tips – Multiple Clocks

I’m weird. I haven’t changed the time on my computer’s clock yet. I’ve been in Ukraine twenty months now. I’ve gotten used to adding eight hours to get the current time (or I just look at my watch). It’s nice having Midwest time on my computer because I easily know if it’s a good time or not to bother people back home. But what if I want the best of both worlds, Midwest time and Ukraine time? It’s possible to have both clocks, here’s how. Continue reading →

Tech Tips – PDFSAM

From time to time, while I’m preparing for a lesson, I come across a PDF with things I’d like to use for class. However, the problem is that the PDF is ten pages long and I only need a page or two out of it. I certainly could just print the thing and use only the pages I need, but I prefer to save a bit of money at the print shop. To do this, I need to cut the pages out of the PDF Continue reading →

Tech Tips – Spring Cleaning Disk Defrag

In continuing with our computer Spring cleaning started last week, I want to offer another suggestion to speed things up now that you have more hard drive space. This week, we’re going to defrag our hard drives. Doesn’t that sound like fun? We’ve talked about this before, but it’s always a good time for a refresher. Defragging rearranges files on your computer to optimize the time it takes to find a file by compacting them into a small space on the disk (the farther the Continue reading →

Tech Tips – Spring Disk Cleaning

It’s finally nice outside, nice enough to open the windows and motivate ourselves to do a bit of Spring cleaning. I, personally, have done a fair bit of cleaning in the past week (though I have yet to tackle that chunk of kielbasa that’s been hardening and dripping grease in the back corner of my fridge). But while we’re busy in the physical world cleaning things up, let me suggest you use the time away from your computer to clean it up a bit and Continue reading →

Tech Tips – Google Fight

This week we have a guest submission for your Tech Tip. It comes from Katherine Axelsen (Group 42). She directed me to a website,, and suggested some great uses for it. The site is simple to use, enter two words, terms, or phrases and it will tell you which one garners more hits on Google. The thought is that the more popular a word or phrase is, the more likely it is to being correct when used in speech. So, consider your students who Continue reading →