Many ways to skin the cat when tech snafu strikes!

Living in the duality of the real world and the digital world means one thing is guaranteed: running into technical difficulties. Throughout the years helping to demystify technology, I've heard people repeatedly say things like, "I'm not technically savvy" or "technology hates me" when bitten by "tech snafu." If you are one of them, here's news for you: electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers are far from perfect.

One thing to accept, or more precisely "retrain" your thought process, is that the tech snafu you experience may have nothing to do with what you did or didn't do. So adopt the 1930s British slogan "Keep Calm and Carry On" – which was repopularized in the 2000s and variations of the phrase are still used to this day. I do!

Case in point: About a week ago, I was trying to project onto the big screen my PowerPoint presentation on "Internet Street Smarts" that I created on my Windows 10 laptop. The projector and/or my aging laptop just refused to work. I always "walk-the-talk" that I pen in this column so I laughed off my tech snafu with a dose of self-deprecation while promising that I'll think of some other way by next class. My favorite adage is "there are many ways to skin the cat" and I was just going to do that. I'm sorry cat lovers; it's just an idiom and I really love cats.

I know many of you use the free email service from Google, aka "Gmail." What started as Gmail has grown to include other Google services. An example of those services is a trio of office productivity programs compatible with Microsoft's Office suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). The difference is that you use your browser (Chrome, FireFox, EDGE, or Safari) or apps to use Google's Docs, Sheets, Slides while storing your data in another Google service called "Drive," your storage space in the cloud.

I uploaded my PowerPoint presentation to Drive and opened it. It automatically converted it to Slides. It was a perfect conversion for the most part and looked 99% the same as my original PowerPoint presentation!

Now that it was in the cloud, during the next class I just loaded the Slides app on my tablet and projected my presentation onto the big screen. Not only didn't I have to lug my heavy laptop, it was accessible from anywhere since my presentation was in the cloud (aka the internet).

Sometimes a helping hand/mind may be sitting across you at the kitchen table but when there is no one in sight, it may pose a challenge. Our nonprofit, Center for Aging in the Digital World, will soon be piloting a program, tentatively named "Community Hours: Ask the Geek," starting in January on select days so seniors 60 years and older can ask questions on technology and get answers/advice. Stay tuned!

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with over 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives while using digital literacy as a tool for seniors to avoid loneliness and social isolation

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:30 AM, 12.07.2021