Best Buy Reward Zone Premier Silver Membership Benefits

20130728su-best-buy-reward-zone-silver-189x167The Premier Silver membership is the highest level that Best Buy will award. This level is achieved by spending $2500 or more in a calendar year at Best Buy® and®. These are the benefits:

  • MORE Points. 25% point bonus1 and more flexible redemption options. And remember, points add up even faster with the Reward Zone Credit Card with standard credit financing. Choose to have your reward certificates issued automatically, or choose point banking to let your points build until you want to redeem them.
  • FREE Helpline. We’ll help you with basic product setup, purchase recommendations and Reward Zone account questions by calling 1-866-RZ-PREMR (1-866-797-7367).
  • MORE Time. We want you to ensure you love every purchase. So contact the Helpline for help with setup. Or, get a recommendation on an exchange that better fits your needs. Best of all, you have plenty of time to decide with a 60-day return and exchange policy on qualifying Best Buy and purchases. Enjoy 180 days to use your reward certificates.
  • FREE Expedited Shipping and FREE Delivery. Online and in-store. For online purchases, simply add your Reward Zone number to account.
  • PREMIER Access. Get some of the hottest new technologies in store or at as well as Premier access to iconic sales.
  • FREE Gift Guidance. Find the right gift for anyone, yourself included, with our personal shopper service, available at personalshopper@bestbuy.comor 1-866-923-6190.
  • FREE House Call from a Geek Squad® Agent. To schedule, call 1-866-RZ-PREMR (1-866-797-7367). We’ll help you make the most of your technology with your choice of one of the following services per year:
    • TV Calibration – Having an HDTV is one thing. Having it personalized to your exact needs is another. Our ISF-certified installers will come to your home and calibrate your HDTV so you’re seeing it the way it was meant to be seen.
    • Setting up your home wireless network (or upgrading your current one) so that you’re able to safely and securely surf the Internet at blazing fast speeds. (router hardware not included; Agent will connect up to 2 devices).
    • Personalized training for one hour so you’re able to harness the full power of your devices.
    • Customized programming of your Harmony TV Remote, giving you the convenience of controlling your entire home theater system with one remote.
    • Home Theater Consultation A Geek Squad agent will design and lay out a system that captures your home theater dreams, and works within your budget. Our agent can also help you choose products that work best with your design.

Celtx Free Screenplay Film Script Writing Software with Storyboard and Cloud Support

20130722mo-celtx-screenplay-film-writing-software-with-storyboard-528x246Over 3,000,000 storytellers in 170 countries create in Celtx. Celtx is leading the charge to democratize filmmaking, with software and services that are free or affordable by all. The Celtx community gives back to communities with a Seeds program that rewards your great storytelling.

Celtx is the world’s first all in one pre-production system. It replaces ‘paper & binder’ with a digital approach that’s more complete, simpler to work with, and easier to share.

A few videos about Celtx are below. Learn more at

Installing Celtx (below)


Synchronizing Celtx with the Cloud (below)


Uploading & Sharing from Celtx Edge (below)


Using Celtx in Full-Screen Mode


Starting a new Project in Celtx


Producer Reaction to Using Celtx


How To

Default Save to iCloud Configured for Apple OS X 10.6.4 Mountain Lion

The default location for saving iWorks documents is the iCloud in Mountain Lion when Documents are set as being synchronized to the iCloud.

To change this, go to Terminal (in Utilities) and paste in the following command:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

Then press Return. Then type exit. When you restart the iWorks applications they will default to the folder of your choice.


Apple TV: Using the Apple Wireless Keyboard


Summary. The Apple TV device turns a television into a computer-like device for multimedia content only. This means your interactions with Internet destinations are limited to a few content providers such as YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Hulu Plus, ESPN, and others. Content is also available through the Apple iTunes store, including movies, television shows, podcasts, and more.

Typing. Unfortunately, there’s no keyboard included, so one must navigate their way through this ocean of amazing content using a very time consuming hunt-and-peck on-screen keyboard (shown below) moving one click at a time to the letter, number, character, or button of their choice.


Using the Apple Wireless Keyboard

Most people will find it preferable to use the Apple Wireless Keyboard (shown below) with their Apple TV. Instructions to make this work are found below.


System Requirements for Using Wireless Keyboard

  • Apple TV (2nd generation or later)
  • Apple TV Software 5.2 or later
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard *

Third-party Bluetooth keyboards that use the Apple keyboard layout may also be compatible. Check with the keyboard manufacturer for additional information.

* The original Apple Wireless Keyboard (2003), that features a white case and uses four AA batteries, is not compatible.

Pairing your Apple Wireless Keyboard with Apple TV

To pair your keyboard with Apple TV:

  1. Turn on your keyboard and if necessary ensure that it is discoverable. A blinking LED indicates that the Apple Wireless Keyboard is in the discoverable mode.
    • When using third-party devices, check with the keyboard manufacturer for additional information.
  2. On your Apple TV, select Settings > General > Bluetooth.
  3. Select your keyboard in the list.
  4. When prompted, type the four-digit paring code on your keyboard and then press Enter or Return.
  5. Apple TV will confirm that the pairing process is complete.

Using your Apple Wireless Keyboard

You can use your keyboard to:

  • Enter text and other information (search, email addresses, passwords, and so on)
  • Navigate Apple TV menus using the arrow, Return, and Escape keys
  • Jump to an item, title, or name on the screen by typing the first few letters (for example, when viewing your music collection, you can type a song title or artist name to jump to it in the list)
  • Use media controls when playing music and video to play or pause content and select previous or next.

Volume, brightness, and other controls are not available for Apple TV. Apple TV uses the U.S. English keyboard layout regardless of the keyboard’s hardware layout.

Disconnecting the Apple Wireless Keyboard

If you want to stop using your keyboard or disconnect it from the Apple TV:

  • Select Settings > General > Bluetooth
  • Select your keyboard and then select “Forget this device”


Additional Information

Troubleshooting your keyboard

If you are unable to see your keyboard when you attempt to pair it with Apple TV, check that your keyboard is:

  • Powered on and in range of your Apple TV
  • Set for discovery or pairing
    • A blinking LED indicates that the Apple Wireless Keyboard is in the discoverable mode. If you don’t pair your keyboard with your Mac within three minutes, the indicator light and keyboard will turn off to preserve battery life. If this happens, press the On/Off switch to turn your keyboard on again.
    • When using third-party devices, check with the keyboard manufacturer for additional information.
  • Not paired or connected to another device

If your keyboard responds intermittently or cannot maintain a connection:

  • Ensure that the keyboard has sufficient charge or fresh batteries
  • Check for nearby sources of interference, including other wireless devices, Bluetooth transmitters, and so on
  • Try unpairing and then repairing your keyboard with Apple TV

Compatibility with other Bluetooth accessories

  • Bluetooth support on Apple TV is for keyboards only. Headsets, speakers, and other devices are not supported.
  • If you are having difficultly connecting or using a third-party Bluetooth keyboard, contact the manufacturer to verify that it is compatible with Apple products and Apple TV.


Document Source:


Apple 17″ MacBook Pro Notebook Computer Battery Expanded, Swelling, Rupturing, and Bursting

According to Apple’s documentation on the 17″ MacBook Pro, the battery that comes with the notebook computer is designed to provide reliable service over about 5 years. The Apple documentation states that this single battery is so well constructed that a similar 5-year lifespan would normally require three batteries. Unfortunately, the real-world experiences of end-users demonstrate that the battery has a manufacturer defect of some kind that results in severe expanding and bursting. The images below are an example of what can happen with this battery.

“I called technical support and was told that batteries are expected to last for a year, and after that, this kind of expanding and rupturing of the battery cells is expected. Customers just need to purchase new batteries when this happens. That’s what I was told. Yet, I think it’s odd considering that I know of no other notebook products that have this problem with older batteries.” ~ Greg Johnson

Best Practices. For just about any notebook computer, it’s best to leave the battery disconnected while in storage.


Google Reader RSS Feed Alternatives

An RSS Reader automatically gathers website articles and posts from websites you subscribe to. Rather than visiting many different websites for your news, you can use the reader as an aggregate of all your news.

As of July 1, the Google Reader RSS Feed service will be no longer available (see the official announcement below). Because Google Reader has been one of the most popular readers, many people are looking for alternatives.

Two alternatives that seem to work well are Digg Reader and Feedly. These services are able to import all your Google Reader news feed information. Mobile apps are currently being rewritten to work with these other services. The Digg Reader service launched just days before the shut down of Google Reader.

* * *

Below: Announcements from Google about Google Reader

How can I download my Reader data?

Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013. If you’d like to download a copy of all your Reader data before then, you can do so through Google Takeout. You’ll receive your subscription data in an XML file, and the following information will be downloaded as JSON files:

  • List of people that you follow
  • List of people that follow you
  • Items you have starred
  • Items you have liked
  • Items you have shared
  • Items shared by people you follow
  • Notes you have created
  • Items with comments

Click here to start downloading your Reader data from Takeout. Once downloaded, your subscription data should be easily transferrable to another product, where you can continue to keep up with your online reading.

* * *

Powering Down Google Reader
3/13/2013 04:06:00 PM

Posted by Alan Green, Software Engineer

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

To ensure a smooth transition, we’re providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout.

Thank you again for using Reader as your RSS platform.


Download Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013


Office Professional Plus 2013 includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. A 60-day evaluation trial version can be downloaded from Microsoft. [click here] The product can be purchased from Amazon in the pro or pro plus version.

articles How To

The Evolution of Address Books and Contact Lists


Summary. Technological advances and convergence has impacted how we think of and use address books and contact lists. The chronology below is somewhat of an oversimplification. Convergent devices and software existed early on, but were not as widely embraced and utilized as they are today. So, with a simple

1970s Address Book

20130627th-contacts-evolution-retro-vintage-address-booksIn the 1970s, prior to the wider use of computerized devices, it was common to have a single printed or handwritten address book.

This centralized address book would contain all the contact information needed for all people and businesses you frequently needed to contact.

One might even put their account number and other pertinent information in this address book as well.

Entries might be hand written or typed using a typewriter for those wanting a cleaner look.

1980s Address Book

With the introduction of computers and electronic address books, people began typing their address lists into electronic devices. For early adopters of online computing, this may have included a separate electronic directory of people’s contact information. Fax machines with internal memory would have an electronic directory of fax numbers. Telephones had their own built-in electronic directories. Because these different devices didn’t communicate with each other, it was common to have one’s address book scattered around various devices. If a person moved, and updated their email, phone, fax, and mailing address. It would be necessary to update this information on multiple devices.

1990s Address Book

In the 199s, the devices of the 1980s became more advanced. From decade to decade technologies changed, but the list below reflects the broader social use of these technologies.

  1. Fax Machine. Most of us have had Fax machines, and these have had an internal directory of names and fax numbers. Needless to say, no other information was contained beyond just the fax number and a name.
  2. Telephone. It was common to have a telephone directory either as a rolodex or address book near the telephone. At some point this printed directory moved to an internal listing inside our mobile phones. This list contained usually just a name and phone number. More advanced phones allowed for home and business phone numbers for an individual.
  3. Mailing List. Since most of us needed to communicate to a group of people by postal mail, it was common to have a directory in a computer with names and addresses. This could be used to print labels, print envelopes, and/or perform mail merge using Microsoft Word and Excel. The mailing list later became an email distribution list.
  4. Email Program. With the increased use of email, we began to develop directories of email addresses. These would usually have people’s names and email addresses only.

Microsoft Outlook 2000

Microsoft Outlook was one of the first widely adopted programs to integrate all of the above functions: fax sending, emailing, and mail merge. One could also print their telephone directory. Included with Office 2000 and subsequent versions of Office, Outlook became a commonly used program. Increasingly, electronic devices (like the Palm) would include the ability to synchronize with Outlook. So, you could take a synchronized version of your entire address book with you. This was helpful, for example, when traveling to someone’s home or business, you could double-check their address. Or, if needing to call someone, you’d have their information with you. Similarly, information entered into a Palm device, would later be pushed into Outlook on the computer when synchronized. People soon realized the benefits of having a single synchronized unified address book (as we’d had in the past).


With smart phones, now people are calling, emailing, and otherwise communicating in multiple forms with people. We expect our computer and phone to have email, phone number, fax number, and physical address (for mapping). We’re updating and adding data while mobile, to phones, tablets, and computers. The “cloud” makes it possible to synchronize without using wires, but in all other respects, the process remains the same.

How To Uncategorized

Configuring iPhone Notification Settings to Receive Emergency Alerts from Government Agencies

The graphic below shows how to set your iPhone Notifications to receive emergency alerts from government agencies. Click here or the image below to enlarge.


How To

Using MailChimp to Send an Email or Newsletter to a Distribution List or Group of People


Summary. Communicating with smaller groups of people can be done using standard email services (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) and, if you desire, additional software can be used (Thunderbird, Outlook, Apple Mail). Most of these have a “group” capability in their address book or contacts list, and they allow for sending a single email to a few dozen people. However, with larger lists, it’s necessary to use an email distribution system or service for the reasons mentioned below. This document describes why you’ll want to use MailChimp, and describes how it works. Effective email distribution is a little bit complicated to get setup. This is why you may want to have assistance from someone skilled with the process. Contact us if you need additional help.

Overview. Before you get intimidated, here’s a simple overview of how MailChimp and other email distribution systems work.

  1. Setup a mailing list. An existing list can be imported, or you can start from scratch.
  2. Create a message or newsletter to send people (this is called a “campaign” in MailChimp).
  3. Send your message.

That’s all there is to it. The rest of this document describes the above process in more detail, and also explains why email distribution systems are necessary. The instructions here are specific to MailChimp, but apply to just about any service. The screen images used here are current as of June 2013 after a redesign to the MailChimp system. However, they may not be accurate a year from now. So, it’s important to focus on learning the general process and develop the intuitive skills required.

Problems With Group Mailings. As you approach 30 or more recipients for a single email, several problems can arise if  you try to send that message using traditional email methods.

  • Your email service provider may suspect you of sending SPAM (unsolicited junk emails) and this could result in your account getting shut down or temporarily frozen.
  • When people receive an email with a long list of recipients, they are less likely to consider it personally relevant to them. It will be perceived as impersonal and likely to be junk mail.
  • Messages with large numbers of recipients are perceived by Junk Mail Filtering systems to be SPAM. So, your message may be blocked and the recipients may not receive it.
  • Managing a list can be time consuming. People frequently change their email addresses. People who are in your list want off. Others want to be added. Delays and typos create further problems.

Benefits of Email List Services. Email distribution systems resolve all of the above problems, and offer additional benefits. For example, some can tell you how many people read your email message. Also, your messages can be formatted to be more attractive.

Email List Service Options. There are several ways to communicate with groups of people. For an example, see the Iowa City Scrabble Club subscribe page. On that page you’ll see the following five methods used. They are described here briefly.

  • MailChimp.  An email subscription system that allows the use of existing lists, and also provides a signup form for new subscription requests. Messages are composed and sent from within your MailChimp account. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a fancy newsletter. The service is free for those with smaller lists who send out fewer messages weekly or monthly. The paid MailChimp service levels are similar to those offered by or Constant Contact.
  • Facebook. Having a Facebook page is one way to reach people. However, there’s no guarantee that they will see your message unless they visit your page, or happen to be on Facebook when you post an announcement.
  • Twitter. Like Facebook, Twitter isn’t a reliable way to communicate with people. Since people may be reading through many Tweats that scroll by on their news feed, they may miss your postings.
  • Yahoo Groups. Similar to MailChimp, Yahoo Groups lets you import an existing list of email addresses (up to 100 per day). There are also additional collaborative tools.
  • Subscription. This option lets you email website posts by email. Since all posts are distributed, it may be best to setup a dedicated subscription website for monthly newsletters (for example). However, it’s not necessary. If your website followers are sufficiently interested, they will appreciate getting all posts in real-time.

What MailChimp Does. MailChimp is really several services in one: (1) mailing list manager, (2) email composer, (3) email sender. It’s logical to have all these combined in one service. Yet, in the past, it was common for a person to manage their email list in a spreadsheet, create their newsletter using Publisher, and send it using an email service provider. That was a lot of work. Having all of these functions in one place makes things easier.

Mailing List and MailChimp. For most mailing list needs, a single mailing list will be imported or started from scratch. The ongoing maintenance of the list will be done automatically through signup/subscribe forms and unsubscribe requests.

  1. To get started, once logged into MailChimp, you’ll create a list for the first time. Skip this step if someone has already done it for you. Otherwise, go to step #2.
  2. Go to Lists and click on Create List. When you create your list, you’ll be asked to give it a name and you’ll provide other default information for use later when sending.
    1. Note: Unless you’re managing multiple lists for multiple groups, you’ll probably just have one list. In fact, it’s probably best to have separate MailChimp user accounts for different lists, since the free MailChimp service restricts the size of lists to 2000 people or less and the number of mailings are also limited. This also makes it possible to delegate the work of a certain list to another person (although multiple user accounts are also available).
  3. After creating your (initially empty) list, you can begin to add email addresses to it either by importing or adding one at a time. From the Lists page, click on your list to see the management options. In the upper right corner, you’ll see a silhouette of a person. Hover your mouse to reveal the Add Subscriber option as shown below. Click here or the image for a larger view.


Once you click Add Subscriber, you’ll get a form like the one shown below. You can use this form to enter people one at a time.


If you have an existing list, import the list from your computer. Go to the main Lists page, click on the List name, click Import, and follow the instructions.

Letting People Subscribe. Most lists are built over time when people Subscribe to your list (called opt-in). You can send people to a subscription page for your MailChimp mailing list by following these steps:

  1. Go to the main MailChimp Dashboard.
  2. Select Lists.
  3. Click on the list name.
  4. Click on Signup Forms
  5. Click on Link to a Form
  6. Customize, or just click Click Share It
  7. Copy the short URL that will send people to your form. It should begin with
  8. When people go to that link, they will be able to signup for your list. You can send that link out by email and even share it on a website.

Creating a Newsletter or Email. Follow these steps to create a newsletter or email.

  1. Go to the main MailChimp Dashboard
  2. Click on Campaigns (these are like newsletters)
  3. If you’ve had a previous campaign similar to what you want to create now, then from the drop-down arrow/triangle on the right, choose replicate. Otherwise, click on Create Campaign.
  4. Choose who the message will go out to. Usually it’s your entire list.
  5. Give the campaign a name. You might consider using YYYYMMDD-name as a format. So, a newsletter being sent on June 24, 2013 would be called 20130613-newsletter. Fill out or customize any of the other settings as needed then click Next.
  6. Choose a Template. Drag & Drop editor works well, so choose that.
  7. Select a Template by clicking on Basic Templates. Select One Column.
  8. Fill out all areas of the initial sample template. In the upper right corner, you’ll see “Use this area to offer a short preview of your email’s content.” Click on that text to put a custom message or link (like a link to your Facebook page).
  9. You can click and drag any element from the right to your newsletter on the left. Click on any existing placed element to edit it.
  10. Click Next. A text only message will be created from what you designed above. If you’ve replicated a previous campaign, the previous text message will be here, so be sure to update it by clicking on Copy Text From HTML Email.
  11. Click Next and review all of your choices and selections.
  12. At the top of the page, under Preview & Test,  you’ll find an option to Send a Test Email. Choose this option to make sure your email will look okay.
  13. View your message (the test message) on a desktop/notebook computer as well as other devices like a tablet/iPad and smartphone/iPhone.
  14. Once you’ve confirmed everything is okay, click Send Now.

The above steps are detailed and may look a bit intimidating. However, once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll see that it’s simply a matter of replicating and then modifying previous campaigns. So, sending a simple newsletter can be almost as easy as sending a normal email.

Contact us if you have a suggestion for how the above instructions can be made clearer.