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Video – The Parallels Between Traditional Wampum and Bitcoin

In this video I want to talk a little about a cryptocurrency I discovered a little while ago called Wampum or Wampumcoin

 This video continues my series of videos on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Basics Explained for Non-Technical People

 I think that in many ways, Wampum (in particular, Wampum belts) used traditionally in Native American cultures has many parallels to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, including specifically to the blockchain technology that is the core of crypto.

Indulge me for a moment while I wax enthusiastic about the idea of Wampum as a cryptocurrency; why I’m personally enthusiastic about it – not just because of my Native American ancestry, but also for the parallels I see between ancient Wampum belts and modern technology.

You can find out more about Wampumcoin on the official website:, and you can read more about traditional Wampum belts including the Hiawatha Belt I featured in the video in this Wikipedia article.

If you’re interested in Wampumcoin, someone is selling a lot of it for almost nothing at the moment here on Comkort – note: I do have a small amount of the currency for sale on the exchange, but none of the really cheap stuff is mine since I don’t like “dumping” coins.

I will likely be doing some kind of Wampumcoin giveaway in the future. I’ll post about it here if or when I do.

Aloha Bitcoin

My Cryptocurrency Consulting Project Here in Hawaii

I just wanted to make a quick post here to announce a project I’ve been working towards since last year. It’s mainly of interest to people here in Hawaii, but I figured I’d post briefly and link to the introductory article on the project’s new site — AlohaBitcoin.

Things are still in development, but I will be offering Bitcoin and cryptocurrency consulting and technical services to individuals and businesses here in Hawaii.

Feel free to click the link and read more if you’re interested.

I’ll be posting more specifics there once the project is further along, and will no doubt post a link to it from here.

wow dogecoin retweet!

Get 25 Free Dogecoin – RT & Reply w Wallet Address @PlainTech

I’ve been really following the cryptocurrency scene recently with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and the other altcoins and I just had to post this for fun.

Scroll down…


The “Dogecoin” (pronounced “dog coin”) is a funny combination of the Doge Meme  with Bitcoin, and has taken off in popularity, especially over the last few days.

So to have a little fun I decided to give away some Dogecoins (I happen to have a few at the moment), as well as have a little contest.  I also am including a limited number of special coupon codes you can use on this site to save 10% off any of my courses.

All you have to do is retweet my Dogecoin tweet or use the share buttons on this post to share a link to this page, then send me your Dogecoin wallet address and I’ll send you 25 dogecoin.  You can also use the comment form below.

Everyone who retweets or shares the link will also be given the chance to win 500 dogecoins!  I will have a random drawing and pick one person and send them an additional 500 coins (a total of 525 dogecoins). Limit one chance per person.

Update: The winner of the drawing was Twitter user @Pantupino


Site coupon code: DOGECOIN

(Coupon limited to next 25 people. Not to be combined with other coupons, but will work with items that are already on sale)

 Use to get 10% off any of my computer & technology courses

You can get the Dogecoin app for both Windows and Mac for free by clicking here if you don’t have a wallet yet.

Question: Lessons for How to Use Android Devices

Do you have lessons for a 7inch Android mini computer?
Thank you,
Dora Fowler

Hi Dora,
  I’m sorry, I don’t do lessons on Android at this point. The problem is that there are many different companies making Android devices, but each one works very differently than the other and so I’d pretty much literally have to buy one of every single make and model on the market and record specific lessons for each one.  

  I actually recommend Continue Reading →

Definition of Delete vs Cancel – Two Commonly Confused Computer Terms

In this article, I want to talk a little bit about two computer terms that I see people confusing or demonstrating that they don’t understand completely.  People often use the two interchangeably or consistently use the wrong one.

These two terms are “cancel” and “delete.”

Let’s start with “delete.” To delete something is the process of taking something such as a file, like a Word document or photograph, and removing it. The process generally involves moving it to the trash on a Mac or the recycle bin on a Windows machine and emptying the trash or recycle bin. The emptying part is what is actually deleting it.

When you delete a file, in most cases for most people, it’s gone.

Technically, it’s still there but has been marked as available space on the drive — think of painting over a mark on a wall — it’s hidden but not technically gone. Whatever space the file that has been deleted was taking up is marked as available. Until some other file comes along and is saved in that spot, or part of that same spot, the file is technically available and can be recovered with the right program.

However, as far as most people are concerned, once the recycle bin or trash is emptied, the file is gone for good. Until you empty it, it’s still available for you to pull back out and retrieve.

Another example of how to use the word “delete” correctly is when you delete not a file, but text.  For example, if I decided I didn’t want this specific sentence in this article anymore, I’d delete it with the “delete” or “backspace” key on my keyboard.

Again, as with deleting a file, this is the process of removing something.

In most writing programs (including word processing programs such as Microsoft Word, or email programs such as Mozilla Thunderbird, etc.) you can restore words you’ve deleted if you use “undo” to reverse the last thing you did.

Some programs may let you undo more than once, stepping back through each change you made, but in most or all cases once you close the program, any words you’ve deleted from your document are gone for good unless you’ve saved them in a different file. What I see people doing sometimes is use the term “cancel” or “delete” inappropriately.

Deleting is the process of taking information on a computer and getting rid of it. It is not the process of closing a window.

I have seen a lot of people refer to closing a window or getting rid of an error message that has come up as “deleting” it. That’s not deleting. If you close a window, you’re simply closing a window.

I’ve also seen people refer to closing a window as canceling. I’ve also seen people refer to deleting an item as canceling it. That’s not the correct terminology.

Canceling is when you have a process that has been started and you “cancel” that process. You stop it from continuing, or interrupt it in other words.  It takes you back to where you were immediately before the process.

What do I mean by that? Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you in a word processor, like Microsoft Word. You’ve written something, and then you close the program without saving.

What’s going to happen?

Traditionally, the program will pop up a window or dialog box that presents you with some options. It will say something along the lines of, “You’re trying to close, and you haven’t saved yet. Would you like to save, cancel or continue without saving?”

The wording does vary from one program to the next, but something along those lines is what you might see in the situation where you’re trying to close without having saved yet.

Let’s just say the phrasing is, “Do you want to save the changes you made? Your changes will be lost if you don’t save them.” Then you’re presented with three buttons: don’t save, cancel and save.

What would happen in this situation if you tried these different buttons?

If you don’t save, it will simply close the program or window without saving it, and you will lose whatever work you’ve done since the last time you saved. If you click save, it will save the file, and probably ask you for a file name if you haven’t saved it before.

The other option is to cancel. Cancel would cancel the process of closing and take you right back to where you were before you started to close the window.

At that point you could continue writing, you could save and close or you could decide you’re going to close anyway and that you don’t care about saving. Then it would present you with the same three options, and you would be able to hit “don’t save.”

What I’m trying to say here is that if you are presented with a cancel option, it doesn’t mean it’s going to delete anything.

It just means that whatever process you’re in the middle of, in our example exiting a program, it interrupts that. It takes you right back to where you were immediately before that. It’s not correct to refer to closing a window as canceling it.

It’s not correct to refer to deleting a file as canceling it. Canceling only applies to a situation where you’ve started a process (a series of automated steps) which you have the option of cancelling before all the steps are completed.

If you want to get technical, if you hit the cancel button, it does close the little window with the question in it (the little window with the question in it is referred to as a “dialogue box” because it’s asking a question and waiting for a response — trying to have a dialogue with you).

This is probably where the confusion comes from for a lot of people. Closing the window is not correctly referred to as canceling even if sometimes canceling something will close a window. I hope that makes sense.

I know it’s a little confusing sometimes because you see these words out of context, and you don’t fully understand how they work and relate to each other.

I hope that makes some sense and will help you use those computer terms more accurately in the future so you can recognize and understand what people are saying when they’re using them correctly around you in the future as well.

What you’ve just read is an edited transcription of one of an audio lesson I recorded some time ago.  If you like to study written material to learn computers, you might check out my selection of computer training books on or if you prefer a visual approach you might want to check out my easy video lesson computer courses including the Mac Basics course and the PC Basics course here on my site.

Tips to Remember Passwords & Improve Your Memory

I thought I’d share this good tip for remembering & keeping track of passwords with you, which is part of a post on (see link below for original article). It’s not a new article, but has some good info. This password technique is almost identical to the one I’ve been using for the better part of a decade now.

I have a LOT of passwords for my various accounts and very rarely have trouble remembering them because I have a system. Developing systems is a great way to make things easier for yourself in all areas of life, not just remembering passwords.

Here’s the tip from their site:

5. Never have to write down countless, unique passwords with a single master pattern

The safest place to store your passwords is in your head, and you don’t want to use one password for all your logins. This isn’t so much a “memory” hack as an efficiency tip, but it only forces your noggin to come up with one really great password system rather than lots of highly forgettable variations. Choose a base password, like an abbreviated or acronym version of a favorite phrase or song, then create a system for changing it up site to site, like using the first three letters of the site name, the first four consonants or first two vowels, whatever fits for you. Clicking “Forgot your password?” and waiting on verification emails will be a distant memory, one you can feel just fine about forgetting.

Source: Top 10 Memory Hacks

Modern Internet Users Have It Easy

I’ve been helping make computers easy for people for about 16 years now as a professional, but have been an avid computer user for well over a quarter century at this point.

There are a lot of people who think computers are hard to use, and need my help to make heads or tails
of them.

It’s not your fault if you feel this way, but I wanted to give you a quick “computer history” lesson to help you understand that computers are in most ways *much* easier than when I started using them, and to help you understand they’re only getting easier as time goes by.

I also wanted to share a website with you that lets you look into the Internet of the past to see what it was like before the days of the World Wide Web – what I used to use back in the day before most people had even heard of email.

When I got my first computer back in the 1980s, it didn’t come with a modem. I had to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a dialup modem which ran at “1200 bps” – that number may not mean anything to you, but in relative terms compared to a modern cable or DSL modem it was like walking compared to driving a fast car at top speed.

VERY slow!

Not only was it slow, it was a “dumb modem” which meant that every single time I used it I had to manually configure it to work properly, something I had to do by memorizing and typing in a string of letters and numbers that would look like gibberish to most people.

Once I was connected to the Internet I didn’t have bookmarks or search engines to find things, I had to
know the exact address of a site I wanted to connect to, then type another special command to connect to it.

Everything was done by typing commands and you often needed to have a great deal of knowledge about exactly how your computer worked “under the hood” to know the correct commands to type, and if you typed one letter or number wrong it just wouldn’t work!

A far cry from today where you can grab a mouse and double-click on an icon and then from there click a link or a button to get where you want, or at most type in what you’re looking for in a search engine.

If you want to get an idea of what it used to look like back in the day, there’s a website which simulates the Internet as it was about 20 years ago before the Web came along, when just about the only people using the Internet were complete computer geeks like myself.

Go to:

and you’ll see what it was like. You have to type commands to get around (a list of commands is shown
when you arrive) followed by the Enter or Return key to “send” the command.

I’m just sharing this with you for fun, and to give you a little perspective on how things have changed. The good news is, things are generally getting easier as time goes by.

On the down side, of course, we do face a lot more potential threats and risks to our privacy and security
on the modern Internet than was around back then.

In my next email I’ll tell you about one type of threat that can put you at risk no matter what kind of
computer you use (yes, including Apple Macs).

Fortunately, this particular threat is one that can be defeated by knowledge, and I’ll share a new lesson
to give you that knowledge so you can stay safe.

So keep an eye out for that lesson – I’ll be posting it in the next few days.

iPhone Tips & Video Tutorials in Plain English – Video Preview of Easy New App

I’ve been meaning to post this for a few days – as mentioned in a previous post on my site, I’ve brought my style of quick & easy, Plain English video lessons to help you learn how to use the iPhone.  Beginning with over 150 short step-by-step videos, you get iPhone basics, iPhone tips & more in a new easy iPhone Video Tips & Training Appavailable now in the iOS App Store. I’ve recorded this video and quick demo so you can see for yourself:

Whether you use an iPod Touch or an iPhone, I think you’ll find this is a quick & easy way to look up information on how to use your iPhone or iPod Touch is pretty handy.  The app is really a complete & comprehensive basic course on how to use the iPhone which will help very basic users, but people who’ve owned their iPhone for years have found it’s a great way to look up a quick iPhone tip or two. I’ll be releasing a similar video training app for the iPad that teaches you how to use the tablet computer. That app is based on this one, so anyone looking for iPad training can get an idea of what to expect from the video above. Watch the video to learn more or use the link below to launch iTunes to buy it on a computer to sync to your phone later, or if you’re reading this on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, it’ll take you straight into the App Store.

How to Use the iPhone App

How to Use the iPhone App

How to Use the iPhone Video Course Now Available

Just released: my Easy Video Lesson iPhone Course is now available in the App Store!

This easy app shows you step-by-step how to use the iPhone (or iPod Touch since they’re nearly identical to use) with the same style of easy video lessons I’ve been using to teach computers for years now.

Most of the lessons are under 3 minutes long,  and are videos of the actual screen.

This lets you see every step, while hearing plain English explanations through the built-in iPhone speaker or your headphones. You can either use it as a complete iPhone course, or as a quick reference guide to look up how to do specific things when you get stuck and need a little help.

The app is launching with over 150 quick & easy video lessons covering all the settings as well as overviews & how-tos for each of the apps that comes pre-loaded on the phone.

There’s even a handy “suggest a lesson” function you’ll be able to use to request a lesson on a specific app that I haven’t done yet, or to ask me to go into more detail about a topic I’ve already covered.

I’ll be recording a video tour of  the app this weekend and will post it here and to YouTube so you can see how to use it.

Use the link below to launch iTunes to buy it on a computer to sync to your phone later, or if you’re reading this on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, it’ll take you straight into the App Store.

How to Use the iPhone App

Writers – How to Publish Your Book With Smashwords

One of the best things about computers, technology and the modern world is the way that it causes monumental shifts of power to individual people and away from the traditional centers of power, which tended to be wealthy and powerful companies.

You can see this happening in many areas — people being able to use their home computers to make movies and distribute them on YouTube or other video sharing sites, people using online session musicians to help them create their music and then publishing their album via CDBaby, are just a couple of examples.  This allows artists to keep greater control and ownership of what they create as well as giving the potential for a much larger share of the profits.

The print publishing world is going through a similar change and one of the big players is a small company called Smashwords, who I’ve just recently started using myself to publish my new book (coming soon to Apple’s iBooks store, Amazon Kindle and elsewhere).

If you’re a writer or know someone who is, you can use the slideshow below to learn more about how Smashwords works and use the links on the last slide for more info. It doesn’t cost you a penny to publish your book, you get to set the price, and you keep more of the money from each sale than you ever would if you went through a traditional publishing house.