Virtual Valley Columns

essays about life with technology

The Virtual Valley

a column on technology and life

“The Virtual Valley” began appearing in Visalia Direct in August, 2006. The column addresses how technology affects life in the relatively rural San Joaquin Valley of Central California. The publisher, Direct Media Inc. (DMI), specializes in newspaper magazine inserts and freely distributed publications in Central California.

Some Virtual Valley columns appear in other DMI publications, including Wedding Style and Visalia Lifestyle. I enjoy working with the DMI staff and the support of their loyal readers.

# Issue Topic
96 Apr ’14 More Than a Typewriter: The Power of Word
95 Mar ’14 Social Media Getting Older, Losing Its Cool
94 Feb ’14 Rise of the Machines, Decline of the Workers
93 Jan ’14 Our Valley Home: Virtual Life in the Valley
92 Dec ’13 Tablet Time: When Less is Best
91 Nov ’13 Apple Tech is Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary
90 Oct ’13 Words of Thanks for a Mentor
89 Sep ’13 Desktop Databases: Still Great for Many Tasks
88 Aug ’13 Finding My Way: Four Flawed Navigation Apps
87 Jul ’13 Questions from the Mailbag
86 Jun ’13 Build Your Own PC
85 May ’13 Tech Etiquette: Why Manners Still Matter
84 Apr ’13 Getting Social to Build Your Business
83 Mar ’13 Infection Prevention: Phishing, Trojans, Viruses and Malware
82 Feb ’13 Accomodating Difference with Good Design
81 Jan ’13 Dinosaur Me: An Attitude from the Past
80 Dec ’12 You Need Backups: The Benefits of Off-Site Storage
79 Nov ’12 RSS Feeds: The Best Way to (not) Surf the Web
78 Oct ’12 Internet Radio: Something for Everyone
77 Sep ’12 The Responsive Web: Every Screen is Different
76 Aug ’12 The Teacher’s Pet: Computers Grade Homework
75 Jul ’12 Data Ghosts of Hardware Past
74 Jun ’12 Telecommuting: Embracing the Possibilities
73 May ’12 The End is Near: Deciding to Replace a Computer
72 Apr ’12 Getting Fit with a Virtual Trainer
71 Mar ’12 The Publishing Revolution: Create Your Own E-Book
70 Feb ’12 The Ultimate Online Shopper (and Bride-to-Be)
69 Jan ’12 The Desktop Computer is Dead. Long Live the Desktop!
68 Special There’s More than One App for Weddings, Too
67 Dec ’11 Have a Happy High-Tech Holiday
66 Nov ’11 Crafting a Résumé for the Digital Age
65 Oct ’11 Artists Gather Online: The Valley’s Virtual Art Colonies
64 Sep ’11 Virtual Theology: Comparative Religion Goes Digital
63 Aug ’11 Online Universities: An Opportunity for Valley Residents
62 Jul ’11 Real Estate Websites: House Hunting Goes Virtual
61 Jun ’11 Reliving the Past: Retro Gaming and Vintage Computing
60 Special The Wedding Planner: Google Your Big Day
59 May ’11 A Web of Tech Problems: Finding Answers Online
58 Apr ’11 Crawling the Crafters’ Web
57 Mar ’11 Archives Aren’t Backups: Storing Data for the Future
56 Feb ’11 Science at Home: DIY Labs and More
55 Jan ’11 Virtual Valley Predictions for 2011
54 Special Wedding Registries Go Virtual
53 Dec ’10 Scrapbooking the Easy Way
52 Nov ’10 Building a Business via Social Networks
51 Oct ’10 Nurturing the Valley Tech Economy
50 Sep ’10 Learning to Program, Learning to Think
49 Aug ’10 Back to School Computer Shopping
48 Jul ’10 Personal Reflections on Education and Technology
47 Jun ’10 The Trails We Leave Behind
46 May ’10 Capturing Memories: Comparing Photo Printers
45 Apr ’10 The New Job Hunt: Searches Begin Online
44 Mar ’10 Will Textbooks Go Digital… and Free?
43 Feb ’10 Words on a Screen: E-Books are the Future
42 Jan ’10 Peering into My Crystal Ball
41 Dec ’09 Software to Help the Writer Within
40 Nov ’09 Beyond the Valley: Are We There Yet?
39 Oct ’09 Facebook Fling, Twitter Toss: the Risks of Social Computing
38 Sep ’09 YouTube and You, Unemployed
37 Aug ’09 Keeping Track of Everything in Your Life
36 Jul ’09 Font Fanatic: Putting the Best Face Forward
35 Jun ’09 Twittering or Tweeting, It’s Not for Everyone
34 May ’09 Virtual Romance, Real Complications
33 Apr ’09 My Addiction to PDAs: My iPod Touch
32 Mar ’09 Social Networking and Facebook
31 Feb ’09 Any Recipe You Might Want… And More
30 Jan ’09 Deleting Files and Junk from Hard Drives
29 Dec ’08 How Did We Get so Many Computers?
28 Nov ’08 NY Atty Gen Forces ISPs to End Usenet Service
27 Oct ’08 Shopping for a New Car Using Online Research
26 Sep ’08 Earthquakes, Fires and More Mapped Online
25 Aug ’08 Developing Good Backup Habits
24 Jul ’08 Games to Exercise Your Brain
23 Jun ’08 Students Cheating via the Web
22 May ’08 Researching Medical Information Online
21 Apr ’08 Technology Helping the Disabled
20 Mar ’08 Exercise Aided by Computers, Game Consoles
19 Feb ’08 Pursuing a Degree Online
18 Jan ’08 Teaching Programming Using Free Tools
17 Dec ’07 Students Need to Really Know MS Office, etc.
16 Nov ’07 Shopping Online / Greeting Cards / Photo Sharing
15 Oct ’07 Your Favorite Station Anytime, Anywhere
14 Sep ’07 Schools Putting Information for Parents Online
13 Aug ’07 The Challenges of Online Travel Sites
12 Jul ’07 OpenOffice, GIMP, Google Docs, etc.
11 Jun ’07 Finding Free Books Online
10 May ’07 Computers Hate the Valley Summer
9 Apr ’07 Virtual Utopia Proving Hard to Find
8 Mar ’07 How Secure is Your Wireless Network?
7 Feb ’07 Gardening Information Online (Especially Roses!)
6 Jan ’07 Online Groups and Forums for Valley Residents
5 Dec ’06 Day Trip Destinations with Online Sites
4 Nov ’06 MySpace Predators and Teens / Online Safety
3 Oct ’06 Local and Regional Performing Arts Online
2 Sep ’06 Visalia and Wikipedia
1 Aug ’06 Searching for “Visalia” on Google / Search Engines