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
100 Aug 2014 Recycling Risks: Remove Your Digital Self
99 Jul 2014 Owning is So Yesterday: Streams and Clouds Conquer Discs
98 Jun 2014 The Need for Speed: Get More Done, Faster
97 May 2014 Tablet Tales: Not Quite Replacing a Laptop
96 Apr 2014 More Than a Typewriter: The Power of Word
95 Mar 2014 Social Media Getting Older, Losing Its Cool
94 Feb 2014 Rise of the Machines, Decline of the Workers
93 Jan 2014 Our Valley Home: Virtual Life in the Valley
92 Dec 2013 Tablet Time: When Less is Best
91 Nov 2013 Apple Tech is Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary
90 Oct 2013 Words of Thanks for a Mentor
89 Sep 2013 Desktop Databases: Still Great for Many Tasks
88 Aug 2013 Finding My Way: Four Flawed Navigation Apps
87 Jul 2013 Questions from the Mailbag
86 Jun 2013 Build Your Own PC
85 May 2013 Tech Etiquette: Why Manners Still Matter
84 Apr 2013 Getting Social to Build Your Business
83 Mar 2013 Infection Prevention: Phishing, Trojans, Viruses and Malware
82 Feb 2013 Accomodating Difference with Good Design
81 Jan 2013 Dinosaur Me: An Attitude from the Past
80 Dec 2012 You Need Backups: The Benefits of Off-Site Storage
79 Nov 2012 RSS Feeds: The Best Way to (not) Surf the Web
78 Oct 2012 Internet Radio: Something for Everyone
77 Sep 2012 The Responsive Web: Every Screen is Different
76 Aug 2012 The Teacher’s Pet: Computers Grade Homework
75 Jul 2012 Data Ghosts of Hardware Past
74 Jun 2012 Telecommuting: Embracing the Possibilities
73 May 2012 The End is Near: Deciding to Replace a Computer
72 Apr 2012 Getting Fit with a Virtual Trainer
71 Mar 2012 The Publishing Revolution: Create Your Own E-Book
70 Feb 2012 The Ultimate Online Shopper (and Bride-to-Be)
69 Jan 2012 The Desktop Computer is Dead. Long Live the Desktop!
68 Special There’s More than One App for Weddings, Too
67 Dec 2011 Have a Happy High-Tech Holiday
66 Nov 2011 Crafting a Résumé for the Digital Age
65 Oct 2011 Artists Gather Online: The Valley’s Virtual Art Colonies
64 Sep 2011 Virtual Theology: Comparative Religion Goes Digital
63 Aug 2011 Online Universities: An Opportunity for Valley Residents
62 Jul 2011 Real Estate Websites: House Hunting Goes Virtual
61 Jun 2011 Reliving the Past: Retro Gaming and Vintage Computing
60 Special The Wedding Planner: Google Your Big Day
59 May 2011 A Web of Tech Problems: Finding Answers Online
58 Apr 2011 Crawling the Crafters’ Web
57 Mar 2011 Archives Aren’t Backups: Storing Data for the Future
56 Feb 2011 Science at Home: DIY Labs and More
55 Jan 2011 Virtual Valley Predictions for 2011
54 Special Wedding Registries Go Virtual
53 Dec 2010 Scrapbooking the Easy Way
52 Nov 2010 Building a Business via Social Networks
51 Oct 2010 Nurturing the Valley Tech Economy
50 Sep 2010 Learning to Program, Learning to Think
49 Aug 2010 Back to School Computer Shopping
48 Jul 2010 Personal Reflections on Education and Technology
47 Jun 2010 The Trails We Leave Behind
46 May 2010 Capturing Memories: Comparing Photo Printers
45 Apr 2010 The New Job Hunt: Searches Begin Online
44 Mar 2010 Will Textbooks Go Digital… and Free?
43 Feb 2010 Words on a Screen: E-Books are the Future
42 Jan 2010 Peering into My Crystal Ball
41 Dec 2009 Software to Help the Writer Within
40 Nov 2009 Beyond the Valley: Are We There Yet?
39 Oct 2009 Facebook Fling, Twitter Toss: the Risks of Social Computing
38 Sep 2009 YouTube and You, Unemployed
37 Aug 2009 Keeping Track of Everything in Your Life
36 Jul 2009 Font Fanatic: Putting the Best Face Forward
35 Jun 2009 Twittering or Tweeting, It’s Not for Everyone
34 May 2009 Virtual Romance, Real Complications
33 Apr 2009 My Addiction to PDAs: My iPod Touch
32 Mar 2009 Social Networking and Facebook
31 Feb 2009 Any Recipe You Might Want… And More
30 Jan 2009 Deleting Files and Junk from Hard Drives
29 Dec 2008 How Did We Get so Many Computers?
28 Nov 2008 NY Atty Gen Forces ISPs to End Usenet Service
27 Oct 2008 Shopping for a New Car Using Online Research
26 Sep 2008 Earthquakes, Fires and More Mapped Online
25 Aug 2008 Developing Good Backup Habits
24 Jul 2008 Games to Exercise Your Brain
23 Jun 2008 Students Cheating via the Web
22 May 2008 Researching Medical Information Online
21 Apr 2008 Technology Helping the Disabled
20 Mar 2008 Exercise Aided by Computers, Game Consoles
19 Feb 2008 Pursuing a Degree Online
18 Jan 2008 Teaching Programming Using Free Tools
17 Dec 2007 Students Need to Really Know MS Office, etc.
16 Nov 2007 Shopping Online / Greeting Cards / Photo Sharing
15 Oct 2007 Your Favorite Station Anytime, Anywhere
14 Sep 2007 Schools Putting Information for Parents Online
13 Aug 2007 The Challenges of Online Travel Sites
12 Jul 2007 OpenOffice, GIMP, Google Docs, etc.
11 Jun 2007 Finding Free Books Online
10 May 2007 Computers Hate the Valley Summer
9 Apr 2007 Virtual Utopia Proving Hard to Find
8 Mar 2007 How Secure is Your Wireless Network?
7 Feb 2007 Gardening Information Online (Especially Roses!)
6 Jan 2007 Online Groups and Forums for Valley Residents
5 Dec 2006 Day Trip Destinations with Online Sites
4 Nov 2006 MySpace Predators and Teens / Online Safety
3 Oct 2006 Local and Regional Performing Arts Online
2 Sep 2006 Visalia and Wikipedia
1 Aug 2006 Searching for “Visalia” on Google / Search Engines