|By Bob Gourley||
|September 21, 2009 11:45 AM EDT||
I’ve mentioned before that I run my small business, Crucial Point LLC, primarily by leveraging cloud computing capabilities. With this post I’ll mention a book that helped me do that: Google Apps: The Missing Manual.
This book does a great job at capturing the core functionality of Google Apps. However, no book can keep up with the capabilities and features of the Google Apps suite. In cloud computing, features can be developed and fielded fast, and since Google intentionally invests in driving more and more features, a continuing stream of announcements on new functionality has occurred since I bought this book.
That said, the Manual is full of tips, techniques, suggestions and guidance for making the most of your Google Apps that remains very relevant. Whether you are a user of the free personal/educational/non-profit editions or a business users these are very powerful tools and a book like this can help you think through ways to transform your workflow.
I’d recommend the book to anyone thinking about making the switch to cloud computing. I should also point out that they give away some great free content from the book online at Amazon, right in the book review. For example, the following list of tips:
Top 14 Google Docs Tricks
1. If you install Google Gears (http://gears.google.com/), you can edit Docs word-processing documents offline, and Docs automatically syncs them with the online version the next time you sign in online.
2. If you make other folks collaborators on Docs documents and spreadsheets, everyone can work on the files simultaneously. To invite collaborators, head to the upper-right Share button (for documents) or Share tab (for spreadsheets).
3. It’s a snap to publish documents created in Docs as blog posts—just select “Publish as web page” from the Share menu, and then click the “Post to blog” button.
4. If you want to embed a Docs presentation in a Web site, just go to the Publish tab, click “Publish document”, and then copy the HTML that appears in the Mini Presentation Module box. Paste the code into your site’s HTML, upload the revised version of the site, and voilà!
5. Google gives you a whole slew of functions to help make working with spreadsheets more efficient. For the complete list, go to www.docs.google.com/support/spreadsheets. (The GoogleLookup function is particularly nifty.)
6. If your Docs list is getting cluttered, you can hide files (documents, spreadsheets, or presentations) to keep your list clean. Just turn on the checkbox next to any file you want to hide (you can select more than one), and then click the Hide button. To make a hidden file reappear, find All Items in the left-hand menu and, if necessary, click its + sign to expand it. Then click Hidden to see your hidden files; select the one(s) you want to see in your Docs list, and then click Unhide.
7. You can easily turn spreadsheet data into all kinds of charts: column, bar, pie, line, area, or scatter. To create a chart, open your spreadsheet to the Edit tab, select the range of cells you want to convert into a chart, and then click the “Add chart” button. In the Create Chart box that appears, tell Docs what kind of chart you want to create and fill in the other info it needs, and then click “Save chart.”
8. If you create a chart based on a Docs spreadsheet, you can save it as an image and insert it into a Docs document. After you create your chart, click its upper-left Chart link and select “Save image”. Save it to your computer, and then open the document you want to put it in. Click Insert and select Image, then tell Docs where to find the file on your computer.
9. If you don’t like a change that you (or someone else) made to one of your Docs files, no problem. Just head to that file’s revision history (click File and then choose “Revision history”) and pick a previous version that you like better.
10. If you’re working on a computer that doesn’t have Adobe Reader and you need to print a document, click Share and select “View as web page (Preview)” to open the formatted document as a Web page. You can then print it from your Web browser. The formatting isn’t quite as good as if you print from a PDF—and you’ll probably have the browser’s header and footer—but all the content is there.
11. If you’ve published a Docs document as a Web page, you can make the Web page update automatically whenever you edit the document. Just click Share and select “Publish as web page”; then turn on the “Automatically republish when changes are made” checkbox.
12. To see how your Docs document will look to folks you share it with, click the Share This Document page’s “Preview document as a viewer” link. If the preview doesn’t look quite right, then go back and edit the document before you share it.
13. You can add YouTube videos to your Docs presentations. In the blue bar above the edit pane, click “Insert video”. Google opens a box where you can search YouTube videos by keyword. Find the one you want and click it to select it. Then click the Insert Video button to put the video on your slide. Once it’s there, you can move, resize, or delete it, just like any image or shape. During a slideshow, viewers can play the video by clicking the Play button on its slide.
14. When you’ve got several collaborators editing the same document all at once, have each person choose a different color for his text to help sort out who made what changes. (The simplest thing is to have each person use the same text and highlight color.) Then, when you finalize the document, simply select the whole thing and click the “Text color” button to change the rainbow of text colors to basic black.
The Amazon review also provides a list of the “Top 10 Cool Things about Gmail” and “11 Ways to Save Time with Google Apps.”
You can find many other user-focused books on Cloud Computing, but in my opinion, Google Apps: The Missing Manual remains the best.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 400
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 822
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 171
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 28, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 311
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 28, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 405
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 28, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 168
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 146
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 195
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:30 AM EDT
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 558
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 356
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 352
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 106
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 542
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 472
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,561
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 272
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,218