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Leaving for Las Vegas

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on October 12, 2009

Welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast.  I am so excited, on Monday my wife and I leave for Las Vegas we are going to the BlogWorld conference for bloggers and others who use social media.

This will be our third year attending this particular conference and I look forward to it every year.  It gives me a chance to meet other people who are creating podcasts and doing similar work to myself, it gives me an opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.

This year I have something very special that I’m going to announce at BlogWorld to the people there I hope to help pod casters be better at what they do. I will be enjoying the somewhat warmer weather of Las Vegas than what we have here.

If you’d like to know more about what my special announcement is please come and see me if you’re at BlogWorld and for the rest of you who may be listening I will be announcing it when I return from BlogWorld, along with a full report of the interesting information that I find while I’m at BlogWorld.

Please watch my website which is www.enablingabilities.com for further details and enjoy the next few weeks I know I certainly will.  Thank you very much

Summer Plans & Goals

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on July 15, 2009

Hello and welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast.  Summer has finally arrived I have several projects which I’d like to complete or at least get a very good start on over the summer, the first of which is spend some quality time with my wife doing the things that we very much like to do.  Like going out in the sunshine and exploring the various parts of our beautiful city.

I would also like to achieve several business goals which have been on my mind for a while now, the first of which I find myself thinking about is the fact that I’m not very comfortable writing things and I have recently purchased the book called “Can Do Writing“.

Which describes a 10 step process for writing various business documents and so and details the process which should make writing more comfortable, at least that is my hope.

Another goal for me is to become more active in the area of social media and becoming more comfortable with marketing my business as a whole.  The more I look at the things that I want to do with my business and the places that I want to take my business the more I see that marketing is, and will continue to be a major factor.

It doesn’t matter how many podcasts I do, how wonderful my website looks , how many products or services I have available if people don’t know that I exist and that I have these products and services to help individuals with their computer training and so on.

It doesn’t do me any good at all and I don’t achieve the biggest goal that I want for my business, which is to be able to help individuals with their computer training needs as well as help individuals with disabilities to achieve their full potential.

Over the summer I am going to endeavor to do a better job at using social media and marketing as a whole to make myself more known and to more importantly build relationships with as many people as I can , to allow me to help as many individuals as possible.  I would be interested in hearing others’ thoughts on the topic of social media and marketing.  Any tips that you may have as well as any key concerns that you’ve got for your business, things that you are working on to do more than you are currently.

If you have any comments questions or concerns please email me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com feel free to visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com.  Thank you very much.

Upgrade computer now or later?

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on June 15, 2009

Hello and welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast over the next month or so I’m going to be talking about something that is important to all of us as computer users at one time or another, answering that question of when is it time to upgrade my computer or my software.

This is a question that we all face at some time or another and recently it’s come to my attention because several of my clients have either had issues with their computer hardware or are finding their existing computer hardware is not fast enough or adequate enough for their needs and is becoming more of a problem than a solution.

Once you decide that it may be time to upgrade your hardware there are several key questions that come into play, and I’m going to start with some of the basic ones here. As the series goes on and I will look at other questions and put the whole picture together for you to assist you in not only deciding if now is the right time to upgrade but also what should I be looking at to make sure that the next system I get will meet my current needs as well is my future needs.

When deciding what to do about your computer hardware needs some of the important issues to look at are items such as what type of computer processing do I need for example is a dual core processor enough, or do I need to move to the new quad core meanings four processor chips system rather than my existing system. If you computer is up to three years old you most likely have a dual core processor meaning two processing cores in one.

One of the other issues to look at is how much RAM do I need in my new computer. Ram memory is the working storage for your computer this is where all your running programs are stored while you’re using them.  The more memory you have the better, it means you can have multiple programs running at one time with a minimum amount of conflicts here again having a dual core processor or quad processor will also help with the amount of programs a user can have running at one time without noticing any slowdown in performance

A major key question to answer here as well is what size hard drive do I need for storing of my programs as well is my data and information which I create. If you are running a business, or if you do a lot of photography or video work you may want a larger hard drive.  Today when you purchase new computers they generally come with hard drives ranging anywhere from 320 GB on up to 750 GB perhaps even 1TB. My recommendation is the larger the hard drive the better.

If you have any comments, concerns or questions please in e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com.  Please feel free to visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com.  Thank you very much

My Awakening

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on May 11, 2009

Hello and welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast, my name is Darrell Hyatt.   Have you ever had one of those days or weeks where as a small business owner and entrepeneur everything seems to go a little off the rails in that we’ve all got so many things that were working on, so many projects that we are in the midst of.

Things that we worry about such as money for example or how are we going to fit in time to do that one more task that we really need to get done.  Do you ever have one of those projects that drives you crazy? it always seems that there is a challenge or something that you can’t figure out how to do and yet you know that you need to get it done, its crucial to what you do as a business owner.

I had one of those recently, as many of you may know I do training videos on a wide variety of computer topics.  One of the things that I face is the fact that being in a wheelchair trying to produce my own video’s here in my office I don’t have a lot of space.

So it’s always been a challenge when producing my video’s to be more than a talking head.  And  I’ve been looking at buying a new video camera that would hopefully allow me to do a better job, and allow me to show more of myself on the screen.  Recently I was able to borrow a video camera from a colleague of mine.

I tested it and it certainly did work somewhat better than my existing camera but I was still very frustrated because I couldn’t achieve the look that I wanted, the professionalism for my videos.  Recently I found using another piece of software I can now achieve the results that I want.

This opens up a great number of doors for me in terms of video production and the quality of the finished product.  Now what I have come to realize as I’ve been doing this is that if you take the time to honestly listen to your self and trust in your own abilities you will find an appropriate solution that suits you as an individual and as a business owner.

This has been one of those a- ha moments or awakenings for me because I now see and understand how I have to trust myself and believe in myself to help me achieve the goals and the results that I want, and I’ve also discovered if you build a good team of people around you who have a variety of skill sets that complement your own it will definitely assist you in getting where you want to be and relieving some of those stresses that we all face as business owners.

My challenge to you is to look back over the last week or so for example and see if you have had any a-ha moments or awakenings and describe for me either in e-mail or a comment some of those challenges that you’ve had that really allowed you to look within yourself and expand your realm of what’s possible for you.

If you’d like to learn more about what I can do and how I can assist you please visit www.enablingabilities.com or e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com Thank you very much.

Web conferencing-which one is right for you?

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on April 15, 2009

Welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast, my name this Darrell Hyatt.  There’s been a lot of talk and discussion recently about social media and how it assists both entrepreneurs and clients to build relationships and maintain a connection with one another.

I want to talk about some of the tools that I use in my business to assist me with that connection, creating a relationship with individuals.  If you listen to my previous podcast I talked about two programs one was Skype www.skype.com which is a communication program the other one that I talk about was the Mikogo  www.mikogo.com which works in conjunction with Skype.

While I thought there is so much more to the topic of what’s called Web conferencing and essentially that’s a tool that many of us use to work with our clients to assist them where we can actually, not only talk to them but see what is on their computer screen or show them what’s on our computer screen for example it may be a website that were talking about.

Some of the features that you may want to look for in a web conferencing application which in my mind a simple way of looking at this is “give me the tools that will allow me to communicate with either another person or a group of people at the same time without limitation or restriction to what information I present to them, and give them away to communicate back to me so that we have a true two-way communication.”

Here are some of the key tools that I look for in applications that I want to use, number one because I’m a computer trainer I want the screen sharing so that both of us can see what’s on the other person’s computer screen in real time.  I also want to be able to switch presenters so that I’m not always the one presenting the material on my screen.

Remote control can be very useful this allows me to take over someone’s keyboard and mouse, it allows me to perform operations on their computer from my keyboard and mouse not everyone needs this sort of functionality depending on what you’re doing.

Another nice feature is having the ability to do file transfers.  If I want to send someone a document or file that I’ve created and I want them to have access to it, rather than sending it through e-mail for example if it tends to be larger file I can send it through the file transfer of my web conferencing application.

Another nice feature is to be able to record the meeting and play it back for future reference and I can send it to the individual so they can have an archived copy of it.  One of the things you may want to look at here is if only the presenters audio is recorded, or whether the presenters audio plus the participants audio is recorded along with the presenters screen.

Most web conferencing applications now will come with a white board which will allow everyone to draw on the whiteboard and present their ideas and your able come up with a final drawing or diagram based on everyone’s input.

This is all wonderful in terms of the things that we can do but there is also the consideration of a cost factor? and this is where if you are a Skype user already there are several applications that will work with Skype and as I said earlier, Mikogo is one of those such applications, another one is called Yugma www.yugma.com that is  also a integrated Skype application.

Now with Yugma you can have up to 20 people for free with the integration of Skype and they do have options to increase that to 50,100 or 500 people but those are not integrated with Skype.

Another application that does this is one called DimDim www.dimdim.com it’s not integrated with Skype but it does have VoIP which is voice over Internet protocol capability which means you’re not paying long distance charges for connecting with the service or neither are your participants, and again with DimDim you can have up to 20 people.  With the Mikogo you are limited to 10 people and based on your needs 10 may be sufficient 20 may be fine or you may need more.

I will put the links to all three of these applications in the transcript for this podcast and if this type of service interests you I recommend checking out all three of these services to see which one will best suit your individual needs.

If you have any comments, concerns or questions please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com also you can visit my website www.enablingabilities.com for information about all the services that we can assist you with.  Thank you very much.

Skype and Mikogo a Powerful Duo

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on March 13, 2009

Welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast my name is Darrell Hyatt, today I am going to talk about a piece of software that I use quite frequently that program is called Skype, It is a free download from www.skype.com.

Skype is a wonderful communications tool which uses VoIP which is voice over Internet protocol it allows users who have Skype to communicate with other individuals that have Skype as well. With this program you can talk using both audio and video.

You can have conference calls with up to 25 individuals at one time if you using a conference call however it is only audio. However I recently learned about some extras which enhance the use of Skype itself, one of these extras is a program called Mikogo and that is a free download as well from www.mikogo.com

What Mikogo allows you to do is to share your desktop with other individuals that you are talking to on Skype they are able to see your desktop if you are the presenter and any applications that you happen to be running on your computer at the time with Mikogo you can also switch presenters so that someone else can show what’s on their screen, you have the capability of using a whiteboard so it is a very flexible add in.

I use it as a computer trainer I can teach individuals how to use software by showing it on my screen and then everyone that I am working with can see it in real-time as I’m actually using the program and because it’s integrated with Skype the people who are watching my screen can ask questions and interact with me directly if someone else wants to take control of my computer I can allow that so they can manipulate my mouse make whatever changes they want and then carry on.

This particular function is very useful for me as a computer support person because I have the option of seeing what’s on another person screen and get controlling their computer from my computer I can diagnose any computer problems without the individual having to bring their computer to me, it can stay where it is and I can diagnose and correct any problems with the computer from my computer while I’m looking directly at what’s going on with their system .

This definitely saves a great deal of time and effort and frustration for the individuals that I’m working with some with, with both Skype and Mikogo it definitely opens doors for individuals to stay in touch and provides a unique functionality for small businesses to increase their reach to new clients as well as give some a new group of tools to enhance their business. I highly recommend both Skype and Mikogo

if you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com also feel free to visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com to see how I can assist you with all your computer needs Thank you very much

Using Digital Recorders with Dragon to Create Transcripts

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on February 16, 2009

Hello welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. My name is Darrell Hyatt, in this episode I wanted to talk about digital voice recorders having a digital voice recorder was one of the things I wanted for quite a while and this year at Christmas my wife bought me one.

It turned out to be a very useful item not only is it useful for business individuals to remember items or jot down ideas when you’re away from the office say on the skytrain or on a bus, but it’s also useful for those of us with disabilities who use speech recognition software because I can dictate notes or whatever into the voice recorder and then when I get home using Dragon NaturallySpeaking I can transcribe the notes using the transcription feature in Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Which means I don’t have to retype the material I simply make any corrections and edits based on the recognition factor that I get through Dragon, there are however a few interesting things that I would like to point out for those of you who are considering purchasing a voice recorder especially if you are going to be using it for voice recognition.

I have: an Olympus vn 4100 PC recorder it works very well with Dragon the recognition with minimal training is somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 to 70%. This particular recorder has many different recording modes and each particular mode gives you a certain amount of dictation time so depending on what you do, how many notations you take on a daily basis you may want to look for a recorder that has a long recording time.

With this particular recorder for example in its long play mode you get approximately 144 hours of notation however if you are using it in conjunction with voice recognition I highly recommend he high quality mode which most voice recorders now have and that time is significantly shorter with this particular model I get approximately 2 hours of dictation time at high quality which works best for transcription purposes.

The other thing that you may want to look at is how easy are the buttons to operate, are they mostly on the front of the recorder or or or some of them on the side which may make it more difficult to use those buttons. You also want to make sure that the recorder fits comfortably in your hand.

One of the features that I like of this particular voice recorder is the fact that I can leave it sitting on my desk near me and take my notes, this is particularly helpful when I’m working on a project and I’m using the computer at the same time I still have both hands free to use the mouse and the computer and I can be taking the notes as I’m working and then from the voice recording I can make any notes that I want to use for later on for example as students handouts etc.

One of the other points I would suggest is to pick a recorder and check with where ever you purchase it make sure that you can return it if you find that it doesn’t work for you for what ever reason. This one also has a USB connection to allow me to connect it to the computer and so I can move my note files over on the computer for storage purposes so that maybe something that may be useful for you as well.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns or show ideas you’d like to hear about on this podcast please send me an e-mail at darrellh@enablingabilities.com. Feel free to visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com for further information. Thank you very much.