Top 5 Travel Tips

Written by mcarberry. Posted in Top 5

We all know traveling can be stressful… Are you going to miss your flight? Do you have enough gas to make it to your next stop? Did everything get packed? Did we leave Kevin home alone again? Okay, maybe that last one isn’t too much of a concern, but the other things run through my head whenever I travel. Not to worry. ScreenTek has an arsenal of travel tips that are going to keep you from stressing this summer!

First thing’s first: Plan out your trip ahead of time (unless of course you’re one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants people). If you like to fly, make sure you’re checking ticket prices early and often. Try out MySeatFinder. It automatically upgrades you to a better seat when they become available based on your seating preferences. If you prefer to stay on the ground, try out Roadtrippers . It lays out your best route for travel and shows you hotels, food, and even roadside attractions. Next, make sure that you’ve got everything packed. This list from simplify101 should help get you started. The last thing you want to do is get halfway to your destination, and realize you didn’t pack any underwear.

Let’s say you end up taking that road trip, but maybe you’re waiting for your next connecting flight, or you’re on the road, and you’re getting bored. Not a problem. Lifehacker put together a neat list of 10 ways to get free wi-fi anywhere you go.

When it comes to packing that suitcase, it’s important to make sure that space is maximized and clothes are put in as efficiently as possible. Take some tips from an L.A. flight attendant who can squeeze a 10-day trip’s worth of clothes into a single carry-on.

The last tip is really important because it involves security. When you travel on a plane, you cannot lock up your bag anymore, but it is important that keep your eyes and hands on your luggage at all times. This will prevent people from snatching or switching out your stuff. If you do go on a road trip, it’s a lot easier to keep track of your luggage unless you pick up a lot of hitchhikers. When you do make a road trip, make sure your luggage is concealed in your vehicle whenever possible, and that it stays close to you. If you like to lock your suitcase, be sure you have the key to unlock it, as well as one other person you’re traveling with just in case.

 

Summer is a great time to travel and spend time with your family. If you do it right, the memories you make will last forever, but if something goes wrong… Well, let’s just say those memories will be equally unforgettable. Whether it be on the open roads, or up in the blue skies, travel smart and safe. Have a great summer everybody!  

The Top 5 FREE Programs For Your Mac

Written by mcarberry. Posted in Top 5

Mac

A few months back we posted a blog with 5 really great applications for your PC. OS X users were furious! “Where’s OUR free software?” and “Why do you hate us so much!?” they asked. Okay, they didn’t really say that, but we did think it would be nice to include our Apple friends in the blog from time-to-time. Besides, what better way to bring them to the party than with free software!?

Now, funnily enough, the programs we mentioned in the last post were all actually available for Mac as well (with the exception of Ad-Aware). So this time, we’re going to get into programs that are a little bit more technical and user-specific.

        Burn – This program is amazingly simple, yet equally as powerful. It’s a fantastic disk burning application, and it’s pretty feature rich. There’s automatic converting, interactive menu creation, custom icons, and of course its free.           Notational Velocity – Notational Velocity is my favorite note-taking application. Why? Because the interface is really clean. It’s designed so that you never have to use your mouse. The search feature is amazing, and it keeps everything very organized. Not to mention the app syncs with Simplenote so all the notes I take on my phone, tablet, and computers syncs in the background without a second thought from me.         Spark – I prefer hot keys to do my dirty work. In fact, I loathe using the mouse for anything I can do with a keyboard shortcut. While Spark isn’t quite as feature rich as AutoHotKey for Windows (which can do anything, by the way), it’s certainly a powerful shortcut manager, and probably the best one I’ve found for Mac for free.           Adium – Although OS X comes with the built-in iChat, I don’t really like it, and by that I mean it’s unstable, has tons of connectivity problems, and I actually secretly hate it more than anything. Enter Adium. It’s a really clean and simple chat client that can connect to basically everything under the sun. It even allows for Address Book integration to keep all your contacts front and center. It also supports growl, which is a great notification app for Mac, so you can get those really gorgeous notifications when you receive a message.           Inkscape – In our last free software blog post, we gave PC users a great free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Luckly GIMP is available for Mac users as well, but what if you need to create scalable vector graphics? That’s where Inkscape comes in. Inkscape is a vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Just like in Illustrator, you can do some really amazing stuff in Inkscape. The best part is, the website has tutorials, and a really strong community behind it, so if you’re new to vector graphics you’ll have a lot of free help at your fingertips.  
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