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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Google Chrome: Block ads while browsing using the Ad-blocker for Chrome.

Here is a topic that I might have been somewhat reluctant to share simply because as a blogger, I generate a little income by the ads that are placed on my blog.  However as a browser of the internet and a father who has children browsing the internet, who have seen ads that I deem inappropriate,  I have decided to share a Chrome extension that can eliminate those annoying  and sometimes disgusting ads.  If you are a teacher and are browsing the internet while you computer is being projected, you might also have had cause of embarrassment when an ad showed up that might offend students.

The extension that I have been using for awhile is called "AdBlocker Plus."  AdBlocker Plus will eliminate most ads from your regular browsing and also from sites like Youtube.  If there is a site, like my blog, hint hint, that you don't mind seeing ads on then you can also tell Adblocker Plus to show ads on that particular site.


1.  Go to the following link in the Chrome Store.
2.  Here you can read about it if you just want to find more.
3.  If you are satisfied that this might be an extension you would like to try, click the "Add to Chrome" button.

4.  After it goes through the install procedure you will notice that you now have a "Stop sign" symbol in the upper right corner of your browser.

5.  This symbol now tells you that you have the "AdBlocker Plus" extension installed on your computer.  You can now test it by refreshing your screen, go back to my blog, and notice that the ads are gone.  If you use my blog as a test though you will notice that the ad for my computer care business is still listed.  That is because that ad isn't registered as an ad through companies like Google and it is actually just a picture so your browser can't tell that it is an ad.  There isn't any code to tell the browser that it is an ad.  Therefore AdBlocker plus will miss some ads but get rid of the more annoying advertisements.

6.  If you would like to view ads on specific website, just click the "AdBlocker Plus" icon and click the check box "Enabled for this site" so that it does NOT have a check in the box.  

Happy browsing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Convert document, sound, video, images and other file types with Zamzar.

This blog post isn't really about a web 2.0 tool.  It is however about a tool that can be extremely important to educators.  As students and other colleagues buy and use different software programs other than the ones you use you may get email attachments or files on flash drives that just don't load or work on your computer.  An example would be if a colleague from another district emailed you a ".pages" document which come from the Apple program called "Pages."  You happen to live in a district that only uses PCs and your computer only has the Microsoft Office program.  You are now stuck because you cannot view the file that was sent.  One solution would be for you to email your colleague back and suggest that they save their ".pages" file into a different format.  That could take time and even be annoying, so why not try using an online no download program called "Zamzar."

Zamzar will convert documents, sound, video files, and images into formats that you can use on your various software programs.  Once Zamzar converts the file, it will email you a link that you then click on and it will take you back to their website where you can click on a download link.  Here is how you do it:


1.  Go to
2.  On step 1 click the "Choose file" button.

3.  Navigate to the folder that contains the file.  Double click on the file or click on it and then click the "Open" button.

4.  Go to step 2. This program is pretty intelligent so it will detect the program type and give only correct options for you to convert your file.  In this case it give me the .doc, .pdf, .rtf, .txt options.  If it were a different file type it would give me different options.

5.  In step 3 type on your email address.

6.  Now click the "Convert" button, and the conversion will begin after you click the "OK" button in the popup dialogue box.

7.  Down below you will see the file conversion progress bar.

8.  Now go to your inbox and find the email from "Zamzar Conversions."  Note that it can take some time to convert.  If you are converting a large video file you will have to wait a bit for Zamzar to do it's magic.

9.  Once into the email click the Alternative link.

10.  Find the "Download Now" button and click it.

11.  Depending on which browser you use and how you set up download, download the file in the location of your choice.

You can now locate that file and open it in the program that goes to that file type.  This really neat educational tool is useful for many different file conversion types.  Give it a try and see if it will work for you.