Questions in the Technology category.
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July 28

How do you record from the computer to a microcassette?

I need to record audio from my computer to microcassette, but can't seem to find any microcassette recorders that have a line-in capability; usually it's only line-out. Does anyone have a solution for this? Thanks!
posted by colorproof at 6:08 PM - 6 answers

USB interface that also acts as a standalone phantom power provider?

Music production noob question: can anyone recommend me a single box that is both of the following, preferably without cracking $300: (1) A USB interface with stereo ins and outs and a decent preamp. (2) Something that could also power a 48v condenser mic without being attached to my laptop, so that I can use it when recording from the mic to an old cassette 4 track. [more inside]
posted by Beardman at 11:49 AM - 3 answers

New phone?

Why do people still buy new smartphones? Haven’t we reached peak smartphone? [more inside]
posted by inner_frustration at 6:12 AM - 53 answers

July 27

Help me find a phone for my mother?

I'm trying to find a smart phone for my mom, and I'm totally overwhelmed by the choices. [more inside]
posted by hought20 at 11:00 AM - 5 answers

Tech at Work: Best Quality for Lower Tech for Video Camera & Microphone?

My work team is in search of a video camera and a microphone – both should be relatively low user tech required but have good quality output. [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 10:31 AM - 1 answers

July 26

Photographs and Memories

How do I clone an old family photograph? My sister-in-law wants a frameable copy of a WWII-era portrait hanging in our home. There is, of course, no negative available. I'm sure this should be doable, but don't know what type of store, lab, or expert I should be looking for. Can someone help me please?
posted by DrGail at 7:24 PM - 5 answers

How can I install Discourse bulletin board system?

Hi all, I'm looking at Discourse and wanting to see if there is some relatively easy to get a board running without paying for assistance. [more inside]
posted by diode at 1:41 PM - 3 answers

I just need a damn DAM

Desperately seeking a digital asset management system for a small marketing department. Also, if you currently have a DAM or something like it, what does your workflow/taxonomy looks like? (Especially if you work at a college!) [more inside]
posted by helloimjennsco at 11:49 AM - 5 answers

What's the best replacement for my Blu-Ray player?

I have a Blu-Ray player that's dying, and I'd like to replace it. Because I'm not a cable subscriber, I'm not sure if I should get something like a Roku or other kind of box. [more inside]
posted by gladly at 9:19 AM - 9 answers

July 25

Recommend me a Windows laptop for photo editing.

I'm thinking that my next major purchase is going to be a photo-editing laptop and I'd like it to be an awesome one that will continue to get the job done for years to come. It's got to be fast, with lots of memory and storage, and of course a superb display. Not a Mac. What should I get? [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:09 AM - 2 answers

Cross-platform highlights/annotations in PDF files

Can you help me figure out the right setup for working with a large number of PDF files on multiple computers? [more inside]
posted by neat graffitist at 5:49 AM - 0 answers

July 24

How to automate data entry across Google Docs, Sheets, MS Word and Excel

I started a new job at a company serving 50 clients. We have a "Master" Google sheet tracking data for all the clients, but we need to present each client with their personalized data in status reports that are formatted nicely for presentation. To accomplish this, each account manager takes data from the Master Google sheet and copies & pastes it into the corresponding formatted Word and Google docs to present to the clients. There's lots of data entry every day, thus all this copy/pasting and redundant data entry results in eating up an enormous amount of time across the organization. After some research, I've discovered the following programs that help automate such repetitive administrative tasks: Zapier, Google Apps Script, Ultradox, Applescript, IFTT Which one would best suit my needs? [more inside]
posted by priskyprisky at 11:23 AM - 7 answers

Can you recommend a video calling solution for elderly parent?

My 82 y/o dad lives alone about 30 minutes away (with no traffic) and we sometimes cannot make it to see him physically on a regular basis. He's had health issues in the past which he won't mention on the phone but where if I had seen it in person (or video) we could have prevented an emergency hospital visit. [more inside]
posted by eatcake at 9:57 AM - 9 answers

July 23

Name for kitchen stove grate hole closing gizmo

My kitchen stove's grate is made up of four iron pieces that don't meet at the center, kind of like this. I've seen gizmos that join the four pieces, basically a greek cross with hooks on each end, so that a small receptacle, like an italian coffee maker, won't fall through. What is this gizmo called and/or where can I buy one?
posted by signal at 4:39 PM - 3 answers

July 22

The dark side of tech

Having been in software for 35 years now, I'm seeing changes in the industry that are negatively impacting it as a career choice for young people. What are the industry trends affecting workers? [more inside]
posted by scorpia22 at 12:03 PM - 12 answers

Planner nerds of the world unite

Planner nerds of the world, is there any way to use existing smart notebook/smart pen systems to create a paper planner that syncs with a digital one? (The existing systems seem to be designed for notetaking and sketching, but I'd like to be able to add calendar entries to Google Calendar, update an address book, keep lists, etc.) Bonus question: which of the existing smart notebooks allow you to save as vector files?
posted by Soliloquy at 1:09 AM - 7 answers

July 21

What's the best turntable I can buy for under/near $500

I have a good stereo setup (with phono preamp). Ideally I'd like a turntable that's pretty easy to set up and won't require a ton of tinkering. I'm not an audiophile or designer, but I'd like it to sound and look purty good.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:25 PM - 19 answers

Looking for bluetooth wood-y speakers

10-ish years ago I had a pair of Edifier speakers that I picked up for $40 off a showroom floor, and they were perfect for me. They were probably an old model version of this. I'm looking at a couple of other Edifier models as replacements but don't know if I'm missing other options. [more inside]
posted by curious nu at 7:19 PM - 1 answers

July 19

Connect me to the Interwebs remotely

I am traveling to the middle of Missouri and need to work remotely for a week along with my partner. I know I could set up a hotspot on my phone but I'm worried about what 40+ hours of connectivity would mean for my phone bill. I also know that only Verizon works where I will be. What options do I have for setting up temporary access to wifi for two?
posted by turtlefu at 6:54 AM - 5 answers

Batch Conversion: doc to docx without M Office

Google search is inconcluisve, so I turn to you, dear hivemind. I need to convert a large number of DOC files to DOCX. I do not have Microsoft Office, but I do have Open Office (which doesn't let you save as DOCX, afaik). I have found single conversion tools online, but a single document takes 5 mins to convert. I am not confident enough to run any sort of command prompt. What solutions exist that I cannot find?
posted by kariebookish at 3:24 AM - 5 answers

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