It’s easy to be a weather wizard on your computer

September is here. The kids are back in school. And the Fall Equinox is right around the corner.

  • Saturday, September 6, 2008 12:00am
  • Opinion

September is here. The kids are back in school. And the Fall Equinox is right around the corner.

With summer virtually over, new interests present themselves and the perpetual technology learning curve continues to challenge us all.

Q: I’ve been following all the news about Hurricane Gustav on TV and online at weather.com and am now very interested in learning more about how I can keep track of weather locally and in other regions. Is there an online resource where I can really dig in do some hands-on weather tracking?

A: While this isn’t the usual, mainstream technology query, we aim to please, so here you go.

The Weather Underground is exactly what you’ve been looking for. They provide free access to most of their site, which includes a lot of content, however becoming a member is only $10 per year.

This is where you better make some time in your schedule. With membership comes literally too many resources to list, including access to their Community Chat page where you can discuss weather any time of day or night, listen to NOAA Weather Radio and stay up-to-date on the phases of the moon. Their Web site address is www.wunderground.com, where you’re sure to become a weather wizard in no time.

But wait, you can also become part of their weather-reporting team by purchasing your own weather equipment and setting up a home weather station. Once you’ve set up your equipment, simply follow the instructions on their Web site to connect and feed your weather data to their site. Welcome to your new hobby.

Q: I’ve been using the OpenOffice programs for a little while and now need to send a Writer document to someone in Microsoft Word format. How do I do this?

A: While OpenOffice natively opens Word documents there’s a little work to be done when converting a Writer document to a Word document. Thankfully, OpenOffice does provide the ability to save a Writer document in Word format. The key is to save the document you are working on with the Save As command in the File menu. This will present several options including the option to ‘Save’ the current document ‘As’ a Word Document. This is where you will need some additional and specific information: Which version of Word is the recipient of the document running on his or her computer? Also, if there are multiple recipients, you will need to determine what version each of them are using.

Access the Save As command from the File menu and save the document, as necessary, in the proper version(s), based on the number of different versions of Word. This is a fast and efficient process and provides seamless versatility. For a great online tutorial, go to: http://www.winona.edu/library/ig/help/openoffice_writer_save.htm

Wayne Nelson and Jeremy Self own and operate Wired Northwest, LLC in Redmond. Submit your questions to: techtalk@wired-nw.com. Contact Wired Northwest, LLC at www.wired-nw.com or call (206) 788-7975 or (206) 788-7898.


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