TECH TALK: The Latest on Google Services Help, Switchflip, Online Calculators and Vehicle Device Mounts

John Vrooman | February 8, 2017

John Vrooman
John Vrooman

If you use or are considering the use of any of Google’s many products/services, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ll want some technical help. Fortunately, Google provides a variety of help resources that customers can use to help them find answers to their questions/problems.

The resource that I want to direct your attention to today is Google’s Product Forums. When you visit the main Google Product Forums’ webpage, you will find links to online support forums for many of their products. You simply locate the icon/link for the product that you need help with and then click on it. When you do this, you’ll be taken directly to the product’s support forum. When you get to the support forum, you can browse or search for answers to your question(s) or post a new question of your own. If/when an answer to your question is posted, you’ll receive an e-mail notification of that fact. I’ve reviewed several people’s help requests/questions and I think I’ve spotted a trend where those who do a good job of describing their problem tend to receive responses faster and/or more reliably than those who don’t. The help you’ll likely receive is from other Google product users. If you haven’t visited a Google Product forum before or lately, I encourage you to so that when the time comes and you need some help, you’ll be able to turn to a familiar help resource. Here the link…

Are Your Gmail Messages Being Rejected?

There are numerous reasons why a Gmail e-mail message that you send could be rejected. Fortunately, Google provides several help resources that should be able to help you identify and resolve common Gmail related problems. “Gmail Help” page addresses the following issues: 1) My domain is having delivery problems with Gmail; 2) Troubleshooting for bulk e-mail senders; 3) Fix bounced or rejected e-mails; 3) Limits for sending and receiving mail; 4) Some file types are blocked, and 5) An e-mail I sent was delayed or didn’t arrive.

I suggest you consider bookmarking the webpage above and refer to it before you start a Gmail-based e-mail marketing campaign.

The next time you are logged in to Gmail and are viewing your inbox, type a “?” When you do this a helpful list of keyboard shortcuts should appear on your screen.

What to do When A Wall Switch Controls the Wrong Outlet

Have you ever encountered the situation/problem where a wall switch controls an outlet that you don’t want to be a switched outlet? When that issue arises, the fix usually involves a switch cover to prevent the accidental flipping of the switch (if you don’t want the outlet it controls to be switched), long extension cords, and/or expensive electrician bills. Fortunately, a simple technology solution to this problem may become available around October 2017. The product/solution is called Switchflip, and I think the best way to learn more about it is to visit its product and fundraising websites. Both sites have the same short video that describes the problem and demonstrates how the product solves the problem. Basically, the product/solution involves the use of a transmitter and receiver that functionally redirects the switches signal from the switched outlet to an alternative one (up to 100 feet away). If you don’t have a need for this product yourself, it may be nice to keep it in mind as a possible closing gift for a gadget-loving customer.

Online Calculator Sites

If you didn’t know, there are many different types of online calculators and online calculator sites. It’s hard to pick which one(s) are best because some are better than others depending on your needs. However, I recently came across a good one and I thought that some of you might like it, too. The name of the site is and the site’s name is also its website address. Tip: If you identify a calculator on the site (or any other site for that matter) that you think you might use frequently, consider bookmarking it and adding it to your Smartphone’s home screen.

Here are a couple of additional calculator sites that I think some of you will also find interesting… and

Would you (or someone you know) be interested in a step-by-step math calculator that shows the different steps involved in solving a math problem? If so, the following Google search results page lists quite a few of them… I wish I had access to resources like this when I was in school!

Do You Need a Vehicle Phone/Device Mount?

How’s your vehicle’s tech situation? Unfortunately, for many, their mobile phone apps provide more capability than what their vehicle’s built-in technology solutions provide. When that’s the case, an issue that many people encounter is how best to mount their phone to their vehicle. Fortunately, there are many options available. I recently came across some mounting solutions that looked good to me. The following link will take you to a product webpage that I think would be a good option to consider…

Personally, I like mobile phone mounts where the phone attaches to the mount magnetically. Why? Because non-magnetic phone/device mounts typically have clamps that constantly need to be opened/closed/adjusted, etc. and often the clamps interfere with or block some phone ports and/or controls.

If you have comments, suggestions, tips, questions or just want to say “Hi,” you are invited to contact me at I always enjoy hearing from you!

John Vrooman
John Vrooman keeps an eye out for cool new hardware, software, apps, gadgets; SaaS solutions; social media developments, trends as well as personal/SMB productivity and related solutions. He gathers information for his column from a diverse range of resources and he enjoys sharing his discoveries with others. He has been authoring this column since August 2000 and welcomes feedback from his readers.