Before Techlife or BT people asked me all sorts of questions both tech and non-tech related. ┬áThe questions were often, “How do you send an email to Bill Gates?” or “How do you hook up your modem to a pay phone like in War Games?” or “Will this version of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? work with my first Mac?”

Then we entered the Techlife Era or TE and while the volume of questions has increased, the range of questions has become more varied. Many questions have shifted to opinion oriented as Google handles the more mundane tasks. Let’s answer a few of these today and make sure to take the quiz at the end of the column.

What’s the best way to save my bookmarks? – Erica L.

Probably your 250 links all dedicated to velvet Elvis won’t really be missed, but I understand each person has their own curated set of important links. For years I have been a big proponent of NOT saving them in my web browser. I once read a column by writer Jim Coates (great guy who I met early in my writing career) and his advice to his readers was a simple text file saved to a thumbdrive with all your bookmarks. Today I have transitioned to Xmarks. A free service to store all your bookmarks, let you sync them to any machine and back them up.

How could I save time when taking a photo and sending it to my friends? – Jeff K.

Stop taking them. If I get another picture of Mr. Pooky dressed for Halloween I’m calling animal cruelty. But if you are taking those oh-so-creative photos on an Android or iPhone then use a smart photo sharing tool. I prefer picplz because it can post to foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and the picplz site simultaneously. That time savings coupled with filters to play with your photo adds a bit of richness. Of course I think I just made it so you can now just take more costume photos didn’t I?

Could I have a smartphone without a data plan? – Carri K.

Only if you actually are willing to buy a smartphone already! But assuming you are finally ready to make the plunge, there is a little known way to legally and ethically hack the wireless carriers. Go unsubsidized and without a data plan. Likely you have a plan today that gives you a new phone every so many months. “Maybe now I will upgrade to the smartphone,” you are thinking. Don’t. Instead be willing to shell out full price (or go on Ebay) and get a model that will work with your carrier. This hack works well for SIM card users who put their old SIM card in the new phone. Now enable wifi at home and work, and a few other frequent haunts. Your smartphone will make calls and send texts but only use data when in wifi range. Your win, no data plan costs. Also no data “all” the time.

Quiz time: Microsoft has started a catchy campaign where users trumpet, “To the cloud!” Where did this phrase originate? Leave a comment if you know. No using the cloud to find the answer.