BPMUG has been a resource for assistance and answers to perplexing questions about our computers since 1982. But did you know there is also a plethora of other resources for those queries? Google may be useful to many of us, but there are times when we don’t know the right question to ask. Or we may just want someone local we can ask face-to-face.
For our September meeting, former BPMUG President Jim Smith will present us with a handout of local – and not-so local – resources available to us, frequently at no cost.
Your local computer repair shop does not have any magic tools. Neither does BPMUG. But with the right knowledge, many solutions that computer repair shops charge you for can be fixed yourself if you know where to go for instructions or what question to ask.
Your local library has an abundance of useful information and helpful volunteers eager to help solve your computer mystery. Your local senior center, college, or community organization will frequently provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
So mark your calendar for Monday, September 18 at 7 PM and enjoy the meeting and plan to stay after for refreshments and network with others
The summertime Season Has Arrived! 🙂 … BPMUG will be back in September!
Ever try to cancel a subscription for a website and find yourself lost in a loop of surveys, check boxes or even the dreaded “you must call to cancel”?
This is just one example of a “dark pattern”. Harry Brignull, user experience consultant, coined the term and started the website, darkpatterns.org.
The goal of the site is to name and shame sites that use these tricks. Defined, a dark pattern is a deceptive user interface which causes users to perform actions that are more beneficial to the site than to the user.
We have all seen some of these when signing up for services or shopping on the internet. The thing to consider is how many have slipped by us. These user experience designs come in many forms and levels of deception and can be found not just on “questionable” websites, but also on big name sites of brands we trust.
Join us for a discussion where we will define dark patterns and the
different types that companies use. Then we will explore the internet and view examples from around the web.
Afterwards, stay to meet the presenter and ask your questions. Then enjoy some refreshments and networking.
We spend much of our computer time using a browser. You can choose any browser you like well beyond the big three: Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer/Edge. But whichever browser you choose, make it yours by adding “extensions” (add-ons in Firefox).
An extension adds features, improves the interface and enables you to personalize your browser. Taking time to tweak your browser can pay you back ten-fold in saving time and reducing frustration!
Join us this month for our program on browser extensions. We’ll discuss what they are, why you may want to install some and where to find them.
Learn about some of the best extensions to eliminate some of the internet’s annoyances: the pop-over ads that cover the information you went to a site to see, auto-play audio, form data that disappears (making you reenter it), and others.
We’ll also demonstrate some of the more popular extensions that improve productivity, make browsing safer and personalize your browsing experience. Plan to take notes!
Stay after for refreshments. Meet the presenter and ask your questions.
If you’re on the internet, you use a browser and a search engine every day. Most of us are aware they’re tracking our activity on the internet to provide a “better experience”. This may come in the form of faster browsing, better search results or better user experience on websites. But what if you wanted to use the internet without being tracked?
There are many reasons you may want to and many ways to accomplish this, depending on the level of anonymity you wish to achieve. Join us for an introduction to browsing and surfing anonymously.
We will introduce and discuss easy to use browser and search engine options.
If that isn’t enough privacy, we’ll introduce the basics of VPNs and TOR networks.
Prepare to take notes!
Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show provides manufacturers a platform to present to the world their latest products. As the world of technology changes, CES provides a glimpse into the future and the things we may be using every day. From the practical to the crazy, manufacturer’s put it all out there.
Join us as we discuss some of the best, worst and most “interesting” products of this year’s CES. Then stay after for networking and refreshments!
Jean Perreault, from the Wintonbury Historical Society, Bloomfield will share online and offline software resources for genealogy research and archiving.
Genealogy applications provide a means to organize and record research results. Examples are names, dates, relationships, and events. Free programs require the use of the internet and browser, whereas purchased programs standalone offline.
Jean will identify both types of programs and share her experience and thoughts about using each kind, as well as give examples of each program’s strengths and shortcomings. Read her overview (HELP KEY, pp. 3-9) beforehand and share your thoughts and questions.
We’d like to thank Richard Pierce, President of the Wintonbury Historical Society for arranging this presentation and we invite you to check out their website at http://bloomfieldcthistory.org. Even if you’re not from Bloomfield, it’s fascinating and well done. Then stay to meet Jean, ask your questions and have refreshments!
December is all about celebration, and BPMUG is no different, although we do have a little business to attend to first. There will be a quick election of officers for the upcoming year and then it’s time to celebrate and share!
There will be some favorite tips on using computers, tablets and smartphones.
This will just get things started, as we hope to have you share your favorites as well. Keyboard shortcuts, favorite apps, Google search tricks, favorite websites and more. Let us know the tricks you use to make computing easier and/or more fun.
This part will be short, since we have a party to look forward to. Of course, it’s not a real party without food, so we’ll supply the punch, cups, plates and napkins, and are asking members to bring a dessert, cheese, crackers, or any hors d’oeuvres-type thing you want to share.
Let’s have a fun meeting.
John Yearsley, our own tech guru, will present BPMUG’s annual “Show and Tell” of new and exciting technology you may be interested in for the holidays. This is always a fun, engaging and
You’ll learn about the latest technology and gadgets that you may want for yourself, your friends and/or family. After the presentation, stay to meet the presenter and enjoy refreshments.
BPMUG’s own member, Professor Seth Freeman from Capital Community College, will give a presentation on the Summer Computer Science Program, a three-year old summer enrichment program for middle school students from Greater Hartford to encourage youth to study computer science.
The fun part — the students themselves will show you the exciting and interesting Android mobile applications (apps) they’ve created! There was a contest — and a winner!
But which app would you choose? Which one would you use? Let the students know and maybe you’ll get your wish! Even if you don’t need an app, come and cheer these young people on. Parents will be there, too!
We’ll also present the annual BPMUG IT Scholarship for future CC students!
Windows 10 has an array of privacy settings. Do you wonder how private your latest operating system is and how to make adjustments to those settings? Former BPMUG President, Jim Smith, will dive deep into the privacy concerns users have with Windows 10 and demonstrate how to change many of those settings for better protection.
First we will explore whether privacy is an issue for many of us who use computers without doing anything wrong or illegal or even immoral. We will look at some considerations that are frequently overlooked in the realm of computer privacy.
Then we will look at the myriad of settings that Microsoft has given us to protect ourselves from those real or perceived prying eyes of others while we use our computers.
This will be a fun meeting for most everyone and a nerve-racking meeting for those of us wondering how to protect our privacy from “them”. Don’t miss it (or we’ll know why!).
We’re off for the summer. See you in September!
The summer months provide a great opportunity to pick up some new computer skills, tips and tricks. Stay cool and make sure to find time to work on your machines and broaden your skills!
Have you always wanted to jump into the eBay market to unload some of the things you have at home? Did it seem daunting to get started?
Whether you have made that leap in the past or are still waiting, this month’s program is for you.
ELIN CENTERWALL will take us through the steps necessary to price, list and ship an item as well as costs and procedures that are associated with selling on Ebay.
Elin started Technology Simplified in 2005 to provide computer installation and training primarily to senior clients. She now teaches various technology related classes at Continuing Education and Senior Centers. Prior to that, she spent 25 years designing and programming computer software for large companies.
So take the first step in clearing out those things that have been stored for years. Turn them into money while finding them good “homes”.
Then stay for refreshments, meet the presenter and ask your questions!
Cancel your cable TV and still watch what you want!
“Cutting the cord” has come to mean canceling your cable TV subscription. Many people do this as a way to save money, as cable TV can be an expensive proposition. Some are also looking for better control of their entertainment that allows them to watch what they want when they want and on any device (TV, tablet, computer, phone). Over the past few years this has become more of a viable option as more content becomes available and it becomes easier to find and watch on any device.
Traditional sources like CBS, ABC,NBC, Fox and many cable networks like A&E, AMC, TNT, WB and others, are providing access to their content directly through apps, their web sites and even cable-like services via the internet.
Devices for accessing content have also become less expensive and more powerful, improving the experience. Even though it’s now more viable to cut the cord, it still has its challenges. Will I be able to watch my favorite show? Should I pay a subscription to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon?
If you’re looking to save money or take control of your TV viewing, this program will be a great way to start.
Join us as John Yearsley discusses the key questions in cutting the cord and learn if it’s right for you — and where to begin! Then stay for refreshments, meet the presenter and ask your questions.
Recently, there’s been an innovation in computing called the “stick computer”. Small, thumb drive sized devices, with an HDMI port that can plug into your TV or monitor.
Many people are already familiar with media streaming devices such as the Roku Stick, Fire TV Stick and Chromecast that you plug into your TV’s HDMI port to stream video and other content from services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant video and a plethora of others.
But this is different — this is a full computer, complete with an operating system, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ports for additional storage and peripherals.
Imagine turning an old monitor or even your 50” TV into a computer for only $80 – $150. You’ll be able to surf the web, do email, play games and do many of the other things you do on a PC today.
Two that have been getting the most attention are the Intel Compute Stick, available with Linux or Windows and the Chromebit, running ChromeOs.
Would a stick computer be the right thing for your next PC purchase? Join us as John Yearsley demonstrates these devices and we discuss ways they could meet your computer needs.
Then stay for refreshments, meet the presenter and ask your questions.