Monday, Dec. 20, 2004
Happy Holidays! Let’s Have A Party!
For our holiday meeting on December 20th,
we offered something special — A Holiday Party! We had a few
tips & tricks
and then opened the meeting to a party with Hors d’Oeuvers and desserts.
This special meeting kicked off our new
meeting location — New Park Office & Conference Center at 151
New Park Ave.
In addition to the tips, we had our traditional Holiday
Wish List; presented this year by Wally Pro.
One of the tips presented at the meeting
was how to Autofill online forms. If you have done any amount of shopping
online, you know how tiresome it is to keep filling in your name, address,
etc. over and over. There is a better way. Steve Langford demonstrated
the use of the Mozilla feature which fills in online forms for you
automatically. Mozilla is a free alternative to Microsoft Internet
Explorer. It also has the advantage that it doesn’t attract nearly
as many viruses as MSIE.
Another tip was how to grab free clip art from the Internet.
Have you ever tried to put together a flyer or handout in Word or
a report in Excel and realized that you didn’t have the clip art
that you wanted? Tido Holtkamp showed how to go out
to Microsoft’s clip art collection and find the graphic that you
want. He then demonstrated bringing the clip art into a Word
document from the Internet.
Monday Nov. 15, 2004
All About Buying and Selling on eBay
Presented by Mark E. Fortin
President of JENMAR International, LLC
Have you dreamed of being on your computer, in your jammies, making
stacks of money on eBay? Have you wondered how it’s done? Have you
dismissed it as being an impossibility? Maybe not… eBay proclaims
that 430,000 people make their living today through eBay, selling everything
from A to Z — from that stuffed Aardvark you have in the attic to
that autographed album from a Frank Zappa concert in the 60’s.
Mark E. Fortin, President of JENMAR International, LLC, a New England
based distributor of both consumer and commercial products will be
giving a presentation on buying and selling on eBay. And Mark Fortin
should know about it — his company has created a division, JenmarAuctions.com,
which is rated as a PowerSeller by eBay based on his company’s eBay
sales record and positive feedback rating.
Mark will talk about the steps you need to know to start buying and
selling on eBay. He will give tips on how to get higher bids when you
sell items, what to look out for when buying on eBay, and the importance
of getting and giving good feedback when you are on eBay. And if you
have some treasures that you want to sell but don’t want to do it yourself,
Mark will also introduce you to the easy way out — through services
like JenmarAuctions.com that take your treasured item, photograph it,
sell it, package and ship it, and then send you a check for your agreed
upon share of the sale.
Whether you just have a few treasures from your attic that you’d like
to sell or are looking to become a PowerSeller like Mark, this is a
meeting you won’t want to miss.
Monday, Oct. 18, 2004
by Dean Harris, Chief Marketing Officer
Vonage, The Broadband Phone Company
Did you ever think you could make crystal
clear phone calls to Hong Kong, Rome, Paris or London for three cents
a minute? Now, thanks to Internet technology, you can. As technology
advances, the original etherphone, developed by MIT in 1985, has been
revised and updated to become the hottest phone on the market.
On October 18th, we will hear a presentation
by Dean Harris from Vonage on these phones. The technology offered
by Vonage (www.vonage.com), uses your broadband Internet connection
through a special adapter. The adapter is plugged into your electrical
outlet and your high speed Internet line. Voilà! Plug your home
phone in and you have an inexpensive and yet very techie phone system.
You can have your own phone number; 500
minutes of calling anywhere in US and Canada; caller ID; voicemail;
call forwarding, and lots more — all for $15 per month. For a bit
more you can add another number and have a fax number.
Are you traveling or vacationing for
a couple of weeks? Bring your adapter and plug it into the Internet
at your destination and you’ll have your own phone wherever you are.
Friends or clients can still call your local Hartford phone number
and you will get the call via the Internet whether you are in Florida,
Ireland, or Japan.
Monday, May 17, 2004
By Bob Currier, Director of Education American Consumer Credit Counsel
Have you ever had someone wrongly use your personal
identification to obtain credit loans or credit cards, or to access
your bank account? Or has anyone obtained personal information on
you and used it for other fraudulent purposes? If so, you’ve been
a victim of “Identity
Identity Theft is the crime most widely reported to the Federal Trade
Commission. If you haven’t been directly affected yet, you have been
indirectly; in 2002 it cost consumers in the US five billion dollars!
Because it is the fastest growing crime in America with over seven
million cases occurring each year, we all need to be aware of what
it is and how to prevent it.
Bob Currier, Director of Education for the American
Consumer Credit Counsel, will talk about Identity Theft and what
to do to protect ourselves. He will cover topics such as how thieves
can access your bank accounts, channeling funds to other accounts.
He’ll discuss how identity thieves can take out loans in your name
and, using a bogus mailing address, even how they can
open new credit cards in your name!
Monday, April 19, 2004
Gardening on the Web
By Doreen McCabe
The winter snow is finally melting and lots
of April showers bring May flowers. Well, to some extent that’s true. However, those
May flowers won’t grow to be strong and healthy without our help!
We can shop catalogues; go to garden centers; and join garden clubs
but it might be easier to start with the Internet to find reputable
sites and collect the information we need.
At our April 19th meeting we will have a presentation
by Doreen McCabe about gardening-related web sites. Although Doreen
claims herself to be a novice gardener, she is a full time librarian
and has given well-regarded gardening presentations in the past.
She has graciously agreed to share some of her web-based gardening
information so we can wake up our flower beds after a long Winter’s
nap. As a bonus, we also have a Master Gardener in our BPMUG group
who will try to attend this meeting and answer gardening questions.
Monday, September 15, 2003
eBay – The Easy Way
Presentation by Gerry Covaleski An Accomplished eBay user
Now that the weather is cooling off, this is
the time to clean out those treasures from the closet, attic, and
basement; it’s time to have a tag sale! This means dragging all those “treasures” out
to the garage or yard
and placing them on a table. Next price all that stuff. Whew!! I bet
you’ll be tired before you even start the tag sale! Now, let’s look
at the “Easy Way” through eBay. Our September program will
feature one of BPMUG’s own members and experienced eBay user, Gerry
Covaleski, who will talk about the in’s & out’s
eBay was started by Pierre Omidyar and his wife who is an
avid PEZ (candy dispenser) collector. Her wish was to collect more
dispensers and interact with other collectors over the Internet.
Pierre was aware that people needed a central location to buy and sell
unique items and meet other users with similar interests. eBay was
launched in September 1995.
Today eBay is the worlds’ largest personal online auction site and
trading community. The buyers and sellers have fun, shop around, and
get to know each other, for example by chatting at the eBay cafe. eBay
auction users have planned vacations together, chipped in and bought
a special item for another user, and have even spent vacation time
doing home repairs for a fellow eBay user.
Our presenter, Gerry Covaleski,
will show us how to buy and sell our treasures so we can join in
the fun of online auctions. Since 1995, eBay has surpassed any dreams
that Pierre and his wife ever dreamed when they set up eBay. Do you
have a dream that eBay may be able to help you achieve? Join us on
Sept 15th at 7 PM at JCC for this fun and useful program. Forget those
tag sales… do it the easy way. Learn how to shop and sell online
Monday, July 21, 2003
Windows XP Tablet PC
By Robert Goldstein, Senior Technical
A new evolution of the notebook PC is here!
Tablet PC uses features & functionality
that make it a great option for computer users on the move. What is
a Tablet PC? Think of a thin, lightweight notebook. Throw away the
keyboard. Add the simplicity of pen and paper. Write on the screen.
Click an icon on the screen rather than navigating with a mouse. Add
in all of your familiar productivity applications such as Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, Outlook and of course Internet Explorer to connect to the
Internet. What do you have? You have a Tablet PC. Because you can write
on the screen, it’s optimized for tasks that are very common in business
computing — like taking notes at a meeting or annotating a document,
or for immersive reading.
With Tablet PC, you can access a powerful version
of Microsoft’s operating system that enhances the role of the traditional
notebook PC. The “Tablet
PC Edition” of software that is built on top of Windows XP Professional,
offers advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities. This
software lets you create and transmit handwritten notes and allow voice
For our July meeting, Robert Goldstein will present the Tablet PC
made by Hewlett-Packard. Among the features he will cover about the
Tablet PC are the following:
– Extend the way you work with your computer,
from anywhere with the most mobile PC ever,
– Take notes electronically
and convert them digitally,
– Extend your applications with digital
– Get high levels of protection for your critical data.
Monday, June 16, 2003
Is Your Doctor On-Line? MDhub.com Says “YES”
By Dr. Jerold Spitz, founder of MDhub.com
Calling a doctor’s office frequently results in being placed on hold
or figuring out which numbers to push on your keypad to get transferred
to the right area, and then playing telephone tag with the automated
voice at the other end. Does this sound familiar? At the June 16th
meeting, BPMUG presents Dr. Jerold Spitz who will introduce us to MDhub.com.
MDhub.com is an on-line portal where you can send a message to your
doctor via the Internet. All messages are automatically delivered via
fax or, upon request by the doctor, via email. There is no sign-up
or registration needed for most practicing physicians; MDhub’s message
center is already set up and running for over 380,000 physicians nation-wide.
MDhub.com is a free service from the “Little Blue Book”,
a publishing and database company serving physicians since 1988. Dr.
Jerry Spitz created The Little Blue Book as a directory of doctors
listed by name and specialty. This directory began with a Greater Hartford
edition and now encompasses 146 metropolitan areas in the U.S. Currently
drug companies support this book with ads.
Using the Little Blue Book’s huge database of physicians, MDhub.com
allows patients to make appointments, renew prescriptions, and send
short messages to their doctor via the doctor’s email or their fax
machine. Dr. Spitz states that almost 15,000 doctors have requested
written information related to the web site. With some physician offices
receiving more than 1000 calls each day, it is expected that this site
will reduce the volume. Dr. Spitz is finding that once patients realize
that their doctor is already available on-line and ready to accept
patient messages, they tend to use the MDhub.com system for many routine
One user of MDhub.com raved that it is “so much better than playing
the phone message number game or listening to music on hold”.
Another person pointed out that “I get to explain what I need
without having to have someone take time out to write my lengthy message.
Now I can do it myself! It saves time at the doctor’s office and for
me so everyone wins!”
Although MDhub allows patients to bypass the
overloaded voicemail and relieves the doctor office’s overloaded
phone system, Dr. Spitz is quick to say that when it comes to serious
medical consultation, the patient must still come in or talk directly
by phone with the doctor. As Dr. Spitz says, “I do not believe that on-line consultations
can approximate the quality of care delivered by an office visit or
even a phone call”. The message is clear on MDhub’s Message Center
when it states that the Message Center is for non-urgent requests which
do not require therapeutic or medical decisions. MDhub is for patients
who need prescription renewals, appointments, referrals, X-ray or lab
test results or have a billing or other non-medical question.
Monday, May 19, 2003
Wireless Networking for Home & Small Business
By Tom Hermann, President of Lifelong Performance, LLC, and Ed Smith,
Computer Consultant and owner of PENEM
Imagine it is a warm spring afternoon and you
are deep in thought at your home office. A client calls your cell
phone begging you to stop what you are doing and quickly analyze
some statistics on a web site and email her your opinions with a
printed, signed hard copy to follow in the mail. Although it is mildly
inconvenient for you, you agree to interrupt your deep thoughts to
take care of the client’s needs. You put the phone down and stretch
to reach your laptop without falling out of your backyard hammock.
Using your high-speed wireless connection, you check the web site
and then put your opinions in the form of an email that you send.
You then click “print” wirelessly
send it to the printer so it will be ready to be mailed out when you
go back inside. Now you can put the laptop back down and get back to
deep thinking… ZZZzzz…
Although wireless web surfing may sound like a futuristic dream to
many of us, through the technological advances of wireless technology,
it is already a reality for more and more people. On May 19th, BPMUG
will offer a presentation on wireless technology for home and small
businesses. Business coach and owner of a wireless home office, Tom
Hermann, will combine forces with small-business computer consultant,
Ed Smith of PENEM, to share their knowledge and experiences of wireless
computer systems. Ed Smith installs wireless systems for business use
and did the installation in the home office for Tom Hermann. Tom Hermann
will be able to give us some first-hand experiences on what he has
wireless technology — the benefits and drawbacks and security issues
he has dealt with.
With projections that by 2006, two-thirds of
U.S. workers to be mobile workers, this topic is of growing interest
to many of our BPMUG members. So whether you are a business owner
like Tom Hermann looking to improve your productivity while working
in a home-office environment, or a mobile worker looking to do some
wireless “deep thinking” while
in your hammock, or a homeuser looking for tips on putting in your
own wireless network, this is a meeting you won’t want to miss! So
mark your calendars for May 19th at 7 PM and bring a friend along!
Monday, April 21, 2003, at 7:00 P.M.
The Spam Killers
By Barry Gordon & Jim Smith
Our April meeting is at the
end of a long, cold winter. When we hibernate for the winter, how
do we keep busy? We turn on our computer to check our email… only
to find tons of “trashy” junk
email, well known as “spam”. ZDNet recently reported that
in 2002 spam accounted for 40 percent of all email, which is a huge
increase from the eight percent reported the year before. Well, it’s
free advertising — so why not? Well it is certainly annoying when
you have to sift through the junk to find legitimate emails. But it
is much more than an annoyance; according to a new study from Ferris
Research, unsolicited email cost US corporations $8.9 billion in 2002!
How can we protect ourselves from this onslaught of spammers? BPMUG
President, Jim Smith, and his very well informed sidekick, Barry Gordon,
will show us two different spam filters that they’ve tested and found
are easy and reliable.
March 17, 2003
Taking stock of the Tech Stocks
With the crash of the “dot-com” industry, many people are
shying away from investing any money in tech stocks lately. Many are
asking, “Are there any good tech stocks?” and “Should
I still shy away from investing in the tech industry?” and “What
will happen to tech stocks in the future?” For our March meeting
we are delighted to have a presentation by Bob Ardini, a well known
radio personality and tech stock follower. He will discuss tech stocks
and their future. He can tell us what is new for these companies but
will not be giving us specific investment advice. With special interest
stories and company statistics, he will enlighten us with topics such
as the latest trends in Intel.
February Meeting Cancelled Due to Bad Weather
January 20, 2003
Genealogy – It’s All Relative
By Dr. Robert Rafford, a professional genealogist
Genealogy is one of the top interests in the country since many of
us are a blend of cultures with ancestors from around the world. We,
indeed, could be distantly related to the Chieftains in Ireland or
Cleopatra of Egypt.
Our January meeting will offer a detailed approach to using software
to aid our never-ending search for our ancestors. Dr. Robert Rafford,
a professional genealogist, will show us Family Origins Deluxe, as
well as giving us tips for searching other sources like the web. As
president of the Connecticut Professional Genealogist Council he leads
a group of over 65 professional genealogists in Connecticut, Massachusetts,
and New York. He is a life member of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists,
Inc. His web site can be seen at www.familytreedoctor.com