December 20, 2010
BPMUG Holiday Wishlist & Party
Wishlist by Barry Gordon
Happy Holidays to all. For our meeting
we are going to have a Holiday Party! We’ll have a quick election
of officers for the upcoming year Then we’ll
offer some computer tips and a holiday wishlist and then
we’ll open the meeting to a party with Hors d’Oeuvers and desserts.
Long-time BPMUG member, Barry Gordon, has volunteered to bring back
his holiday wish list. He will talk about the neat new gadgets that
are available and why he hopes they will all be dropped off on his
doorstep during the holidays. This is always a fun festive time.
We may also get a tip or two from some of our members.
November 15, 2010
All About Craigslist
By Jim Smith, Blarneystone Internet
With the holidays fast approaching,
it is time to do some smart shopping for gifts. Why not stretch a
dollar further by getting something from Craigslist? Jim Smith will
show how to set up an account on Craigslist and how you can safely
buy and sell through this active medium. Whether you are looking
to buy something, sell something, find a job, hire someone to help
you, or to publicize your upcoming event, Craigslist is a very popular
Craigslist started out as a hobby in
1995 and last month had 59.7 million visitors. We will talk about
how to put safety first, some gotchas to be aware of, and some ways
to protect yourself as you use it. Then we will open the meeting
to answering any remaining questions you may have about this topic.
October 18, 2010
Copying (Burning) CD’s
Halnon with Biznuzz IT Services
Have you wished you could copy some
files onto a CD? Or create a music CD with those MP3 files you have
on your computer? Or backed up some data for safe-keeping? Or have
you just wondered about the alphabet-soup of CD-R, CD-RW, CD/DVD
and what it all means in simple terms?
BPMUG is bringing in a new presenter
who has graciously offered to demonstrate how to copy (burn) a CD
on a computer. Dennis Halnon of Barkhamsted, CT, is a 20-year veteran
of the computer business and works for Biznuzz IT Services in Winsted,
CT. Dennis will demystify the jargon of CD readers, writers (burners),
and more. He will review what software is needed and what techniques
September 20, 2010
Speed-up, Clean-up, and Maintain Your
By BPMUG President, Jim Smith
Summer vacations are winding down and
it is time to crank up our PC’s for a long winter of computing. BPMUG
computer user group will sponsor a free demonstration on how to tune-up,
clean out, and gain control of your computer. We will demonstrate
a bunch of ways that you can speed it up and clean out some of the
clutter that is slowing it down. We will even pass out some “cheat
sheets” so you can follow along and see how we do it. At the
end of the evening, you’ll be able to take the sheets home and put
some life back into your own PC.
No meeting for August, 2010
July 19, 2010
Cloud Computing & PDF files
By BPMUG members, Lee Seidman & Jim Smith
Lee Seidman will talk about PrimoPDF, a free program to convert
your files into standard PDF files. Lee will demonstrate the program
and explain why you might want to use it. This will be something
useful and fun.
BPMUG Pesident Jim Smith will talk to us about a recent
concept for using software programs and storing information – in
the “Cloud”. Jim will talk about what the cloud is and
ways in which you probably are already using it without knowing it.
Do you use Google? Where are Google files? Where is the data? All
are on the cloud. Sounds pretty crazy but the cloud has many benefits
for running programs and backing up your files. Another fun thing
to learn about!
June 21, 2010
The ABC’s of Selling on eBay!
By Mark Fortin & Susan Sullivan
of Jenmar Auctions
Summertime is the perfect time to sell all of our goodies — and
what better way to do so than to sell on eBay? It been a long time
since we’ve had a demonstration on how to sell your treasures on
eBay. In June, our previous speaker has offered to come back for
a refresher seminar on how to sell our treasures through eBay’s huge
on-line auction service. Mark Fortin of Jenmar Auctions (www.jenmarauctions.com)
and his helper Susan Sullivan will enlighten us with details on how
to sell anything we desire on eBay.
May 17, 2010
By Rosalie Grippo, Bank of America
Are you still writing out checks, stuffing
envelopes and buying stamps? Well say goodbye to all of that. On-line
banking has changed all of this. Many banks now offer free on-line
banking so you can easily pay your bills on-line and let the bank
send out those payments. You can automate payments for things like
your utilities. You can even schedule payments for a future date!
For our May 17th meeting BPMUG has
invited Rosalie Grippo from Bank of America to join us to share with
us all the new features of on-line banking. You will learn how to
save time and money while securely making your payments the modern
April 19, 2010
The Basics of PC File Management
By Kevin Andle of Kandle Consulting
Did you think that file management was just for papers stuffed in
file folders in file cabinets? Did you think that all computer files
just land in the My Documents part of your computer by magic? Just
like paper files, it is important to keep your computer files organized
and up to date. The goal is to ensure that you can find what you
are looking for even if a long time has passed.
Your computer has an extensive structure
in which your data is kept. On April 19th at 7pm BPMUG has lined
up Kevin Andle of KAndle Consulting (www.kandleconsulting.com) to
show us how to do basic file management. The file system for Windows
7 has major changes from prior versions of Windows so in addition
to discussing XP file management, Kevin will address the differences
between XP and Windows 7 files.
March 15, 2010
Quarterly “Members Helping Members” Meeting
Presented by Paul Silversmith & Jim Smith
Every quarter we are now providing a meeting in which some of our
members share something amazing and fun on a computer-related topic.
At our March 15th meeting we are lucky to have BPMUG member Paul
Silversmith demonstrate something our members have been asking about.
Paul will show us the new Google Chrome browser, which is free, installs
quickly and available for XP, Vista, and Win 7. It is built for speed
and convenience and is competing with Firefox as a viable option
to Internet Explorer. Paul will talk about where to find it, how
easy it is to install it, and some of the cool features of it.
The second presentation is by BPMUG President, Jim Smith. Jim will
introduce Hulu, a website that allows us to watch TV programs on
our computer. It is supported by commercials and is funded by big
names such as NBC, FOX, & ABC. Why Hulu instead of just watching
TV? If you thought you recorded a show but the timing was off or
the cable went out, Jim will show you how to find it on Hulu or other
sites and watch it on your computer. Many of the TV series are available
and snippets of shows are a mouse-click away.
February 15, 2010
Windows 7 – Hype or Delight?
Presented by Capital Community College Professor, Michael Ligon
After Microsoft rolled out Windows Vista to much fanfare, users
started complaining about performance problems, memory issues, and
more. It was a great glittering hope that fizzled under the light
of day. Now Microsoft has spent much time working out many of the
bugs while incorporating many of the good features about Vista and
rolled it all into the newest operating system, Windows 7. Now Microsoft
has the arduous task of convincing the public that, unlike past track
record, this operating system is solid. Is it? Can they convince
people to upgrade after the problems with Vista?
Come to our February 15th meeting where we will have Michael Ligon
from Capital Community College review all that Microsoft has to offer
in this new operating system. We will learn about the good and the
bad in this new package. We will find out whether it makes sense
to upgrade our current computer to the latest or to stay with what
we have. You won’t want to miss this informative meeting. Networking
and refreshments will be available at the end of the meeting.
January 18, 2010
The “Wii” Generation
Presentation by Dan & Dot
Doll, BPMUG members
Maybe we’ve gained a few pounds from all that tempting food during
the holidays. Let BPMUG introduce you to a fun game called Wii by
Nintendo. Wii (pronounced “we”) is a seventh generation
console with distinguishing features such as wireless controller,
a pointing device and the ability to detect movement in 3 dimensions.
Not to be dismissed as another kid’s toy, this is being embraced
by a cross-section of people such as urban apartment-dwellers, country
folks, grandparents, parents with their children and more.
We are fortunate to have BPMUG members, Dan and Dot Doll, share
their experiences with us. They will show that it is not just a fun
way to lose weight but a great way to stay limber. The program offers
many apps such as dancing, bowling, and tennis.
December 21, 2009
Annual Holiday Party
is time for our annual holiday party! We will start the
meeting with a couple of brief tips to satisfy our computer-user
crowd. Then a quick election of officers for the upcoming year
followed by a holiday party. Bring your favorite appetizer!
November 16, 2009
ABC’s Of Printers and Printing
Presentation by John Yearsley, Staples
So many printer questions! Inkjet or
Laser? Or what about a multifunction printer with a scanner and fax
capability? What about other options? What are the differences in
all these choices? With over 4000 varieties of printers to choose
from in this world how can you decide?
And what about ink? Since the ink will
cost much more over the life of a printer than the printer itself,
what ink should be used? Is it safe to use less expensive generic
brand cartridges? Is it ok to save some money by refilling cartridges?
And what should you do when you spent
a long time typing up an important document and you go to print and
nothing comes out! Or a blank sheet of paper comes out! Or worst,
pages of gibberish are spit out. With the cost of ink and how many
pages you can get out of a cartridge of ink, what is the true cost
to run these various printers?
all had these questions and more. For our Nov. 16th meeting John
Yearsley from Staples will come with his “Easy Button” to
answer out questions about printers. Come and enjoy this informative
October 19, 2009
Safely Using On-line Pharmacies
Presentation by John Gadea, Director
of Drug Control for CT
In this tough economy we are all trying
to save a buck. For many, purchasing prescription drugs consumes
a significant part of our monthly expenses. We try to balance our
budgets to include our prescriptions. When this becomes a daunting
task, we look to the Internet and see tempting offers with big savings.
We are also enticed by the convenience of not driving anywhere. We
are bombarded with emails promising low prices and safe prescriptions.
On-line pharmacies seem to be the answer to those ever-tightening
If we Google “online pharmacies”,
there are over 30 million listings! The options are overwhelming.
Yet if we Google “online pharmacies complaints”, there
are over a million listings for complaints. What are we to do?
There are many legitimate pharmacies
out there with the appropriate authority and approval. Meet John
Gadea, Director of Drug Control Division for the Department of Consumer
Protection for the State of Connecticut. He will sift through the
myths and point us in the right direction where we can save some
money while safely filling our on-line prescriptions.
September 21, 2009
Clean-up & Speed-up Your PC
Presentation by Jim Smith, Blarneystone Internet Services
Summer vacations are winding down and it is
time to crank up our PC’s for a long winter of computing. BPMUG computer
user group will sponsor a free demonstration on how to tune-up, clean out,
and gain control of your computer. We will demonstrate a bunch of ways that
you can speed it up and clean out some of the clutter that is slowing it
down. We will even pass out some “cheat sheets” so you can follow
along and see how we do it. At the end of the evening, you’ll be able to
take the sheets home and put some life back into your own PC.
Vacation! No meeting in August.
July 20, 2009
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Presentation by John Voice, The Identity Theft Awareness Group
Identity theft is when someone uses your personally identifying
info such as your emails, your Social Security number or a credit
card, without permission and with the intention of committing fraud
or crimes. Identity theft may be used to facilitate crimes including
illegal immigration, terrorism, and espionage. It is estimated that
9 million Americans encounter this each year. Identity theft can
take place in many forms including your phone calls or your computer
if left unprotected.
For our July 20th meeting, we will have John Voice from the Identity
Theft Awareness Group™ (iTAG) to talk about what to look for
and how to protect ourselves. John is a specialist in the area and
has much experience talking to groups. Identity thieves keep finding
innovative new ways to steal, and are becoming more sophisticated
and skilled at their craft so come to this free presentation and
learn how to protect yourself.
June 15, 2009
Social Networking – Why The World Is All Atwitter.
Presentation by Mike Tierney, Audio Media Solutions
Over the years groups of people have felt the need to start social
networks. For years it was tea parties. Then card parties. With the
introduction of websites and E-mail, our networking became techie.
Today social networking is through MySpace, Facebook and now twittering.
Even some senators have been caught twittering and not paying attention.
Our cell phones have made it easier than ever. This world of social
networking is flying by at lightning speed with technology being
developed, evolved, and dropped faster than we can keep track of
On June 15 at 7pm, Audio/Media guru Mike Tierney (www.audiomediasolutions.net)
will talk about these networks — what’s in, what’s out, and where
its going. Mike knows if you are twittering or not so put down your
cell phone and Blackberry and iPhone long enough to find out what
all the buzz is about in plain English. Bring a friend along and
learn about the latest way to network. We will provide snacks after
the meeting for our own old-fashion social networking opportunity!
May 19, 2009
The Technology Behind Weather Forecasting
By Jim Smith, BPMUG President
Last month we had record high temperatures in the 90’s for a few
days followed by temperatures plunging into the 30’s. New England
weather can be a challenge to track and predict. And since weather
changes affects all of our lives, we start to wonder what technology
has done to improve weather forecasting.
On Monday, May 18th, Mark Dixon, meteorologist for WFSB Channel
3 will discuss how computers and the latest technology has impacted
weather forecasting. Many of you have seen Mark doing the evening
weather. You can also visit the Channel 3 website at www.WFSB.com
and search weather. Mark works with a very dynamic team of professionals
to keep us informed about the area’s weather.
April 20, 2009
Wikipedia- A Great Resource Or Another Internet
By Jim Smith, BPMUG President
What exactly is Wikipedia? A do-it-yourself
encyclopedia? How accurate can that be? Can anybody add anything
or change anything? Wikipedia creates many questions and many misconceptions.
At BPMUG’s April 20th meeting, BPMUG President, Jim Smith, will address
many of these questions and myths. The Internet encyclopedia has grown
explosively since its creation a few years ago, with visitors doubling
every four months. Its 5 million entries in 200 languages have been
written entirely by volunteers.
Wikipedia takes fact-checking seriously but since it is staffed
by volunteers, there are many radically different methods used to
make sure the information is accurate.
March 16, 2009
Now It Is An Even Smaller World!
By Barry Gordon, BPMUG member
The world became much smaller when
global long distance calls became affordable to everyone. With Email,
writing a letter to someone on the other side of the world became
instantaneous. And now with the help of a small video camera for
around $50-75 and a free Skype account, you can meet virtually face-to-face
with your friends and family across the world.
At BPMUG’s free March 16 meeting, Barry
Gordon will demonstrate how to install the Logitech Video Camera
on his laptop. Then he will set up the Skype software (Skype.com)
and one other that allows you to view and talk with family or fiends
all over the world using the Internet. Barry will set up a video
feed with his son David in New Jersey. David will explain how easily
his girls were able to communicate with their classroom when they
were in India in December.
David will demonstrate some of the
significant ways that video cams are impacting children’s lives through
his Living Through Learning Foundation (www.livingthroughlearning.org).
Barry and David will save plenty of time to answer questions on webcams.
February 16, 2009
Presented by Jim Smith, Blarneystone
Have you seen what Google has been
offering lately? You may be surprised! Google has an ever growing
array of both tools and toys. Most are free and some may even save
you from buying some other software you now use!
If you don’t like paying
for Word or Excel, Google offers a free alternative with their Google
Apps. Google’s Gmail has very powerful spam filters, lots of storage
space and a great calendar as well.
If you’ve pondered whether to use a
blog (or just want to learn what it is), Google offers a free blog.
Or a free photo editor and sharing application.
Have you used Google’s maps to look
up an address? Now they offer a street view so you can see the building
you looked up! Want more? Let’s take a peek at their Earth application…
it’s like their Map program on steroids!
And did you know that Google has a
free directory assistance service?
At the Feb
meeting, Google Adword Professional and BPMUG President, Jim
Smith, demonstrates some of the cool new offerings by Google.
January 19, 2009
Music For The Computer Age
Presented by Composer Anthony Cornicello
Music is an important part of our lives. We listen to it. We have
our likes and dislikes. Where does it come from? For many years,
musicians wrote their own music or hired a composer to score the
music by hand on paper for all the different instruments. This was
a lot of tedious work to write for each instrument. Computers have
changed that. Much of what you hear today is done in a digital mode
using high tech computer software. Have you ever wondered how music
is composed and played in the computer age?
For our January 19th meeting, composer Anthony Cornicello will show
us some of the newest way to create music. Anthony is a faculty member
at Eastern Connecticut University. He often incorporates unusual
sound resources, electronics, and energy of jazz and rock idioms
into his pieces. He has been composing music since 1980 and has focused
on music with electronics since 2000. His music has been played throughout
the US, Europe, Japan, and South America. He has been featured on
concerts and festivals such as the Darmstadt Summer Festival, the
Wellesley Composers Conference, and the Spark Festival of Electronic
Music. His music is published by CF Peters, Inc., and can be heard
on the Albany & Centaur labels.