Past BPMUG Presentation Notes - 2005-2006
Archived Presentation Notes
December 18, 2006
For our December meeting we will have our annual Holiday Party! We will have a few tips & tricks and then will open the meeting to a party with Hors d'Oeuvers and desserts.
For one of the tips, Barry Gordon will demonstrate how to connect all those external devices that are currently available to enhance our PC's and laptops. For the second tip Barry will demonstrate how to print labels using Word. This is very useful for your home, small business, or club.
As always we will have plenty of other activities at the meeting. We will have door prizes and a raffle with some special give always!
Nov 20, 2006
Holiday Shopping The EBay Way
Presentation by Gerry Covaleski, An Accomplished eBay user
By now, you've probably heard of eBay even if you haven't used it. You may have seen our presentation last month on how to sell on eBay. You've heard that some amazing buys can be made on eBay auctions. And now you are ready to try your hand at bidding and buying on eBay. But how's it work? How can you get the best deals? How can you avoid getting scammed?
Our presenter and experienced eBay user, Gerry Covaleski, will show us how to do our holiday shopping through the online auctions. She will take us through the basics of analyzing active auctions to find good ones. She will walk us through the steps of bidding on items on eBay. And she will give tips on things to watch out for when buying on eBay.
Whether you've bought on eBay before and are looking for some tips to improve your chances of winning bids, or have never been on eBay and are wanting step by step instructions, you won't want to miss this meeting!
Oct 16, 2006
Selling on eBay -- The Easy Way!
Presentation by Mark Fortin, JenmarAuctions.com
You may not be as lucky as the owner of a rare baseball card that sold on eBay for 1.2 million dollars (or maybe you will be!), but you probably have some items around the house that you could put on eBay to turn into cash. Or perhaps you have a small weekend craft business or make jewelry on the side and want to know how to try selling them on eBay. If so, you won't want to miss this meeting. Mark will walk us through the steps needed to sell those treasures. He will also give some tips on how to get better exposure and improve your chances of receiving good bids by the info you use and the layout of your auction.
Mark Fortin gave an excellent overview of eBay to BPMUG some time ago and after many requests for him to come back and give a more in depth view of eBay, we're delighted to have him coming in for a full presentation at the October meeting on how to sell on eBay. Mark's company, JenmarAuctions.com, is a division of JENMAR International, LLC, a New England based distributor of both consumer and commercial products, spanning a range of personal, business and leisure interests and needs. Mark Fortin is certified through eBay as a PowerSeller. PowerSellers are eBay top sellers who sustain a consistent high volume of monthly sales and a high level of total Feedback --with 98% or better positive rating by other eBay users.
Sept 18, 2006
Lions and Tigers and MySpace, Oh My!
By Detective Jim Smith of CT State Police Computer Crimes Unit
MySpace.com is one of several free on-line social networking services that let people create their own websites with information, pictures and movies. MySpace.com was bought by Rupert Murdoch of News Corp., in 2003 for $580 million and is being built into a huge operation. Many safeguards are in place to prevent harm to children. Users must be at least 14 years old and Myspace hired a safety manager to help monitor safe using. They also claim to have dedicated a third of their workforce to policing the site 24 hours a day. They remove anyone they determine is under their minimum 14-years-old age limit. They remove any inappropriate images they find. And the company also works with law enforcement agencies, to rid the on-line community of pedophiles and other undesirables.
However, even with all of the safeguards, with over one and a half billion hits each day, Myspace.com still attracts its share of problems and very bad people. Pedophiles continue to lure underage girls with an endless stream of deception, making it difficult for parents to find out what is happening to their children and what to do about it. Come to our September 18th meeting and get the latest information on this controversial web site from Detective Jim Smith from CT State Police Compute Crimes Unit.
July 17, 2006
Cleaning The Cobwebs From Your PC
By Members of BPMUG
There is lots of talk about putting a spark back in our PC. Cleaning the extraneous files. Defragging the hard drive. Updating the antivirus. Removing unused programs. Exterminating the bugs. And even formatting and starting over if necessary. A member recently challenged us to stop talking and start doing! Show how to speed up a problematic PC instead of just talking about it. So some of the members who do a lot of talking will show instead of telling. Barry Gordon, Jim Smith, Ben Gaman and Wally Pro are going to make the July meeting a great opportunity for everyone to see how to bring a PC back to life. They will take PC's with assorted problems and demonstrate some steps needed to breath life back into those tired PC's.
June 19, 2006
The Insecurity Of Too Much Security
Presentation by by John Yearsley, General Manager for Mansfield, CT Staples store.
What do we do to protect our computer from such problems? We install an antivirus program to protect us from the viruses. But we're told that's not enough. So we put a firewall on to keep the evil-doers from entering our computer or sending out data to the world. Then we are told those pesky pop-up ads are because of bugs called spyware. So we get a spyware program or two to keep the pop-up ads from slowing down our computer. Now we are starting to feel secure.
Congratulations, we've just entered the security meltdown zone! What can we do about it? Mark your calendar for 7 PM on June 19th and come listen to John Yearsley talk to BPMUG about computer security in a new way... how much is too much. With all the protection out there, it is now time to find out how to keep our computer secure without all the insecurity.
May 15, 2006
Keep Your Computer Alive
Presentation by Book Author, Dan Uitti
Author, Dan Uitti who wrote the book “Keep Your Computer Alive” will address problems even found in new computers, such as Spyware, pop-ups, and the flood of Spam or unsolicited e-mails. During his presentation, he will show illustrations drawn by cartoonist Ted Hudson, such as the “Trojan Horse” and warding off the vampires that threaten computers with the latest viruses.
Dan will provide a number of tips and suggests on how each one of these problems could be avoided or cured. As always, he will remind us to back up our files. Speaking as an advocate, he believes that people need to become more familiar with basic computer maintenance and strive to “Keep Your Computer Alive”. While there are issues that only a computer specialist can solve, regular maintenance by the owner can be rewarding and possibly save money.
Dan’s book is available worldwide since its publication in August of 2005.
April 17, 2006
Home & Small Office Wireless Networking
Presentation by Barry Pilver of CompUSA
Now that Spring is finally arriving, do you see yourself sitting out on your deck, surfing the web without wires? Perhaps lounging in your hammock this summer with a wireless laptop? Printing to the printer indoors without getting up and spilling your glass of ice tea? Or more practically, would you like to be sitting at Starbucks or in the airport connecting your laptop to the Internet? Or connect your small office computers together without wires? Wireless communications is showing rapid growth with last year revenues of around $12 billion and by 2008 projected to be over $17 billion. With so many people enjoying the benefits of wireless networks, it is time for us to learn more about it.
BPMUG is pleased to have Barry Pilver of CompUSA coming to show us all the stuff we need to go wireless. He will demystify the alphabet soup of WAP, WEP, WPA and others and turn it into plain English. He will bring in samples of all the equipment you need to get started. And he will demonstrate how easy it is to hook up your own wireless network and how to make it secure from outsiders.
March 20, 2006
What To Do If Your Computer Stops Computing
By Rob Gutman with Geeks On Call
With all the talk about how to keep your PC running, what happens when it stops running anyway? How can you figure out what is wrong with it? Do you know any basic troubleshooting steps to take? How can you determine which component is causing the problem?
Rob Gutman of Geeks On Call will walk us through some basic troubleshooting steps (did you check to make sure it is plugged in? Is your antivirus protection updated?) and will then move on to stuff like "Did your hard drive make a grinding noise just before it died" and such. Geeks On Call respond to computer problems on a regular basis and will be sharing some real life experiences for what to check before seeking outside help.
February 20, 2006
Digital Photography -- Making Good Photos Look Even Better
By Dan & Dot Doll, Long Time Photographers & Photoshop Users
Last month, BPMUG offered a presentation on users likes and dislikes of a variety of digital cameras. For this month's presentation, we will have photography enthusiasts Dot and Dan Doll talking about how to use computer software to enhance and manipulate those digital photographs. They will show actual photographs that they've taken and what you can do with a little bit of experience and lots of curiosity. They will show you how to create composites and montages and give you some other ideas of projects that you can do with your image collections. They will demonstrate how you can use these techniques whether you want to use a high-end software package such as Adobe's Photoshop or less expensive Adobe Elements or other similar programs.
January 16, 2006
"Digital Cameras - The Good, Bad, & Pixelated"
At the January 16th meeting a panel of BPMUG members will share which cameras they own and why they selected that particular one. They will walk us through the good and bad points of their camera, the resolution (and whether that is important), where to buy it and what they spent on their camera. With a variety of personal experiences we will get first hand information about those cameras.
December 19, 2005
"Happy Holidays! Let's Have A Party!"
For our holiday meeting on December 19th, something special -- A Holiday Party! We will have a few tips & tricks and then will open the meeting to a party with Hors d'Oeuvers and desserts.
One of the tips we will present at the meeting will be how to print envelopes using Word. If you have ever tried to print an envelope or several of them using Word, there are some neat tricks that will make it much easier. Paul Silversmith will guide us through the steps involved.
Another tip will be how to put a header on an Excel spreadsheet. Have
you ever tried to print a long spreadsheet only to find that your title
only appears on the top of page one? Steve Langford will show how to
use the "Custom Headers" feature of Excel to create headers
just the way you want
As always we will have plenty of other activities at the meeting. We will have door prizes and a raffle with some special give always!
November 21, 2005
Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, & Blunders
Presented By Book Author, Peter Sideris
We've all had our share of PC disasters. And we've all made our share of blunders. But at our November meeting we will have book author, Peter Sideris tell us about his book appropriately titled, "Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, & Blunders". Peter and his co-author, Jesse Torres, wrote about PC war stories, tips, and real things that have happened to people as well as warning of things that can happen if preventative steps aren't taken.
Peter has worked in the computer field for many years with a range of experiences that he shares in the book from when he managed the Help Desk for Prudential Realty CT and currently as a Systems Engineer for Swiss Reinsurance Company in Hartford. Peter and co-author Jesse Torres use their years of experience to create a book that has been reviewed in these terms: "If you're not into techie things, but want to keep your computer healthy--the book won't bore you. Quite the opposite, as the authors write with humor and down-to-earth feel."
The table of contents indicates the wide range of issues that the book covers: Theft and Loss; Hardware Disasters and Mishaps; Software Disasters and Mishaps; Network Disasters and Mishaps; Wireless Networking; Internet Fraud; Spam; Surviving Viruses; Junkware: Malware, Adware, and Spyware; Email and Other Internet Hazards; Travel Mishaps and Disasters; Power Adapters and Batteries; Backup and Recovery; Digital Lifestyle Hazards; and Piracy. Each section has plenty of good sound advice and easily understood tips.
Peter recalls the days when PC problems were primarily hardware and software related. Today, with the onslaught of the Internet, disasters can come from all different directions. Peter will be ready to talk about what he sees as being common disasters, mishaps, & blunders. He will share some of what they clearly highlight in the book with a gray background as "Horror Stories". And he will do all this in basic understandable terms that avoid the technobabble that only the geeky-est of geeks can appreciate.
October 17, 2005
Security, Organization, & Backups -- Problems and Solutions
Presented By Gene Barlow, User Group Relations
Our October presentation will be by a special guest coming in from Utah to share some of his vast knowledge of computers, hard drives, and Internet security with us. Gene Barlow, with User Group Relations (www.ugr.com) is returning to visit BPMUG for the first time in several years and you won't want to miss this one of his many informative and entertaining presentations. He will cover Internet security, organizing your access to the Internet using Optimal Desktop Pro, and using the PC Magazine award winner backup software, True Image to set up a backup schedule that will work for you.
Use of the Internet has become a very important part of our lives today. We spend hours on the Internet communicating with family and friends, managing our finances, researching our ancestors, planning our vacations, and shopping for things we need. While there is a lot of good we get from the Internet, there is a dark side to the Internet that we may not be aware of. This session will help you to understand what is going on behind the scenes while you are using the Internet. Gene will show you the world of Hackers and how they can take advantage of your computer and information. All of this happening without your knowing that it is happening on your computer. Then Gene will describe the many things you need to do to protect your computer from these hackers. He will look at various protection options available to you and how effective they are at keeping you safe. Internet Security is a major problem today and one that you need to understand and know what you can do to prevent serious problems. You owe it to yourself to attend this session.
We are living in the Information Age and actually have an "information overload" to contend with. Finding information on the Internet or even on our large gigabyte hard drives is becoming a real problem. The best way to prevent this is by organizing your "Access Points" to the information. A powerful tool to help you is Optimal Desktop Pro. Finding the information you want on your screen can be done in three easy clicks of the mouse. Optimal Desktop Pro uses Cabinets, Drawers, and Section. Gene will show you how to set up and tailor your desktop using Drawers and Sections by name, icon or color to make things easy to find and remember. Setting up and tailoring your desktop makes using this product simple and fun to do.
Backing up your hard drive is possibly the most important thing you can do with your computer. True Image by Acronis has received the Editors Choice Award from PC Magazine 3 years in a row. With the new release of True Image, you can make full backup images of your entire hard drive. You can also make incremental backup images of any changes to your hard drive since the last full or incremental backup to save time and space on your backup drive. To these two standard methods of doing image backups, Acronis has added the ability to do differential backup images. With differential backup images, you initially create a full backup image as the basis for the differential images. Then each time you make a differential backup image, it consolidates all of the changes to the hard drive since the initial full backup image was created. Hence, you only keep the full backup image and the most recent differential backup image to rebuild your hard drive from. Using the incremental backup approach, you need to keep the initial backup image and all incremental images that follow it. Hence, differential backup images can save space on your backup device. Is all this confusing? Come to the meeting and let Gene help get you on the road to good backup habits.
Sept 19, 2005
Do You Practice "Smart Computing"?
Presented by Jen Clausen, Smart Computing User Group Program
Computers can sometimes present a cruel game of hide and seek. Smart Computing magazine knows how you feel so ready or not here they come! For our kick-off September meeting, Jen Clausen from Smart Computing is on her way to visit your user group to guide you through Smart Computing and put an end to the nerve racking games of computer hide and seek.
Smart Computing will walk you through the helpful and timely information you can find each month in the magazine. They will also give a live demonstration of SmartComputing.com to show how you can put these powerful tools to work for you!
In addition, everyone can expect to receive a goodie bag complete with Smart Computing, a guide to SmartComputing.com, Smart Computing pens & mouse pads, and more! Great door prizes will be given away at the meeting as well.
July 18, 2005
Everything You Want To Know About Printers
Presented by Barry Pilver, CompUSA
You know that piece of equipment that sits on your desk that you take for granted until it stops printing? There are a lot of printers on the market today and most are "priced competitively low" (which is frequently a euphemism for "cheap"). Because they are so low in price they sometimes tend to malfunction from time to time. Have you ever noticed that your printer seems to drink ink cartridges by the dozen even though you don't do that much printing? Ever wonder why that happens? Should you buy the bargain no-name cartridge refills or even fill your own ink cartridges from those do-it-yourself kits? Have you tried to figure out whether to get an ink jet or laser printer and wondered about the differences between them? Have you ever hooked up a printer only to have it print out nonsense characters? Have you wondered if you should do more to maintain your printer?
You won't want to miss our upcoming BPMUG meeting on July 18th when we will bring in some knowledgeable folks from CompUSA to tell us everything we ever wondered about printers. They will bring in some examples of the latest in printer technology and will answer questions on how to be a smart shopper for printers as well as how to get the most out of your present printer. For example, did you know that by removing paper dust and other debris from the interior with a can of compressed air periodically improves the ability of your printer to feed pages -- and that means less paper jams? Want more tips? Have more questions?
June 20, 2005
NEW LIFE FOR "RETIRED" COMPUTERS
Presented by Bill Barnes, Executive Director of Geeks for Givers
On June 20th, Bill Barnes, Founder & Executive Director of Geeks for Givers, will introduce his non-profit organization to our group. Geeks for Givers takes retired PC's that were built after 1998 with Pentium III or greater processors, and 500 MB or larger hard drives, and recycle these back into the community where there is a need for them. They act as a bridge between the for-profit corporations wanting to donate back to the community and those in the community in need. Bill will discuss the new software they load on the wiped & formatted hard drives. He will also discuss E-Waste disposal and the current controversy surrounding it.
You can get more information on Geeks for Givers at www.geeksforgivers.org
May 16, 2005
Computer Roots; Computerized Genealogy
Presented by Janet Pestey
In the same way that it helps us to know that our computer files radiate out from the root directory, it is also helpful for us to find out about our genealogy roots. Genealogy is a hot topic. The US has always been an immigrant nation and many of us are a blend of various races and nationalities. This lends itself to us using the computer to research our roots.
Note: Due to last minute conflict, presenter was unable to attend. Presentation was conducted by BPMUG members Mort Fabricant & Gerry Covaleski and CompuUSA representative, Barry Pilver.
April 18, 2005
More About Buying and Selling on eBay
Mark E. Fortin
President of JENMAR International, LLC
Since eBay proclaims that 430,000 people make their living today through eBay, you may want to be one of those people making stacks of money on eBay. If so, you won't want to miss some more tips by Mark Fortin on buying and selling on eBay. If you missed Mark's popular presentation at the November meeting, he will be back at our April 18th meeting to give a review of the basics before going into some more great ideas for buying and selling on eBay.
Mark E. Fortin, President of JENMAR International, LLC, a New England based distributor of both consumer and commercial products will be giving the encore 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 more 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.
March. 21, 2005
The Wonderful World of Internet Radio
Gary Lajoie, Executive Producer, CyberstationUSA
A student at University of Iowa is transfixed by some exotic sounds of Jamaican Calypso music. An Irish-American steel worker listens to the latest news on an Irish radio station while welding a beam in Texas. A child in Korean listens to the striking sound of a Southern Gospel station from Alabama. All this is possible due to the world of Internet Radio. With the introduction of the Internet and its streaming audio capabilities, there have never been more options for listeners. Now the most obscure music can be heard via your computer as well as all of today's favorites! Amateur and professional talk show hosts are reaching audiences worldwide!
CyberstationUSA's Executive Producer, Gary Lajoie, is BPMUG's guest speaker at the February 21st meeting. CyberstationUSA has studio facilities in Hartford, CT and Quincy, MA. Gary will explain what Internet radio is, how it works (in non-technical terms!) and how you can tune in to radio stations across the globe. For those interested, he will also touch on how a person would set up their own Internet radio station as well as how aspiring DJ's can audition to use the professional broadcast equipment available through CyberstationUSA.
As an added bonus, CyberstationUSA's Hartford studio is located in the same building as our meeting - New Park Office and Conference Center. Although it would be a tight squeeze for us all to fit into one of their soundproof broadcasting studio rooms, Gary has offered to stay for a few minutes after the meeting to let those that are interested go down the hall to take a peek at the facilities. More information on CyberstationUSA can be found at their web site at www.cyberstationUSA.com.
Feb. 21, 2005
February meeting cancelled due to snow storm.
Jan. 17, 2005
Coping With Email Spam
Presentation by Jim Smith, Blarneystone, LLC
It has been estimated that spam (unsolicited bulk email) costs businesses $10 billion a year. Individual users also lose over $50 a year in misplaced productivity. Spam has become a major frustration for email users and it doesn't appear that the increase will be curtailed in the foreseeable future.
On January 17, Jim Smith, a commercial web designer and web site host, will give a presentation on spam. Included will be a basic background on spam, dispelling of some misconceptions, and what can be done to curb the flow of spam. You will find out how spammers take advantage of other peoples computers to do their dirty work for them. View the hidden headers of an email message and learn how to decipher those hidden addresses for forgeries. Learn what businesses and individuals are doing to reduce the email flood created by spammers. Also get some tips of your own on how to cope with the flood of spam in your inbox. Dispel the myth that the problem is due to untouchable foreign spammers; a recent study found an estimated 86% of spam originates in the US. Find out why spams have so many typos; and how that improves the chance of you viewing it. Find out why you should never follow the link on a spam to be removed from their list. These tips and more will be shared at this meeting.
Archived Presentation Notes