Group Contact - Keith Southgate
Telephone -  01208 873371
Email  keithsouthgate(at)gmail(dot)com or  CLICK HERE

Meetings during 2017 will be held  on the FIRST and THIRD  Wednesdays of each month to avoid clash with Lunch Group Meetings.

We are a small group, generally about 3 or 4 people, and run in a very informal manner. We discuss using PC's running Windows 7, 8, or 10.

Our sessions are based around a Question and Answer format designed to help U3A members who are learning how to use their computers for the first time and also members who have used PC's for a while, but would like to learn about using new programs.

Typical topics covered include:-

  • Staying safe on-line
  • Anti Virus Programs
  • Malware
  • Search Engines
  • Emailing
  • Using Skype
  • On-Line Banking
  • Purchasing Items on-line
  • Backing Up your data, both locally and via Cloud Storage
  • Word-processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Using your computer with your camera

Update 6th December 2017

Today we looked at using Dropbox as a way of sharing files. This followed an email received by Vera from a friend in South Africa containing a link to Dropbox. We were able to view several documents and videos on Dropbox relating to a birthday party.  We also tested uploading and sharing an image from Cathy's computer to Keith's Dropbox account.

Other topics covered included how to change the default search engine from Bing to Google when using Microsoft Edge browser and how to view images embedded on an old dvd on a pc.

There will not be a meeting in three weeks time on Wednesday 20th December. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all group members.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 starting at 2pm.

Update 16th November 2017

Another quiet meeting yesterday with only two U3A members joining Keith. 

We discussed changes needed after replacing a router, concentrating on how to set up a WiFi printer.

Various methods of sending multiple emails with similar, but not identical, content were also investigated.

As there are  five  Wednesdays  in November the next meeting will be in three weeks on Wednesday 6th December starting at 2pm.

Update 2nd  November 2017

After a full house  last week only three U3A members joined Keith yesterday.  During  the first part of the meeting we investigated how to pin a program to the task bar on a PC  running Windows 10. For reference the techniques we covered are included in
this article.  

Secondly the problem of avoiding both Avast Anti Virus and Malwarebytes  directing unsuspecting users to the paid version of their programs, rather than allowing them to use the free versions, was discussed.  

We ended the afternoon looking at Android phones and ways to free up memory space. 

The next meeting will be at Keith's house on Wednesday 15th November starting at 2pm.

Update 18th October  2017

A very full house today as six of us squeezed round the kitchen table. We covered a wide range of topics today including:-

  • Discussing merits of various web browsers, comparing Google Chrome with Microsoft Edge
  • Finding hidden functions on Windows 10, including  the very useful Control Panel
  • Comparing functions on a desktop computer with a laptop computer
  • Editing both spreadsheets and Word documents directly in One Drive
  • Looking at ways to speed up a pc by reducing number of start-up programs

Thanks to Christine for helping run this afternoon's session.

The next  meeting  will be at Keith's house on the first Wednesday  1st November, starting at 2pm

Update 8th October  2017

At our computer group meeting on Thursday 5th October  we looked at downloading  and reading email  attachments and also investigated some of the vagaries of page formatting in Open Office.

The second meeting in October will be at Keith's house on the usual third Wednesday of the month, 18th October, starting at 2pm

Update 25th September  2017

Please note that the next computer group meeting will now be on Thursday 5th October and not Wednesday 4th October as previously advised. The meeting will start at the usual time of 2pm at Keith's house.  The second meeting in October will be on the usual third Wednesday of the month (18th October.)

Update 17th August 2017

After a busy meeting on 2nd August only Janet and Ann came to yesterday's Computer Group meeting.
  The main topic of discussion was about using facebook and how to restrict one's visibility on the platform.  We also looked at ways to copy information gleaned from a webpage into an email.

There will not be any Computer Group meetings in September.

Update 2nd August 2017

Six of us squeezed round Keith's kitchen table for our meeting on 2nd August despite, or maybe because of, terrible wet weather.

We drifted away from our usual discussion about using  Windows PCs and also covered Smart TV sets and Android phones.  The main topics investigated were as follows:-

  • How to delete incorrect self completing email addresses from
  • Playing mp3 and mp4 files attached to emails
  • Retrieving lost passwords from websites and reactivating dormant accounts.
  • Using the updated BBC iPlayer on a Smart TV
  • Freeing up memory on an Android phone.  
  • Improving visibility of mouse pointer on Windows 10 pc

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 16th August starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 20th July 2017

Three main topics were discussed yesterday:-

  • Setting up an account for on-line grocery shopping
  • How to play .mtm files
  • Saving webpages for viewing off line; allowing quotes for flights from different airlines to be compared.

The next computer group meeting will be on 
Wednesday 2nd August starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 6th July 2017

The lure of Andy Murray playing at Wimbledon this afternoon, combined with very sunny weather, resulted in reduced attendance at yesterday's meeting.

We investigated some of the more complex functions contained within the Beacon U3A Management system to allow Jenny to set up and modify the waiting list for her Theatre Group.

We also reset the password and re-validated the BT on-line billing system for Jenny.  

Janet wanted to know how to prevent unwanted calls on her Skype account and we reset preferences so only people already on her contacts list can get in touch using Skype.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 19th July starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 7th June 2017

A couple of topics were covered today-

Firstly we made some changes to the way Ann's new computer was set-up, removing the pre installed McAfee antivirus and replacing it with a free version of Avast anti-virus.

Ann is familiar with using the Chrome browser on her previous computer. We downloaded Chrome onto the new PC  and set it up as the default browser, adding various popular sites to the bookmark toolbar. 

Secondly we looked at how Cathy could download and complete an application form in word format, add some images and then attach finished document to an email. During this part of the afternoon we explored the various ways of accessing and renaming files from different directories on Cathy's PC.

There will not be a meeting on Wednesday 21st June.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 5th July starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 18th May 2017

A full house at yesterday's meeting as six people set up their computers round the kitchen table with everyone connected to Keith's wifi.

Topic covered included:-
  • Viewing, manipulating, saving and resending pdf files received as an incoming attachment to an email
  • Installing Google drive on a computer
  • Using a recently purchased replacement computer
  • Sharing photos taken on an android mobile phone with friends using Google Photos  
  • Setting up Thunderbird as a back up email system

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 7th June starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 4th May 2017

Owing to various conflicting engagements there were only two people at the  Computer Group meeting yesterday. 

We looked at changes Microsoft have made to their web-based Outlook email system by the introduction of a Focused Inbox.  After delving into the SETTING MENU we changed the display view on Janet's computer back to the earlier, preferred, appearance. 

The remainder of  the meeting was spent dealing with methods for transferring and emailing photos taken using an Andriod based mobile phone onto a PC which stored files on Microsoft's one-drive and used the associated email system.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 17th May starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 19th April 2017

A particularly frustrating Computer Group meeting today!  Janet wanted to register the guarantee for a new item of electrical equipment from a well known supplier. However the layout of the website was so bad we spent ages trying to reach the correct page on the site, but it proved to be impossible.

We also looked at the web based email system provided  by TalkTalk and were faced with yet more badly designed software showing poor compatibility between the contacts list and the  email program. 

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 3rd May starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 6th April 2017

The imminent start of activities at Lostwithiel Bowling Club was the catalyst for  many of the topics discussed yesterday. Christine and Carol worked on updating spreadsheets for the club and formatting the output so details could be easily read once the spreadsheets were printed out. We also looked at linking albums of club photos held on Google Photos to the Bowling Club website. 

Jenny and Carol practised using the new U3A Beacon management system for sending group emails.  

Janet set up a payment transfer from her on-line banking account and verified the transfer via her mobile phone. 

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 19th April starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 18th March 2017

 photos from a camera to a pc, either via a cable or directly by plugging the camera's sd card into a pc, was discussed at Wednesday's Computer Group 
session. We also started the mammoth task of sorting several hundred photos previously located on the camera into folders on the pc! Various ways of backing up important photos on external devices were also covered.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 5th April starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 2nd March 2017

Linking android smartphones to Windows computers was the main topic of yesterday's Computer Group
session. We set up a new gmail account for Janet on both her PC and phone, allowing easy transfer of photos from her phone to her PC. 

Keith demonstrated how the new U3A Beacon management system has simplified the sending of group emails and allowed subscriptions to be collected by PayPal. 

There was a brief discussion about EU Cookie policy and we looked at a website that allows you to check which cookies are contained on other websites.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 15th March starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 15th February 2017

Today we updated an anti-virus program for Cathy, looked into how to  use BT Wifi  Hot Spots with Janet's new mobile phone and continued with the seemingly never-ending task of mastering TalkTalk's email for Carol.

At the end of the meeting we briefly looked at using Skype.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 1st March starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.

Update 9th February 2017

Yesterday's meeting was delayed by one week as Keith was not in Lostwithiel on the first Wednesday of February. 

Janet told the meeting how helpful Lloyds Bank had been in helping her to set up internet  banking for the first time. We looked at various transactions that can be carried out using internet banking, and discussed how banks have set up sophisticated log-in procedures. 

We also considered the advantages and disadvantages of android based mobile phones compared with iPhones and talked about making sure that large data downloads to mobile phones are carried out using wifi rather than via 3g / 4g.

The next Computer Group meeting will take place in just one weeks time on Wednesday 15th February 2017, our usual meeting day of the third Wednesday of the month, from 2pm at Keith's house. We plan to discuss the use of Skype at this meeting.

Revised 24th January 2017

Update 19th January

The first meeting of a new year and two new members joined the group for the first time.

We discussed the advantages of the pdf format for saving documents, and looked at various ways of editing and adding information to pdf files.

The next computer group meeting will be on Wednesday 8th February  (not Wednesday 1st February as previously advised)  starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.



At an earlier meeting we looked at ways of backing up your data. Some of the topics discussed are listed below:-



Backing Up Photos

For backing up your photos on-line I recommend the free version of flickr. To access flickr you need an email address provided by Yahoo   Flickr provided you with 1Terra Byte of  storage. That is 1000 GigaBytes  This means you can store 500,000 photos with an average file size of 2MB, so you shouldn't run out of space!  It is possible to set the privacy so that you are the only person who can see the pictures.


Backing Up Other Data

For backing up letters, reports, spreadsheets etc then OneDrive, run by Microsoft, is probably the best option.   See    To access  One

Drive you need an email address provided by Microsoft . These include hotmail, and addresses. You now get 15 GigaBytes of free storage. (recently increased from 7GB)


An abbreviated  description of One Drive (formally called  SkyDrive) taken from Wikipedia -

"SkyDrive  is a file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser or their local device. It  allows users to keep the files private, share them with contacts, or make the files public. Publicly shared files do not require a Microsoft account to access."


It is also possible to use, for free, online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint via OneDrive.






Staying Safe on Line

The best initial point for  finding out how to protect your pc on the web is probably the government backed "Get Safe On-line" website at

To quote from their website:-

"Our website is a unique resource providing practical advice on how to protect yourself, your computers and mobiles device and your business against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online. It contains guidance on many other related subjects too – including performing backups and how to avoid theft or loss of your computer, smartphone or tablet. Every conceivable topic is included on the site – including safe online shopping, gaming and dating … so now you really can stay safe with everything you do online."


Learn at Home


Lostwithiel U3A,
Feb 5, 2014, 4:34 AM