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 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.

Update 10th December 2016

After another longish break we held a meeting on 7th December. Much of the meeting was taken up with investigating why Carol's PC refused to connect to the internet, even though her wi-fi appeared to be working correctly. 

We will not be holding meetings over the Christmas / New Year period. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 18th January 2017.

Update 18th November 2016

After nearly a month's break we held a meeting on 16th November. 

Jenny worked on updating her Theatre Group contacts list, and we discussed the small, but occasionally annoying, differences between Microsoft Word and Libre Office.

Carol continued her battle with TalkTalk web based email, especially the lack of compatibility between the contacts list and the email program.

Janet considered options for various home pages and reset her PC to her preferred choice.

We also looked at ways of enlarging text size for both Libre Office and also when browsing web pages using firefox.

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


Update 19 October 2016

At today's meeting we looked at using Google Photos, which has superseded Picassa.  We also compared Mail Chimp with
GroupMail for preparing email newsletters.


Update 6 October 2016

At yesterday's meeting we continued to learn about using 
GroupMail to prepare email newsletters for a local sports club. We also wracked our brains trying to understand the vagaries of TalkTalk's webmail system!

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

Update 7 September  2016

Today's meeting mainly concentrated on problems encountered by one member of the group when using GroupMail to send emails to people with hotmail accounts. It seems this particular email provider is very prone to bounce messages.  We investigated ways to add additional information to emails to reduce the chances of triggering filters. We also looked again at how photos taken on a andriod based mobile phone can be automatically viewed on a laptop using Google Photos.

Update 21 August  2016

At the meeting on 17th August we looked at how photos taken on a mobile phone can be automatically saved and viewed on different devices as well as the phone itself.  We also compared different systems available for sending, receiving and viewing emails.

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


Update 6 July 2016

Despite the attraction of watching Wimbledon Men's Quarter Finals on TV we still had a good turn out today.

During the meeting :-
  • We refreshed our memories about how to set up a new wifi connection. This was required because Keith had replaced the router in his house and initially nobody could connect to the internet.
  • Anne practiced website editing and updated her Spanish Group Webpage
  • Jenny discovered how to retrieve long deleted emails from
  • Derek installed Libre Office onto his PC, replacing Microsoft Word which had stopped working after updating to Windows 10.

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


Update 17 June 2016
Activities at the meeting on 15th June concentrated on techniques used to update pages of this website. Linden experimented with adding and deleting extra information associated with her Lostwithiel U3A Science Group webpage. We started to prepare a simplified set of instructions about editing the Lostwithiel U3A website.

The next two computer group meeting will be on Wednesdays 6th July and 17th August starting at 2pm at the usual venue of Keith's house.


Update 3 June 2016
At the meeting on 1st June we looked at converting documents produced using Microsoft Word and Open Office to pdf format. We also discussed the advantages of using the pdf format when attaching a document to an email.

We also discovered some of the hidden pitfalls when installing a new router supplied by a well known ISP
without any instructions!


Update 19 May 2016
Yesterday's meeting included a discussion on the new features available with Windows 10 compared to Windows 8.1.  We also installed AdBlock on Janet's PC to remove annoying adverts. 

Update 20 April 2016
Today's meeting involved more video conferencing across the kitchen table using Skype. We also  investigated ways to access emails associated with a defunct ISP, absorbed into the Talk Talk empire many years ago, from a public computer. 


Update 7 April 2016
At the meeting on 6th April we set up a Skype account for Irene and used it to send a video greeting to her daughter in France.


Update 19 March 2016
During the meeting on 16th March we investigated the recently introduced  Google Photos application and used it to display photos from Lostwithiel Bowling Club.


Update 2 March 2016
Christine updated the fixtures list on the Lostwithiel Bowling Club website to show the schedule for matches taking place during 2016 during today's meeting.




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