Computing




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

 
Meetings during 2019 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 4th October 2019

Only two members of the group came to Wednesday's meeting.

Initally we looked at various cloud storage systems, in particular One Drive and Google Drive and how using one of these options allows you to access your files from several devices.

After discussing settings on Androd phones we then looked at ways of transferring a large number of images using Google Photos.

There will not be a meeting on 16th October.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 2pm.



Update 19th September 2019

Three people came to yesterday's meeting.

One of the group hadn't used her PC very much over the summer period, so her PC is still using Windows Version 1809 rather than Version 1903. We discussed how these various updates are applied and how they can be "forced" via the setting window  (More info in this article )

Quite a lot of the meeting was taken up discussing intearction between Android Phones and PC's.  In particular we looked at the way pictures taken on a mobile phone automatically transfer to Google photos. We talked about photo file sizes and how the original photo (in terms of file size and dimensions) can be retrieved from Google Photos.

We looked at ways of viewin a video in MOV format on an Andriod phone. (Various options are described in this article. )  It also appears that the VLC for Andriod App should play MOV files on an Andriod phone, but we didn't try this.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 2nd October 2019 at 2pm.





Update 4th September 2019

Anne, Carol, Janet, Jenny and Keith attended our first meeting after the summer break.

Since we last met everyone's PC (except Jenny's which uses Ubuntu Operating System) had been subjected to an update to Windows 10. (Details are availble via this link)  We spent the first part of the meeing making minor adjustments to our PC setting to restore some of our preferred settings.

Following the update Anne found she was unable to access gmail so we reset her password by means of receiving a text message from Google.  Carol and Janet also had problems with changes to the way their email messages were displayed and we made adjustments to restore their settings.

We discussed the increasing number of hoax phone calls everyone was receiving saying their internet service was about to be suspended.  Keith already uses the BT 1572 Call Protect system which can stop some, but not all, of these calls.  We looked at how to install this function. (Details here


The next meeting is planned for Wednesday 18th September 2019 at 2pm.



Update 21st June 2019


Jubilee Pool Penzance by Lindsay Southgate



Taking into account summer holidays, and other activities, Computer Group meetings will restart on 4th September 2019 at the usual location of my house.

If you have any particular computer related questions before this date feel free to contact me and I will try to help.

Best wishes

Keith


Update 7th June 2019

Keith and Anne were the only two members of the group at this week's meeting.

An interesting discussion covering several aspects of computing took place. Among various topics we looked at were:

  • Closure of Google+
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using built-in Windows 10 Mail Application compared to
  • reading Gmail emails in a web browser
  • Scam phone calls offering "help" in resolving PC problems
  • Reading electronic magazines  at no cost via Cornwall Council Library service

In view of limited number of people attending last three meetings, it is planned to introduce a summer break. Regular members of the group will be sent an email detailing proposals for restarting the group.

Keith



Update 15th May 2019

The prospect of a bright sunny afternoon proved to be too tempting and today's meeting was cancelled. 

The next meeting is planned for Wednesday 5th June 2019 at 2pm.





Update 1st May 2019

Only Janet and Keith attended yesterday's meeting.

The first topic we looked at was a dubious link that Janet had received in an email purporting to be from a friend pointing to webpage mimicking the Daily Mirror website and promoting Bit Coins.  We located an article on the genuine Daily Mirror website  warning against this scam.

We then looked at how to sign-in to BT Hotspots using both a PC and phone, plus ways of freeing up space on an android phone by removing unwanted applications from Google Play Store.


The next meeting is planned for Wednesday 15th May 2019 at 2pm.



Update 18th April 2019

Ann, Christine, Jenny and Keith attended yesterday's meeting.

Jenny's neighbour has recently updated the operating system on her PC from Windows 7 to Ubuntu. During the first part of the meeting we looked at various setting options on this computer and made a few adjustments so that Jenny was able to resume using Beacon in her role as a Group Leader.

Ann was interested in generating the German characters ä ö ü ß and Ä Ö Ü ẞ on her PC.  We made the necessary changes to the settings on her laptop keyboard to allow the ALT function to operate. (e.g.
so that ALT 0196 produces Ä) However this method does not lend itself to rapid typing and we found a much quicker option was to use   http://german.typeit.org/ for writing an email and then cut and pasting the result into gmail.

Christine reported repeated failures when attempting to install a recent Windows update. We looked at various options to overcome the problem and hopefully, by temporarily disabling her anti virus program during download, we resolved the issue.

The next meeting is planned for Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 2pm.



Update 21st March 2019

Janet and Keith attended yesterday's meeting.  We looked at ways of emailing photos taken on an  andriod phone and compared the advantages and disadvantages of sending photos via Google Photos or  attaching the photo to an email.

In the second part of the meeting we looked at the telltale signs of phishing emails and emails that probably include links to sites infected with malware. 

There will not be a meeting on 3rd April 2019.  The next meeting is planned for Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 2pm.



Update 7th March 2019

Christine, Carol and Keith came to yesterday's meeting.  Everone at the meeting uses the free version of Avast antivirus and we are all getting annoyed at the increasing number of pop-ups tempting us to upgrade to a paid version of the product.  Some digging around the various menus uncovered the setting page which allows all pop-ups to disabled.  Post meeting note: There is an article on this topic here.


In the second part of the meeting we looked at some of the more obscure services available from Google.

This topic was triggered by Christine receiving a notice from Google about the imminent closure of Google Plus. A brief discussion about Google Plus and how it had failed to make any significant impact on facebook followed.

Carol had noticed the Google Keep logo on the right-hand side of her gmail inbox and we then checked out this function, which nobody at the meeting had used previously.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 20th March 2019  at 2pm.


Update 21st February 2019

Again only Anne and Keith came to yesterday's meeting.  Initially we looked at transferring data between two PC's, and directly onto a printer, using a USB stick. We then moved on to discussing free alternatives to Microsoft Office, particularly Libre Office.  

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 6th March 2019 at the usual location of Keith's house.



Update 7th February 2019

Anne and Keith came to yesterday's meeting.

Most of the meeting was spent investigating an interesting problem with Anne's PC.  Although Anne, when using Chrome,  could see the subject of her gmail messages it was not possible to load the messages allowing them to be read. A quick check showed the problem did not exist when using Microsoft Edge. A search on google showed this problem was not unique and an article on the topic was soon discovered. We had to work our way to almost the end of suggested fixes before finding out the problem was caused by an unwanted extension.

The remainder of the meeting was spent investigating the vagaries of TalkTalk's email system and why some emails from gmail addresses  sent to TalkTalk were delivered and other messages, also from gmail accounts, failed to reach their destination.

The next meeting will be on 20th February 2019 at the usual location of Keith's house.


Update 16th January 2019

Another quiet week with Janet and Keith at today's meeting. We checked Janet's recovery options set for her Google account including a secondary email address and her mobile phone number.

We then discussed differences between websites with an https:// prefix compared to an http:// prefix and how this prefix affects the way various browsers display the result in their address bar.

Next we compared the ease of navigating and ordering goods on various retailers' websites including Argos and Trago.  (Argos wins hands down!)


The next meeting will be on 6th February 2019 at the usual location of Keith's house.



Update 2nd January 2019

Only  Christine and Keith at today's meeting. We looked at various ways of signing in to Windows PC using both passwords and PIN numbers.

We also examined ways of sending emails to many people via Contact Lists with a hotmail / outlook / live account.  Options for changing background themes and images in Windows 10 desktop were investigated.

The next meeting will be on 16th January 2019 at the usual location of Keith's house.


Update 2nd December 2018

There will not be a meeting in December 2018. Keith  emailed all regular attendees on 2nd December to confirm.   The next meeting will be on 2nd January 2019. 





 
SUMMARY OF  TOPICS COVERED IN PREVIOUS MEETINGS


BACKING UP DATA
 

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. http://www.flickr.com/   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.

Update January 2019 - Flickr have now reduced number of images that may be stored under free plan to 1000 images.

 

Backing Up Other Data

For backing up letters, reports, spreadsheets etc then OneDrive, run by Microsoft, is probably the best option.   See https://onedrive.live.com/    To access  One

Drive you need an email address provided by Microsoft . These include hotmail, live.com live.co.uk and outlook.com 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.

 

Regards,

 

Keith


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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 https://www.getsafeonline.org/

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."

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Learn at Home






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