Future Meetings

Recent Meetings


Visit PATACS Web Site for Updated Information:

Beginning in September of 2014, many meeting sessions have been recorded, and links to them appear on the above page.


February 18th Meeting

Lorrin Garson: Protecting Private Information with TruCrypt - PDF file

Dan Feighery: Digital Photography - PDF file


December 10th Meeting

Geof Goodrum: - Introduction to Ubuntu - PDF file

John Kennedy: - Presentation Slides: Free Software - 7MB PDF file

John Kennedy: - Free Software Listing w/ clickable links - PDF file

PC Clinic: - Comments - PDF file

Mentions: Comparisons of Security Software (Anti-virus, anti-malware) Web Page

November 19th Meeting

Lorrin Garson - Recovering from a Double Computer Failure - PDF file

Dennis Courtney - The Cloud: What's In It? What's In It for Us? PDF file

Atlantic Magazine: Hacked - A Cautionary Tale about Cloud Reliance

September 17th Meeting

Gabe Goldberg - Negotiating and Creative Griping for Favorable Technology Outcomes
Based of Four Articles appearing here:

The Slickdeals Approach to Cable Company Negotiations

Creative Griping Makes Friends and Brings Rewards

Negotiating with your ISP -- speeds/features/software myths vs. realities

Dealing with customer support, reporting problems, getting answers

Kathy Jacobs - Tips & Tricks for PowerPoint 2010 29MB PPTX file

August 20th Meeting

Geof Goodrum - NOAA Web Sites - PDF file      MP3 Narration file

Lorrin Garson - Nifty Bits and Pieces - PDF file      MP3 Narration file

Resources Mentioned During Meeting -
Sources for freeware / shareware / trialware software - tested for malware:

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) application programs:
Ipswitch ws_ftp - via download.com - also does SFTP
BitKinex - via download.com - also does SFTP, WebDAV
WinSCP - via home site - SFTP, FTP, others

April 16th Meeting

Gabe Goldberg: Favorite Utilities - HTML/Browser file

Gene Barlow: Hard Drive Organization and Backup -
Discounted software order form for group members.

Print out, complete, and mail in - or, order on-line.

March 19th Meeting

Geof Goodrum - Internet Radio and Pandora

PDF File


December 11th Meeting

Lorrin Garson: Laptop Theft PDF file

August 21st Meeting

Genealogy - Chuck Roberts' Handouts (Zipped file)
      Extracing contents of a zipped file - How to: Reference

Chuck's Handout (PDF file) from a 2004 presentation on Genealogy

Discount Web Link for Roboform Password Manager

June 19th Meeting

Lorrin Garson - Effortless Encryption for Anxious Users - PDF file (2.7 MB)

Truly Deleting Files - PDF File

April 17th, 2010 Meeting

Lorrin Garson - About Those Electronic Book Readers: PDF File

January 20th, 2010 Meeting

Gabe Goldberg - Favorite Web Sites: Browser file - html


December 12th, 2009 Meeting

Chuck Roberts: Securing Your Home Network - PDF File

November 21st, 2009 Meeting

Geof Goodrum - Online Shopping
Presentation - 10 slides, active web links: PDF file, 87KB

October 17th, 2009 Meeting

Dan Feighery's Digital Photography
Presentation - 84 slides: PDF file, 9 MB

September 19th, 2009 Meeting

Chuck Roberts - Home Wireless Networking and Security

Setting Up Wireless Networking
Securing Wireless Networking
Networking Basics - Part A
Networking Basics - Part B
Networking Basics - Appendix

PC / TV Convergence
Rod Zumbro - BluRay Players and Streaming Netflix Downloads
From OLLI site: http://olligmu.org/netflix/netflix1.htm

Steve Bass's TechBytes Newsletter: Stream Movies from Your PC to Your TV

August 15th, 2009 Meeting

Mark Mabee - Windows 7 - Large PDF files, > 1MB
Part I       Part II

Skype Correction - At this time: All Skype to Skype calls are free. Calls between Skype and landline or cell phones have a fee attached.

July 18th, 2009 Meeting

Tom Hady - Digitizing Your Slides: PDF file

Gene Barlow - Acronis Products: PDF file - Order Form w/ User Group discounts

May 9th, 2009 Meeting

Gabe Goldberg: A Little PC Cleaning Pays Off

Gabe's article on this topic: PC Cleanup Pays Off

Related article - Gabe says "Follow the warnings!" A Clean PC 7.46 MB file

Gabe mentioned this repair shop: Keystone Computers

March 21st, 2009 Meeting

Photoshop Elements 7, LightRoom2, High Dynamic Range Photography

Presentation by Chuck Roberts PDF File

February 21st, 2009 Meeting

Products discussed:
Radio Shack Indoor Antenna

RCA ANT1500 Flat Multi-Directional Indoor HDTV Antenna (ANT1500)

Zenith DTT901 DTV Converter Box

Zinwell 970A DTV Converter Box

Solid Signal's Converter Box Page

Digital TV Conversion information resources - see July 19th, 2008 meeting info, below.

Help from Q & A Session:

Q: My computer's slowing down - what should I do?

A: Make sure all your security software is up-to-date, both with program updates and anti-virus and malware definition files, and you're regularly running scans of all your files - i. e. full scans, not just "quick" scans. You should have a software firewall (other than the one that comes with Windows - you can only run one firewall, and one AV program at a time), anti-virus, and anti-malware protection. You can use a security suite, which combines these functions into a package, or individual products.
See: http://www.wacug.org/protection.html
which shows ratings of security products from various magazines.

Perhaps you've got too many programs running at the same time, chewing up memory, and causing your computer to constantly swap programs to and from your hard drive to free up memory. (Increasing memory is generally one of the easiest and cheapest ways to speed up your computer.) Get a copy of Mike Linn's Startup Control Panel, which, when installed, becomes an Icon in your Control Panel. This program allows you to selectively turn off items that run when your computer starts up. Many of them can be safely disabled.

You can use the libraries of processes from Uniblue Software to determine what programs you might wish to keep from running at system startup, and which may be associated with malware. http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/

Uniblue offers products to scan your computer and make suggestions to speed it up. They offer an on-line speedup scan, and Registry Booster, a product to clean your Windows Registry. Similar products are available within Symantec's Norton Utilities and System Works packages, and from PC PitStop's Optimize. Be careful to use products in this arena from reputable sources - check with magazine web site reviews for appropriate candidates.

January 17th Meeting

Lorrin Garson’s Presentation on the Amazon Kindle electronic book reader. PDF File (17.6 MB)

Help from the Q&A session & End of Meeting cards:

Q: How do I manage all my passwords?

A: Try Roboform, an inexpensive program that solves password issues. Free trial is available (only holds ten passwords)


Q: What's a "Home Page"?

A: The initial page of a web site. Think of an organization chart. The home page is the equivalent of the "top dog" on the org chart. Everything flows down from that, via links.

Q: What laptop should I buy?

A: How much money you got? But seriously - this is the topic for about 30 minutes of a meeting. Here's the basics: As the weight of the laptop decreases, the price increases. As weight decreases, the computing power and functionality may decrease. Is this computer a desktop replacement? Remember, that to save battery power, most laptops have slower hard drives than many of us are used to in desktop machines. That can be highly frustrating for some users.

If you're a photographer, and want to seriously manipulate your images with Photoshop, a suitable laptop will probably be heavy, and expensive. If you're a videographer, or a hard-core gamer - "Dude - yer gonna pay nasally for this laptop!" And, you're gonna be buff from carrying that sucker!

That said - because of Moore's Law, and the ever-increasing power of computers, and corresponding reduction of prices, you can get a powerful laptop for a reasonable price. For example, thanks to careful shopping by John West, OLLI acquired an excellent laptop for our Reston classroom this fall for $500, getting a sale price reduction of $180.

And we've put the cart before the horse, because the basic question about any computer purchases hasn't been asked and answered - "What are you going to use it for?" If the answer is to just get your email when on vacation, a so-called "net book" may be perfect, but not the answer if you wanted to burn the vacation photos to CD or DVD, because to keep the weight and size of this mini-laptop down to around two pounds, and the size of a thin book, there's no optical drive. Everything's a tradeoff, in the world of laptops.

So, what to do? Here's a web site that may give you some ideas: http://www.pcworld.com/products/computers/laptops.html

PATACS Memberships are Available to OPCUG Members

Memberships in PATCS, our partner user group, are only $30 per year, and include the monthly Posts newsletter, sent via email to a special link to an expanded 16 page pdf file. See examples of this full-color newsletter, here: http://www.patacs.org/newsletter.html For an additional $5 per year, you will receive a 12 page, B&W print newsletter via US Mail. Sign up here: http://www.patacs.org/membershippat.html Other benefits include monthly door prize drawings at meetings. You may also sign up at our joint meetings - see the membership staffer at the PATACS table.

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