Thursday, December 12, 2013

"I Will Follow Him"

A riff on Little Peggy March's song. For that last presentation of the year, a wide range of topics from techie/rant (What happened to Lavabit), to CDs/DVDs/Blu-Rays, to the Raspberry Pi. Oh, and not less than 5 in-show videos! It was fun.
And from me - regardless of who you follow, I extend to you wishes and hopes for a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Drive safe, stay well, love and accept love from your family, and come back next year of another exciting year of the Senior Surfers!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Windows 8.1 - An introduction

All the way from the Oscher Center in Wilmington, Saul Reine gave us a good review of the new and different things in Windows 8.1

Friday, November 8, 2013

"This and That"

Our scheduled speaker had to cancel, so this week's Presentation was a grab bag of topics - AKA, "BB Bytes."  Topics included WiFi problems, the <PrntScrn> button, saving web pages, and Stuttering YouTube videos.  We did pretty well, we got through 45 of the 70 slides prepared.  <grin>

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cyberlocker - Quick Review

I don’t generally send out dire warnings about the newest, baddest, “Worst Virus Ever!” malware, but something is circulating now that you really, really don’t want to get.  The problem is the ‘virus’ is mutating so fast that the Anti-virus companies are having trouble keeping up.  So far this effects only Windows computers, but I’m sure the authors are making so much money that Mac and mobile variants may appear soon.
If you never open email attachments, generally stay on the Internet beaten paths, only install programs from official manufacturer stores, keep everything updated including your Anti-virus program, don’t run Java, and never had a computer infection, you can ignore this message. But if you can’t stop yourself from looking at car crashes on the road … read on!
Bottom line: There is no need to over-hype this; yes, it's a nasty piece of malware, but no different in principle than thousands of other malware programs.  Other than doing the usual things for safe computing and having a good backup of your data (both which you should be doing anyway!) there is no reason to change your behavior because of this thing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to Be a Smart Shopper

From Sharon Ann:

Here are the handouts with the websites from last Thursday's class.

We encourage you to go to to sign-up as students.   You'll receive the Delaware Money School brochure and get news of over 600 classes held statewide annually.   You can also then see the other classes which you may be able to "special request" for the Senior Center.  Here is a link to the current brochure:

Also see on the DFLI website, under The Money School page, under "Shopaholics Video" tab, there are some training videos related to credit vs. debit, identity theft, priorities and budgeting, etc.
Happy and Smart Shopping!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Beginner's WiFi

I had a couple of topics for today, but the explanation of WiFi took over everything.  In fact, we moved "WiFi Problems" to December - that being the next open day for me.  So this is the beginners introduction to WiFi, not as hard a topic as you may think:

If you can't wait, here's my WiFi presentation from Sep 2010:
which turned out quite well and has much of the information we'll cover next time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Simple Answers

This was a grab bag, most discussions didn't make it to the slides.
In the meantime, here's some links for you:
    How to amuse older people <link>
    Puppies and Kittens vs. Mirrors: <link>
    Benefull Dog Goldberg Machine: <link>
There are more in the presentation, and of course, lots of funny pictures:

Friday, September 13, 2013

September Simple Answers

Crapware:  How you get it, how to get rid of it.  (a live demo!)
PC Mag:  10 Tips to Speed up your PC
MS Office Alternatives
"Download Plug-in for Video" - Don't do it!
Saving presentations from our Blog

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The KGB, the Computer, and Me

Cliff Stoll's encounter in 1986 with a hacker:

    Nova Episode Shown Today:
    TED: 18 Minutes with an agile mind
    Talk by Cliff Stoll, 4/4/1996, C-Span, Technology & the Future, Commonwealth Club of California 
    Tech Icon – his story
    Tech Icon – Good Science
    At Maker Faire (Klein Bottles and Robot Forklifts)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Facebook Updates

All about Facebook's security and privacy settings.

Useful links:

  • Facebook Graph Search <link>
  • Protecting you private information on Facebook <link>
  • How Facebook is tracking you <link>
  • How to stop Facebook from tracking you <link>

And this just in:  Facebook is proposing updates to 2 documents that tell users about how they collect and use data, and the rules that apply when you choose to use Facebook.  <link>

Friday, August 23, 2013

August "Good Questions"

A grab bag of interesting topics.  (Or, at least, interesting to me!  :-))
  • Another Good Bad Example of a Crapware-infested PC and what to do about it.
  • News on  Passwords – Good and Bad.  How passwords are stored on a server, 8-characters is no longer enough
  • Testing a suspect bad Hard Disk, the S.M.A.R.T. system & SpinRite
  • Coming attraction: Cliff Stoll’s excellent adventure
  • What to do about a Certificate Error, and what's a "Certificate" anyway?
  • Neat stuff in the Windows 7 Calculator app
  • Reddit Waller Background Changer
  • Making a Picture Smaller for email - three ways.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Following are the two days of Windows 7 class. Day two is displayed first; scroll down to see day one


Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Uses of Youtube - Intro

Here's Brandon's intro and Bob's Quickies:  Our new iPad, Stupidity for the DHS, a Criminal, and an TV news stations, Doug Engelbart's eulogy, and a Fast Windows 8.1 review.

Windows Computer Maintenance - Updated!

About a year ago we gave a class and a presentation at the Academy of Life-long Learning on Windows Computer Maintenance. So when I received a question from a member on the same topic I though I could just send a link to that old upload. And maybe just tweak it a bit for updates. Weeeellll ... 89 slides later it's done:

We probably will *not* be giving this class or presentation - so this 'exclusive' will only be available here! Although there are no embedded videos, there are some animations, so recommend downloading and viewing it off-line.  You don't need Microsoft Office or PowerPoint to do that, there is a free PowerPoint viewer available <here>.  Install that and you will be able to view all PowerPoint files!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Audacity - Intro and 'How To'

Ted Wilks updates his 19 July 2012 presentation on Audacity, the free do-everything audio editor

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cleaning Crapware from your PC

Received another good example of a PC over run with 'crapware'.  This computer had 11 different "Speed up my PC" programs installed - those programs that claim to fix your PC with a free download, install and scan.  Of course, after finding X number of problems ('X' is often in the thousands!) they want money, sometime lots of money.

"ShouldIRemoveIt?" identified 16 red and 41 yellow-rated programs all of which were killed (uninstalled.)  And there were another 47 programs that I uninstalled after reading the descriptions.  (How the h* did the Ask Toolbar rate 'green'?)  Recommended:

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 2013 Q&As

It's the session where Bob tries and sometime succeeds in giving simple answers to questions that the Senior Surfer Membership has asked.  It was certainly a grab bag this week:

  • HP's Printing from Tablets & Smart Phones - "ePrint"
  • Can you still buy Windows 7 PCs? (though Bob recommends Windows 8 with one of the many free fixes)
  • My computer is slow ... Why?  A recommendation for the free program "Should I Remove it?" and a study of crapware.  Plus, use RevoUninstaller if the program does't want to go away.
  • What is the Clear Cast "Free TV?" (it's a fancy set of rabbit ears.)
  • Do you trust your Government?  A rare excursion into politics.
  • Do you need an application updater?  (no.)
  • CCleaner screwed up my computer - what happened?
  • Do Tablets and Smart Phone need Anti-virus programs?

And a bunch of other quickies - you'll have to check out the slides for those!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wallet card for Emergency Medical Information

Click <here> to open an on-line version of the medical card handed out in class.  You can even fill the form out and print it directly, or download it for off-line use.  To made a double-sided card, print the form on both sides of a heavy-weight paper, this will make four copies to cut out and share.


Questions & 'Stuff'

Topics include:  The Dell XPS 10, a good Windows 8 (RT) computer; Application and Device Driver updaters, do you need one? Which Anti-virus is Best? Who's got your Back or will your ISP rat you out?  Buying Carla a new computer, and what should be a new user's first computer?

The animated gifs don't seem to work if you open the presentation inside a browser, so download and view if you want to see what it takes to win at 'Snake.'  <grin>

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

So you want a website?

Presentation by Elaine Drain, Thursday, May 16, 2013

If you have any questions, or you would like some help in setting up a blog or a website, you may contact Elaine at

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Videos before the Social

Lots of people asked about these, there are even some listed here that I didn't get to show.  Spock vs. Spock was my favorite, what was yours?  Put your answer answer in the comments!

Star Circus Beijing, Juggling Unicycles Bowls 0:06:45
Grasshopper 250m Test / Ring of Fire 0:01:30!
Bill Dance Blooper mix 0:04:18!
Jump Rope Girl - World's Best Jump Roper!!!  0:01:51
Unbelievable Wingsuit Cave Flight! Batman Cave, Alexander Polli  0:02:05!
Copper Clappers 0:02:48
Pachelbel Rant 0:05:14
iCream - making Icecream 0:05:17
The Best Listening Dog in the World 0:01:34
8 signs that your cat is a dog 0:02:19
Mental Health Hotline 0:00:53
Axis of Awesome 4 Chords 0:06:19
Pale blue dot 0:05:58
Out of Your Password Minder 0:03:04
Wringing out Water on the ISS - for Science!  0:03:18
Star Wars Main Title Theme (A Cappella Cover) 0:04:00
50 Common Misconceptions - Mental Floss 0:06:11
Cnet Google Glass 0:02:39
5m80 0:05:28
Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: "The Challenge" 0:02:44
Ben Portsmouth An American Trilogy 0:05:44

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

BitCoin Revisited

Since I did such a ... lets just call it unorganized ... job of explaining Bitcoin a few weeks ago, I prepared a better presentation here:

In brief: What Bitcoin is, what they actually are, how it works, a bit about hashing (SHA-256), how one acquires bitcoin, and what is the point of it all.  <grin>  OBTW, the computer club will accept bitcoin for your annual dues.  (Which may be the only way we'll get some!)
As of 3 May 9:41 am, the bitcoin exchange rate is 1 bitcoin= $88.83 per  Time to buy!  The biggest bitcoin exchange is Mt. Gox,  Click on the top line of the Mt Gox page to see some interesting Bitcoin statistics.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Some of us have done some planning on how we are going to exit this life —will, trust, power of attorney, and living will. But many among us may overlook one crucial element in our exit plan: a Letter of Final Instruction. It’s the ‘missing link’ connecting how you currently live with how you plan to exit. It’s something most people don’t have.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Simple Answers

Yeah right!  It *was* simple until somebody asked how BitCoin works.  <grin>
I added some links and information from the discussion.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Ask me Anything"

A surprise Q&A - our scheduled speaker had a horse step on her foot and was unable to present.  So we had instead a grab bag of questions from floor.  You should have been there!

Some really cool pictures from Google:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Simple Answers

Today's Main Topics :  What’s a Phish? - Is it a Virus? / What’s MS Office good for? (Word, PP, Excel?) / Video Capture – VHS tape to DVD? - How to Edit these? / Bob's thought's about the "WOW Computer"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Record Presentation!

Wow.  I just counted up all the slides I showed on Thursday, 21 Feb, 2013.  Would you believe 97?  I wouldn't - but half were from the Results of the Senior Surfer Survey.  I went through these quickly as it could have easily put most of you to sleep.  (and that was one of the comments!  <grin>)  However, it's a good thing to review and does show how well the club is performing.  Here's the brief:

(One of these days I'm going to learn how to embed PowerPoints in the native 9:16 aspect that the charts were presented in.)
In any case, pay attention to Chart #45.  Only one respondent said this, but it's an attitude that I have seen.  The Senior Center can be like High School with its cliques, the cool guys, the geeks and the invisibles.  Let's avoid that.

We then had a series of Weird, Strange or Odd Stories from the World of Technology.

There was information and stories on:
  • Differences between the newest versions of Microsoft Office
  • Doing Federal and State Taxes (and something more to complain about)
  • The New York Times review of the Tesla Model S
  • CNET picks the Dish Hopper as the "Best of CES" - and withdraws it
  • The big thing at the 2013 CES, and a little thing
  • Monster Cable gets taken to the cleaners by Dr. Dre
  • Kim Dotcom (yes, it's a real name) gets taken to Prison; but maybe not.
  • The sad tragic story of Aaron Swartz
  • French newpapers get taken to the cleaners by Google
'Twas a good session, sorry if you missed it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

UPNP Vulnerability !

A bad (believe me, *bad*!) vulnerability has been discovered in a service included with almost all commercial, industrial and home routers.  Fortunately, it's rare and effects only 2% of the Internet routers; but if you have it, you NEED TO KNOW NOW.  Fortunately, there is an easy web-based test to check if you are effected.  From any web browser,  go to, select "Shields Up!', click Proceed and then "GRC's Instand PnP Exposure Test".  Here's Bob's presentation:

Links for our Pre-show videos:  ("Paperman" was great for Valentines' day!)
Paperman - Animated Short Film    
A Dramatic surprise on an ice-cold day
Speed Painter' w/Anderson Cooper!
Tow-in Session of Jan 28, 2013 - Nazare, Portugal    
Lotus 1-2-3 Rocks   
The Ross Sisters - Solid Potato Salad (the song is at 1:25)      

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Preparing Photos for Editing Before You Take them

By Paul Wojtkowski.
Photoshop Elements:  From {Adobe} available at {Amazon.}
For simple stitching of pictures, use the Microsoft Image Composition Editor (ICE):  {free}
A favorite panorama of Bob's:  (Guess from where!)
(There are lots more, and interactive ones, at last week's link, )

Dentistry for $1.50/visit:
What type of RAM do you have?  Use CPU-Z: 
Do you have Java?
It's been updated.  Again.  (you know what to do)   Uninstall or update!  (

Thursday, January 31, 2013

"That's a Good Question!"

Today's Questions:
  • What is Java and why all the fuss about it?
  • What is RAM and why do they say I need more of it?
  • Why should I buy Windows 8 now and what can I do to fix it?
The best program to tell you what *type* of RAM you have is CPU-Z, available at  The other two links of the day are the National Museum of the United State Air Force Virtual Tour: and Aerial Panoramas from all over the world:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Barb's Websites

As stated!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Our New Chromebook, Do Not Track, and Kim Komando.  If you weren't here, you missed a good one!