March 24, 2007 MTG. AND BLOG INFO

Lon Hosford, President of the club, opened the March meeting by welcoming everyone and introducing the two visitors attending the meeting, Jan Kriterling and Claire, who was previously a club member.  (The spelling of the names may not be correct.)

Q.  The Q&A portion of the meeting started off with an important question about Vista.  Claire wanted to know, did anyone have Vista and would they recommend buying it now or waiting?  Also, did they know of anything that was a problem with the new software? Was it easy to transfer files from XP to Vista?

A.  Bob Marciniak said QuickBooks did not work and may be incompatible.

As for file transfer, a transfer cable can be used to move files, but the software on your computer may need to be reinstalled.  Almost all programs will work and will be compatible.  One Gig of RAM was recommended, since more memory is required to run various software.  There are five versions of Vista, so investigate which is right for you.

Q.  Don Columbo enjoys radio programs and wanted to know how he can get them from his PC to the TV without wires.

A.  Tiger Direct does have equipment to do this.  Also has a device that can transmit from one room to another and can be used for video and audio.  It costs about $50.  Other possibilities are Apple, which has a device that can copy anything from one set and stream video and music to other sets.  Circuit City and Net Gear also have devices to stream video.

Q.  Did anyone know about wireless PC speakers?

A.  No one was aware of any information about wireless speakers.
Presentation – Should you Have a Blog? By Lon Hosford

Lon covered the history of blogging, how to set up a blog, how the blog can be used and how it all applies to the blog he set up on the club’s website.  The club’s blog was set up as a new way to communicate useful information to club members and to give them the ability to comment on the postings.  WordPress, is the software that was used to design and manage the blog.
Blogging began because people were creating a log of their activities.  Early computer versions were moderated newsgroups, UseNet and bulletin board systems.  In 1994 Justin Hall of Swarthmore College began the first on-line diary, “Links from the Underground”, which gave people the ability to interact on various topics.
On December 17, 1997, Jorn Boger coined the word “weblog”.  In 1998, Peter Merholz began using the word “blog”, which came into popular usage.
The computer club’s blog is part of the club’s website.  Lon used WordPress software to create the blog.  Early software programs used to create blogs are Xanga , Blogger , Open Diary , and Live Journal .
There are various types of blogs: vlog (videolog), linklog, photoblog.  Some genres are political, travel, fashion, project, slog (site blog), splog (spamming), moblog (mobile blog) and tumblog (a combination of media types).
Blog search engines that evaluate current blogs are Blogosphere , Feedster , Blogdigger , and Technorati .
Blogs are useful as on-line resources for research on people you may interact with in business.  For example, if you are looking for a job, you can look for a blog written by the person who may interview you.  This will help you prepare for your interview.  Also people who may be considering you for a job may also look for a blog you may have.  The blogs provide information on ideas, goals, or opinions held by the author of the blog.  Be very careful what you post on your blog, since it may impact your future.  The blog postings will always be there on the internet.  Blogs are most useful when they are targeted to specific areas of discussion.
WordPress is freeware which can be obtained from their website and can be used to set up your own blog.  The site has various presentation views that can be used when designing how your blog looks. Refer to posts by Lon for further information on how to create and manage blogs.
Information posted on the our blog will be picked up by search engines like Goggle and will establish a reputation for the club.  Lon suggests keeping the blog for topics of general computer interest.  He prefers that questions to the members not be posted on the blog, but instead be sent to the members using Yahoo Groups.  The long term objective is to convert the website into the blog.
All members can register on the website to use the blog.  Be sure to use your real name when registering.  Lon will then approve your access to the blog.  You will then receive a password to access the website using your user name and the new password.  The password can be changed if you wish after you access the site.  You will then be able to respond with comments to the postings.
If you would like to add posts to the blog, contact Lon.  He will set the administration levels on the blog to allow you to post.  To add a post, go to the “Write” window.  Add a title to the post, choose a category which would apply to the posting.  You can also add links to other websites.  After you have written your post, click “save” and “publish”. You can edit your post while you are creating it or even after it is posted.
When you are creating a post, you can write a short piece to make a point and use a link to an article or website to find out more information.  Or if only you have the information, write a long post to include all the details.  You can also copy and paste articles.  Copyright laws allow you to post articles or quotes on the blog when they are used for commentary.
A question was asked as to how to find the club’s blog by searching the internet.  Does the blog have to be linked to a website to find it?  Lon suggested searching for the name of the person of interest and the blog will surface.  A blog is a website and will show up as a subset of the search.  The word “blog” must be in the content of the site for it to surface in a search.   Google will direct you to the person or club’s website, but it may be a subset of the website so you may have to drill down to find it.  Read Lon’s comments on how to find the club’s blog.   All club members should register to read or post on the blog.  This will expand the members’ interest in the club and create more interaction.
Next month’s presentation will be on micro and macro digital photographs.  Presenters will be Don Columbo and Dr. Gerald Berard.  More details to come.