April 17, 2010 Meeting, Presentation: Computer Logic Circuits, Presenter, Glynn Gillette

Lon Hosford, President of the club, was welcomed back after his absence from the club meetings in the last few months. Lon is running for Congressman from the 7th Congressional District in New Jersey and said there were events that he could not miss on earlier club dates. The members of the club all wished Lon success in his run for election in November.

Lon reviewed that our club’s Yahoo Group, Hunterdon Computer Club, is available for emails to other members and what is posted there is sent to all club members signed up on the Yahoo Group site. If you want to have a discussion with one member only, send your email directly to the club member’s personal email, not through the club’s Yahoo Group. The Yahoo Group site is very valuable for getting help from club members when needed or advising or sharing information with everyone signed up from the club.

At our next club meeting in May, Lon will present a program on the FCC’s impact on the Internet. The Library of Congress is archiving all Tweets back to 2006. Be aware that all that information is stored and what you publish will always be available. You can send a Tweet as public or private. A public Tweet can be seen by everyone, a private Tweet can only be read by certain people. Law enforcement is monitoring all public social networking sites.

If you want to Google for certain information, use quotes before and after your search criteria. You will be surprised at the specific information that will come up. This is particularly useful when hunting for a job or conducting research.

Q & A

Q. While visiting a relative recently, I used her computer and her Will Generation software. In composing my will, I entered all my personal information as requested. When I went on-line for definitions of the legal terms, the web browser went down by itself. Is there a possibility that my personal information was taken after the software went down?

A. If she was connected to the Internet through a router, there is less of a chance that could have happened.

Q. Is there some diagnostic to see if there is some software for the computer that will determine if there is something on the system?

A. Look into the ShieldsUp website, http://www.grc.com/intro.htm, for security related software that you can download to inspect your system. A security clean up can by done but several anti-virus programs need to be run because some programs find some problems that others do not. You need to delete one anti-virus software program before you can install another. Avast software can scan for viruses before it boots up Windows. This software can be found at http://www.avast.com/index . If you are doing your own security clean up, do a mirror image of your computer files before you start because there are risks involved.

Q. Does anybody want a presentation to learn to use MS Word 2007?
A. This is a good topic, but the topic needs to be refined because there is so much to talk about. There is a link in Word 2007 that allows you to find out how to use 2007 if you were used to using 2003 for those who are having problems now.

Q. If Word 2003 did everything you needed, why should anyone update?
A. There is a need to learn Word 2007 when the company has updated their software to 2007 and others are using it.

There is a 2007 add-on that allows you to restore the functioning of Word 2003 to Word 2007.

Q. Does anyone recommend buying a MAC?
A. They are very good computers, have good, user friendly, and free software. Less USB ports are available on the machines. Many people like them. Look for them at their stores in the malls.

Next week the Trenton Computer Festival will be held at the College of New Jersey campus on April 24 and 25. The Information Technology Professional Conference will be held on Friday, April 23. The keynote speaker is Richard Stallman who is considered the originator of the free software movement. His topic will be “Free Software, Free Society” and he will be speaking on Saturday, April 25, at 2:35 p.m. There also will be vendors selling hardware and software. This is the oldest computer show in the country. There is free paring and a parking garage available for visitors to the show. Two-day admission tickets are available for $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. Sunday-only admission is $10, also at the gate. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, go to the Trenton Computer Festival’s website, http://www.tcf-nj.org/ .

Presentation: Computer Logic Circuits, Glynn Gillette, Presenter

Glynn gave us an interesting presentation on the technology of the basic operation of a computer using his very detailed and well done slides describing the basic gates and how they function, such as AND, OR, NOR, and including memory configuration. He said that digital counting is based on numbers 1 to 10. Binary counting is 1s and 0s. This binary counting makes up the switches which when turned on and off make the computer work. He demonstrated this thesis by passing around a box that had a series of switches. When the switches were lined up in the right configuration, a red light would light up. It baffled all of us until one young visitor to the club got the right combination and the light lit up! Glynn explained that it is the same with the computer, when the right switches are in place, the computer works properly.

Glynn said technology is what people don’t understand. When this is explained you will have a general idea that operating a computer is primarily a bunch of switches that turn on and off to make the computer work. Thanks to Glynn for putting this presentation together and for giving us a lesson in the computer’s basic operation.

Come to the club meeting next month on May 15 to hear Lon’s presentation on the FCC’s Impact on the Internet