Category Archives: 2012

Topics relating to the 2012 club meetings.

February 18, 2012 Mtg., Presentation: Microsoft Fix It, by Bruce Arnold

At the first meeting of the club for 2012, we had 26 members attending, all interested in getting back to learning more about our computers and the new, useful products and software out there to make our lives easier.

A member talked about her new iPad which she received for Christmas and had found very useful.  Some of the best features are the email capabilities, FaceTime to connect and talk visually with others, the Kindle application download to purchase and read books from Amazon or the Overdrive application to download free books from our local Hunterdon County Library, the camera for pictures and videos, and many other capabilities. Bruce recommended using Calibre software, http://calibre-ebook.com/, to find and read free books on any reader.

Thanks were given to Paul Glattstein for keeping up the membership list and doing name tags for each meeting. Paul suggested putting out a list of members names, but will wait to hear from the members as to whether or not to proceed with this. If no list is prepared, we can communicate with our members through our Yahoo group site.

Barbara Middleton is unable to continue taking care of the bagels and coffee set up before each meeting, so there will be a rolling group of members to do this. Whoever arrives first at the meeting will check to be sure the coffee and bagels are set up. If not, that person is to go back to the cafeteria in the hospital to ask for our coffee set up for the meeting. If there are no bagels, that person will go to the bagel shop at the front of the hospital and purchase one and a half dozen assorted bagels and cream cheese and pay the cost of them. The person will be reimbursed by the club treasurer at the meeting.

Presentation: Microsoft Fix-It Center, Bruce Arnold, Presenter

Bruce introduced us to a new solution from Microsoft, Microsoft Fix It. You can find it at www.microsoft.com/fixit .   On the home page of this new software, you can select the Windows product with which you are having trouble and then select the type of problem you are having. The software will run and then display solutions it has found.   The “Solutions Center” of the software provides you with an opportunity to type in the name of the product you are having trouble with. Answer any questions that appear on follow up screens in order to help the Fix It Center diagnose the problem. Trust the software since it is from Microsoft and allow it to download the fix. Accept any legal contracts that appear. This software will diagnose the problem and automatically fix it and than ask if the problem has been fixed. If the problem has not been fixed, start the process over and choose different selections to get to the solution needed.

If it is not an Internet connection on the computer that needs fixing, go to http://fixitcenter.support.microsoft.com/Portal . You will then be able to download the Fixit software to your hard drive. During installation you will see a Troubleshoorters screen that you can use to select areas where you may be having trouble. Try this software first when you have problems. It most likely will correct your problem and save you a trip to the repair store.

Thanks, Bruce, for making us aware of this new aid to help us when we have trouble with our computers.

The next meeting will be held on March 17.

December 17, 2011 Meeting

Now that that Christmas has passed it is time to catch up on things that didn’t get done, although it is a bit late for the hints from this meeting to help in your shopping.

Our club celebrated the season at our meeting on Saturday, December 17. We had 24 members and one guest, Vasil Hlinka, at our meeting.

As we have in the past, many members brought delicious baked items, candy, and chips to add to our usual bagels and coffee. We all enjoyed those tasty treats and thanks to everyone who brought something and set up and cleaned up afterwards.

Lon gave the group some highlights from the latest issue of PC World. Retrevo.com, http://shop.retrevo.com/ , recommended by PC World is a techie shopper’s gold mine. They sell computers, cell phones, HDTVs, camcorders, digital cameras, and numerous other products. They offer free shipping on everything. Looking for a user manual for consumer electronics? Retrevo offers manuals for over 1,000 brands. Although it may be too late for your Christmas shopping, it is still worth a look.

A member of the group said an article in AARP pointed out a new scam. Thieves copy the identifying information on gift cards for sale in stores, then will periodically call the store to see if the card was activated and what balance is still on the card. With this information, the thief can shop on line and use up the balance on the card without the knowledge of the purchaser or the person gifted with the card. If you purchase a gift card, try to do it from a customer service area where cards are not on view and before purchasing be sure to check to see that the PIN number on the back is not openly visible and has not been tampered with.

It was recommended to disable Microsoft’s automatic updates. Instead, choose custom updates to block updates that are not needed; for example, if you are not using Outlook, you do not need the updates.

Part of the general discussion centered on the different versions of the Kindle, the eReader, and the benefits of the different features. The basic Kindle comes in two versions, the keyboard version and the touch screen version. There is also a Kindle Fire which has many more features than the other Kindles but at a higher price. The Fire is more like a SmartPhone and its main use is not reading books. Before purchasing, determine the purpose you have in mind and how you plan to use it. The reason for the purchase makes all the difference in which item to buy. If it is only to read ebooks, the Kindle Touch is recommended.

It is also possible to purchase Amazon ebooks as gifts for users of the Kindle.  Here is the link, http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_200375750_content?nodeId=200375750#content .  In order to send the ebook gift you will need the receiver’s email address.

The next meeting will be on January 21.