The digital revolution shows no sign of slowing down. Social networking has taken the world by storm. If you don't believe it, view this powerful YouTube video made using Adobe After Effects. The Information Age is going where we've never been before.
A similar YouTube video Did You Know 4.0 talks about TMI - Too Much Information, it's coming faster than we can absorb it!
The trend for the foreseeable future is Microsoft will be releasing new versions of Office and their operating systems on a 3 year cycle. Apple is constantly pushing the technology barriers. Genealogy, imaging, and many other programs release new versions that fix problems almost yearly, but mostly take advantage of new hardware and internet capabilities that revolve around video, imaging, mapping, and broadband speed improvements. It is easy to feel like you are being left behind. Join us at our meetings, become a Fan on Facebook, and visit here to see our updates.
Gizmo Freeware is a community based site that reviews and links to FREEWARE downloads. FREEWARE is FREE Software - Caveat Emptor "Buyer Beware". Let us know if you have any experience with this community, good or bad.
Several members follow Kim Komando for computer advice and use her favorite online backup software Carbonite.
PCmag.com, formerly a magazine now online only, and CNET are good online sources for reviews and more detailed technical information.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What version of Windows are you using? Click the Start Button - Click Control Panel - Click System - it shows whether you are using Windows XP, VISTA, or Win7, what version, service packs, manufacturer and more.
Watch the 5 minute highlite of Windows 8 of the longer Live Preview
Windows 8 Build Live Preview September 13, 2011 around 3 hours long is touch centric like smartphones, likely a fall 2012 release. Startup is almost faster than the monitor can start from a cold boot, or type the user password - 5 to 8 seconds! I believe this is because the BIOS is no more! Capability to revert to fresh OS install with options like preserving data, metro apps, or to IT determined applications look good too. Windows Defender has been expanded to have full antivirus protection as well as anti-spyware, but will step out of way for 3rd party antivirus. A super thin notebook was so thin the legacy VGA monitor and RJ-45 ethernet jacks had to bump out thicker to include their thickness which is about twice the thickness of the rest! The i5 quad core processor motherboard is smaller than the battery! They demonstrate an infected flash drive prevents the OS from booting until the flash drive is removed.
Windows 7 became available October 22, 2009, by early December was the best selling Microsoft Operating System of all time and is about to outsell all Mac's combined. Windows 7 has better reviews and may be worth an upgrade if your system can handle it. Use their Windows 7 compatibility tools. As usual, Microsoft does not provide an upgrade from any system other than the last release which is Vista, in other words all us XP users must do a clean install. That means reinstall all your settings, software, drivers if needed, etc. Many new features like touch screen resembles the iPhone, if PC has built in GPS Windows Sensor and Location Platform will function as a GPS device for "location aware" computing intigrating with mapping programs. With built in sensors can automatically adjust monitor for ambient light. Windows 7 ISO disc is a DVD disc to reinstall the operating system. As long as you have a product key you can download an ISO disc online to reinstall.
Most members use Windows XP, but over time XP is going to work poorly with new hardware and may not have up to date software drivers. Eventually Microsoft will not issue security updates, by 2014 if not sooner.
Apple Mac has a much "cooler" UI - user interface and higher "wow" factor.
Biggest limitation is a narrow range of available software. As its market share improves its software titles should improve.
Some believe with the rise in "Cloud Computing" we may be using operating systems off the internet rather than on the PC itself. Time will tell if Windows 7 is the last big upgrade or just more of the the same.
Web Browsers should be kept up to date for security and performance purposes to utilize the latest features. Certain Windows applications and operating system updates may only work with Internet Explorer. Some browsers use less resources and use current state of the art technology better than others. Portable devices like cell phones and music players may work better with particular browsers.
Dominated by #1 Family Tree Maker owned by Ancestry.com and integrates with their online subscription services - big negative is yearly upgrades - big positive is yearly upgrades take advantage of changing technologies and users requests for changes
Paint.net - free photo editing software, CNET rates 5 stars, though one Facebook Fan reports errors
Photoshop Elements 8 is an affordable digital image editing software that also includes the Organizer which helps you organize and access all your digital images regardless of where they reside on you computer or network. Windows VISTA and Windows 7 has some features of this Organizer.
Windows operating system should be kept up to date. Go to the Security Center in Control Panel or go to the Start button, All Programs, at the top of the menu is Windows Update which takes your browser to the Windows Update site where you need to right click and install the Active X control on the yellow bar to check your update status.
Windows Automatic Updates is the easiest technique to use so you automatically get your monthly updates, which are usually the second Wednesday of the month. Critical updates may come at other times. Go to the Start Button, on the right click Control Panel, double click Security Center, Automatic Updates should be green. If you don't see the Security Center in Windows XP Control Panel you do not have Service Pack 2 installed. You should be using Service Pack 3 which installs all service packs and updates to its release date. At some point Windows XP will no longer update and you will have to upgrade to Windows 7 or whatever is newer.
Microsoft Safety Scanner - is a Free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works with your existing antivirus software, then expires 10 days after being downloaded.
Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home or small business PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
A Free download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and is automatically updated to protect your PC with the latest technology.
Internet Security Suites and Virus Scanners are essential when surfing the internet and must be kept up to date. You can use CNET Security Center and Internet Security Suite Review or similar sources to determine and download best choices. A router with NAT - Network Address Translation makes your network invisible on the internet and difficult, but not impossible, for hackers to find. A Firewall allows you to block specific ports on your computer which prevents unauthorized software from accessing your computer or the internet.
September 29, 2009 Microsoft Security Essentials a Free real time anti-malware virus scanner with automatic updating was released. Without a two-way Firewall it is certainly better than nothing, but still leaves a security hole.
McAfee, Norton, Zone Alarm and others sell Security Suites which contain a firewall, virus scanner, file shredder, and other tools to protect your system and network. A firewall allows you to block internet addresses and ports on your router and computers to protect against malicious software attacks and even keep track of any such attempts. All routers whether ethernet or wireless should use up to date firewall's and security to protect your network. Comcast subscribers get McAfee Security Suite as part of their monthly fee here in Indiana so is the most affordable way to secure up to 7 computers on your home network.
AVG is a free virus scanner but it does not have Real-time scanning unless you purchase the full version, meaning you can download a trojan or virus from a web site, but your won't know it until you run a manual scan.
Best to use a Real-time virus scanner like McAfee, Norton, Avast, or any other well known virus-scanners which will catch most viruses and trojans if they try to download to your computer.
Malware protection searches for other types of malicious software. Again freeware like Ad-Aware and SpyBot are not real-time scanners, unless you purchase the full version. Windows Defender is a free spyware detection program from Microsoft and is a part of Windows VISTA.
Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and at least 150 others are becoming the mediums of choice for malware. More reasons to keep security up to date.
Backup is important so you don't lose years of irreplaceable data. The LOCKSS method of Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Save should be your philosophy to protect your data. Inexpensive external hard drives can include software for daily or weekly backups, external drives can be stored in bank lock boxes to protect against theft, fires and other natural disasters. Large capacity flash drives now available to at least 32 gigabytes may also be suitable, and online storage can be free like Microsoft Skydrive with 25 gigabytes of online storage, or inexpensively paid by the month or year with an online service like Carbonite or Mozzy. Using more than one technique will protect against the unexpected. Don't save a few bucks and risk losing a lifetime of digital research.
You can recycle old technology to non-profit groups that refurbish and provide free equipment to needy students and families for internet and email use.
Local spots collect devices for recycling January 3, 2012 newspaper article "In Fort Wayne, there are several locations where you can drop off unwanted electronics to be recycled and, in some cases, donated to someone who needs them."
Allen County Solid Waste Management District your source for recycling and waste reduction information in Allen County. Contact Info. Drop off site is OmniSource, 1430 Meyer Road. A lengthy list of accepted items is available including computers; cellphones; cords and cables; cassette, CD and DVD players; speakers; fax machines; camcorders and cameras. Each vehicle is charged $5 to recycle up to five items per trip.
Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity ReStore Free electronic recycling - recycles or reuses 100 percent of all accepted electronics donated. 29 East Washington Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46802,
Advantage Cartridge recycles and pays cash for empty inkjets, laser toners cartridges and used cell phones, laptops, tablets and iPods. 3236 Illinois Rd.,
Fort Wayne, IN 46802, 260-747-9941, 1-800-706-9941
Best Buy Recycling sometimes charges then gives $10 certificates towards new purchases. Available at local stores.
Office Depot gives $3 coupons for ink cartridges and offers recycling boxes for larger items.
Summit City Asset Remarketing of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Buys computers, laptops and tablets for cash. 4382 Bluffton Rd.,
Fort Wayne, IN. 46809, 260.442.8266
Livescribe - an interesting pen you write with that records everything you hear and write. Use it for notes and to record conversations like class lectures for students - somewhat pricey at $149.99 often on sale at Target and others. 1GB and 2GB models. Sounds useful for genealogy notes, memos and more. If you have used this let us know if you like it.