Our Shawnee classes have resumed.
See the Classes page for details→



Senior Techies SIG
Virtual Meeting
Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 2:30 pm

Note that we now recommend using the FCC app to access the meetings instead of using the link to the web browser if you can. The topic will be “Using Apps Provided for Computer Premium Sound Systems”.


Revised Virtual Meeting Procedure:
We miss seeing our members. If you have been having problems joining our virtual meetings using Free Conference Call, please contact a Board Member and one of us will work with you prior to the meeting you are interested in joining. Board Members’ email addresses and phone numbers are under the “About Us” tab of SenCom’s website.

QUICK ACCESS TO A SENCOM MEETING

If you have the FreeConferenceCall (FCC) app, please start the app to join our meeting with audio and video. If you do not have the FCC app and do not want to install the FCC app, please click on this link below to enter the virtual meeting and participate with audio only (your picture will not be available to anyone):

https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/sencomuser00/viewer

You will still need to tell Free Conference Call to use the audio either of your computer or through a separate phone call. If you are using the FCC app on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, turn on your video by clicking on the icon of a video camera so that we can see you. On a phone or tablet, you may need to tap your screen to see the icon.

Here are the complete instructions for our virtual meeting procedure:

We are using a service called Free Conference Call that allows all of us to be on at one time through video/audio conferencing or just audio conferencing. If you have a camera and speakers on your desktop computer or a laptop computer with a camera and speakers, you will find that using your PC or Mac computer along with the FCC app will probably give you the best experience. To use your computer to conference into the meeting, follow the instructions that I have assembled in this PDF:

Using your computer to access the Free Conference Call (PDF)→ (Revised)

Also available on our Free Conference Call page→ (Revised)

When using the Chrome browser to access a video conference, you may see a message that your browser has blocked access to your camera or audio. Look at the icons at the top right area of your browser for an icon with a red X like the following:

Click on the icon and then click on the button to allow access and then click the Done button. If the red X does not disappear after a few seconds you may need to refresh your browser by clicking on the icon near the top left of your browser that looks like the following:

The settings for the site will be saved in your Chrome browser Privacy and security settings so you will not need to do this the next time you access the site.

Although Chrome is the preferred browser, others have used Firefox without any problems.

For those who wish to use their Android devices (either tablet or phone), we are using an app called FreeConferenceCall that you can download from the Google Play Store (note that there are no spaces in the app name). Bob Bowser has assembled a set of instructions that you can print and follow to join the meeting:
Using your Android device to access the FreeConferenceCall (PDF)→

Apple iPad/iPhone users can find the same app (Free Conference Call) on the Apple App Store. Installing and using it should be very similar to the Android instructions above.



Cutting the Cord Workshop, 4/14/21, 11:00 am (CDT)
Registration – ​​https://forms.gle/LhxGHcz47r6MD6XH6​
Registration closes at 1:30 am (CDT) on April 14.

Cutting the Cord – Watching TV (Legally) Without Cable with Rob Truman
Have you wanted to cut the cord? Pay less money each month for the programs you want to watch? Don’t know how to do? Afraid to take the leap?
Rob will help us discover our options when it comes to living without a cable bill each month. We will learn how to use our Internet connection for all our viewing needs, including cable, local, premium, music, and sports channels.

Rob will be joined by Bill James and Sandee Ruth, talking about how they cut the cord and are enjoying it!

Rob Truman, Webmaster, Computer Booters – SouthEast (AZ) Valley Friends in Technology
Bill James, VP of Operations, Computer Club of Oklahoma City – Confused about computers? Perplexed about software programs? Baffled by email and the Internet? The ccOKC is here to help!
Sandee Ruth, President, Lorain County Computer Users Group – Come Learn With Us



All Jo Co Library Branches Have Reopened

Upcoming changes to Jo Co Library Branches:

  • Monday, April 19
    • The Edgerton and De Soto branches return to their regular hours of operation.
  • Friday, April 23
    • Branches will resume their regular Friday hours, except Cedar Roe.
  • Monday, May 3
    • Regular hours resume at all remaining locations, except Cedar Roe.
      Cedar Roe branch will be closed for renovations, April 19 through June 20.
    • Meeting, conference, and study rooms open May 3 (bookable beginning April 28).
    • Newspapers and magazines return
    • Laptop lending at Lenexa Library available
    • Soft seating, chairs, and tables available

Central Resource Library services temporarily suspended during construction:

  • Collection browsing
  • Microfilm and reference collection
  • Blood pressure machine (currently suspended as a COVID precaution, but will be permanently relocated to Oak Park)
  • Meeting rooms (currently suspended as a COVID precaution)


•  CDC is Closely Monitoring the Coronavirus Outbreak →

  Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

  Google Launches its Coronavirus Website →



GEEK FREE
By Joe Callison
7 March 2021

Smart Home Device Privacy and Security

The use of voice-activated devices, smart TVs, and other smart devices, are becoming more and more common in our daily lives. So much so that we usually do not even give a second thought to reviewing the terms and conditions for privacy and security information when installing them, or bother to look at the relative settings when setting them up. Perhaps we are being a little too trusting of the companies producing the devices to look out for our best interests.

Consumer Reports recently published an article on “How to Turn Off Smart TV Snooping Features”. I was not aware of the amount and types of personal information being collected from a smart TV if you allow it by not adjusting the settings. It is well worth reading and has instructions for disabling the snooping features on many of the major brands.

https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-to-turn-off-smart-tv-snooping-features/

ZDNet, a popular publisher of articles on technology, recently published “Why would you ever trust Amazon’s Alexa after this?” It reveals an overly lax attitude by Amazon about protecting your privacy and security when using their voice-activated devices, especially with third-party “skills”. It is also well worth reading, and I have no doubt similar concerns should apply to competing products from other companies.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/why-would-you-ever-trust-amazons-alexa-after-this/

If you use an Alexa device, the following Digitaltrends link has some helpful information and tips on privacy and security.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/how-to-secure-your-alexa-device/

It appears that at least for now the onus is on us as consumers to educate ourselves on the privacy and security issues related to using a device and making the appropriate decisions on the available settings to mitigate the concerns if we are going to use them. We can’t take for granted that government agencies or consumer advocates are going to keep us protected from unknowingly revealing more information to others than we might be comfortable with.



FOR~GO
(For Geeks Only)
by Joe Callison
23 January 2021

Fixing Windows Password Problem

I ran across a pretty useful trick for unlocking a Windows computer with a forgotten password for the only local account with administrator access, assuming file encryption had not been enabled. For a locked Microsoft account, see the instructions in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/account-billing/reset-a-forgotten-microsoft-account-password-eff4f067-5042-c1a3-fe72-b04d60556c37).  

There is no need for any free or purchased utility designed for this purpose. Unlocking a local account simply requires any bootable media that has the command prompt option, such as Windows installation media or Windows recovery/repair media created for any Windows version from XP to Windows 10. It does not matter that it is different from the version on the computer as long as it will boot and you can run the command prompt (https://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-start-command-prompt-when-windows-doesnt-boot/). Just booting into the recovery options for the installed system will not allow access to the command prompt without entering the correct password. The trick is to somehow gain access to the command prompt of the already installed and running system.

The ease of access icon on the Windows sign-in page has a few functions that can be selected to run after booting but before even entering a password. By renaming one of those functions to be the command prompt function instead, you can run it without entering a password. This is done by using the command prompt of the bootable media to access the Windows\system32 directory of the installed operating system (the drive letter may be different than normal after booting from the media, such as D: or F: instead of C:) and renaming one of the executable files for the functions appearing in the ease of access, such as magnify.exe for the magnifier function, to magnify1.exe and then renaming the cmd.exe file to magnify.exe.

For example: Suppose entering dir c: in the command prompt and pressing enter shows the files and folders for the installed version of Windows. Change to drive c if not already shown by the prompt by entering c: and pressing enter. Then change the current directory of the command prompt c: drive by entering cd \windows\system32 and pressing enter. Now the magnify.exe file can be renamed by entering rename magnify.exe magnify1.exe and pressing enter. Rename the cmd.exe file by entering rename cmd.exe magnify.exe and pressing enter. Now when you boot the installed operating system to the sign-in page, select the ease of access icon located between the network and power icons, and then select Magnifier, the command prompt will open instead. In the command prompt of the installed and running system, you can use the net user commands to add or change passwords, add or remove users, change account types, or whatever you want to do.

The user account with the forgotten password can be changed with the following command:
     net user USERNAME *

Leave a space between the username and the asterisk. This will prompt for a password to be entered. It will not display or move the cursor as you enter the new password, so enter it carefully. You will be prompted to confirm the password in the same manner. If you enter both the same, it will succeed in changing to the new password. The usernames can be found by just entering net user in the command prompt and pressing enter.

In each of the following examples, leave a space before the /.

The built-in hidden Administrator account could be made active with the following command:
     net user administrator /active:yes

The built-in hidden Guest account could be made active with the following command:
     net user guest /active:yes

A new user with an administrator account can be added by doing both of the following two commands:
     net user USERNAME PASSWORD /add
     net localgroup Administrators USERNAME /add

After making the desired changes using the command prompt, locking or restarting will show any new or unhidden users at the new sign-in screen.

You will probably want to rename the magnify.exe file to cmd.exe and magnify1.exe to magnify.exe as the original names were, which can be done using File Explorer now that you can sign in. Be sure “File name extensions” and “Hidden items” are checked in the View tab of File Explorer to find the correct files.

For more information, see:

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-ways-to-reset-the-forgotten-windows-administrator-password/

https://www.lifewire.com/net-user-command-2618097



Volunteers Needed

We still need volunteers to help our board members and to fill two positions: Hospitality General Meeting (Nadyne resigned due to health reasons), and Programs need help now and take over later this year (Mary Ann has been doing two jobs). Please email me or another Board Member. Our email addresses are on the “Board of Directors” page under the “About Us” menu. Remember this is your organization, please help us keep it healthy and growing. LITTLE OR NO COMPUTER SKILLS REQUIRED.
Lou Risley, (913) 298-0575,  sencomprez@gmail.com



SenCom gratefully acknowledges the
following organizations for their support:

Google Fiber

City of Shawnee:
Parks & Recreation Department

Johnson County Library:
Central Resource, Oak Park



SENCOM IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT KANSAS CORPORATION
UNDER THE IRS 501(C)(3) RULES

https://apcug2.org/




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