iPad/iPhone SIG
Central Resource Library

9875 W 87th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212

Conference Room 01

MAP→

Friday, July 19, 2024, 2:00 ~ 3:30 pm

The main goal of our special interest group (SIG) is to share our knowledge of all things iPad and iPhone. The group is open to all. We encourage your questions on general and specific Apple-related topics/issues. Bring your questions to the meeting or send Ray a text or email before the meeting and he’ll add them to the agenda.

Ray Martinez convenes the iPad/iPhone SIG
(913) 286-3918, rpmartinez@ymail.com

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SenCom is on Facebook. See the access instructions below to find our Facebook Group page (SenComKC).  Check it out!  Share your favorite SenCom moment or interaction.

To access the group page:

  1. Log into your Facebook account.
  2. On your computer, click “Search Facebook,” left-hand corner (to the left of the home icon, on your mobile device, in the middle of the screen on top, then type SenComKC (not case sensitive).
  3. Search results should give you “Groups” and under that, you will see SenComKC. To the right of your search results, you should see a “Join” button. Click the button to request to be a member of this Facebook group.
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*  Volunteer Needed  *

SOS! NEEDED NOW! Volunteer to help our Board of Directors fill the board position of Vice President. If interested, 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 or sencomprez@gmail.com
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CDC information on the Coronavirus Outbreak →



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GEEK FREE
By Joe Callison
2 July, 2024

Thinking About a New Computer?

Happy 4th of July! This is the beginning of the busy time of year for new PC sales as the new models are becoming available and the previous models are being discounted. There is more interest than usual in PCs this year because of the emphasis on artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, that has also been the cause of a lot of confusion. We have new “AI” PCs with Intel or AMD processors with Neural Processing Units included that will not meet Microsoft’s Copilot + criteria coming this fall, and PCs with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processor that runs a different version of the Windows operating system and apps that does meet the Copilot + criteria, but has software glitches that have not been resolved yet. Newer models with Intel or AMD processors that will meet the Copilot + criteria are expected to be available by the Christmas shopping season. What is a person to do?

My recommendation is, if you are ready for a new PC before the end of support for Windows 10 next October, don’t let the AI capabilities influence your decision. We likely will not even know the benefits of AI features until they mature over at least the next couple of years, nor the real hardware requirements for a good experience using them. The new AI PCs do use less energy and therefore laptops should run longer on battery, unless the battery size is reduced to achieve lower weight instead. On the other hand, previous models with Intel 12th or 13th generation processors or AMD Ryzen 7th or 8th generation processors will save you hundreds of dollars. Many well-equipped laptops with up to 17-inch screens are available between $500 and $600 now, whereas the newest models with smaller screens start at around $1000.

Newer laptops have been pushing the limits of design to be the lightest and thinnest possible. As a result, they can be less durable and forgiving of abuse, as are phones and tablets. Dropping a device and liquid damage are the most common and obvious problems, but there are others to be aware of for laptops.

The budget laptops typically have all plastic cases and with the thinner designs, the hinges are especially susceptible to breaking loose from the case when the screen is opened. Always opening and closing the lid at the center instead of a corner will put less stress on the hinges and case.

Laptops typically have air intake openings on the bottom and very small standoffs for air to flow under the case. They are suitable for use only on a hard, flat surface. A tablecloth, bedspread, carpet, or sofa will completely block the air and cause overheating. Even using one on your lap can block much of the opening.

Laptop screens are very vulnerable to damage from pressure from your fingers or closing the lid with an object such as a pen or pencil left on the computer. When cleaning the screen, be very gentle and only use a clean microfiber cloth slightly moistened with water or a special-purpose screen cleaner, with the laptop powered off. Touchscreens should also be operated with very light touches, not pokes. Most use a technology that senses the presence of your finger, not a press, some without even requiring an actual touch of the screen.

The charging port and USB ports are vulnerable to damage from rough use or even long-term normal use, Some designs are more prone to damage than others, and some are designed to be more easily replaced than others. It is best to be as gentle as possible by always inserting and removing devices without wiggling them up, down, or to the side which is likely to eventually break them loose from the edge of the circuit board. The USB A design only goes in one direction and is often attempted to be pushed in too hard in the wrong direction. The laptop ports typically have the plastic insert at the top of the port and so your device or cable plug should typically have the plastic insert at the bottom. You can visually check to make sure. The USB C design is bidirectional and is rapidly replacing both the charging port and USB ports in laptops.

Most newer laptops these days have batteries and RAM memory that are non-replaceable by the user. It is important to be aware that sometimes batteries start swelling up as they age and can put pressure on the keyboard or trackpad area or the case depending on where the battery is located. If signs of swelling are noticed, the laptop should not be plugged in or used anymore to avoid even further damage to the laptop before being repaired.

If you want to know more about selecting a new computer, their features, or reliability, you can contact me as listed under About Us – Board of Directors in the menu at the top of the home page.



 

FOR~GO
(For Geeks Only)

By Joe Callison
27 May 2024

Hiren’s BootCD Updated!

Much more than a decade ago, a favorite software tool of mine was Hiren’s BootCD. It was a bootable CD full of the most popular software utilities, some of which were pirated. The last official update was in 2012. Fans of Hiren’s BootCD have updated it, with only legal software utilities included, to a Windows 11 PE (preinstallation environment) for booting on modern UEFI computers. I have tried it out and was pleasantly surprised by the huge assortment of software utilities available. The only issue I have found is when using it on a computer with a high screen resolution (3K horizontal or higher), the icons and text can be quite small. Unfortunately, I could not find any method to change the display settings with the installed display driver, though you can add other drivers. I did find that the Accessibility settings in Windows PE could still be used to enlarge the icons on the desktop and the Taskbar settings could enlarge the icons on the Taskbar, which helped.

The download and instructions for preparing a bootable CD or USB can be found at Hiren’s BootCD PE

I used my trusty free utility Rufus to create the bootable USB. Be sure to use the UEFI and not MBR setting and the NTFS format in Rufus for booting only on a modern computer system. The dual boot MBR/UEFI method for compatibility with older computers is much more complicated to create if not needed. Windows Home computers should be able to boot from a boot selection menu without getting into BIOS/UEFI settings to turn off Secure Boot or adding the USB drive as a trusted device in the Windows Boot Manager as may be required on computers initially set for Windows Professional. The keyboard key used to get the boot menu varies by manufacturer but is often briefly displayed on the screen during the boot process. You can also look it up for your computer or refer to articles such as Boot Menu Option Keys For All Computers and Laptops | [Updated List 2021] | Techofide
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Thank you for all that you do

Hi Joe,

We hope you and your team are achieving all your year-end appeal goals (and more!) Remember, as you use our tools during this busy time, our team and our partners are here to answer your questions and help you find the best resources to meet the moment.

Our team is in awe of how the Senior Computer Users Group of Greater Kansas City Association, Inc. is making its mark on the world. We see how you are continually asked to do more with less, yet still create meaningful change in your community. It is such a joy to engage with you and the over 325,000 nonprofits around the globe who are leveraging Microsoft resources to drive this positive impact.

Your stories inspire us every day and we are grateful for your tireless work.

Thank you again for all that you do, and we look forward to deepening our collaboration in the year ahead.

Regards,

The Microsoft Tech for Social Impact Team
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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



 

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