COVID-19, President’s Letter to Membership (PDF) →
SenCom members: email me your questions. If I am not qualified to answer, I will make sure someone else gets back to you. Feel free to use this service as often as necessary. (3/20/2020)
Bob Bowser, SenCom President,

SenCom held its first virtual meeting Wednesday afternoon. Nine of us, three couples and three singles, held the March Android SIG meeting at 2:30 pm. As our first test of virtual meetings I felt like it was very successful. We all learned about some music apps available to Android users and a few more tricks about our devices. I left with an assignment to inform everyone how to delete their emails older than a certain date from Gmail. I will be sending those instructions out to all SenCom members on my Android SIG list and it will also be posted on the Android SIG page.

The next virtual meeting will be the SenCom Board meeting on Friday, April 3rd, at 9:30 am. We are adjusting to our new temporary reality, but plan to come roaring back to face-to-face meetings as soon as possible.

Bob Bowser
President and Android SIG Leader

Senior Techies SIG
Virtual Meeting
Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 2:304:00 pm
Use the virtual meeting procedure outlined below:

As you are aware, we cannot have our SIG meeting this month at the regular location. But, that doesn’t mean that we cannot try to have a virtual meeting. Your SenCom Board has been working on setting up virtual meetings for SenCom to maintain contact with as many members as possible. I am inviting you to join the Senior Techies SIG on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 2:30 pm.
We are doing our testing with an app called Free Conference Call that you can download from the Google Play Store. I have included a set of instructions that you can print and follow to join the meeting. I will set up my computer at 2:15 pm so that you may begin to join at that time. This app allows me to see you, talk to you, show you the screen of my computer, and try to answer your questions. This may be our reality for the foreseeable future.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. If you have any questions that we can answer on Wednesday, send them to me as soon as possible to allow me to do my research before the meeting.
Using your Android device to access the Free Conference Call (PDF)→

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

You can also use your computer, if you would prefer, to conference into the meeting. Most laptop computers have a camera and microphone which will allow you to be seen and heard. I will be happy to try to answer any questions you may have about these instructions. Although it mentions that Chrome is the preferred browser, we know that others have used Firefox without any problems.
Using your computer to access the Free Conference Call (PDF)→


Johnson County Library Services Update (3/24/2020)

Dear Library Patrons,

In conjunction with County orders for residents to stay at home for 30 days except for essential needs, Johnson County Library is extending our closure through April 23. In addition, all in-person Library programming and events are cancelled through May 31 to allow time for Library operations to return to full capacity once we reopen.

While the Library is not officially an essential service, we know we are essential to our patrons. Our Library staff is working remotely around the clock to find new ways to serve you while protecting the health and safety of our community. Please note:

Book returns will be closed during this time, so please enjoy your Library materials a bit longer!
Due dates and hold pickup deadlines have been automatically extended to April 30, and fines will not accrue during our closure.
The Library will not be approving any meeting room requests until the library reopens or until 48 hours before the reservation, whichever comes first.
Cancelled events will be rescheduled on a case-by-case basis, as many depend on presenter availability. If possible, some programs may be rescheduled as online events.
The past week has presented a variety of new challenges, not only for the Library but our society as a whole. Closing the Library buildings was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly. We know our closure was abrupt, but we chose to err on the side of uncompromising caution when making decisions that can prevent or limit the spread of infection in our community and among our staff and volunteers. We have created a Frequently Asked Questions section on our website to address feedback we’ve received, and questions may also be submitted at Librarians are responding 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information about COVID-19 in Johnson County and the Stay at Home order, visit In addition, you can call the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline at 913-715-CV19 (2819). Nurses and County staff are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer your questions about the virus.

Please continue to check our website and social media for the latest updates on Library services. Over the coming weeks we will highlight eLibrary resources for a variety of interests, as well as other resources to support our community during this uncertain time. Thank you for your understanding and patience — we look forward to seeing you in our buildings again soon.

All Shawnee classes and meetings have been canceled until after May 1, 2020.  (3/20/2020)

Update from Kate Kinkaid:

The Shawnee Civic Centre is scheduled to re-open on Saturday, April 4th, however there is a possibility that this date will be pushed back, we won’t know more until closer to.
Although the Civic Centre may re-open, classes will not begin until after May 1, 2020. We will begin contacting participants next week. All participants will receive a credit, refund or transfer to another class. 
Please keep in mind that this situation is ever evolving and these dates may change.
All city facilities, including the Civic Centre, will be undergoing disinfecting in the coming weeks so we are ready to open back up when the time is right! Keep yourselves safe and healthy!

Kate Kinkaid | Program Manager | Shawnee Parks & Recreation

•  CDC is Closely Monitoring the Coronavirus Outbreak →

  Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

  Google Launches its Coronavirus Website →

Congratulations to the winners in APCUG’s 2019 Contests.
We won 1st Place in the Website Contest due in part to Joe Callison’s excellent articles. PDF →

By Joe Callison
31 March, 2020

Smart Television Apps

As we are for a time mostly isolated from face to face contact with people, many of us with computers, tablets or smartphones have learned to use video chat and conferencing to keep in touch with family, friends, and associates. If you have not tried it yet, you are encouraged to take part in one of our upcoming virtual SenCom meetings. Be sure to frequent our website for information.

I recently had a question from a friend that prompted me to write a blog about something I don’t know much about. Since I love an opportunity to learn something new, I did a little research and others may find it helpful. Many of us know people who are shut-ins or are currently self-isolated and do not have computers or smartphones or know how to use them. Television is their main connection to the outside world, but they can become bored with the available content from their television service provider. Many of them have smart televisions that have apps and may even be capable of adding apps that would give them more options for viewing. You might be able to help someone else learn to access the apps on their television or you might want to try it yourself.

There are many brands and models of televisions and they each have their own way of handling apps, so if possible the best place to start is the owner’s manual or user guide. If you don’t know where it is, often you can find a downloadable PDF of it on the manufacturer’s website or by an internet search for your specific model, which is sometimes on the front frame around the television, but if not would be on a label on the back side. Additional help on using television apps can be found from articles or YouTube videos if you search for them.

My television is not smart, but I have a Blu-ray DVD video player that is. I also have Google Fiber television service that has a few apps that can be accessed using the menu on the remote. It is possible that other television service providers do the same.

I have included some links below that I have found that may be useful:,review-5605-7.html


(For Geeks Only)
By Joe Callison
29 February 2020

USB Drive Not Shown in File Explorer

I have recently encountered a problem on some Windows 10 computers that I have not seen before. When plugging a USB flash drive or USB external hard drive into a computer, it normally recognizes a new device has been added as noted with a familiar sound, then a device driver may be loaded by Windows if needed, as indicated in a notification, and finally a notification announces that the device is ready to use. When you go to File Explorer and click on This PC, the new storage device is shown with a drive letter assigned. The problem I have occasionally encountered is the new device not showing up as a drive in This PC. Unplugging the USB device and plugging it back in did not work. I have not tried a computer restart with the device still attached to see if that makes any difference. I have occasionally seen a notification that says a restart is needed for a newly discovered device to work, but usually I have found it unnecessary to do so. I ended up going to Disk Management where the USB storage device showed without a drive letter assigned. I then selected the storage device, clicked on Action in the menu, then All Tasks, and then Change Drive Letter and Paths. From there I would assign a drive letter and then it would show up in File Explorer.

While the work around solution was okay for me, it is not something I could recommend for the less technical computer users if they encounter the problem, so I began searching for the problem and possible solutions on the internet. One user had been assigning drive letters as I had done, but on their computer the drive letters were never released when the device was removed so they had to assign a different drive letter each time the device was plugged in and they were running out of drive letters, in addition to File Explorer being filled with old drive letters with nothing attached. Others had driver problems, either for the storage device being plugged in as found under Disk Drives in Device Manager or the USB controller found under Universal  Serial Bus Controllers in Device Manager. Updating device drivers was a possible solution, or at least first step.

For some users though, the problem is likely due to one of two problems. Either the virtual disk service is not running or the automount is not enabled.

The virtual disk service (vds) status can be checked or started using the Services tab and Open Services link in Task Manager or by running some commands in Command Prompt, running as Administrator. In Command Prompt:

To check the status: sc query vds
To start the service: sc start vds
To set the service to always start on boot up: sc config vds start= auto

The automount status can be checked or enabled by running the following sequence of commands:

To check the status:


 To enable automount:

automount enable

While I have not found a simple solution that anyone should be able to use as of yet, at least with some technical assistance it might be able to be fixed.


SenCom is a Kansas not-for-profit corporation that is run by volunteers. There are current openings for “Hospitality: General Meeting” and “Program Director”. If you would like to inquire about these volunteer openings, call or email our president:
Bob Bowser, (785) 608-4904,

SenCom gratefully acknowledges the
following organizations for their support:

Google Fiber

City of Shawnee,
Parks & Recreation Department

Johnson County Library:
Central Resource, Oak Park


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