In response to the cancellation of our classes due to COVID-19, we have scheduled and posted free webinars on the WEBINARS page. Register now→

Webinar: Apple iWatch
Instructor: Ray Martinez
Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Register on the WEBINARS page

iWatch – the basics
Items needed for Video Conference:  iWatch, iPhone, Apple ID, and Apple ID password

  • Intro
  • Basic set up
    o   Watch a YouTube video that walks you through the process

    o   Q and A about the initial set up
  • Setting– on your iPhone and the iWatch
    o   Which is better to set up from?
    o   Notifications
    o   Watch faces – why so many?
  • Different apps
    o   Text Messages

    o   Phone Calls
    o   Activity App
    o   Workout App
    o   ECG App
    o   Heart Rate App
    o   Timers and Alarms App
    o   Walkie / Talkie App

Linux Workshop #3, December 2, 11:00 am CT
“Distros and Desktops”

So, you now know how easy it is to install Linux and you learned some of the different options you have running it, and you know that there are many different versions of Linux called “distros.” Join Sharan Kilwani as he guides you through the process of determining which distro might be best for you. Once you have that choice made, then you have the many options for a Desktop Environment (DE) for that distro. Join Orv and John (and maybe a few additional presenters) as they demonstrate their favorite DE and why they like it. Once you’ve attended this workshop you’ll be ready to select the version of Linux and the Desktop Environment best for you and give Linux a try.

All workshops will be at the same time and use the same passcode-encrypted Zoom meeting link. The link will be sent to you with the workshop reminders. Click here to Register→

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.


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):

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.

Our Shawnee classes have been temporarily canceled.

It was the decision of the Shawnee City Manager’s Office that SenCom’s classes be temporarily canceled due to COVID-19.  They are citing the age of the participants as the reason they are uncomfortable with our classes even with the adjustments we have made.
In response to the cancellation of our classes, we have scheduled and posted free webinars on our WEBINARS page. Register now→

All Jo Co Library Branches Have Reopened

With safety at the forefront of our concerns, we have decided to extend the cancellation of meeting and study room bookings through March 31, 2021. Please continue to check our website and social media for the latest updates on Library services.

On Monday, June 15, Johnson County Library reopened all 14 of its branches with limited services and temporarily modified hours of operation, listed below. As we work to rebuild staffing capacity, modified hours allow our branch staff time to safely process materials and sanitize staff and patron spaces.  

Returns are accepted 24/7 in any of our branch book drops, and our eLibrary is always open!  Please see our Reopening FAQ  for additional details about Library services, placing and picking up holds, due dates and fines, safety protocols, and more.

•  CDC is Closely Monitoring the Coronavirus Outbreak →

  Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

  Google Launches its Coronavirus Website →

by Joe Callison
18 November 2020

Free Creative Programs for Beginners to Professionals

There are some great free open source programs available that I consider good enough to not only recommend to beginners to try out, but that will satisfy the needs of most professionals. Of course, if you find a program useful and want to support the developer(s), you are encouraged to donate to them.  

These open-source programs, which means anyone can obtain the computer source code for them and modify it for their own purposes and are available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. They also have great help and tutorials as well as a community of users for support. I picked 5 programs that I think should provide all the creative tools needed by most of us:

LibreOffice – a full suite of office programs that includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database, diagram, math, and more. I prefer to set the options to automatically default to load and save documents in the latest Microsoft Office format, but you can choose to save documents in a wide variety of other formats. LibreOffice is also able to open files in many different formats and convert them to one of the supported ones. I have even opened old Apple Works / Clarisworks files. Click Download and then choose the more stable tested version, not the latest version, at

GIMP – a very complete photo editing program that rivals Adobe Photoshop in its capabilities. Some of the features such as layers may take a while to learn if you really want to but most amateur photographers are happy just using the many options for filters, effects, and corrections available. Gimp has been around for a very long time and there are many 3rd party plug-ins that have been developed by other users. Download the latest stable version, not the development version, at

Inkscape – a very complete vector graphics editor (graphics art program in more non-technical terms) that rivals Adobe Illustrator in its capabilities. It is not a skill that I have developed, but it is fun for me to play with. Download at

Audacity – an easy to use multi-track audio editor and recorder. I have used it to trim audio files, convert to different formats, and to edit metadata (the information stored with the audio file such as artist and album) but it does much more and supports additional plug-ins. Download at

OpenShot – an incredibly easy and complete video editor program that in my opinion sets the bar on how to develop intuitive and yet flexible user interfaces. There are also many excellent YouTube tutorials produced by the developer that I highly recommend watching, even if just to marvel at his skill at developing user interfaces. Download at

There you have it. My 5 best free programs to entertain yourself, to develop a creative skill, or even use in a profession.

(For Geeks Only)
by Joe Callison
10 October 2020

Using Command Prompt: Network Commands in Batch Files

Probably the most common use for the command prompt is to run ipconfig to view the network properties. It only takes a few steps- opening the command prompt app (at least two steps) and typing ipconfig and then enter (two more steps). A batch file can be created to reduce these tasks to just opening the batch file which then runs the tasks for you. A batch file is created using a plain text editor such as the Windows Notepad app.  

For the example above, the file could be:

@echo off (This turns off displaying the commands when the batch file runs)
ipconfig /all (This command will display the network properties of all network adapters)
pause (This keeps the command prompt app from automatically closing after running)

To convert the text file (txt) to a batch file (bat) just requires saving or renaming the file with a bat file extension in place of the txt file extension. Opening the batch file will automatically associate it with the command prompt app for running unless the default file association for bat has been changed to some other app.

If you want a more useful display of network adapter properties, try the following batch files:

For a wired Ethernet connection:
@echo off
netsh lan show interface

For a wireless Ethernet connection:
@echo off
netsh wlan show interface

If you should happen to use a command in a batch file that requires running with elevated privileges (run as administrator), this can be accommodated by first creating a shortcut to the batch file (right-click on the batch file, choose Create shortcut) and then changing the shortcut properties under the Advanced tab to check the Run as administrator (right-click on the shortcut, choose Properties, click on Advanced, check the Run as administrator). Then you can use the shortcut to run the batch file.

Volunteers Needed

We still need volunteers to help our board members and to fill three positions: Hospitality General Meeting (Nadyne resigned due to health reasons), Programs need help now and take over later this year (Mary Ann has been doing two jobs), and Education Director. 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,

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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