FREE WEBINARS ARE NOW AVAILABLE
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→



Android SIG
Virtual Meeting
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, 2:30 pm

If you have been having any issues with your phone or tablet, please join us. If you are having difficulties joining SenCom’s virtual meetings, please let me know so that I can help you join us. Please bring your questions and if you have any that I can prepare for before the meeting, please let me know as soon as possible.

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday,
Bob Bowser, (785) 608-4904


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.



WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH APCUG
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER – DECEMBER

VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE
ANNUAL MEETING
PASSWORD MANAGER WORKSHOP – #3
LINUX WORKSHOPS
HOME AUTOMATION WORKSHOPS

VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE (VTC)
Saturday, November 7
12:00 – 2:00 pm CT
Annual Meeting – 2:15 pm CT

APCUG’s Virtual Technology Conferences are FREE!
Registration closes @ 10:30 PM CT on November 6

  • Attend using your computer, tablet, or phone with the Zoom.us app.
  • Download the latest app for the device you will be using at:

https://zoom.us/download

Test your mic and speakers at https://zoom.us/test
  • Sessions are 50 minutes with time for Q&A 
  • Register once via Eventbrite 
  • You do not need an Eventbrite account or eTicket to attend the conference 
  • You do not need a Zoom account to attend the VTC 
  • Before the event, you will receive an email with directions and links for attending Tracks 1, 2, and the Annual Meeting. The links are encrypted, please do not share them with anyone. 
  • On the day of the conference, after connecting via Zoom, it is very helpful if you sign in to each presentation you attend via the Chat Box; first and last name you used to register at Eventbrite. 
  • Why? If all of the questions aren’t answered during the session, the rest of the answers will be sent to you. Or, there might be a handout. 

More information at  https://www.apcug2.org
Questions: Contact virtualconferences@apcug.org


TRACK 1
SESSION 1

Navigating the Post-COVID Era
Ron Brown, Program Coordinator, Silvercom Computer & Technology Club

It’s a new world out there – Ron gives us suggestions on how to make it work with our tech clubs and our lives.

TRACK 1
SESSION 2

Staying Safe and Secure
Bob Gostischa, Avast Evangelist

If you are not a member of a group that had a BobG presentation at your October meeting (National Cyber Security Awareness Month), this is your opportunity to learn about security in this COVID era.

In today’s “Online World,” Safety, Security and Privacy need to be taken seriously. This presentation will aid in that mission. Using the right programs and apps can help keep you safe and secure as well as reduce your privacy exposure. Using free programs and apps whenever possible to accomplish this goal is a bonus and this presentation includes information on many recommended free programs. Join presenter Bob Gostischa as he simplifies, clarifies, and demystifies your devices (gadgets or technology) so you have a safe, secure, and enjoyable Internet experience. Some of the topics are: VPNs, Is it a safe link? Bluetooth, Ransomware, Phishing campaigns, Has your password been hacked? 8 essentials for secure computing, and 9 tips for your smartphone.
 
TRACK 2
SESSION 1

How Technology Has Changed the Way We Listen to Music
Ray Baxter, Acting President & Treasurer
APCUG

This presentation gives us a quick review of our music listening habits during the last 65 years and a look at today’s download and streaming offerings. From 78s to 45s, LPs, the 8-track tape, cassettes, the Walkman, Compact Discs, iPods, and more – Ray will cover it all.

Ray considers himself an early Rock and Roll historian and has a digital collection of over 45,000 songs that began when he first started collecting records (most of which he still has) in his pre-teenage years. When living in California, he was the President of the Doo-Wop Society of Southern California, a non-profit organization that for almost 14 years produced live quarterly musical stage shows featuring vocal groups of the 1950s.
 
TRACK 2
SESSION 2

Chris and Jim Guld, GeeksOnTour
Learn with Geeks on Tour, they are Geeks Who Teach
This VTC presentation is a virtual stop on their book tour

Chris has finished her 2nd book, “Learn Google Photos;” she and Jim will show us several items that are included in the book.


ANNUAL MEETING – 2:15 pm CT

The Annual Meeting will be held after the VTC, everyone is encouraged to attend to learn about what is happening with APCUG. There will be reports by various officers and committee chairs as well as information about the 2021 election and 2020 contest winners. There will also be a Q&A session after the meeting….bring your questions.

Click here to register→


PASSWORD MANAGER WORKSHOP – #3

October 29, 6 pm CT  

Tweaking Bitwarden
Kenneth Tubaugh, Educational Services Director & Program Coordinator, Columbus Computer Society

You’ve had a chance to install, add password-protected websites, and give Bitwarden a test run. How’s it working for you? Are you having success with a password manager?  Are there still questions you have about getting it going? What additional adjustments do you need to make to have Bitwarden working for you? Join Kenneth one more time to share in discussions with users at different levels about using Bitwarden. Kenneth will try and help as many people as he can and get input from those that are finding success.  Join us for some informative discussion and tips/tricks in using Bitwarden.

If you have questions, you may ask them at the workshop or send them to Judy, in advance, at jtaylour@apcug.org.

Click here to register→


LINUX WORKSHOPS

Linux Wednesday Workshops: Orv Beach (Linux Expo (SCALE) guru), John Kennedy (Advisor, Regions 3 & 6/7), and Sharan Kalwani (SouthEastern Michigan Computer Organization)

John Kennedy responds to the question of “Why are there so many versions of Linux” with the question, “Why are there so many cars?” Because everybody doesn’t like the same car and that also pertains to the Linux desktop. Are you a fan of open-source software or you have heard about it and would like to learn more? This Linux team will introduce you to the world of Linux in the next series of APCUG workshops. We will begin with an introduction to Linux and answer the questions “why so many.” We will talk about the installation process to get Linux working on your computer. We’ll move on to talk about how to choose between the many options you have with Linux. Finally, we’ll spend some time discussing software that runs on Linux to do your daily computer needs. After each workshop, there will be time for Q&A like our past workshops.

Click here to Register→

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.


Linux Workshop #1, October 28, 11:00 am CT
“A General Introduction”

Have you wondered just what this Linux thing is you’re hearing about? Have you wondered what the primary benefits are and the reasons for using Linux? Have you wondered why there are so many different versions of the operating system (with the response by John Kennedy as to why tare here so many different versions of cars)? Then join Orv Beach, long-time Linux guru from the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE), Sharan Kalwani, President,  SouthEastern Michigan Organization, and your Host APCUG Regional Advisor John Kennedy for all the answers and more.

Linux Workshop #2, November 18, 11:00 am CT
“Getting and Installing Linux”

At today’s workshop, John Kennedy will share with you the best places to get a copy of Linux on the web (and remember it’s FREE). Then Orv Beach will show you how quick and easy it is to install Linux compared to Windows. He’ll also share how you can test-drive Linux without even having to make any changes to your current hard drive. And he’ll talk about how you can run Linux alongside your current operating system.

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.

Linux Workshop #4, December 1611:00 am CT
“Software, Applications and Package Management”

Each Linux distro comes fully loaded with the software/packages you need for your daily work. But as you may have heard, Linux has many options for each type of software you might use. This workshop will focus on all things software. John will share what’s the best software for Windows users to make the transition to Linux easy (with NO learning curve). Then Orv and Sharan will make presentations on installing additional software packages and keeping them updated, along with managing these applications.  We’ll finish up by sharing many alternative applications in the Linux world for programs people have been using in the Windows/Mac world.


HOME AUTOMATION WORKSHOP #3
November 11, 11:00 am CT

Lights, doorbells, locks, and cameras

Bill James, APCUG Advisor, Region 8
VP, Computer Club of Oklahoma City

Your lights are boring – fix that with some smart lamps. Though the promise of interconnected lighting is exciting, the current offerings are overpriced and incompatible with each other, so you’ll be stuck with the choice you make. To determine what type of video doorbell will work best for you, you will first need to determine how you intend to use it.  If you simply want to see who is at your door before answering, a basic video doorbell system might work for you. What all the locks have in common you control and manage them with a smartphone and web app. Webcams as a security device, they offer full HD resolution, so you can see a clearer and cleaner image. There are models for both outside and inside use. Each lock has its own quirks and perks. The same considerations that we used to determine which video doorbell will work for you apply to internet door locks. All of these devices will provide a level of security to your home and allowing you to monitor your home’s entryway and surroundings anywhere in the world.

HOME AUTOMATION WORKSHOP #4
December 9, 11:00 am CT

Doing it myself vs. Having it done

You have now decided what you want to automate using a checklist, you have purchased some of your devices and have them working to your satisfaction (or not). Or, you are still deciding on DIY or paying someone to put everything together for you and need help with all the separate apps, systems, and wireless protocols. All this and more will be discussed at this Home Automation wrap-up workshop.

Click here to register→



October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
https://staysafeonline.org/



Our Shawnee classes have been canceled thru December

It was the decision of the Shawnee City Manager’s Office that SenCom’s classes are canceled through December.  The situation will be looked at again in October when they are preparing the brochure for next year.  They are citing the age of the participants as the reason they are uncomfortable with our classes even with the adjustments we have made.
Check our WEBINARS page for free online instruction.



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 January 1, 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. Please note the hours vary… Continue »



•  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
10 October 2020

Understanding Internet Speed

How fast is my internet connection? Am I getting what I am paying for? These are common concerns for consumers, especially if they think their internet connection is too slow. We will look at this from the top-down, starting with the service from the internet provider to the residence or business, then the modem/router that provides the local network over wire and wi-fi, and finally the adapters in the computer devices connected to the local network.  

Internet service is provided under language like “speeds up to” so many megabits per second (Mbps). This is the maximum speed that will be delivered with the lightest load on the providers’ distribution system. If a lot of consumers happen to be streaming movies simultaneously on the same network branch that you are connected to, you may only experience 80 or 90 percent of the maximum speed. This possibility should be considered before you decide on what speed of service you need. Do you know what speed you need? I doubt that most people do. Let’s look at some of the requirements.

Netflix recommends 3 Mbps for standard quality video (SD), 5 Mbps for high definition video (HD), and 25 Mbps for ultra high definition video (UHD). Hulu recommends 3 Mbps for content from their streaming library, 8 Mbps for live streaming, and 16 Mbps for 4K content. Remember that if you have two people in the household or business that may be streaming videos at the same time, these requirements would double, and for four people would quadruple. To ensure that you always receive at least these speeds from your provider, you should increase the total simultaneous requirements by 25%. If you don’t stream high definition movies (or games) over the internet at all, then you can use a rule of thumb of 5 Mbps for each simultaneous connection to the internet, which is plenty adequate for email, internet browsing, standard quality video or video conferencing and such.

The modem/router which may be leased from your internet service provider or provided by you must be capable of handling the total simultaneous network requirements, in addition to providing each connected device with its needed speed. Old “G” routers (802.11g) generally have either 10 or 100 Mbps for each wired connection and a maximum of 54 Mbps for wi-fi connections. The wi-fi speed will drop off dramatically as the distance from the router increases.

The “N” routers may have a single 2.4 GHz radio like the “G” routers or may have both a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz radio (dual band). The single band generally provides up to 300 Mbps and the dual-band up to 600 Mbps (total for both bands). The wired connections may be 100 or 1000 Mbps. Newer “AC” routers are all dual-band and are often identified by a total combined wi-fi speed such as AC1200 for one with a 300 Mbps 2.4 GHz radio and 900 Mbps for a 5 GHz radio, or AC1900 for one with a 600 Mbps 2.4 GHz radio and 1300 Mbps for a 5 GHz radio. Wired ports are generally rated for 1000 Mbps.

A modem and or router may have a total bandwidth limitation that is less than the sum of the ratings of all individual connections. In other words, a router with four wired ports rated 1000 Mbps each may only be capable of delivering a fraction of that if all ports are active simultaneously. The bandwidth rating is often a very difficult specification number to find.

The wired Ethernet adapter or wi-fi adapter in your computer or other internet-connected devices may also be a G, N, or AC capable type with its own specifications for speed. For the last several years computers have included wired adapters rated 1000 Mbps. The ratings for wi-fi adapters vary greatly, as does their antenna’s capability to send and receive signals over distance. For example, the 5 GHz adapter in the laptop I am using is connecting to the router at 390 Mbps at a distance of about 20 feet. An external USB 3.0 wi-fi adapter I recently tested is connecting at over 700 Mbps from the same distance. For those with 1000 Mbps internet service, the Ethernet cable used for wired connections can limit achievable speeds. For cables over a few feet in length, it will generally be necessary to use CAT 5e or CAT 6 cables to obtain maximum speeds.

Ultimately the number we are most interested in is the speed we can actually get at our computer or device. The speedtest.net site is often used to test the speed between your device and a selected server on the internet. For the most accurate test, other background tasks that could be connecting to the internet should be temporarily halted. Also, note that for testing connections rated 100 Mbps or more the site recommends using their app instead of the browser version. I have tested both ways on my 1000 Mbps capable internet service and the browser version showed 394 Mbps compared to over 900 Mbps with the app. Real-world connections can be much slower than the test speeds because of the load on the servers for a particular website you are connecting to. Using a VPN service also generally results in slower speeds.



FOR~GO
(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
pause

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

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 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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