Welcome to the Computer Learning Center at Ewing!

In keeping with the times, we’re going to start a blog with useful news and updates about the Computer Learning Center at Ewing.

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Tips and Tricks: July 1, 2014

“The Pros and Cons of 3D Printing”

Live Demo to Follow

3D

“3D printers are all the rage, creating things from teeth in dental offices to pizza in outer space.”

So says Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, Ph.D., who will address “The Pros and Cons of 3D Printing” at the Computer Learning Center on Tuesday, July 1, beginning at 2 p.m.

“I plan to explore how 3D printing works, what capabilities can be expected, and costs for purchase, operation and maintenance, as well as look at object design software tools and libraries,” Dr. Mercuri explains.  Her experience in an educational project funded by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with kit (RepRap) and commercial (MakerBot Replicator 2) 3D printers will be reviewed.  There will also be a live demonstration of the MakerBot, and an opportunity to view a wide variety of printed objects.   Dr. Mercuri will also show and explain the FreeCAD open-source design software.

Dr. Mercuri is a computer forensic expert witness and the owner of Notable Software, Inc. (www.notablesoftware.com).  As a forensic expert she has been involved in a plethora of cases involving such matters as contraband, child endangerment, murder, computer viruses, malware and hacking, class-action suits, copyright and patent infringement, and election recounts (most notably Bush v. Gore). She has also provided formal testimony and comment to the House Science Committee, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Election Assistance Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, the U.K. Cabinet, and numerous state legislatures and municipal bodies. She is a senior life member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), past Chair of the IEEE Princeton / Central Jersey Section, and a co-founder of the Princeton ACM/IEEE Computer Society.  Dr. Mercuri holds a Ph.D. from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  She also did post-doctoral research at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing, sponsor of the program, offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, taught by and designed for older residents of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. For further information about this event, courses or directions, call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776 ext 6205 or visit the CLC website at www.clcewing.org.

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Tips and Tricks: April 1, 2014

“Dropbox: A Simple Way to Sync And Share Your Files and Photos”

Dropbox system

“Have you ever wished you had a simple way to access your files on all of your devices or a hassle-free way to backup and share photos and videos with family or friends? Well, there is, and it’s called Dropbox.”

“Dropbox is a file hosting service that provides one of the simplest and easiest ways to share your photos and files in the Cloud,” explains Computer Learning Center instructor Mary Kay Podlecki. “It allows users to create a special folder on their computers which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder with the same contents on all of your computers: desktop, laptop, or tablet. Your Dropbox folder is also accessible on the Web and through mobile phone applications,” she adds. “In February the CLC presented a Computer Tips and Tricks program about the Cloud. This month we will build on that by looking at one of the most popular Cloud services: Dropbox.”

Podlecki plans to explain how to sign up for a free Dropbox account and how to download apps that work on any and all of your computers and mobile devices, including PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and android smartphones and tablets. “Dropbox makes it possible to automatically backup your photos, sync files across computers, share files with others, and make your files accessible to you from the Web. This presentation should help you to determine if Dropbox is the right service for you.”

In addition to being a volunteer instructor, Podlecki assists in maintaining the computers and networks at the CLC which currently offers nearly 30 hands-on courses for PC, Mac and iPad owners. She is also actively involved in writing applications for the iPhone and iPad “to show how useful and fun mobile devices and tablets can be for everyone, including non-techies.” A computer science graduate of Iowa State University with a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, Podlecki retired from the Bell System where she served in numerous areas of software development, including manufacturing, user interface design, and early computer graphics

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing, sponsor of the program, offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, taught by and designed for older residents of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. For further information about this event, courses or directions, call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776 ext 6205 or visit the CLC website at www.clcewing.org.

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Tips and Tricks: March 4, 2014

“Exploring Art on the Internet In Your PJs”

Ogunquit23 “Looking at art on the Internet can often lead you to discover treasures you may never have known existed,” says Robert Lafond who will present The Computer Learning Center’s latest “Computer Tips and Tricks” program, “Exploring Art on the Internet in Your PJs.”

  “I plan to show how to explore areas in the world of art that may be unknown to you by using tools, such as Google Images, as well as other means to find art you might never have discovered otherwise.  I will also briefly review some of the searches I have done in the past few years, visiting museums, artists, art blogs, etc. Hopefully I will motivate people to look for and find art on the Internet that inspires them.”
 [Robert Lafond]

An Art History graduate of Princeton University, Lafond worked at the Princeton University Art Museum as Registrar for 18 years. He also attended the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and holds a Master’s degree from Rutgers University in Information Technology, a field in which he has worked for 25 years.  He has been a painter for many years and maintains an art blog,  markandremark.blogspot.com, where he posts and discusses his art work.

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing, sponsor of the program, offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, taught by and designed for older residents of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. For further information about this event, courses or directions, call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776 ext 6205 or visit the CLC website at www.clcewing.org.

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Tips and Tricks: February 4, 2014

“Cloud Storage and Backup For Personal & Small Business Use”

image“Cloud Computing” has become a familiar term, but many people are uncertain what it is or how it applies to their personal and business computer use.  On Tuesday, February 4, Information Technology Consultant Joe Budelis of Persimmon Telecommunications will present “Cloud Storage and Backup for Personal and Small Business Use”.

In simplest terms Budelis describes the Cloud as a network of servers that can communicate and provide services over the Internet.

“Many Cloud solutions exist that can be very useful to individuals and businesses, particularly by providing a way of storing and accessing data and programs on the network rather than on your computer’s hard drive.”

During his presentation Budelis will review some of the better free and low cost options such as Google Drive, SkyDrive, Mozy and Dropbox.

“All of these options have paid versions for those who need more space or functionality. The audience will also learn about some Cloud options and features available over and above simply providing storage.”

As head of Persimmon Telecommunications, Budelis offers his business clients his broad experience working in IT and as a consultant in such diverse positions as Senior Financial Analyst, SAS Data Analyst, Business Infrastructure Manager and Data Base Administer.  He also holds a PhD in Decision and Control from Harvard University.  Currently, through his company and a team of Telecom service experts, he assists businesses in finding cost-effective telecommunications and Cloud solutions. His primary focus is on consulting and selling such services as those available on the Cloud, as well as T1, DS3, Fast Ethernet, Gig-E and OC3 voice and data, MPLS, SIP, VoIP phone services and conferencing services.  Additional information is available at   http://t1guy.net/

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing, sponsor of the program, offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, taught by and designed for older residents of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. For further information about this event, courses or directions, call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776 ext 6205 or visit the CLC website at www.clcewing.org.

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Tips and Tricks: January 7, 2014

   “Connect your TV to the Internet”

streaming-devices

 “One of the easiest ways to enjoy online video and music is on your TV.”

So says Computer Learning Center instructor David Shinkfield, who will join fellow instructor Mary Kay Podlecki in presenting “Connecting Your TV to the Internet.”  The program, which is free, will be presented on Tuesday, January 7, at 2 p.m. in the Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road.   Sponsored by the CLC as part of its Computer Tips and Tricks series, it will be preceded at 1:30 p.m. by “Q and A’s with the CLC Faculty” during which the audience can seek answers to their computer-related questions. No prior registration is required.

“There are many ways to connect your TV to the Internet,” Shinkfield continues. “They all involve buying a small device which plugs into the back of your TV – Roku, Boxee, Chromecast, Apple TV, Logitech. Each of these devices provide different features and services which you can access over the web.  This Tips and Tricks program will describe the alternatives and their various features as well as discuss and demonstrate two of these units – Chromecast made by Google and Apple TV made by Apple.”

“By using these devices, you can view a variety of programs on your TV, some of which are free, like YouTube, while others require a monthly fee, like Netflix. Some will also allow you to watch videos or play music from your computer over the TV.”

An instructor at the all-volunteer CLC, Mary Kay Podlecki also assists in maintaining the Center’s computers and networks which currently offers eight hands-on courses for iPad owners.  She is also actively involved in writing applications for the iPhone and iPad “to show how useful and fun mobile devices and tablets can be for everyone, including non-techies.”  A computer science graduate of Iowa State University she holds Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, Podlecki retired from the Bell System where she served in numerous areas of software development, including manufacturing, user interface design, and early computer graphics.

Shinkfield, a volunteer instructor and current President of the CLC,  teaches several courses including Windows XP, Downloading, and Quicken.  A former managing partner with PA Consulting Group based in London, he served that firm on assignments in the UK, France, Germany and finally the United States where he has spent the past 20 years.  Since his retirement, he has also volunteered with several other organizations in the Mercer County community, including coaching foreign students and their families in English.

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing, sponsor of the program, offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, taught by and designed for older residents of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. For further information about this event, courses or directions, call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776 ext 6205 or visit the CLC website at www.clcewing.org.

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Tips and Tricks: December 3, 2013

   “Top Tech Gifts for Holiday Giving”

“We’re going mobile. Today in the U.S. over half of all adults own a smartphone or a tablet and some 65% of those mobile phone owners are using smartphones.  Amid this sea of mobile devices and available accessories, how does one choose a holiday gift for that special relative or friend?”[Doug Dixon, technology consultant]

Dixon, who has been covering holiday gadgets in the Princeton area for over a decade, will help cut through the confusion when he presents “Top Tech Gifts for Holiday Giving” on Tuesday, December 3, at 2 p.m. in the Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road.  Sponsored by The Computer Learning Center, his round-up and demos will spotlight this year’s most tempting gadgets and wireless accessories.  His presentation will be preceded at 1:30 p.m. by “Q and A’s with the CLC Faculty” during which the audience seek answers to their computer-related questions.  Both programs are free and no prior registration is required.

“There are so many fun and useful portable accessories available this year, especially to extend your mobile devices with wireless connections,” Dixon notes. “Trends to explore this holiday season include wireless audio to portable headsets and speakers, wireless connections to cameras and TV, wireless access to your data, and wireless tracking so you don’t leave your phone or keys behind.  Plus we will look at the latest in portable power to keep you charged, cases to protect those indispensable devices, and other fun goodies.”

Dixon is an independent technology consultant, author and speaker specializing in digital media and portable devices.  Previously a product manager and software developer at Intel and the Sarnoff Corporation in Princeton, he now consults in commercial and military technology analysis and communications and provides expert witness services. Over the past fifteen years, he has authored four books on digital media, published hundreds of feature articles, and presented over a hundred seminars and lectures.  He makes his articles and technical reference available free of charge on his Manifest Technology website and blog at Manifest-Tech.com.

The Computer Learning Center at Ewing, sponsor of the program, offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, taught by and designed for older residents of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. For further information about this event, courses or directions, call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776 ext 6205 or visit the CLC website at www.clcewing.org.

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November 2013 Classes

  • Using Gmail
  • Talking with Siri
  • Intro to iOS 7
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Word Processing Introduction

Using Gmail (3 Sessions) Course Fee: $15

Using Gmail as the practice platform, this course will cover the basics of e-mailing, as well as how to create an address book, and some tips for avoiding spam and malware. Depending on the level and interest of the participants, topics such as filing/archiving and sending and receiving attachments/photos may also be covered. Recommended prerequisite: Introduction to Computers and Introduction to Windows, or equivalent experience.

Talking with Siri (1 session) Course Fee: $5

If you’ve wondered about Siri, and how to have a conversation with your iPad (or iPhone or iPod touch), then this is the course for you.

We’ll show you how to enable Siri, launch the service, and try it out. Siri is an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator from Apple that exists to allow you to communicate with your mobile device by speaking to “her” (in the US, the voice is female). You’ll teach her about you and your family, and try some questions that will highlight both her usefulness and her quirky personality. Siri offers conversational interaction with many apps including reminders, weather, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps. It can check sports scores, open apps, check movie times and reviews, find restaurants, and make reservations. We’ll offer tips on how to have a successful conversation, and how to recover from misunderstandings. Dictate rather than typing your emails! Get a glimpse into what the future of computer interaction may be! Prerequisites: Any Apple device (iPad 3rd gen or later, iPad mini, Phone 4S or later, or iPod touch 4th gen or later,) that supports Siri. It must be registered and up-to-date with the most recent software (iOS 6 or later) for that device. (To check, you can go to the Settings app, choose General, and see if “Siri” is listed.) If this presents a problem to anyone who wants to take this course, he or she is advised to e-mail their concerns to marykay@podlecki.com.

Intro to iOS 7 (1 session) Course Fee: $5

The new iOS 7 platform for Apple’s mobile devices simply makes what you do now easier, faster and more enjoyable. While many apps may look different, the way you do things feels perfectly familiar.   Using your iPad, we will explore about a dozen new features including changes to the Photos app, new camera features, the new AirDrop photo and file sharing feature and iTunes Radio as well as quick access to the Control Center and new ways to handle multitasking and to search. Prerequisite: iPad Basics course, iPad with iOS 7 installed on it.

Introduction to Computers (3 Sessions) Course Fee: $15

A comprehensive overview that combines lecture and hands on experience to introduce participants to the world of the personal computer. Students will become familiar with the technology and jargon of personal computers. Software applications, such as word processing and database, will be demonstrated to show computer capabilities. Connection to the Internet will also be shown. The application used to demonstrate the various concepts is Microsoft Works. This course covers very basic topics about computers and computing. It should almost always be taken before any other. The only exception would be in the case of an experienced computer user.

Word Processing Introduction (3 Sessions) Course Fee: $15

Learn how to do basic word processing such as setting margins, undoing and inserting, use of toolbars, rulers, icons and getting help. Also using word completion, spellcheck and thesaurus, setting and changing page layouts, headers and footers. Course will use the Open Office Tutorial which is downloadable from the internet and is compatible with other similar programs such as Word, Works and Wordpad. Recommended prerequisite: Introduction to Computers and Introduction to Windows, or equivalent experience.

For dates and times, see the CLC’s calendar.

If you are interested in taking a course with available seats, phone HelenMarie Dolton at 609-882-5086.  If you’d like to take one of the classes at a future date, fill out the CLC Course Request Form.

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