Newsletter March 2020

From the Chair

We’re well into Term 1 now and it’s extremely pleasing to see that our class and workshop numbers have bounced back to the point where most are almost or completely full. I know this can be a little frustrating for those who miss out on a place but rest assured, when demand is this high, we will always schedule the course or workshop again. Our goal is to help as many of our members as we can to improve their technology skills and if that means running a course or workshop over and over again, that’s what we’ll do.

With Covid-19 on everyone’s mind right now, it’s more important than ever to be able to use all the technologies available to us. There are so many ways to get things done using your PC, laptop, tablet or phone – buying & selling stuff, booking things, learning things, keeping in touch with people and generally keeping up with what’s happening. Right now, I’m enjoying all the “toilet paper” jokes floating around – some people are just so witty!

If, at some point in the future, we find our movements restricted (no pun intended!), our electronic devices will become our best friends. Maybe now is the time to consider upskilling at one of the many courses or workshops SeniorNet Kapiti has to offer. With this in mind, the Committee has been looking very closely at what we can schedule to help our members cope if you find your mobility temporarily restricted – Internet Banking, Using Google and Online Shopping are just some of the options we’ll have in Term 2. By the time you read this, our Term 2 Timetables will have been published so why not go and have a look at what’s on offer.

We have also updated our website to provide basic data and links about Covid-19. We won’t be duplicating anything from the Health Authorities but we have provided the necessary links to get you to that information. Click here if you are interested.

Windows 1909 Update – It’s Optional…for now!

Do you know which version of Windows you are using? Click the little magnifying glass on the Taskbar and type winver then press Enter. My result is here on the left.
Many people won’t be aware that version 1909 of Windows has already downloaded onto their PCs and laptops. It’s currently available as an Optional Update but will, at some time in the future, be forced onto your PC. We see no reason to wait so here are the instructions on how to proceed.

Go to Start, Settings, Update & Security and you will see an Optional Update called “Feature update to Windows 10, version 1909“. It is safe to Download and install this update and it will bring your Windows right up to date.

As always with these big Feature Updates, allow a couple of hours for it to complete and expect one or two reboots during the process.

Remember, if you’re not confident doing this, come along to a How Do I…? Workshop and we’ll show you how.

Term 2 Timetable

Our Timetables for Term 2 has now been published on this website and can be seen  here for courses and here for workshops. We recommend you book early with Elaine (021 169 6256) as we are expecting high demand and our classroom seats are always allocated on a first-come, first served basis.

Online Shopping Workshop

As mentioned above by our ChairPerson, we are considering an additional Workshop this Term called “Online Shopping”. We’ve scheduled it for Monday 30 March at 1:30pm. If you are interested in attending, please contact Elaine on 027 169 6256 and put your name down. For obvious reasons, numbers will be limited.

New Photo Management Course

Several years ago Google advised that they would no longer be supporting their popular Photo Management programme Picasa. Many SeniorNet’s, including us, had excellent courses based on Picasa so the announcement was a huge disappointment. At the time of the Google announcement, there was no obvious alternative but in the intervening years, Microsoft Photo has matured into a product which we are now comfortable to recommend to our members.

Starting in Term 2, we’ll be running a completely rewritten Managing and Editing your Photos W10 Course based on MS Photos. Most of the things you could do with Picasa can now be done with MS Photos and we’ve incorporated them into this new 4 week Course. If you’re interested in joining us on the first outing of this Course, check the Term 2 Timetable and contact Elaine for a booking.

Membership Renewal

By now all our members should have received a Membership Renewal notice and if you pay by the end of April there’s a discount available! We believe that SeniorNet offers a compelling case for continued membership and we’ve outlined our reasons in the notice you received. If you can’t find the Renewal Notice, please check your Spam Folder. That’s not where it was meant to end up but sometimes…..it does!

If our emails regularly end up in your Spam and you are a Gmail user, we have instructions here on how you can prevent that happening.

Email Communications to our @XTRA Members

For quite some time now, we’ve been struggling to maintain regular communications with our members who have @xtra.co.nz email addresses. In short, all our emails end up in your Spam Folder – the cause is quite simple but the solution is not.

We use a Bulk Mailer programme called “SendPulse” which allows us to send large amounts of email at one time. When we do this, it can look to some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Spam. Early on, we were able to fix the problem with Gmail and other ISPs but Xtra is still treating our emails as Spam. Despite many months working directly with Spark (and indirectly with their email Service Provider), we have still not been able to get around the problem.

We apologise to our members for this lack of communication and just want to let you know that we haven’t given up. We are already looking at alternatives (one of which we used for your Membership Renewal notice). In the meantime, please check in to our website on a regular basis and you will be kept up to date with what’s going on. Remember we also use Facebook (search for “SeniorNet Kapiti Inc”) and Neighbourly.

You will in fact find all our emails in your Spam Folder if you’re curious but we understand, that’s not the answer. Hopefully, we’ll sort out a solution in the coming months.

Access to The Learning Centre

With the current focus on protecting ourselves from COVID-19, we would ask that any of our members exhibiting symptoms such as a fever and/or a dry cough, please avoid visiting The Learning Centre or attending courses. If you cannot attend a Course or Workshop, please leave a message on our office answerphone (04) 299 0754. In this case you should NOT ring Elaine!

Our Sponsors

Please don’t forget our sponsors – they’re important to SeniorNet and help us in many ways including offering discounts to our members. Always show your membership card and ask if there’s a discount – you might be rather surprised! One example is that the Noel Leeming discount extends well beyond computers to everything in their store!

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