Are Computer Clubs Dead?

Are computer clubs dead? The answer depends on what you mean by a computer club. I can only speak of my own experiences. Maybe you have different observations. If so, please let us know. But skipping to the final point right now: isn’t LockerGnome a …continue reading

When Do You Know It’s Time to Buy a New PC?

When do you know it’s time to buy a new PC? Or, more important, how do you tell clients when it is time for them to buy a new PC? I do not need an algorithm to tell when to get a new computer. When …continue reading

How Do You Know when a Download is Safe?

For a couple of years I have presented a course on How to Download Nifty Things from the Internet Safely for senior computer users. The course has two parts: (1) establishing that some pretty nifty things are available for free, and (2) there are ways …continue reading

Mix Geeks and Seniors – Get Ageism?

Does being a geek carry an automatic bias toward ageism? Geeks often possess knowledge unavailable to earlier generations. Unlike tribal times when elders were respected as repositories of culture and knowledge, modern times are characterized by large numbers of young people who know they are …continue reading

Graphic Design on the Fly: What Do You Use?

Effective communication goes beyond texting, blogging, and YouTube videos. Effective communication often requires images and graphics. Images you can get from a camera and massage them with Photoshop, or the equivalent, until they meet your needs, but the graphics must be made. Construction of effective …continue reading

Preying for Senior Love Online

Does Hell have a special place for scammers who bilk widows out of their savings by offering online romance? Normally I am pleased to get a new senior client, but last week a senior widow who could hardly talk through her emotions called to engage …continue reading

Peanut Butter and the Geek

In response to Ryan Matthew Pierson’s Bacon: Why Do Geeks Love It? piece, here is my homage to peanut butter, the breakfast of those who you might not trust completely. Peanut butter is the essence of a good life, but one must …continue reading

Valuable Computer Security Articles from US-CERT

In an earlier post, I mentioned the value of US-CERT’s bulletin of computer vulnerabilities. However, there is much more to this government site that just a table of vulnerabilities. It has a whole section on publications relating to computer security, and one …continue reading

How Vulnerable to Attack is Your Computer? See US-CERT

The US government is very concerned about cyber attacks. A special organization, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) was formed with this charter:

US-CERT’s mission is to improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture, coordinate cyber information sharing, and proactively manage cyber …continue reading

Other Tools By Malwarebytes – They Are Nifty and Free!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Malwarebytes. All opinions are 100% mine.

In a recent video, Chris Pirillo brings up some good points about Malwarebytes. I have written several recent …continue reading

Chris Pirillo Talks to Doug Swanson of Malwarebytes

Recently I had the pleasure of watching Chris Pirillo’s interview with Doug Swanson, the VP of Development at Malwarebytes (available to view on Facebook or Google+). Viewing it was a pleasure because I use Malwarebytes on …continue reading

What Computer is Best for a Light Use Senior?

Clients have a way of making me think differently. To help them make decisions, I need to understand their needs and desires. Advocating for my preferred computer choices helps no one.

This came up because the wife of an occasional client recently wrote to me. …continue reading

More Malwarebytes: Prevention or Detection?

Which is better: prevention or detection of malware? At the end of my last post, For Computer Security, Can Malwarebytes Do the Job?, a client’s computer was still suffering from a bunch of infections and Malwarebytes was chugging away …continue reading

For Computer Security, Can Malwarebytes Do the Job?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Malwarebytes. All opinions are 100% mine.

While I am writing this, a sick, but beautiful, custom-built ASUS desktop is running behind me. It belongs to a client and is normally used by his teenage …continue reading

Do I Want This Client?

How frustrating! A senior member of a computer club that I attend recently sent me an email asking a rather interesting question:

Do you know of any US companies that provide quality computer help by taking over your computer to fix computer problems? I use …continue reading

As Computers Evolve, Tutoring Seniors Must Also Evolve – But How?

Helping seniors to become computer literate is a moving target. New skills are needed as new devices become popular, and new techniques need to be developed to meet the need of seniors wanting to become computer literate. The same goes for non-seniors with special needs.

…continue reading

Back Up Your Computer. Back Up Your Computer. Back Up…

This is about backups — again. Anyone in my position would find it difficult to avoid being repetitive about the necessity of regular backups of digital data. I deal with a lot of senior clients, but the culprits could be any clients …continue reading

Tutoring Seniors in a YouTube Age

Over the last two weeks, I presented three short courses to classes of senior students on computer applications (LibreOffice, Excel, and Inkscape). Not until I was well into planning for the third course did I realize that an important change had happened almost overnight in …continue reading

Marketing Channels for a Senior Geek

A new client called me last week to schedule a tutoring session. Two things were unusual about this. First is that the client did not report anything wrong with his computer; he just wanted to learn how to do some things, and he even had …continue reading

New Clients Can Be Great – How Do We Find Them?

A new client called me last week to schedule a tutoring session. Two things were unusual about this. First is that the client did not report anything wrong with his computer; he just wanted to learn how to do some things, and he even had …continue reading

More on Free Office Suites: Office on a Stick

More on free Microsoft Office suite alteratives and their ramifications: Since my last post on the availability of free office suites, with emphasis on LibreOffice, I have received many comments. Several people mentioned the questionable start of Kingsoft. I was not aware of this, …continue reading

What Free Office Suite is Best? Why?

This week I gave two related presentations, and already one of them might be outdated. The first presentation was on LibreOffice for a general audience of seniors. The second was on applications available for easy download on Linux presented at a PC …continue reading

Serial Number Annoyances: To Read This Post, Enter Your 32-Character Access Code

Last weekend I went to Fry’s twice to buy things featured in its anniversary sale. This means that I bought a few things I do not need simply because they were free after rebates. Two of the things I bought were software packages. Both were …continue reading

Compromised Contacts Can Cause Confusion

It has happened again. Things seem to go in waves, and right now people who I know seem to be involved with a wave of compromised contacts in their email accounts. Last week, my wife received an obviously bogus email from a friend. She returned …continue reading

How Should You Archive Data?

At a recent computer club meeting, someone asked, “What is the best way to save personal data?” The question was not about backing up data, but was about archiving valuable data sets for long times — at least tens of years. This provoked a discussion …continue reading

Awareness Counts in Tutoring

When attempting to tutor seniors in computer literacy, one is well advised to first assess the client’s awareness. By awareness, I mean a general tendency to look at the environment and to see what is there. We are all creatures of habit who work with …continue reading

To Charge or Not to Charge? A Moral Dilemma Averted

This week I barely escaped being forced to make one of those moral decisions that leave you feeling bad no matter which way you go.

It started with a call from a couple of elderly clients who have used my services several times over a …continue reading

Who’s to Blame when Scamming is So Easy?

I am really getting tired of trying to protect the senior PC users around me. At club meetings I extol the virtues of being alert and looking out for scams, but to what effect? I write a newsletter for my clients and friends which, in …continue reading

Palsy, Aging, and Implants

A recent post on LockerGnome dealt sensitively with the issues a person suffering from palsy has, particularly in using computers from the perspective of a person who has the affliction. I resonate with his predicament because most of my clients are seniors with …continue reading

Who Makes Malware? Am I Paranoid, or Are They After Me?

Last week, I wrote about old Internet scams not dying. This was prompted by a couple of attempted scams on some of my clients. (I do not count attempts on my own system because I suffer several attacks every day from something or another. …continue reading