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SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

October 2013

Wavelength Chairman’s Corner


nly two months to Christmas!! You didn’t know I could foretell the future, did you? And all this unseasonal weather – it must be the equinox, or global warming, or me, but I’m really over it, big time. My neighbour tells me, “We’ve had two inches of rain, so far, today.” Two, INCHES!! We’ve been decimalised for almost 50 years – he must be old. But no, he’s younger than me! Some people just don’t keep up with the technology. And in some ways it’s sad that some things are disappearing.

ticipation of the reaction of the receiver, when they go to the mail box, and see your fat envelope there. And for the receiver, the excitement of getting something via what is rapidly becoming part of our history – Snail Mail. First it was the cut-back of the Post Office – every small village had one – then it was the introduction of the Post Shop. Now they’re talking of reducing mail delivery. All the result of the, ‘use it, or lose it’, policy. With the advent of email, so much of the romanticism of communication is being lost, I believe.

Anyway, back to the opening idea. ‘Two months to Christmas.’ It’ll be time for the romantics amongst us to be thinking about Christmas mail closing times. That means putting our SeniorNet-gained knowledge to work with the exciting Christmas letters and cards that we do every year. Romantics? Well, isn’t there something exciting for the sender of the letter? It’s the an-

Two months to Christmas. Well, don’t just sit there that’s about 75 days, heaps of time to do things, so get on with it. But don’t forget the Christmas letter … and the Christmas Mail closing times! —- Gary —-

Inside this issue: Bargain Hunting


Windows Tip


October Workshop


Windows 8.1


Computer Humour


Special points of interest:  Contact our Course Organisers for info on upcoming classes.  We’re looking for a new Treasurer. Please see page 4.  Current Committee is listed on page 4. Please contact any member with comments or suggestions.  Newsletter inputs are due to Robert Boren ( by the 10th of each month.

SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

October 2013

Everyone Likes a Bargain!


specially a Yorkshirewoman! So it takes me a while to decide on a major purchase, like a new computer. Armed with information from the last SeniorNet Saturday workshop, (storage at least 500GB, 4GB RAM, CPU etc), I went shopping when I went to Nelson a few weeks ago. I started with the Powerstore who were very helpful. The assistant asked me what I needed before showing me a few which fit my criterion. One was $899, but he said “oh, we can probably knock a hundred or so off that”. I asked if he could write down the specifications so I could think things over and – guess what – not just a hundred – or $150 – BUT - $199 off. I was amazed! (by now, you’ll be reading with this with that accent of the woman who sells things on TV – forgotten her name) Next stop, Noel Leeming, where you know that we can get a discount. Of course, they have an entirely different range of computers, one of which was on special – but special ended that day. However, wait, there’s more (oops, sor-

ry, drifted off into that accent again). He said that the special price is often about the same as you’d get with SeniorNet discount, so I didn’t have to decide that day. He also said that it’s really when buying accessories that this discount comes into play to give a large amount off the “retail” price. On returning home, I remembered that John Herbert had, some months ago, sent me an email re an online business They do good specials and send out emails if you subscribe. On looking at their specials for October, here are a different set of computers. The main thing that’s holding me up is understanding the CPU – I just don’t know how to compare Intel 1.9, 1.5 AMD, 1.4 AMD and so on. So, I still haven’t bought a computer/ laptop/notebook, but I have learnt a few things about buying technology. I hope you enjoyed my learning! —- Lynda Clark —-

Windows Tip: If you have your computer set up to do automatic updates, you’ve probably noticed it doing it more frequently than normal recently! Microsoft generally rolls out updates once a month, usually on a Tuesday. Recently, however, the updates have been more numerous as they roll out fixes for vulnerabilities identified under a new program where they pay hackers for identifying problems. They’ve also released Service Pack 2 for Office 2010 so don’t be ‘too’ alarmed if your computer seems to be updating more often than you expect. Also, for those with Windows 8, SP1 or Windows 8.1 will be released 17 October via Windows update, so expect to see some changes to your computer soon after!

SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

October 2013

October Workshop Saturday, 19 October 2013


1– 4 p.m.

t’s that time again! Time for our monthly workshop. If you missed it last month, it’s because we did a special promotional workshop in Picton that was well received by several residents who were unfamiliar with our services. This month, we’ll be back at the SeniorNet Learning centre and holding one of our periodic open topic forums. Recent workshops have covered a wide range of topics and maybe you still have

questions about certain issues. Come along and we’ll see if we can get you back on track. The questions don’t have to pertain just to previous workshops, however. Anything computer related is fair game. We can’t guarantee we know the answer but, hopefully, we know where to look. We’d also like to take a few minutes for a round table discussion and get your thoughts and feedback on how we can best serve you. So mark your calendars and plan to join us on Saturday. —- Robert Boren —-

More on Windows 8.1


s noted on the previous page, Windows 8.1 comes out this month. For those who already have Windows 8, your computer will automatically download the update over a period of time whenever you’re online. If you want to get it done quicker after it’s released, just go to the Charms bar, click on PC Settings, then select Windows Update and follow the instructions. Among other improvements, Microsoft has reinstated the ‘Start’ button on the desktop similar to previous versions. Its action, however is quite different. Instead of opening the traditional Start Menu, it takes you to the new ‘User Interface’ which is your Start Menu in W8. They have tweaked its layout, however,

and made it more customizable. It’s now split into two sections, the first consistent with the current one with the ‘live’ tile interface where you can have your most used programs. The second is displayed by clicking a down pointing arrow at the bottom of the screen that displays and alphabetized list of all the software on your computer next to more traditional style icons. Returning to the ‘main’ menu is simply a matter of clicking on the up pointing arrow near the top of the screen. If you would like to know more about how to use your new Windows 8 computer, please let our course organisers know. We’ll be happy to run a short course once enough people sign up. —- Robert Boren —-

SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

October 2013

SeniorNet Committee:


he following people are your SeniorNet officers and committee. Please contact anyone of them if you have any comments or questions relating to SeniorNet or courses. Chairperson: Gary Graham

574 2548

Deputy :

Bryan Strong

574 1311


Ian Cameron

574 2558


Faye Daken

574 2663


Jill Aldridge

573 6626

Robert Boren

574 2333

Margaret Gledhill 573 8943


John Herbert

573 6023

Robert Boren

574 2333

Course Organisers: Bryan & June Strong

Marlborough Sounds SeniorNet is looking for a new Treasurer! Faye Daken, our current treasurer, is taking a well deserved break next year. We’re a small group, so the job is not hugely onerous. If you would like to take a more active role in our organization, please contact the Chairperson or Deputy for more details!

574 1311


hile shopping for a CD player, a customer was able to decipher most of the technicalese on the promotional signs. One designation had him puzzled, though, so he called over a salesperson and asked, "What does 'hybrid pulse D/A converter' mean?" "That means", said the salesperson, "that this machine will read the digital information that is encoded on CDs and convert it into an analog signal - that is, into music." "In other words this CD player plays CDs." That clarifies that!


t a software engineering management course in the U.S., the participants were given an awkward question to answer. "If you had just boarded an airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been responsible for the flight control software how many of you would disembark immediately?" Among the ensuing forest of raised hands, only one man sat motionless. When asked what he would do, he replied that he would be quite content to stay onboard. With his team's software, he said, the plane was unlikely to even taxi as far as the runway, let alone take off.

October Wavelength  

Monthly newsletter of the Marlborough Sounds SeniorNet organization.

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