Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2016

Note from CL: I owe a huge thank you to the group for stepping up to self-manage the meetup in my absence!  Extra, extra thanks to Rebekah Jenkins and the Grow Pgh staff, not only for hosting us, but for picking up the breakfast food too.  I’m so grateful and touched by the aspect of “community” that we have in our group.  You all rock!

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a large conference tableNext month we will be having our meetup at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze on Wednesday, 4/6.  I hope to see you there!

Here are the notes and resources from the meeting (thanks Nicole and Heather!):

General Troubleshooting

  • Discussed a BYOD problem Johna is having
  • Discussed a Office 2013 issue with deleting a recurring appt that then dupes itself

Disposing of Old Equipment

  • Computer Reach – recycling for anything but CRT monitors, they re-image them to Linux OS for redistributing to other orgs (small fee applies for wiping drives)
  • DBAN program – for wiping drives
  • YUMI – turn a flash drive into a Boot Device
    • will check all partitions

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a large conference tableAnti-virus Recommendations

  • Best to have same AV software on all equipment for ease of maintenance to serve out updates
  • No McAfee
  • Norton (cloud based, good price through Techsoup)
  • Symantec ($4/license, can clas with Spiceworks and other software)
  • Avast (free AV)
  • Avira (free AV)
  • ClamWin (free, open source AV)
  • ESET (good for Windows OS updates and AV)
  • Webroot
  • Malwarebytes

Internet in the Field

  • phone tether vs hotspot vs tablet with data
  • Tether to cell and reimburse?
  • Mobile app – enter the info offline then synchronize?
  • Voice dictation in Google Docs?
  •  Chromebook – can split between Gmail logins but need wifi
  • Add as tether ($10 on Verizon)
  • Firefox, other programs will tether outside the phone

Google Grants

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a large conference tableHacking

Policy re: Encryption

  • Should company sponsored cell phones have encryption?
  • Formatting into partitions w/encryption
  • Diskcrypter

Passwords

Document Sharing in Real Time

  • Google Drive vs secure intranet (Drive is real time, local server would have file locking occurring)
  • Egnyte – cloud-based server with apps or in browser
  • 2 people in the local file on a shared drive can corrupt the file

Encrypted Flash Drives

  • Use an app or can buy some with encrypted options
  • Some external drives are encrypted (some numeric and some biometric) of the hardware (not the software)
  • Enclosure also that takes any laptop drive

Outsourcing IT

Moving Email to the Cloud

  • Moving email to Google or Office 365 can cut IT costs $100K to $60K.
  • Include data migration if you go Exchange to cloud
  • Ask if you can migrate email yourself
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Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – September 2015

Bagels & Bytes attendees sitting around a table chatting with one another.This was our final month at Jewish Residential Services lovely sunlit conference room!  Thank you once again to Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us!  We will re-convene on October 7, 8:30-10 am, at ACHIEVA in the South Side.

In the meantime, remember to get registered for the 2015 TechNow Conference (Oct. 29) before the early bird pricing ends on Sept. 30!  🙂

Winners of door prize swag smiling and holding up their prizes!Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:

  • Volunteer database software
  • Windows 10 upgrade?
    • Better than 8.
    • New Horizons just had a free Windows 10 workshop, covered a lot of server-side info for using 10 on your network.
    • Has interesting applications for remote desktop.
    • Speed and ease of use is better than 10 there – how it mirrors the drives – is faster.
    • Word on the street is, Windows 10 is to be the last version of Windows ever, going to just be 10.1, 10.2, etc.
    • Alex has been upgrading old XP machines to 10 – going well – also upgraded a win 2003 server recently to 10 with good results.
    • All Win 8 licenses from TechSoup automatically get upgrades to Win 10.
    • Edge browser is of interest (only comes with Win 10).
  • Issues with sending to AOL email addresses
    • Web forms in WP sending to AOL accounts tend to fail more often.
  • What to do with older thin client boxes?
  • Network filters
    • If have sites or keywords blacklisted across the network, doesn’t matter what device you use for access, will still be blocked on that network.
    • Best practice to have a central policy for what sites or keywords get blacklisted.
    • We didn’t take away watercoolers when back in the day when that was how time-wasters goofed off at work, we shouldn’t necessarily block everyone because of one employee. Better to deal with the issues with that employee.
    • Some organizations take the opposite approach, having a more open, lenient policy on network usage, addressing performance issues rather than cutting privileges.
    • SonicWall – has an add on, a virtual machine, SonicWall Firewall Analyzer, that records network/internet activity, great if have a situation arises, records for about a month at a time, when have a performance issue come up, then can check it as evidence or documentation.
  • Productivity tools
    • IFTTT.com (if this, then that) – let’s you create “recipes” (aka scripts) that let apps interact that normally don’t.
    • Todoist.com – also links disparate software tools, for example, if someone sends you an email with a task in it, Todoist has a plugin, where you can send the email to your to-do list in one click.  Can also send tasks marked completed to a google spreadsheet.  They have channels on their website where people have created “recipes” that you can use, tweak, etc. to accomplish your workflows.

“Bagels & Bytes & Critters” Meeting Notes – June 2015

Front facade of Animal Rescue LeagueThis month we held our “summer outing” meetup at Animal Rescue League, in the East End of Pittsburgh.  Thank you so much to Dan Rossi and the ARL staff for hosting our meeting as well as giving us a fun and informative tour of their facility at the end of the meeting!

Here are the notes from the meeting (which are not as thorough as usual, because I was holding a kitten during most of the meeting):

We will have no meeting in July and will resume our regular monthly meetups on Wednesday, August 5, at Jewish Residential Services in Shadyside.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Winners of prizes at the meeting

Prize winners!

Attendees pose for a group photo