About the June Meetup
We had a great time visiting Computer Reach on June 7! It was pretty cool seeing their facility and learning more about the organization. A big thank you to the Computer Reach staff for hosting us and to Shawn for telling us about their programs and for the Linux demo!
We have no meetup in July and will resume our regular schedule on Wednesday, August 2 at Jewish Residential Services at Rodef Shalom. Have a good summer!
Here are the notes and resources from this meetup:
- Clonezilla to put Linux image on networked machines
- There are hundreds of versions of Linux, a lot are command line
- “Ubuntu” version – looks like a Mac, functions like a PC
- “Mint” – works like Windows
- Some better for low resource machines
- Could set up a computer as a dual boot for experimenting (try EaseUS for partitioning)
- Libre Office for productivity (can convert back and forth from MS Office)
- Computer Reach accepts donations from schools, companies, colleges
- Re-images and sends to countries to bridge digital divide
- Wipes them before shipping – talk to Dave about certificates for wiping
- Especially need laptop power cords and monitors right now
- Goodwill no longer recycles tech
- Salvation Army and Evolution do accept tech to recycle
- Westmoreland Cleanways has free e-cycling if you feel like making a trip to Greensburg
- Better to host on-site or offsite?
- Several group members host offsite (vendor Full Service Network was mentioned
- connecTel – telecom broker – will do research for NPOs, no charge to the organization
- Need good Internet speed
- Expect some downtime on implementation
- To keep service up all the time, have backup Internet
Security System Upgrades
- Video call box on door where can dial extension of people meeting with
- Full Service Network Installs this
We held our last regular meetup of 2016 at ACHIEVA in the South Side. Thank you to Nicole, Steve, Dave and the rest of their staff for hosting us!
Our next meetup will be the Bagels & Bytes Holiday Party at Dave & Buster’s on Friday, 12/9 from 1-4 pm. As in the past, we will have our regular meeting in the dining area (each person buys his or her own meal and Cindy will get some appetizers for all), have a “techie white elephant” gift exchange and then go play some games. A reminder email will be coming out within a week or so.
Here are the notes from November’s meetup:
- Backups are critical
- There’s typically a time period of 120 days from the time something happens until the time it is discovered
- Backups should not by attached or kept close to the main data server or source – need to store copies off-site
- Have a social media policy to combat potential info security compromises in that area – nothing is truly private on social tools
Programs Related to Technology that Employ (or Engage as Volunteers) People with Disabilities & Veterans
- Dave Tinker mentioned a program that ACHIEVA is doing in conjunction with CMU for their residents to perform microjobs online
- Cycle Point (part of Source America and partners with Goodwill of SWPA) employs people with disabilities and veterans (located in DC)
- Computer Reach particularly is interested in finding veterans to volunteer at their org
Salesforce Database Conversions (What to Expect)
- All data gets put into spreadsheets and is then cleaned (usually by the organization not the vendor)
- Lot of effort to go through an implementation like this, but well worth it in the long run
- Best to keep the same vendor contact during the entire implementation process if possible
- There is a learning curve involved but it’s great once everyone is trained and things are up and running properly
- Cool plugin for Salesforce is Gridbuddy – it makes the database display data in spreadsheet format
- There’s an annual conference called Dreamforce
- Katie Gascoine shared a local Salesforce-related event called Dreamforce Comes to You (#DFC2U) that happened on Nov. 14 (sorry I didn’t post this in time!)
AFP National Philanthropy Day
- Example/question given was about an organization moving from paper forms being entered in database to direct entry of data (and the resistance being encountered by staff and volunteers)
- Training is essential
- Important to get buy-in from staff and volunteers, preferably before rolling out a change
- Need support from management – they have to have your back and hold staff/volunteer accountable for making the necessary changes
- Can also gamify or incentivize the change – figure out a way to make it fun
Other Items of Interest
We held our August meetup in the sunny conference room at Jewish Residential Services. Thank you to Paula, Harold and the rest of the JRS staff for hosting us! We will return to JRS for our September 7 meetup, then it’s off to ACHIEVA for October and November.
P.S. TechNow 2016 Conference registration is open and early bird rates are active! Register by September 30 to get the best rate!
Here are the notes from this month’s meetup:
Adding Search to Website
Technology Challenges Faced by New Nonprofits (and Some Suggested Solutions)
NP Tech Skill Set
Custom Software vs. Off-The-Shelf Software
- Hybrid is best- off the shelf that can be customized
- Example: want to process volunteer applications via the web
- Upload PDFs/scans, etc.
- Portal on website
- WordPress Visual Form Builder plugin
- If WordPress site, turn off Google indexing of PDFs in media library by editing robots.txt file
- Spiceworks – network monitoring, management, help desk ticketing and inventory – has concierge service and is free
Finding Nonprofit Tech Jobs
Additional Resources (Shared by Attendees Post-meeting)
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!
Next 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!):
- 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
- 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)
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
Policy re: Encryption
- Should company sponsored cell phones have encryption?
- Formatting into partitions w/encryption
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
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
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! 🙂
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.