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 on a Boat – June 2011

We held our third annual Bagels & Bytes on a Boat on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.  RiverQuest graciously permitted us to use their beautiful boat Explorer for our meeting.  We had a great turnout and a great time!

Here are resources from the meeting (photos will be uploaded in a separate post on this blog shortly):

We have no B&B meeting in July, but will be back on Wednesday, August 3, at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  Have a great summer!

Allegheny B&B – September 2010 Meeting Notes

This was our last meeting for this year at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  (Off to ACHIEVA in the South Side for October through December.)

Here are the topics, resources, and links discussed during our September meeting:

  • Where to have the B&B Holiday party in December?
    • The group agreed that touring the server room at one of the local casinos would be fun and interesting.  Several members are going to work some contacts and see if we can get in there.
    • Our second choice is Dave & Buster’s, but we agreed that we don’t want to eat there (will go to a restaurant nearby for lunch).
  • How to dispose of older tech equipment?
    • Try to sell back to vendor or manufacturer if an option.
    • There are companies out there who will eBay equipment for you.
    • Construction Junction does electronics recycling, will even pick up for a $250 freight fee (better to have a large load for this service).
    • DBAN is good for wiping your hard drives prior to recycling.
  • Hosted data centers
  • Bandwidth issues
    • Good bandwidth is really important if using VoIP.
    • Seems to be a general need for increasing overall organizational bandwidth as of late (more remote users, memory-heavy apps, etc.).
    • If shopping around for a different provider, a broker can sometimes get you better deals.  (M. Hines mentioned ConnecTel as an example – contact person there is Scott McKinney – can also do a telecom “audit” for your agency.)

I hope to see you all at ACHIEVA on October 6!  Don’t forget to register for TechNow 2010 if you’ve not already done so!! Oh, and the breakout sessions and presenter information are now available online:   http://technow2010.wordpress.com.

Allegheny B&B – June 2010 Meeting Notes

RiverQuest ExplorerOn June 9, 2010, we held our annual “Bagels & Bytes on a Boat” event!  We once again held our usual meeting, but on the lovely RiverQuest boat, Explorer.  I’d like to thank everyone who came to the meeting and to offer our group’s collective thanks to RiverQuest for the use of their glorious boat.

We had an interesting exploratory discussion on the pros and cons of forming a central group for nonprofits in our region to gain purchasing power for technology assets.

Bagels and Bytes on a Boat 2010

In addition, here are the resources and links shared during the meeting:

  • Computer Recycling:
    • Construction Junction
    • Best Buy
    • Originally Goodwill was mentioned, but I heard a rumor they had stopped accepting computing equipment for recycling – can anyone verify or disprove this fact?
    • http://www.agreenspan.org (Rose said she used them a few years ago and was pleased with the service and comfortable with the environmental aspect.  They pick up for a fee.)
    • Eloop – partners with Construction Junction
  • Grants Management
    • MicroEdge has a Internet-based grants application manager

Norm Mast of Lutheran Service SocietyNorm Mast of Lutheran Service Society won the door prize this year – some Bayer Center swag for cold and hot beverages – congrats, Norm!