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 on a Boat Meeting Notes – June 2014

Bagels & Bytes attendees waving from the deck of the Explorer.We had perfect weather for our summer outing, Bagels & Bytes on a Boat!  A big thank you to RiverQuest and to the riverboat staff who made this meeting possible!

As usual, the Bayer Center gave away prizes during the meeting, including a one-year individual NTEN membership, a NetSquared mug and a bunch of NetSquared stickers!  (Thanks, Eli!!)

Note that B&B-Allegheny goes on hiatus for July and will return the first Wednesday of August at the usual time.  We’ll be meeting at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.

Bagels & Bytes attendees waving from the deck of the Explorer (close-up photo).

Here are the notes from the meeting:

Generational Differences and Tech

  • The younger generation knows tech, the older generation knows business need.
  • Both generations can learn from each other.

QuickBooks Online

  • Doesn’t work well with Windows XP.
  • QuickBooks support, however, is really good.  They will help you with workarounds if needed.

Local Tech Vendors

Other Tech Vendors / Websites

The Cloud

  • If your org is mostly or wholly cloud-based, you need excellent Internet speed.
  • The cloud isn’t for everyone.  You have to be okay with being heavily reliant on your Internet connection and on the third party software or hardware providers.
  • Important to find reliable cloud-provider companies.

Funding the Cloud

  • Capital vs. operating expense
  • Tech-wise, nonprofits aren’t much difference from small businesses.  Where they differ the most is that businesses tend to be better about having a tech plan and about budgeting for tech.
  • More difficult to get grant funding for operating expenses like cloud hardware or software.  Foundations tend to look at those expenditures as the cost of doing business.

Other Topics and Ideas

  • BoardBookit – board collaboration and management software (cloud-based)
  • Tech Committees are a good practice for all orgs.  It’s important to put together a diverse group of people across organizational functions and with varied skill sets.
  • Office 365 – the migration is reported to be pretty smooth.  Cost is ~$4.50 per user per month and can be purchased at TechSoup.  Rollouts go best when staff is prepped in advance and provided with training post-migration.
  • Lantek – provides informational sessions on Office 365 periodically.
  • Re-Use Technology Collaborative
  • GTECH
  • Office 2013 – slight difference in menus (saving files, etc.)
  • There is an MS SharePoint group that meets monthly in the Microsoft building on the North Shore.

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2014

A group of smiling Bagels & Bytes attendees standing under the colorful oversized Crane (water bird) in the Children's Museum lobby.

Bagels & Bytes attendees posing under the large Crane in the lobby of the Children’s Museum.

Thank you to all for attending Bagels & Bytes this month at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh!  George and Mercy were, once again, our gracious hosts.

In April and May, we are at the Frick Art & Historical Center in the East End. By that time, we should see some spring blooming and enjoy the lovely grounds there!

Here are the meeting notes for this month.

Technology Staffing

Windows 8

  • User experience – good, once you get past the new “top layer” it is stable and functional.
  • Vista scared a lot of people/vendors, so people still shy of upgrading.
  • The desktop environment is similar to 7, except for the touchscreen features and “charms” menu.
  • There are known compatibility issues with Terminal Server.
  • Reminder that Windows XP support expires next month.
    • Johna shared an informative email re: XP she recently received from NET Xperts:
      • Click on the link to see if your PC is running Windows XP.  http://www.amirunningxp.com/
      • For anyone who is not a computer techie, the announcement by Microsoft about discontinuing support for Windows XP may not mean much. However, from a HIPAA perspective, this is very important information because Section 164.308(a)(5)(ii)(B) of the HIPAA Security Rules includes an ‘addressable’ requirement of Protection from Malicious Software where covered entities need to implement “procedures for guarding against, detecting, and reporting malicious software”.
      • Officially, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available. This means that there will be no more automatic updates protecting your PC and even though your computer will still work, the problem is that without these updates, it becomes more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
      • Even if you have encryption and anti-virus software on your Windows XP computer, it won’t help because the problem is related to the flaws in the operating system itself. Encryption protects communication to and from the computer, but not the computer itself. Anti-virus can help protect a computer, but that depends on what security flaws might be found in XP after Microsoft no longer supports it.
      • Here’s what happens from the ‘hacker’ perspective. Microsoft releases an update (patch) for a supported operating system. Hackers review those patches and see if that same vulnerability exists in the old operating systems that are no longer supported. If so, then your old, faithful, reliable XP computer becomes a prime target no matter what encryption or anti-virus you have installed on it. If you have a security breach on that XP computer, you have not implemented appropriate safeguards to meet the HIPAA requirements.” ~ NET Xperts

Google Apps vs. Office 365

  • Between the two programs, file conversion and sharing can be an issue.
  • Moving to these clouds-based productivity apps requires a degree of change management, regardless of which you choose.
  • Office 365 changing name of cloud storage from SkyDrive to OneDrive. Business subscriptions start at $5/month per user.  Here’s the announcement from Microsoft.
  • Outlook 2013 – no more Public Folders, everything is a Mailbox now.
  • Mail merge feature in Google Docs has improved somewhat over time.

Responsive Web Design

Local IT Providers That Serve Nonprofits

Backups

  • Cloud vs. local backups (see extensive notes from our last meeting).
  • How to pay for?  An in-house backup device can be labeled a capital expenditure and depreciated while cloud-based solutions fall under operating expenditures.
  • General consensus wishing that funders and management understood that the world is slowly moving to the cloud and we’ll need to re-think how we fund our IT.

Book Mention

Virtualization

  • There was a request for a “101” document.  Here’s a video instead.

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