About the May Meetup
We had a great meetup at the Frick Art & Historical Center on May 3! Many new faces and lots to discuss. A big “thank you” to Linda and the Frick staff for hosting us! Next month we will be at Computer Reach for our “Open Source Summer Fiesta” meetup, where we will have our usual meeting and spend some time receiving a demo of open source software and a tour of Computer Reach’s facility. Mark your calendar for June 7!
Here are the notes and resources from this meetup:
- An attendee Googled their organization’s name recently, only to learn that their Force.com site was set up improperly and that their entire database was open for the world to access. Warned the rest of us that Force.com should not be set up as the main CRM tool for an organization and that when used along with core Salesforce, should still be made secure and be given 2 factor authentication.
- If implementation goes poorly (as mentioned above), document, document, document. Also have cybersecurity insurance in place in case records are accidentally hacked or released and the organization faces a lawsuit.
- See if old sites are on the Google Wayback Machine, which is like a cache for websites.
- Local implementers of Salesforce include:
- HTTPS protects data being transmitted to and from a website.
- Having it in place can help to boost public perception and build trust.
- Still need security to protect site from hacking attempts.
- Let’s Encrypt tool is a free SSL option.
- Need a dedicated IP with the host to do SSL.
- Can be expensive to implement, depending on what you decide to use for SSL certificate. Hosts aren’t generally too helpful about support re: site conversions.
- Dreamhost is a good host – very good at support and they offer Let’s Encrypt.
Upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10
- It can take a while to get Windows 10 to install properly if upgrading. Installing from scratch seems to work just fine though.
- Don shared these links after the meeting:
- Dell is currently shipping many PCs as “Windows 10” but when you get them, they have Windows 7 and you have to do the upgrade yourself.
- How to keep Windows 10 from automatic discovery and installation of printers: go to File/Print Sharing and turn off the print share feature. Microsoft still has driver compatibility issues with certain copiers/printers in Windows 10.
- Turn off “User Experience Feedback” so it doesn’t slow down the network.
- Windows 10 S was just released.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
- One channel for Internet and voice data (phone systems).
- Vendors are selling phone services based off their own servers, but it’s better to have an in-house server.
- Cisco is a VoIP phone vendors, as is Avaya. Avaya seems to be better for smaller organizations.
- An in house server also has the advantage of being a capital expense (can be depreciated).
- You still have to have a really good Internet connection for VoIP to work well.
- connecTel is a local telecom broker – will assess your contracts for free and advise you on best configuration and how to save the most money in the process.
- DQE Communications and Level 3 Communications are fiber-optic Internet providers.
About Bagels & Bytes & Critters
We held our second annual summer meetup, “Bagels & Bytes & Critters,” on June 1 at the Animal Rescue League. During our meeting, we had a visitor (see pics below) named Elvis, who is frisky, fun, 6 years old and available for adoption!
We are so grateful to Dan Rossi, ARL’s executive director, and to all of their staff for hosting us again this year!
Enjoy these photos, which are followed by the notes and resources from the meeting. (And get in touch with ARL if you’d like to adopt Elvis!)
Meeting Photos (click any photo to open gallery mode)
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo Credit: Cindy Leonard
Photo credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Meeting Notes and Resources
- Johna brought us a copy of a new report by Allegheny Conference on Community Development entitled: “Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region” – among other findings, it reports that our local workplace shortage could hit 80,000 by 2025.
- We then had an informal discussion about network architecture and options – someone in the group is upgrading soon and asked for ideas and equipment options.
Generational Gap in Technology Usage
- A member observed that the generation graduating from high school right now mostly knows the tech they have learned in school to do necessary tasks (write papers, etc.) and communication tools related to their smart phones. We shouldn’t necessarily assume they know how to use other kinds of tech. Even if they pick it up fast, training will still be necessary in the workplace.
- Another attitude difference – older techies seem to have more curiosity about how things work – the inner workings of tech – while the younger ones don’t seem to understand and also don’t care. They want tech to work well, be flexible and powerful, but not have to deal with the guts of things.
- Random item of interest – someone mentioned an NPR story about how someone recently translated the entire Christian Bible into emojis.
Collaboration / Productivity Software
- Real-time collaboration is now possible in Office 2013/2016 (Word/Excel, etc.) desktop versions. You need SharePoint if you want more than a few people working on a doc or spreadsheet at one time. There’s now a chat feature built in too.
- Google Drive has had real-time collaboration capabilities for years. Someone asked about HIPAA compliance with Google Drive/Apps. Yes – there is a version that is fully HIPAA-compliant. It is encrypted and exempts your organization from automatic participation in Google’s data mining. (Yes, Google mines everyone’s data.)
- Someone asked: how is Windows 10 being received?
- Seems to be fairly okay – some agencies have upgraded, some are still trying to prevent the auto-upgrade from turning on in the notification tray. There is concern that some programs and devices may not work upon upgrading to Win 10.
- Orgs need to be careful with some hardware manufacturers – some have fine print on their equipment that they won’t support it if you upgrade to Windows 10.
- If you want to stop the prompts to upgrade, you have a few options. You could remove Windows Update #30355803. You could also try a free program like GWX Control Panel, which is a more permanent blocking solution for that update.
- It was noted that you need more memory to run Windows 10. 6 GB is the minimum generally agreed upon by the group, even though MS’s specs state 4 GB minimum.
For the first meetup of the new year, we went to a new location: Grow Pittsburgh in the East End. A big “thank you” to Rebekkah and the GP staff for hosting us this month!
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meetup:
Random resources and links
This month’s winners of NTEN swag!
- Other local tech meetup groups
- Recent Apple press release – working on long range wireless charging for devices
- KDKA story about devices, including a suitcase that will power all of your devices (the story has been removed, but here’s a link to bluesmart, the maker of “the most powerful carry-on in the world”)
- What to use for selling items and service online (integrations)
Fair Market Value
- Got into a discussion about deducting FMV from tickets or auctioned items
- Some software assists with this process and generates the proper receipts and some does not
- Can get fined for not giving FMV receipts
- Learn more about FMV at IRS.gov
Sources of Data About Nonprofits
- How long should you hold onto old equipment in order to retrieve older data from it (example: SCSI drives and servers that can handle them)?
- Sometimes, if you really need the backup, you have to purchase duplicates of the equipment in question and keep in the closet “just in case”
- Better to migrate data to a newer and/or cloud-based system
- Communication between IT and end users is crucial when considering upgrades
Where to Find Technology Help
For October, we were pleased to hold our meetup at ACHIEVA on the South Side. Thank you to Steve, Nicole and Dave for hosting us! Our next meeting will be held at the same location on November 4. In the meantime, we hope to see everyone at the TechNow Conference on Oct. 29!
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:
Upgrading Windows software
- 2003 server upgrades possible (general consensus was “yes”)
- Windows 10 upgrades not very easy (some 3rd party software not doing well on it)
- For adding phones in Google Apps, there’s an app (Google Device Policy) that you can add to devices that connects with your Google admin page – providing a way to control device connection to services
- BYOD policy? Some have, some don’t – varies on the level of access given
Password management system
Office 2016 (and other productivity software)
- Outlook is less “white” and more “gray”
- MS is moving this package to just being called “Office” with no version number in the title
- Pushing Office 365 + Sharepoint server right now
- A preview video is available
- Other (free) alternatives include:
- People tend to resist change and to resort to software with which they are already familiar, so it may take some work to get your org to move away from Office to one of the free equivalents
- Largest risk to data is still employees – accidental or purposeful
- Frequently the ball is dropped between HR and IT, in the sense that IT isn’t notified immediately if someone leaves the organization
Advice for new “accidental” techies
- Don’t feel like you have to know everything
- Don’t expect kudos – you won’t hear so much when things are going well, but when something breaks…
- You have to like to solve mysteries or puzzles
- You need an appreciation and tolerance for lifelong learning
- Users can be very obstinate (machines are easy, users are less so)
- IT is a people business
- Users are the weakest link – don’t enable users who refuse to read instructions
- Find a good stream of tech information and absorb slowly – can’t learn everything at once – 2 hours a week of continued learning is probably sufficient
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.
This month, we are grateful to Steve and Nicole from ACHIEVA for hosting us in their comfortable board room! We will be back at ACHIEVA next month, when Steve will be giving us a Google Apps demonstration.
(Oh, and I know you’re all tired of hearing me say this – but don’t forget to register for TechNow if you haven’t done so already! 🙂
Here are the notes from this month’s meeting.
iOS 8 Upgrade
- iOS 8 on older devices
- Battery issue
- 5s already has issues with battery on some models
- Takes ~ 5GB of memory
- Keeping some app updates from installing (want iOS update 1st)
- Pay if more than 5 GB
- Choose what to backup via iTunes
Cell Phone, Providers and BYOD
- Most orgs that provide phones to staff standardize & give out one kind of phone
- Some do BYOD & put on network
- BYOD policies (could also put in regular acceptable use)
- Lookout security app – backs up device & takes photo of person if tries to unlock more than 3 times (phone and iPad)
- Need to put in policy if require that type of app for employees
- Verizon – recently came down in pricing but have to ask
The Future of Technology
- Talked about pace of change in tech, last 15 years
- Minority Report movie has cool tech that we might see in real life someday (also check out the 2012 version of Total Recall)
Learning Management Systems
- Websites & internet access generally required for learning (K-12 and higher ed)
- Electronic textbooks as a standard would be great
- Blackboard is still in use
- Google has an app called Google Classroom
- Aquos Board (Sharp product – Wilson Group may have info at TechNow)
- Possible SMARTboard uses
- Skyping (if camera)
Place to Get Tech Deals