Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2015

This month we met again at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Once again, a big “thank you” to George, Luke and the CMP staff for hosting us and providing a lovely breakfast spread!

Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 1, 8:30-9 am at the Frick Art & Historical Center in the East End.

Bagels & Bytes attendees happily discuss tech!

At the end of the meeting, we had a drawing for two prizes: a set of ear buds from Constant Contact and a Paypal card reader.  (Cindy L. picked up these items as swag from the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week.)  The winners were George Brzezinski and John Ingram.

George Brzezinski and John Ingram holding their prizes.

Here are the meeting notes for this month:

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2014

Rodef Shalom, view from Fifth AvenueWe met this month at Jewish Residential Services lovely, sunlit meeting room in their office suite at the Rodef Shalom Congregation.  A big thank you to Paula and the JRS crew for hosting us!

Reminder: next month we will have an Office 365 demo, presented by local vendor Lantek. Mark your calendars for Sept. 3, from 8:30 – 10 a.m., once again at JRS @ Rodef Shalom!

Reminder: TechNow 2014 Conference registration is open! Early bird rate is $110 through Sept. 30.

Here are the meeting notes and resources:

Tech purchasing

  • NAEIR – discount shopping online that has a lot of technology-related items available

Cloud file storage

Privacy

  • Discussed the news story on the Russian gang 1.2 billion password hacking incident
  • Privacy feel largely non-existent these days, but nonprofits still need to worry about HIPAA and other compliances

Tech impact on society

Other resources

  • Tech Impact – based in Philly, used to be NPOWER PA
  • Windows 8 – Norm found an add-on that lets you get some of the Windows 7 features back, like a start menu

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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Bagels & Bytes Meetings Notes – February 2014

Bagels & Bytes attendees sitting around a conference table having a lively discussion about technology.We held B&B-Allegheny at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh this month. Thank you to George, Mercy and the CMP staff for hosting us!

We will return to the Children’s Museum for next month’s meeting on Wednesday, March 5 (8:30-10 am).

Windows XP Migration / Upgrading to Windows 8.1

  • Support to be ending for XP in April 2014
  • Some not wanting to go to Win8
    • Desktop vs. main screen
    • 8.1 upgrades sometimes fail
    • Still feel like Win 8 is buggy
    • Can revert – make 8 look like 7
  • TechSoup has Windows 7 upgrades available (32 and 64 bit)
    • TechSoup also has the Software Assurance program – a 2 year window where you can obtain licenses for updated versions of software you’ve purchased through TS
  • What about giving old Win XP PCs away to staff or otherwise?
    • Recommend sign off a hold harmless agreement
    • Make sure wipe hard drive properly
  • RAM mostly going to be issue – many times can upgrade
  • Win 7 wipes old operating systems, does a fresh install
  • Window Easy Transfer tool is helpful
  • Don’t see value for 8 if no touch screen
  • Can add a program called Classic Shell to revert Win 8 to older look and feel
  • general consensus that IT staff are still getting numerous help desk calls about Win 7 – there is concern that upgrading to Win 8 will only increase help desk calls
  • Win 8 seems more geared to personal users
    • Win 8 has a different method for connecting to a network – Map Drives no longer there
    • No more file paths, have to search
    • Geared more toward the non-techie, it seems

File Transfer & Cloud Storage

Donor Management Databases

Social Media

  • Should/does it fall under Marketing or Tech?
    • Content support – marketing function
    • IT – for integration w/ website etc.
    • If small shop, sometimes have to do both
    • Different skill set for each side, content and technical
    • Facebook and other Ads – should come from marketing’s budget
  • Social media policies are a good idea (sample policies available here)
  • Social media committee also useful way to manage it
  • Google places – have to get verified
    • Can “claim” address etc. & include logo & keywords

Office 365

  • Desktop component
  • Online component
  • Office 365 info sheet for nonprofits (thanks, Johna!)
  • 2013 “Cartoonish” looking
  • Exchange 2013 lacks public folders (mailboxes instead)
  • NPOs get discount ($4.50/user per monthly)
  • Can access apps offline
  • Get bigger exchange mailbox
  • Better collaboration included in 365, but easier for tech savvy folks
  • Capital vs. operating expenditures (Always a concern)

Backups

Document Management Systems / Board Portals

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2013

We had our August meeting at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  A big “thank you” to Paula and the nice folks at Jewish Residential Services for hosting us!

Here are the notes from the meeting:

Tablets

  • Anyone using Windows 8 tablet? Wanting to know about joining it to a domain.
  • Windows Pro 8 can be joined a domain.
  • iPad almost seems to be better for personal use and Windows 8 more geared for business.
  • Rumor that Start menu has been put back in Windows 8.

Network speeds

Hardware

  • Zones.com – hardware, software, tech reseller that offers really good deals (they purchase in bulk from tech companies like Dell, HP, etc.) – contact person is Kim Montieth, Kim.Montieth@zones.com, (800) 258-0882 x 53494
  • Voicemail system hacking – how to prevent?
  • Compact flash memory – can be used in place of hard drives

Local Interest

  • Johna from Allegheny Conference shared the link for her org’s new website:  ImaginePittsburgh.com (resources for living, working & playing in Pittsburgh)

We’ll be back at Rodef Shalom on Wednesday, September 4.  Hope to see you there!

The 2013 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.

Allegheny B&B Meeting – September 2012

This month was our final meeting at Jewish Residential Services’ office in Rodef Shalom, Shadyside.  Once again, we are grateful to Paula Pagnotta and JRS for hosting!  Next month (Oct. 3, same time as usual) we will be at ACHIEVA on Bingham Street in the South Side.

Resources and Notes from our September Meeting

  • Discussed Michelle’s SharePoint class that she’s teaching at the Bayer Center the morning of Oct. 30.  (See our online catalog for details if you are interested.)
  • Talked about TechNow (Oct. 25)
  • Board portals – can create a simple one using WordPress’s private pages function
  • Dreamhost has free WordPress hosting for nonprofits
  • Windows 2012 server available now
  • Windows 8 coming soon  – supposedly the day after TechNow (Oct. 26)
  • IE vs. Firefox vs. Chrome?
    • Depends on applications you are running at org
    • Introducing different browsers means supporting different browsers
    • Don’t always see an error message…sometimes just blank screen
  • Rose having monthly staff tech tips meeting.
    • Tries to do a few tips each month that everyone relates to.
    • Very quick less than half hour
      • YouTube is a good source for tech tutorials
      • Idea – Searching for the text of the error message
      • Idea – Summer searching videos released by google…was a class
      • Idea – Alt+f for finding specific words on a page, for example
  • Dual monitors are slowly becoming more popular…can increase productivity
  • Fundraising database question – what else is out there besides Sage?
  • For mass emails, Vertical Response offers a nonprofit account with 10K free emails per month.  MailChimp also has a free plan.  (Both similar to Constant Contact, but generally less expensive.)

Finally, Deb Cherry sent this resource after the meeting – “This might be useful resource for folks looking into mobile deployments and/or BYOD. Especially the iPhone Configurator Utility (iPad too).”
https://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/  Thanks, Deb!

 

The 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.