Newsletter – August 2013

From the new Editor’s diary:  How is it that kids seem to have no trouble with technology kids with smartphonesthat leaves their elders flabbergasted? I think it’s because kids have no inner voice saying ‘You can’t do this, you’re too dumb!’ and other discouraging thoughts. They haven’t lost their natural curiosity, life hasn’t taught them they may fail!  And as they explore they get the added benefit of our admiration!  So the moral is (and you’ve heard this before somewhere) ‘Be like a little child!’ Enter into the adventure, explore, experiment, get absorbed!  It’s just a toy; you can’t break the silly thing!

Well, since joining SeniorNet   I have plucked up the courage to buy first a smartphone, then more recently a tablet. Oh, and earlier this year I finally got

wired with Wi-Fi. In its first week on what seems like unlimited Vodafone Wi-Fi, the new smartphone decided to sync all the email addresses and photos that sat on my 10 year old desktop! (I should add that I have a new laptop, donated by my son after he watched me struggle with the dear old XP desktop that had endured several makeovers. I’m slowly transferring gigabytes of photos, dance videos, music and audible books across…).

iPad is a Wi-Fi 64 GB version (another one beh...Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the smartphone that used up my monthly allowance of data in one day! Or maybe it was that large email attachment I tried to send, from the desktop, that couldn’t find anyone to be delivered to(?) and kept being sent, and sent, and sent – until it used up all my data. Well, I’ll blame the smartphone, because it’s new and very irritating!  Funny though, it hasn’t done it again… In fact, it seems to be behaving quite well, even letting me talk all my texts to it through the microphone.  I just talk, and it listens and gets the message! I don’t have to type, bliss!

I’m sure many of you have similar tales of joy and woe. If you’d like to share them send them to me  I’ll be able to print them for the enjoyment and edification of all.

Fiberglass insulation 127/365The good news is that our new President, Barry Bailey, has managed to persuade Council to put some insulation in the roof of the Learning Centre. We are now so cosy and warm you may need to take off your jerseys.

The next thing is be quick, the second set of courses for this term are due to start next week.

Already, the Managing Data classes are full, so— sorry! If you have to wait till NEXT term for these! Or you could try and persuade someone to share a terminal with you…

We have vacancies in the Introduction to computers course, starting Thursday, 29th August (3 weeks) at 2pm. If you are new to computers this is the course for you, don’t miss it! Your life will become much more fun with a little bit of help from your friendly tutors…

What Can I do on my PC?” (3 weeks) starting Tuesday, 3rd September at 9.30, is great for a quick overview of all those fun things like social media, shopping, writing and calculating, bookings, Wikipedia, banking, surfing the net, travel and Google earth, photos, music etc.

Using Word, starting Wednesday 4th September (3 weeks) at 9.30,

And  Managing and Editing Photos, starting Friday, 6th September at 9.30 (5 weeks)

Please contact Teresa ( to book your place!! (Or phone 04 2983132)

Also, don’t forget the online courses you can access from here. Just click here  You will find nice YouTube courses on using a tablet, the internet, browsers etc., from polite BBC tutors.  In fact, just Google ‘tablet tutorial’ or ‘using the internet’ and you’ll find a world of useful tutorials.

Now, a short technical note:

Mouse Ball

Mouse Balls and Hippo Bokeh 05.15.09 [135]If a mouse fails to work or should it perform erratically, it may need a ball replacement. Mouse balls are now available as FRU (Field Replacement Units). Because of the delicate nature of this procedure, replacement of mouse balls should only be attempted by properly trained personnel. Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the mouse. Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls. Ball removal procedures differ depending upon the manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign balls can be replaced using the pop off method. Domestic balls are replaced by using the twist off method. Mouse balls are not usually static sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge. Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately. It is recommended that each person have a pair of spare balls for maintaining optimum customer satisfaction. Any customer missing his balls should contact the local personnel in charge of removing and replacing these necessary items. Please keep in mind that a customer without properly working balls is an unhappy customer.


Don’t forget the How do I …? 29th August, 25th September; and the Q & A 19th September workshops. You just turn up for these. There will be a prize for the most original problem, and if you can stump our tutors its chocolate fish time!

iPad and Android Tablet Workshops

Contact Ian McLuckie with your iPad questions at And Android questions to Pat Stephens:

The next Android Tablets Workshop is on Thursday 19th September at 2.00 – 4.00pm and the next iPad Workshop is on Monday 9th September 2.00 – 4.00pm. The fee for each workshop is $5.00. Come along and share the experience with other sufferers and enthusiasts. When we share our toys it’s much more fun!

Become a Tutor

If you find that you are starting to help family and friends to do things on their computer, smartphone or tablet, why not offer your services to SeniorNet as a tutor. You will be given all the training and help required while working with a great group of people. Many heads are better than one!  Email Lois at or phone 04 2987797.

Well, that’s all for this newsletter. Please send me any stories, tips, or gems of information that you’d like to share. That reminds me, I forgot to say that the new Gmail is cool. It separates incoming mail into separate folders, so the routine things, from websites you carelessly subscribed to, go elsewhere than your  ‘real letter’ inbox. So you get back to ‘real letters’ only in the inbox, things you actually want to read because they are from people you know! Just check the other folders every so often or they will get out of hand, you know, full!

Best wishes

kids in sandpitPS Remember to make the most of the tea break! This is the time to connect with people who know things you don’t, and to share your useful titbits of knowledge with others. We learn best when we interact, a little like those kids in the sandpit!!!

It’s also a good time to chill out, and enjoy the company. Remember that computers are just glorified pencils. Don’t be dazzled by all the gimmicks. They are for you to enjoy. If you get bogged down, it’s time to take a walk or head for the garden. Tomorrow you’ll wonder what the problem was!