Newsletter for October 2017

New Term

Courses and workshops for the 4thTerm began on Monday 16 October. See the web site for the details and times and if you plan to attend a course then make sure that you enrol with  Elaine 04 905 3744 ( preferred option) as soon as possible.

If you have already completed a course and need some additional help to clarify a few points we are, as always, delighted to help at one of our How Do I…? workshop sessions, where the charge varies depending on how long we spend helping you (max $10 per hour).

Please Note: The email migration discussed below cannot be handled effectively at How Do I…? Workshops. Please enrol for the Vodafone Email Migration Workshop (a single session workshop costing a paltry $15) instead.

Specific Topic Workshops for 2018

The workshops on specific topics such as Scams and Google are becoming very popular and well attended. If you have a topic that you think that would be of interest to members then please email Sue our Tutor Coordinator at

Cyber Threats

With the ever-increasing threats to our IT systems, we refer you to the government website which explains what you need to know and do if you suspect a threat. The link to the website is:

Vodaphone Email Migration Workshop (Grassroots help for our members)

Back on 17 September this year, 120 SeniorNet members received a rather unexpected email from their Broadband supplier Vodafone. As users of,, and about a dozen other “domains” they were told that effective 30 November this year they would no longer be able to use their current email address! If this didn’t affect you, try to imagine how those 120 fellow SeniorNet members felt! Shock, dismay, horror, panic, resignation?? Actually, probably all the above!

Once we heard what was happening, we checked our membership database and were shocked to discover how many of our members would be affected. We swung into action and in the weeks prior to the recent school holidays, we developed a Workshop to help our members to make the migration as painless as possible.

In essence, attendees bring their laptops into The Learning Centre for the Workshop, we create a new email address for them (normally gmail or, connect the new account to their email program, test it, connect any smartphones and tablets they have and then initiate the Vodafone-provided redirection facility. We then discuss with attendees what the next steps are and outline the (optional) process to move away from @paradise, @clear and @ihug email addresses completely. We even provide checklists to follow as people work through the myriad of contacts, businesses, clubs and newsletters that have to be advised of the change. We also have clearly written instructions for people with desktops at home so they can give it a go themselves if they want. Special arrangements have also been made for those not confident to tinker with their home machines.

Over 30 of our members have already taken advantage of our Vodafone Email Migration Workshop during the holidays and we will continue to run the workshops on an as needed basis through until the end of November. So, if you or a friend (even a non-member!) would like some personal assistance to move away from the Vodafone email service, please contact Elaine 04 905 3744 and get your (or their) name on the list. Elaine will get back to you as soon as we have enough people and tutors for a workshop (normally max 4) and an available timeslot.

From the Chair

I thought of Ada Lovelace this morning while I was making breakfast.  I had learned a bit about her at university when I was studying Computer Science in the late 70’s.  She was the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron who abandoned her and her mother when she was four months old and never had contact with her again.  Her mother was a cold woman who referred to her as “it” and left her in the care of her own mother, Judith.  Judith was a doting grandmother who recognized Ada’s mind and encouraged her to pursue her interest in mathematics and science. Through a series of fortunate events, and in spite of her poor health, she befriended Charles Babbage and corresponded with him regularly about his working on an Analytical Engine.  Baggage takes credit as the inventor of the Analytical Engine, but Ada envisioned the computer as not only a mathematical device but as an agent for social change.

Babbage Engine

In her work with Babbage, she wrote an “algorithm” that programmed the Babbage analytical engine to solve Bernoulli numbers.  This contribution is in dispute with some arguing that she did not have the mathematical skills to write such a program and others saying she influenced Babbage to tackle the programming.  Even her critics agree that she was the first to see the potential of the analytical engine as a machine capable of expressing entities other than quantities.

Between 1842 and 1843, Ada translated an Italian article on the engine, which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes, simply called Notes.  Lovelace’s notes are important in the early history of computers. She also developed a vision of the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number crunching, while many others, including Babbage himself, focused only on those capabilities. Her mind-set of “poetical science” led her to ask questions about the Analytical Engine (as shown in her notes) examining how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool. (Swade, 2008)

Every day in some way we interact with computers whether we want to or not.  Every time you buy groceries, the product code scanner, and even the register, link to computers. Every time you take money from an ATM, or pay with your debit card or credit card, computers keep track of the transaction. Your flight data is accessed when you use the kiosk at the airport to check in, computers control traffic, even the appliances in your home have dedicated processors regulating their functions.

Therefore, it makes sense to know a bit about them and how to use them for own purposes.  We do not have to live for them, but as long as they are a part of the landscape of our lives, we should know how to make them work for us.

SeniorNet is a fun way to tackle that human-computer collaboration, with classes on managing those files and picture, we all seem to create, how to make email less of a mystery, and even making the most of internet banking.  So, look at the latest class/workshop schedule and give us a call when you are ready.

Oh and Ada Lovelace, she actually envisioned human machine collaboration in the 1800’s, and we are living out that vision today.  How cool is that?

Tutors and Assistant Tutors Wanted for next term

Once again It may appear that we are always requesting for tutors and assistant tutors to join SeniorNet and that’s because we are!  So please contact Sue at and she will discuss the options with you.


Please support our sponsors: Noel Leeming, Vodafone, Westpac Bank and Grey Power. Remember to take your SeniorNet card with you as substantial discounts are given on most items at Noel Leeming (not just computers!).

Have fun computing

Chair  Teresa