Newsletter – March 2019

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragic events in Christchurch.

New Member

At SeniorNet Kapiti, we have a very special new member. His name is Yates, he has his own membership card and he’s the guide dog for Elizabeth East. Elizabeth is visually impaired and she regularly updates us on IT developments for the visually impaired. Yates now attends meetings with Elizabeth and listens attentively to our discussions!

Reminder: When Yates is wearing his walking harness, please don’t engage with him – he’s busy working!

2nd Reminder: If you want to discuss anything with Yates, please ask Elizabeth for permission first… especially if it involves food!!!

Membership renewal

Have you opened your recent email from Veronica reminding you that it’s now time to renew your membership? You need to have renewed for 2019-20 in order to continue to attend our courses and workshops (or claim those amazing special prices at Noel Leeming!). If you did not receive or can’t find our e-mail, then please look into your Spam folder as it may have been “deposited” there. We have added instructions here for PCs and here for smartphones/iPhones to assist Gmail users in managing spam. If you still have problems then please contact Veronica at

Smartphone Photography

New for 2019 is the Smartphone Photography course, start date Monday 18 March (9:30am) over four weeks.

There were a number of requests last year from members for us to run a course on “Using the Smartphone camera”, so the Android team have spent a lot of time over the summer drafting this new basic introduction course to meet that need. It’s now time to support their efforts by coming along and learning some new skills.

The course will introduce you to the camera features, basic composition tips, the Gallery app, and camera settings.

We will cover protecting your photos by copying them onto a Flash drive, and/or transferring them to a Windows PC or Laptop.

Printing your photos at home or using the local store printing options will be covered.

Why not enrol now as there are limited places left this course. Call Elaine on 021 169 6256

Helping with Travel

I am hopeless at directions. Paper map reading involves a spinning motion to figure out the direction I am traveling. This of course can irritate the testosterone-imbued driver, watching me flipping the map so I believe we are always headed in the “up” direction. Studies have shown that women are better at finding things in the house and men at finding the house.

Therefore, when navigation with a device (Garmin, Tom Tom, and NavMan) became a reality for the consumer, I quickly purchased one for each car. As long as the correct maps were downloaded, we would never be lost again. Sure, the maps could be costly and each time we went away, we had to ensure we purchased maps for the country/region/whatever; we also packed the SatNav device in our luggage to use when we got there. Of course, eventually you could rent a SatNav device from the rental car company.

These days, my Smartphone is the only navigation tool I need. All the maps to anywhere are readily available, they are free (yes they do require mobile data), and they talk to me. My NavMan talked to me as well and it could show the route and make suggestions on routes to take, it knew about the restaurants along the route, and where to buy petrol. Yes, it was marvellous, but I could not read my email, make a phone call, text someone, Skype with my overseas family, or watch videos on my NavMan. I can do all of these things and more on my Smartphone.

I recently had a member tell me that he only wanted to know how make phone calls and text on his new Smartphone, he was not interested in anything else it might be able to do. Until I showed the group the basics of how to use Google Maps on their mobile devices. He was intrigued, asked many questions about Google Maps, and confessed that he now uses the app all the time. (Ed. Now that’s what SeniorNet is all about!)

So, to tweak your curiosity, here are a couple of tips on using Google Maps on your device of which you may not be aware.

You can download a map of the area ahead of time. Pull up that location in Google Maps on your phone. Then, open the settings menu and select “Offline maps” to save it. When you arrive, you will be able to view the map without any service and even track your location thanks to the phone’s built-in GPS.

Remember where you parked your car. The next time you park your car in a large outdoor carpark, boot up Google Maps and tap on the blue dot that shows your location. When a menu pops up, select “Set as parking location” to leave a marker on your map for later so you can easily find your car when you are ready to leave

There is a lot more to Google Maps and we at SeniorNet can help you with this and so much more. Oh, and remember those studies about men and women and directions? Those studies showed that if the female subjects ingested one drop of testosterone, their sense of direction was on a par with men. Cool but not for me. I am sticking to my Smartphone to get me where I’m going.

As always, you can find the complete schedule for our current classes and workshops here on our website and remember Elaine is just a phone call away at 021 169 6256.

Happy computing

Teresa Urutia
Chair SeniorNet Kapiti Inc.

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