Location: Library, Hertford Regional College (HRC), Ware Road, Ware  

Leader: Alan Brewis (Hertford) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  01920 463698

This friendly group was formed in July 2016 of 12 -15 folk from both the Hertford and Ware U3As. HRC has excellent facilities including many PC's, Wi-Fi, a large presentation screen and a library. We share our experiences and give short, informal presentations on topics of interest. It's quite basic knowledge we're covering at the moment to help develop confidence in using our PC's and laptops. We hope to graduate to more intermediate level subjects in due course. There is free car parking on site (off Walton Road). New members, it's free, are welcome to just turn up although it would help if they contacted Alan beforehand. Future Meetings:  15th March  "Using 'File History' to backup your data"  

Next Meeting 5.00 pm  Thurs 22nd February 2018 

The 'Creators Fall' (Windows 10) update has added some very useful functionality to 'OneDrive' - Microsoft's cloud storage facility. We'll take a look. 

Next Meeting 5.00 pm  Thurs 18th January 2018 

'Security' is the subject this month. We'll have a look at the latest advice on the best way to keep safe online. We will also have a look at 'Password Mangers'. They claim to offer more security as well as making memorising or writing your passwords redundant. 

Meeting 5.00 pm  Thurs 14th December 2017

We will review all we have covered on Windows 10 in the past year and also have a quick look at the latest Windows 10 update - 'Creators Fall'.

Meeting 5.00 pm  Thurs 9th November 2017

Pia Taudal, a member of the HRC Learning Centre is giving a 30 - 45 minute presentation on 'Pinterest'. Pinterest is a web and mobile app designed to discover information on the web, mainly utilising images.  

Meeting 5.00 pm  Thurs 12th October 2017

We had a Question and Answer type of meeting with several regulars raising issues they have with their computing devices which we then attempted to either resolve or else offer constructive advice. This was well received and we will repeat this in the future perhaps dividing the meeting between a shorter presentation and  a Q&A session.

Meeting 5.00 pm  Thurs 14th September 2017

This meeting introduced Microsoft's OneNote in detail. As with OneDrive I have found this another very useful Windows tool which I now use it regularly to replace all those papers notes I left lying around. It's easy to use and, as with OneDrive, syncs across all your devices.

Meeting 12.00 pm  Thurs 17th August 2017

We will be looking at Microsoft's cloud storage program OneDrive - how to enable, transfer files to and from, sync across devices and remotely access it. Bring along your laptops as usual.  

Meeting 12.00 pm Thurs 13th July 2017

This month we covered Windows 10's 'Task Manager.'  As with 'File Manager' that we looked at last month 'Task Manager is a facility you should know at least a little about. Whereas File Manager gives you control of all your data files, documents, photos, music, etc, 'Task Manager' tells you about the resources on your computer and how to better use them.  

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 15th June 2017

Continuing to explore Windows 10 we willl cover File Explorer. Before Windows 8 it used to be known as Windows Explorer. It’s another major component of Windows, indispensable if you want to remain organised using your computer.  Bring along your laptops, if you have one, as you will then have an opportunity, while it is all fresh, to put it into practice. 

Here’s a summary of some of the main themes you will meet.

  • Understand files, folders and libraries
  • Familiarity with the use of File Explorer
  • File Explorer display options
  • Move, copy, delete and recover files and folders

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 11th May 2017 from 5.00 pm prompt

This month we will cover everything you need to know to get the best out of Windows 10's web browser - Edge. You will learn:

  • Understand all the Menu options
  • Which settings to use
  • Importing favourires from another browser
  • The best use of Favourites
  • The Reading List
  • Saving passwords and form entries

Bring along your laptop!

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 9th March 2017 from 5.00 pm prompt

Workshops this month, in place of a presentation. Bring in your latops or use the college PC's to practice on Windows 10, Google, Spreadsheets or Word Processing. At the April meeting, there will be another presentation on Windows 10. This time we will explore it's main applications in a bit more depth.

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 9th February 2017

An introductory talk on Windows 10 started by explaining how to check whether your computer is up to date and tips on what to if not. We went on to describe several of the basic features of Windows 10 settings and also how to customise the Start screen for your own personal use. The detailed notes for this talk are available via the usual Dropbox link (the file is called Windows 10. docx) and they have been updated since the talk with more to follow.

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 19th January 2017

The main subject was Google. Everyone uses it. It’s the ubiquitous search engine and its operating system, Android, is on most of your smart phones. But it’s much more than this and offers, pretty much free, an interesting range of apps. To name but three:

Chrome – web browser

Maps – a very popular and useful facility

Photos – a means of displaying and managing your photos

We'll introduce several more though then we’ll start to explore them in more depth. You’ll also learn what the advantages of having a Google account are together with some tips on managing it. Google offers a valuable range of tools that you really ought to know about. We’ll make this a hands-on session so bring your laptop or else you can use make of the library computers.

The dates for our next meetings are:

Thurs 9th February, Thurs 9th March, Thurs 13th April, Thurs 11th May, Thurs 15th June

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 8th December 2016

It’s December so let’s make it more informal and even inject a bit of fun. It would also be nice to welcome anyone who has attended any of these monthly sessions. Of course new U3A visitors to this group are always welcome.

Here’s our itinerary

·    We’ll do a short recap on what we’ve covered so far.

·    Christmas on the internet (heaven forbid!) – bring in and share your tips for anything to do with computing that has a Christmas theme.

·    Games – Many\most of us will use our gadgets to play games. Share your ideas with us, particularly if we can put them up on the   display screen!

·    Entertainment – In case we run out of ideas, we’ll have a short presentation prepared on some of the ways to enjoy TV, radio and films on your devices.

You’ll notice there’s no workshops this month. These will resume in January – Excel AND Word.

We will have Wi-Fi codes for anyone bringing in their own laptop or tablet. And if you have something of interest to everyone on your device, we will see if we can connect it to the big presentation screen! 

Meeting 5.00 pm Thurs 10th November 2016

We began with a short introduction to WhatsApp. To describe this as a simple, secure messaging service wouldn’t do this app justice. When you text on your mobile, the cost is taken from your PAYG or monthly contract fee. WhatsApp eliminates this fee. It is a free internet messaging service.  It’s usually extraordinarily fast too and really easy to use. Download it from https://www.whatsapp.com/.

Most of the meeting was taken up with workshop sessions on Facebook and Excel. With the spreadsheet Excel, individuals either worked on examples or had their own specific queries answered. Thanks to our presenters: Ian, Doreen and Alan.

Meeting: 5.00 pm Thurs 13th October 2016

Ian Sirkett was welcomed to the meeting. With 13 in attendance we divided into two groups. Doreen commandeered a few college PC’s to lead those wanting to further their Facebook skills. She has created a closed Facebook group (closed meaning only this Computer Group can access it).  It contains advice on how to join the Facebook group and it’s not too late to do so!

After struggling with the Presentation Screen for several weeks (it’s not to good if you need to type) Alan has found out how to drive it from the laptop that it is attached to. This speeds things up significantly. He gave a presentation on some of the basic facilities Excel can provide using 3 spreadsheets. These covered entering data and formulae; sorting and filtering, and an all too quick introduction to functions.

Meeting: 5.00 pm Thurs 29th September 2016

Another good turnout of over a dozen for this the first meeting to focus entirely on practical issues – no presentations. Fortunately, the group was able to split into 3. Stewart McWeeney led a section on working with a music collection on your PC. I wish I’d attended that myself as it’s something I’d like to do. Doreen Howe had a crowd of people each to their own desktop. Doreen was following up her presentation on Facebook and providing advice on how to set it up and use it. Pia Taudal, a member of HRC’s library staff, was on hand and helped individuals with various queries that popped up.  I had a small group who wished to make progress with Dropbox, the Cloud Storage provider I’d invited you all to install on your own PC’s at home. You’ll recall that I will release presentation notes via Dropbox in future. I showed how I could access Dropbox on someone else’s computer, in this case the colleges. Then I proceeded to set up a new Dropbox account using a second email address I use.


Meeting: 5.00 pm Thurs 15th September 2016

Presentations on PC Security, Facebook and Cloud Storage. Access to the notes for these topics is being provided by 'Dropbox' a free cloud storage provider. Members will receive a link inviting them to access the files 'in the cloud' i.e. on the internet. A Dropbox account is not required to achieve this although the notes explain how to get a free account (which is recommended).

Meeting: 12.30 pm Thurs 18th August 2016

Presentations on You Tube, Web Browsing and Emails

Inaugural Meeting:12.30 pm Thurs 14th July  

Use of the Presentation Screen

Guide to Windows 'Control Panel'

Guide to computer jargon