Monday, September 16, 2013

It made me realise just how much I do not know...

...was a comment an attendee made in an email she sent after the first meeting of the Technology Special Interest Group in the Society Rooms on Thursday last.

Some of the group at our TechSIG meeting


The purpose of this first meeting was to set some ground rules for the group and brainstorm some topics for discussion over the coming months. Although we did not have a formal program for the meeting a lot of incidental learning and sharing took place. We agreed that the purpose of the group was "To learn from each other about how to use technology to enhance our research."

Portable Wifi
We took a look at a portable wifi hotspot/router brought along by Jenny. These devices can be purchased from Telstra and Optus, electronics shops like JB Hifi or Dick Smith, online vendors and similar outlets. We also discussed tethering a mobile phone to a computer to provide a wifi hotspot.

Members were reminded to look at our Society blog, kuringgaihs.blogspot.com and were told that one didn't need a Facebook account to view the Society Page on Facebook.
A couple of members asked just what is a Smartphone and what are its uses apart from making phone calls. A lively discussion ensued with a couple of smartphone enthusiasts waving their devices around and discussing their features. We were asked if one could print from a smartphone. The short answer was yes. We discussed the benefits of purchasing an unlocked device that could be used with different service providers especially when travelling overseas. Unlocked phones can be purchased from BigW, Dick Smith, The Good Guys etc. and a horde of online retailers.the

Jackie mentioned the free Hightail app that is useful for sharing/transferring large files over the internet. She also told us about iTunesU that allows one to access audio and video podcasts from a range of educational institutions around the globe. Tunesviewer is the app that allows Android users to access programs from iTunesU.

A member asked about screen capture options for Windows;  the inbuilt Windows Snipping tool for Windows 7 and 8 was recommended and Jo demonstrated how to use Alt and PrntScr to capture a screenshot in Windows XP.


Hack Genealogy a blog from Thomas McEntee in the US provides a daily list of links to technology resources for family historians, http://hackgenealogy.com/.

For those who missed Open Day 2013 at SRNSW the staff presentations can be viewed online at http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/open-day-2013-staff-presentations/

The RAHS also has a good set of podcasts for online listening http://www.rahs.org.au/podcasts/ 

Brotherhood Books is the online bookshop of the Brotherhood of St Lawrence and is a site worth searching when seeking a particular title http://www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au/.

Off the topic of technology members also discussed the best options for good parking spots when visiting the Society. 


Since the meeting a group member has passed on this message re antivirus " make sure that it is installed on your computer.  It says to make sure that your smartphone is protected as well.  For example, only download apps from official sources such as Google Play, iTunes and the App Store."


In a roundtable discussion members identified the following topics for discussion at future meetings. We will endeavour to cover as many of these topics as we can over the course of the next 12 months.

  • Basics - connecting devices
  • Backup and security, Antivirus
  • Chrome Browser
  • The Cloud
  • Completing a pdf form online
  • Desktop publishing (Word)
  • Dropbox
  • eBooks
  • eBook Readers  and software
  • Evernote
  • Facebook Help Day
  • Folders and files - file naming and organisation
  • Free websites
  • Gadgets
  • Genealogy Software Packages
  • Setting up  blog with Blogger workshop (for travel and other things)
  • Fixing Old photos with Picasa
  • Global roaming, SIM cards etc
  • Google Tools
  • Google Docs
  • Google searching
  • Google+
  • Syncing between devices
  • Windows7 and Windows 8
As the initiator of the group I was delighted with the response and enthusiasm of those who attended. Thank you all for your support.

The next meeting of our group will be a combined meeting with the Mac group on Thursday October 10 at 1:30pm where we will have a show and tell of Tech Toys or Gadgets. 

All Society members are welcome to join our fledgling group. If you would like to be included on our email list please let me know by email, jillballau@gmail.com.

Jill Ball

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