More on Free Office Suites: Office on a Stick

More on free Microsoft Office suite alteratives and their ramifications: Since my last post on the availability of free office suites, with emphasis on LibreOffice, I have received many comments. Several people mentioned the questionable start of Kingsoft. I was not aware of this, but apparently the original version of its free package expired after…

What Free Office Suite is Best? Why?

This week I gave two related presentations, and already one of them might be outdated. The first presentation was on LibreOffice for a general audience of seniors. The second was on applications available for easy download on Linux presented at a PC users club. LibreOffice also played a part in that. Both audiences were composed…

Compromised Contacts Can Cause Confusion

It has happened again. Things seem to go in waves, and right now people who I know seem to be involved with a wave of compromised contacts in their email accounts. Last week, my wife received an obviously bogus email from a friend. She returned a quick warning, but I suspect her friend had already…

How Should You Archive Data?

At a recent computer club meeting, someone asked, “What is the best way to save personal data?” The question was not about backing up data, but was about archiving valuable data sets for long times — at least tens of years. This provoked a discussion of the physical lifetime of writable CDs and DVDs. If…

Awareness Counts in Tutoring

When attempting to tutor seniors in computer literacy, one is well advised to first assess the client’s awareness. By awareness, I mean a general tendency to look at the environment and to see what is there. We are all creatures of habit who work with observed patterns to reduce our mental workload. For instance, every…

Who’s to Blame when Scamming is So Easy?

I am really getting tired of trying to protect the senior PC users around me. At club meetings I extol the virtues of being alert and looking out for scams, but to what effect? I write a newsletter for my clients and friends which, in nearly every issue, features a horror story about malware infections…

Palsy, Aging, and Implants

A recent post on LockerGnome dealt sensitively with the issues a person suffering from palsy has, particularly in using computers from the perspective of a person who has the affliction. I resonate with his predicament because most of my clients are seniors with some type of physical limitation. Not everyone will suffer from palsy, but…