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Schedule & Handouts

This schedule lists Dan's planned topics for each weekly class this year.

There will also always be time for your questions

As each class is completed, we will add links to download that session's handouts


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Winter/Spring 2021 Session Topics

I am writing this with, perhaps, a little too much optimism.  The dates below and the topics were designed assuming the world was back to normal by November of 2020. If it is possible to start in January, the list here will apply.

If we wind up having a partial year, some of the session descriptions listed below may be combined or abbreviated.  We clearly have to make adjustments as future decisions are made.

Should, heaven forbid, the entire year be cancelled, I will continue to post relevant, updated handouts on each date that can be read and/or downloaded.

Meeting the needs of our members is paramount.  Therefore, changes will certainly be made along the way to cover topics not included below.  Also, if there is intense interest in a subject I will not hesitate to expand coverage.  Sometimes I have a tendency to want to cover too much material in a given meeting.  Your questions help me focus, so by all means ask them. 

Dan Phelka - Instructor & President (623-535-7791)

Date

Session Name

Topics Covered (Very General)

Nov 16

2020

Welcome

Scams Fall 2020

OPEN MEETING (attend without joining)

Welcome to PebbleCreek Computer Club

A paper handout, relevant to the day’s topic, will be available at each session.  If you become a member, handouts will be emailed to you before each meeting.

Since this meeting will not happen, I am attaching a write-up about SCAMS to this date.  It should be of interest to all.  If we can start the meetings in January, this will be one of the topics discussed in detail at that meeting

Throughout the year, I will have a computer at each meeting to be projected on a 10 ft. screen – We will deal primarily with Windows 10 

   There is no need to bring your computer to the meetings.

   Also, at first meeting (whenever it is): Brief introduction of officers and explanation of meeting format.  Presentation of plan for the year.  Getting a feel for attendee demographics.  Some discussion of computer basics, definitions, operating systems (Windows 10 will be emphasized) and computer applications.

 Microsoft only supports Windows 10.  That means there are no corrections or updates to any other version.  You can keep using other versions, but converting to Windows 10 will be necessary eventually.  My opinion is that the useful life of any well-maintained computer in today's ever-growing technology maximizes at about 5 to 7 years.  It is always easier to get a new one before the old one actually fails.

Jan 4 2021

Getting Started

FAQ 2021



   What to consider when buying a computer.  Introduction to common terminology.  More exposure to Windows 10. General discussion for beginners.  Handout consists of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and their answersAlthough I have only a Win 10 computer at the meetings, questions on other Windows versions are still welcome.

Discussion of Scams and how to recognize them and avoid being taken advantage of.  Also some talk of computer problems, including slowness. This discussion should be of interest to all.  Questions encouraged at every meeting.  

Jan 11

2021

Windows 10

Virus Summary

Zoom meeting instructions



 

  Keeping a computer efficient and safe.   Virus checkers and Spyware checkers discussed.  Where to get free "keep-me-clean" programs and how to set them up and use them.   

  How to use the start menu and change its format. More coverage of Win 10 computer.  What’s in the control panel with discussion of things you can change and things you probably shouldn’t change.  Working with Settings area of Win 10. How to use Windows (File) Explorer, which is different from Internet Explorer (now Edge), to organize your files and folders. Where to find these items in Windows 10. 

Jan 18

2021

Internet

Session 1




 

   General discussion of ISPs. (Internet Service Providers) Choosing an ISP.  Signing on to wireless.  Discussion of Internet Browser (examples: Edge & Chrome) settings & menus. Explanation of the Microsoft Edge browser that comes with Win 10.  Other browsers such as Chrome and Firefox discussed.  Deciding on a home page.  Using a search engine such as Google or DuckDuckGo.  Search technique suggestions. Using an encyclopedia and dictionary.   Introduction to some very interesting websites.  How to get questions answered online. Making you computer faster on the Internet. Web terminology. 

   Internet and Windows questions will ALWAYS be addressed.  This is the heart of PC use.  So never hesitate to ask anything!  This session and the next two always prove to be very interesting and popular.

Jan 25 & Feb 1

Internet

Sessions 2 & 3

Big Seb Site Handout

   Focus on other aspects of the Internet - e.g. Shopping and banking.  Introduction to E-bay and Half.com. Using Amazon.com.  Demonstrate Travel related capabilities, Including Travelocity, Expedia and Tripadvisor.  Introduction to "Tabbed Browsing".  Using the Internet to reserve flights, hotels, rental cars and dinner reservations.  How to track airplanes in flight.  How to use different corporate websites to get things done - e.g. bill paying, Property Taxes, APS, Southwest Gas, American Express and other credit cards. Always bring your questions.  Using the www.pebblecreekhoa.org website.

Feb 8

Email

   Discussion of email.   Using Mail handler in Win 10, Windows Live may not work with Win 10.  Exposure to Mozilla Thunderbird. How to get on the PebbleCreek E-group.  Working with attachments, forwarding email and using the address book.  Managing your email.  Using the BCC (blind carbon copy) feature. Establishing an account with Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo.  Common email errors. 

Feb 15

Microsoft Word 1 (Word Processing in General)

   Basic explanation of ribbons, settings and documents.  How to work with fonts, margins, copy, cut and paste.  Changing things in a document and cleaning up basic formatting problems. Print preview.  I will cover the format used in Office version 2007 and later (2010, 2013 and 2016 and all similar).  I will also discuss some free office productivity suites including MS Office 2010 Starter Edition (Win7 only), Apache OpenOffice, WPS Office and King LibreOffice.  As always, questions and answers.

Feb 22

Word 2

   Working with spell check and auto correct.  Using some of the basic features.  Adding lines, boxes and WordArt to a document.  Creating personal letterhead.  Creating labels.  Working with tables.  Sorting and editing.   Adding Clipart

Mar 1

Excel 1
(Spreadsheets)

   Basic introduction to Excel and Spreadsheets. Title of this session should be "Why You Should Know Something About Spreadsheets, Even If You Think You Don't Need to Know Anything About Spreadsheets".  Ribbons and settings will be addressed. Cell formatting, rows and columns, borders, worksheets, workbooks, editing will be covered.  Some basic applications and uses.  What Excel is good for and what it isn’t so good for.  Emphasis will be on Excel version 2007 and later. Review of Excel wannabes such as Works, OpenOffice, WPS Office and LibreOffice.

Mar 8

Excel 2

   Basic addition and subtraction applications within a spreadsheet.  Creating a nice looking report.  Defining a print area.  Cross footing.  Demo of my programs. (e.g. How Long Will Your Money Last and Minimum Required withdrawal from a 401K)

   If desired and time permits - Introduction to some basic functions.  Working with functions.  Hiding rows and columns.  Protecting cells.  Linking worksheets.  Doing graphs. 

Mar 15

Windows Cont’d


   More explanation on how to making Windows more efficient.  How to examine your computer for startup functions.  System Tray.  Review of in-depth explanation on how to use Windows (file) Explorer.  Reference to Microsoft Edge Browser.  This sounds like topics covered earlier, but questions often make this session relevant. If it hasn't been dealt with yet, backing up a computer will be addressed.  Detailed Control Panel use.

   Transitioning from an old computer to a new one.  What to consider when setting up a new one.  What can be moved and what can't be moved to a new machine.  Believe me, getting a new computer can be somewhat of a trauma to get it working to your satisfaction.  This session will help  

   Working with networks. Sharing files and printers.  Moving data from old computer to new one.  Wireless router setup.    Hooking up a wireless printer and dealing with related problems.

Please bring all your questions, as always.

Mar 22

Loose Ends with Windows

   Open discussion based on questions and concerns of membership.  I will have an agenda if there are no concerns.  With this session, I want to make sure everyone considered this season's meetings worthwhile.

Mar 29

System Cleanup, Photo Story 3

   Snowbirds start to leave around April 1st, so this will be the last meeting of the season.   General Internet.  Q & A on any topics.   

   Downloading and using Microsoft’s free download called PhotoStory3.  Creating a nice slide show with music and slide animation.  This has always been a very fun and well-received topic. 

    Working with digital pictures.  Will emphasize how to use Microsoft Office Picture Manager for picture enhancement.  Learn how to get rid of red-eye and brighten up dark photos.  Other digital picture handler programs discussed (e.g. Picasa).  How to make your camera’s setting more efficient.

   Time usually permits having open discussion on any topic you want such as more interesting Internet Sites and maybe using Quicken. 

   Have a safe summer and hope to see you in the fall - if you are still interested.  It has been my pleasure to hold these meetings (if they happen) and sincerely thank you for your interest and support.  Next meeting is November 15, 2021