Minutes of the February Meeting

By Jim Purcell, Secretary, Tampa PC Users Group

John Witmer, our president, opened the meeting at 6:40 PM. He reported on a discussion that we had at our last Board meeting concerning the content of presentations at our monthly meetings. It remains difficult to attract outside presentations on subjects that are of interest, or that we think are of interest, to our members. He said that our Board members’ discussion led us to believe that it would be productive to learn members’ exact interests so that we can better concentrate our efforts. He asked the members to complete a survey that Member-at-Large Ron Weinberg had designed to gather their interests. John announced that we had no presentation at present for March but Blain Barton from Microsoft is scheduled to be at the April meeting and a genealogy expert will discuss the latest available genealogy software at the May meeting. He announced that the rest of the February meeting would be devoted to the Windows SIG and a follow-on discussion led by Bob LaFave, Merle Nicholson and Steve Singer.

Bob LaFave opened the Windows SIG at 6:45 PM. A member began the discussion with a remote mouse problem. The discussion included possible cause of the problem, such as a need for a line of sight between the mouse and the wireless or Bluetooth source on the computer, the class of the Bluetooth device and also the number of devices that are competing for space on the channel. There was an extended discussion of problems with sound on video recordings, and their solutions. Ron Weinberg had a problem with MSN Mail’s not allowing attachments with pictures to be opened. The problem was suspected of being related to the selection of security options, but no one was able to locate the specific setting. There was a discussion of crashed external drives and how to check the various conditions that may have caused the problem. One member asked for advice on reformatting her “C” drive. The discussion of methods included advice on the use of SATA drives. Merle Nicholson suggested that she should buy a new hard drive and use it as the “C” drive. The advantages and disadvantages of “Solid State” hard drives were discussed. The deliberation on Windows 7’s advantages and disadvantages began at 7:50 PM. Bob opened the session by showing some of the features that he has gained by installing Windows 7. Steve Singer recommends installing one of the 64-bit versions if your PC supports a virtual installation. The Virtual XP Mode that you can download at no cost is very flexible and will probably allow you to use older versions of software and older peripherals that won’t work on a 64-bit system. You also must have either Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate to use the Virtual XP Mode. There is a procedure called “God Mode” that makes most features accessible in one folder. There are many features in Windows 7 that have not been publicized by Microsoft. Bob closed the Windows 7 session at 8:45 PM.

John Witmer, in closing, mentioned that some of the Smart Computing subscriptions are still available for half price ($15.00). The meeting ended at 8:50 PM. u