We Need Your Help!
The Tellico Village Computer Users Club (TVCUC) is very focused on helping you with your technology needs. We do this with our First Level Support (FLS), Technology Access Program (TAP), our Education Program, our website, newsletter and with other resources. This month we would like to ask for your help.
If you use Nextdoor, you’re part of a large community of Tellico Village property owners who use this social media network to find a good painter, handyman, plumber, or a contractor. But Nextdoor is equally as important for helping its users find and learn more about the TVCUC. For existing members of the club, it’s easy for us to forget there are many other residents in Tellico Village who don’t know about our club, and Nextdoor is a great way to tell folks about us and the ways we can help them sort out their technology issues.
The TVCUC has its own Nextdoor business profile, so the next time you’re on Nextdoor, please take a few minutes and search on ‘TVCUC’ and recommend us. All you need to do is click on the red heart. Alternatively, you can just click the following link to go directly to the TVCUC page on Nextdoor. Thanks so much!
Larry McJunkin, President
Technology Access Program (TAP)
As of March 31, TAP has refurbished and donated 8,490 computers to deserving children and families in the local area. These computers have served 12,633 children, considering others in the household. We could not continue to do this without help from our members, grantors and the volunteers who give so freely of their time to refurbish donated computers.
TAP also hosted some board members of the United Way of Lenoir City for a tour of our facility and firsthand look at how we process donated equipment into the updated systems that are donated. TAP and United Way has a long-standing relationship and we’re proud to be one of their partners.
First Level Support (FLS)
First Level Support fielded 55 calls during March. This is a little on the high side, indicating either more technology use by members during the pandemic, or it’s time to buy a new computer! FLS continues to use TeamViewer to help members solve technology issues remotely, but we need members to proactively install the TeamViewer software “before” a problem occurs.
We’ve created new education articles on Windows File Explorer and Hearing Loss Options, so check them out! We are working on a Password Manager presentation that explains the benefits and shows you how to use a password manager. Our First Line Support (FLS) team highly recommends using a password manager and their favorites are listed in this article. If you choose one of these Password Manager options and set it up on your computer, we will offer another Zoom presentation three weeks later to answer your questions and show you some of the advanced features of a password manager. If you have an idea for another type of useful app – let us know.
Margie Krafft, Education Chair
Mac Users Special Interest Group (Mac SIG)
The Mac SIG held its 3rd Zoom presentation on its regular meeting day, March 22 and a final one before the summer break will be presented April 26. The SIG has grown to 199 households, more than 350 individual members. It’s great to see so many folks moving to a Mac—in fact, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to make this switch, please join us at one of our Zoom meetings.
A survey of Mac SIG members yielded 48 responses, which we consider a good return (seeking 100% would be unreasonable, right!). Important in the survey was that Mac SIG members definitely want to continue with Zoom meetings and presentations, rather than in-person meetings. Also, we’ll continue with our schedule of six meetings per year (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Sep and Oct).
First quarter financial results are positive. Expenses are below the budgeted levels, and are less than revenues, which means that cash reserves are increasing.
Inside the Glass Fiber Connecting our Digital World
All modern means of communication rely on glass, from the Gorilla Glass on our phones to the navigation screens in our cars. Most of the time, the glass is right in front of us, but when it comes to the Internet – whether it’s 5G, satellites, or WiFi – it’s easy to miss the 750,000 miles of fiber optic cables currently running under our oceans.
These tiny strands of glass carry our photos, emails, and video chats from our phones to data centers to friends and family all across the world. It’s through these hair-thin strands of fiber that we are able to instantly communicate to almost anyone, anywhere, and it all relies on a 5,000-year-old technology: glass.
Very little has changed in the way we use glass throughout its long history. It has always been a transparent and durable material through which light passes. And since light can travel quickly and at high frequencies while carrying loads of encoded information, a cable made of near-perfect glass is a secure medium to send all of our communications.
Microsoft Cloud PC Service
According to a new report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is apparently gearing up to launch its Cloud PC service, which could arrive as soon as this summer. Foley states that she’s hearing the tech giant may be aiming for a June or July launch of the service. Reports on Microsoft’s Cloud PC service date back to last year, when the Azure-powered project was first rumored to be coming as soon as spring 2021. Now that spring 2021 is winding to a close, summer is the next best bet for any big announcements and service launches.
Details on the service are scarce, but ZDNet mentions that Microsoft plans to sell its new cloud service at a “flat per-user price.” It will be a managed Microsoft 365 experience, which makes sense given that its core functionalities are reportedly giving users remote access to a Windows desktop wherein they can utilize software such as the suite of useful programs that fall under the umbrella of Microsoft Office. The goal of this service is to provide users with an always accessible, always up-to-date Windows experience that will enable productivity from anywhere.
Apple’s Spring-Loaded Event
Apple’s special “Spring Loaded” event took place on Tuesday April 20, 2021. The show was streamed from the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. If you missed the big event, here’s what Apple announced:
• A stunning purple finish for iPhone 12 and 12 mini — The first thing to debut at the Spring-Loaded event was a new color option for iPhone 12 devices. Purple will now join black, white, red, green, and blue as the available color choices for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini phones. Along with the new color, Apple also unveiled a new batch of cases for iPhone devices that work with MagSafe wireless charging. The new purple iPhones can be preordered on April 23 and will begin shipping on April 30.
• Latest lineup of iPad devices — The new iPad Pro models will come with the same 8-core M1 chipset as the most recent MacBook Pro and newly announced iMac family. They will also be available with increased internal storage capacity – up to 2TB – plus Thunderbolt and USB4 support for the USB-C port – and 5G connectivity.
• A brand-new iMac desktop (finally) — It has a larger 24.3-inch display with a 4.5K retina display. The new iMac also runs on Apple’s all-new M1 chip. Best of all though, is the wide variety of colors available for the new iMac. The new iMac has two different price levels: $1,299 in four colors and $1,499 in all seven colors. Like the MacBook Pro 13-inch, all models feature the 8-core M1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB storage but have either 7 or 8 core graphics. It also has a new wireless keyboard with integrated Touch ID.A new Apple TV 4K, that comes with the A12 Bionic chipset, as previously found in the iPhone XS and 2020 iPad. It also improves on the 2017 original by including support for high frame rate (HFR) video in 60fps. There’s also a new feature that works with your iPhone to calibrate the color settings on your TV by using the iPhone’s Face ID camera – and there’s a new remote. The new Apple TV 4K will be available to order from April 30 for $179 (32GB) or $199 (64GB).
• Apple AirTags — Apple finally launched its long-awaited AirTags to track your bag or purse…or anything. AirTag allows users to locate lost or stolen items. The existence of these devices has been widely reported on by the media and leakers for a couple of years now, but Apple’s held off on debuting them until now. They’re small circular discs, featuring Apple’s ultra-wideband tech, and they work with Apple’s Find My app, which is built into iOS and iPadOS.