We mention this often, but it’s really important. When you request help from our First Level Support experts, the first thing they generally ask you to do is install TeamViewer so they can remotely assist you. Please help us by having TeamViewer already installed on your Windows or Mac computer. This is a very small app that does nothing until you open it in the event you have a problem. To install TeamViewer, follow the instructions found here.
Despite the pandemic, our club is in a good financial position, thanks to your continued membership and support in TAP and other volunteer activities, plus a few TAP grants. We continue to refurbish donated computer systems at a high rate and distribute these systems to deserving youth in our neighboring communities. Every time I go to our TAP facility, I’m reminded of how important this program is, as are all the volunteers who keep it running. To read the complete 2020 TVCUC Financial Statement, click here.
HELP NEEDED. The TVCUC is looking for a finishing editor to put final touches on education articles and PowerPoint presentations. If you are a good writer/editor and have a working knowledge of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, send us an email. This volunteer position does not require a lot of time and can be done on your schedule. Computing and technical skills are a plus, but not required.
— Larry McJunkin
Technology Access Program (TAP)
As of April 30, TAP has placed 202 systems with qualified families in 2021. That brings our totals since 2007 to 8,547 systems, providing 12,713 children and youth with in-home access to computer technology. Using an average of 1.5 adults per household, TAP has provided computer access to over 25,000 persons. Inventories of both equipment to work on and finished product are at a good level. The heaviest demand recently has been for laptops and the supply of them to refurbish is low. TAP continues to need your contributions of equipment to refurbish. You are also welcomed to volunteer with TAP. It is not necessary that you be a computer guru. The written procedures explain the processes and are quite easy to follow. You can volunteer as much or little time as you want, based on your schedule, so why not give it a try.
First Level Support (FLS)
We continue to have many support calls from members with Bellsouth and AT&T email accounts (including Yahoo). AT&T owns all these email services and now requires that users install a Secure Email Key for their email to function properly. AT&T based email is not the best email service option and if you’re using them, we highly recommend changing email service providers to one of the top free services below. Each has a simple method for importing your previous email and both have really great spam filters, ensuring your inbox contains only your email.
Was your browser just hijacked? We’ve been seeing a lot of issues with browser hijacking in Windows 10 recently. If you see a popup telling you to call a toll-free number for support, DO NOT call and definitely DO NOT pay! This is a simple case of ransomware that in most cases FLS can help you fix, or we’ll recommend a local repair service in some cases.
We still are not having FLS in-person meetings due to the requirement to have many people in a small room. But as we adapt to the CDC’s new guidance, we are considering a partial return to making house calls again. When we implement this, it will be in select instances and both the FLS team member and the person requiring support must both be fully vaccinated. For the most part, providing remote support with TeamViewer has worked very well and we will keep doing this in the future, regardless of the pandemic.
New Windows 10 Update Focused on Quality
Microsoft recently stated it’s starting to roll out the latest twice-annual update to its Windows 10 operating system. It is not jam-packed with major new capabilities, but rather, it gives PCs a few more quality enhancements.
The company is continuing to take a more careful approach with its Windows business, which generates about 14% of the company’s revenue. With more than 1.3 billion devices running it, Windows 10 remains the top desktop operating system with 59% share in April, according to NetMarketShare data.
After introducing Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft has spent the last few years bulking it up with updates, such as tools for crafting three-dimensional objects, applying photo filters and specifying parts of speech on websites. Two updates came out each year, while Apple’s MacOS and iOS and Google’s Android got just one.
Microsoft dialed back the pace of development in 2019 when it issued a normal update in the first half of the year and followed it up in the second half with an update focused on performance. In 2020, as users migrated from Windows 7, the company repeated that strategy. Now another quality-oriented update is arriving with the release of the Windows 10 May 2021 Update, also known as version 21H1, for the first half of 2021.
Get Ready for a Rush of New Silicon Macs
Are you planning to get a shiny new iMac, or are you waiting for the next wave? If you’re waiting for something even newer, here’s what to expect during 2021, though still in the rumor stages.
When Apple announced its own system on a chip (SoC), the company said it would be a two-year process to completely switch its Mac lineup from Intel processors to Apple silicon. The switch started last November and continued with the announcement of the 24-inch iMac last month. But Apple is going to be putting the “pedal to the metal” on the transition by introducing a spate of new Macs across its lineup throughout the rest of 2021.
Apple will introduce a completely “redesigned” MacBook Pro this summer with 10-core CPUs
(eight performance cores and two efficiency cores), 16 or 32 graphics core options, a maximum of 64GB of memory, and an “improved Neural Engine.” The MacBook Pro will be available in 14- or 16-inch models with a MagSafe charger, an SD card slot, an HDMI port, and “more Thunderbolt ports” (the current 13-inch MacBook Pro has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports; the current Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro has four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.) Apple is holding WWDC in early June, so we could get a look at the new MacBook Pro during the keynote on June 7.
As for the MacBook Air, that will likely follow the release of the MacBook Pro this summer and be offered in a new design in a variety of colors. Apple’s M1 Mac mini is in for some updates as well and Apple could be putting the improved SoC from the MacBook Pro in the Mac mini, which could end up being a model that replaces the current Intel-based $1,099 Mac mini. This new Mac mini would also have four Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports, up from the two on the $699 M1 Mac mini. The Mac mini’s release is less certain than the MacBook’s and could be delayed or even canceled. Read more here.