Beginner's Tool Box
OPCUG Beginners' Workshop 2004

True to their motto of "Users Helping Users", the Ottawa PC Users' Group will host a Beginners' Workshop this fall. A group of knowledgeable and experienced members of the club will provide sessions on a number of topics that will be of interest to the new computer user, and even those not-so-new users who need to know a little more about their hardware and software.

Developed from queries raised at past meetings of the OPCUG, the workshop sessions are designed to provide practical information on issues of concern to many computer users. The one-day course will cover computer security, office applications, digital imaging and hardware selection and upgrade.

Do you access the Internet? Would you like to keep hackers out, but allow useful information into your personal computer? With the increasing prevalence of web-based viruses and worms, you really need to know how to practice safe computing. At the workshop, tips will be provided on important system maintenance items such as: obtaining and installing patches to the operating system, keeping virus scanners up to date, and how to configure a firewall.

Thinking that you need to upgrade your computer or perhaps just some of the hardware systems? Which components can easily be upgraded? When does it make it sense to replace individual components rather buying a brand new computer? What is an OEM component? What is inside a white box? How big a hard drive should you have? Can you use the old hard drive with a new monster disk? Should you buy CD-RW or DVD? Which DVD format is best? What would a USB data vault do for you? If any of these questions are keeping you awake at nights, this session will provide the answers.

Do you have a wireless home network or plan to install one? Without paying attention to security, your wireless network could end up being used by spammers and crackers sitting at the curb outside your home. This session will provide tips on making sure your wireless network is only used by computers of your choice.

Typical office-type software packages provide an array of programs, each of which has a complex menu structure, and an amazing number of task bars and hot buttons. This session will highlight the main features and some of the functionality of word processors and spreadsheets.

So, you bought a digital camera and now have dozens of not-so-terrific pictures that just need a little tweaking to make them look great. But, the image editing software that came in the box is so complicated and not in the least intuitive. What you need is Digital Imaging 101. Our graphics expert will give you the low down on the different types of digital images, and the basic features of image editors and management tools that you can put to work to create the masterpieces hidden inside your pictures. See our flyer! (HTML PDF)

Our Beginners' Workshop is scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 20th, 2004 at the Heron Community Centre, 1480 Heron Road (near Baycrest Drive), Ottawa (see map). The facility has on-site parking and is also readily accessible by bus (OC Transpo No. 8, 82 and 111).

The cost to attend the workshop is $45.00. A catered lunch is included in the admission price. As part of this registration fee, non-members of OPCUG will receive a one-year membership in the club (a $25.00 value); so tell all of your friends! But, we haven't forgotten about current club members. OPCUG members paying the $45.00 fee to attend the workshop will have their membership extended by one year. Also, each workshop participant will receive a CD-ROM containing documentation from the presentations made at the various sessions, plus a number of associated freeware and shareware software packages.

Space at the workshop venue is limited so, in order to confirm your registration, and guarantee that a place will be held for you, send us a cheque for the $45.00 registration fee. Please fill out our registration form and print your e-mail address clearly on the form so that we can contact you to confirm your reservation.

Make the cheque payable to OPCUG and mail it to:

OPCUG Workshop 2004,
c/o Alan German, OPCUG Treasurer
622 Glenhurst Crescent
Ottawa, ON K1J 7B7

For further information, contact

Seating is limited, so register early.