Beginner's Tool BoxOPCUG Beginners' Workshop

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 Beginners' SIG, and more recently the Orphans' SIG, the workshop sessions are designed to provide practical information on issues of concern to many computer users. The one-day course will cover the basics of applications like word processors, spreadsheets and databases; provide maintenance tips for both operating systems and hard drives; show how to burn CDs; take a look at electronic mail and browsing the Internet; and indicate means to protect against viruses and worms.

When faced with the multiple choices of a typical office-type software package, new users are often unsure about which program is best to use for a given purpose. A session on word processors, spreadsheets and databases will highlight the main features of each of these applications. If you know the basics of one of these programs, but want to know how to kick your expertise up a notch, we can probably help by demonstrating some of the more useful, but perhaps somewhat obscure, aspects of these software workhorses.

Many users load multiple software packages onto their computer, download and save more and more files to the hard disk until, inexplicably, the system performance noticeably deteriorates. If you have never removed an installed program, or deleted an entire set of file directories, you need to know how to tune-up your disk. One of the sessions at the workshop will focus on identifying and deleting unused files, emptying the recycle bin, scanning the hard drive for corrupt areas, and defragging the hard disk.

Learn how to burn CD-ROMsBurn CDs -- without creating more coasters!

These days, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, and the hardware necessary to copy files to these media, are so affordable that the technology has wide application for the home user. However, one topic that frequently crops up at OPCUG meetings is how to burn CDs without creating more coasters! First-hand knowledge of some of the associated problems allows club members to provide a primer on using CD burners for tasks such as: backing up important data, providing extra storage, and creating long-term archives.

Is your E-mail system in complete chaos? Are you swimming in Spam? Have you filed an E-mail message "somewhere", but have no idea how to locate it? If so, you are a prime candidate for the session on how to efficiently organize E-mail. Learning how to use folders and filters, and add-on E-mail utilities, will give you the tools to manage your mail.

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.

Our Beginners' Workshop is scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22nd, at the Margaret Rywack Center (68 Knoxdale Road). The facility has on-site parking and is also readily accessible by bus (OC Transpo No. 172 and 174). You can bring a lunch, go out to one of several nearby food outlets, or we are looking at the possibilities for having lunch delivered to order.

The cost to attend the entire day's sessions is $30.00. 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 $30.00 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.

See the Flyer.

You can pre-register for the workshop by sending an E-mail message to :
Be sure to include your name and a return E-mail address.

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 registration form and your cheque for the $30.00 registration fee. Make the cheque payable to "OPCUG" and mail it, with the
workshop registration form, to: OPCUG, 3 Thatcher Street, Nepean, ON  K2G 1S6

The price at the door is $35.00, so register early and save $5.