The Deerfield Beach Computer Club (DBCC) is a non-profit fraternal self-help group of senior amateur users who meet to share their experiences and improve their skills and enjoyment of using their computers and mobile devices.
On September 12, my 74th birthday, at 1:00 EDT Apple presented some amazing presents. The event was held in the new Steve Jobs Theater ins Cupertino, CA and a tribute to Steve Jobs was evident throughout the keynote. Apple introduced three new iPhones: 8, * Plus, and X, a new 4K Apple TV, A new Series 3 Apple Watch with built-in cellular LTE, and wireless Qi Charging. Compare New iPhones
One June 5, 2017 at 1 pm EDT, Apple presented its annual keynote address at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA. I watched the entire presentation on my Apple TV. Apple introduced a new 10.5 inch iPad, a HomePod with Siri competitor to Amazon Echo and Google Home, a preview of IOS 11, some new Macs, and new MacOS called High Sierra.
I don't own a Mac so that part did not interest me.
On May 17, 2017, Sindar Pichai, Google CEO and others presented the Keynote address at the 1 PM EDT Annual Developers Festival. I was very impressed with the overall presentation. Check it out for yourself on any Internet-capable device and let me know what you think. https://events.google.com/io/
We are on an extended summer break with a tentatively scheduled reopening of 10 AM on Friday October 6, 2017.
On Friday, May 5, I was up at my usual 5 am time. Thinking that I had to shower, shave, dress up, do a trial run of the day's presentation, and make sure I had all the Clubs equipment in the trunk of my Honda Civic- the reality suddenly hit me.
I looked at the Calendar. I was dressed up with nowhere to go!
If I felt that way, I imagined how our local members would feel that morning. I went back to bed and got more hours of shuteye than usual. I'll bet many others did the same.
This past season could best be described by the title of the well known Frank Sinatra song- " It Was a Very Good Year". We signed up 31 new members and broke several attendance records. Thanks to a major makeover in our classroom wireless system. TWe held our first ever Webinar with Abby Stokes live from her home in NYC. My instructional load was greatly lessened. We made progress in getting many members to contribute to question and answer sessions and give mini-presentations. We had high quality presentations from the Broward Sheriff's Office, Bob Anstett of the Creation Station in Ft Lauderdale, Bob Gostischa, Abby Stokes, Jere Minich from APCUG, and Kristin Morrison from the Broward County Library. Members Ron LaVergne and Carol Freedman also gave outstanding classes. Thanks to YOU we did it-and the best is yet to come (another Sinatra favorite)!
On March 24, 2017 we held our first ever Webinar in our classroom with Abby Stokes via Skype with a live feed from New York City. During the week the local tech team upgraded the classroom signal strength and we hopedand prayed that it would be able to meet the rigorous audio and video demands of download (from Abby) and upload (to our classroom) streaming without degradation or hesitation. I entered the classroom around 8 am to set up the equipment: the computer, the projector, the HDMI connection, the speaker volume, the expandable stand mic, two cordless mics, the tripod, and my iPhone 6 Plus. After setup I ran an Internet speed test using www.speedtest.net. The downstream and upstream results were noticeably much better than I had experienced this season. We had approximately 25Mbps download and 8 Mbps upload speeds. These speeds easily met and exceeded the minimum requirements for a Skype webinar. As agreed on March 16, Abby and I performed a Skype test around 8:30 am on March 17, the date of the Webinar. Everything I had hoped for came true and then some. The result was virtually flawless. The weather was great from New York City to Deerfield Beach. No interference in audio or video transmission on either feed. We started the Webinar around 10:10 and completed it around 11:20. The classroom audience heard Abby's presentation clearly. She was also able to hear members' questions and respond to them. The exit reviews I conducted with class attendees were outstanding. Many told me that we should plan other Webinars with Abby next season. That is what I plan to do.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were over $3.5B-a new record. The Internet has taken over and many mall stores are closing because they can't meet the online prices and deals offered for Amazon Prime members. Many customers are "showrooming", comparing prices on their mobile devices while they are in a brick and mortar store, instead of buying there. Many stores have been forced to match online prices or offer substantial discounts to move inventory off the floors. I will have some shopping tips in my Dec 9 Holiday Mix class and our Dec 16 Holiday Party featuring foods supplied by members plus Q&A. Since we won't meet on Dec 23 and 30, if you miss the Dec 9 and 16 classes you will have to wait 3 weeks until classes resume on January 6. 2017.
Not to be outdone, Apple held a keynote event at 1 PM on Thursday October 27.
The Apple Oct 27 Keynote introduced new products and technology. I found most the announcements to be underwhelming. I don't own a Mac. I do own the 4th generation Apple TV. The new TV app with enhanced Siri support looked very appealing especially since everything on the Apple TV can be viewed and carried exactly where it left off to my iPhone and iPad. It is coming in December as a free Software Update to all Apple devices.
I don't own a Mac. The new Touch Bar and Touch ID features were interesting. Unfortunately, the prices of the new MacBook Pro line are out of reach for many users.
It has been a long hot extended summer break. We did not open on October 7 due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew. To prepare for the storm, our building was closed. Those who lived and worked in CVE were at their homes preparing for the worst and praying for the best. We got the best as the fury of the storm turned East of us and we got some minor damage. On Friday October 14, I opened the Club for the first class of the new season. We has 34 attendees, including 4 guests. I gave everyone a tour of our new Club site. Our classroom was completely renovated with new chairs, tables, and carpeting as shown in the photos below.
On September 7, Apple announced two new iPhones (7 and 7 Plus), A new Apple Watch 2, and wireless headphones to replace the headphone jack. In their place, Apple included a lightning audio analog adapter. No headphone jack was a deal breaker for me and I know many other users were unhappy with having to insert an adapter the front of the phone. I bit the bullet and will keep my iPhone 6 Plus and Bev will keep her iPhone 6 until September 2017. Bev and I paid off our AT&T installment plans in August so all we pay for is the 3 GB data plan with monthly rollover data which we have never even come close to exhausting. We own our phones so we can unlock them for use if we wanted to do so. Installed the huge iOS10 Software Update on my 6 Plus at 9:30 pm on September 13, the release date. It took more than 45 minutes but what a difference! Too many useful features to describe here. We will have a Workshop devoted to iOS 10 in October. I am not buying a new Apple Watch 2 either. My older one works just fine. Apple is way overpriced. One visit to the Boca Raton Apple Store is proof of that statement.
Rumor has it that on September 7 at 1 PM EDT, Apple will announce new iPhone 7s, a new Apple Watch 2, and more. The pundits say that the new iPhones will not have a headphone jack and the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual camera.
Bev and I recently paid off our iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones. Stay tuned for updates.
Bev and I see no reason to upgrade our phones. I will aslo keep my Apple Watch. We want to keep our headphone jacks and my Watch works well. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I also installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (#1607) on one of my laptops. No problems (yet). Had to make sure I turned off all intrusive features.
On August 4 I bought a SSL Certificate to secure our new Club site. When you type in db-cc.net on any PC or Mac, you will see a https:// and a closed green padlock added to the address bar. This means that our site is secured with the highest level of encryption available on the market today. If we should ever decide to transact business using a credit card or PayPal in the future, it can be performed safely. This is unlikely because we are not set up to accept in class or online payments. I took the above action because I found out that in the not too distant future, Google plans to mark all Http:// sites as insecure. Visitors will be greeted with a warning page stating that the site is unsafe. This will redirect them elsewhere and will greatly reduce the number of hits. We have avoided this problem by purchasing the SSL certificate. However, the https:// and the closed green security padlock DO NOT appear when the site is accessed through a mobile device, because our site is not yet designed for mobile format. Our web hosting company would have to perform this conversion at great cost. Nevertheless, you can still access the site on any mobile device. The SSL Certificate with high level encryption not only secures our site from hackers but helps us to move up in the major search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) rankings. When someone types in "Deerfield Beach Computer Club", we ideally want them to see our site at or near the top of the search results. This Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process will take some time. We added a GoDaddy SSL Security Seal to the bottom of the Home Page. This gives visitors an extra reason to feel comfortable when exploring our site. You can click on the Seal to get more information. It should be visible on all PCs, Macs, and mobile devices regardless of the browser used. PLEASE tell everyone you know that db-cc.net is the official Club site. They should change their bookmarks and favorites on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices from db-cc.org to db-cc.net. Unfortunately, db-cc.org still exists and has an amusing mixture of their "Jersey Insurance" and photos of seniors, and our oldest db-cc.org contents on it. Their site is NOT secure.
In mid-July I noticed that our old domain, db-cc.org, had risen from the dead with a mixture of someone elses material and ours from the late 90's!! That site is NOT our authorized site. It contains references to Jersey Insurance and a mixture of photos, especially the ones on the home page, that show complete strangers. They also interspersed photos and text from our classes in the 90's. Who did this and what can we do about it? Nothing. GoDaddy, our domain hosting company, told me that the old domain is no longer ours and was privately secured through a proxy so they have no access to any user names and passwords. Let's sit back and enjoy this free publicity and see what happens. Please tell everyone that our legitimate Club site is db-cc.net
As I mentioned in an earlier post, our db-cc.org domain had expired on May 11, 2016 and I was unable to get it back. On June 7, I purchased a new web address, db-cc.net and I am pleased to announce that is now fully activated and functional. All content from the old site was successfully transferred to the new one. Change all of your bookmarks and favorites on all of your computers, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, etc from db-cc.org to db-cc.net I sent out a general e-mail to all members concerning this transition. Check back on the new site regularly for member updates.
All members received an e-mail from me stating that the Club site would be temporarily unavailable due to system maintenance. It may take a month or so. Here's why.
Our Club site has two components: a hosting company (GoWebDesign) and a domain (www.db-cc.org or db-cc.org) on GoDaddy. The site went down because the domain on GoDaddy had expired on May 11, 2016. The domain is not lost (yet) it is "parked" like a car in a valet lot without a specific home. Stay tuned.