beyond bullet points – Create Top PowerPoints

learn to create effective slides iPowerPointReview: by Gregory West
gregory@alternatecloud.com
VP of the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
scug.ca
APCUG Advisor apcug.net

beyond bullet points
by Cliff Atkinson

Published by Microsoft Press
ISBN– 978-0-7356-275-2
Pages: 330
USA: $29.99 / CDA: $34.99
Website: http://bit.ly/beyondbulletpoints

All of us have had, or were forced, to sit through a PowerPoint presentation wishing we were somewhere else. The speaker was so boring, the presentation slides were cheesy and extremely confusing, and our insides screamed for us to get up and leave the room.

Beyond bullet points is designed in such a way that this will never happen when you give your next presentation. This book takes us through the proper steps in creating  the most interesting and very definitive presentation possible. Here is where we learn the importance of telling a story with our slides. Layout is another import issue that is fully covered in Chapter 4: “Planning Your First Five Slides”. This is where you learn how to grab your audience right away and keep them focused on your presentation.

You will learn why graphics are so important and how they can make or break a presentation. Chapter 8 is where the fun begins as you learn how to  add graphics to various areas within your slides. You will learn how to use the graphics you already have on your computer, and how to get graphics from “Stock Photography Web Sites”.

Your PowerPoint presentation comes together in Chapter 9: “Delivering Your…Presentation”. The amateur presenters are separated from the professionals. This chapter prepares you for the delivery of your presentation. Here you are shown the basic ground rules for removing distractions, prompting a dialogue and how to enhance your presentation effectively.

A real treat is found in Appendix A where ground rules and checklists act as an overview  ensuring you have created a very professional presentation.

Added features: This book comes with website links for “Companion Content” with key tools and a bonus Chapter 11, introducing a “Visual Improv”, PDF version of the ground rules and checklists. You also get a voucher for your free online version of this book. For anyone who is serious about their presentations, this book is a keeper.

What’s New at Google Laboratory?

What’s New at Google Laboratory?
www.googlelabs.com

by Gregory West

Editor’s Note: This article will appear in the October Issue of First Monday magazine

Google has a secret place: Google Labs. It is not well known to most humans. This is the place some insiders refer to as the “playground” for Google engineers. For those of you who have never explored Google in the past, other than using Google Search, you are now in for a real treat inside Google’s Labs. Come on and check out the programs.

Let’s head to http://www.googlelabs.com and see what Google is currently testing. Here you will find twenty five software programs you can try and use for free.

FAST FLIP: (http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/) This program is one of my favourites. When you click open this program you are before a magazine stand displaying various newspapers and magazines with current content. You just click on one and begin your reading experience.

Newspapers and magazines are beginning to suffer due to their content being displayed on the Internet, Google feels this service can help. Tony Bradley of PCWorld reiterates that “Google feels that recreating the print media experience online will attract more readers and help its partner publishers transition more smoothly to delivering information over the Internet”. Time will tell, but for now, give this program a go and enjoy the FREE newspapers and magazines on your very own news stand.

GOOGLE NEWS TIMELINE: (http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com) This is another collection of news media presentations wherein you find the major stories of the day. Timeline is also a news “time machine” where you drag the dates and go back in time. A calendar allows you to change dates from DAY, WEEK, and YEAR to see how a subject changes over a certain period of time. According to cnet.com this “project is the baby of Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original designers of the Apple Macintosh software and something of a Silicon Valley icon”. It is a definite program to keep an eye on.

SIMILAR IMAGES: (http://similar-images.googlelabs.com) Is a fun program where you type in a name, place, or whatever you choose to retrieve “similar” images. I typed in “sarnia, ontario” and was amazed at the tons of photos that people have uploaded to the Internet. In fact, there are “about 467,000” Sarnia related pictures found in that search. Type in your own name and include sarnia, ontario and see the many times your related photo has been uploaded to the Internet. To check your name type it like this: “gregory west” sarnia, ontario (include the quotation marks). This is a good time waster and it is an interesting program, to say the least.

There are twenty two more programs to check out. Some of my other favourites are: Google Mars, Google Trends, and Google Dashboard Widgets for Mac to go nicely with my Macbook. Remember, this is Google’s “playground” and the programs are in the beta or test mode and are not ready for prime time just yet.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software
reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic
Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church this Fall. For info: www.centralunitedsarnia.ca/free_computer_lessons.html
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Also, check out his Blog: Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

HELP for Computer HELP

Note: This was originally published in First Monday magazine.

HELP for Computer HELP

by Gregory West

Does your computer have a mind of its own? Do you find that it is becoming increasing difficult going it alone, or are you relatively new to computers and completely lost?

We know that all-too-many computer software HELP buttons do not really help, they tend to make things much more confusing than before you clicked on that button. You are not alone.

Stats Canada reports that in 2006 “More than three-quarters of all households reported owning a computer”.  According to internetworldstats.com there are 237,168,545 North Americans used the Internet as of November 30, 2007 and that figure is increasingly on the rise. Out of those numbers, today Seniors make up a good majority of the computer purchases and are looking for ways to learn about how to use the computer. However, not just Seniors are seeking help. There are many people who have missed out on learning computers for a variety of reasons and there is a growing need for computer help.

As a computer instructor, I show a group of Seniors at Central United Church how to perform various functions on the computer, as well as use the Internet in a safe and secure manner. Part of the session is a popular Q & A where you can bring your computer questions and resolve issues live, on a large screen, so everyone can see how “it” is done.

Not all people are ready for a group such as this; they are new to computers and need some basic training at a computer “boot camp”. Here in Sarnia Lambton we are very fortunate to have a Board of Education who recognizes that people need a place where they can go and learn basic computer skills. They have opened the doors at Norm Perry School with the “Adult Learning Centre” (ALC). Here there is help for anyone from ages 18 to 80+ to learn computers at their own speed.

Sean Pynaert is the computer instructor who has been teaching computer skills at the ALC for the past nine years. Sean says that about 1/4 of the students are in their early 20’s and most are Seniors. “I had a 68 year woman in my class, a retired teacher who wanted some extra income and wanted to go to a call centre to work part time and they wanted computers [experience]. These courses are excellent for those who have never touched a keyboard and can “work at their own pace”. Those who want to brush up their computer skills can pick out what they want to learn. “Some people come in and say they just want to learn how to type,” said Sean. There are three levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. You can even earn credits towards a high school diploma with these courses.

Anyone who I have spoken with that has attended Sean’s computer sessions have had nothing but high praise for Sean and his courses and how easy he makes it to learn about computers and the Internet. To get your name on the list for the next sessions you can go to Norm Perry School at 660 Oakdale Avenue and ask to see Sean. Do it now; see how easy it is to learn computer skills, you will not regret it.

In Sarnia Lambton there are other ways you can improve your computer skills. For example, the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group has been around for over a quarter century where people are helping people learn more about computers and technology. Members’ skills range from basic to advanced and most are in between. For more information go to www.scug.ca. The Sarnia Public Library also offers computer help, as does the Strangway Centre.

FORUMS and WHAT ARE THEY? Absolutely millions upon millions of computer users are now members of online/Internet forums. If you need help in almost any topic answers are only a few keyboard clicks away. For instance, we bought a travel trailer and needed to know how to winterize it. Well not only did we easily find that out, we were given additional information, from other travelers, regarding trailers and campground reviews by people who had “been-there-done-that”. YouTube.com is another way to get computer help. There are thousands of videos there on “how to”. Just enter your topic in YouTube search box to retrieve a training video.

The same goes for computer help of any sort. Just go to Google’s search box and use the word “forum” or “training video” with the search topic. For example, if you are looking for computer help and it is for a specific operating system such as Vista, type that into the search along with the word: forum. i.e. Windows Vista forums. If it  is a program problem you insert the program’s name along with the word: forum. Make sure you check out the forums before you join to see if they are the ones that you find most helpful.

LOCAL PLACES TO GET COMPUTER HELP:

The Adult Learning Centre: Sean 519-383-8787 ($20. per 6 week session)
Lambton Libraries: 519 845-3324 (call to see when free courses available)
The Strangway Community Centre: 519-332-0656 (call for fees)
The Sarnia Computer Users’ Group: www.scug.ca (attend 3 meetings for free)
Computer Tutor: http://tinyurl.com/ask-pamela (free online advice within 24 hours)
Central United Church: www.centralunitedsarnia.ca (free computer sessions)
Lambton College: For more experienced computer users: www.lambton.on.ca

[bi-line]

Gregory West can be reached at editor@scug.ca. Gregory is the Editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group [SCUG], a non-profit computer help group that is open to the public for Newbies and Geeks. For more information: www.scug.ca.

Las Vegas Computer Convention

The Association of Computer User Groups

I hate winter & I love computers.

I know, I can hear ya all now; those of you, that is, that are winter lovers. To be honest I never have liked winter. As most Canadians without choice, I have grinned and “beared” it over the past 50+ years. But I do swear this is my last full winter in Canada, God willing and we able. However, for those of you who have read this blog over the past few years will know that there is a plan here…

In fact, to test the waters, soon we leave for a computer convention in Las Vegas. As Editor and Representative for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group, I am attending the annual Association of Computer Users Convention in Las Vegas 2008. This will be a fun-filled and very educational week.

I will do a report on the convention as soon as I return…In the meantime here is a look at the full agenda and the people who make it happen:

THURSDAY – JANUARY 3

9:45 – 11 am

How to Increase Membership, Interest and Speakers in your User Group – Sam Wexler

Fight Spam – Put yourself in the drivers seat with FireTrust’s MailWasher Pro – Birl Smith – Firetrust

Finding and Retaining Volunteers – Gabe Goldberg

Tech Soup – Jay Ferron

11:15 am – 12:30 pm

Program Chairs When Things Go Wrong – Cheryl Wester and Doris Collins

Creating a Podcast, Composing, and Remixing Music with Acoustica Mixcraft 4 – Dan GoldStein, Acoustica

How to Create a (PowerPoint) Presentation in 60 Minutes – Hank Feinberg

ZoomText Lite: High Resolution Screen Magnification for Everyone – Scott Moore, Ai Squared


SATURDAY – JANUARY 5

9:45 – 11 am

Working with Other UGs on a Common Project – Gabe Goldberg

PC ReNew – Hank Feinberg

Stump the PowerPoint Expert – Kathy Jacobs

Virtual Technologies (VMware / Virtual PC) – Dennis Courtney

11:15 am – 12:30 pm

How to Create a Win-Win-Win Partnership with Vendors – Linda Moore

Verbatim: Where’s Your Stuff Storage Going?– Andy Marken

Cyber Security – Ira Wilsker

Marketing Your User Group Using Search Engines – Ash Nallawalla

12:45 – 2:45 pm

Raxco Lunch – Grande A

Presentation: How to Increase System Performance by Getting a Better Understanding of Windows NTFS File Systems

3 – 4:15 pm

Ai Squared: ZoomText Lite: High Resolution Screen Magnification for Everyone – Scott Moore

Reallusion: Making Movies Like a Rock Star: Creating Animation and Avatars for Movies, Blogs and Websites – John Martin II

How to Set Up a Secure Home Wireless Network – Tom Jones

Trend Micro – David Perry

4:30 – 5:45 pm

How to Create a Successful Product Review Program – Linda Moore

Project X – Jay Ferron

Moving from Online Contacts to Real-Life Friends – Kathy Jacobs & Betsy Weber

Identity Theft – Ira Wilsker

SUNDAY JANUARY 6


Educational Sessions

FRIDAY, January 4th

How to Increase Membership, Interest and Speakers in your User Group

Presented by Sam Wexler, Valencia Falls CC

This roundtable will discuss proven techniques that have been successfully used by APCUG member groups to increase membership, interest and speakers in their User Groups. If your User Group has a need for more members and interesting meetings then this roundtable is for you.

Fight Spam – Put yourself in the drivers seat with FireTrust’s MailWasher Pro

Presented by Birl Smith, Firetrust

Birl Smith will be demonstrating the consumer version of FireTrust’s MailWasher Pro, the leader in spam blocker software. MailWasher is a spam blocker which allows preview screening before e-mail arrives in your personal inbox. Multiple accounts can be screened simultaneously. MailWasher will import your e-mail account list and your friends list to get off to a fast start. Create your own custom filters or select from prepared filters. It’s quick, fast and effective. Be sure and check out MailWasher’s Recycle Bin benefits.

Every APCUG Convention attendee will receive a free copy of MailWasher Pro, version 6.1. This is the only software package that I am aware of where you purchase it once, and you get FREE updates for the life of the software.

Finding and Retaining Volunteers

Presented by Gabe Goldberg

Most user groups around the world struggle to recruit, train, motivate, and retain enough qualified volunteers to fulfill their community service missions and goals. Participants in this roundtable will share ideas, reports on what works and what doesn’t, and tips on preventing volunteer burnout.

This roundtable will draw heavily on popular sessions conducted by Steve Peyrot at past APCUG conventions. In the APCUG spirit of “user groups helping user groups”, join us to share your user group’s experience with staffing volunteer positions. Together we can avoid having the most

common name on user group rosters being “Vacant”.

Tech Soup

Presented by Jay Ferron

Description TBA

Program Chairs: When Things Go Wrong

Presented by Doris Collins & Cheryl Wester

Right before the meeting you get a phone call – the speaker is not able to attend – now what? Attend the APCUG roundtable on problems such as this and come away with several ideas on what to do. We will have a few ideas and through discussion we’ll come up with several more. Who knows – we might come up with so many that you don’t even need to worry about finding a speaker!

This is a must-go-to roundtable. Please encourage at least one officer from your group to attend this valuable workshop. Be prepared with your “horror stories” and what you were able to do to run a successful meeting. We look forward to seeing many of you-remember you don’t have to be a program chair to attend.

Creating a Podcast, Composing, and Remixing Music with Acoustica Mixcraft 4

Presented by Dan Goldstein, Acoustica

Ever wanted to create and publish your own Podcast, record your own songs, or remix your favorite music? In the past, these may have seemed like insurmountable challenges, requiring thousands of dollars in software and equipment, a record deal, and a million dollar recording contract. But Acoustica’s Mixcraft 4 turns your computer into an incredibly powerful, easy to use recording studio, and you will be amazed by its seemingly endless capabilities and low cost. With its huge loop, music bed, and sound effects library, you’ll have everything you need to record and produce your own podcasts. With its multitrack recording features, you can easily record you entire band and create the next platinum album. With its high quality plug-in effects, you can add finishing touches and realistic processing to your music. With its powerful automatic remixing tools, you can create party jams that seamlessly flow from one song to another. And with Mixcraft 4’s new Virtual Instrument support and unbelievable professional instrument collection, you can turn your computer into an entire music production facility with the addition of a simple, inexpensive USB music keyboard. You won’t believe how easy it is to get started — try Mixcraft 4 for free and unleash your creativity!

How to Create a (PowerPoint) Presentation in 60 Minutes (…and give one)

Presented by Hank Feinberg

If you ever have had a speaker cancel or needed to put a presentation together that is timely and interesting you need to attend this session. Learn how to quickly research a topic, build the “Skeleton” of the presentation and put the “ Meat “ or content on the bones in around 60 minutes using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and the Internet.

What is a good presentation? Hone your public speaking skills by learning a few tricks and facts about presentations that keep people involved, attention spans and yes even generate audience participation. When you attend you will be given a list of resources and about 20 pages of information on great presentations and public speaking ideas. If you attend you might even win a prize. This presentation is guaranteed to knock you off your seats.

ZoomText Lite –High Resolution Screen Magnification for Everyone

Presented by Scott Moore, Ai Squared

ZoomText Lite is a simple and affordable screen magnifier designed for individuals with early vision loss – you know, those of us who squint at the computer screen and lean in to read the fine print. ZoomText Lite solves this problem by providing a gentle boost of magnification (up to 2 times) so that everything on the screen is a little larger and easier to read. You can also adjust the size and color of the mouse pointer and text cursor so they’re easier to find and follow, and adjust screen colors for reduced glare and greatly improved clarity of text and graphics. Come and see how ZoomText Lite can help you.

SATURDAY, January 5th

Working with Other UGs on a Common Project

Presented by Gabe Goldberg

There’s strength in numbers; that’s one reason we’ve all joined user groups. Even so, some opportunities require more resources than an individual group has available. Rather than letting these mega-opportunities escape, consider partnering or collaborating with nearby user groups for various reasons: organize a large regional event, conduct a coordinated computer refurbishing/recycling effort, deliver enhanced community support, lure a major vendor to visitor an enlarged audience, whatever works for you and your community’s user groups. Think large or small, tailor efforts to local needs, don’t feel you must imitate something others have done. Cooperating can be a one-time event or can lead to an ongoing relationship among kindred groups.

PC ReNew – a Win Win Program Presented by Hank Feinberg

PC ReNew is a computer refurbishing program that helps needy people better empower their lives. Learn how to start a program in your club that gets your membership involved and brings in new members and helps your community. It is designed to raise public awareness of your club and increase the education of the proper disposal of computers by giving them a second life. It is a strong reason to promote who you are and what your group has to offer.

Hank will tell you everything you need to know to start, train, organize and run your own PC ReNew community program. He will discuss working with the government, legal and insurance issues, building your workshop, storage, work flow and operating procedures. He also will talk about the special needs of the disabled, legal licensing and identity theft. He will share all the build specifications, forms used to track requests and orders, promotional ideas and discuss some of the ways to motivate club members to become more involved.

If you are a group that refurbishes or want to learn how easy this program is to implement and increase your membership please attend. Your participation is welcomed.

Stump the PowerPoint Expert

Presented by Kathy Jacobs, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP

Your job, should you accept it, is to stump the PowerPoint expert. Kathy Jacobs, resident PowerPoint expert, will take your PowerPoint questions live during this session. She will take any PowerPoint question thrown at her. If she can’t answer your question, she will point you to a resource that can. You will come out of this session with PowerPoint abilities beyond your wildest dreams. Kathy will be taking questions on PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 – come prepared to make her work!

Virtual Technologies (VMware / Virtual PC) Presented by Dennis K. Courtney, CPCUG

Virtualization is one of the most exciting technologies today. In this session you will learn how to set up a new virtual PC, how to virtualize an existing PC and how to make them exchange data with the host PC across a virtual network. We will look at both the virtualization software and some tools to make virtualization easier. Products from both Microsoft and VMware will be demonstrated (and they’re all FREE!).

How to Create a Win-Win-Win Partnership with Vendors Presented by Linda Moore

What is a Win-Win-Win Partnership? That is where the vendor wins, the user group wins and the members of your user group win. Developing this winning partnership includes not only tips for having exciting programs but also tips for increasing your user group ranking with the various search engines.

Verbatim: Where’s Your Stuff Storage Going?

Presented by Andy Marken

Does it feel like you’re living on your computer…on the internet…in the virtual world? It’s true. We’ve suddenly become a content world — photos, video, music, PPTs, documents, data, you name it. We can’t produce, we can’t grab, we can’t send enough. The challenge is storing that content and having it where we want, when we want, how we want. Andy will outline some of new solutions, real solutions that are going to be available this year as well as what you need to consider/watch out for in making your storage and retrieval decisions. Solutions — like content — are everywhere. Moving in the right direction is becoming more important because now they are more than just bit buckets…they are your storage things!!!

Cyber Security

Presented by Ira Wilsker

We and our computers are under constant attack from a variety of sources. We all have heard of viruses and spyware, but have we heard about the latest threat called a “rootkit”? Rootkits are explicitly designed to avoid detection by most antivirus and antispyware software, and present a growing threat to our cyber safety. We will discuss wireless security and other cyber security issues.

Marketing Your User Group Using Search Engines

Presented by Ash Nallawalla

In the 21st century, computer users get their answers from search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Live Search. Many of these users do not join traditional user groups because most answers are already available online or can be obtained within minutes, if not hours.

User groups need to harness the power of search engines to reach potential members and to market themselves online. This session will feature:

· Websites and Blogs – how to use them effectively without any technical background.

· Search Engine Optimization – why a small change can make your site invisible or at the top of the search results.

· How to recruit users who think they can get all their information on the web.

This session is ideal for user group webmasters and other officers who are concerned with a declining membership.

Ash trains and consults to large corporations and SMEs in search marketing and will share some of his professional-grade training materials in this session.

Raxco: How to Increase System Performance by Getting a Better Understanding of Windows NTFS File Systems

Presented by Greg Hayes

Raxco’s Slogan for all of their software products is “Everything you do on your computer – Faster™” Greg Hayes will be addressing the Windows File Systems and Performance, which will provide a glimpse into some of the internals of the NTFS file system.

Raxco has built all of their top tier products based on having an indepth and comprehensive knowledge of Windows Systems Internals. Greg’s presentation will enlighten you on how to get the best performance possible from your Windows computer.

For over 25 years, Raxco Software has been a leading provider of system administration software and resource management solutions for medium- to large-sized organizations, as well as, home users around the world.

Reallusion: Making Movies Like a Rock Star: Creating Animation and Avatars for Movies, Blogs and Websites

Presented by John Martin II

Explore the inner depths and outer limits of turning your PC into a virtual movie studio so you can add a whole new dimension to your content…one that will make people laugh, cry, cheer for more. Reallusion’s John Martin will show you how to convert a single digital photo or image into a talking character with CrazyTalk and bring it to life with interactive live puppeteering. He will help you explore real-time filmmaking with iClone and demystify the art of animation with revolutionary character design tools. You won’t believe how fun and easy it is to have your own fully featured animation studio on your PC. Instantly you can connect to over 200,000 free 3D models to make your iClone movies more fun, more exciting, more entertaining than you ever thought possible. John will show you how you can do it all…and more with products like CrazyTalk , iClone, iClone 3DXchange, Google SketchUp & Google 3D Warehouse.

How to Set Up a Secure Home Wireless Network

Presented by Tom Jones

What you don’t know about setting up a home wireless network can hurt you.

This session will cover:

· The alphabet soup of home wireless networks and the pros and cons of each

· Terms used in wireless networks

· Different types of security

· Major concerns about an unsecure home network

· The process of properly setting up security on a wireless home network

Trend Micro

Presented by David Perry

Description TBA

How to Create a Successful Product Review Program

Presented by Linda Moore

Come learn from this presentation not only what worked but also what didn’t work in creating a successful product review program. In addition to the presentation, access to documents will provided for

· Product Review Guidelines

· Product Reviewer’s Application

· Sample Product Review

Project X

Presented by Jay Ferron

Description TBA

Moving from Online Contacts to Real-Life Friends

Presented by Kathy Jacobs & Betsy Weber

Come take a tour of social media and learn how these tools can lead to real life friendships. In addition, you will learn how social media can help you stay connected with people you don’t see often. As the social media applications are discussed, we will also cover how you can use these sites to help you PR your user group to a whole new audience.

The sites we currently plan to cover include:

· Twitter

· Blogs

· FaceBook

· Podcasts

· Second Life

· Upcoming.org or Meet-up.com

· Ning

· Spock

Identity Theft

Presented by Ira Wilsker

Identity theft is one of the leading crimes against individuals. Research indicates that about 10 million adults are victimized by identity theft annually, with a cost to the victims and businesses in excess of $40 billion. Some of the identity theft is committed in cyberspace by a variety of means including phishing, keylogging, and other nefarious means. In this session we will discuss how identity theft occurs, and what we can do to prevent ourselves from being victimized.

Speaker Biographies

DORIS COLLINS

Doris Collins is the newly-elected President of the Board of Directors of the Computer Club of Oklahoma City (“CCOKC”); prior to holding that office, she was the Vice President/Program Director for two years and has been a member of CCOKC for five years. She has worked with computers since 1989; she was a technical representative for America Online for five years, and has most recently worked for Dell. She is married and has two grown sons and two grandchildren. Although born in San Diego, California, Doris has lived in Oklahoma City since she was six months old. Other than computers, her hobbies are cooking and reading. She loves to teach and has taught several classes and done various other volunteer jobs for CCOKC and for the SeniorNet Users’ Group, which is affiliated with CCOKC.

The attendance at the monthly General Meetings of CCOKC greatly increased during Doris’ tenure as Program Director, and she was able to give away some great door prizes. She tried to find speakers on many different subjects that were interesting to a broad spectrum of interests. She convinced the Board of Directors to allow her to offer compensation to her speakers, which was a great encouragement to get people to talk about their areas of expertise. That way, she didn’t have to wait on “experts” from software or hardware companies. She also tried to make her articles on the Club’s website intriguing so that people would want to come hear the speaker.

She will be bringing lists of speakers and door prizes used during her two years on the job. Hopefully, she will inspire other Program Directors, or those who will be in that position in the future, to have great programs.

DENNIS K. COURTNEY

Dennis Courtney has 20+ years experience in data processing. He currently works for the Inter-American Development Bank and is in charge of a Data Center of over 400 Windows Servers. An early adopter of virtualization he currently hosts more than 100 Windows/Linux servers as virtual machines. Dennis is also the long time President of the Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) in the Washington, DC area, has hosted a number of talks on virtualization and teaches the virtualization classes for CPCUG.

HANK FEINBERG

President of Total Promotions, Inc a 26 year old motivational and promotional marketing company he has also been a member of the Rockland PC Users Group for over 20 years. In March 2001 he put his marketing and business experience working with many of Americas Fortune 500 companies toward starting Project PC ReNew which is run by RPCUG and its “Big Hearts” members. This awardwinning project is several thousand computers old and has empowered many people in the Lower Hudson Valley to better their lives by being able to move into the digital age while learning necessary computer life skills. He is the director of this organization and is always willing to share his knowledge and experience with other clubs and charities. Hank sits on the board of other organizations like Safe Harbors of the Hudson and HUVPAC.

JAY FERRON

CIO for Interactive Security Training, LLC, working on various projects that include training, Windows and Unix security designs, network infrastructures, enterprise designs and installations. Customers include Microsoft, CompUSA, banks, government agencies, health agencies and providers. As a speaker, Jay has presented at APCUG, Comdex, Tech Forum Managers meetings, Future Forum 2000, ISPCON, Corporate Advisory Board, CTEXPO, Web Developer conference, and many computer user groups. Jay travels around the world teaching and training users of computer technologies,

Jay is currently the President of APCUG, but he has also served as an APCUG Regional Advisor and APCUG Vice President. He has served on the Board of Advisors of The PC Users Group of Connecticut and he is a current board member of the CT– Information Systems Audit and Control Association. In the past Jay has helped start up 5 different user groups around the country, and he was president of three of those groups. Jay believes that you have to give back and volunteer to help others.

GABE GOLDBERG

Gabe Goldberg is a technology writer, editor, and consultant. After several years of writing for AARP’s Computers and Technology Web site, he now co-hosts the Compu-KISS Web site (www.compukiss.com), demystifying today’s diverse technologies so that seniors can learn, enjoy, and benefit from it.

Gabe supports many national and local user groups. He has served as Director of Meeting Programs and Outreach Director for the Washington, DC-area Capital PC User Group, one of the oldest and largest PC user groups in the United States, in which he also organized Internet-related meetings. He’s given hundreds of presentations to user groups and industry conferences around the world.

Gabe evangelizes for user groups and the Internet — believing that user groups are an antidote to feeling alone with technical activities, challenges, problems, and triumphs, and that the Internet is the largest virtual user group and an enjoyable way to increase personal/organizational productivity.

DAN GOLDSTEIN

Dan is the Senior Vice President of Development for Acoustica Inc. and is the lead designer and developer of Acoustica’s Mixcraft, Beatcraft, and Spin It Again products. He has built a career as an audio technology expert, working for such audio technology giants as Sonic Foundry and hello Network, and he is proud to have the largest collection of vintage synthesizer keyboards in the state of Nevada.

GREG HAYES

Greg Hayes has worked in the IT field since 1986, working first as a programmer and then as a Systems Manager for one of the first subscription based on-line services in the world. Greg remembers what it was like to dial up at 300 baud with thermal teletype systems and when 2400 baud modems were “fast”!

Greg has worked for Raxco Software since 1996 – starting out as a systems engineer supporting Raxco’s OpenVMS software products, eventually heading up Raxco’s Windows Technical Support department. Today, he is the Technical Solutions Manager – which means he gets to do all sorts of fun things.

Greg first became a Microsoft MVP in 2003 with an area of expertise in Windows File Systems. Greg is very active and known in the online community – helping to answer questions and solve problems for users of all levels.

KATHY JACOBS

Kathy Jacobs, Microsoft MVP (PowerPoint and OneNote) is a social media junky. Beyond running her own blog, Vitamin CH, she reads and responds to a number of other blogs regularly. She can be found on Twitter (call_kathy), LinkedIn, FaceBook, Spock.com, and a very wide range of other social media sites. Wabbits are Wonderful, her somewhat regular mini-audio cast through the Nabaztag system on websites of interest. She is the current president of the Phoenix PC Users Group and presents regularly at Arizona User Group meetings. She presented this summer at SWUG as well.

TOM JONES

Tom Jones is an APCUG Board member and a member of Northeast Ohio PC Club (NEOPC). He is currently the APCUG rep for NEOPC, and over the past fifteen years has served NEOPC as President, Vice President, Board Member, SIG Leader, and Newsletter Editor.

Tom is a licensed Professional Engineer (Electrical) and has obtained certification from BICSI (the Building Industry Consulting Services, International) as an RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) and has received the Network Transport Specialist (formerly LAN Specialist) certification from them as well. Tom is a Microsoft Certified Professional and has completed the Network+ and Security+ Certifications from CompTIA (the Computer Technology Industry Association). He is a Cisco Certified Academy Instructor (CCAI) and has achieved Cisco certifications for CCDA, CCNA, CCDP, CCNP, and Wireless LAN Support Specialist.

Tom has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Cleveland State University. He is currently employed by Key Bank as a Network Infrastructure Engineer, and teaches continuing education classes at Cleveland State University and two local community colleges on many weekends.

ANDY MARKEN

President of Marken Communications, Andy has been involved in the strategic marketing and promotion of hardware and software storage technology for more than 20 years. His experience includes work with many of the early hard drive firms in Silicon Valley as well as optical firms involved in CD, MO and DVD technologies. He has been involved in mainframe, PC, CE and game systems promotion with firms including Amdahl, Control Data, Atari, Panasonic, Philips, Verbatim and others. In the application side of the industry he has worked with ancient firms like MicroPro as well as today’s advanced technologies with firms such as FAST, Dazzle, Pinnacle, InterVideo, Ulead and others. More information can be obtained at www.markencom.com

JOHN C MARTIN II

Leading Reallusion’s vision to revolutionize real-time filmmaking tools aimed toward consumers, John C Martin II, Vice President of Product Marketing, continues evolving Reallusion’s award-winning CrazyTalk and iClone Studio. Focused on educating consumers about Reallusion’s accessible filmmaking technology, John’s role as spokesman for Reallusion connects audiences with information and demonstration of Reallusion’s real-time filmmaking software fueling the frenzy of user generated content and empowering the new era of citizen director.

John specializes in emerging media and social networks including Machinima and virtual worlds such as Second Life. Recognizing the vast potential to use virtual worlds and real-time game and animation engines to unite technology with a new era in storytelling, John speaks to audiences across the globe about the rise of the Web 2.0 new media movement.

LINDA MOORE

For 4.5 years Linda Moore was the Program Director for the North Texas PC Users Group. She has also served as president, president-elect, vendor discount coordinator and product review coordinator. This presentation will include the techniques, which have produced results for user groups.

Linda has worked in IT for over 30+ years dating back to the days of main frame computers and keypunch cards. Initially, she worked as a programmer-analyst, which progressed to systems analyst, technical communicator, senior project manager and consultant.

SCOTT MOORE

With nearly 15 years in the assistive technology industry, Scott Moore is a knowledgeable professional and seasoned presenter. As the marketing director for Ai Squared – a world leader in computer access products for the visually impaired – Scott plays a key role in the design, development and introduction of new products that allow individuals to use computers with greater ease, comfort and success.

ASH NALLAWALLA

Ash Nallawalla, CEO of trainSEM.com, trains and consults to small and large corporations in search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. He travels internationally to train clients and to speak at marketing conferences. He is acknowledged as a search marketing expert in Australia, where he lives with his wife and two teenagers in Melbourne.

Originally trained as an accountant, Ash has spent his career as a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and, later, the RAAF Strategic Reserve; in senior marketing roles at companies such as Unisys, Hayes Microcomputer Products, Selectica, Macromedia/Adobe, Melbourne IT and Sensis, the Australian search engine.

DAVID PERRY

David Perry is the Global Director of Education for Trend Micro. He is a leading authority on computer virus prevention with more than 25 years in the technical support and education field. He has appeared at numerous industry trade shows, been featured on hundreds of television and radio broadcasts and in print media interviews, and is well recognized in the antivirus industry. He is one of the most quoted experts in the field of computer viruses, malware and security education. He has been a top rated industry speaker at events like RSA, EICAR, AVAR and has even spoken in the White House. Perry was also on hand in Washington D.C. at the end of 1999 during the Y2K vigilance, providing his services as a computer virus expert for the President’s Task Force on Y2K Issues.

DWIGHT SILVERMAN

Dwight Silverman is a veteran journalist who has written about personal computers since the mid-1980s. He is currently the computing columnist and technology blogger at the Houston Chronicle, as well as the co-host of “Technology Bytes”, a weekly PC-help call-in radio show on KPFT-FM. You can read his blog and columns at http://www.chron.com/. Dwight writes extensively about all aspects of computing including PC and Mac computers, Linux and all the latest computing gadgets.

Dwight is the Interactive Journalism Editor, technology columnist and blogger, http://blogs.chron.com/, for the Houston Chronicle. PC World selected Dwight’s Techblog as one of the top 100 technical blogs in the world. According to Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, the Houston Chronicle is the leading implementer of leading-edge internet technology for main stream media outlets. Dwight has also written freelance articles for various publications including PC Computing and Rolling Stone.

Dwight and Larry Magid co-wrote the book Microsoft Windows Vista, which was published in May 2007. Currently, Dwight is working on a new book, Running Windows on your Mac, which is scheduled to be published in February 2008.

BIRL SMITH

Birl Smith has worked as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for 19 years. In his CPA work, he has specialized in working with banks, governmental entities and non-profit organizations. Birl’s professional work has always involved computers and he purchased his first personal computer in 1981. Since then he has bought many desktops and laptops. Birl has worked with DOS, Windows and Linux operating systems and with Windows SharePoint Services. He has also built computers, both desktops and servers.

Birl joined the North Texas PC Users Group (NTPCUG) in 1990, where he served on the board for 7 years as secretary, president and president-elect. He has also served as the SIG leader for NTPCUG’s Wireless SIG, PDA – Handheld Technology SIG and the Communications SIG.

BETSY WEBER

Betsy Weber joined TechSmith in 2000 and is the company’s Chief Evangelist. With nearly a decade of experience in corporate training and product management, Betsy has worked on both the development and customer service side of delivering business applications. Betsy leads the company’s highly-acclaimed evangelism program where she collaborates with customers, industry experts and technologists from all over the world. Betsy is also the voice behind The Visual Lounge blog where she shares stories about how customers are using TechSmith’s suite of software products in practical, unique, and innovative ways.

CHERYL WESTER

Cheryl Wester is a high school teacher in Corona, California. She is the Vice President of the Temecula Valley Computer User Group, their APCUG representative and program chair. Cheryl is currently a member of three different groups-both mobile and PC. She works part time for Applian Technologies in tech support. She has been involved with user groups since 2001. Cheryl has done various presentations at numerous conferences through the years and is currently an Advisor for APCUG.

SAM WEXLER

Sam Wexler became involved with computers a half century ago this year when he programmed the IBM 650 at Watson Lab. He retired from IBM in 1993 after 30 years; half as a lab “techie” and the other half in headquarters. Before there were user groups like the APCUG, there was GUIDE which is an association of IBM mainframe users and during some of his time at IBM Sam was a GUIDE rep. He is a charter member of the IEEE and was also a member of the two groups who merged to form the IEEE.

He has been an entrepreneur since 1981 creating, running and selling businesses at several locations on the US East Coast. In 1993 he co-founded the largest entrepreneur group in the Northeast (FINE) currently with 1,000+ members and he hosts/runs their website. Sam believes the best way to increase membership, interest and speakers in your User Group is to run it like an entrepreneur and he has an excellent track record to prove it works. He gives presentations on this subject to entrepreneur and computer user groups.

Sam has been associated with Computer User Groups for more than 25 years. He has been President of the Valencia Falls Computer Club in Delray Beach, FL since it was created in 2002, was elected Secretary of the FACUG at their 2005 Spring Conference and elected APCUG Region 1 Advisor in March, 2007.

He divides his time between Poughkeepsie, NY and Delray Beach, FL. Sam has a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering and a MBA.

IRA WILSKER

Ira Wilsker is an Instructor IV and Program Director of the Management Development program at the Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont, Texas, where he has been on the faculty for nearly 31 years. Ira also teaches cyber security and cyber terrorism for the Texas Center for Homeland Security. He has been the recipient of numerous grants in computer security, computer forensics, and community oriented policing. Ira is also a police officer with over 14 years of experience, mostly in the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes. Ira has hosted the popular “My Computer Show” on KLVI for the past 12 years, and for the past seven years has written the weekly personal technology column in the Examiner newspaper.