Tico Byte for January, 2007


Dear PC Club members,


Happy New Year. We hope this year will be the best ever on your computer. And why not? It should just get better and better.


The direction for the club this year will be to bring you as much information and help as we can to make your web experience the best it can be. This year we will concentrate on what is called "web 2.0" or social networking. By this I mean that our future, like that of the whole world, lies in changing how we use the computer and making it more useful. Instead of just using the computer for tasks in our home, the computer has become an instrument of research and instant information that serves our well being.  The direction of the Internet is to use the computer to connect with sources of information that benefits us the user. And that's done over the Internet.


This year the club will focus on what's out there on the Internet that is useful to its members. We will try to bring you hints and tips about how to use the interconnections that are popping up everywhere on the Internet to make things more useful and fun for living. These sites are referred to as "web 2.0" web sites and services.


We are actually doing this already. Those of you who use Gmail and all its related services know that you can do many useful and fun things through the Google site and its services. You can use your mail to protect yourself from spam and viruses. You can use Gmail to store all your documents and files out there on the Internet rather than putting these things on your own hard drive, thereby protecting your data from hard drive failure and making it accessible from anywhere in the world. You can search the world of maps and directions to find any location and how to get there through www.maps.google.com. You can also install Google's free Earth and view any spot on the globe in a realistic presentation of what it looks like. You can write all your documents on www.docs.google.com and make all your data safe from loss from computer failure or your own human mistakes. You can get news through news feeds. You can view free videos of all manner of things of interest or education. You can search billions of data sources to find information you want or need. All instantaneously, through Google's search engine. This is an example of "web 2.0" sites and services. And there are many, many more.


This is where your club will focus this year. We want to bring you up to date on how to use all these resources and services that are free and extremely powerful and can make your life more efficient, effectual and fun. And it's all done through your computer. It matters not these days so much what computer hardware you have; but rather how you use it. And that will be our area of concentration. We want our members to be knowledgeable and experienced in this modern world of instantaneous information. We want you to know about the latest technology and how to use it. We want you to be able to explore how to best do all those things that you want to learn and do that can make your life better, easier and more informed.


So come to the meetings and share your knowledge with everyone else. That will be our format for this year. Information is free. We want you to have all of it you want. And we want you to be informed. Being informed has no age limit. The older one is, the more informed they can be. It's all in how you do it. And we want to do it as well as we can at the PC Club of Costa Rica.


Thank you,


Your President,


Chuck Jennings


The PC Club will meet this Saturday at 8:30am at the Pan American School in Belen. We will have presentations by members of innovations in technologies in wearable computers for disabled children. We will talk about the latest information on Internet phones; devices that do not require a computer to connect you to your phone service anywhere in the world and some that do. There will be sharing time on what's new in technology in general, including web 2.0 services. We will have a complete installation demonstration for Ubuntu onto a laptop computer with related questions and answers. We will have this and a lot more, as always. So come and bring a friend. I expect this year will be our best year ever for learning and doing computing.


See you there.