Computer corner

By Andrew Taylor

This first appeared in our January 2010 newspaper

Wi-fi and computer access in N3

We shall be writing about free wi-fi access in a future edition. At present the only places I know of within N3 which offer their patrons free access to wi-fi are The Dignity (Regents Park Road), The Treasure House (11 Ballards Lane) and the Library (Hendon Lane). Please let me know by mid-January of any other establishments offering free wi-fi.

Choosing programs for voluntary societies

Writing letters, setting up label programs: all these chores that people in voluntary societies have to do needs more careful thought than many committee members realise. You cannot be certain that your software is the same as anyone else’s software.

Before you build up a collection of documents, spreadsheets or presentations (and databases), you need to be certain that everyone uses a program which can access the same data structure that everyone else has. You should also check if all members, both present and future, all use the same operating system. The majority will no doubt use Windows but many people also use Linux and the Apple Mac operating system as well. Linux users are growing at a very fast rate as this operating system and about 18,000 programs are all available totally free as open source products via the Internet. I will write about Ubuntu Linux in a future edition.

OpenOffice 3 is an open source office program which works in Windows and Linux, and on the Apple Mac. Its files will work with a large amount of programs which you can easily read, work on and save in the Microsoft Office format if that is required. Something that the cheap Microsoft Works program cannot do! You can download OpenOffice3 from this link. In addition to the three usual programs it has a database, a drawing package and lots of other extras.

If everyone is Windows-based, there is a free program to print labels and build up address lists of your members from Avery Labels. The program is Avery DesignPro Lite and can be downloaded from this link.

I’m happy to discuss this with you. Email me for more information.

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