Get help with your new tech devices

It is that time of year again. Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma might be getting the latest technology from well-meaning offspring. It happens with more and more frequency as the offspring become increasingly more attached to their latest gadgets.

“Wouldn't it be great for Mom (Dad) to be able to get answers to all those questions that time has seemed to bury in her memory a little deeper each year by just asking Siri, Cortana, Google Now, or even Alexa (not to mention the about-to-take-the-world-by-storm, Hound app)?” Well the answer is yes and maybe no!

Yes, if they were as adept with the devices as the giver. No, if the gift receiver can't “make it work” and even a more resounding NO if they spend hours – make that days – trying to figure out just how to turn the darn thing on and off. So then the confounded turn to grandchildren who seem to use these instruments of the devil with a knowledge that appears they were born with. The embarrassment that senior adults can't understand what is being told to them by a fifth-grader usually ends the lesson.

Now the good news. There is a local club called North East Ohio Personal Computer Club. NEOPC has been in existence since the early 1980s. Its sole purpose is to help individuals understand and how to use technology. The club's home base location has moved from Rocky River to now Fairview Park and Westlake. This club has monthly meetings the second Wednesday evening every month. Prior to the formal meeting there is social time and the club furnishes refreshments of coffee and pastry.

The meetings primarily consist of a presentation on a current topic having to do with technology followed by questions and answers. Although the membership consists of individuals of all levels of expertise, the meetings are focused on beginning-level individuals.

This month's meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Westlake Porter Public Library starting at 6:30 p.m. The speaker will be Bruce Brockman, the President of the club. The topics will include: benefits of NEOPC membership, 50 free products from Google, and help with your Christmas presents. Visitors are always welcome to attend for free; full membership is $20 per year.

But you don't have to wait for a meeting to get answers to questions. Club members have access to an online forum that is monitored by some of the club's experts. Questions about almost any subject get a quick response. Every month members receive a copy of the club's award-winning newsletter, which contains articles relating to tips and tricks for all manner of gadgets, old and new.

Joan Grace

Co-coordinator for Case Off-Campus Studies in Westlake; member of NEOPC also.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:03 AM, 01.05.2016