Dec 262011
radio talkback & discussion on technology, the web and social media

For Christmas 2011 Paul joined Nikolai Beilharz to discuss dealing with problems with your Christmas tech gifts.

We had a number of callers with problems including setting up a wireless network, what to do if a drink is spilled on your keyboard and how older people can get useful computer training.

Seniors Computer Assistance

John from Hobart asked about where he could get instructions on using his computer.

The Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association is a volunteer group bringing together local computer clubs that cater for older folk.

ASCCA’s national members directory lists local clubs by state and contacting the nearest group should help you find the right assistance from your peers.

Oh no! I’ve spilled a drink on my computer?!?

Watching a freshly spilled cup of coffee, glass of wine or can of softdrink pour into your keyboard makes for one half panic and the other half despair.

If you move quickly and you turn the keyboard upside down then you have a chance of rescuing a laptop computer before too much damage is done. The important thing is to stop liquid getting onto important circuits.

Having turned the keyboard or laptop upside down, leave it for a day for the liquid to dry out. Then its a good idea to take it to the local computer store to see if it the residue can be cleaned up as usually the keyboard becomes sticky and some keys may not work.

Should the liquid damage a desktop computer’s keyboard that’s usually easily fixed by buying a new keyboard but if you’re using a laptop, then the motherboard – the key part of a computer’s circuits – may be affected and that’s usually time to start shopping for a new system.

Setting up a wireless network

Most of the tech devices we’re getting for our households require some sort of wireless connection.

If you have a wireless network, it’s important you get the security right as you don’t want neighbours and passers-by using your connection. The IT Queries site has instructions on securing these networks.

Once have a secured network, preferably using the WPA2 encryption standard and a strong password, you can then connect each device. You’ll need the name of the network and the WPA2 password to make it work.

Sometimes some devices want older, inferior security settings and occasionally they just won’t work at all. It may take several attempts to get them to work and it’s worthwhile re-reading our ten tips for setting up technology.

Our next national ABC spot will be on February 9 next year. We will probably have some more spots over the summer break and we’ll let newsletter subscribers know about them as soon as we do. We also post them to the events page.

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