Are you struggling to keep up with the fast pace of new technology?
Do you have strange windows popping up all over while you are on the Internet?
Do you sometimes feel that your new smartphone is smarter than you are?
These are common concerns, especially for new and intermediate computer users, said Mike McGahee of Computer Services of Augusta.
His new technology-support group aims to help.
McGahee joined with God’s Groovy Mission in The Augusta Business Center to offer a free, monthly support group to anyone struggling with computers, phones, home theater or the Internet. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. on third Thursdays. Call (706) 495-4077 or see csaugusta.com/supportgroup.html for details.
His fliers ask questions such as: “Do you want to set up and use WiFi in your home?”
“Do you have WiFi security enabled or is someone using your Internet without your knowledge?
And, “What is Hi Def and why do I want it?”
On third Thursdays, a small group arrives at the mission with tablets, laptops and questions in hand.
“There needed to be a place where people can take their questions,” McGahee said. “This is audience-driven. People bring their questions. That’s what we talk about.”
At a recent meeting, McGahee told participants how they can use shell programs to make Windows 8 look like the more-familiar Windows 7.
He answered questions including, “What’s an app, anyway?” and “How do you remember passwords for all those online accounts?”
Hands went up as he asked how many people store passwords in a Word document or a Post-It under the keyboard.
Former city commissioner Matt Aitken, a longtime friend of McGahee’s, asked about backing up data.
“Everything nowadays is being done on the Internet and the cloud,” McGahee said, offering a few product recommendations and suggestions for secure data management.
Another participant asked: “How do you get used to a smartphone’s 3-inch screen?”
McGahee’s answer: “Zoom, or better glasses.”
McGahee turned to YouTube to share a few funny clips, such as a now-comical 1967 video of Walter Cronkite describing the home office of the future, and a recent Saturday Night Live sketch on Google Glass.
“I’m from the old-school. I’m from the days before Windows – DOS,” McGahee said.
“In my experience, people have always gone kicking and screaming from one technology to the other. I want to help that process,” he said.
“It’s the main reason I started this support group. The stuff is coming at us fast and furious. Nobody wants to get left behind.”