Ten free classes will be held in the library throughout the coming year to promote technological confidence and best practices within our San Juan Islands community. Led by Steve Wambsganss and Gene Nery, these Rock Tech Seminars are two-hour lectures open to everyone and free to the public. They will be available every week on each of San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands throughout 2017.
The first hour consists of a broad and informal presentation on a variety of topics dealing with personal technology. The remaining hour is dedicated to questions and answers from the participants. At present,we have just over ten seminars to offer, with more on the way as the needs of the community and participants are gauged.
These free seminars are not intended to provide in-depth study or hands-on assistance on each of the topics or issues specific to each of the participants’ devices. Instead, the seminars will be presented in such a way as to de-mystify the topics and provide a wide range of solutions to a broad audience at varying levels of technological understanding. Participants requiring hands-on assistance or specific classes will be given the opportunity to book time with our facilitators separately. In these seminars, we will not be able to solve everyone’s problems or even provide answers to everyone’s
questions, but we do hope to provide the community with a fundamental and basic resource in a fun and relaxed way.
Friday Harbor – Monday, Feb 13, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Feb 14, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday Feb 17, 10:30am-12:30pm
In this interactive seminar, we will work together with the participants to define and break down the
confusing terminology that arises in our everyday lives. We will also demonstrate and provide resources for
participants to find out information on their own. Our goal is for the participants to feel more confident when
seeking assistance and not to be afraid to require those helping them to speak in a language they can
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Feb 21, 10am-noon
Friday Harbor – Wednesday, Feb 22, 11:30am-1:30pm
Lopez Island – Thursday, Feb 23, 10:30am-12:30pm
There are so many cables and connectors in use today, that connecting devices can be a nightmare. In
this seminar, we will endeavor to de-mystify a few of the most common past and current cables,
connectors and ports they are likely to show up in our day-to-day lives. This includes cables and ports
• Mobile devices
• Other peripheral devices the participants may present
Friday Harbor – Monday, Feb 27, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Feb 28, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Mar 3, 11am-1pm
Computers are becoming more and more part of our day to day lives, and the technology seems to change
on a daily basis. So, how does one even get started? In this seminar, we will very briefly look at the
modern history of the personal computer, where we have been and where we are now. The purpose of the
course is to provide a clear, foundational place from which to confidently start. We will demonstrate
resources participants can use to become more confident in the technology they currently possess and
how to make wise decisions in their future purchases. Topics may include:
• Computer and technical terms
• Storage vs. Memory
• Files and folders
• Understanding the desktop
• Using a mouse or trackpad
• Helpful tutorials and resources
• Why is a backup important? Online vs external drive?
Remote Control Basics
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 6, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 7, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Thursday, Mar 9, 10:30am-12:30pm
Every device we purchase these days seems to come with a remote control, and each of them seems to
do things in a different way. In this seminar, we will look at a brief history of the remote control, how they
work and how to manage them. Topics may include:
• What do all the buttons mean?
• Best practices when using remote controls
• How to set up a remote control
• Universal remotes: benefits and challenges
• The differences between Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi remotes
• Where to look for help?
The Online Life, Part 1: Connecting to the Internet
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 13, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 14, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Mar 17, 10:30am-12:30pm
In just a few years the internet went from being a novelty, to a useful tool, to a necessity of everyday life.
Everything from our information, to the way our refrigerator works can (and is slowly evolving to “must”) be
controlled using the internet. This seminar will provide a very brief history of the internet, demystify some of
the terminology, and provide insights into connecting to the internet. Topics may include:
• Where did it come from and where is it leading?
• What is DSL, Fiber and LTE?
• What is Wi-Fi?
• What is Bluetooth?
• What is a “network”?
• How smart are our “Smart” devices?
• What is a “Smart Home” and what are the requirements?
The Online Life, Part 2: Using the Internet
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 20, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 21, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Thursday, Mar 23, 10:30am-12:30pm
As a follow-up to the previous seminar, this seminar will provide an understanding of how the internet
works, how to make the best use of it, and how to be as safe as possible while using it. Topics may
• Wading through the terminology? What does it all mean?
• Understanding websites
• Understanding links and popups
• Streaming content vs broadcast television
• Online shopping and financial security
• My life is controlled by passwords (Part 1): Understanding why we got so trapped and how to untangle
8. The Online LifePart 3: Computer and Online Security
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 27, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 28, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Mar 31, 10:30am-12:30pm
In seminar 3 of the series, The Online Life, we will look at what internet security means. We will revisit the
concept of personal security and attempt to separate the truth from the hype. Topics may include:
• What are Viruses?
• What is Malware?
• What is “Scareware”?
• What is actually bad and what is hype?
• How to protect myself, my family and my business?
• My life is controlled by passwords (Part 2): Password management and helpful solutions?
The Online Life, Part 4: Cloud Computing
Friday Harbor – Monday, Apr 3, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Apr 4, Noon-2pm
Lopez Island – Friday, Apr 7, 11am-1pm
In the final seminar of the four-part series, The Online Life, we will look at “The Cloud”. We hear about it
every day – but what does it all mean, and is the information I’m storing truly secure? Furthermore, as we
add more features, the costs can become more and more prohibitive. So, we will look at ways to identify
what our needs actually are, in the hopes of making effective and efficient use of our resources.
• What is the “Cloud”
• What are the requirements?
• Is it secure?
• What are the benefits?
• What are the drawbacks?
• Free or paid services?
• What are my actual needs?
Smart Phones and Tablets
Friday Harbor – Monday, Apr 10, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Apr 11, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Apr 14, 10:30am-12:30pm
With the release of the first iPhone just under ten years ago, a revolution took place in how we
communicate with each other, how we receive and process information and how we entertain ourselves. In
this seminar, we will look at some of the various devices on the market, the pros and cons to the different
operating systems and a quick look at the ways, benefits and costs involved in syncing our photos and
• Apple, Android and everything in between
• Smart phones
• Mobile device vs a laptop
• Basic concepts in syncing your photos, videos, music and contacts
• Managing limited space
Friday Harbor – Monday, Apr 17, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Apr 18, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Apr 21, 10:30am-12:30pm
“Smart” televisions are all the rage these days, but with all the choices out there, which one do I choose?
The prices range from ridiculously cheap to incredibly expensive. In this seminar, we will look at the what
all the lingo means, how to assess our needs, make wise choices when purchasing and what to do when I
get the monstrosity home.
• Why do Smart TVs make me feel so dumb
• Deciphering and using TV remote controls
• Changing inputs on the TV
• Connecting devices to the TV
• Obscure settings and what to ignore
• 4K, 5K, 1080p … what does it all mean?
More to come throughout 2017!