No Internet! Thank you Vodaphone for demonstrating that digital communication is always inferior to the real thing. So we enjoyed an afternoon of productive conversation, and (for diehard digitalists) offline word-processing. Special thanks to volunteer Fiona from Baringa via Benefacto – plus our regular volunteers Gene, Margaret, Stephen and Tom.
Horrible weather outside, but it’s always sunny inside Whitmore Community Centre on Friday afternoon — so we were full. Special thanks for a great afternoon — to volunteers Paul, Chris, Adam and Ashraf from Financial Conduct Authority via Benefacto – plus regular volunteers Gene, Margaret, Stephen and Tom.
Reported in Hackney Today 28 January 2019 — Over 100 Hackney women were nominated for making a difference to the borough — two of the front-runners are drop-in stalwarts Irene Lewington and Patricia Sim, who both make a massive difference to our Friday afternoons.
Hyacinth — a prominent Hackney wonder woman in her own right — investigates. Watch this hastily-made instant video, shot on a handheld iPad in an echoey room at Whitmore Community Centre, surrounded by other people banging and coughing.
A woman who lives in sheltered accommodation spends several nights every week riding on London’s night buses in order to meet people. Carol says nobody speaks to her when she is at home so she goes looking for company on public transport.
This is the link to the BBC video – The woman who spends her nights on a London bus
We are not the only drop-in IT help centre in Hackney. The video shows a very successful project run by the Trowbridge Senior Citizens Club. We don’t know exactly when they are open, but they are easy to find on the Trowbridge Estate in Hackney Wick.
- Address: 15 Lavington Close, E9 5HF
- Map: goo.gl/maps/LUajeJ5dzQs
Another way to avoid exploitation
Don’t pay for over-priced software that you don’t need!
This post is about how you can find a cheaper and more appropriate version of MS Office (which includes MS Word), if you really need it.
Recommended MS Office versions
- MS Office Home and Student 2007 — possibly the best deal, but not common now. One license allows you to install on three devices.
- MS Office 2010 Pro — widely used. For example, the current A5 flyers and A3 posters for the drop-in and podcast were edited with MS Word 2010 because that’s what I use to edit complex documents for commercial printing. MS Publisher 2010 is also very useful — and the last version of Publisher that can create documents in the CMYK format that commercial printers require.
More recent versions of MS Word are not superior, just more expensive.
How to buy a retail product key
This is how we got MS Office 2007 or 2010 on the drop-in laptops.
What you need to know about buying MS Office this way …
- What you actually pay for is a pre-used licence key — a retail product that can be transferred and traded.
- Always make sure that you are paying for a key, not a recurring subscription.
- The software itself is a free download from the Microsoft server. The licence key that you pay for enables you to install and use the software legally — and you can move it to a new computer if you upgrade your hardware.
- When you buy a pre-used licence key, the seller company provides detailed instructions on what to do with it.
- By the way — if you have bought a Windows computer with MS Office pre-installed, you do not have a retail key. You cannot sell it or move it to a different computer.
There are several UK sellers in this market. I’m not going to recommend any of them because you — as the buyer — must use your own judgement, not mine. I have been satisfied as a customer of Software Geeks (softwaregeeks.co.uk), but they have competitors and it might be foolish to ignore them.
Although this procedure is quite straightforward, digital beginners can easily get lost. However, our drop-in volunteers can probably help you — provided you are already comfortable buying online with a credit or debit card.
If you are a Windows user, our volunteers might also point out that …
- Open-source LibreOffice Writer (libreoffice.org/discover/writer) is not only free, it will probably meet all your word-processing requirements.
- All versions of Windows since 1995 have included a simple word-processor named Wordpad — so if your needs are basic, you already have what you are looking for.
Celebrate survival — one more year
Friday afternoon, 2 pm, 21 December, at Whitmore Community Centre
What sort of party?
Look at some of the party videos on page Blasts from the Past — they just happened naturally — so that is what we have in mind at the moment. Music delivery by Haggerston DJ Sister Teresa.
Who is invited?
- You and everybody else — past, present and future droppers-in, podcasters, volunteers, helpers, friends, family 🙂
Is party booze allowed?
- WCC management say: “Yes – but don’t make a mess, and please take your bottles away with you”.