Previous Presenters for the Mid-Hudson Computer Group:

jeffDowleyBelow is the download link for the Microsoft "SkyDrive" presentation that was done by Jeff Dowley on February 9th 2012 at the Mid Hudson Computer User Group.  It's almost like being there!

SkyDrive Presentation Video link (LARGE file - long time to download - not for everyone)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

“How to Protect Your Computer from Attack and More!”

by: Bob Gostischa (Mr. Avast)

Bring all your questions about your computers security and software. Learn how to properly protect yourself, your information and your computer. With so many Virus and Malware software products today how can you completely and properly protect yourself and your computer? Bob will answer all your questions about all products.

About our Presenter Bob Gostischa

Norbert “Bob” Gostischa, after a successful career in banking, enjoys his retirement as an enthusiast IT security expert, most notably for AVAST Software, the creator of Avast! antivirus software. The Avast! website has a discussion and help forum, where Bob has been helping with security-related issues since 2004, having contributed over 14,000 forum interactions. Avast! is one of the most popular antivirus software's in the world and, has been making security software for over 20 years and has more than 140 million users worldwide.

About Avast.

AVAST Software leads the security software industry – protecting 131,532,577 active and 165,950,159 registered users around the globe – by distributing FREE antivirus software that makes no compromises in terms of protection. Dependable and fast, with a small resource footprint, it often outperforms competitors’ paid-for antivirus suites.

The roots of AVAST Software began in 1988 when Czech technology innovators Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš decided to pursue a passion for computer programming. Today, with about 150 professionals at its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, and a dedicated community of enthusiasts around the globe, with distribution partners in all markets, AVAST Software offers a portfolio of award-winning security software – in more than 30 languages – to 163,720,180 registered users and 130,940,003 active users.

The avast! product-line starts with avast! Free Antivirus for home users and continues to top-of-the-line solutions for business clients.

7:00 PM August 11th, 2011 at The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center (formerly the Mercury Grand Hotel),
2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601 - in the Hudson Room.    

Mid-Hudson Computer User Group is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit educational organization and welcomes the public to attend this meeting. There is no admission charge. Further information concerning this event, or membership details may be obtained by contacting Dick Kranz at 845 896-7376 or go to

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Home Networking, Favorite Deal Websites & Facebook

by: Jeff Dowley

7:00 PM February 10th, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.          

Jeff will be doing 3 mini-presentations:

    Home Networking with Windows 7 and XP,

    Favorite Deal Websites (interactive with the audience -- please bring your favorite ones to share),

    Facebook - How to make your settings semi-private and semi-secure.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Herb Stoller

Retired from IBM-- Poughkeepsie NY

Herb Stoller will present the new Google CR-48 Notebook under test, running the Google Operating system

Mr. Stoller was selected by Google to be a Beta-Tester of the new Google Notebook and the new Google Chrome Operating System. Google’s concepts depend on “working in the Cloud”.

This is an OPEN meeting and the public is invited.

7:00 PM January 13th, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.          

What did we leave out? Spinning disks, caps-lock key, function keys, and lap burns.

The Cr-48 is available exclusively to participants in the Pilot program. Learn more



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why and how to set up your home Router & Firefox the "best web browser"


7:00 PM December 9th, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.          


Thursday, November 11, 2010

eBook readers

by: Bruce J. Preston

7:00 PM November 11th, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.          

Bruce J. Preston will be our keynote presentation speaker describing and comparing various eBook readers.

Bruce will demonstrate Amazon Kindle 2, Apple iPad and Sony Reader (Daily Edition.) Images of the various devices will be projected onto a large screen. His presentation will include the text-to-speech capabilities of the Kindle and iPad.

Bruce also plans to describe and possibly demonstrate Calibre, free software that can read and/or convert various eBook formats. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. He also plans to describe NetLibrary (eAudioBooks,) Project Gutenberg (free eBooks) LibriVox (free audiobooks) and with time permitting, NLS/Bard. He also plans to do a very quick demonstration of how to create your own eBooks ready for publishing on Amazon using Word and a free utility program from a subsidiary of Amazon. The resultant book can be processed by the Kindle's text-to-speech.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Internet Security Suites

by: Jeff Dowley

7:00 PM October 14th, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.          

Jeff will be doing a comparison of the current main players in Internet security suites. McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky, Microsoft Security Essential, and maybe AVG.

There may be mention of some of the anti-malware software, such as Superantispyware and Malwarebytes.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

PRESENTER:  Frank Dispensa --  Master Photographer

7:00 PM August 25, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.            

THEME:     How to get the most out of your camera

Frank will explain in simple terms; correct apertures, shutter speeds, ISO speeds and how they relate to each other,  whether you are using a point and shoot digital camera or a digital SLR camera.  His  presentation may expand to the how's and why's of adding and subtracting F-stops,  learning to read exposure histograms, comparing JPEG format to RAW format and perhaps even some more advanced concepts related to color and white-balancing


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Using computing power to show the linkage between music and fractals

by:  Rachel Perfecto

7:00 PM August 12, at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.            

Rachel won the 51st Annual Dutchess County Regional Science Fair (along with our MHCUG award) with her presentation on "Fractals and Fugues: Analyzing Muxic with Math" and then along the way won an award from Intel.

Rachel is an accomplished musican and mathematician.  Some of the awards she has won are shown on the right.

SENIOR DIVISION - competitive awards








Thursday, July 8, 2010

Computer Group presentation:  Converting LP's & Tapes to MP3's and CD's

by:  Bruce Preston

JULY 8 at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Poughkeepsie, NY in the Hudson Room.            

Bruce tells us he will bring several LPs that could "use work".  One LP has a vocal which provides for a good example of what happens if you record at too high a level - clipping.  The Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert from the 1930's has lots of noise that cleans up very nicely - an impressive demonstration.  I usually bring a few others that have "pops" or other problems.  Because the ripping process from LPs is a real-time process I usually do not do entire album sides (although you could, of course.)
The outline of the presentation:
  • Is It Legal?
  • Background: Different Recording Technologies
  • What Hardware Do I Need?
  • What Software Do I Need?
  • What Kind of Blank CDs?
  • The Process
  • Demonstration

The software is open source - 100% free, and is available for PC, Mac, and Linux.  As for hardware, it is highly probable that all you need is a cable from RadioShack that costs about $8.  I cover connecting to compact stereo systems, component systems, and the standalone turntables that come with a USB connection.



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Libraries and the 21st Century - Libraries and the online world  

by: Faith Johnson    

Ms. Johnson has her Masters degree in Library Sciences and currently works as the Director to the Town of Ulster Public Library. In 2009, the Town of Ulster library served a population of about 12,500 people that borrowed over 95,000 items and had a total of 13,500 on-site PC sessions on only 6 patron accessible computers. Technology assisted services range from the expected such as managing patron borrowing and renewals to the less expected: keeping up with social networking, interacting with Web 2.0 sites, completing homework assignments, using on-line forms to access government services, and even filling out job applications. These are just a sample of how online services in libraries are re-defining the role of the library in the community. 

Ms. Johnson will lead a Q&A session on the intersection of Library sciences, technical services such as internet accessible database collections, and the future of the Library in the community.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Computer Group presentation: Saving and Sharing Photo Memories with Digital Slideshows

by Jerry Greenberg           

In his presentation, he will demonstrate and discuss a range of different software applications and techniques that can be used to store and share digital photos.

There are any number of different applications that can be used to create a DVD that displays still photos. But the applications that allow the create sophisticated slideshows tend to be either expensive or arduous to learn. Some editing applications are both! Fortunately we’ll be navigated through the rocky bits by the presenters personal experience in making such DVDs.

Mr. Greenberg will demonstrate popular free-ware applications and methods for creating a slide show. On one end of the spectrum will be Microsoft’s PowerPoint, which is both common and free for people to view the resulting slideshows. On the other end of the spectrum will be commercially sold software with an abundance of features (with price to match), such as Photodex ProShow. In-between these options there are some lower priced software applications like Ashampoo Slideshow Studio. If time permits, we may discuss some of the software used to acquire and digitize slides and photos.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

graphics arts specialist: Alice Page

Alice is a master in the use of graphics arts software. In particular, she will demonstrate software that you can use to make embroidery and other craft projects. Over the last five years, she has become quite proficient in using three different software packages to create her art. She will discuss and demonstrate her use of Adobe Illustrator, Corel DRAW, and Wilcom Embroidery Studio as they apply to her crafts.


See a review of her presentation in the May Microchip


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dan O' Connor - Social Networking Do's and Don'ts





Visit his website


View Dan's Full Presentation to the Mid-Hudson Computer User Group on March_11, 2010


 View the presentation from February 2, 2010 at the Danbury Area Computer Society


Vocal The Time Isnt Right King Or An Alien Crowd in the Palace Silk Crawled Out of a Grave  

Instrumental Art of Gardens Book of the Monkey The Wire Snapsphere Ambershire RapidArc


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Password Management Software,  Disk Drive Encryption Utilities & Bluetooth technology

                                                                  by: Jeff Dowley

About the Speaker

Jeff Dowley has been working with computers and computer networking full time since 1994.  He has held jobs in frontline support of a 10,000 node campus network, as a quality control engineer in network software testing, and as a manager in software quality assurance.  Presently he works for himself and has the pleasure of working with clients with needs that range from the everyday to the quirky puzzles that no one else has figured out yet.  He regularly works with Microsoft products, and he looks forward to giving presentations to groups in which he can show what Microsoft has done well.  His favorite Microsoft programs are OneNote and Windows Home Server, with a nod to Windows 7.


Jeff will be presenting 3 topics, each will take about half an hour. He will cover the background, the proper use of, and some example programs.

The 3 topics are:

  •  Password saving utilities (password management software)
    •   Some of the software that will be covered includes:
      •   RoboForm
      •   The built-in password savers in Firefox and Internet Explorer
      •   Password Safe

  •   Disk drive encryption utilities
    •   Free solutions like the open source True Crypt
    •   Disk encryption in Windows 7
    •   File encryption in Windows XP

  •   Bluetooth technology
    •    Connecting your cell phone to your PC
    •    Connecting your cell phone to your car phone
    •    Connecting PC peripherals that use Bluetooth for hardware connection
    •    What kind of technology Bluetooth uses to make safe and secure connections


Jeff was good enough to send us his presentations:

Password Managers Encryption Bluetooth


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Harness the full power of your GPS device

                                                                  by: Jeff Dowley

GPS (global positioning system) technology has seemed relatively main stream for a few years now. The ways and places it has been seen as commonplace range from hum-drum to high tech at its highest. If you only use your GPS to help you drive from place A to B, typing in the places each time, then you may be missing some of the best features of your GPS device.

We’ll cover some of the ways you could save time and gas while running errands – by letting the GPS device plan your 10 stop or less route. We’ll go under the hood and show you how to upgrade the maps and software that run your unit. We’ll see how you can find things near to you as you drive: from critical places such as the nearest hospital, to the less critical places like nearest Starbucks or Auto Parts vendor.


Then we’ll tackle how you can import all your business and personal contacts from programs like Microsoft Outlook. Another how-to will be on taking an address directly from Google Maps or MapQuest and importing it as a destination on your GPS device.

Finally, we’ll show you how to play with some of the customization and secondary features like which icons your places are shown with, or how to use it as a digital picture frame. Come join the fun and learn more than you could imagine can be done with these portable wonders

Follow Up:  There was a very enthusiastic crowd for Jeff's presentation and he covered most of the popular GPS Units.  He also forwarded us his presentation. - Harness The Full Power of your GPS Device (converted from PowerPoint)


Thursday, December 10, 2009


Mark T. Hoops, the Sr. Consumer Frauds Representative of the Poughkeepsie regional office of the New York State office of the Attorney General will speak at the Mid-Hudson Computer User Group open public meeting 7:30 p.m. December 10 in the Hudson room at Mercury Grand Hotel, 2170 South Rd., Route 9, town of Poughkeepsie, NY.


Mark is a highly skilled, yet amiable speaker, possessing an uncanny ability to address an audience of super computer geeks, to one with little or no computer knowledge at all. Given his job, Mark has kept abreast of the many ways that scam artists take advantage of the unwitting consumer. His talks have run the gamut from identity theft to online predators and every conceivable scam in between. Mark will update us on the latest consumer fraud activities that he has been involved with. Mark's ability to liven up an audience with tear laughing interaction does in no way take away from the seriousness of his message. This is one speaker you'll not want to miss!


Thursday, November 12, 2009


Presented by Sandy Coulter

Sandy Coulter of will lead a presentation and discussion concerning various online selling techniques

Sandy is past president of RocklandPC User Group and is renown in computer user group and vendor circles


Sandy Coulter, is a self-taught A+ certified computer technician, a Web Marketing Specialist, and an IT Generalist. She has been involved with computers since 1986, and has taught computer technology to children and adults. She has held several IT related positions with various companies, but is now devoted to her own consulting company full time.


Thursday October 8 , 2009

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Presented by Ray Polivka


Ray Polivka of Mid-Hudson Computer User Group will present Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech-recognition software at their open public meeting 7:30 p.m.Thursday, October 8 at Mercury Grand Hotel (formerly Best Western Inn) 2170 South Rd, Rte. 9, Town of Poughkeepsie..

Dragon NaturallySpeaking users can create documents, e-mail and instant messages entirely by voice. You can talk to your computer and watch your spoken words instantly appear in documents, e-mail and instant messages. You can even surf the Web just by speaking! Dragon NaturallySpeaking turns your voice into text three times faster than most people type with up to 99% accuracy. Depending on the version one would choose to install, Dragon NaturallySpeaking can do even so much more such as transcribing recordings from approved handheld recorder's and turning text into human-sounding synthesized speech.




Thursday August 13, 2009

Mid-Hudson Computer User Group will host Cole Bulas of Sandhills Publishing, from Lincoln Nebraska.

7:00 p.m. Thursday, August 13, 2009


The presentation will educate attendees about Sandhills Publishing’s magazines and the Smart Computing User Group Program, will step members through an issue of Smart Computing, convey the value of through a live demonstration, and introduce attendees to Smart Computing’s sister publications - PC Today, First Glimpse, Reference Series, and Computer Power User. 

Cole will also share with us how we can receive unlimited computer support from Smart Computing.  Each attendee will receive a packet of Smart Computing goodies and be eligible to win other Smart Computing merchandise.   We invite anyone interested in expanding their computer knowledge to attend the Mid-Hudson Computer User Group meeting.


Thursday July 9, 2009

"Backing up Your Hard Drive" using Acronis True Image Home 2009

a Webinar by: Gene Barlow - President of User Group Relations

Mid-Hudson Computer User Group will host a Webinar "Backing up Your Hard Drive" using Acronis True Image Home 2009 by Gene Barlow, 7:00 p.m. Thursday, July 9 at Mercury Grand Hotel (formerly Best Western Inn) 2170 South Rd., town of Poughkeepsie, NY.


Gene Barlow has been a presenter in the user group community for 25 years. Now, thanks to online innovative communications, Gene will be presenting a free live Webinar open to the public at our next general meeting.  The Webinar will provide you with an active view of his presentation, allowing you to see and hear his slide presentation, see his software products demonstrated live and ask questions and receive live answers at the meeting. 


Gene's topic, “Backing Up Your Hard Drive” using Acronis True Image Home 2009 will help you make sure you are adequately protected and can recover from any unforeseen events such as viruses, unstable software downloads, and hard drive failures by having a well thought-out backup plan. Having a good backup system is essential in order to put your system back together again in a few minutes, not days or weeks. This is an important topic that every PC User should implement on their computer. Don't miss this meeting and please bring a friend.

Some History - Dan Hanson's interview with Gene Barlow on September 2005 - (mp3) - Gene talks about the early days with the APCUG

Announcing Acronis True Image Home 2009


Thursday June 11, 2009

Digital Photo Workshop: Shoot & Edit Like a Pro!

by Lesa Snider - Founder of the Creative Tutorial Site - The Graphic Reporter


Mid-Hudson Computer User Group will host Lesa Snider, The Graphic Reporter at the Mercury Grand Hotel (formerly Best Western Inn) 2170 South Rd., Route 9 in the town of Poughkeepsie, NY. on Thursday June 11, 2009


Digital Photo Workshop: Shoot & Edit Like a Pro! In this session you'll learn tips for shooting better photos plus how to edit them like a pro. Whether you're using a digital SLR or a point- and-shoot, you'll learn tried and true techniques for getting better shots in camera, plus what to do with them afterwards. Learn how to use the affordable Photoshop Elements to resize images from you camera for various uses, and how to create some of the most popular photo effects including soft vignettes, collages, partial color, gorgeous grayscale, and more!


Lesa is on a mission to teach the world to create--and use!--better graphics. She’s a stock photographer and chief evangelist for iStockphoto, and founder of the creative tutorial site Lesa is the author of Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual (Pogue Press/O'Reilly) along with many video training titles including From Photo to Graphic Art and Practical Photoshop Elements

Internet radio:
Travel blog:

"From Photo to Graphic Art," "Practical Photoshop Elements"
"Graphic Secrets for Business Professionals" - Photoshop tutorials, be sure to hit the "next button" - Photoshop Elements Tutorials From Lesa Snider

Photoshop User, Elements Techniques, Macworld, Layers

Follow UP:

Lesa did a tremendous presentation and we all picked up some tips to shoot like a pro.  Lesa also sent us her presentation in a PDF – Click the picture below to view. (or right click on the picture and choose "save target as")

"The information you can download here is copyrighted by Lesa Snider. Please use it for educational uses only and do not redistribute."


Thursday May 14, 2009

Skype Presentation

by Hank Feinberg, Director - PC ReNew


Mid-Hudson Computer User Group will host a Skype (Voice over internet) presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14 at the Mercury Grand Hotel (formerly Best Western Inn) 2170 South Rd., Route 9 in the town of Poughkeepsie, NY.

Hank Feinberg will show attendees how to have a second phone line for free or almost free.  One will be able to call relatives and friends all over the world for nothing.  Skype users can transfer files and integrate many features for free.


The world of VOIP is changing.  We are going to explore one of the leading providers of free and almost free phone calls and more.  For about $60 per year you can have unlimited phone calls in the US and Canada with your own phone number.  You will be amazed at the free add-on extras that can let you have conference calls with up to 100 people.

Skype isn't just about free Skype-to-Skype calls and easy, low-cost calls to landlines and cell phones around the world.  You can also do much, much more.

For starters why not send a text message directly from Skype or forward a call to your mobile.  You can set up an online number for friends, family and colleagues to make a local call from their old-fashioned phone to your Skype, wherever in the world you are.

All you need to get going with these snazzy products is a little pay-as-you-go Skype Credit.  Alternatively you can get unlimited calls to landline's and a great bundle of useful features with a subscription - it's one neat little package for a low monthly fee.  The presentation is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The presentation will be preceded by a computer oriented Q &A session starting at 6:30 p.m.. Further information may be obtained by calling Dick Kranz at 845 896-7376 or go to to learn more about the Mid-Hudson Computer User Group.


Skype has experienced rapid growth in popular usage since the launch of its services. The company was acquired by eBay in September 2005 for $2.6 billion. EBay has written Skype down to $1.7 billion on its books and announced a public stock offering for 2010 to spin Skype off as a separate company.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Steven Lindsay - of Microsoft presents Windows 7

Steven Lindsay will give a live Windows 7 demonstration 7:30 pm Thurs. March 12, 2009 at Mid-Hudson Computer User Group open public meeting at Best Western Inn, 2170 South Rd. (Rte 9) Town of Poughkeepsie, NY. The presentation will follow a computer oriented Q&A session at 6:30 pm and short business meeting with special interest group announcements at 7:00 pm.


Business owners and computer enthusiasts in the Mid-Hudson area are invited to witness a demonstration of new Windows system 7 features.  Users can add and reposition icons on the new super bar which replaces the Taskbar.  Learn of the laptop versus desktop comparisons as well as 32 or 64-bit installations.  Do installations go smoothly or is it a nightmare? What training, if any, is required of the built in firewall?

Check out the new quick launch and window shake feature.  See rolling over Windows and rotational desktop backgrounds in action.  Witness or partake in interactive discussions concerning drivers and available support issues.  Become familiar with the compatibility analyzer, built in memory and diagnostic tools. There is more.  Come on out, bring a friend and join the fun!


Steve's Presentation
Part 1,   Part 2



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ed Hicks, a US mapping professional, will give a presentation on Digital Cartography.

When you take a look around you, maps are present everywhere in our lives.  And yet strangely, how rarely do we ever teach a child how to read a map, let alone navigate by it.  Our modern world has given us MapQuest, Google Maps, Expedia.  Mapping GPS units are now mainstream and cheap.  Phones have GPS built in. 

We are pleased to present Ed Hicks, owner of “Orienteering Unlimited, Inc.” as our featured speaker. Topics we will be exploring include:  how cartography tools have evolved with technology, navigation techniques, depths of Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth, creating maps from aerial photography, map-making software, and more!  OCAD ( and Global Mapper ( are two applications Ed will use to demonstrate

Links used in the presentation:

OCAD – Smart for Cartography

Global Mapper




Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mark T. Hoops, Senior Consumer Frauds Representative of the NY State Attorney General's Poughkeepsie Office will speak concerning the latest consumer issues that we need to know about.

The Internet has the potential to be a dangerous place along with a very informative medium. Mark will tell us about the consumer fraud and safety issues, along with some of the benefits of the web.

Mark has spoken to our group in the past and has always been a very entertaining speaker who gets the audiance involved.

So Join us for a lively discussion, the meeting is open to the public and begins at 7:00pm, at the Best Western Inn and Conference Center on Route 9, Poughkeepsie, NY.

1/9/09 Follow up:

Again, Mark gave a very interesting and informative presentation

Mark Hoops of the Office of the Attorney General spoke about the new "Know Your Contractor" website.  This is a new consumer site to 'Do Your Homework Before Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor'.  Mark also spoke about identity theft and how to receive your free credit reports from . This is the official site to help consumers obtain their free credit report.

Thank you Mark