News

From newbies to gurus


Sequim High junior Reid Henry, left, provided a demonstration of the capabilities of the Sequim High computer and tech lab to members of the Sequim PC Users Group on Saturday, Jan. 8. Sequim Gazette photo by Mark Couhig

by MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Sequim Gazette

“Technology for Everyone” is the theme of the first Sequim Technology and Media Fair, scheduled for March.

But it’s also the regular business of the Sequim PC Users Group, which will sponsor the event in concert with Sequim High’s Future Business Leaders of America. The fair will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday, March 19, at Sequim High School, 601 N. Sequim Ave.

The fair will feature presentations and demonstrations highlighting a wide range of technologies that can be used to enhance everyday life.

Don Klinger, the group’s webmaster and co-secretary, said they’ve also lined up some local tech companies to participate, including Nikola and Olympic Wi-Fi. He said the organization still is contacting other local firms to see if they are interested in signing on.

The presentations and demonstrations will cover digital photography and photo editing, computing for seniors, Internet security (including viruses and scams), texting, and the proper and safe use of social networking sites. Additional demonstrations will cover robotics, computer-assisted drawing with 3-D printing, the world of Mac devices (iPads, iPhones, iPods, etc.) and how to use Microsoft Word, Excel and other applications.

There is no admission charge for the fair. For more information, see the website at sequim-techfair.com or
e-mail sequimtechfair@gmail.com.

Join the club
The Sequim PC Users Group has been meeting for 20 years and now has several dozen members, most of them 50-plus years of age, many of them retirees. They gather once a month — usually the second Tuesday of the month — to learn more about their personal computers. Some of the sessions are relatively basic: how to set up an Excel spreadsheet or how to post a video on YouTube. Some are more complex.

The group’s website says computer skills of the members run the gamut, “from first-time users trying to find the machine’s on/off switch to seasoned IT and telecommunications specialists.”

In recent months, the group’s focus has expanded beyond computers.

Club president Ron Helmsley said, “We thought we’d have a bigger impact if we dealt with technology, not just computers.”

As an example, Helmsley cited today’s sophisticated home security systems.

Everyone is welcome to join. For more information, see spcug.net. Those without access to the Internet can call Klinger at 425-610-9058.

High tech at Sequim High

In addition to providing information on a wide range of tech topics, the Technology and Media Fair will showcase the technology-based programs, courses and skills taught at Sequim High School.

Sequim PC Users Group members received a preview this week as Reid Henry, a junior at Sequim High, provided the members with demonstrations of the tools available to students, including a computer-operated laser engraver and a 3-D printer. Henry also provided examples of the stunning 3-D animations he’s made at the school.

Brad Moore, the robotics and welding instructor at the school, also was on hand to answer questions. He said Henry is often at the forefront in exploring the capabilities of the school’s software and hardware packages. Among other accomplishments, Henry has established a mechanism to link all of the lab’s computers together as a kind of supercomputer capable of quickly crunching big projects.

When creating 3-D animations, that comes in handy, Henry said. A job that might take one processor weeks to complete can be accomplished in a fraction of the time by dividing the job among the many individual computers. In tech parlance, Henry has created a “render farm.”
 

Reach Mark Couhig at mcouhig@sequimgazette.com.

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 20 edition online now. Browse the archives.