Sept. 13, 2018 – Your Portable Devices

Upcoming programs require your participation:
• “Planning Meeting” next week – watch for an announcement when and where.
• October: learners & teachers to configure your router.
• November: find a temporary location. See the notes under “Upcoming programs.”

A Message from the Common Table

September 8, 2018

I hope all of you had a great month. Where has all the time gone? Summer only has a few weeks left and school has started for all the children. The weather report as of this morning does not show any 90 degree days coming up in the next week. I don’t like 90 or more every day, do you? Hurricane season seems to have just started. Florence is coming to the east coast by end of next week.

At our meeting in August, we talked about routers. There was so much that could not be covered we will have our October meeting devoted to having a router workshop. I will talk about that event in next month’s newsletter.

At the last planning meeting, only Bill B. and I were there. So we decided to let all of you provide the talk for the meeting.

We will talk about our portable computing devices – cell phones, tablets and even your car (your car is portable, right). What? Your car? Many of our cars have a good bit of technology in them these days. My Prius has a lot of apps that work from the entertainment console. I want you to tell about how you use these portable devices, what programs or apps you use and why you use them. What apps do you recommend to others? I want everyone to bring all your devices with you so you can show what you have. Your car will have to stay in the parking lot.

Although we will talk mostly about portable devices, we will also be open to other conversations about computing and any questions you have about your big computing devices.

I hope to see all of you at the meeting.

Galen Bolin
President, PCCC

We meet the second Thursday of most months at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church in Dilworth (directions below).
Please bring your healthy bag supper and join us about 5:45 to chew the fat or come for just the program promptly at 6:30.
Join us also for the Board meeting, which is generally the Tuesday after the General meeting but check the announcement at the General meeting or in a special newsletter.

Free beats premium expensive

Here’s a task I thought I could easily automate with our advanced computers:

I came back from vacation and did a quick run-through of my pictures. Most had a native aspect* of 3:2 but others were from a phone at 16:9. Some I cropped for content without any regard to the resulting aspect.

But I wanted to print 6” x 4” snapshots from a vacation’s worth of digital originals. Unfortunately, some of the consumer mass printing services (I tried Costco, Target, and Shutterfly) force the image into the shape of the print and just throw away what doesn’t fit. That arbitrary cropping is how you get hats or whole friends cut off at the edges.

If you really want the full picture, you can upload your raw image to their site and then manually crop each individual picture, but not a whole camera card full.

(For at least 15 years, Windows’ built-in print service has had a button when you open it that says “Fit picture to frame.” Uncheck that box and you’ll get the full picture and a random border.)

What I would like is to drop 200 pictures of random aspect and resolution into a 3:2 container with white padding and save as a .JPG. So I asked a professional photographer if there is an easy way to do this in bulk?

His response was:
“You can batch process with a custom action in Photoshop. That’s the only way I know how to do that.”

Or … “Who needs PhotoShop?”

About then I got a promotional email about a package of software I’ve owned for years and occasionally use pieces of. Since the new version was on sale for half of an already very reasonable price, I looked at the whole suite for the first time in a while. In addition to video and audio editing tools, they threw in for free some utilities.

One item was titled Image Converter and in a couple minutes I had accomplished my original goal – on as many images as I threw at it. Remember: after you’ve gotten your snapshots back, if you want to print some pictures as 5x7s or 11x14s; that’s a different aspect and needs to be converted or cropped again. It does seem to be limited to an original no more than about 6,000 pixels wide. It may not be appropriate for your 20″x9″ panoramic composite.

The package is AVS4YOU from Check them out – and don’t be a scrooge. Even if you don’t need the paid software to manipulate media, the free stuff is a good deal at the regular price of $60. If you still create optical discs, their AVS Disc Creator is also useful and intuitive.

Upcoming programs:

– Router hands-on workshop. We have at least one member who wants to be a demonstree (or “student”). We figure we can have 3-5 actual demo stations but we will need a lab assistant to stand over each student and give advice. Please register with for either position by September 24! If you don’t register as a lab assistant, I will be twisting your arm then and you’ll have less time to prepare.


– Maybe something different – maybe nothing.
Galen Bolin, our host at Pritchard, will be out of town during the week of our regular meeting. That means we have to find a different location.
If you can offer a specific location, please contact promptly so we can get the publicity out. Otherwise, we will probably just cancel the meeting and move on with plans for the Holiday party.


– Our annual holiday party.

What would you share? Here are some thoughts we’ve tossed around. Maybe you can contribute to one or suggest something interesting to you.
• Cut the cord – saving on your TV, phone (and maybe, internet) bills.
• What is Windows S?
• Tweaking your home network.
• Drones.
• Raspberry PI and other 2-bit computing devices.
• Microsoft store visit.

The PCCC meets at
Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church at 1117 South Blvd.

Maps and directions are below.
Join us with your bag supper at 5:30 or the meeting at 6:30.

The PCCC meets the second Thursday of most months at Pritchard in Dilworth. The location is 1117 South Blvd., Charlotte.

Room and Parking information:
We are meeting in the same building as the big hall. Come in the atrium and look for us in the first room on the ground floor, down the hall to your left.
If the parking lot closest to the building is full, park in the deck directly across the street.
Do not park in the upper lot!
If you are lost, locked out, or need an escort from the parking deck, call 704-607-6461.

Click on map for Google directions (,-80.8507889,18z) .
Find it at What3Words (

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