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In this issue:
Funders Support Project Connect
Automatically Block XP SP2 Updates
Free Workshops from the Governor's Office
Women's Endowment Requests Funding Proposals
Verizon Tuition Assistance Program
Our Secrets for Better Computing
Project Connect Receives Grants from the Corbin Foundation and SBC Excelerator
The Corbin Foundation granted Info Line's Project Connect $10,000 to begin implementation of its 2005 Access Plan. These monies will be used to upgrade our servers from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2003, load-balance the software on each of the Citrix servers, and install a monitoring system for the UPS array. This will not only increase our computing capacity, but also improve our services to agencies which subscribe to our remote network services.
SBC Excelerator granted Info Line's Project Connect $15,208 to convert the existing Food Pantry Clearinghouse Database to an internet application. The new system will eliminate cost barriers to adding more users and provide aggregate, systemic data. The interface will be easier to use for the food pantry volunteers, and simplifying the processing of information will reduce wait times for hungry people. Summit County pantries will be able to operate their programs more efficiently and serve more hungry clients.
Important for all Windows XP Users: Block Automatic Update of Evil SP2
We are continuing to hear horror stories of bad things that happen to computers that download the Service Pack 2 to Windows XP. (Do a Google search for "XP SP2 upgrade problem" for examples). In response, Microsoft has posted a toolkit to block the automatic download. Click here for more information.
Governor's Office of Faith- & Community-Based Initiatives Hosts Area Orientation Workshops
The Ohio Compassion Capital Project is a statewide initiative to assist Ohio's grass-roots, faith and community-based organizations ("FBCOs") so they may increase their effectiveness, enhance their ability to provide social services and create collaborations to better serve those in need. The Project will provide training, technical assistance and mini-grants to FBCOs serving their fellow citizens.
Area workshops, each a four-hour session, will introduce the Ohio Compassion Capital Project to those interested in participating in any of the major aspects of the project, including: training; sub-award funding; and technical assistance. Participants will also learn about the role of the GOFBCI.
Sessions are scheduled for November 23rd in Huntsville; November 30th in West Union; December 3rd in Columbus; December 7th in Canton; and December 13th in Cleveland. There will be no cost to trainees. Continental breakfast will be provided. All sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Each orientation session will be limited to 100 participants to maximize effectiveness. Although there is no limit at present, please be advised that if maximum capacity is reached, it may be suggested that no more than two staff of any organization attend any one session.
For more information, visit http://www.fbciohio.gov/OCCPInfo.htm or contact Lorena Lacey at .
The Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York is offering a free disaster planning guide on its website. This document is a guideline that offers the points an organization needs to think about in order to prepare its own disaster recovery plan so that, should an interruption occur, it is able to resume operations.
Topics include computers and technology, risk analysis, business impact analysis, personnel policies, crisis communications, and more. It even includes advice from the American Red Cross and an Emergency Planning Checklist.
For more information, visit http://www.npccny.org/info/disaster_plan.htm.
On December 15th, nonprofits can order free anti-spam software from Mailshell at TechSoup Stock. This is a one-day-only event, so be sure to put it on your calendar.
If you are a registered TechSoup Stock customer, you are already eligible for this special offer. Just place your order at www.techsoup.com/stock on 12/15. If you are not yet registered at TechSoup Stock, pre-register and qualify your organization now. Pre-registering expedites product delivery after 12/15. To learn more about this offer and pre-register, visit http://www.stopspamtoday.org/stop_spam_fd.html.
Please note that Project Connect does not endorse any product. It simply provides this information as a public service.
Women's Endowment Announces Funding Opportunity
The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation is now accepting proposals to fund new or existing programs that benefit women and/or girls in Summit County. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 13, 2004. The RFP can be downloaded from the Akron Community Foundation website:
Scroll down to the "Publications and Resources" box.
If you are unable to print the RFP from the website, call DeShawn Pickett at Akron Community Foundation to request a copy by mail: 330-376-8522.
Are you getting the best deals for your technology dollar?
Don't buy anything technology-related until you've visited these three websites first!! They offer significant discounts for nonprofits with Microsoft, Dell, CDW, Adobe, and more!
Verizon Revises Tuition Assistance Program ... Get it While You Can!
Verizon is continuing to offer one eTraining grant per year to nonprofit organizations interested in technology training.
To apply for this tuition assistance, visit infolineinc.org/connect/verizon.htm. If you have any questions, please call us at 330-315-1335 or e-mail .
How much time do you waste troubleshooting simple computer problems? There's no need to get frustrated (or murderous!): Project Connect offers a Technical Support Hotline.
But wait, there's more: if the problem is difficult to solve over the phone, you can download a small program from the internet which will allow us to take over your computer through a secured internet connection. We can walk through the solution together!!
The Project Connect Technical Support Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. During these hours, a technology expert is available to answer phone and e-mail questions concerning Microsoft, Adobe, and Palm products.
There are two payment plans. All staff of member organizations can call the technical support hotline during its hours of operations, with no limit to the number of calls each person can make throughout the year. Non-members can call the hotline for $30 per question. MasterCard and Visa will be accepted.
For membership information, visit https://infolineinc.org/connect.htm#membership.
Amy's PC TIP:
Do you get lots of e-mails inviting you to share in millions of dollars to be smuggled out of Africa, offering money for every e-mail you send, or asking you to sign a petition to promote legislation regarding that whole hot dogs/buns packaging discrepancy? If so, then this issue’s tip is for you!
There are a lot of them out there, and some of them are more plausible-sounding than others. Some ask you to provide an account into which millions of dollars will be poured from some country (often in Africa) experiencing civil unrest. Others may “warn” you of potential credit card fraud, and ask you to visit their website and verify your information. This practice is called “phishing” – scam artists send out e-mails to lure unsuspecting readers into providing personal information that they can use. Essentially, you should be wary of any e-mail asking you to provide account numbers or personal information such as social security numbers – chances are it’s a scam, and you could wind up a victim of identity theft or worse.
There are lots of different versions out there, and some are indeed hoaxes. Messages like “Microsoft will pay you for every e-mail you send” or “Company X will donate $$ to cancer research for every e-mail you send” are easily investigated, and dismissed as rubbish. While not as dangerous as e-mail scams, mainly these messages serve to clog up e-mail servers and overflow your mailbox.
Some of these can appear quite real, detailing what will happen to your system when the virus attacks, or where to download (and sometimes purchase!) the antidote. Some of them may actually be real, sent from well-meaning friends or co-workers. Whatever you do, do not blindly click links that purport to take you to a repair page. This page is often a scam page, as described above. Some of these messages can look quite realistic, including one a little while back that appeared to come directly from Microsoft. Computer and antivirus companies do not send out e-mails about viruses. Both Microsoft and the major antivirus manufacturers use an automatic update system to keep your computer and your antivirus software up-to-date. If your software is out of date and your computer gets infected with a virus, both Symantec (makers of Norton AV) and McAfee have fixtools available directly from their website – not through an e-mail. See links below for reference. But don’t let this lure you into ignoring all virus warnings - real viruses are a serious threat. Make sure you keep your antivirus software up to date and checking your system regularly – it can save you a lot of headaches!
Petitions and Requests
While some of the petitions circulating are for a good cause, and some may even have been legitimate at some point, chances are their time has come and gone. Before passing on a petition or request for items that you receive, you should always verify its validity and timeliness. Check the links below for the message in question – these e-mails circulate and fade, then come up again and make the rounds, and can often be several years out of date.
So how do you protect yourself?
First, be smart. e-mails with misspellings or grammatical errors are probably not from legitimate companies. Secondly, try our checklist:
Thirdly, if it all appears legitimate, check the facts. There are a number of websites (some links are included below) that devote themselves to verifying viruses, petitions, and other sorts of e-mails.
Scams and petitions:
Register for Upcoming Classes
Join us this winter for a cup of cocoa and a refresher course, or learn something entirely new! Call 330-315-1335 or e-mail to register or receive a copy of our winter schedule. Cost is $40 per person for staff and volunteers of member organizations;$60 per person for staff and volunteers of non-member organizations.
Don't know whether your organization is a member? Visit our members page to find out: Project Connect Members
Not a member? Join Project Connect today and save! Visit infolineinc.org/connect.htm for more info.
Introduction to Computers
Visit infolineinc.org/connect/training.htm to see our latest training schedule. Or call us at 330-315-1335 and we'll fax you a copy.
As always, we are interested in hearing from you to learn how we can best meet your technology and connectivity needs. Give us a call at 330-315-1335 or e-mail us at .
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