Two decades of new-fan­gled old style sup­port

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Se­niorNet has al­ready taken de­liv­ery of its 20th birth­day gift.

The com­mu­nity-based com­puter sup­port cen­tre for over 50s in Princess St has moved into freshly re­fur­bished premises at the rear of the Ja­pac build­ing.

It’s the group’s fourth move in two decades ac­cord­ing to life mem­ber Mike Lawrence, who has been one of Se­niorNet’s technogu­rus for 19 of those years.

Lawrence started when the group used to meet on the sec­ond floor of the AMP build­ing on Broad­way.

‘‘It was set up as a project by Ter­race End Ro­tary,’’ he said.

The goal then was the same as it is now, to help bring over 50s up to speed with com­put­ing in a re­laxed at­mos­phere, at their own pace and in their own time.

Lawrence said that thanks to the pace of tech­no­log­i­cal change re­sult­ing in new soft­ware and de­vices, de­mand for the group’s ser­vices had con­tin­ued.

‘‘Tech­nol­ogy has cer­tainly changed. Peo­ple used to come in to use our com­put­ers, now they turn up with their own lap­tops and iPads.’’

He said some 800 peo­ple had taken ad­van­tage of Se­niorNet in those 20 years, and there were around 150 cur­rent mem­bers.

Reg Ro­mans, who with Ca­role Tay­lor runs Se­niorNet’s iPad in­ter­est group, said he and his fel­low tu­tors were al­ways help­ing peo­ple to get into the newer tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘There’s Face­book, Pin­ter­est, Snapchat. We have an An­droid in­ter­est group and a photo in­ter­est group.’’

Learn­ing about Win­dows 10 is also pop­u­lar. There are small group ses­sions, ide­ally be­tween four and six mem­bers, on get­ting the most out of tablets, smart­phones and smart TVs.

‘‘Some peo­ple turn up with the de­vice still in the box,’’ Tay­lor said.

Se­niorNet’s sec­ond move was to a com­puter suite at UCOL. It then re­lo­cated to 105 Princess St,

‘‘Some peo­ple turn up with the de­vice still in the box.’’ Ca­role Tay­lor, Se­niorNet

and is still there, only in a new space.

The com­puter suite has eight com­puter screens, two of them Ap­ple Macs, and a smart TV. There’s still plenty of room for those who bring along their own de­vices.

Se­niorNet cel­e­brated the an­niver­sary with a lunch at the Chalet on Wed­nes­day, July 12.

En­quiries about classes and drop in times can be made to se­niornet@in­spire.net.nz and 359 4367.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Se­niorNet tech­ni­cal sup­port guru and tu­tor Mike Lawrence shares in­for­ma­tion on an iPad with Elaine Wil­ton.

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