The Hippo


Oct 15, 2019








A previous MLMF Computer Clinic. Courtesy photo.

MLMF Computer Clinic 

Where: Merrimack Public Library, 470 Daniel Webster Hwy. 
When: Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Cost: Admission and all services are free, but donations are appreciated

No more tech troubles
Computer Clinic offers free help with computers and more

By Angie Sykeny

 Whether you have a slow-running computer, don’t understand social media or can’t decide which new mobile device to buy, you can bring all your technology woes to the free Computer Clinic put on by the Michael LoVerme Memorial Foundation on Saturday, April 2, at the Merrimack Public Library. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers will be offering personalized assistance, Q&A sessions and a photo scanning station. 

The Computer Clinic is a tribute to Michael LoVerme, a young man from Merrimack who had a passion for technology and was halfway to earning his master’s degree in computer science when he died in a motorcycle accident in 2012. 
“Mike was the guy everyone went to when they had a computer problem. … He would help out anyone who asked,” said Jeff Christensen, MLMF vice president and chairmen of the Computer Clinic committee. “So, to carry on his legacy, [we] decided to host a free Computer Clinic for the public and say, ‘If you have problems or questions about technology, we’ll have a stockpile of nerds who can help you out.’” 
Around 20 volunteers will be at the clinic, some who work in the technology field and others who are just tech-savvy and want to lend a hand. 
Most of the clinic space will be dedicated to one-on-one consultations where people can sit down with volunteers and get assistance with their computers or devices. 
Some of the computer services volunteers can provide include installing or updating antivirus software, removing spyware, optimizing performance by doing a system cleanup and removing excess programs, and defragmenting disk drives if necessary. The volunteers can’t update your computer’s operating system or repair any hardware issues, but they can give advice about what software to use, how to update your hardware and when you should consider purchasing a new computer. To receive service on your computer, make sure you bring a charger if it’s a laptop, and if it’s a desktop, only bring the tower (the clinic will have monitors and keyboards to hook it up to).  
“A lot of people come because they can’t afford to bring their computer to a regular shop … which may charge $50 an hour to fix it, so we can help them out,” Christensen said. “Sometimes people come just to watch and learn new skills like how to repair computers or remove viruses, and we’re always happy to have someone sit in and learn.” 
Assistance with computer problems isn’t the only service the volunteers offer. They can also teach you how to navigate certain computer programs, set up an email account and use a smartphone or tablet. 
Media professionals will be operating a photo scanning station where people can create digital copies of their hard copy photographs and learn how to touch them up.
“A lot of people come in with family photos from 50 years ago that they want to put on the computer but don’t know how,” Christensen said. “[The professionals] will show you how to scan your old photos and how to revitalize a photo by touching it up or fixing that wrinkle in it or any other kinds of media editing that technology enables nowadays.” 
Starting at 9:30 a.m., Q&A sessions will be held every half hour. Each session beginning on the hour will be a general Q&A where people can ask any technology questions they have. Sessions beginning at half past the hour will be based on specialized topics, which include Microsoft Office and Google Docs at 9:30 a.m., social media at 10:30 a.m., website and blog development at 11:30 a.m., smartphones and mobile devices at 12:30 p.m., and photo and video editing at 1:30 p.m. 
The Q&As are a new feature of the Computer Clinic this year. Before, there were various presentations held throughout the day, but since MLMF has started hosting monthly technology presentations at the Merrimack Public Library, they decided to replace them at the Computer Clinic with Q&As, to give people a more discussion-based format where they can get advice and answers to their questions. 
Christensen said that, to his knowledge, the Computer Clinic is an “entirely unique” event. 
“There’s others who hold technology classes … but I haven’t seen anyone doing anything like [the Computer Clinic],” he said. “That was actually one of the hurdles we had to overcome. People didn’t know what it was. Now that we’ve introduced the idea … there’s people lined up at the door before we open.”  

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