Using a Regular Machine as a Server

Starting an organization can be costly.  The last thing you want to really think about is what type of technology you may need.  If you’re an organization that has five or fewer computers or only need a shared space to store your files to share, it is good to think about just sharing one of your computers as a server.

The type of machine you purchase should be one with plenty of RAM and disk space.  Make sure the server machine has the professional version of Windows installed.  You should think about an offsite backup solution; you can backup to the cloud or take an external drive with you.

Things you can do:

  • Share files such as photos and documents
  • Printing resources
  • Use this server machine as a workstation as well.

Things you can but it is best not to do:

  • Run as a Web, FTP, email server
  • Run as a database server, if you have a seldom used shared application
  • Run as a firewall or router

The server computer should be a desktop and connected with a network cable.  And always have an antivirus program installed.  With the above setup, you should not need a technical person.

Adobe Issues Critical Updates for Flash – Update Now!

Adobe has released an emergency critical security update for its widely used Flash Player today to patch a vulnerability already being exploited on the Internet. Adobe is strongly advising users with Adobe Flash Player to install the update immediately.

Adobe issued an advisory that states, “These updates address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system” and “are being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks designed to trick the user into clicking a link which directs to a website serving malicious Flash (SWF) content.”  It identified the bugs as CVE-2013-0643 and CVE-2013-0648.

This is the third time this month that Adobe has released security updates for Flash Player.

Recent versions of Flash Player (version 11) should install the update automatically, but those with older versions installed will have to update manually. This affects users of the Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems alike. The newest version of Adobe Flash Player can be obtained here. Users of the Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer on Windows 8 browsers will have their versions of Flash updated automatically when their web browser updates.

Technology Indicators Survey

About 700 residents will be receiving a call starting this month as the City of Seattle conducts an update of it residential survey on information technology use. The data is used extensively to help plan City services and public outreach efforts. For the first time, cell phone users will also be surveyed. The phone survey will be conducted in a few different languages and there will also be follow-up focus groups. For the past 13 years, in 2000, 2004 and 2009, the Technology Indicators survey has collected extensive and statistically valid data examining Seattle residents comfort with and use of technology, cable and government services. This project is managed by the Community Technology Program with technical advice from our Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) and other experts in the field.

For more information on the project, go here.

Seattle Community Media – Put Your Show on Public Access Television!

You may have a hobby you would like to share, an expertise you can teach or an important message that needs to be heard.  Become a member of Seattle Community Media and share your message.

Seattle Community Media (SCM) is the City of Seattle’s public access television provider and broadcasts to most of King County on Comcast Channel 77 / Wave Channel 26.  Programs also simulcast on SCM’s website where programs created by producers are available for on-demand streaming.

It all starts with an idea.  SCM provides members with access to the training, equipment and studio time needed for the public to produce their own television programs.  Keep in mind you can participate completely over the web.  Many of the producers broadcasting on SCM do everything remotely.  SCM is one of the only public access stations in the country that offers the ability to become a member, upload your show and schedule your show without stepping foot in the station.

  • Classes: SCM offers classes in Basic Camera Operation, Basic Studio and Basic Editing, providing you with the training to operate the studio and video production equipment. You’ll also find lots of tutorials on the SCM website.
  • Equipment Check-out: SMC offers access to field production equipment, including cameras, lights and microphones.
  • Studio Time: SMC maintains a full studio which can be reserved to record your program.
  • Editing/Computer Stations: SMC has computer stations available for video editing, creating graphics, video processing and access to the website.

For more information on SMC and how to become a member, visit

Franchise Renewal

The City of Seattle and Comcast have entered the franchise renewal period. The current franchise with Comcast expires in January 2016. However, under Federal law the renewal period begins three years prior to expiration of a franchise. As part of the renewal process and to prepare for franchise negotiations the Office of Cable Communications will conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment to learn from Seattle residents about their needs and interests that can be addressed by services delivered over the Comcast infrastructure. We will also be determining the extent of Comcast’s compliance with the franchise and applicable law and hearing more from the public about their opinion of cable services provided by Comcast.

We hope to hear from you. As more information becomes available you will find it at the Cable Office website where you will also be able to comment on the renewal process and take a survey.

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Community Matching Grant

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Community Matching Grant

Provides matching funds of up to $20,000 for community-based projects to supplement existing Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) services and that serve youth referred by one or more of the three SYVPI Neighborhood Networks (Central, Southeast and Southwest Seattle). CMG seeks innovative projects that engage, uplift, educate and support youth who are deemed at risk of perpetuating or being a victim of violence. See more here.

Deadline: March 22, 4:30 p.m.