Contacts GDocs – please update

CiH Schools and Delivery Partners: (should contain all the contacts in your region)
CiH Tech, Trainer and supporter people: (a list of all trainers, techs and support people in your area)
Please take a look at these two documents and update them where necessary. Thanks

CiH Research – 18 month survey

Just a reminder – this is the link to the CiH 18 month survey – it takes  less time than the 12 month survey. I have been giving families a CiH USB (memory stick) on completion, as a way of saying thanks – here are no hard and fast rules here.



Photos for Repository

Hi everyone. Further to LZ’s recent post below, please remember that you are required to place one or two “excellent” photos in the Media Repository for the CiH Annual (June) Report . The folder is called “CIH Annual Report 2017.”  Give it a title, and relevant info – where, when, who, etc. Permission must be obtained. With new classes up and running, now might be a good time to capture those special moments.  Thanks.


2degrees now “unlimited”

Wonderful news – 2degrees has officially confirmed their offer of an unlimited package for all CIH families, past, present and future at the current monthly rate of $65.   This new offer applies immediately for all new families and will be applied progressively over the next month as accounts are renewed for existing families – whether they are currently on a sponsored packaged (initial 12 months) or have migrated to an ongoing connection with 2degrees.

Please make sure all trainers and technicians are aware of this change. Coordinator Packs, etc will be updated over the next few days. Please amend your printed versions.

2degrees Cportal to be used for everything

I have been working with 2degrees to try and simplify the systems between us. The result is that from now on, we use Cportal for all initial contact with 2degrees. Fault reporting, new signups, change of addresses, etc. Have a look – it is very straight forward.  When you login, under the tabs services and enquiries you will see these options that we have not been using in the past. A one stop shop 🙂 You will get an automated response followed by a further personal email.
Should you need to follow up on a request that was logged in Cportal, then contact this email address:
So, from now on, two simple steps
1. Log all requests through Cportal 
2. If you need to follow up, use Residential.Tier2 email address
Lets monitor this over the next month and see how it goes. Please give me feedback, so that we can keep working to perfect the system. Thanks. SueD

ID Badges

Tania had a question regarding ordering new ID badges, so I thought I’d check up on current process. Carol is in charge of this process. She requires a clear photo (head and shoulders), name to appear on card, role (trainer, technician, etc) and region/area. Also, an address to send the completed card to.

Carol’s  email:

Upgrading to Windows 10

As discussed at our Whangarei Hui, Microsoft has extended the MARS licence for Computers in Homes to include Windows 10.  This means we can now move towards providing families with Windows 10 operating systems.  It is important that families are trained on equipment with the same software (operating system and application software) as that is on their take-home computers.  The Stepping UP modules used for Computers in Homes training will be progressively updated for Windows 10, but this should not be a deterrent in making the move from Windows 7.  Trainers are expected to be able to use the Windows 7 material as a guide in the meantime and explain the differences for Windows 10.

Families already in training

These families will already be using Windows 7 and therefore should be provided with Windows 7 computers when they complete their training.

Training being provided at a new hub

Hub equipment with a Windows 10 image should be purchased for the new hub as well as for families when they complete training.

Training being provided at an existing school hub

Schools already have access to Microsoft software under a centralised agreement with the Ministry of Education.  We would expect that schools are already considering upgrading to Windows 10 if they haven’t already done so.  Check the situation with the school training hub before starting training.

Training being provided at a community hub

We can offer to assist the community hub upgrade their computers to Windows 10 before training starts.

  1. Contact Jackie Lawrence at Conbrio/The Ark with an order for the number of Windows 10 licences required.
  2. Jackie will send a custom laptop, a switch and the licences.
  3. The community hub then plugs in all the existing computers at the hub that they want to upgrade to the switch (just replace the existing switch temporarily)
  4. Plug the laptop into the switch and then, using the second network port on the switch, plug into the internet connection (this is needed for management as the upgrade files are all on the laptop).
  5. Turn on the laptop and then turn on the PC’s.
  6. The new install will happen automatically, including appropriate drivers and the standard CIH image.
  7. When finished activate Windows and Office and create the recovery partition provided with all CIH computers.
  8. Provide the necessary licence information to Jackie at Conbrio for her to advise Microsoft.
  9. Box up all the bits (laptop and switch) and courier to the next site (as instructed by Jackie)

Blogging hints

Kia ora

Some time ago I sent these hints (below) out in an email, and I’ve since been asked to put them on the support blog for ease of access. They are also included in the new 2020 Blog Editors Guide, a living document were we can collect similar hints and good practices. This is at

You may well get automatic emails about Google Drive permissions being granted/removed over the next few weeks, as I check out & test hopefully easier ways of making sure people can access everything they need.  I’ll try to minimise these emails – let me know if you can’t access anything you need, otherwise ignore them!


Bill Dashfield

Problems with photo slideshows

Slideshows are a great way of easily putting lots of photos into your blog. But security changes in Google’s Blogger, Adobe and browsers, are stopping PhotoPeach slideshows working on some browsers and devices.  And Google are dropping Picasa(which they own). 

It’s easy to create slideshows as a video in YouTube, and very easy add them to your blog. Google owns both YouTube and Blogger, so problems are not likely, at least in the short term.  In a few minutes, I made a sample slideshow, which worked on everything I’ve tested – though slow to load on smartphone.

I found it easy to start an upload of multiple photos from my computer.  The uploading took some time, then it was easy to reorder them and turn into a video slideshow.  Lots of options are possible; I recommend you keep it simple and go for:

  • Slide duration of 4 or 5 seconds – 3 seems a bit fast
  • No slide effects and simple transitions: wipes or fades
  • Either no audio, or at least something not likely to offend people!
  • Image sizes of at least 100KB – some of mine were only 60KB and look grainy on full screen.

How to: Creating a slideshow in YouTube:

Adding YouTube video to Blog entry:

Addition: If you want to to add an actual Google Slideshow, you need to save the slideshow for the web and then copy and paste the embed code into your blog. Details are here:

Care with copyright (updated)

(Since this was posted we’ve decided we can be more relaxed about reproducing articles.)

It’s great if you can get the local paper/website/school newsletter/blogger to write a story about CiH, and given a new angle many will be keen to do this. There’s then a great opportunity to post the story or pictures for your blog.  However, you do need to ask them for permission. If you acknowledge their copyright, attribute the article and photos and link to their website, most will have no objection – it’s free publicity for them. 

Just send the paper’s writer, news or editorial contact an email along the lines of:

“Thank you for your article ‘article headline’ about our project name published in ‘paper’s name’ on ‘date’. It was great to see your support for our work, and thank you for the publicity.

I plan to post/have posted your story on our local project blog at blog address,  with full attribution and a link to your paper: ‘Story and pictures by writers name, copyright paper’s name, read more here.  Please let me know if there is any problem with me doing this or if you have any guidelines I should follow.

Thank you, and thanks again for the article.

Best regards

Then publish the post so they can see it. If you don’t hear back, you can assume they had no objection, but do promptly edit or remove the blog post if you hear from them later.  If they refuse permission – or have refused permission before – it is accepted practice to report that they’ve done the story, with attribution, brief details of some key points in your own words and a link.  Something like:

Paper’s name says Computers in Homes is great

Writers name  of paper said in an article on date that ……

She reported that ……………………… and that someone else said …………………………

Read the full story in Paper

You can use a similar approach with other copyright material:  Attribute, summarise and link.

More hints in

Keep it fresh

People need to see the blog is being regularly updated – at least monthly – or they won’t come back. As well as graduations, if you also post at the start of term (for instance, local plans or schools involved) and middle of term (e.g. progress report, relevant news item or online resource) that’ll painlessly cover off the minimum and only take a few minutes.  Put it in your end of month to do list.  

And if you get a great story that should go nationwide, put it online asap and email me as well please.


Bill Dashfield

Dick Smith closure

On 25 February 2016, the Dick Smith receivers announced that all Dick Smith stores, including those in New Zealand, would close.  Unlike the earlier announcement when the receivers hoped to find a new buyer, the decision to close all New Zealand stores in 8 weeks does mean that we need to change some processes around our BYOD scheme.

  1. All devices purchased under our BYOD scheme are now out of warranty, so there is no need for the devices to go to a Dick Smith store for assessment.
  2. Any problems with the devices must continue to be reported to Kristina (0800 272020); she will record details and provide instructions.
  3. This is likely to involve asking the families concerned to drop off their faulty device to the school point of contact or to the CiH coordinator; the device is then to be couriered to Kristina (we will cover charges).
  4. Kristina will follow up the insurance claim in the same way that she does now.  The repaired device will be returned to the coordinator, school or family.

So it is still pretty-much business as usual with the one exception that we can no longer use the local Dick Smith store as a drop-off point.

Any questions, please contact Kristina.

ADSL Internet option no longer supported for Computers in Homes families

The ADSL option for Computers in Homes families was withdrawn on 1 December 2014.  SNAP will honour existing pre-paid contracts through to the end of the 12-month subsidised period, but thereafter families should arrange an internet package with their existing telephone service provider.  The cost of retaining a SNAP internet connection while the phone service is with another provider, such as Spark, for example, is much more expensive than procuring both services from the same provider.