Curt Trout's blog

Pray for Ukraine

Ukrainian banner with text: Pray for Ukraine in 2 languagesLike many of you, Sheri and I have been praying for God's intervention in Ukraine. In fact, some very specific intervention to stop Russia's indescribable and unjustifiable atrocities against the Ukrainian people.

We're supporters of a local ministry that has been working in Ukraine, Shepherd's Foundation, ministering to the Ukrainian people for about 30 years, essentially since the fall of the old Soviet Union. Their ministry was the focus of a report on KARE 11, our local NBC affiliated TV station.

I created a version of the attached image, without the text, to use as a Zoom virtual background and, maybe, as desktop wallpaper. It works as a virtual background; it's a lot of bright yellow for wallpaper. The version you see here is what I'm now using as my Zoom virtual background. Since I started "Zooming" about two years ago, I've been changing my background to suit the meeting I'm in. I'm now using this image in all Zoom meetings I attend, either as a host or participant.

Unexpected Good News for Drupal 7: End-of-Life Extended Again

The Drupal organization issued a Security Advisory yesterday announcing that the End-of-Life for Drupal 7 has been extended until November 1, 2023.  Additionally, they announced that the EOL date for Drupal 7 will be re-evaluated annually and that an announcement would be made by July 2023 regarding possible extension past November 1, 2023.

Hello, Zoom! My Name is ...

Zoom LogoIf you have a Zoom account, either free or paid, then you can set your displayed name in your Zoom profile on the Zoom website.  However, most Zoom participants in meetings sponsored by non-profit groups don’t have, and don’t need, Zoom accounts.  The name displayed for these people, by default, probably isn’t very user friendly.  Let’s see how Zoom gets the default displayed name and, more importantly, how we can change it to better suit all meeting participants.


An Unusual Zoom Problem: When The Hyperlink Won't Link!

ZoomLogoI've been involved lately helping people get Zoom installed on their computers and verifying that it works.  I can categorize new Zoom users into three categories:

  1. People who are able to get Zoom installed and running on their device(s) by simply following a meeting invitation hyperlink and letting the automated process work.  The overwhelming majority of new Zoom users fall into this class.
  2. People who need a little help understanding the process and need prompting to follow the normal path.  I'm guessing that maybe 10% of new Zoom users fall into this category.
  3. People who get Zoom installed correctly but find that normal Zoom meeting hyperlinks don't work.  This doesn't happen often, but it does happen enough to require a circumvention.

That third category is what this blog post is all about.


Zoom Meetings & Chat

Zoom LogoThe COVID-19 pandemic and associated Stay At Home orders have disrupted the way we get together in person, both formally and informally.  While there are many platforms that facilitate person-to-person connections "in the cloud," Zoom is definitely one of the most, if not the most, popular.  In this blog post, and a few more to follow, I'm going to look at this platform, address an unusual problem that will stump some potential users, and encourage more people to use Zoom to host their own "meetings in the cloud."


SCORE Presentation

I've had a number of interactions with the SCORE organization (nee S.C.O.R.E., the Service Corp of Retired Executives).  In his post I'll outline those and provide a file of slides prepared for my presentation at St. Paul SCORE's Lunch and Learn Roundtable on May 2, 2017.


HTTPS: The Time Is Now; Part 1: History

International No Symbol with text "http://"Traditionally, websites have used HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) by default and only used HTTPS (HTTP Secure, or HTTP over TLS, or HTTP over SSL) when they were processing particularly sensitive data like credit card information.  I’ll look at why this was the case and why we should start using HTTPS for all website traffic.

While this post is particularly pertinent to those people and organizations that operate their own websites, e.g., Troutreach Technologies' clients and potential clients, the information should be useful to all Internet users. 

Memorial Day, 2016

Please join me in remembering:

American Flag

America is the Home of the Free
Because of the Brave
Thank you, Veterans

Please click the Read More link to see a very touching tribute.