I hope this will be on Wednesday January 16th or Wednesday January 23rd, most like the latter now.
I don't think the rather small number of us who were able to attend this meeting (5) detracted from it being a pleasant and chatty evening. We had several very intriguing innovations under the "Gadgets" title and also enjoyed a drink and some nourishing refreshments.
We had to hold the meeting in the snooker room as there was an old folk's dance in full swing with a live band when we arrived. After fortified ourselves and had settled into the sofa (in some cases) we began our foray into the gadgets world again.
The first up was Paul with his most useful and cheapest of gadgets - a bent paper clip!
This he explained was vital equipment for any self respecting professional computer engineer, being useful for opening CD drives and some disc drives, for shorting out busbars of networked drives in order to reboot them, A highly skilled operation I should think to avoid serious damage!
His next gadget was of a somewhat higher tech nature and more modern. He wouldn't divulge at first who the makers were since he said it would give the game away, until he had expounded on its features. It again was a multifaceted device. About the size of a large TV remote control this unit could display photofiles and play MP3, MPEG2, WMA outputing sound to an in-built speaker or external earpiece show pictures on a 1·8" LCD screen colour screen. It also includes a FM radio and could also be used to record sound through a microphone and recharge a mobile phone. it has USB 2.0 connectivity and 2GB of on board memory and an SD card slot. It also had a built-in LED torch.
By this time we were on the edge of our seats and wondering how long the batteries would last on such a wonderful machine having not spotted a large battery pack in the corner...
But he said the most interesting feature was that it has a winder! All was revealed. This is the new Trevor Bayliss Eco media player. About £135 and available from http://www.globehuggers.co.uk. One minute of winding will give 40 minutes of audio play and it has a Li-ion internal battery which can also be charged via the USB socket.
Next Michael showed us his Bluetooth hands-free kit which clips on the car sun visor. He gave us a demo of this using his two mobile phones! The unit is rechargeable and is called a BlueAnt Supertooth light BTSLBC3 we don't know how much they are as it was a present. It had very powerful sound output which compensates for the car's noise level. It has a microphone which flips out on the right hand side and an "accept" button and "reject" button.
Paul also mentioned that LIDL had Bluetooth hands-free devices too.
Then it was Frank's turn with his Torch and a laser pointer for slide talks, available from RAPID. He said he had always wanted one since he did a lot of lecturing. He found that it was also useful for exercising his cat! He also had with him his digital camera and was able to take some shots of the various gadgets. Some of which I am showing here since we were able to download them into Michael's laptop and from there to my Flash drive.
Then it was Peter's turn. He said his gadgets tonight were of a culinary nature. He showed them his winesaver which is very handy when you have a partly used bottle of wine which you want to preserve. It consisted of a small pump and special stopper which allows air to be withdrawn from the bottle. It can keep a pert opened bottle for up to a week. Made by Vacuvin. A modern version can be obtained from Sainsburys for about £7.99.
He then produced his second gadgets which was a pineapple cutter and as a demo a pineapple, knife and chopping board. The cutter consists of a blade made of plastic which is screwed into a cut end of a pineapple and produces a helical slice neatly leaving the rough outer part of the pineapple alone. We all then partook of the pineapple!
Gareth then showed some further features of his TomTom SatNav which he had configured for traffic information. This is an extra chargeable service *(£30p.a.) which links via Bluetooth to your mobile phone. He found it to be quite useful to indicate major road blockages on your chosen route giving extra on screen symbols and also the delay in minutes along your route. Although he said that sometimes there was no blockage when he reached a particular road section and sometimes he came across a blockage which had not been mentioned. It can be set up to automatically find a way round the blockage. He reckoned it might cost 25p in phone charges for a long journey but this depends on your tariff and phone operator. You need to subscribe to a data service. Gareth demonstrated the unit by showing a 17 minute delay on part of the M25 ( Very unusual! Ed.).
He then showed us a new phone the HTC S620 a "Windows" based Smart Phone with Internet Explorer and Acrobat reader it has a full querty keypad and is designed for one handed operation. It includes Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11b/g and GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity. Also includes a 1280x1024 pixel camera. PC connection via USB. He said it was not 3G phone. On the market for £174.
Finally his standby gadget obviously still a favourite was his Sony PSP playing some Video.
In addition to all this technical stuff we had some very nice chocolates, mincepies, cakes and savoury snacks alongside the drinks. A very enjoyable evening. Thanks to everyone who brought food along and gadgets.
I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. Lets hope we can attract a few new members this year. There still seem to be a lot of new ways to use computers and the Internet there is no let up in technology.
|January||Social evening TBA||All|
|February 6th||"Vector Artware and Artworks"||Frank|
|March 5th||"iLife08 Managing your digital world"||Gareth|
|April 2nd||AGM + TBA||All|
Talks with Visiting speakers are shown in Red. We will give more details as soon as they are confirmed. We are having a committee meeting this month to revise our programme so the above topics will probably change.
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website. http://icenicomputerclub.users.btopenworld.com
The first visit is free and subsequent visits for non - members is £2·50. The membership fee is £20 due from the AGM date in April, but may be reduced for those joining late in the year.
Continuing our publicity for EAUG events - please see their Website for details of their next meeting.
|14th January 2008||"What I got for Xmas"|
|12th February 2008||"Sat Nav Loaded"|
Meetings are at the Great Baddow Village Hall, on the second Tuesday of the month
opening at 7:30 p.m. for a start at 7:45 - 8:00 p.m.
For directions see below (note the new web addresses)
http://www.eaug.org.uk or 'phone one of the contacts on http://www.eaug.org.uk/ppl.htm
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
P.S. My insurance company have added my computer cover away from home with no extra premium required, yours might do the same.(Ed.)
If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.
I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website.
Our website URL is
http://icenicomputerclub.users.btopenworld.com as a virtual domain,
it can also be reached using http://www.btinternet.com/~icenicomputerclub
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org