Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 19th January 2011 - New Year Social Evening at the Ramada, Colchester

Our January Social Evening and Meal this year will be at the Ramada in Colchester. This is a new venue that we are visiting for the first time as a club and many thanks to Frank and Peter for investigating and booking the venue for us.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible to welcome in the New Year at Iceni.

Our Last Meeting: Wednesday 15th December 2010 - Gadgets and Party evening

The December meeting was our annual gadgets evening where we all brought along various gadgets and toys to demonstrate while enjoying some seasonal fare.

This year we enjoyed sausage rolls, chips and dips, mince pies, Stollen and more.

Peter brought three gadgets along to the evening, although we had seen one before and one of his gadgets had only been bought on the day.

The first gadget was his pineapple cutter, which we had seen before together with a pineapple to allow a demonstration. The cutter had a blade on the bottom to cut down through the core and on the edge to cut a spiral down through the pineapple as you twist it.



The first step was to cut the top off the pineapple before placing the cutter over the core and pushing/rotating to cut down through the pineapple. Once all the way through, you pull the cutter and the spiral of pineapple out, although this did prove tricky on the night on a small chopping board while avoiding spilling too much juice.

Of course having used the cutter we had to indulge in eating the pineapple, which removed the heat from Gareth's hot chilli dip!

Frank had brought along a set of joke glasses with pinholes to look through the open eyes, very useful for snoozing while appearing to be awake!!

Michael's first gadget was a can of compressed air useful for blowing dust and debris from delicate electronics. Frank commented this would have been very useful the previous month on our old RiscPCs, which were very dusty inside.

Andy brought along a device he uses nearly every day and didn't initially believe it would work. It was a shaver about the size of a credit card (although thicker) which was rechargeable and fully waterproof for wet and dry use, and very useful when travelling and as a backup.

Gareth's gadgets were both iPhone related being both software and a hardware accessory. The hardware comprised of an AV output cable for the iPhone allowing it to be connected to a TV. This was useful as quite a lot of video including films etc. can be stored on the phone with Gareth's being a 16GB model. The lead would in theory also work with iPod Touch and iPad models.

Peter had brought along a small lightweight tripod for his camera with bendable legs that could be adjusted to make it grip objects. On the evening we tried it on the coat stand. The baseplate can be removed and attached to the camera, and then with the tripod attached to an object. This can then be reattached and locked in place. The tripod claimed to be suitable for cameras up to 3kg, which is quite a lot of weight.

The original models are very expensive in Jessops at £30+ but Peter's was available from Aldi for £8.99.

Another gadget from Peter was his electronic Meteoclock weather station (by Lexibook) with an external sensor to place outdoors. During the meeting it was showing night and thunder clouds on the display, with temperature (indoors and outdoors) and pressure in millibars. The device could support up to 4 external sensors and Peter would like to place one up in his loft, but hasn't yet been able to find anywhere to buy additional accessories.

For Frank's next gadget he got out an Amazon branded USB charger, which aroused interest and speculation as to the main gadget. This of course was a new Kindle. The e-ink display requires no power to display, only to refresh. Frank's Kindle was the Wifi model rather than WiFi+3G and so far contains 2 sample books and one that he bought for around 72 pence. In active use with WiFi off the battery should last 2 solid weeks of reading use and has a standby time of months.

Gareth's first software gadget was Epic Citadel, a demo of the Unreal 3 game engine running on the iPhone showing the 3D graphics ability of modern phones. The demo had a flyby/walkthrough of a medieval world but also the ability to walk round the world using onscreen controls. There has been a lot of speculation that smartphones have begun replacing handheld games consoles and this is a very good example.

The second software gadget was a Venice guidebook application for the iPhone. Gareth recently went to Venice for a weekend and wanted something with a map that could be used with the onboard GPS without using expensive data roaming. The Venice2Go app also featured nearby points of interest and came in useful occasionally when getting lost using the conventional map in a guidebook.

Rounding off the evening Michael also brought along a Western Digital TV Media player that can play media on your TV from a USB hard drive at 1080p.

Editorial

Just to echo Gareth's words and say that I am looking forward seeing those of you who were able to come to the dinner and during the New Iceni Year. Also I liked Frank's Kindle so much that I arranged to get one for Christmas!

Peter

ICENI Future programme

2011
19 January Social Evening - Ramada Hotel All
16 February Gigabit Networking , USB2 & 3 All
16 March Linux update Gareth
20 April AGM plus Games All

Meetings are now on the Third Wednesday of the month unless otherwise stated.

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.

EAUG News

Continuing our publicity for EAUG events, there is now a full list of meetings up to the end of the year on their website.

http://www.eaug.org.uk/mtg.htm

Tea/coffee/biscuits usually available.

Visitors pay 2.00 GBP for the evening, which is deductible from the normal joining subscription if you decide to join at a later date.

See the Membership page of the website for more information:

http://www.eaug.org.uk/mem.htm

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

Ipswich Computer Club (formerly Mid-Suffolk Computer Users Group)

They have now moved to the St. Andrew's Computer Club at Britannia Road, Ipswich. They have picked up a couple of people from the Church and are seeking to include people from the Parish.

There's not much about the Computer Club on the website (http://www.ourstandrews.co.uk), but there are a few words. (Ken Tew)

Special Notice - Insurance

"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."

However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)

Our Website and Email

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: iceni@woolridge.org.uk