This meeting is our regular January social evening and the venue for our meal will be The Last Anchor on the Haven Marina on Ipswich docks.
I hope to see you all there for what is always an enjoyable evening and we will also be joined by our friends from the EAUG club from Essex.
Our December meeting was once again our Christmas Gadgets and Party evening where we show off gadgets (not necessarily computer related) and have some snacks and mince pies and Frank's wife Anne visited us for the first part of the evening.
John kicked off the gadgets part of the evening for us having recently decided to purchase a Garmin GPS for use when walking in remote areas. John and his wife often go walking in the mountains in Austria and other countries and while mobile phone signal is often good the worry was how to correctly identify the location if they were to need help. The device John bought on Ebay for half the new price is a Garmin Vista CX which immediately allows him to know his location in latitude, longitude and altitude. The default base map has large cities such as London and Paris on but does not go into great detail. The official higher detail maps of specific areas are very expensive but free open maps are available however the Garmin MapSource software makes it quite difficult to install these unofficial maps. John has been able to load some maps but is still struggling with others. The device can store a track in memory which can be downloaded to the computer using USB allowing the route to be displayed on a PC. The waypoint data used to build this route map is stored in an XML file.
Next Michael brought along his new Dell 21.5" Full HD Touch Screen LCD Monitor which when connected to Windows provides touch gestures and an onscreen keyboard. Michael had been looking for a new monitor and found that a touchscreen display was only slightly more expensive and the forthcoming Windows 8 with the Metro interface will be suited to touchscreen devices. To demo the screen in use Michael loaded Angry Birds, a popular game on many phones and tablets and we were able to play the game selecting and dragging the characters directly on the screen.
The next gadget was from Gareth who has been trialling the OnLive cloud gaming service and brought with him an OnLive games console which is a very small box with power, network and HDMI sockets and a wireless controller very similar to an XBox360 controller. OnLive allows you to play a lot of current PC games over the internet with all the games processing being done remotely, although this does require a fast internet connection. The service allows you to play games on your TV using the console, on your PC or Mac, using the software application, and soon on Android devices and iPads. There are monthly subscriptions available but games can also be purchased individually for both short periods of time or to play for as long as they are supported on the service.
Paul brought along a number of gadgets, the first looking like a small torch that allowed you to passively detect mains voltage which he has found very useful for troubleshooting Christmas lights and blown fuses. The second gadget was from the Pound Shop and was a material loop with strong Velcro that allows you to wrap an object and create a carry handle. Paul's final gadget was a hole measurer, very handy if you need to hang something on the wall and have no template. It can be set to match the distance between mounting holes and can then be used as a template on the wall. It also has a built in spirit level to ensure the marks are transferred level onto the wall.
Peter's first gadget was a laser distance measurer that can measure both distance and angles. The device can transfer the data collected via Bluetooth and Peter is trying to use it with a tripod to calculate the flatness of his bowling green transferring the data directly into a spreadsheet. It has a timer function to allow you to set it to take a measurement and ensure there is no vibration. Peter also brought along a gadget for squeezing teabags to allow you to dispose of them without making a mess. He also had some rather neat spaghetti tongs!
Anne, Frank's wife joined us for some of the evening and brought along her iPad 2 which she finds very useful. The removable case on the iPad contains magnets and switched the tablet on when you open the cover. Frank and Anne also had an accessory to allow you to transfer pictures from a camera SD card onto the iPad and had numerous albums of trips and the grandchildren. Anne finds the photo albums on the iPad to be a wonderful way to show other people pictures now everything is digital. Anne also uses the Kindle app available for the iPad which allows you to carry many books with you, and with the Pages wordprocessor app she has been allowed to take the iPad into the Essex archives to take notes. Anne also uses an iPod touch not just for music but also for her diary.
Michael ended the gadgets evening with a keyring with a difference. The keyring itself was made from a Nvidia graphics processor chip.
I'd like to wish everyone in the Iceni Computer Club a Happy New Year and lets hope we can continue to enjoy our monthly meetings and further our knowledge of computing in 2012!
|26 January||Social evening - "The Last Anchor", Ipswich||All|
|15 February||Linux 2011 on ARM etc.||Gareth et al|
|21 March||Slide show evening||All|
|18 April||AGM + extras||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.
Continuing our publicity for EAUG events, there is now a full list of meetings up to the end of the year on their website.
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)
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:
They have now moved to the St. Andrew's Computer Club at Britannia Road, Ipswich.
They have a full programme on the parish website (http://www.ourstandrews.co.uk), We may be able to make new contact with them to arrange something in common.
"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.)
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