Please bring your windows machines along to this evening when Michael will be demonstrating how to optimize a machine and improve its performance. He will also be discussing the thorny problems of software for protection against viruses, spyware and other malware which may invade your machine from the internet. This should be a very interesting and worthwhile evening. So do come along!
A formal report of the AGM will available later but the salient features will be outlined here. As expected there were no great surprises and only a couple of apologies for absence. The Chairman's report is printed in full here.
I hope everyone has enjoyed the last 12 months as much as I have with our varied agenda of topics and our two social evenings. We are a small club now but it seems between us we continue to look at new hardware and software which provides ongoing interest and new things to share and learn at our monthly meetings.
We began our year in the club in May 2010 with an evening on PC hardware upgrades by Michael. During the course of this evening we upgraded Frank's laptop to a 320GB hard disk and successfully restored his data from a backup stored on an external drive.
In June Michael hosted an evening on Broadband technologies charting the history from the initial 512kbit/s ADSL to the emerging "upto 20 meg" ADSL2+ services today and beyond together with information websites that can give us details of the service in our exchange area.
July was a Tips and Tricks evening with a particular emphasis on the Windows Registry. Here we looked at the design of the registry and the data it stores together with tools to resolve faults with the registry even if it prevents the system from booting. We were also able to look at the equivalents to the registry on Linux, Mac and RISCOS.
For our first social evening of the year in August we returned to the Tower Hotel in Dovercourt for a lovely meal which Royal was able to attend, and my thanks to Royal for organising and to Peter for helping to collect Royal when he had transport issues at the last minute.
In September we looked at ways of managing our collections of digital photographs which were wide ranging from applications such as iPhoto and Photo Commander through to utilising specific directory layout to manage photos by event and date. We also looked at some of the online hosting sites such as Flickr and Google Picasa.
October saw the return of our ever popular slideshow evening beginning with Gareth's visits to both Scotland and to New England in the US. Frank had also been on quite a tour of US National Parks and the Grand Canyon. Peter had captured some quite dramatic pictures of the aftermath of floods in Madeira and we finished the evening with the renovations at John's local church and a trip to Austria.
For our November meeting we had a very hands on session with everyone getting involved in stripping down and rebuilding a working machine from 2 RiscPCs. Not only did we have a working StrongARM RISCOS 4 machine by the end of the evening but along the way Frank even replaced the CMOS battery which had started leaking, in doing so showing off his soldering skills!!
December could be nothing less than a gadgets and party evening and as ever we showed numerous gadgets while enjoying tasty seasonal snacks. Gadgets this year included Peter's pineapple cutter (which provided one of our five a day), an electronic weather station, a tiny micro electric razor, joke glasses and more. The star of the show however was Frank's Kindle book reader which attracted much interest.
January 2011 saw us welcome in the New Year with a social evening organised by Frank and Peter at the Ramada hotel in Colchester. Once again Royal was able to attend with his carer thanks to a lift with Frank and Anne.
In February we held an evening on Gigabit Ethernet and its advantages at home particularly when moving large multimedia files around between machines. We were able to demonstrate saturating a Gigabit link on the night although it did require 3 laptops to achieve the feat, given the relatively slow performance on hard drives in portables. Michael was able to demonstrate a solid state flash hard disk drive which showed much higher performance than conventional rotating hard disks. These are still expensive but prices are falling and I predict a number of us will have them over the course of the next year.
In March I presented an evening on Ubuntu Linux using the VirtualBox application to run it within a virtual environment on my Mac. We installed Ubuntu from scratch and had a look at some of the many apps available on Linux. This topic was due to specific interest in trying Ubuntu without having to repartition a system, and as VirtualBox is free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux I hope more of us will try it out in future!
Our final evening of the club year was an evening on creating and handling PDF files. Frank gave an in depth overview of creating PDFs on RISCOS followed by Gareth on generating PDF output using the standard print to PDF function on both the Mac and Linux which both use the CUPS UNIX printing system. Michael rounded off the evening with a demo of a free app for creating PDFs on Windows. All 4 platforms used the open source GhostScript for creating the PDF and also all implemented a printer driver for ease of output from any application.
Once again a wide variety of topics have been touched on over the last 12 months all using our in-house expertise and my thanks to everyone who has presented or suggested topics. I hope we can continue to find new technologies be they hardware or software to bring to the table over the next 12 months and please do continue to suggest anything you might feel would be interesting to the group!
The Treasurer said that we had had a simple year with a profit of £70 and a balance of £323.35 and 7 paid-up members.
It was agreed that we would not change the subscriptions, but that since we have no insurance cover for our projector we should need somewhat more in the bank if perchance we had an unrepairable projector failure.
There was a discussion on the visitor's fee and it was agreed to cease charging this for the foreseeable future although it would be reviewed if the club circumstances changed dramatically.
The Treasurer's report was approved.
The current officers were re-elected 'en bloc'. There being no other nominations. So therefore the Officers are once more:-
|Chairman and Newsletter||Gareth Woolridge|
|Secretary and Website:||Peter Dunn|
|Treasurer and EAUG Liaison:||Frank Watkinson|
AOB. There being no other business the meeting ended at 8.49
After the formal part of the evening we had a session of playing Ten Pin Bowling on the Wii . This was won by Frank showing his greater experience. The was first time we had hooked up the Wii to the Video projector.
This was followed by a motor racing game on Michael's laptop. This ended with our Secretary proving he should not be let loose on a racing circuit; completely destroying the car by going into a wall at over 100 mph! Good job it was only fantasy.
Although we have a full programme mapped out it is always useful to have topics on a wish list in case of problems with a particular meeting. Especially if someone will agree to present them. It would also be good to have articles for the Newsletter to add extra interest. Maybe your favourite software application, device or platform?
Peter (in Gareth's Absence).
|15 June||PC optimization and protection software||All|
|20 July||Video, mediacentre and transcoding.||All|
|17 August||Social evening - venue TBA||All|
|21 September||Solid state drives (SSD) and storage devices.||All|
|19 October||Mac Evening||All|
|16 November||HD video opportunities||All|
|21 December||Party and Gadgets evening||All|
|18 January||Social evening - venue TBA||All|
|15 February||Linux 2011 on ARM etc.||All|
|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.
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:
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)
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