Currently the AGM is on hold. This was meant to be an Arduino evening but we have had no contact with Andy and so it doesn't look likely to happen.
So as last month this impromptu meeting is somewhat open ended. If you have a problem with your machine or need help with some software please bring it along and maybe we can sort things out for you. Also if you have some topic you would like to discuss or talk about then please do so.
Our last meeting was a rather impromptu meeting due to having to delay our
AGM, where we invited people to bring along any issues or items of interest
In the event Duncan had brought along an ethernet cable tester which he purchased when recabling his home for ethernet. He had seen an offer in Maplin for £9.99 although these were sold out when he visited the store but he managed to get one for around £13. This gadget neatly solves the problem of how to
test a cable between rooms. The unit came in 2 halves and could test RJ45
and RJ11 terminated cables. You simply connect the testers to both ends of
the cables and switch on and the LEDs pulse in sequence testing the
individual conductors in the cable. If an LED did not light that would
indicate an issue with that particular wire, and if the LEDs flashed out of
sequence that would indicate the wiring order was wrong on one of the
Duncan demonstrated this using a crossover cable which showed one end
flashed the normal sequence while the remote end flashed an out of normal
straight cabled sequence. The tester could also be stepped through the
sequence manually to allow more focussed testing.
The device powers off automatically after 20 minutes and the two halves
slot together for easy carrying/storage.
Duncan also brought along his Nikon USB slide scanner which he has been
using together with some home made film/slide caddies to scan old slides
and negatives resulting from family house clearances on a range of film formats.
Although the scanner was detected by Linux Duncan was unable to
successfully scan from it and so like Gareth and Peter had brought VueScan
from www.hamrick.com which supports a large number of scanners on Linux, OS
X and Windows.
VueScan has a simple view with scan to file/printer, choose type of film
etc. which then runs the preview from the slide scanner and then adjusts the
colour. You can then adjust the final scan, set the various input options,
crop the area to scan, set the colour balance by picking a mid grey area of
the image, set what kind of slide film the picture was taken on, and
configure output options such as setting up the filename for a sequence of
There is also a "More" button which switches out of the simple mode and
enables more menu options. This includes output formats, JPEG, TIFF,
JPEG+TIFF, PDF, RAW and more. The full version of VueScan has an option
called "Infrared Clean" which quite successfully cleans up dust and
imperfections in the slide assuming your scanner supports it. This only
works on colour films as silver based black and white film prevents the
infrared detection from working.
The film scanner comes with two attachments, one to accept slides and one
to accept short pieces of film. This can take a strip of six pictures and
can be fed in one way for three then turned around for the other three
images although these will then need rotating in software.
Duncan has also made some attachments to allow scanning other film formats
than 35mm in the scanner. He bought some sheets of plasticard from a model
shop to construct these and made an attachment to take 126 film and another
to feed 110 film into the scanner. The attachments are made by gluing 2
sheets together with a channel sized to take the film which had to be fed
in quite carefully to avoid scratching. When the film is fed into the
scanner using these the scanner assumes it is 35mm film and loads it.
Previewing one of these smaller negatives initially came out wrong as the
image is smaller than the expected frame requiring cropping. The first of
these images scanned in was of a video recorder, circa 1978, complete with
two visible reels. To optimise the image and colour balance, we were able
to play around with the film make/model and speed from the built in presets
albeit making some assumptions given it was 110 film. The picture was
surprisingly good given the original size of a 110 negative. The second
image scanned was from a very poor film that had been left in the camera
undeveloped for many years. By selecting "restore fading" we were able to
improve the image significantly compared to the original print but some
manual work with the colour balance was required. The negative had some
major defects across the faces of the people so any further restoration
would have required hours of manual work.
Rounding out Duncan showed us a number of his previous film and slide scans
of a range of 35mm and 110 film of various ages and one scene taken with a
star filter in front of the lens giving star burst effects. In modern
times we tend to forget that with film this all had to be done with filters
- no electronics or software was available.
Thanks Duncan for an interesting evening.
We shall endeavour to hold our AGM once everyone is available.
|July 17th||(Arduino and programming - maybe) or Impromptu||All|
|August 21st||Summer Social Evening - Venue TBA|
|September 18th||Mac Evening||Gareth|
|October 16th||Raspberry Pi, Linux and RISCOS||All|
|November 20th||Video Editing||Peter et al|
|December 18th||Gadgets and Party Evening||All|
|January 15th||Winter Social Evening - Venue TBA||All|
|February 19th||Windows Evening||Michael|
|March 19th||Computer Surgery||All|
|April 16th||AGM +||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.
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.
We are continuing our publicity for EAUG events , however their website has not been updated for a year now. So if you wish to know information please phone one of their contacts.
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.)
Our website has had to be moved since BT is no longer giving free hosting to customers and Peter was running the old website on his account. So Gareth has been fortunate to register a web address of our own and has generously hosted it on his own woolridge domain. All our old website data has been ported to the new site and a redirection placed on the old address. The old site will disappear some time soon
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
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org