For our next meeting we will revisit the current state of play with Linux on x86 and ARM for a look at some of the latest distributions and their pros and cons.
Gareth will bring along some examples to demonstrate running in Virtualbox on a Mac laptop and hopefully on a Pandaboard time permitting.
Please feel free to bring along your own Linux instances to demo or even just to discuss issues you may have experienced.
In August we returned to the Brantham Bull on the A137 between Ipswich and Manningtree for a pleasant evening catching up with old friends from both the Iceni and EAUG clubs.
Sadly Royal was unable to join us this time due to last minute issues and Michael was on holiday, but for those able to attend it was an enjoyable evening with good food, albeit a little slow on the delivery.
Many thanks to Peter for organising the evening, my only input was to go there for lunch to sample the menu! Gareth.
Here are some photos from the event:
Our July Meeting: Wednesday 18th July "Scanning Evening:All
Our last meeting at the Bourne Vale Club with technical content was in July, which seems so long ago now as we move towards autumn. The evening was a hands-on evening looking at the various scanners people own and the software they use with them.
First up on the evening was Gareth with two older Canon USB scanners, an N650U and N670U. Friends and family donated both of these as no drivers were written to support them on Vista/Windows 7. Linux has driver support for both of these scanners via SANE and on the Mac Gareth has bought Hamrick's VueScan software that supports a huge range of both older and current scanners. This software is also available for Windows and Linux!
On the evening however Gareth demonstrated the scanners with the open source SANE drivers on Ubuntu. This was via Ubuntu running as a virtual machine within VirtualBox on a Mac and utilised the USB device filter to allow Ubuntu to have exclusive access to the USB connected scanner. The SANE package comes with its own GUI for capturing images called xsane with a limited amount of settings to select quality, bit depth etc. and is functional but perhaps a bit limited compared to commercial packages.
SANE on Linux also provides a TWAIN like interface so other apps can support scanning, in this case Gareth demonstrated the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Package), which is a popular graphics tools on UNIX.
Our next demonstration was by Michael with his Epson Perfection 2480 Photo scanner. This is also an older scanner that lacks a Windows 7 driver but Michael has it working using a Vista driver which then works with the built in Windows 7 scanning tool. In a similar way to xsane the default Windows scan tool has limited options again featuring resolution, bit depth but also brightness and contrast.
Using the Epson scanning utilities under Windows presented a lot more options together with presets for scanning film and more. The "full auto" mode also produced an image that much more closely matched the original in terms of colour temperature than the standard Windows tool.
Windows makes the scanner available to other applications that support capture from scanners so Michael was also able to demonstrate the Windows version of GIMP scanning directly into the application. Attempting to acquire an image this way utilises the scanner dialogue built into Windows.
Rounding out the evening Peter demonstrated his Nikon CoolScan SCSI slide scanner. These were originally very expensive at around £800 but Peter managed to get this unit second hand for a considerable discount. The newer editions of the slide scanner are USB but many people used these SCSI editions on RiscPCs using SCSI. This caused Peter some issues using it with modern PCs but he was able to purchase a USB - SCSI adaptor to allow it to be connected to his PC.
Unfortunately the Nikon software for this scanner no longer works with modern versions of Windows so Peter also purchased VueScan for Windows, which has drivers for the CoolScan.
Vuescan is a very sophisticated scanning tool with many options and support for over 1800 scanner models. As well as choosing the settings of the physical scanner you can do such things as save both JPG and TIFF files for each scan, autoprocess to remove dust and other image anomalies and much more.
Peter also demonstrated his USB microscope that he had brought along to a previous meeting but had trouble with the software working correctly on his Mac at the time. Now working correctly on his Windows PC this could zoom to a quoted 200x magnification although the way this works was slightly odd. The software shows a live view from the camera but can also provide still image capture and video recording.
Duncan also owns a CoolScan, but a later USB version. He extended the functionality by making his own holders for different sizes of negative from 126 and 110 film cameras from PlastiCard, which is used by model makers.
I hope you all have had a good Summer and are feeling ready for the next run of meetings. I hope more of you are able to come along to meetings, which take quite a bit of organising and deserve a good audience. As you may have noticed we have changed our website and now got our own domain thanks to Gareth. There is now a small counter on it in order to gauge how often it is looked at.
We have also had to move from the County run local community database to an independent database run by Trudy who used to work with the Ipswich Suffolk Events database and has all of the data ported over from the County DB. This is now located at http://www.Ipscene.co.uk/computerclubs and run on a voluntary basis with a donation facility.
|September 19th||"Linux update"||Gareth|
|October 17th||"Mountain Lion" (Mac OSX 10.8)||Gareth|
|November 21st||"Windows 8 - The Final Version!"||Michael|
|December 19th||"Party and Gadgets evening"||All|
|January 16th||Social evening - Venue:TBA||All|
|February 20th||"Cloud computing"||TBA|
|March 20th||"RPC Emu"||TBA|
|April 17th||AGM + extras||All|
|Emergency topic - "Slideshow"||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