Initially, I thought it would be interesting to show some ways in which these ported RISC OS applications provide me with easier short-cuts from Windows to my Iyonix.
Why would I want this facility? In some cases, the Windows Firefox browser is either more convenient or even necessary to access certain information which I then need to transfer to Ovation Pro on the Iyonix. So, what is difficult about that? Transferring text is no problem using the network with RISC OS's LanMan98 application. But ... what about images displayed on Windows. These can be copied to the clipboard in Windows, but who wants a BMP image file? There is more than one way to solve that problem.
Why have Ovation Pro on Windows? Mainly convenience, but also insurance for the future for people who find applications like Word to be too ponderous for comfort. (Wow! What will Michael say?!)
The old ImageMaster on RISC OS, now called DPling Scan for copyright reasons, is now name-simplified to DPScan in Windows. It may not be as able to do everything that GIMP can, but even with the limitations of operating under Windows, it seems so much more convenient than GIMP.
Well, ... I expect it is largely a matter of familiarity with the RISC OS originals, BUT I hope to demonstrate the convenience of these cross-platform applications.
Michael began the evening with an empty PC Mini tower ATX case with a power supply pre-installed together with the metal motherboard risers which raise the system board off the metal side of the case and prevent shorting. Many cheaper cases come without a power supply, or with a cheaper power supply, but you should always use a good quality supply, particularly if building a high end PC with a powerful graphics card etc. A good graphics card may require 25 amps on the 12v rail, so its not just the watt rating of a power supply, a good quality one will support high current on the 12v rail while providing good stability. Our supply on the night was a 300 watt PSU, quite low by modern standards but perfectly adequate for the PC we are building.
The processor used on the night was a AMD Athlon dual core 7750 running at 2.7Ghz which consumes 95 watts of power at full power. AMD also now offer quad core processors.
Our motherboard on the evening was an Abit motherboard from 2007. Abit no longer make motherboards so we were using a bit of history for our build evening! The socket on the board was an AM2 socket which is an AMD specific socket which still uses pins unlike Intel, in this case having 940 pins. The photo shows the processor chip underside.
AM2 socket processors support DDR2 RAM, AM3 socket processors contain both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers.
First Michael fitted the I/O plate to the case, which is a shield with cutouts matched to the specific ports on the back of our chosen motherboard as shown in the photo below.
Before installing the motherboard in the case, Michael gave us an overview of the motherboard. Sockets on the back include PS2 mouse/keyboard, USB, sound, ethernet etc.
On the board were 4 DDR2 memory sockets which allows 8GB with 2GB memory modules. 4GB modules are available allowing 16GB but they are much more expensive. Modern motherboards contain an extra connector in addition to the ATX power connector to provide more power to the processor. This board still contains a floppy drive connector (yes they are still there). Parallel ATA and Serial ATA drive connectors, internal USB headers etc. Chips include the North bridge and South bridge chips which form the motherboard chipset and contain the buses to link the internal devices. South bridge will handle USB, serial ATA etc. and possibly the PCI-Express bus. The North bridge and South bridge are shown in blue in the photo below.
Installing the processor, it can only go in one way and you simply lift the lever to open the socket, gently insert the processor and close the lever.
The tricky bit is often installing the heatsink. Before installing a heatsink you should always use a small amount of thermal compound which significantly decreases CPU temperatures. The heatsink is then placed on the processor and the clamp carefully clipped over onto the socket. The fan on the CPU heatsink should be connected to the specific header on the motherboard to allow the speed to be controlled.
The photo below shows the processor fan assembly and graphics card installed..
Placing the motherboard into the case it should then be secured with supplied screws to all of the risers securing and earthing it to the case. The ATX and supplementary power sockets can now be connected to the motherboard.
The graphics available to us on the night was an ATI Radeon HD 2600 PCI Express Graphics card with 256 MB of memory and a fan. This card has modest power requirements and doesn't require an additional power supply connector, getting its power via the PCI-E bus. It has 2 DVI ports for connection to display devices and we used a DVI - VGA adaptor to connector to our projector.
The hard drive we used was a Seagate 500 GB single platter Serial-ATA drive making it quite a fast drive. The SATA port works at an interface speed of 3Gbps and is a point-to-point bus with a single device meaning the drive will never be waiting on the interface during data transfer.
The DVD drive we used was an old IDE HD DVD drive, since obsoleted by BluRay but was a drive Michael had available for us to use, and perfectly adequate for installing an Operating System from DVD.
The final step before we could attempt to power up the PC was to connect the case buttons and LEDs to the motherboard pin headers. These included power and reset switches, power light, hard disk access light etc. Michael also recommends a CMOS reset prior to first power up in case a specific processor has been used to test in the factory or if its a second hand motherboard for instance. On this motherboard it is easy via the switch on the rear of the case, on most motherboards you would need to move a jumper.
Turning on the power the system powered up first time, enabling us to first enter the CMOS/BIOS settings menu to configure the motherboard. There are lots of settings that can be changed relating to processor and memory and voltages. They are useful for tweaking a high end PC for the highest performance and for overclocking a CPU, but for most people it is safest to accept the default options. In our case we also set the boot priority to boot from CDROM before Hard disk, in order to install an operating system.
With the BIOS settings complete we were able to successfully boot the Windows 7 Release Candidate DVD and installed Windows 7 onto the newly built PC. The unpacking process did take some time, but completed just before the end of our evening and we were able to get to the Windows 7 desktop and verify things worked correctly and the motherboard devices were all detected correctly with drivers by Windows. Of course with a working internet connection it would always be advisable to check online for upgraded drivers.
My thanks to Michael for an action packed evening to get a PC built from scratch and up and running Windows by the end. I haven't built a PC for quite a while now and it was good to see what is new, and what is still the same!!
I'm writing this editorial this time since Gareth is travelling in USA at the moment and has just reached NY. The copy for the report on the last meeting and Frank's piece (from Frank initially of course) for the next meeting have been sent by Gareth via WiFi on a Greyhound bus, which must be a first for ICENI! The photos were sent from his i-phone.
|21 October||Cross Platform evening--|
"Programmes ported to Windows
Ovation Pro, Personal Accountz, DPlngscan, etc."
|18 November||Social Networking + Web applications|
(Facebook, Twitter etc.)
|16 December||Gadgets and Party evening||All|
|20 January||Social Evening TBA||All|
|17 February||Windows 7 "The Release"||Michael|
|17 March||Mac OSX update "Snow Leopard"||Gareth|
|21 April||AGM plus update on software |
iLife,Photodesk 3.09 etc.
Note the programme is flexible and in particular the February and March meetings may be swapped around.
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.
The next meeting is on
10th November "Remote connection/control of your PC "
There is now a full list of meetings up to the end of the year listed 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)
http://www.eaug.org.uk or 'phone one of the contacts on http://www.eaug.org.uk/ppl.htm
No further contact this month.
For information on this group we have added a link here
http://www.ipswichcc.co.uk They have now a brand new website although they don't have a link from their old website.
They also state that they have now a full membership.
"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