For our December meeting we are once again holding the annual gadgets evening. This is always a lighthearted look at any new gadgets and toys we have bought or been given during the year and does not have to be computer related.
I hope you can all join us for the final meeting of 2012 to enjoy some banter along with seasonal fare and refreshments. Please feel free to bring along something to share, I'll be bringing homemade mince pies - Gareth
At our last meeting Michael introduced us to Windows 8 which was recently released and marks quite a radical overhaul to the Windows desktop environment as it moves to support not just traditional desktops and laptops but also tablet devices.
Windows 8 was released 26th October 2012 succeeding Windows 7, which was released around 3 years ago.
Microsoft had been losing to Apple badly in the tablet market and Windows 8 has been designed to combat this. Microsoft has taken a different approach to Apple though, and rather than design a new streamlined tablet specific Operating System they have made Windows 8 suitable for both desktop and tablet use.
The Start menu has now gone for good with the new full screen home/start screen of the Modern UI. Clicking start in the bottom left corner brings up a full screen start screen. The main screen shows tiles of information on news, mail, people, and much more, swiping across to the right brings up the Applications or the main subset of them. To see Accessories and other less used items you need to right click and view all programs.
The Start screen no longer has a shutdown button and while the Alt-F4 key combination still works you need to go to the bottom right corner and go into Settings, then Power to shutdown. The more technical options such as Event Viewer and Control Panel are available by right clicking on the start icon in bottom left.
The Settings menu brings up full screen "modern UI" settings/preferences and is geared towards tablet use although a lot of the settings/control panel menus are the same as Windows 7.
The Task Manager has changed extensively in Windows 8 having been relatively unchanged in Windows versions since '95 and now gives a simplified view or an advanced view showing the tasks/process together with much more information such as their individual network usage.
System Requirements for basic usage of Windows 8 remain the same as Windows 7:
1GHz CPU single core
16GB HDD for 32 bit, 20GB for 64 bit
Windows 8 will be available in a number of different editions in a similar vein to Windows XP, Vista and 7 - with most of these editions also being available in both 32bit and 64bit versions. The exception to this is the new Windows RT edition with is specific to the ARM processor in the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet computer designed to compete with the iPad and Android Tablets.
Windows RT (ARM) - 32 bit - only on Surface RT tablet
Windows 8 32/64 bit - equivalent of Home edition of Windows 7
Windows 8 Pro 32/64 bit
Windows 8 Enterprise 32/64 bit
Windows RT ARM based systems are missing some features of the full Windows editions, most notably only partial desktop support (required to run the ARM version of Microsoft Office) and applications can only be installed via the App Store.
For those running earlier versions of Windows with hardware meeting the minimum specs upgrades are available at quite competitive prices as Microsoft is pushing to get as many people as possible using Windows 8, particularly those using older Windows releases like XP. You can update from XP and Windows 7 for just £24.99 from the Windows store online. A retail box version of Windows 8 is available from £49.99.
Since the meeting Michael has given the following extra information(Ed.)
Purchase the upgrade from Microsoft for £24.99 download (until 31/01/2013 at this price).
This can be downloaded as an image to either a Memory Stick or DVD. There is help on this link using the download assistant on whether your machine may be upgraded and also help to determine what you may keep as you upgrade, which depends on which system you are upgrading from.(Ed.)
If upgrading to an existing XP,Vista or Windows 7 installation personal documents should be fine, but other programs will need to be reinstalled.
Since the meeting the price on Amazon has dropped slightly further for the retail version, it's now available for £43.19 direct from Amazon:
Windows 8 Wiki:
Windows 8 Editions Comparison:
Please let me know if you have any questions or if I've missed anything.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all again in 2013!
|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