Our January Social Evening and Meal will return once again to the Tower Hotel in Dovercourt. This venue was very popular on our last visit with excellent food, and a thank you once again to Royal for booking the venue for us.
I hope as many of you as possible can join us for what should be a very enjoyable evening and welcome in 2010 for the Iceni club!
Once again we held our Gadgets evening in December allowing us all to bring our latest toys along to demonstrate. As has become the norm for this event gadgets were not all computer related or even electronic adding to the variety of devices on show.
We also had a selection of light refreshments available ranging from cheese and biscuits to mince pies and in fact the cheese cutter was one of Peter's gadgets for the evening!!
Frank brought along an electric screwdriver which he finds very useful, and despite some discussion how they can often not have enough torque to fully drive a screw home Frank has found the particular model he has can in fact have too much torque if you are not careful.
Michael started the main demonstrations of the evening with a Toshiba digital photo frame. We were able to play a slideshow, and change the delay time for the images as well as manually selecting images. Various types of fade were available for the slideshow, and the frame could also play video. The image quality was quite impressive and the frame had built in tilt and light sensors, able to rotate the picture to suit the orientation, and also to vary the backlight for the conditions.
Gareth followed on with a demonstration of a new set of tools from his collection, a set of ratchet spanners. These are the same shape as a set of normal ring spanners, but contain a ratchet mechanism, ideal where a conventional ratchet handle and socket struggle for space.
The next gadget from Frank was a windup LED torch with a claimed 30 minutes of light for a minutes winding. It came half price from Black's with a set of walking boots. Peter also had a windup torch with him, and we were able to compare light output which did seem slightly brighter.
Gareth brought along the Christmas present for his latest kitcar, in the form of the speedometer from his new set of Smiths instruments. The companies people remember from classic cars such as Smiths and VDO are alive and well, albeit quite small businesses now catering for low volume sports cars. Technology has kept up though and the gauges now have LCD screens and
modern electronics. The car will eventually have the full set of gauges fitted, together with the sender units for temperature, oil pressure etc. fitted to the engine.
Frank also brought the 4 way LNB (Low Noise Block) that had recently failed on his satellite dish which he had taken apart. Inside is an elliptical array of reflectors, and at the rear a little rod with a brass reflector behind. This rear part is very similar to the design we discussed previously for a Pringle's tube WiFi antenna.
Another useful device from Peter was a universal DC power supply. It is supplied with a number of different connectors with 2 pins that can be rotated 180 degrees to set the correct polarity.
Michael had also brought a windup torch that also contained a compass AND a radio meaning that Gareth was the only member in attendance on the night to not have a windup device, something to rectify next year!
Frank had an issue at home with trying to connect a laptop to a TV to watch things such as iPlayer and brought along a device for taking the VGA output of a PC/laptop and feeding it into the TV via S-Video.
A true gadget from Peter was a plug in electricity cost/usage meter that could display current, voltage, frequency, watts currently in use, energy used in kw/h and electricity cost (if programmed with unit prices). We were quite surprised by the mains voltage indicated at the Bourne Vale club of 258 volts!!
Michael for his final gadget/toy brought along his Canon 400D Digital SLR camera and some lenses. This is a relatively new purchase and Michael is currently learning how all the features and modes work.
Frank finished the evening with a lead and adaptors for connecting IDE and SATA hard disks to a USB port. He bought it in order to rescue some files off a hard disk from a scrapped PC. Frank also had some files off his Humax Freesat PVR box which so far he had been unable to play. Michael and Gareth suggested trying the VLC video player from videolan.org as an application most likely to be able to play and transcode the files. Each recording had
a TS, NTS, and HMT file, with the TS file being the large file containing the recording. We were unable to test it on the evening, but Google seemed to indicate VLC could play the files!
Happy New Year to everyone in Iceni and our friends at EAUG. I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year and that we can continue to provide topics of interest to you all during 2010!
We will shortly be holding a Committee Meeting to discuss matters before the AGM, and also to begin planning our schedule of talks for the coming year. As ever if anyone would like to propose a specific topic for an evening please let us know.
|20 January||Social Evening at Tower Hotel Dovercourt||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.
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 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)
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.
"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: email@example.com