Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 4th June 2008 7:30 pm "Wireless Networking - LAN/Bluetooth/3G and more" - Everyone

This is intended to be "hands on" for everyone to join in looking at Wireless Networking.

On the night we will be demonstrating common wireless applications, such as Wireless LAN, Bluetooth communications between PCs and PDA/phones and with luck, a 3G connection to the Internet.

There will some initial time to demonstrate the background and principles of the various technologies before we attempt to set up and use some of the equipment.

If you've got a device you can demo, whether a client, or networking hardware, bring it along on the evening and let's see what we can set up.


Our Last Meeting: Wednesday 7th May 2008 7:30 p.m.
"Word Processing and DTP on RISCOS using Ovation Pro, Easiwriter and more." by Frank

We began the evening looking at Ovation Pro with an example reproduction of a technical article from a magazine. Here Frank had accurately reproduced the article showing the abilities of Ovation Pro, including the flowing of text round an irregular image, in this case a train.

Ovation Pro is essentially a frame based document processor and in the first demonstration of the evening we looked at the use of some of the features including the Master page, the use of multi-column pages and frames and the multi-stage undo. Frames in OPro can contain pictures, or text, and we saw how to skew and rotate the frames, as well as rounding the corners. Irregular frames can also be created with Bezier curves. Polygon frames can be created, and converted to curves using the typical RISC OS method. Frames can be linked together allowing text to flow between multiple frames in the desired order.

Tools exist within Ovation Pro accessed via a number of pallets and the nudge tool can be used to nudge frames around on the page in small increments, very useful for aligning frames on the page.

The top toolbar in Ovation Pro can be customized using the macro definition window. Here buttons can be displayed, and their actions configured using a macro language. The button bar is scrollable to accommodate many buttons/icons.

Styles are available via the Style Pallet and include the usual suspects, body text, title, heading etc.

Loaders are available to import certain types of files into Ovation Pro. Frank demonstrated importing a set of lecture notes in Impression format complete with images. The import was very quick, and quite accurate, although some reduction in the image quality was seen,

Next up was exporting to Easiwriter. This is easiest performed by saving the document in DDL format, and using !meDDLe to convert to HTML. meDDLe can be configured as to what OPro Styles map to HTML tags, e.g. title to <h1> etc. The resulting HTML can be dropped onto an Easiwriter frame, but will need further editing.

Finally for Ovation Pro, we revisited frames to demonstrate the flow of text round irregular images. Here Frank created a polygon frame around the image to flow the text around following quite closely the shape of the image. We also looked at setting the text to flow automatically around a picture placed directly within the frame, but this crashed OPro.

Moving on to EasiWriter Frank issued a warning... "To use EasiWriter efficiently you must read the manual". This became quite clear as we looked at the software!!

To begin a document, click the Chapter button on the toolbar, insert the chapter name and then enter some introductory text. To add a section, use the Section button on the toolbar. Sub sections can be added with the Sub Section button, and so on. End Section then allows you to break out a level, i.e. up to the section from a sub section. One of the newer features allows a set of coloured vertical bars to the left of the page to indicate the various sections, to help prevent confusion.

Styles apply globally in the document. If you change the font of a Style, e.g. the Section heading and update the style, this applies throughout the document.

EasiWriter does contain an Undo feature, but this is currently only a single level of undo.

This means it is possible to get into lots of trouble if you aren't careful.

Unfortunately we ran out of time to demo more of EasiWriter, such was the amount packed into the evening, but Frank ended by showing us the included documentation which was very comprehensive, and included guides not only to provide tutorial on EasiWriter, but also a basic "Using" guide which also covered the basics of RISC OS.

This was a very informative look at Word Processing and DTP on RISC OS, I certainly learned a lot!


Our Visit to Mid Suffolk Computer Users group:
Tuesday 6th May 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at Barham Church Hall IP6 0PT

Gareth, Michael and I visited the Mid Suffolk Computer Users Group for a Computer Quiz evening. There were 8 members present from their club and 3 from ours. We received a warm welcome with drinks and snacks. We had a very pleasant evening and they are a very friendly group, much like ourselves. They also are a mixture of professionals and keen amateurs. The quiz was very well organised with a computer presentation of the questions using a projector. We split up onto two tables to make it more interesting. There were three groups therefore in the quiz. Many of the questions were multiple choice, but that did not necessarily make it any easier to get the right answer as there were lots of red herrings. The first half of the evening was devoted to answering questions and after a refreshment break the second half was spent checking each others' answers. Modesty forbids me from saying who won.

We gave a description of the activities of our Club and there followed some discussion on the possible merger of the two clubs. We felt that we should go away and think about the advantages and disadvantages of this and how it could work. Obviously the increased numbers

of a joint club would be an advantage. They also have a very quiet venue in contrast to ours and refreshment facilities, but no bar. We don't think they have Internet access but a 3G signal might be available. The increased travelling distance for our members living in Essex might be a problem. Would they accept the meetings devoted to RISCOS? What would a joint Club be called?

So we are thinking about the future and possibly attending each other's future meetings until we get to know each other better. Maybe one or other club should change the monthly meeting dates to make this easier to arrange. If anyone from Mid Suffolk Computer Club is reading this you will be most welcome at any of our meetings.

If you have any comments on this please let the Committee know.

They are based at Barham Church hall which is just north of Claydon of the A14. Their website is www.midsuffolkcomputerclub.co.uk and shows a map of the location. OS Grid (613685, 250965) N52:06:56 E 1:07:10). It was relatively easy to find up a cart track to the left from the road from Barham.



Peter writes:-

Another joint effort on the Newsletter production this month with most input from Gareth. Don't forget we are always keen on articles from other people.

ICENI Future programme

We have had a committee meeting this month to revise our programme. Some of the topics below may change .

June 4th Wireless Networking/Bluetooth/3G phones etc. Gareth et al
July 2nd Internet Applications Ebay, Web 2.0 , Flikr etc. All
August Social Evening Venue TBA All
September 3rd MS Office 2007, Office 2008 for Mac Michael, Gareth
October 1st Linux Evening (provisional) TBA
November 5th Storage & Backup Peter
December 3rd Gadgets and Party evening All

Talks with Visiting speakers are shown in Red. We will give more details as soon as they are confirmed.

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 - please see their Website for details of their next meeting.

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

Mid- Suffolk Computer Users Group

For information on this group we have added a link here


Special Notice - Insurance

"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."

P.S. My insurance company have added my computer cover away from home with no extra premium required, yours might do the same.(Ed.)

Our Website and Email

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: iceni@woolridge.org.uk