We are storing more pictures, sound and video in digital form than ever before. Once limited to playback on a desktop PC or laptop there are now a number of options for listening and watching on other devices within a network connected home.
At our next meeting we hope to introduce a number of ways in which media can be "streamed" within the home from a media centre PC. This could be a Windows PC, a Mac, or indeed a Linux machine. The end device could be an off the shelf set top box connected to a TV, a modern games console running official software, or even an older console upgraded with 3rd party software.
We will be looking at the various systems and setups for doing this, and also the pros and cons of the different media formats available.
Our last meeting was a packed evening looking at various tools for identifying and eradicating all manner of malware that can affect modern PCs together with software to clean up, and speed up the Windows registry.
Peter presented the majority of the evening and introduced us to a wide selection of tools that he has used himself to keep his XP machine running well. Most of the software presented is not free software but has been bought by Peter in this quest to maintain performance and security.
The software can be categorised mainly into Anti Spyware and Anti Virus applications, although sometimes they are combined into one piece of software that can perform a number of tasks.
In addition to these Peter also uses registry cleaner tools to prune and maintain the Windows system registry, and tools to check and update drivers required by devices on his system.
First up we looked at Max Secure Registry Cleaner. This software has a number of modes of operation being able to scan the registry for unwanted data and remove it, but also to backup and restore the registry. Registry Cleaner also has the facility to defrag the registry to compact the registry to improve system performance.
Peter liked this software as it can run a scan in 8-10 minutes, whereas some other software can take considerable time to run a full scan.
Next we looked at Registry Booster from a company in Malta called Uniblue. Uniblue supply a number of pieces of software of which Peter has used more than one.
Like the previous tool Registry Booster also allows to cleanup, backup and defragment the registry.
Moving on to Anti Spyware tools Peter introduced us to two pieces of software, Spyware Detector and Spyware Doctor. Peter found Spyware Detector easy to use and fairly fast. It can be used to search for viruses, spyware and rootkits and definitions for anything found to be downloaded from the Internet and displayed in Firefox.
Spyware Doctor from PC Tools is another tool Peter has used although his subscription has currently lapsed.
Another application used by Peter is SpeedUpMyPC also from Uniblue. These "boosting programs" attempt to optimise the system through the removal of junk files, temporary Internet files, lost disk clusters and more. Whether a placebo effect or something more, Peter's system feels faster after running such tools.
Peter also uses Driver Detective which identifies out of date system and hardware drivers via an Internet link to the Drivers Headquarters website. It was also noted that it has a Vista Ready checker to check hardware for Vista compatibility. Peter also uses Driver Genius Professional although this needed an Internet connection for live updates.
After the break Michael showed us a number of tools on his laptop running the latest pre-release of Windows 7.
CCCleaner is able to remove temporary Internet files, cookies, browser history files, recent URLs and also temporary files from a lot of applications such as Office, Flash, and Nero etc. There were some false positives on Michael's laptop but CCCleaner is not yet designed or certified for Windows 7.
Hijack This is another free tool used by Michael and searches the system for Spyware and malicious software. The log file generated is uploaded to the hijackthis.de website where it is analysed and a report generated. This can generate very sophisticated detailed reports, but it is important to be cautious what you delete from your system.
The Committee has recently held a committee meeting and hopes the topics we have set over the next months will be of interest to you. The scheduling of topics is always flexible, so if anyone would like to see a specific topic or would like to present an evening please let us know.
We have also started investigating a venue for our summer Social Evening and will communicate details soon!
|July 15th||Media Streaming within the Home||Gareth & Michael|
|August 19th (Prov..)||Social Evening The Brantham Bull (Prov..)|
|but see emails.|
|16 September||Hardware evening - Building a PC update||Michael|
|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.
14th July "Adobe Lightroom"
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
This has now re-badged itself as the Ipswich Computer Club, since it now meets at the AV centre in Leslie Road Ipswich on the first Tuesday of the month. I haven't made direct contact with them yet but will do so to see if they are interested in a joint meeting. It would appear since they have limited space for their meetings that any thoughts of a merger now are off.
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