In recent years it has become more common to digitise video from various sources to store on a hard drive and to be able to stream this video to PCs and TVs around the home.
At our next meeting we will take a look at the process of transcoding media to suitable formats for streaming around the home and storing it onto a hard drive or network storage. We will then look at the different methods of streaming this video to PCs and smartphones and also to TV Media Players.
Various pieces of software are required in this chain and we will hopefully demo a number of them during the evening.
Michael began by saying that he wanted to check on the performance of AntiVirus software because he thought that the latest version of AVG caused more impact on boot-up than earlier versions and wanted to be able to compare various other AntiVirus software.
He was using a clean XP machine and in particular without any installed antivirus software; it was a 5-6 year old laptop with a Core duo processor and 1GB memory, but was nothing special. In order to do this he thought it would be useful to show us an interesting piece of software called Soluto; freeware in a beta version.
Soluto is a utility which analyses the boot-up sequence on a Windows PC and details the time taken for each stage of the boot-up process.
Michael began by installing Soluto from a CD on which he had previously downloaded the software. He had not installed it since he wanted to show us what the install process was like.
First it installs .NET framework, if not already present, and then installs the main program.
Once installed the machine is rebooted and Soluto then logs the processes. It installs itself on the icon bar with white icon a bit like a power on/off symbol but with two vertical lines.
The install was quite time consuming and Michael had to log onto the internet in order to obtain further files using Peter's Openzone login.
Whilst waiting for the install which took some time (40 mins) he showed us Glary utilities. which is another piece of freeware which includes a registry cleaner, temporary files cleaner , shortcut fixer, startup manager, tracks eraser and spyware remover and various other utilities.
It comes up with file encrypter, undeleter, shredder and process monitor.
Glary utilities can be downloaded from http://www.glaryutilities.com
Once installed and rebooted Soluto analysed Michael's PC as taking 1 minute 4 sec. with 41 processes running in boot. The analysis is divided into Potentially removable, "Cannot be removed with Soluto(yet...) and Removed applications. Wireless software took 8 sec quite long and not always needed. So delay this. It also gives an idea of how many people have chosen this action! System processes cannot be removed. Mouse control software can also be removed as it is only needed to configure. Soluto itself adds 5 sec. Image mastering API can remove, etc.
The time can change even when no deliberate changes have been made since it depends on the loading sequence. A lot of the startup modules can be removed without problems in order to reduce the startup time considerably.
It then enables the user to trim back the overall time by stopping unnecessary applications from booting on start-up and allows them to be paused so that they boot later or on demand.
It also shows all of the Windows processes as they boot up. The overall time was reduced to 1min 2 secs. Adding the AntiVirus AVG software added... guessing the extra time Peter reckoned 20sec, Frank too long... at least a minute. In fact it took 57 sec extra at 1m 59sec.
Peter in the meantime had started installing Soluto on his XP P4 machine from Michael's memory stick. Michael thought Peter's machine would be a good candidate for this software!
Unfortunately Soluto would not run correctly on Peter's machine, although he already had .NET installed. We spent some time trying to sort it out. This needs further investigation.
[After the meeting Peter reinstalled all his .NET software and did have some success at running Soluto his machine took 4m 50sec to boot for 57 apps and had removed various apps (it had been 14minutes!) including BBC iPlayer which took 180 sec! However it does not always run and the icon is not always present on the icon bar.. is this correct.] Soluto also keeps a historical record of previous boot times and indicates when software has been added or removed.
Soluto can be downloaded from a http://www.FileHippo.com a useful website for several freeware packages in up-to-date versions including AVAST , VLC Media Player which is good, and CCleaner is also a useful clean up utility.
Many of the AntiVirus programs are quite large. AVAST installer is 54MB, AVG installer 163MB. Kapsersky 113MB.
Malwarebytes and Spybot are still quite good.
Peter also had a problem with logging off his machine which always wanted to do an update but couldn't do it. Related to SP1. We ran out of time to fix this at the meeting. Downloading an update to .NET Framework 1.1 has cured this. link is to email on problem.
This was quite a hands-on meeting and there were many comments and side discussions which are not reported here. Thanks to Michael for all the information and some interesting free applications.
We shall need a committee meeting soon to discuss our Summer Social evening. So we should have information on the venue and date soon.
Peter (in Gareth's Absence).
|Video, TV Media players, mediacentre and transcoding.
|Social evening - venue TBA
|Solid state drives (SSD) and storage devices.
|HD video opportunities
|Party and Gadgets evening
|Social evening - venue TBA
|Linux 2011 on ARM etc.
|Slide show evening
|AGM + extras
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 on their website.
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)
Their next technical meeting will be on 14th September 2011, the subject title being:
"Latest Views on Backing Up." Tea/coffee/biscuits usually available.
The Annual Barbecue for members and regular visitors may note that the date has been changed to 27th August 2011.
The EAUG website will be updated accordingly for the above in the next day or so.
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.)
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