Monthly Meeting Notes 0408

Saturday, 1st March, 2008 – 19:30 by Administrator

Date – April 1st 2008
Time – 7:30pm
Duration – 1 hour, 30 minutes
Location – Room 2.22, Building 312 (Geology), Curtin University Bentley

As the Committee have not let me know what will be shown at the next meeting, I am going to assume that they will be giving a free MacBook Air to the first 1024 people that show up. Additionally a fully decked out Mercedes S-Class will be presented to the first person to bring in an Argentinian hedgehog with an Apple logo painted on its spikes.

Finally, the Committee will be demonstrating the latest and greatest version of Windows Vista and how it makes your life better than anything else on the planet.

Update: Well it appears we won’t be getting our free MacBook Air’s, although we will get to see one. Daniel Kerr has happily informed us of the coming events.

  • Daniel Kerr will be showing us a MacBook Air. (Ooooo “Airy”)
  • Martin Hill will be demoing a rather cool little HD Sanyo video camera. (Sanyo Sanyo Sanyo… A cleaning we will go!)
  • Peter Hinchliffe will be demoing… something. (Some….thhhiiinggg… over the rainbow)
  • Fun and Games will be supplied.

Meeting Notes

Howdy Folks,

We had a great turn up for the April meeting. I’m not sure if Matt’s post of 1 Apr, a significant date, caused the multitude. Perhaps it was the lure of the Mercedes S-class or maybe the latest, greatest version of Vista?

The evening got underway with Peter Hinchliffe conducting the usual Q & A. A printing problem in Pages which couldn’t be resolved, an email client not remembering passwords, possibly a Keychain problem and how to set up an external HDD.

Peter then handed over to Martin Hill for his excellent presentation on QuickTime Pro. At a A$45 download from the Apple Store, this has to be the best value for money for the non professional video enthusiast ever. It has very cool editing tools including video export, combining clips, picture in picture, conversion of many video formats as well as cut, copy, paste etc. It is h.264 capable and can playback in stereo at full screen mode. Highly recommended for anyone interested in video editing.

Martin then introduced us to the latest camcorder offering from Sanyo, the Xacti HD1000. This diminutive camera has a 10x optical zoom, 4 megapixel resolution and is capable of recording video at 1080i on a 16GB flash card. At below A$700, if you shop around, it appears to be an ideal consumer level video camera and the size will make it attractive to the traveller.

Susan Hastings then kindly allowed Daniel Kerr to demonstrate her MacBook Air. As the name implies, this machine at 1.35KG and less that 2cm thickness is ideal for the traveller. The backlit screen is very bright and it has a full size illuminated keyboard. USB, DVI and audio ports are accessible via a neat little drop down port array. On the downside, it has no optical drive but this can be overcome by Remote Disk, a feature that allows you to use the optical drive on an adjacent computer. The 80GB HDD machine comes in at A$2499 but an extra A$1839 gives you a 64GB solid state drive. The future of HDDs??

This was followed by Peter Hinchliffe demonstrating NeoOffice, a free suite of office applications as an alternative to MS Office. Naturally it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the MS suite but it is ideal for students or anyone who only needs the basics, which is probably most of us. It incorporates a word processor, a spreadsheet, a database, a presentation and a drawing program. Free download from

To finish off the evening, Daniel Forsyth demonstrated several online office suites. These included Telstra’s BigPond Office, (must be a BigPond customer) MS Live Workspace (need an MS ID eg Hotmail) and Google Docs (need a Google account) Most had limitations apart from those already mentioned, eg not Safari friendly, advertising, file size limitations, sluggishness or difficulty formatting as PDF.

I will conclude with a reminder that if you want a particular product or software demonstrated at a Meeting, please contact a Committee Member and we will see what we can come up with.


Post a Comment