Leaking memories, fixed in minutes!

Friday, 5th June, 2009 – 22:40 by Toby Oldham

Everyone can remember bad experiences with software, or software developers. I think its generally accepted that, biologically speaking, we remember bad stuff more often than good stuff so we don’t get our left arm eaten by a saber-tooth tiger (having already lost our right-arm at the last cross-species pub crawl).

The great thing about the printed (or electronically recorded) word is that we can store away the good stuff we’d otherwise hurriedly leave by the side of the forest path as we made room for important concepts like ‘don’t poke big cats in the eye.’

My contribution then to this world-wide phenomenon, is a paragraph (or three) about a cool developer:

Read the rest of this entry »

New Web Site

Tuesday, 21st October, 2008 – 15:14 by Administrator

Hi Everyone,

After a long a painful journey the new, easier to manage, WAMUG Web Site is now open. Although it is by no means finished. Have a play and see if you can break it.

As it supports comments on the pages, feel free to leave one. Tell us what works, what doesn’t and if you think something should be added.

– Matt

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Monthly Meeting Notes 0508

Wednesday, 6th August, 2008 – 19:30 by Ian Conaghan

Date – May 6th 2008
Time – 7:30pm
Duration – 1 hour, 30 minutes
Location – Room 2.22, Building 312 (Geology), Curtin University Bentley

Meeting Notes

Although the numbers were down on the previous month, the May Meeting was conspicuous by the largest Q & A session we have had for quite some time. The following issues were discussed:

  • Playing WAV files,
  • MacBook Air won’t talk to an external HDD,
  • VM Fusion versus Parallels – pros and cons,
  • How to delete an unwanted startup item,
  • Slow keyboard response after Sleep on a MacBook Pro,
  • Spotlight,
  • Safari,
  • Text alteration in a PDF, and
  • Lack of columns in Numbers.

After welcoming Greg, a new convert from the dark side, Peter Hinchliffe then proceeded to the evening’s main topic, web browsers.

There are about a hundred or so out there with varying pros and cons, both paid versions and freebies so only a limited few were discussed. The most popular for our platform is obviously Safari that seems to go from strength to strength with each update. A little known gem hidden in Preferences – Advanced, is the Develop menu which contains a wealth of information including the construction of web pages. Also interesting is Inquisition, a plug-in that is virtually a ‘Spotlight’ for web site searching. Check out Version Tracker.

The next most popular is probably Firefox. This browser is the child of Netscape and is developed by Motzilla, is free and has more bells and whistles than most others. Flock, which is based on Firefox is designed for social networking.

Others discussed were; iCab, Opera, Sea Monkey, Camino (very popular with very fast page loading) , OmniWeb and Webkit, the engine that powers Safari, Dashboard and many other Mac applications.

Peter’s next presentation was X11 which comes with Leopard and lives in the Utilities folder. This is the technology that enables drawing in Unix and gives access to possibly hundreds of Unix programs and downloads of Unix software to run in OS X. He demonstrated Inkscape, a Unix vector drawing program.

Next cab off the rank was a look at Default Folder X, a shareware utility that attaches a toolbar to to Open or Save dialogue boxes that enables fast access to and management of folders and commands. Check out Version Tracker.

The evening ended with the multitude being able to exit the building without the intervention of Curtin Security. (you had to be there :-o)

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June Meeting Notes

Friday, 13th June, 2008 – 08:03 by Peter Hinchliffe

The meeting notes for the May 6 WAMUG General Meeting are now up on the Meetings page, again courtesy of Ian Conaghan. Click on the Meetings Page and click the link 3rd June – Monthly Meeting at the bottom of the page.

May Meeting Notes

Thursday, 22nd May, 2008 – 08:56 by Peter Hinchliffe

The meeting notes for the May 6 WAMUG General Meeting are now up on the Meetings page, courtesy of Ian Conaghan. You can check them out here, or swing over to the Meetings Page and click the link 6th May – Monthly Meeting at the bottom of the page.

Keyboard shortcuts..including that pesky Print Screen

Friday, 28th March, 2008 – 08:00 by Rosemary Horton

Are you like me? Do you have to use Windows at work and prefer an Apple at home? I find mostly this causes no problem, except with keyboard shortcuts. My mind sometimes just glitches. Read the rest of this entry »

Downspinning

Tuesday, 25th March, 2008 – 11:14 by Toby Oldham

Until 2 weeks ago, I was the proud owner of a Dual 1.8 G5 tower. Not anymore. I decided to rationalise my computing experience, as I’ve realised something:

Relative silence is golden.

Read the rest of this entry »

Join the Mailing List

Saturday, 8th March, 2008 – 13:53 by Administrator

Hi Everyone,

The WAMUG Committee would like to extend a formal invitation to everyone to join the email mailing list. There are currently about 500 people subscribed from all walks of life. Join the discussion, ask questions that’s what it’s there for.  Click here to Join for free.

Annual General Meeting 2008

Tuesday, 4th March, 2008 – 19:30 by Ian Conaghan

The 2008 AGM opened with the existing Committee standing down to allow for the election of new office bearers. The following were elected unopposed:

President: Peter Hinchliffe

Treasurer: Peter Botman

Members: Daniel Kerr, Ian Conaghan and a new Committee member, Daniel Forsdyke, was welcomed.

The Financial Report, although not tabled, shows $1777.96 in the bank with no outstanding debts. If any Member wishes to view the detailed report, this is available from the Treasurer.

Individual responsibilities will be allocated at the first Executive Meeting on 18 Mar.

The incoming President expressed a vote of thanks, enthusiastically supported by all present, to the outgoing President, Matt Healey who has done an outstanding job over ten years. Matt will remain involved with WAMUG and we look forward to his advice and input in the future.

With the Committee stuff out of the way, a couple of new Members were welcomed and Peter Hinchliffe conducted the usual Q and A session which discussed problems indexing Spotlight, lost links in iPhoto, printing to PDF, locked files in Safari and losing track of messages in Mail.

Following Q and A, Peter demonstrated YummySoup, a recipe management application which fully supports importing recipes, with pictures, from any website and allows you to export your favourite recipe to an online recipe library. It’s a great little application for all budding chefs. About US$20.

Aperture 2, Apple’s latest version of its popular photo editing and management application was next to be demonstrated by Peter. It handles RAW files with ease and has similar tools to iPhoto but is much more powerful and extensive. Apple’s familiar interface and ease of use is evident and at about A$270, it is an excellent application for the serious amateur.

Wallet, a small database designed to store personal data away from prying eyes, eg passwords, addresses, credit card numbers etc was then discussed.

Matt Healey then introduced the new WAMUG website. It is linked to iCal, allows posts to approved Members and supports membership fee payments through PayPal or credit card. No doubt a welcome tool to many Members. It includes pages and links to the Constitution, Meetings, Committee, Archives and sites of interest to WAMUG Members. The site is still a work in progress and Matt will keep us posted.

Matt then demonstrated the website specific browser Fluid which is a free download. This browser creates a specific application to directly access your favourite web pages without the usual clutter of tabs etc associated with conventional browsers. The page can then be stored in the dock. Very Handy.

An interesting snippet of information was then contributed by Neil Botterill concerning battery charging. For about A$230, a device that does a deep discharge and revitalization of batteries is available from www.battery-charger.com.au

The Meeting then concluded at about 9PM

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

http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/download.php

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.

Cheers
Ian