Issue 153

Issue 153
Issue 153
April 2006
ISLE OF WIGHT PC USER
GROUP
HOT KEY
Spring Edition 2006
“Big Ben” Rio de Janiero
Interior Cathedral R.de J.
In This Issue
Pages
Future Meetings………………………………………………..2
Committee Members…………………...………………………3
Editorial, Chairman’s report………………………………… .4
Cartoon ; Cover disc………………………………………. ….5
Visit to Model Train Exhibition; How to join the E-Group… 6
Mozilla Firefox …………………………………. ...……...7-10
In Praise of Paint……………………….………......……...10-12
Prize puzzle, April 2006, Westminster Wi-Fi……...…… …....12
Answer to the January Puzzle………………………….….13-14
1
Notes to photos taken by Mike Shepherd
on the cover disc 14-15
The 2006 Committee and other Pictures……………...……….16
1
.
The Isle of Wight
Personal Computer
User Group
The Isle of Wight PC User Group WELCOMES all owners
and users of IBM compatible Personal computers.
It is a group which seeks to exchange ideas and new information. Our meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each
month at The Riverside Centre, Newport from 7.30 to 9.30pm
Visitors are welcome. Membership is £6 per annum
A charge of £1 is made per meeting which includes tea or
coffee during the break.
If you would like to know more about us, you are most welcome to come along to one of our meetings, or you can contact one of our Committee Members listed on page 3.
The Club Website address is: http://www.iwpcug.org
We also have an e-group discussion area :Yahoo iwpcusers: [email protected]
See page 6 for how to join
FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Unless otherwise stated, meetings are held at the Riverside Centre in Newport starting at 7.30p.m.
Some of the following are provisional. Keep a watch here and on the website for updates.
Date
Subject
Presenter
5th April
Noteworthy
John White
3rd May
Databases
David Groom
7th June
3G Communications
J. Thornton
5th July
TBA
2nd August
Club Barbeque
2
2
Bembridge Lodge
ISLE OF WIGHT PC USER GROUP COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Contact Details removed prior to publishing on internet
Honorary President
Chairman:
Sir Norman Echlin
David Groom
Vice-Chairman:
Cliff Maidment
Treasurer: Bob Groom
Secretary: Suzanne Bone
Membership Secretary & Database Secretary: Ray Boote
Hotkey Editor: N. Peter Lovely
Committee Member: David Broughton
Committee Member: Roger Skidmore
Disability Resources Co-ordinator: Helen Edom
Suggestions for new events, speakers or topics are always welcome.
Please contact any Committee member or the Editor with your ideas. If
necessary we may be able to find a speaker to match your subject.
3
3
Editorial
Do you remember putting on the kettle and waiting six minutes for
it to boil? One teaspoonful of tea for each person and one for the
pot. Steady, its still rationed, you know! Monday was washday, and
the washing took up most of it. You had to go out shopping on
Tuesday for things were running out and even in the outside larder
they didn’t keep very long. So many shops to go to in order to get
everything, and the queues! Cardboard tops on the milk bottles, but
at least he delivered. Summer time was fruit bottling and jam making time; must make the best of the harvest, these things wouldn’t
be available all the year, you know! And then came the holiday.
Would it be Bournemouth, or perhaps a bit further, even up to
Wales this year? We could just stay at home and listen to the wireless.
How we do take things for granted! And now Broadband and
multi-purpose mobile phones!
Chairman's Report
This is effectively my first report of the year, as the January issue
was in fact complied prior to Christmas. Membership of the club
remains fairly steady at 75.
I'd like to take the opportunity to welcome Su Bone on to the
committee as your new Secretary. The list of committee members is
on page 3 of this issue and remains largely unchanged from the previous year.
I am hoping that we may soon be able to have internet access
available to us at the Riverside Centre. This is something that we
have been seeking for a number of years, and will enable us to discuss a greater range of topics at our monthly meetings. It is an ever
increasing struggle to find subjects (and speakers) for our meetings,
though a glance at the calendar on page 2 will show we have a
number of events lined up through to the latter part of the summer.
(I'm assuming we will get a summer this year!)
4
David Groom
Chairman
The Cover Disc
This months cover disk includes a selection of photographs taken by
members. Also included is a trial version of Noteworthy, a software
music composition and notation processor for Windows which was
the subject of John White's talk this month. Lastly, as in previous
months I have included the latest version of the
Firefox web browser, and some anti-spyware tools.
David
Editors Note: On page15 of this Hotkey there are notes to the photographs contributed by Mike Shepherd. These photographs were
taken this last Christmas time when Mike was in South America.
5
One-Tel were taken over by Carphone Warehouse
at the end of last year. They
are in the process of offering free One-Tel to One-Tel calls in the UK.
VISIT TO MODEL TRAIN EXHIBITION
Where is it? Fort Victoria, near Yarmouth.
When is it? Wednesday, 17th May 2006 at 7.30 pm.
What is it? Computer controlled model trains plus other working
models as scenery. This layout is claimed to be the most advanced
in Britain comprising over 80 trains with 25 running at any one
time, plus 400 buildings and other working models. The railway
gauge is H0 scale using the Marklin system. The main line spans
470 feet. The computer system controls a time table of trains giving a variety of movements lasting half an hour or more before repeating itself.
Who can come? Members, their family and friends.
What does it cost? £3 per person (including children).
Car parking? Yes, free.
Who is organising it? David Broughton. Phone 755526.
This is an exclusive event for members of the IWPCUG, their
family and friends. Originally there were to be tickets for sale but
this will not now be the case; just turn up and pay at the event.
Is there Wheelchair access? yes Are there toilet facilities? Yes
HOW TO JOIN THE E-GROUP
Send an e-mail to: [email protected]
All members are encouraged to join this e-group (which costs nothing and is private to all club members) in order to keep in touch with events and join in discussions. You can also keep in touch by regularly visiting www.iwpcug.org
It is particularly desirable that you
6 should keep up with the latest
details of meetings
Mozilla Firefox
Firefox is a fully featured web browser available for computers running Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Mac operating systems.
First some history. In 1994 a web browser named Mosaic was
launched, but because of a legal challenge the name was later
changed to Netscape. In 1998 the decision was made to make the
Netscape Browser an open-source project (where the source code
behind the program is freely available), but it was difficult to work
with the existing code, and so the browser was re-written from
scratch under the Mozilla name. With various changes of name
over the next few years the browser eventually became known as
Firefox. On 19 October 2005 Firefox had its 100 millionth
download, just 344 days after the release of version 1.0 of the software. On November 2005 version 1.5 was officially released.
The minimum requirements to run Firefox are: Windows 98, Pentium 233Mhz. 64MB AM, & 52MB hard disk space, and so by the
standards of Internet Explorer are fairly modest.
Clearly a lot of people use Firefox, so what’s so good about it? In
line with another free web browser, Opera, Firefox supports tabbed
browsing. This means that users can open multiple pages in the
same window. What does this mean in practice? Lets say I am
looking at the IWPCUG web site, and I also want to view the Firefox web site, and a third web site. If I was using Internet Explorer
(IE) I would have to open up a completely new instance of IE for
each of those web sites, if I then wanted to switch between them I’d
have to move down to the menu bar at the bottom of my screen and
chose the corresponding instance of IE. With Firefox all I do is
open a new tab and then open the new web site in that tab. Look at
the screenshot below which shows the top half of a Firefox
browser.
7
PTO
In the above screen shot Firefox is currently displaying the
IWPCUG web site. However just above the web page is a row of
three tabs, marked “Isle of Wight PC User Group”, “Firefox – rediscovering the Web”, and “Web design on the Isle of Wight”. Simply
clicking my mouse on each of these tabs switches between these
web sites. This has two advantages to IE’s approach, firstly opening a new tab is significantly quicker than opening a new instance
of the browser, and secondly its much easier to navigate from one
web site to the next. Until you’ve tried it it’s hard to appreciate how
much quicker and easier this makes browsing the web. I believe this
to be the most significant aspect of the browser, and is the main reason why I no longer use Internet Explorer. On the rare occasions
when I do still use IE I am frustrated by its lack of tabbed browsing.
(For those die-hard users of IE don’t worry- the new version of IE
due out later this year will feature tabbed browsing!)
Firefox also incorporates a pop-up blocker, which is not available in
IE unless you have installed XP service pack 2. A pop-up blocker
prevents annoying “pop-up” windows appearing.
For those of us used to “standard” software one of the oddest features of Firefox is its support for extensions. Extensions are small
add-ons that add new functionality to Firefox. They can add anything from a toolbar button to a completely new feature. They allow
the application to be customised to fit the personal needs of each
8 while keeping the basic instaluser if they need additional features,
lation of Firefox small to download and run. As at the time of writing this article there were 1,126 extensions available for Firefox! To
be honest many of these are for such specific purposes that the average user may not have any need for them, but as they can be easily
un-installed there’s no harm in trying some and seeing if you enjoy
the new functionality.
To give you a very basic insight into extensions I’ll look at a few of
the eleven extensions I have currently installed. One adds an icon
to the menu allowing me to quickly disable the display of images on
a web page, now I have broadband this is of less value, but it was
useful to speed up page loading times when I was on a dial-up connection. Another creates, and displays in a sidebar, a sitemap listing
all the linked files on the web site you are viewing, which can be
useful if the menu for the web site is not well designed. Other extensions allow me to turn off all the colours used on a web page, or
to quickly change the font size, which can be of benefit if the designer of the page has used particularly small fonts or garish colours.
Along with extensions you can also download themes which change
the appearance of the browser by altering items such as colours,
icon images, and font styles used by the browser. Last time I
checked there were 157 themes available for download, so you
should find one you like! I found the default look of Firefox to be a
little bland, so installed a theme called “Outlook 2003 Blue” which
to my mind was more colourful and had nicer looking icons.
Those of you concerned with security will be glad to know that
Firefox is less susceptible to spyware, worms, and viruses. This is
partly because it is not integrated with Windows, which helps prevent viruses and hackers from causing damage if they somehow
manage to compromise Firefox, but also because there is no support
for VBScript and ActiveX.
9 Firefox? I can only really think
So, are there any downsides to using
of one problem with using Firefox, and to be fair it’s not Firefox’s
fault.
Standards have been laid down as to how web pages should be
coded. These standards cover the basic HTML and also CSS
(cascading styles sheets – see a future edition of HotKey for an article on that), and Firefox tries its best to follow these standards.
However, either due to laziness, ignorance, or a desire to be more
flashy, some web sites do not comply with these standards. In some
instances Firefox will not display the web site in the same way it is
displayed in IE, and in some instances some functionality of the
web site may be missing.
The latest version of Firefox is on this months cover disk. Note that
I found that version 1.0 of Firefox did not automatically notify that
there was an update to 1.5 available, so if you are already using
Firefox then check you have the latest version.
David Groom
IN PRAISE OF PAINT
by David Broughton.
I think Paint is an undervalued bit of software. I'm talking of the
simple graphics program that comes with every version of Microsoft
Windows.
It is true, of course, that Paint is a simple rough and ready graphics
tool with little sophistication but I find this to be one of its merits.
When I need a simple diagram I find that Paint provides enough
tools to do most of the job. I say "most of" because I confess that I
sometimes have to get Paint Shop Pro (PSP) to do some of the
jobs, like having more flexibility in printing results. Paint is inappropriate for use on photographic material: only for graphic diagrams
and manual artwork.
10
Paint can handle most normal diagrammatic jobs. It scores highly
10
when one needs precise control over pixels. The image can be
magnified and the pixels shown as a grid. The copy and paste feature is also a great tool which enables large diagrams of a repetitive nature (such as a SUDOKU board) to be built quickly and easily, much more easily than PSP in doing the same job.
Paint has two versions of the selection feature, where one can handle parts of diagrams. Either the background is transparent or not.
Unfortunately the default mode is to have the background opaque
and I find the most useful version is to have the background transparent, especially when building up a repetitive diagram. With a
transparent background one can position a pasted selection with
complete accuracy. I cannot get PSP to do this.
Many tricks can be adopted with practice and here are some of
mine. Rubbing out excess lines is usually done with the erase tool
but that can be tedious. Most of the time one can "draw" a filled
rectangle of background colour over the marks and lines that were
used as guide lines in constructing a diagram. This has two big
advantages over the eraser tool: it can rub out large areas quickly
and it is adjustable to rub out the precise area, unlike the erasing
tool where a slip of the mouse movement can erase an unintended
region. When drawing a background filled rectangle any accidental
over-zealous movement does not matter because the erasure is
not completed until one takes one's finger off the mouse button.
The image rotation and flip/rotate feature comes in handy with
many diagrams. I needed to draw a wiring diagram of my hi-fi/TV
system with the wires having rounded corners at the right-angular
changes of direction. I made a circle, cut off three quarters of it
and this was used as a template for all the corners in each of the
four orientations using copy and paste with the flip/rotate.
Adding text is another area that requires some technique. To try
and fit the text precisely where you want it in one go using the Text
tool is rarely satisfactory. I have found that text is best handled by
writing the words or numbers in a spare part of the "canvas" and
then moving them with the selection tool to where you want them.
This gives maximum flexibility of 11
positioning text and also allows
you to copy and paste the text where repetition is needed.
Most of my diagrams are placed on web pages so they need
to be stored in GIF format. This is easily done with Paint. Also the
background can be made transparent so that the HTML background colour appears as the background of the diagram. This
makes the diagram appear as a seamless sketch on the web page.
Colours are limited but one rarely need more than a few basic
colours and the Fill tool is excellent for painting colour over large
areas, though you have to watch out for pixel holes in your boundary or the paint will "spill" out of the hole into the background. The
Undo tool comes in handy for cancelling accidents.
Examples of some of my "Paint" work can be seen in the diagrams that go with the various puzzles I produce each month
showing the kind of artwork that is possible with Paint. A collection
of these are on my section of the club's web site at
www.iwpcug.org/davidbro/index.htm.
PRIZE PUZZLE FOR APRIL 2006
Number Sequence
6 2 5 4 ? 7 10 14 21 32 . . .
The above sequence of numbers is generated by a simple rule. The
sequence can be extended in both directions but the answer to this
month's puzzle is to find the value of the number represented by the
question mark.
Please send your answer to me, David Broughton (see page 3 for
addresses).
Could the Isle of Wight Council emulate this?
As part of Westminster's 'Wireless City' project, the council were proud to announce in early March the completion of the roll out of Wi-Fi, offering Wireless
Internet access, to all their libraries. The service uses BT Openzone access points
in each of the 13 libraries, to provide the relevant infrastructure for people to connect. The use of the Wi-Fi service is chargeable in the standard BT Openzone
structure.The Wireless City project, started in April 2004, aims to offer:·
Improved remote working by council workers, giving access to the corporate network anywhere in Westminster · Remote noise and street environment monitoring to improve delivery 12
of council services such as parking,
licensing and environmental health inspections · Flexible and responsive
CCTV to help deliver a safer street environment
ANSWER TO THE JANUARY PUZZLE
A man travels a prime number of miles in a prime number of minutes at an
average speed of 31 miles per hour. That is an impossible statement but
you are also told that whilst the miles travelled and the minutes taken for
the journey are exact prime numbers, the average speed of 31 miles per
hour is a rounded result. What is the smallest number of miles that fits
these facts?
It was suggested that this was a good exercise in the use of a spreadsheet
so I have shown part of a screen, below, using Excel.
Column A is generated by placing 1 in row 3 and using the fill-down tool
in steps of 2. This makes a set of odd numbers, some of which are prime.
The only prime omitted within the range is 2 but it can be easily shown
that 2 miles is not the answer.
This column is headed "miles".
Column B is headed "minutes" and is computed as miles/mph*60. In a
spreadsheet, although the miles are in cells A3, A4, A5, etc nevertheless if
13 Fill-down tool will substitute the
one types A3 for miles into cell B3, the
appropriate row number in each cell in column B. The mph figure is 31
as given by the problem.
You can either type "31" or use the cell naming feature where a particular
cell (in this case B1) has been assigned the name "mph" and instead of
typing "31" you type "mph"; the advantage being that you could change
the value at any future time very easily. So the formula in cell B3 is
"=A3/mph*60". This gives an accurate value in minutes for a journey of
1 mile. But we are not interested in the exact value because the problem
states that the minutes are a prime number. The best we can do is to round
the minutes to the nearest whole number. This is done in column C.
The formula in cell C3 is "=ROUND(B3,0)" which evaluates to 2.
(The value zero after the comma in the formula says round to zero decimal places.)
We now want to know what speed this new value of minutes represents.
This is computed in column D and the formula in cell
D3 is "=A3/C3*60", the value being 30 miles per hour. This happens to
be a whole number but it will not be a whole number in all cases so we
have to create another column (E) to round the miles per hour. So cell E3
has the formula "=ROUND(D3,0)".
Using the Fill-down tool on columns B,C,D & E, we see the result by examination of the miles (col A), minutes (col C) and the rounded speed (col
E) to see which row is first to comply with the conditions of the problem.
This is found to be row 12. So the answer is 19 miles in 37 minutes.
I received four correct answers and one wrong one. The four correct were
from John Stafford, Len Brett, Colin Rowe and John Rackett (who won
the draw and a £5 book token). Well done all.
David Broughton.
Notes to the photographs taken by Mike Shepherd and included on
the Cover disc are given on Page 15. Mike was using a Cannon
EOS 350D Camera fitted with an 18-55mm lens.
14
Notes on Photographs included on the cover disc taken by
Mike Shepherd
6902 Bull and Serpent’s head. Just wall ornaments in a street in Recife. Recife
is a city on the bulge of Brazil facing out into the Atlantic
6904 Natives giving away cups of pure water from solid cans. Some tourists
stopped to have their pictures taken with the girls.
6922 Phone booths, unusual shapes and one fashioned as a bull.
6930 Ferry boat (to and from cruise liner moored out in the Amazon)
7019 Coming into Recife, and outstanding modern city.
7024 Captain and Pilot bringing the ship into harbour
7031 This used to be a prison in Recife but is now a centre for small shop
traders, the cells being rented out.
7032 A clearer view of how the cells in the previous picture are used and of
some of the goods on sale.
7034 In one of the Recife “cell” shops.
7047 Close to the beach groups of dancers performing for tourists.
7131 Rio de Janeiro with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background. Rio is a
series of cities linked together with extinct volcanoes spaced around.
7142 Christ the Redeemer, a statue on a mountain above Rio visible from many
miles around.. This photograph was taken a quarter of a mile away using a
long focus lens.
7154 The new Roman Catholic Cathedral in Rio.
7159, 7161 and 7162 are interior shots of this magnificent Cathedral.
7169 One of the cruise ships moored at the waterside
7176 Leaving Rio de Janeiro overlooked by Christ the Redeemer on top of the
mountain. This sight is visible from almost any angle.
060 Dancing the Tango, a native dance of the area. All the better seen after a
fine steak dinner!
002 Rio de Janeiro from a different angle.
004 Rio de Janeiro from the sea. The close up 7142 was taken from the same
position.
008 Rio Cathedral Bell Tower.
011 Rio de Janeiro showing the aqueduct. The Cathedral can be seen in the
background.
032 The end of a dance. This was at the same location as 060.
052 Evita Peron is still held in very high esteem by many in South America.
At the end of the dance show a little montage of Evita takes place using
a small balcony and the Argentinean flag in the background.
059 The Tango again, spectacularly performed.
066 From outside the Sheraton Hotel this tower is clearly visible. It was built
many years ago by an Englishman.
15 All the locals call it “Big Ben”!
15
The 2006 Committee
Ray Boote
David Broughton
Roger Skidmore
(Membership & Database Sec.)
Bob Groom
David Groom
Suzanne Bone
Peter Lovely
Hotkey Editor.
Cliff Maidment
Vice Chairman
Mike Shepherd, a contributor of photographs
to Hotkey and the
Cover Disc
This space is available for members to publish goods for
sale or wanted. There is no charge made for this service.
Any members wishing to avail themselves of it should
contact the Editor
We attempt to publish HOTKEY quarterly in April, July, October and January.
This edition was compiled using Microsoft Publisher 2003 and printed by Island
Printers, East Street, Ryde. The views and opinions expressed here are those of
the contributors alone. No responsibility16can be accepted with respect to advice
or suggestions made in this journal.
16
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