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SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

November 2013

Wavelength Chairman’s Corner

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ow time has changed … and we are in the middle of yet another major change in our culture. It is not so long ago that the latest thing on the lips of the populace was the advent of ‘The Penny Post’. Created in 1680, to cover delivery of post, up to a maximum weight of one pound, it served the cities of Westminster, London, and Southwark. The Penny Post continued, with modifications, until 1918. Then came the Postal Service … and it was a service … your mail was guaranteed to be delivered. Next, the exciting, and glamorous (?), ‘Pony Express’, and, the cry, “The mail must get through.” The Pony Express operated for only about 18 months in 1860/61 but was the fastest way to communicate between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the USA. It only took ten days, for the mail to, ‘get through’. The early demise of the Pony Express occurred with the advent of the latest technology of the time –

the telegraph. Then we saw coaches with, ‘Royal Mail’, emblazoned proudly on the side of carriage. This service ensured that the mail was delivered to the more remote places of New Zealand. My mother told me tales of the passengers having to get out of the coach and help push it through the swollen rivers of the Arthur’s Pass trail. In time the coach was replaced with the NZ railways (another service provided by the government). Our time has seen the disappearance of the Post Office, as a major component of every community, to become a Post Shop, if it survived the rationalisation process. Now the delivery service is going to be further reduced, and Post Shops become self-service kiosks, with fewer and fewer manned services. I haven’t even considered the telephone system in this little nostalgic look at things – there’s (Continued on page 4)

Inside this issue: Success

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November Workshop

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Windows 8.1 WEI

3

Computer Humour

4

Special points of interest:  Contact our Course Organisers for info on upcoming classes.  We’re looking for a new Treasurer. Please contact Chairperson if interested.  Current Committee is listed on page 4. Please contact any member with comments or suggestions.  Newsletter inputs are due to Robert Boren (rboren@xnet.co.nz) by the 10th of each month.


SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

November 2013

Success at Last!

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fter my article last month about my experiences trying to buy a new computer, John Herbert kindly wrote me an email, especially about comparing AMD and Intel CPU’s. His recommendation was to stick with an INTEL CPU based computer as they currently display a moderate performance advantage over AMD although are slightly more expensive. With that in mind, he pointed out that the performance capabilities of the INTEL CPU product range is stratified in ascending order from “basic performance to the best available” as follows: 1) Celeron versions, 2-cores only 2) Pentium versions, 2-cores only 3) Core I3, 2-cores with Hyper-threading (HT) 4) Core I5 mobile, 2-cores with HT 5) Core I5, 4-cores only 6) Core I7 mobile, 2 or 4-cores with HT 7) Core I7, 4 or 6-cores with HT NB: CPU’s Core I3 and better offer superior processing power and reduced power consumption over other versions. John also noted that one way to determine the performance of the CPU (or any of the other important performance aspects of the computer – ie, Memory, Graphics & Hard-disk storage) is to ask the shop assistant to display the computer’s Windows Experience Index (WEI) and keep a note of the numbers and the product price – the greater the WEI number, the better the performance and, for a given WEI, the lower the

product price, the better the ‘costeffectiveness’ of any possible purchase you may make. To find the WEI for a Windows 7 PC/ Laptop: Click on > Start > Computer, then select > Properties. For Windows 8, simply typing Windows Experience Index into the Search box should take you directly to the WEI table. The WEI for the ACER E1-572 that I was interested in were: CPU 6.9, Memory 5.9, Graphics 4.7, Gaming Graphics 6.4, Primary Hard Disc 5.9, and are considered ‘Very Good’. Based on this very helpful advice from John, I went ahead and purchased this laptop. The next step was to transfer my files and programmes, which Robert Boren very kindly agreed to do for a nominal fee, saving me lots of hair – as in tearing my hair out with frustration! In doing so, he updated the operating system to the recently released Windows 8.1 and pointed out that the WEI is no longer routinely displayed in 8.1. Now all I have to do is learn the differences of Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office 2010; always something new to learn around computers! Thank goodness for the helpful and knowledgeable people at SeniorNet! I also need to learn how to use Publisher to be able to write newsletters – so if anyone else wants to learn, please contact Bryan. —- Lynda Clark —-


SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

November 2013

November Workshop Saturday, 23 November 2013

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1– 4 p.m.

s we near the Holiday Season, it’s time for our last workshop of the year. It should be special! During the Q&A session at last month’s workshop a question came up about the panorama stitching program Image Composite Editor (ICE). This led to further discussion of digital imaging techniques. I often also get asked about the best digital image processing software. I decided that this might be an opportune time for a workshop on digital image processing. We won’t be focusing on the creative aspect of taking a digital photograph; the digital camera group already does an excellent job of that! Instead we’ll look at what can be done to improve your photos after you get home and download them to your computer.

We’ll start by differentiating between working with computer ‘graphics’ and digital photos; and associated specialist software. While there’s a lot of software that’s useful for both, we’ll survey what’s available for more specialized handling of your precious photos. We’ll talk a bit more about panorama ‘stitching’ before moving on to a discussion of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography and techniques. Along the way, we’ll survey some of the more popular software available; both free and commercial. As a special bonus, bring a pen drive to get a free copy of Cyberlink PhotoDirector, a powerful commercial program. So join us on Saturday the 23rd at the SeniorNet Learning centre for our last workshop of the year. —- Robert Boren —-

More on Windows 8.1

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s noted in Lynda’s article on the previous page, Windows 8.1 no longer routinely displays the Windows Experience Index (WEI). This doesn’t mean it’s not still available; it’s just a little harder to find. To find it, open ‘File Explorer’ and navigate down to the C:Windows\Performance\WinSat\DataSt ore folder. Look for an .xml file name that starts with a date & time in front of Formal.Assessment(Recent).WinSat.

Open this file in your internet browser (IE or Chrome, etc.) and look for a section with the heading <WinSpr> which contains your individual WEI scores. If the .xml file doesn’t exist, use the ’Run’ command and enter ’winsat formal –restart’ to run the test and generate a score. Want to know more about Windows 8? Please let our course organisers know. We’ll be happy to run a short course once enough people sign up. —- Robert Boren —-


SeniorNet Marlborough Sounds

November 2013

SeniorNet Committee:

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he following people are your SeniorNet officers and committee. Please contact anyone of them if you have any comments or questions relating to SeniorNet or courses. Chairperson: Gary Graham

574 2548

Deputy :

Bryan Strong

574 1311

Secretary:

Ian Cameron

574 2558

Treasurer:

Faye Daken

574 2663

Committee:

Jill Aldridge

573 6626

Robert Boren

574 2333

Margaret Gledhill 573 8943 John Herbert

573 6023

John Wright Editor:

Robert Boren

574 2333

Course Organisers: Bryan & June Strong

(Continued from page 1)

another story! With increasing use of modern communications in our daily lives – where we are in total control – we are forcing the changes. In today’s world where, ‘Services’, have become, ‘Businesses’, and must show a profit, just who, is the winner, and the loser? —- Gary —-

574 1311

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computer company placed an order for computer mice from Japan. After the normal delivery period had elapsed, they contacted the airport to enquire what had happened to the consignment. The official in charge said that it was nowhere to be found and should be reported as missing. Some time later the official contacted the company to say that the package had been found. When asked where it had been, he replied sheepishly, "In quarantine."

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programmer had been missing from work for over a week when finally someone noticed and called the cops.

They went round to his flat and broke the door down. They found him dead in the still running shower with an empty bottle of shampoo next to his body. Apparently he'd been washing his hair. The instructions on the bottle said: 1) Wet hair 2) Apply shampoo 3) Wait 2 minutes 4) Rinse 5) Repeat


November Wavelength  

Monthly newsletter of the Marlborough Sounds SeniorNet organization.

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