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									Chairman’s,            Flags on Cars                                            the financial position. Suggestions such as a cheaper
Editor’s &                                                                      hall, not holding meetings during the summer months
                         Intrigued by the many cars flying flags, I asked a     and increasing the membership were discussed. It was
Secretary’s Bit        friend who works in the Civil Service what it’s all      decided, however, that the only way forward was by
                       about. Seems it’s part of a new DVLA initiative,         increasing membership.
                       now reinforced by a recent court ruling, that to
Contact Details        assist other motorists to identify potentially danger-      The Chairman and members of the committee were
                       ous drivers, it’s now compulsory for anyone with a       unanimously re-elected. It was agreed that the sub-
                       lower than average IQ and driving ability to display     scription be raised to £20 per year and serious thought
Logitech Harmony       a warning flag “The flag — a red cross on a white        be given to increasing numbers. As the newsletter
                                                                                ROM was a considerable expenditure it was agreed
525 Remote             background — will be attached to the top of at least
                                                                                that each issue would not be printed and posted to
                       one door of their vehicle. For those with a distinctly
Control                lower than normal IQ it will be necessary to display     members, but circulated by e-mail. An exception
ROM 1992/93            two flags” — so now we know!                             would be made to those members who did not have e-
                                                                                mail facilities available. Tony Hawes, editor of ROM
MS Office 2007         AGM                                                      said that although he was prepared to continue being
MS Windows Vista         The AGM at the April meeting went without a            editor of ROM until 2007, he wished to relinquish the
                       hitch. The main gist of the meeting is in the Secre-     job in April 2007, having done the job since 1993.
Acer—What’s New
                       tary’s notes which follow.                                  The AGM was then closed.
Ten Years Ago
                       SECRETARY'S NOTES                                           The rest of the evening was taken up by a demon-
Steganos Security                                                               stration by Tony Hawes of an interesting program,
Suite 2006             Monday 10th April 2006                                   Photo Story 3 for Windows, which is freely available
                         The evening started with the AGM. The Chair-           on the Microsoft Web site. The program creates a
Kodak EasyShare        man, Tony Wood, welcomed those present and               slideshow using your digital photos and brings them
V610 Digital           asked the Treasurer to give his report. A statement      to life by the use of stunning special effects such as
Camera                 of income and expenditure had already been circu-        panning and zooming, and personalising them with
                       lated. Francis Jacques pointed out that the year had     titles and a sound track. Pictures are imported and
                       ended with a deficit of £177 which had to be             arranged in the “film strip” in the order that they will
                       funded from reserves reducing our total funds to         be viewed. If required the order can be later changed.
                       £95. A general discussion took place concerning                                             (Continued on page 2)

                                 ROM is now only available as a full-colour .pdf download from the Group web page at:

                                 NEXT MEETING — Monday                           Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday
                                 12th June 2006 at 7.45 p.m.                        of each month at 7.45pm at the
                                                                                 Stoughton Youth Club and Community
                        Geographic Mapping a                                     Centre (opposite “The Royal” — Pub)
                                                                                  Worplesdon Road (A322), Guildford.
                        Practical How to Demo
                             by Mike Bray
                         Something new this month. Mike
                                                                                 Monday 10th July at 7.45 pm
                        Bray is an expert cartographer                               Microsoft Office 2007. Although the final
                        and will show how it’s done using                            version will not be available until later this
                        OCAD, The Drawing Program for                                year, an opportunity to see how Microsoft’s
                                                                                     next generation Office Suite measures up.
                        Cartography.                                             Monday 14th August at 7.45 pm
                         Spread the word and please                                  Microsoft Vista. The next OS, a beta
                                                                                     version will be on demo. Still six-months to
                        bring a friend — coffee, tea &                               go, will it live up to expectations?
                        chocolate biscuits are free.
ROM June — July 2006                                                                                                            Page 1
                                       (Continued from page 1)                                   confined to Guildford, it’s down both here in the
         CONTACT                       Each picture can then be edited to produce a zoom         UK and even more so in the USA. As I’ve com-
                                       or pan effect of variable duration, cropped or rotated    mented frequently, this is because I believe PCs
         DETAILS                       and if you wish given a title. Background music or        are now regarded as easy-to-use commodities,
If you have any queries or             narration can be added to all or parts of the slide-      much like electrical appliances — and most people
questions about the Guildford PC       show presentation. The Photo Story can then be            aren’t interested in tinkering with them. Many of
User Group and its activities please   saved and viewed on Windows Media Player or               us use PCs for business but also consider them a
contact the following members of       burnt to CD/DVD. A fascinating program.                   hobby (if you consider all the hassle of collecting
the committee:                                                                                   and installing Microsoft’s fixes for one problem or
                                       Monday 8th May 2006                                       another or the danger from hacker and virus at-
                                         On Monday 8 May Neil Manuel gave a fascinat-            tacks and fixes and patches for other programs a
                                       ing talk about increasing computer storage. A new,        hobby!)
Tony Wood                              larger, hard disk is one of the most popular upgrades
"Madrigals"                                                                                        An interesting observation is that the majority of
                                       but other options are available to increase storage.      GPCUG members are over 60, many of whom
97 Broadhurst                          An old hard disk can be used externally when fitted       started with DOS — and hark back to the ‘real’
Farnborough                            into a drive enclosure kit and connected to the com-      days when to tinker with arcane DOS commands
Hants. GU14 9XA                        puter by USB cable. Such a unit and also 3.5 and          and to seek advice about tinkering was the norm,
Tel: 01252-549884                      2.5 inch external hard drives were shown and dem-         but those days are rapidly becoming history and
e-mail:        onstrated. Neil had a number of flash memory              we can’t remain ‘luddites’ for ever.
                                       drives which plug directly into the USB port to
Membership Secretary                   demonstrate various capacities. He then went on to        The Da Vinci Code — Latest
                                       show how memory cards, as used in cameras and
Maxine Bushell                                                                                      I doubt whether many of you have not heard
                                       pocket PCs, can be used with various card readers.        about the “The Da Vinci Code”, either the book or
Tel: 01483 811908
                                       He finished by showing a CD/DVD record/replay             film, but there is one tale that author Dan Brown
e-mail:        external fast disk drive. He warned that although         missed as this anecdote shows.
                                       USB1 is acceptable for most external storage de-
Treasurer                              vices the fast CD/DVD disk drive requires USB2. A            Imagine this: Prince William, of the Royal
Francis Jacques                                                                                  House of Windsor, is also descended directly from
                                       most interesting evening.
“Sampford”, Elmstead Road,                                                                       Jesus Christ. How awesome would that be? How
WEST BYFLEET, KT14 6BJ                 Editor’s Note                                             incredibly, gloriously divinely royal would that
                                         Members will have seen from comments of the             make him? — and think of the column inches
Tel: 01932 341888                                                                                “Hello” and “OK!” would devote to such a claim!
e-mail:     April AGM above that I plan to relinquish being the
                                       editor of ROM in April next year. The reasons are            It is hard now to imagine the excitement that
                                       many, editing the newsletter’s been a tremendous          bubbled around the London publication of “The
Secretary & Public Relations           job and, as you may have noticed during the last          Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” in January 1982.
Bryce McCrirrick                       year, it’s become very difficult for me to find the       The hypothesis presented by its three authors was
Surrey Place,                          requisite time and effort to produce. My tenure as        so original and so audacious, that it shook the very
5 Coach House Gardens,                 editor started in 1993 as a response from the com-        foundations of Christian belief and accepted his-
FLEET, GU51 4QX                        mittee. The then editor produced a one-page sheet         tory.
Tel: 01252 623422                      of notes that appeared irregularly as and when he           Put simply, they argued that Jesus Christ did not die
e-mail:      had time to do so. Having previously done a bit of        on the cross but escaped with Mary Magdalene to
                                       newsletter writing using a desk-top publishing pro-       France where they started a family as founder mem-
Web Master                             gram (“Timeworks” and later MS Publisher v1) I            bers of the Merovingian line of kings of France.
Laurence Fenn                          volunteered. At the beginning I was proud of ROM,         Christ’s bloodline was kept secret over the ages by
                                       believing it to be a labour of love, but slowly and       the Knights Templar and, more recently, a secret
84 St George’s Road,                                                                             society known as the Priory of Sion. Across Europe
                                       more recently I’ve stopped loving it. Urging and
ALDERSHOT, GU12 4LJ                                                                              there were families who could claim Christ’s lineage.
                                       cajoling the usual stalwart group members to review
Tel: 01252 330408                      kit and new programs was OK for a while, but find-          Dan Brown’s book and now the film expands on the
e-mail:         ing new blood to contribute articles has proved to be     claims in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and
                                       difficult. Besides, many of the articles we include in    makes further assumptions about the Merovingian
Laurence’s Web Page:                   ROM about new products will be reviewed by pro-           lineage and their successors.               fessional reviewers in the articles they write in paid-     Brown’s book has been a huge success, of course,
(this site contains many of the        for newsstand magazines, or in other group’s web          making its author and publisher millions since its
reviews that have appeared in          sites, which to some extent diminished our efforts.       publication two years ago. But the attendant news
ROM)                                     However, we have changed in one respect in that         frenzy has been nothing compared with the stir made
                                       last year we decided that a better way of getting the     by The Holy Blood in 1982. At the time many ru-
                                                                                                 mours and assertions were put forward as long-lost
Group Web Page:                        message across was if we demonstrated new pro-
                                                                                                 European nobles, “Latter Day Templars” and conspir-         grams or kit at our monthly meetings in front of real
                                                                                                 acy theorists put forward their various cases to be
                                       live audience, rather than write long screeds as to       considered alongside the book’s claims.
EDITOR                                 how well the program performed in user tests. In
                                       retrospect I consider the process works well and            There was among these one story which was so
Tony Hawes                                                                                       remarkable and yet so implausible that it never really
                                       most members find a practical “hands-on” type
25 Folly Close, FLEET, GU52 7LN                                                                  reached the headlines. So forgive your editor’s entry
                                       demonstration seeing the program actually in action
Tel: 01252 617962                                                                                into Hello! magazine-like story telling, but he thinks
                                       is more beneficial and advantageous when trying to
Fax: 01252 664756                      assess the program’s new characteristics and fea-
                                                                                                 you ought to hear it — so here it is.
Mobile: 07941 778007                   tures.                                                      The guest most sorely missed by Prince Charles at
e-mail:                                                                      his wedding to Diana Spencer the previous summer
                                       Membership                                                (July 1981) was his great-uncle and mentor, Lord
                                                                                                 Louis [Earl] Mountbatten, who was assassinated by
                                         It’s a fact of life that membership is down. It’s
                                                                                                 the IRA in August 1979. Mountbatten as grandson of
                                       been dwindling at GPCUG and various other user
                                                                                                 Queen Victoria had for some time advised Charles on
                                       groups for some time. Other user group monthly
                                       newsletters I read show the downward trend is not                                          (Continued on page 3)

Page 2                                                                                                                   ROM June — July 2006
(Continued from page 2)                                                                                   ney is the British computer journalist. The story
potential bride material. In this he was follow-                                                          is that Guy Kewney has described his astonish-
ing in his ancestor’s footsteps where marriage                                                            ment at seeing the BBC’s 24-hour news chan-
among royal first cousins was the norm rather                                                             nel interview a supposed taxi driver, Guy
than the exception. Queen Victoria herself                                                                Goma in the mistaken belief it was him.
married her mother’s brother’s youngest son,                                                                 Guy Kewney — a white, bearded technology
and similar first-cousin marriages for her ex-                                                            expert — was astonished to see himself appear
tended family were accepted, “keeping the                                                                 on screen as a black man with an apparent
blood-line within the family” so to speak. (It’s                                                          French accent. He was even more shocked to
worth recalling that the Queen herself and                                                                see himself unable to answer basic questions
Prince Philip are second cousins once removed,                                                            about the legal battle between the Beatles’
both being descended from Christian IX of                                                                 Apple Corps and Apple Computer over the use
Denmark).                                                                                                 of an apple symbol.
  So back to our story: Mountbatten was in                                                                   Mr Kewney, watched as Mr Goma, whose
favour of Charles’s marriage to Diana — she                                                               identity remained a mystery until it was re-
had no “history” — but, the story went, she was                                                           vealed later by the BBC, gamely attempted to
not his first choice. Mountbatten had urged him                                                           answer questions fired at him by BBC con-
                                                                                                          sumer affairs correspondent Karen Bowerman.
                                                                                                             Mr Goma, a graduate from the Congo, de-
                                                                                                          scribed his surprise interview ordeal as “very
                                                                                                          stressful”. He found himself being ushered into
                                                                                                          a studio and fitted with a microphone after
                                                                                                          raising his hand when a producer called out the
                                                                                                          name Guy Kewney.
                                                                                                             On his website, the real Mr Kewney, said that
                                                       Princess Marie-Christine of Luxembourg...          the man “seemed as baffled as I felt” when
                                                                                                          asked about the consequences of the lawsuit
                                                                                                          live on BBC News 24.
                                                                                                             It is unclear why Mr Goma identified himself
                                                                                                          when Mr Kewney’s named was called.
                                                                                                             Only when Ms Bowerman announced live on
                                                                                                          air the name and title of the man who should
                                                                                                          have been there and asked the first question did
                                                                                                          the driver realise there had been a mix-up (and
Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg (1970s photo)
                                                                                                          if you watch the video the mask of surprise on
                                                                                                          Guy Goma’s face is something that is priceless
to marry a little-known European princess,
                                                                                                          — Ed!)
Marie-Astrid, daughter of the Grand Duke of
                                                          ...and with her mother Marie-Astrid.              A BBC spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately
Luxembourg. She was perfect: blonde, reasona-
bly pretty and five years his junior. Most im-      how was Charles going to deal with the com-           we did make a mistake and the wrong person
portant, the story went, Mountbatten was one of     mute between Camilla’s bedroom and Luxem-             was interviewed briefly on air before we cut to
the secret circle who knew that Marie-Astrid’s      bourg anyway?                                         our reporter.
father could claim to be a direct descendant of       Well, it makes a good story — believe it if you       “We apologise to viewers for any confusion.”
the “Sang Real”, the Merovingian kings of           want. And if you’ve read the book you’ll doubt-
                                                                                                            As is usual your editor has a copy of the
France and their “Holy Roman” Emperor suc-          less know that conspiracy theories abound, so
                                                                                                          video which you can see at the June meeting!
cessors Pepin and Charlemagne. In other             you’re suitably ready to believe anything.
words, The Holy Blood wasn’t mere hypothesis          Well I wonder whether the future will hold out
— the authors had got it absolutely right. “Holy    the “Sang Real” story? Marie-Astrid of Luxem-
Roman” Emperors was just about the right title.     bourg went on to marry Archduke Carl Christian
  Mountbatten, whose family changed their           Hapsburg of Austria (the Hapsburgs are/were
name from Battenberg to avoid awkward ques-         Holy Roman Emperors of course), and the pair
tions about their German origins during the         have five children. Their eldest daughter Prin-
First World War, was a man who dreamt of            cess Marie-Christine (born on 31st of July 1983)
peace across Europe, of a world where English-      is blonde, pretty and a student of economic sci-
men and Germans might one day be brothers.          ences — see photos above; she has the real
  Who better, in his view, to lead Europe into      “Blood Royal” lineage, is a year younger than
the 21st century than the first son of Charles      Prince William and has the attributes that are
and Marie-Astrid — a boy king who would be          normally demanded of potential British Royal
able to claim direct ancestry on the one side       brides.
from Europe’s most senior royal family, and           So if at some stage William’s current com-
                                                                                                                                   Guy Goma
from the other, the western world’s most holy       moner girl friend Kate Middleton gets the ex-
family, that of Jesus Christ? The story, which      pected heave-ho from the royal courtiers, I won-
was whispered among a tiny few — finally            der whether Princess Marie-Christine of Luxem-
fizzled out as even the most conspiratorial         bourg is already lined up in their royal sights for
voices — “Now do you see why the [Catholic]         the dynastic match that so eluded Earl Mountbat-
IRA had Mountbatten killed?” — failed to            ten twenty-five years ago? — we shall see.
persuade many commentators to spread the
word.                                               BBC News 24 Cock Up
  Marie-Astrid had appeared briefly in the            You may have heard or read of the embarrass-
newspaper columns as a potential bride for          ing interview on BBC News 24 when a Congo-
Charles — but then so had virtually every girl      lese IT job applicant was mistakenly interviewed
in Europe who appeared both aristocratic and        in place of a respected UK computer journalist.
virginal (a rare combination). With hindsight,        Guy Goma is from the Congo and Guy Kew-                                 Guy Kewney

ROM June — July 2006                                                                                                                              Page 3
Logitech Harmony 525 Universal Remote
Reviewed by Laurence Fenn

   Third time’s a charm! After my reviews
of the 675 and 885 Harmony remotes,
Logitech sent the new budget range model,
the 525. When I finally managed to get the
remote out of the box (it was a sealed plas-
tic case that you needed a strong pair of
scissors to get into) I discovered that the
batteries were already installed. Needless to
say they were nearly completely drained,
but a new set of batteries was in the box.
Why Logitech did this I do not know, and
the box was sealed so it couldn’t have been
a previous owner using the remote, unless
Logitech resealed the box when they got it                                                         control then it’s not really a problem, but the
back. The power for this remote comes                                                              whole point of this universal remote is that it
from 4xAAA batteries, which is what the                                                            can control every device you have instead of
675 used and not a rechargeable lithium                                                            having to use all the different remotes. You
battery, like the 885, so there was no re-                                                         are more than likely to have several devices if
charging unit.                                                                                     you want to use the Harmony 525 in the first
Installation                                                                                       place. Other universal remotes have buttons
                                                                                                   for the devices, like a button for DVD, Video,
   Installing the software automatically
                                                                                                   Television, Audio, etc. and even though I’ve
removed the version 4.8 which I had on my
                                                                                                   never used them, this seems a quicker way to
system and put version 5.01 on. This has
                                                                                                   select a device. Dedicated buttons on the re-
had a big change in the interface, and uses
                                                                                                   mote (and I don’t mean a function button be-
Java. When I plugged in the remote the
                                                                                                   side the display) could cycle through the de-
firmware was updated from 2.0 to 2.1, but
                                                                                                   vices and select them, displaying their name
after that the application did not seem to
                                                        Harmony 525 Universal Remote               on the screen. As you have to select the type
respond. I had to click on the home link and
                                                                                                   of device when you enter the details to set it
then click on the update remote option to
                                                 clickers you used to use when you were            up the remote would know which category the
get the software to work again.
                                                 doing a presentation and you wanted to            device belongs to. Having six buttons for the
Customisation                                    move to the next slide. The rubber buttons        device types might not be possible because of
  When you want to customise the remote          for the numbers work okay, although they          a lack of space, but I’m sure a bit of redesign
control or transfer the settings the software    still look like the ones on a mobile phone.       with the existing buttons would solve that.
shows a picture of the 885 remote. As this       The rubber buttons for transport and other           The top of the remote has the USB port so
is the third remote I have tried on my sys-      functions need a hefty push to work cor-          you can plug it in to program, and like the
tem and the last one I used was the 885 this     rectly, and sometimes I struggled to get the      other models, when your PC detects the re-
may be the reason, but as the software de-       Info function to work with my Freeview            mote it will go to the Logitech website. There
tected the correct model of the remote, I        box.                                              is a small rubber cover over the port, which is
would have thought the pictures it uses             There are four function buttons, two either    very flimsy and wouldn’t stay on for long if
would have changed. After I completely           side of the display, and they are raised to       you had to plug the remote in several times,
uninstalled the software and reinstalled, the    make access easier. The remote looks more         which you have to as every time the remote is
picture of the remote when you wanted to         stylised than the previous models and the         updated the site tells you to unplug it and test
customise it did change to the 525, but the      weight of the batteries on the bottom of the      it.
picture when transferring data to the remote     remote makes you want to hold it at the bot-         The display copes better with the names of
was still the 885.                               tom. The upper part of the remote is thin by      the devices, but Panasonic are still at a loss, as
                                                 comparison. The Activities button is a wide       both my DVD and VCR were displayed as
LCD Display                                      silver button at the top, with a light around     Panason.. on the top line. You want to be able
  The LCD display is quite dark and diffi-       it. Below that are the Devices and Help but-      to label the devices as best as you can, but if
cult to read at times. The characters are the    tons, both rubberised. I have never managed       the font was made smaller to fit the text it, it
best so far, though not perfect. Every time      to get the help to do anything, and when I        may be too small to read. Every other device
you press a button that is programmed the        had the remote set up for a device and I          and Activity was displayed in full. Logitech
glow function turns on for the display only.     pressed the Help button, I got the message        are definitely improving the remotes, but
If you press the Glow button, then the but-      ‘did that fix the problem?’ with a Yes and        they’re not perfect yet. The 525 feels the
tons are backlit as well as the display. I’m     No displayed above the two buttons under-         heaviest of the three, but it is bottom heavy,
not sure if this remote has a sensor in it for   neath the display. Neither of the buttons         due to the design. If only the display and rub-
the light, as sometimes the display would        worked, so I don’t know if I had changed          ber buttons were sorted out, then this would be
light up by itself, and sometimes when I         some setting when I updated the remote,           a good remote control to get.
picked up the remote (but not every time,        which I don’t remember doing, or when I
like the 885 model with the built in tilt        effectively downgraded from the 885 model         Pricing and Availability
sensor).                                         whether some help setting was switched off. sell the Harmony 525 Re-
  The volume and channel change buttons             All of the Logitech designs for the remotes    mote Control for £43 inc VAT and delivery.
have a definite click feel to them that clicks   still have the trouble of scrolling through the
when you press and clicks when you re-           devices and then selecting it with a function
lease the button. It reminded me of the          button. If you don’t have many devices to

Page 4                                                                                                                 ROM June — July 2006
ROM — in 1992 and May 1993 by Tony Hawes
                                                   make the newsletter as inter-
   On page two I mentioned I was relin-            esting as possible. To this end
quishing the job of Editor from April next         I will be asking the main soft-
year. Out of curiosity I had a look back           ware and hardware suppliers
through the printed issues of ROM and              and manufacturers to include
found the very first issue I edited (May           me on their press release
1993), together with the December 1992             mailing list, this should en-
single page ROM we early members were              sure that we as a group are
used to receiving. At the time our Chair-          kept as fully informed as pos-
man was David Garn, Editor Haydon                  sible of forthcoming issues of
Davis, Treasurer Francis Jacques, Mem-
                                                   their software.
bership Secretary Garry Carpenter, PRO
George Staples and Roy Robertson and                 This months issue contains a
Secretary Robert Cockerill. To his credit          review of AutoRoute Express
Francis is still treasurer (an earlier treasurer   for Windows, a program I like
c.1990 did a bunk with our funds to feed           and use frequently*. I have
his motorbike habit, so it was a relief to         also just received the latest
have a professional accountant in charge of        beta copy of Windows NT
our funds).                                        from Microsoft. Initial impres-
                                                   sions are that it is a powerful
   As I said on page one of my first ROM           network tool for business use
thirteen years ago:                                but not so good as a stand-
   “Tony Hawes is your new Editor                  alone operating system for
   As our last meeting (the AGM) I took the        power users - be warned - you
step of volunteering to be editor for the next     need a minimum of a
twelve months of ‘ROM’ our monthly news-           386/25MHz with 80Mb of
letter; this was subsequently confirmed by         space for the system files
the committee. Many of you will know me            (which includes 27Mb for the
solely as a face that you see at our monthly       virtual-memory paging file)
club meetings, others I know of as friends,        and a minimum of 12Mb of
so I am not going to be a stranger to all of       RAM! In other words not for
you. For those of you who don’t know me a          the fainthearted!!”
little bit of my background.                         * Ashford (Middx.) based
   I joined the Guildford PC User Group            NextBase and its assets were
three years ago as a result of my business         shortly after acquired by Mi-
and personal interest in computing. Busi-          crosoft with the program be-
ness interest being presentation graphics          ing re-launched as Microsoft
and personal interest flight simulation pro-       AutoRoute Express. Thirteen
grammes (in particular MS Flight Simula-           years later Microsoft Auto-
tor). My business interests in presentation        Route is still going strong —
graphics have diminished since I retired           intriguingly in 1993 Next-
from full time employment at the end of            Base’s version of AutoRoute
January but I still retain an interest in the      Express would set you back
techniques and capabilities of modern              £150 — and see the 12MB of
graphics programmes.                               RAM requirement!!
   An editor is by definition an “editor”          1993 Group Events
nothing more and nothing less, which                 Perusing ROM’s of 1993, we
means I should edit what others contribute         had a full program of demon-
to ‘ROM’.                                          stration events/visits: Aldus,
   Our previous editor commented that he           Central Point Software, Hewlett
had great difficulty in getting members of         Packard, Canon, WordPerfect
the group to contribute something, however         Corporation, Corel and many
little, to the newsletter so that he could get     more. My first issue of ROM
down to doing the job that he thought he           was composed with Microsoft
had volunteered for — being an editor. I           Publisher v.1 (I later upgraded
plan to try and change this apathetic atti-        to the much more versatile ver-
                                                   sion 2) and have been using
tude. Members of the group have a good
                                                   Publisher ever since — cur-
and varied expertise in com-puters, ranging
                                                   rently Publisher 2003. At that
from high-tech CAD through spreadsheets            time Microsoft were selling
to programming and I find it wrong that            Encarta for £240, but following
only one or two members of the group are           Bill Gates decree that it should
prepared to contribute to the newsletter. So       “become affordable” the price
what you will find me doing in the coming          in the USA was dropped to
months is bothering you all for a small            US$99 — which then as now
literary contribution to the newsletter’s          was converted by Microsoft’s bean counters
contents.                                          to £99 when it went on sale in the UK in the
   I will try during my term as editor to          autumn of 1993 — how things have changed,
                                                   or not!

ROM June — July 2006                                                                              Page 5
Microsoft News — Office 2007 & Windows Vista
                                                 presenting          a
   Recent announcements from Microsoft,          comprehensive set
plus comments from early beta testers have       of writing tools in a
provided more information as to what the         new user interface.
final versions of both Office 2007 and Vista     R e v i e w ,
are likely to look like together with latest     commenting, and
listings of some of the features that are        c o m p a r i s o n
likely to appear in the final versions when      capabilities help you
they are launched in January next year.          quickly gather and
   If all goes according to plan your Editor     manage feedback
will have beta versions of both programs         from colleagues.
very shortly and if you have seen the            Advanced         data
“Forthcoming Meetings” box on the cover          integration helps
of ROM it is planned to have Office 2007         ensure documents
on show at the July meeting and Vista on         stay connected to
show in August (depending on the                 important sources of
attendance at the August meeting, which in       b u s i n e s s
past years has been low, falling as it does in   information.
the middle of the summer holiday month,
the Vista presentation my be delayed/      Create
repeated in September).                    Professional-                 The new user interface of Office Word 2007 enables people to create

Office 2007 Ultimate Edition               Looking                       documents more quickly than ever before because it presents the right
                                                                         tools to users when they need them.
  Microsoft has announced that Office
2007 Ultimate Edition will now be added to Effortlessly
its list of Office 2007 packages. The new          Word        2007
edition will include all the applications of     provides editing and
Office 2007.                                     reviewing tools that
   According to Microsoft, the Ultimate          help you create
Edition is created on the basis of customer      professional
feedback, and is targeted at users who do        documents      more
not want to choose specific components           easily than ever
from Office. These are typically people          before.
working from home, who need access to            • Spend         more
the full line-up of Microsoft Office 2007            time     writing,
applications, so that they can create, find,         less       time
manage, and share information across                 formatting. A
boundaries with the help of familiar tools in        new,     results-
Office.                                              o r i e n t e d
   The Office 2007 Ultimate Edition will             i n t e r f a c e
include core applications like Word, Excel,          presents tools
PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, InfoPath,            when you need
OneNote, Access, and the new Groove                  them, in a clear
collaboration suite i.e. a version of Office         and organized Office Word 2007 allows you to digitally sign your documents so the peo-
                                                                         ple who read them know it hasn’t changed since it left your hands.
2007 Enterprise. The latest edition will also        fashion. Live
have other integrated functions such as              visual previews,
content management, electronic forms, and            predefined style galleries, table formats,    • Quickly apply a new look and feel to
rights management.                                   and other content help you get more out           your documents. Using Quick Styles
                                                     of Office Word 2007 capabilities.                 and Document Themes you can change
   Office Ultimate 2007 was not included in
the original Office 2007 line-up announced       •   Add frequently used content to your               the appearance of text, tables, and
in February. Microsoft will begin offering           documents with just a few clicks.                 graphics throughout your entire
the new version through its volume                   Office Word 2007 introduces Building              document to match your preferred style
licensing program at the end of 2006.                Blocks for adding frequently used                 or colour scheme.
Office 2007 Ultimate will also be made               content to your documents. Select from        Share Your Documents
available on retail shelves, along with              a predefined gallery of cover pages, pull
                                                     quotes, headers, and footers to make
consumer versions of Office beginning
                                                     your documents look more professional.          Office Word 2007 helps you efficiently
January 2007.
                                                     You can even create your own Building         collect and manage feedback from colleagues
   Pricing is not yet available but                                                                and helps ensure that feedback doesn’t
                                                     Blocks to simplify the addition of
newsgroups have quoted Office 2007                                                                 escape with the document when it is
                                                     custom text, like legal disclaimer text or
Ultimate Edition as selling for                                                                    published.
                                                     other frequently used materials.
approximately US$679, while Windows
Vista Ultimate will retail for around            •   Communicate more effectively with             • Quickly compare two versions of a
US$450.                                              high-impact graphics. New charting                document. Office Word 2007 makes it
                                                     and diagramming features that include             easy to find out what changes were made
Office Word 2007 — Product                           3-D shapes, transparency, drop shadows,           to a document—a new tri-pane review
Overview                                             and other effects help you create                 panel helps you see both versions of a
  Office Word 2007 helps people create               professional-looking graphics that result
                                                     in more effective documents.                                              (Continued on page 7)
professional-looking documents by
Page 6                                                                                                                 ROM June — July 2006
                                                                      file formats that
                                                                      offer a dramatic             Windows Vista —
                                                                      reduction in file size
                                                                      and helps ensure             Consumer Market
                                                                      damaged or corrupt
                                                                      files can be easily
                                                                      • Connect your
                                                                      documents           to
                                                                      b u s i n e s s
                                                                      information. Create
                                                                      dynamic       Smart        Windows Vista Home Basic is the entry-
                                                                      Documents         that   level offering for consumers. Highlights
                                                                      update themselves        include:
                                                                      by connecting to         • Significant advances in security and reli-
                                                                      your     back-end            ability
                                                                      systems using new
The new tri-pane review panel of Office Word 2007 enables you to                               •   Parental Controls
quickly compare or merge two versions of a document and helps iden- document       controls
tify moved text and tracked changes within tables.                    and data bindings.       •   Windows Vista Basic user interface
(Continued from page 6)                                               • Keep track of          •   Search and Organize innovations
     document with the deleted, inserted,           your documents with the Document           •   Improved networking
     and moved text clearly marked.                 Information Panel. Use the new               Windows Vista Home Basic is designed to
                                                    Document Information Panel to add          be easy to set up, to help people use their PCs
• Master your review process using
                                                    workflow and tracking information                                    (Continued on page 8)
     Office Word 2007 and Microsoft
     Office SharePoint Server 2007. With
                                                    directly to your documents. Add
     built-in workflow services in Office           Microsoft Windows SharePoint
     SharePoint Server 2007, you can                Services information or custom
     initiate, manage, and track document           properties to your document templates
     review and approval processes from             to extend document management
     within Office Word 2007, so you can            functionality into the Office Word
     accelerate review cycles across your           2007 environment.
     organization without forcing people to      • Quickly detect documents with
     learn new tools.                               embedded macros. Office Word
• Remove unwanted information from                  2007 uses a separate file format
     your documents. The new Document               (.docm) for macro-enabled
     Inspector feature can remove                   documents, so you can quickly tell
     comments, tracked changes, metadata,           whether a file is capable of executing
     or other information from your                 any embedded macros.
• Help protect your documents with a
    Digital Signature. With Office Word
    2007, you can digitally sign your
    documents so the people who read them
    know it hasn’t changed since it left your
• Convert your Word documents to
    PDF or XPS. With Office Word 2007,
    you can share documents in Portable
    Document Format file (PDF) and XML
    Paper Specification (XPS) format
    without using third-party tools.
(NB. In early June there were indications
that MS are in dispute with Adobe and the
PDF creation feature may be dropped from
the final version — Ed)
Go Beyond Documents
  Office Word 2007 is an important
evolution of XML support in the 2007
Microsoft Office system, facilitating
smaller, more robust documents and deep
integration with information systems and
external data sources.
• Master Reduce file sizes and
    improve corruption recovery. The
    new Microsoft Office Open XML
    Formats are compressed, segmented

ROM June — July 2006                                                                                                                 Page 7
(Continued from page 7)                        tos, video, TV programs, and music become      is one final consumer version which we need-
securely and reliably, to help people stay     a part of your everyday life. With Windows     n’t concern ourselves with too much. This is
better connected, and, like all of the edi-    Vista Home Premium, balancing your             the Starter version for emerging markets,
tions of Windows Vista, to be compatible       cheque book, doing homework, watching a        details below. Remember we’ll be having a
with the widest range of software, devices,    movie, listening to music, or playing a game   preview evening of Windows Vista very
and services that people use and trust. For    is a better and more enjoyable experience.     shortly — Ed.
those who simply want to use their PC for
tasks such as surfing the Internet, corre-
sponding with friends and family using
email, or performing basic document crea-
tion and editing tasks, Windows Vista                                                           Windows Vista Starter is designed to em-
Home Basic delivers a safer, more reliable,                                                   power families and entry-level users in selected
and more effective computing environment.        Windows Vista Ultimate is the flagship       emerging markets to take advantage of the so-
                                               edition of Windows Vista across consumer       cial and educational benefits that personal com-
                                               and small business desktop PCs and mobile      puter technology and the Internet make possi-
                                               PCs. The primary user of Windows Vista         ble. Highlights of this edition include:
                                               Ultimate is the individual, such as a small    •   Advances in security and reliability
                                               business owner, who has a single PC to use     •   Search and Organize innovations
  Windows Vista Home Premium is the            both at home and at work. This edition in-
mainstream edition of Windows Vista for        cludes all of the features available in Win-   •   Windows Vista Basic user interface
consumer desktop and mobile PCs. It in-        dows Vista Home Premium and Windows            •   32-bit only operating system designed
cludes all features available in Windows       Vista Enterprise.                                  specifically for lower-cost computers
Vista Home Basic, plus:                          Windows Vista Ultimate is the first oper-      Windows Vista Starter helps families in
                                                                                              emerging technology countries be more suc-
• Windows Aero user interface                  ating system that combines the advanced
                                                                                              cessful by providing an affordable, easy-to-
                                               infrastructure of a business-focused operat-
• Windows Media Center functionality                                                          learn, and easy-to-use computing experience. It
                                               ing system, the productivity of a mobility-
• Additional digital media features such       focused operating system, and the digital
                                                                                              is compatible with the latest applications and
    as authoring and DVD burning                                                              devices and is more reliable and secure because
                                               entertainment features of a consumer-          it is part of the Windows Vista family of prod-
• Windows Tablet PC capability                 focused operating system. For users who        ucts.
• Additional mobility features such as         want their PC to be great for working at
    PC-to-PC synchronization                   home, on the go, and at the office, Windows    Windows Vista Demo
  Windows Vista Home Premium makes             Vista Ultimate is the no-compromise operat-      Make a note in your diary for the practical
finding information, staying connected, and    ing system that provides it all.               demo at the August meeting with the possibly
interacting with your PC easier and more         So here we have the main features of the     that it will be repeated with the very latest beta
secure. Using, organizing, and sharing pho-    consumer versions of Windows Vista. There      in September.

Acer — What’s New
  Acer have released a whole raft of new
products. At well-planned media event their
latest and forthcoming products were on
  I don't have space to cover every thing
but one particular caught my eye. This is
Acer’s Aspire AS9800 notebook with a 20-
inch screen will appeal to those who want
the power and features of a desktop built
into a computer the size of a notebook.
  To whet your appetite this is from Acer’s
Press Release.
Acer Aspire 9800
  Acer presents the Aspire 9800.                     Acer Aspire 9800 notebook with 20.1-inch screen compared with a 17-inch model.
Outstanding multimedia and entertainment
from an 20-inch notebook                       system that delivers a truly extraordinary     featuring Acer CrystalBrite technology for
                                               audio-visual experience, offering digital PC   maximum screen brightness in all lightning
  Acer, the leading vendor in the notebook
                                               Television through the Integrated analogue     conditions and powered by the high-end
sector for EMEA – Europe, Middle East
                                               and digital TV Tuner and cutting-edge          NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics card
and Africa announces the new Aspire 9800,
                                               Video and Voice over IP communication          with up to 256MB dedicated video memory,
a new notebook series with a spectacular
                                               thanks to the built-in Acer Orbicam.           the Aspire 9800 guarantees an altogether
20-inch LCD screen, delivering enough
                                                                                              immersive multimedia experience. In
power, functionality, flexibility and          Immersive Audio-visual                         addition, the DVI-D* connectivity provides
presence to rival the very best desktop PCs.
                                               Experience                                     faster and higher-quality images for high-
  Powered by Intel Centrino Mobile               Equipped with the largest screen size        definition entertainment on external
Technology Duo platform and featuring          currently available in a notebook an Acer      monitors.
Acer’s exclusive Empowering Technology         20.1” CrystalBrite colour TFT LCD display
together with Acer Arcade entertainment        (WSXGA+ resolution of 1680 x 1050)                                         (Continued on page 9)
suite, the Aspire 9800 is a highly-versatile

Page 8                                                                                                           ROM June — July 2006
(Continued from page 8)                            interface that gives users easy control over
   For a realistic and engaging sound              their notebook’s security, performance,
reproduction the Aspire 9800 integrates 3-         settings and communication with a single
Watt speakers and a 4-Watt subwoofer and           touch of the Empowering Key
Dolby Digital Live which allows the                  The Aspire 9800 series comes with Microsoft
notebook to be hooked up via a single              Windows XP Home Edition or Microsoft
digital connection to a Dolby Digital-             Windows Media Centre Edition preinstalled.
equipped audio/video receiver or digital           Additional installed software includes Adobe
speaker system, eliminating multiple cables        Reader, Norton AntiVirus and CyberLink
and ensuring the integrity and quality of the      PowerDVD or CyberLink Power Producer,
audio signal.                                      Acer GridVista and Acer Arcade Software
   All multimedia functions can be
                                                     All Acer notebooks come with a standard 1
controlled with the Acer Media keys, seven
                                                   year Carry In (International travellers warranty
mirror-coated keys with LEDs: Acer
                                                   - ITW) which can be extended to 3 years cover
Arcade, volume up/down, previous, next,            with the AcerAdvantage NewEdition service
play/pause, and stop, offering convenient,         that also covers accidental damage to the
one-button control over all your multimedia        notebook.
                                                     Includes HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital
   Storage-wise, a generous HDD of up to           Content Protection), an encryption method for
240GB** meets the needs of multimedia              copyrighted material protection
file collectors. For the optical drive you can       ** Up to 240GB SATA HDD with 2nd HDD
choose between the excellent slot-loading          and Raid 0 support
DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive or an
                                                     *** When available
HD-DVD drive***. In addition, for easy                                                                NAVTEQ also displays about 1 million points
and speedy data transfer, the Aspire 9800          Pricing                                            of interest divided in 45 categories.
sports a comfortable 5-in-1 card reader that         No UK price yet but it’s listed at euro € 2149
supports the most common card formats                                                                 Battery, Memory and
                                                   (£1475) on Acer’s Italian site.
Digital Television                                 D150 SATELLITE NAVIGATOR                             The Acer d150 guarantees minimum energy
  The Aspire 9800 provides a simple way              Another item that caught my eye was              consumption and 8.5 hours of non-stop use.
to capture the interactive world of terrestrial    Acer’s new portable d150 satellite                 Furthermore, thanks to 64 MB RAM and 32
digital television. By integrating a hybrid        navigator. It’s an all-in-one system designed      MB storage capacity (flash memory); the d150
TV Tuner for both analogue and digital             for travellers who want compact, complete          can save 1,000 contacts, save data and
broadcasts, it lets you tune in to analog and      and intelligent solutions.                         favourites even when the battery has died. The
digital TV transmissions simply by                                                                    new Acer d150 also provides entertainment
connecting a cable to the specific notebook        Software                                           through the built-in MP3 music player or
port. Acer’s multimedia software suite,              The Acer d150 navigator is preinstalled with     Picture Viewer to share favourite photos.
Aspire Arcade, helps users view and switch         Destinator DS Navigation software that             A Complete Navigation
between channels with a clear and easy-to-         features countless functions such as dual map
use interface as well as selecting the best
video mode with Acer CinemaVision and                                                                   Combining palmtop portability with GPS
Acer ClearVision video technologies.                                                                  functions, the new Acer d150 is a “plug &
                                                                                                      drive” satellite navigator ready to guide
Cutting-edge Video and Voice                                                                          travellers wherever they want to go, thanks to
                                                                                                      the positioning simplicity and possibility of
Over IP Communication                                                                                 carrying and moving it from one car to the next
  On selected models, the Aspire 9800 comes                                                           without any hassles. The Acer d150 is designed
bundled with a handy VoIP Bluetooth phone.                                                            around the user-friendly concept, in fact, all
When used in the PC Card slot, the Acer VoIP                                                          functions are quickly accessible through an easy
Bluetooth automatically recharges itself, but it                                                      to understand menu and touch screen that
can also be used as a normal cell phone                                                               makes the interface extremely intuitive, letting
connected to the Notebook through Bluetooth                                                           you immediately enter any destination. The
connections. What’s more, it can be placed on                                                         powerful speakers (2W) and bright 3.5” LCD
any desk or surface and used as a speaker                                                             screen offer excellent user support with sharp
phone, letting you communicate freely while                                                           map display and clear voice instructions.
continuing to work on your PC. For real-time                                                          Additionally, the 3.5” display is non-glare,
face-to-face video conferencing, Acer has                                                             guaranteeing excellent display even in direct
equipped the Aspire 9800 with the Acer             display in 2D and 3D, route calculation and        sunlight. When travelling abroad, the Acer d150
OrbiCam, a 1.3 megapixel camera mounted at         recalculation, rerouting in the event of           continues to provide detailed route indications,
the top of the LCD panel.                          obstacles and unexpected events, map changes       thanks to a non-stop function that automatically
  Complete communication and empowering            between the different European countries,          changes maps from one country to the next.
tools. To stay connected everywhere, the           recent address or favourite destination memory     Furthermore, it has a route plan utility that
Aspire 9800 comes complete with full wired         and world map selection in 10 different            divides long trips throughout Europe into
and wireless connectivity options: WLAN            languages. The d150 portable navigator comes       manageable trips.
(with Acer InviLink 802.11b/g Wi-Fi                in two different configurations, both with           For better signal reception stability, the new
CERTIFIED solution, supporting Acer                European (contained on a SD/MMC card) and          Acer d150 includes a GPS antenna and 12
SignalUp wireless technology), WPAN with           regional maps (on CD). The NAVTEQ                  parallel channel receiver.
built-in Bluetooth 2.0 module, LAN                 detailed maps cover the main European
connection with Gigabit Ethernet cards and         countries - including Italy, UK, Ireland,          Pricing
standard connectivity through the integrated       France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium,           Expect to pay around £299 (or less).
56K ITU V.92 modem. All notebook                   Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal,
functions can be efficiently managed with          Austria and Switzerland - and include more
Acer Empowering technology, an intuitive           than 6 million kilometres of highway routes.

ROM June — July 2006                                                                                                                         Page 9
Ten Years Ago by Laurence Fenn

                                                GB hard disc, 17” ENVY17 Colour Monitor,
  Searching for stuff for my recent talk        Matrox Millennium Video with 2MB
about retro gaming, in which I found the        WRAM, six speed CD-ROM Drive, 14,400
original manual for my BBC Model B com-         Voice Fax modem, 256k pipeline burst
puter, I came across some old PC maga-          cache, Pentium 166Mhz processor, Sound
zines. Things have changed in the computer      Blaster AWE 32 Value soundcard, 15W
world over the last ten years, some maga-       stereo amplified speakers, microphone, Mi-
zines have disappeared, some companies          crosoft Word, Publisher, Money, Encarta 96
have too, but I thought it would be interest-   for £2999.00. (£3541.45 with delivery and
ing to see what the cutting edge of technol-    VAT). NEC was advertising their MultiSpin
ogy was ten years ago.                          4X4c CD-ROM which could take four CDs
Computer Life                                   at a time, for £189. Reviews included a
                                                Mustek Handheld scanner with a resolution
 Viglen were selling their “Awesome 166”
                                                of 800dpi for £106. Sportster was selling
Multimedia PC with 32MB EDO RAM, 1.6
                                                                     their US Robotics
                                                                     28,800 modem with a
                                                                     free trial to Pipex for
                                                                     £199. Game of the
                                                                     month was Duke
                                                                     Nukem 3D, £TBA
                                                                     from Apogee/US Gold
                                                                     and The 11th Hour,         starring no-one I’ve heard of), Activison’s
                                                                     £45 from Virgin Inter-     Return To Zork, US Gold’s Under A Killing
                                                                     active. Gabriel Knight:    Moon, and Ripper, starring Christopher Wal-
                                                                     The Beast Within was       ken, Burgess Meredith and Karen Allen. Wing
                                                                     released by Sierra for     Commander IV was reviewed. This game
                                                                     £50, and came on six       from Electronic Arts had Malcolm McDowell
                                                                     CDs.                       and Mark Hamill featuring in the cut scenes of
                                                                                                the space battle game.
                                                                     PC Home
                                                                     The cover disc in-         PC Format
                                                                     cluded WinG, Micro-          New Pentiums were being released using
                                                                     soft’s graphic accelera-   Intel’s 166MHz chips. On the cover disc was
                                                                     tion software for Win-     Paint Shop Pro 3.11 and William Shatner’s
                                                                     dows 3.11 and the          Tekwar was on review (from US Gold for
                                                                     latest version of Video    £39.99, requiring 8MB RAM, VESA VGA,
                                                                     for Windows v1.1d as       Pentium, 50Mb hard disc space, sound-card
                                                                     well as demos for          and MS-DOS 5.0. Danmere Technologies
                                                                     Command and Con-           were advertising Backer (£34.00 exc. VAT)
                                                                     quer, Rayman and           which was an expansion card that allowed you
                                                                     Earthworm Jim. An          to back up your files onto a VHS tape. It had a
                                                                     article on interactive     transfer rate of 9MB per minute and could
                                                                     movies on the PC in-       store 1.5 GB on a single tape. Diamond Multi-
                                                                     cluded Urban Runner        media had their new Diamond EDGE 3D card
                                                                     (a French production                                (Continued on page 11)

Page 10                                                                                                            ROM June — July 2006
                                                                                                                       plugged into your
                                                                                                                       printer port and al-
                                                                                                                       lowed you to capture
                                                                                                                       from any video source,
                                                                                                                       up to 1500 by 1125
                                                                                                                       pixels. It came with
                                                                                                                       Fauve Matisse SE and
                                                                                                                       Gryphon Morph soft-
                                                                                                                       ware and cost $199.95.
                                                                                                                       Creative were selling
                                                                                                                       their Sound Blaster
                                                                                                                       Performance x6 kit,
                                                                                                                       which included a 6x
                                                                                                                       CD-ROM drive, and
                                                                                                                       soundcard with 32-
                                                                                                                       note 16 bit features
                                                                                                                       that accepts up to
                                                                                                                       28MB of RAM for use
                                                                                                                       with their SoundFonts.
                                                                                                                       It also bundled 15 CD-
                                                                                                                       ROM titles, including
                                                                                                 LucasArt’s Full Throttle, David Macaulay’s
                                                         .net Magazine
                                                                                                 The Way Things Work and Eyewitness En-
                                                         This internet magazine gave links       cyclopaedia of Science. No speakers were
                                                         to Internet Explorer 2.0 beta, Net-     included, but it wasn’t bad for $429.99.
                                                         scape Navigator 1.12 (and the beta      Games on sale and reviewed included Rebel
(Continued from page 10)                        of version 2). NetLink were offering 5MB         Assault II, Monty Python’s Complete Waste
reviewed. This £220 card offered a resolu-      web space, an email account and 200 profes-      of Time and Phantasmagoria.
tion of 1600 by 1200 at 60Hz and a soft-        sionally produced business cards for £99 per
                                                year.                                               In the news were Pentium Overdrive chips,
ware MPEG player. It ran slower with DOS                                                         increasing the speed of your processor from
programs and didn’t improve any games           PC Answers                                       60 to 200 percent, depending on the original
that weren’t written for the card. It came                                                       processor. They all came with integral fans,
                                                  Aztech UK advertised the Aztech Audio
bundled with Virtua Fighter Remix, NAS-                                                          and the cheapest cost £334. Other hardware
                                                Telephony 2000 for £149. It was a sound-
CAR Racing and a coupon for the EDGE                                                             items available at the time were the Micro-
                                                card, full-duplex speakerphone, CD-ROM
version of Descent.                                                                              soft natural keyboard £82.24, Standard two
                                                interface, fax-on-demand, 14.4kpbs modem
CD-ROM Magazine                                 and answering machine. Iomega were sell-         button mouse £46.99, Sidewinder joystick
                                                ing their Parallel port Zip 100 drive for £149   £29.99 and the Logitech TrackMan Marble
  The cover disc had PC and Mac demos,                                                           £70.50.
including Time Gate and SimPiglet, as well      excluding VAT. The drive had a transfer
as interactive reviews of Braveheart, the       rate of 1.25MB per sec and an access time           Many companies were producing innova-
11th Hour and Encarta World Atlas. Micro-       of 28ms. The 100MB discs were £12.99             tive hardware and software to fill the holes in
soft Dogs was on review, which ran on           each. Photoshop v3.0 was selling for £250        Windows, and while some were successful
Windows 3.1 and cost £29.99. MPEG Di-           and Microsoft Word was £145.                     (or bought up by Microsoft) many failed.
rect were selling MPEG playback cards, the                                                       Software was expensive and shareware/BBS
                                                Multimedia World                                 (Bulletin Board Systems) were popular.
best was the Movie 24 Master for £299.
                                                  One of the many US magazines available         Games were different and they didn’t all look
This offered full screen playback of CDi,
                                                in the UK, (like Yahoo’s web magazine,           like the 3D rendered scenes in games today.
Video CD and MPEG files scaleable in
                                                Keyboard, and InterActivity), it advertised
DOS and Windows.
                                                the Snappy from Play Incorporated. It

Steganos Security Suite 2006 by Tony Hawes
                                                                                                 cryption, security and privacy tools:
   We last looked at Steganos Security Suite
a couple of years ago when we reviewed                                                             1. AntiSpyware: Detects and destroys
version 5.0. Since then things have moved                                                               around 100,000 adware and spyware
on with a couple of version upgrades and                                                                programs, protecting you against iden-
it’s now Steganos Security Suite 2006.                                                                  tity theft.
   Basically Steganos Security Suite is a                                                          2. Safe – your secure drive: Encrypt an
collection of encryption and privacy tools                                                              unlimited amount of data. Open your
designed to protect you or your company’s                                                               safe with a USB stick or mobile phone
secrets. Unless really paranoid you’ll                                                             3. Portable Safe RW: Take your en-
probably never need most of these tools at                                                              crypted data with you on CD and
home, but in a business environment where                                                               DVD or even rewriteable on a USB
data protection is essential, the Suite comes                                                           stick. Usable anywhere without addi-
into its own. Steganos is best known for its                                                            tional software - all you need is a
steganography tool, the ability to hide data                                                            password
by concealing it within other files such as                                                        4. 256-bit AES Encryption: Uncracked
common graphics or sound files. The 2006
version of Security Suite contains ten en-                                                                                (Continued on page 12)

ROM June — July 2006                                                                                                                  Page 11
                                                                                                     Password Manager allows you to manage all
                                                                                                     this information in one place. You now only
                                                                                                     have to remember one password, which
                                                  As a test I created two encrypted “safes”          grants you access to all stored passwords. Of
                                                  each 10-GB in size. All that’s necessary is to
          The Main Program Screen                 click on the “open safe icon” to open.
                                                                                                     course, the password list is encrypted. You
                                                                                                     can create categories and organise the pass-
(Continued from page 11)                         gram Manager but the only way to access             words as you wish, for example, all PINs or
       and unrivalled. The world's most          individual security tools is by opening the         Web-access passwords, and so on.
       progressive algorithm protects your       main suite and choosing the tool you want              Other utilities in the suite include a file
       data through 256-bit encryption. So       from within the suite.                              shredder, which re-writes data to the deleted
       fast, you don’t even notice it                                                                file area on the disk, thus leaves no traces of
  5. Anti Theft Protection: If your com-                                                             a deleted file, and an Internet trace destruc-
       puter is stolen, Steganos AntiTheft       The Steganos Safe                                   tor, which prevents people from tracking
       can provide information that may            The core of the Steganos Security Suite is its    your Internet-surfing activities. The trace
       help to restore it                        ability to encrypt files to suit your business      destructor works by letting you select from
  6. Internet Trace Destructor and Shred-        needs. The Steganos Safe allows you to create       list of “computer traces” to be removed, in-
       der: Internet Trace Destructor de-        as many secure drives as you want for up to         cluding Internet files, Web browser cookies
       letes over 200 traces of your surfing     64 GB of your sensitive data in Windows             and history, and lists of recently accessed
       and working activities, history data      2000 and XP using the NTFS file system and          applications and documents.
       (including Firefox), instant mes-         4 GB with FAT32.
       sages, Google toolbar and desktop           This means you can save your applications
       searches, recently used files, music      and data as encrypted data to these secure safe
       lists of Media Player, search re-         drives, on the hard drive where the software
       quests in exchanges and more. With        resides. When one of the secure drives is
       Shredder for permanent deletion of        opened in the safe, an additional drive letter is
       data.                                     added to the list of drives in Windows Ex-
  7. Private Favourites: Your Web sites          plorer. When a safe drive is open, its letter is
       remain private by password-               added to your copy of Windows Explorer,
       protecting your favourites list.          allowing you to run applications, create direc-
  8. Password manager: Encrypts all of           tories and files, and edit documents as you
       your passwords - and can re-enter         would on an unencrypted drive. As soon as
       them automatically.                       you save data to a secure drive in Safe, the
                                                 data is encrypted in real time. When you close                   Anti-Theft in Action.
  9. Steganography: Hide your sensitive          a drive, it automatically disappears from view.
       data in images and music                                                                         In case your computer gets stolen, Steganos
                                                 The only way to reopen the safe drive is to         AntiTheft can provide information that can
  10. E-mail encryption: Creates highly          enter the appropriate password.                     help you get hold of it again.
       secure self-decrypting e-mails
                                                 Portable Safe                                          This works like this: After the AntiTheft
  All the above have their strengths but I
                                                   The Portable Safe feature encrypts a file or      feature has been enabled, that computer
consider the real jewel of this package is its
                                                 group of files inside what is called a pre-         sends signals to the Steganos servers on a
ability       to    create      encrypted
                                                 packaging drive. You then burn this pre-            regular basis. During this process, the com-
“safes” (encrypted hard drive folders).                                                              puter’s IP address is recorded. If the com-
                                                 packaging drive onto a CD or DVD, using
Installation                                     whatever other software you have for that           puter is connected to the Internet again after
                                                 purpose. Discs can be burnt as RW’s should          the theft, it might be possible to determine its
  Steganos Security Suite 2006 comes ei-
                                                 you wish and even as DL (Double Layer )             location: Using the IP address assigned by
ther as a boxed version on CD or is
                                                 discs. The storage medium can then be trans-        the Internet provider, the inquiring authori-
downloadable from the Steganos web site.
                                                 ported at will, its contents securely encrypted.    ties might be able to identify the owner of the
The suite installs easily onto the drive and
                                                 A password is needed to decrypt the disc. The       Internet connection used. Thus, it is possible
directory of your choice and requires a
                                                 E-mail Encryption tool uses a similar tech-         to gather details about the computer’s loca-
reboot. Once Windows reloads, Steganos
                                                 nique, turning a message and any number of          tion and maybe even about the culprit. As a
adds three modules to your system tray:
                                                 attached files into a password-encrypted ex-        user of the AntiTheft feature, you submit the
Steganos Suite, Steganos Safe, and Steg-
                                                 ecutable.                                           AntiTheft protocol to the authorities. The
anos Password Manager. If really paranoid
                                                                                                     local department can then forward the proto-
these icons can be hidden from prying eyes
                                                 Password Manager                                    col to the special departments responsible for
The overall system resources required for
                                                   With Password Manager you can manage              cybercrime
the Steganos suite is relatively small.
                                                 your passwords: user accounts, bank PIN
  With so many tools one would think that        numbers, access codes for your online service.
they could be accessed via Windows Pro-                                                                                       (Continued on page 13)
                                                 Passwords and access codes are universal as

Page 12                                                                                                                ROM June — July 2006
                                                    by NSA prior to their acquisition and use.”          help file for in-depth help and advice. However
(Continued from page 12)
                                                      And to give some idea of the strength of           I found installing, setting up and using the vari-
256-bit AES Encryption                              the less secure 128-bit version.
                                                                                                         ous tools is not too difficult, you are asked at
   Earlier versions of Steganos Security                                                                 each stage how you wish to proceed, with self-
                                                       “AES is a small, fast, hard to crack encryp-      explanatory choices offered. I particularly liked
Suite provided 128-bit AES encryption; this
                                                    tion standard and is suitable for a wide range       the program’s offer to check whether it consid-
version is using the 256-bit AES which is           of devices or applications. It has been deter-
considerably more secure and is likely to                                                                ered my chosen password/s to be secure enough
                                                    mined as the best compromise between a com-          to resist attack.
foil all attempts to be broken unless a gov-        bination of security, performance, efficiency,
ernment code breaking agency gets its               ease of implementation and flexibility.              Conclusion
hands on it.                                                                                               A quite remarkable suite of security tools that
                                                       128 bit AES offers a total of 3.4 x 10^38
   The USA code breaking National Secu-             individual keys. It is estimated that if a DES key   encrypts and protects data, has strong e-mail
rity Agency (NSA) announced in June 2003            generator were able to discover 1 DES key per        and file shredding capabilities, high security
that AES may be used for classified infor-          second, it would take 149 thousand-billion (149      256-bit AES encryption, unique encrypt, com-
mation:                                             trillion) years to crack a single 128 bit AES        press, and hide capabilities for sensitive data
                                                    key.                                                 and at the end of the day will save the paranoid
   “The design and strength of all key
                                                       Currently, the technology is not available.       a trip to the psychoanalyst. At only £44.95 well
lengths of the AES algorithm (i.e., 128, 192                                                             worth it if you have data of value on your com-
and 256) are sufficient to protect classified          As a note, the universe is accepted as being      puter that you want to keep to yourself.
information up to the SECRET level. TOP             only approximately 20 billion years old!”
SECRET information will require use of                                                                   Pricing and Availability
either the 192 or 256 key lengths. The im-          Documentation                                 for £44.95 inc VAT and deliv-
plementation of AES in products intended             Sadly printed documentation is poor. There is       ery.
to protect national security systems and/or         a very small 8-page A6-size get you started
information must be reviewed and certified          booklet to but after that you need to access the

 Kodak Easyshare V610 Compact Digital Camera
 Reviewed by John Childs

  In late April your editor attended a media
event in London to celebrate five years of
KODAK EASYSHARE and to mark the offi-
cial launch of the KODAK EASYSHARE
V610 dual lens digital camera, at less than an
inch thick the world’s smallest 10X optical
zoom camera. At 6-megapixels the EASY-
SHARE V610 camera, with anti-blur technol-
ogy, is neat and compact allowing it to be
carried where bigger, bulkier high-zoom digi-
tal cameras cannot, Ideal therefore to carry in
a handbag or a shirt pocket during on days
  This camera is just jam-packed with tech-
nology. It looks good and the specifications
are fantastic, so on paper it looks like a “must-
have” camera and I think Kodak will sell skip        a suitably equipped printer or computer. There      being compact and light. I had high hopes,
loads of them. It is a long thin camera with a       is a 32MB internal memory, but you would            from the amazing specifications, that this
sliding plate over the lenses and has a black        use SD memory cards as the internal memory          camera would be a useful possible addition to
overall appearance. The back is dominated by         would not get you very far. The camera comes        my others, but in use I found a number of
a huge 2.8 in. screen, of 230,000 pixels. It is      with a battery, charger, wrist strap, pouch, A/     severe drawbacks thus showing that fantastic
claimed to be the world’s smallest 10X optical       V and USB cables, a USB/AV connector, a             specifications aren’t everything!
zoom digital camera.                                 plastic insert so it can be mounted on a Kodak        The camera is very easy to use and very
  There are two zoom lenses with two sepa-           Printer Dock as well as an insert for Photo         intuitive. I was soon snapping away without
rate 6.36 mega pixel sensors (one for each           Frame Dock 2. Kodak EasyShare software is           having to consult the manual too much.
lens). The zoom range of this camera is quite        provided as well as a user guide                    However, several things soon got on my
remarkable, going from 38 to 380mm, and all            As well as an optical zoom of 10x, there is a     nerves:-
done with the lenses tucked within the case, as      digital zoom of 4x. Focusing ranges from 2
nothing projects on switch on. To put this                                                                 The lens cover is hinged and slides away
                                                     inches in macro mode to infinity. Maximum           on start-up. However, in your pocket, the
remarkable achievement into context, my              image resolution is 2832 x 2128 pixels. There
Canon 5D SLR with a 400mm lens at full                                                                   cover moves under pressure so exposing the
                                                     are no aperture settings or f stops for you to      lenses to dirt, etc. So using the pouch (not
extension is over 14 inches long, compared           play with. There are however a large number
with less than 1 inch for the Kodak. The cam-                                                            supplied on the review sample) would be
                                                     of scene modes, such as “Children”,                 essential.
era measures 4.4 by 2.3 by .9 inches and             “Candlelight” etc. to help you to get the best
weighs 6.2 ounces with battery and card.                                                                   There is a noticeable delay and a gap in the
                                                     possible picture.
  One thing missing is an optical viewfinder,                                                            focal lens range as each lens takes over from
but more of this later. The camera has Blue-         In Use                                              the other.
tooth built in so you can beam your images to          This is a very easy camera to carry around                                  (Continued on page 14)

 ROM June — July 2006                                                                                                                           Page 13
                                                                           My Mac desktop ma-            than top class lenses, but some are more af-
                                                                           chine is equipped with        fected than others. It is possible, of course, to
                                                                           Bluetooth and I soon          get rid of the effects with Photoshop but it is
                                                                           found that it was very        time consuming. The garish effect in 6 x 4
                                                                           easy to connect the cam-      prints wasn’t as bad looking, but why would
                                                                           era to the computer using     you buy a six megapixel camera just to pro-
                                                                           this facility. Images         duce such small prints? Just printing the im-
                                                                           transferred to the com-       ages here in this article would not do them
                                                                           puter fairly quickly, but     justice (they would be in black and white for
                                                                           not quickly enough to         a start), and neither would putting them on
                                                                           stop me twiddling my          the Web do them justice either. I will there-
                                                                           thumbs with impatience.       fore bring along the photos to the club after
                                                                           I would rather put the        this article is published in ROM so that mem-
                                                                           memory card into a card       bers can see for themselves.
(Continued from page 13)                             reader and transfer the images that way, so for
                                                     me the Bluetooth facility is a nice idea, but not   Conclusions
  There is no optical viewfinder. I find this        of much use.                                          I was very impressed with the specifica-
unforgivable in such an expensive camera, and          The images the camera takes are sharp             tions of this camera on paper, but I soon
I was unable to take pictures in bright, and not     enough when I produced some A4 prints on            became fed up with using it. It is a serious
so bright sunlight, using the rear LCD screen.       my Epson ink jet printer. However, I took           purchase and I cannot therefore recommend
  The extended range of 38 to 380mm on the           identical pictures with my Canon 5D digital         you go out and buy one.
zoom lenses is very, very impressive on paper.       SLR and produced A4 prints of those for com-        Availability
However, in practice things are much less            parison. This would not be a fair side by side
                                                                                                           Available in June 2006 from Warehouseex-
rosy. Firstly, it is very difficult to pick things   test as my camera and lens cost a lot more
                                                                                                at £315.
out on the LCD screen at the longer focal            than the Kodak does, but it provided a high
lengths as everything is bouncing around as it       quality benchmark against which to judge the        Editor’s Note
is impossible to keep the camera steady. A           Kodak images. The images the Kodak takes               I appreciate John’s expertise and am
slight movement of the camera translates to a        are sharp at A4 size and the exposures were         grateful for his review. However I’m not sure
large movement of the subject on the screen.         acceptable. However, even without comparing         I agree with his final conclusion. I had the
Having with great difficulty identified the          them to the Canon pictures, it was obvious          camera for a week before handing it over for
subject on the screen, it is impossible to press     that the images were slightly garish with the       review and took some photographs to do a
the taking button without introducing further        greens of landscapes rather too green and           quick personal assessment. My conclusion?
camera shake. Things got so bad that I soon          unsubtle. Looking at the branches of trees set      It’s a superior and easy to use snapshot cam-
stopped using the camera for long focus sub-         against the sky, it was obvious that there is       era which will take excellent photographs to
jects. The only way around this problem is to        rather too much chromatic aberration or             grace any family album — see my samples
mount the camera on a tripod, which rather           “purple fringing” where the branches are col-       below. I agree with John the lack of an opti-
defeats the object of having an ultra portable       oured purple instead of the brown that they         cal viewfinder is an oversight.
camera to carry around.                              should be. This is a characteristic of many less

                                                                               Blown-up (enlarged) eye from original image on the right.

 Fully saturated greens and blues — my pool mid-May 2006

                                      Frozen in                                                                                              Fungi
                                      Action shot                                                                                            and uni-
                                      taken at the                                                                                           dentified.
                                      top of the
                                      swing and                                                                                              Not recom-
                                      caught per-                                                                                            mended for
                                      fectly, plus                                                                                           human
                                      being pin-                                                                                             consump-
                                      sharp!                                                                                                 tion!

Page 14                                                                                                                     ROM June — July 2006

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