Gpc 5-2008.pub

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					                       Seasons Greetings!
                         Here we are again, and another year has gone
Editor’s &             by and I’m one year older. I’m relatively familiar
Secretary’s Notes                                        2
                       with Einstein’s famous E=MC theorem, but I
                       have figured it out at last as to what it really
Contact Details        means to us humans — it has taken me over 60
                       years to comprehend its meaning which is that
                       the older you get, the faster time goes. So all of
New Products from      you who are under the sixty start worrying and
Paragon & Diskeeper    those of you who are over, well it’s way too late!
                         With help from some of the major software and
                       hardware companies who’ve provided samples
Magix Website Maker    for review and demonstration, we’ve had some
                       excellent talks and demonstrations and as usual
Logitech K5            club members have shown willing to demon-
                       strate their particular computing expertise: Laur-
Speakers               ence Fenn (Paint Shop Pro and Nero 9), Francis
                       Jacques (Microsoft Excel), Paul Kuzmin (Dragon
Norton Internet        Naturally Speaking), Dennis Fuller (Microsoft
Security 2009          Access) and not forgetting Mike Bray for his
                       bravura act with the excellent Dyson vacuum               needs to be one of our/your New Year resolutions.
                       cleaner! They are all to be congratulated for their        Lastly, I hope you all and your
Nero 9 Suite           efforts in talking to us about products that they
                       know so well (or in Mike’s case not so well!).            families have an enjoyable and
New from Doro            Additional thanks also to Laurence Fenn for his         peaceful Christmas and I wish you a
                       expertise in maintaining our web site and Bryce           Happy and Prosperous New Year.
                       McCrirrick for his secretarial duties.
Saving Money with        A final thought: our membership is shrinking                               Tony Hawes
Your Computer          so getting more people to join our happy throng                                             (Continued on page 2)

Logitech V550 Nano                 ROM is now only available as a full-colour .pdf download from the Group web page at:
Cordless Laser                                              www.guildfordpcusergroup.co.uk
Mouse
                                 NEXT MEETING — Tuesday                            Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday
                               9th December 2008 at 7.45 p.m.                         of each month at 7.45pm at the
                                                                                   Stoughton Youth Club and Community
                                                                                   Centre (opposite “The Royal” — Pub)
                              Annual Quiz                                           Worplesdon Road (A322), Guildford.
                            Competition Night
                             As in previous years we have a superb range of
                        prizes on offer (see page 2). However, the committee
                        has decided that because of the quantity and value of      Monday 12th January 2009 at 7.45 pm. Miles
                        the prizes the Quiz will be OPEN TO FULLY PAID-                Osmaston has suggested a different format for
                        UP MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ONLY.                                  the January meeting and he will be talking
                             Francis our Treasurer will be on hand to take             physics, and in particular about the Continuum
                        your subscription to enable you to participate. If you         Theory (CT). “What can CT do that the theory
                        opt to join the Group by paying your subscription this         of General Relativity cannot?” This follows on
                        month (December 2008) your membership will be                  from the successful appearance of a scientific
                        valid until March 2010. In other words you'll enjoy a          paper he had published about CT in a learned
                        15-month subscription for the price of a normal 12-            journal.
                        month subscription and be entitled to participate in       Monday 9th February 2009 at 7.45 pm. In
                        the quiz.
                                                                                       arrangement.
                             Spread the word and please bring a friend —
                                                                                   Monday 9th March 2009 at 7.45 pm. In arrangement.
                        Mince pies, coffee, tea & chocolate biscuits are free.
ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                              Page 1
                                       (Continued from page 1)                            1. Jazz: The Jacques Loussier Trio’s famous re-
         CONTACT                       Secretary’s Notes
                                                                                               cording of Bach’s Air on the G String from the
                                                                                               album “Play Bach 2”. This recording was used in
         DETAILS                         12th October Meeting: Dragon Naturally
                                       Speaking 10 and Dyson DC25 Ball vacuum
                                                                                               the Hamlet cigar advertisements for over 35 years.
If you have any queries or                                                                2. Vocal 1: Katherine Jenkins singing Pie Jesu from
                                       cleaner. Paul Kuzmin showed his expertise               her new album “Sacred Arias”.
questions about the Guildford PC
                                       with Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking 10.
User Group and its activities please                                                      3. Vocal 2: Elena Kats-Chernin singing “Eliza’s
                                       Starting off with a minimal voice training
contact the following members of                                                               Aria” from the “Wild Swans” ballet. “Eliza’s
                                       session, using a headset/mic connected to the
the committee:                                                                                 Aria” is the quirky tune that features in the Lloyds
                                       audio front ports of a Acer Laptop. Paul                TSB advertising campaign.
                                       showed how easy it was to talk to the com-
Chairman (and Editor)                  puter and get a legible stream of spoken words
                                                                                          4. Instrumental: Alison Balsom playing the first
Tony Hawes                                                                                     movement of Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto from
                                       to appear in a MS Word document. He showed
For Contact details see the entry                                                              her new album “Haydn and Hummel Trumpet
                                       how to format the document with different
under Editor (below).                                                                          Concertos”.
                                       font styles, paragraphs, heading etc.
                                                                                          5. Orchestral/Choral: Elgar “Coronation Ode 1902
                                         He then tried the wireless headphone option
                                                                                               – Land of Hope and Glory” finale. An awesome
                                       using a Plantronics wireless headset. This
                                                                                               and hair-raising performance of ‘Land of Hope
Secretary & Public Relations           worked brilliantly with Paul being able to walk
                                                                                               and Glory’ in its ‘Coronation Ode’ setting. Soni-
Bryce McCrirrick                       around the computer dictating all the while. As
                                                                                               cally far superior to the version sung annually at
Surrey Place,                          an experiment we asked him to get as physi-
                                                                                               the Last Night of the Proms.
5 Coach House Gardens,                 cally far away as possible from the computer
                                       to see whether the increased range would de-       6. DVD: Walt Disney’s “Fantasia 2000” movie.
FLEET, GU51 4QX                                                                                Camille Saint-Saens “Carnival of the Ani-
Tel: 01252 623422                      grade the signal received by the computer. No
                                       difference was noted and again a legible                mals” (finale).
e-mail: b.mccrirrick@ntlworld.com                                                            We were all very impressed by the quality from such
                                       stream of text was translated into the docu-
                                       ment.                                              small speakers. They came on the market about a
                                         Our next request was for him to talk as          month ago priced at about £60.
Treasurer                                                                                    Nero 9. The second part of the evening consisted of
                                       quickly as possible to see whether it was pos-
Francis Jacques                                                                           a demonstration by Laurence Fenn of Nero 9, the latest
                                       sible to overload the signal processing capa-
“Sampford”, Elmstead Road,             bilities of the program (and computer) in tran-    version of the world’s best selling digital media suite.
WEST BYFLEET, KT14 6BJ                 scribing speech into text. Again the program       Laurence found the installation tedious, taking over
Tel: 01932 341888                      coped very well indeed, there was a short de-      four hours. He had to download the updates from the
e-mail: francis.jacques@virgin.net     lay between Paul’s dictation and the result        website in order to get it to install. It has a major re-
                                       appearing on the screen, but it did appear as an   vamped interface. In addition to CD and DVD burning
                                       almost verbatim transcription.                     it includes a wide range of functions including video
Web Master                                                                                editing, media streaming, and file backup. The soft-
                                         Overall this was a very good demonstration
                                                                                          ware can now identify and remove commercials from
Laurence Fenn                          of Dragon Dictate 10’s capabilities and Paul is
                                                                                          recorded TV programmes. Some Vista enhanced fea-
84 St George’s Road,                   to be complimented on his expertise in his use
                                                                                          tures (such as the Live TV sidebar gadget) are not yet
ALDERSHOT, GU12 4LJ                    of the program.
                                                                                          available and will appear in an update, but as details
Tel: 01252 330408                                                                         are not given in the updates as to what is included, it
e-mail: laurence@orchardoo.com                                                            could be difficult to know when they are available.
                                                                                          Taking everything into consideration including the
                                                                                          installation Laurence was not impressed and suggests
Laurence’s Web Page:                                                                      that if you’re satisfied with version 7 or 8 you should
http://www.orchardoo.com                                                                  stay with it. See his review in this issue.
(this site contains many of the
reviews that have appeared in
ROM)                                                                                      Competition Prizes — Thanks
                                                                                            Our grateful thanks to the following companies
                                          We next had Mike Bray showing how easy it       and their PR agencies for supplying such varied
Group Web Page:                                                                           selection of useful and valuable prizes for this
                                       was to manoeuvre Dyson’s DC25 Ball cleaner
www.guildfordpcusergroup.co.uk                                                            month’s annual quiz competition.
                                       around our feet, under the tables and around
                                       the chairs. Given that this was Mike’s first       1. Logitech for their hardware: Speakers, key-
                                       time in handling a ball cleaner he did remarka-        boards and mouse. PR Agency: Brands 2
Meeting Room Key Holder                bly well, even if he did dent a few toes during        Life.
Tony Hawes                             his demo. An interesting evening.
Details below                                                                             2. Corel for their software including Paint Shop
                                          Monday 10th November Meeting. Logi-                 Pro Photo X2, VideoStudio Pro X2 and
                                       tech’s new Z5 USB-powered speakers and
                                                                                              Painter Essentials 4. PR Agency MSL World-
                                       Nero 9. Our meeting on Monday 10 Novem-
EDITOR (and Chairman)                  ber was in two parts. It started with Tony             wide.
Tony Hawes                             Hawes showing the new Logitech Z5 speakers         3. Norton (Symantec) for copies of Norton
25 Folly Close, FLEET, GU52 7LN        designed for use with a laptop. These are two          Internet Security 2009 and Norton Anti Virus
Tel: 01252 617962                      small Omni directional stereo speakers pow-            2009. PR Agency Bite Communications.
Fax: 01252 664756                      ered from your computer’s USB connection.          4. Magix for Movie Edit Pro 14, MP3 Maker
                                       Being Omni directional the stereo experience
Mobile: 07941 778007                                                                          14, Xtreme Photo & Graphics Designer 2.
                                       fills the room. Tony demonstrated them by
e-mail: thawes@ntlworld.com            playing extracts from CDs and a DVD. This
                                                                                              Paragon software for Paragon Hard Disk
                                       included a wide selection of music which in-           Manager 2008 Suite and Real Illusion for
                                       cluded the following:                                  Crazy Talk 5. PR Agency KL Associates.

Page 2                                                                                          ROM — December 2008 — January 2009
New Products
                                                     documents from damage through the           Diskeeper 2009 Key Features
                                                     creation of a backup copy.
                                                                                                 1. Real-Time Defragmentation automati-
                                                3. Partitioning - Advanced tools let you             cally handles performance-robbing frag-
                                                     control your hard drive, the number of          mentation as it occurs. There is no need
                                                     partitions and the type of backups you
                                                                                                     for scheduling or manual defrag.
                                                     may need. The software provides parti-
                                                     tioning operations of all kinds.            2. I-FAAST 2.0 (Intelligent File Access
                                                4. Paragon Adaptive Restore™ - A power-
                                                                                                     Acceleration Sequencing Technology)
                                                     ful and unique technology which allows          which boosts access speed for the files
                                                     you to restore Windows Vista on a com-          most frequently used (by 10%- 80%).
                                                     pletely different hardware or even on a     3. Free Space Defragmentation Engine that
                                                     virtual machine.                                has been enhanced to increase file-write
                                                5. Advanced Recovery CD - Paragon Re-                performance.
                                                     covery CD allows you to use HDM soft-       4. Low Free Space Defrag Engine that
                                                     ware even when your machine cannot              ensures that even when you have less
                                                     boot. It also can be used to restore your       than 1% free space you can still defrag-
                                                     system and data from previously created         ment your volumes.
                                                     backup archive in case of system failure.
                                                                                                 5. Terabyte Volume Engine 2.0 which
                                                  Hard Disk Manager 2009 Professional is             defragments volumes with hundreds of
                                                also available. This version includes all the        thousand and millions of files, quickly
New Paragon Hard Disk Man-                      tools you need to manage and maintain your
                                                                                                     and thoroughly (1).
ager 2009 Suite                                 hard drive in one advanced toolset! The
                                                professional edition manages your system’s       6. Frag Shield 2.0 that boosts reliability by
  Paragon Software Group (PSG), the tech-
nology leader in innovative data security       hard drive(s) through every stage of its life-       automatically preventing crash-inducing
and data management solutions, has an-          cycle: from placing a new drive into service,        fragmentation of critical system files.
nounced the release of Hard Disk Manager        setting up real and secured dual boot envi-      7. InvisiTasking which ensures no re-
2009 Suite. This is the All-in-One Suite to     ronment, advanced partitioning without data          source conflict whatsoever while per-
completely protect, maintain and manage         loss, regular backups of system and data,            forming the above operations.
your PC data. Hard Disk Manager 2009            solving any boot problems, restoring your
                                                                                                 8. Titan Defrag Engine technology that has
Suite provides you with all tools you need      system from bare metal state and much
                                                                                                     been built to defragment multi-terabyte
to manage today’s hard drives, including        more.
                                                                                                     volumes even faster and more thor-
partitioning, backup, cloning, defrag, hard       Further details from Paragon’s web site:           oughly than ever before. Titan is the
drive disposal, system management and             www.paragon-software.com                           only defrag solution powerful enough to
system recovery.
                                                Price & Availability:                                handle volumes at 10–20 plus terabytes
  The hard disk of a PC, laptop, notebook         Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite is            (2).
or PDA is the space where you store all         priced at £29.99 inc. and is available from
your work. A Computer operating system
                                                                                                 9. MOM/SCOM integration. Microsoft
                                                Amazon.co.uk , Play.com and PC World.                Operations Manager (MOM) and Sys-
picks certain pieces of data which the PC
system needs for related applications or          Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite               tems Center Operations Manager
programs and then writes this data back         Professional is available at £69.95 online           (SCOM) allow monitoring and manage-
when they are not in use. In time, this data    from www.paragon-software.com and ESD                ment of computers interconnected by
slowly gets fragmented which can lead to        from PX Software sales@pxsoftware.co.uk.             networks. Diskeeper provides MOM/
lose of valuable work and the system not                                                             SCOM with numerous alerts, reports
performing proficiently. It is vitally impor-                                                        and the ability to manage and control
tant therefore that hard disk management is                                                          product settings and configurations.
efficient.                                                                                         Notes:
                                                New Diskeeper 2009 Released
  Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite                                                             (1) In all Diskeeper Pro Premier editions.
                                                  Diskeeper Corporation today prean-
is a comprehensive package of functional-
                                                nounced its new feature set for forthcoming        (2) Enterprise Server edition only
ity and is accessible from one easy to use
                                                Diskeeper 2009 with defrag engines at high-
interface. You don’t need to buy and install
                                                est-ever speeds and enterprise features in all
each package individually – saving you
                                                workstation editions for maximum perform-
time and money. With this programme, you
                                                ance at the desktop level.
can save your entire PC, including the oper-
ating system, applications, your settings
and all data with easy to use backup tools.
Features include:
1. Backup/Restore - Keeping previous
   backups makes it easy to restore your
   system to a particular data and time.
   HDM makes both, backup and restore
   easy!
2. File Backup - An innovative file-level
   protection system allowing you to pro-
   tect all files, including emails, photos,
   music, videos, spreadsheets and other

ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                                    Page 3
Magix Website Maker 2.0
Reviewed by Laurence Fenn
                                                 1. Your Website – MAGIX Website                  then tried to use Internet Explorer (in case
Introduction                                        Maker (This will bring up the tem-            there was some incompatibility with Firefox).
  As a web designer myself, I could say             plates), Website Control Centre (which        Again nothing happened, so I had to go into
building a website is very complicated and          includes your email set-up).                  the Internet settings and switch off the pop up
takes years of experience to achieve. Actu-      2. Photos, Video and Music – MAGIX               blocker. When I tried this time a little window
ally with many site building software solu-         Photo Manager 2007, MAGIX Xtreme              appeared asking me to browse for the picture.
tions out on the market it can be very easy         Photo Designer 6, MAGIX Movie Edit            As it used the standard open file dialog, there
and you won’t need to have any knowledge            Pro 11 silver, Mufin Music Finder.            was no preview for the files initially (you have
of HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language.              None of these programs are installed          to change the view to get them), so I had to
Word processors usually have an option to           during the setup. They must be installed      remember the file name. I selected a gif file
publish in the HTML format, and whilst it           from the CD separately.                       and it uploaded but nothing appeared in the
doesn’t produce the best coding possible,        3. It’s Easy – Watch the tutorial (a step by     list of files. I tried with a jpg file and that ap-
even Microsoft Word can do the job.                 step clear interactive instructions on        peared. I then noticed that the browse dialog
                                                    how to edit, build and put effects on to      did not allow gif files. There are three picture
  Using Magix Website Maker 2.0 is dif-
                                                    your web pages), open online help.            formats used on web sites, PNG, JPG and
ferent. Installation is minimal to say the
                                                                                                  GIF, but MAGIX seem to think only JPGs
least. Most of your website is designed
online, which means you won’t have to
                                                 Flash Application                                will do. I was trying to build a version of the
                                                   The service uses a Flash application for       ROM web site using this software, but as most
update the software and your work is up-
                                                 the site building and to create your site.       of the graphics are gif files, I could not do
loaded as you go. This means when you
                                                 This means your site will have lots of bells     this. If the program told me that it didn’t ac-
publish your finished masterpiece it will be
                                                 and whistles and look great, but will take a     cept gifs, instead of just letting me upload it
very quick. If you still use a dial up connec-
                                                 bit longer to load, and probably won’t be        and then ignoring the file, then that would
tion (and not everyone has broadband) then
                                                 indexed by search engines. With Google           have been better. I have created Flash files
you’re going to have to work very slowly.
                                                 and the like, they like to be able to read the   before using other software and imported gif
Sites are created from templates and there
                                                 content, looking for keywords and if your        files without any problems, so it’s not the
are a range to choose from, with each de-
                                                 site is made of a flash file, it won’t be able   format that is preventing me from doing this.
sign offering a number of layouts and dif-
ferent page types.                               to read the text contained inside.
                                                                                                  Website Templates
Registering                                                                                         There are quite a few website templates to
                                                                                                  choose from but they are quite complex. A
  Registering was not very straightforward.
                                                                                                  host of drag and drop frames, vector shapes,
I added my email address, choose a pass-
                                                                                                  backgrounds, headers, footers, impressive text
word and typed in the activation code, but
                                                                                                  animation, and creative flash animation are
they also wanted my full address, telephone
                                                                                                  also available, but as you are using this to
number and date of birth. When I entered
                                                                                                  create your own website, you think they
them the web page said that I had already
                                                                                                  would have made it easy for your to use your
registered, which I hadn’t. When I tried the
                                                                                                  own graphics. In some software you could
already registered option, it still required
                                                                                                  right hand click on the image and simply
my name and address and date of birth. I
                                                                                                  choose to replace it, but as this is a Flash pro-
had no intention of giving all my personal
                                                                                                  gram running in a browser window, you only
details just to run a program online so after
                                                                                                  get the Flash settings dialog. Website Maker
putting dummy details in I was finally able
                                                                                                  felt a bit clunky and awkward, although it did
to get to the interface. The web site also
                                                                                                  have a glossy sheen that looked good at first
sends an email with your login details.
                                                                                                  glance.
When you run the program from the short-
cut you sign on and you’ll be confronted                                                            The layouts are over-designed and too spe-
with an interface that gives you 8 options in                                                     cific, making them unsuitable for most peo-
3 sections                                                     Template Choice                    ple's needs. Although an entirely empty tem-
                                                                                                  plate is provided, that will be too daunting for
                                                                           I selected a tem-      most users who'd choose this kind of product,
                                                                           plate and tried to     and some simpler, smarter templates should
                                                                           change a picture.      have been included. The interface is a
                                                                           To do this, you        WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
                                                                           have to go to ob-      environment so you know that whatever you
                                                                           jects, My Media,       do in the design stage will be translated ex-
                                                                           Pictures then click    actly to your website. It helps when you add
                                                                           on the Upload          video as you upload a video file to your web
                                                                           button. You are        space, drag it onto your site and a player is
                                                                           then asked which       created around the file automatically.
                                                                           upload method to         The 'export' function merely spits out code
                                                                           use, one at a time     for linking to the Flash website that you create
                                                                           or express, where      on the Magix server, rather than exporting
                                                                           you upload several     your actual website in a format you could
                                                                           pictures at once.      tweak. The new search engine optimisation
                                                                           After clicking OK      (SEO) feature lets you add keywords and de-
                                                                           nothing happened.
                                                                                                                               (Continued on page 5)
                                                                           I tried again, and

Page 4                                                                                            ROM — December 2008 — January 2009
(Continued from page 4)                         monthly fee after one year to keep your       often means sacrificing certain key elements
scriptions in meta tags, but these are rarely   site on the server so this is not going to    of the web-building process in order to work.
used by search engines.                         help if you’ve just bought a domain with      The previous version of Magix Website
  The Flash application is also much less       web space and were looking for some           Maker won a Web User Gold Award but I
responsive than a plain webpage. Often          software to design a website.                 think the competition couldn’t have been up to
elements became editable only two or three         Another thing that's missing is domain     much at that time. I found it frustrating to use
seconds after I selected them. Editing text     name registration. By default, your web-      and I know how to design a web site from
was fine to select the text, but having to      site is placed online at your-                scratch. Of course, this could have been my
search to find the options to change the font   name.magix.net/website/. If you want          problem and the software would be easier to
or size, instead of having the controls on      your own domain (yourname.com), that'll       use by a novice, but I found the interface
screen was annoying.                            come in at an extra £1.29 per month, or       could have been simpler and certainly the
                                                £1.49 with an email address, which            restriction on files types was something that
  If you need to learn a few tricks of the
                                                sounds cheap until you realise that's twice   could have been avoided.
trade or just swap some ideas then you can
join the Magix Knowledge Community via          the price many domain resellers charge.       System Requirements :
Live Chat, accessible directly from the         You also need to be aware that Website
                                                Maker 2.0 is a one-year purchase: after the   600 MHz processor, or higher
online application
                                                first 12 months, there's a monthly fee for    64 MB RAM, or higher (128 MB recom-
  On completion of your website just one                                                      mended)
                                                keeping your site online.
click and Magix will publish your website
to the world giving you a massive 5GB of           Building a decent website has never        Min. free hard disk space: 50 MB
space free for the first year after which       been the easiest of tasks. Site-building      Graphics card: Min. resolution 1024 x 768
there is a nominal fee. You'll need to pay a    software can make things easier but it        with 16-bit high-colour.
                                                                                              16-bit sound card, CD-ROM drive, compatible
                                                                                              mouse.
                                                                                              Operating system: Windows 2000/XP/Vista.
                                                                                              Internet
                                                                                                Internet access: Minimum DSL (768 KB)
                                                                                                Internet browser: Microsoft Internet Ex-
                                                                                              plorer min. version 6.0 with Adobe® Flash®
                                                                                              Player version 7.0 or higher (version 8 recom-
                                                                                              mended) and Java 2 Runtime Environment
                                                                                              version 1.42 or higher (both available free of
                                                                                              charge) with JavaScript and Cookies activated
                                                                                              (corresponds with the standard settings).
                                                                                              Pricing and Availability
                                                                                                Amazon.co.uk for £27. 19 inc VAT and free
                                                                                              delivery




                                     Editing the Website




Logitech K5 USB-Powered Speakers
by Tony Hawes
                                                                                              there’s no bulky power adapter so they are
  Logitech’s new Z5 USB-powered                                                               easy to setup and can be moved from room to
speakers. We had a demo of these at our                                                       room.
November meeting using your editor’s
laptop and for those of you who weren’t                                                       Key Features
present a brief resume about these new
                                                                                               Omni directional acoustic technology pro-
speakers.                                                                                        vides great audio at a consistent level any-
Product Description                                                                              where in the room by radiating sound more
                                                                                                 uniformly.
   The speakers built into laptop computers
are not enough to experience audio the way                                                     USB Connectivity delivers pure digital
it was meant to be enjoyed. Using an inno-                                                       audio that’s easy to setup and delivers
vative speaker technology, the Logitech Z-                                                       crisp, clean sound.
5 Omni directional speakers are USB-                                                           Mac and PC compatibility allows you the
powered speakers designed for Mac and PC                                                         flexibility to use with any computer.
use to feature Omni directional acoustics –                                                    Remote control lets you wirelessly navi-
                                                 no matter where you are in the room. And
providing great sound at a consistent level,
                                                 because they are connected via USB,                                    (Continued on page 13)

ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                                   Page 5
Norton Internet Security 2009
Reviewed by Tony Hawes
                                                                          inlay card (7in x          browse and game online
                                                                          4½in) in size (see      Home Networking feature — allows users
                                                                          left).                    to easily view and manage devices on their
                                                                          Earlier versions          home network
                                                                          were far more           AntiBot features — prevents bots from
                                                                          generous. For ex-         taking control of your PC
                                                                          a mp l e    Norton
                                                                          Internet Security
                                                                                                  Contributing to the Norton Community
                                                                                                    together with Norton Insight allows NIS
                                                                          2004 came with a
                                                                                                    2009 to avoid scanning any files that are
                                                                          printed 224-page
                                                                                                    commonly found on most computers and
                                                                          User’s      Guide/
                                                                                                    statistically determined to be trusted. Nor-
                                                                          Manual,       whilst
                                                                                                    ton Insight is a new feature in the 2009
                                                                          Norton      Internet
                                                                                                    version of NIS. What it does according to
                                                Security 2007 came with a printed 34-page
                                                                                                    Symantec is “increase computer perform-
                                                User’s Guide. So corners have been cut with
                                                                                                    ance by identifying trusted files that do not
                                                regard to what the user is expected to be able
                                                                                                    require scanning,” thereby allowing faster
                                                to refer to should he run into trouble, which
                                                                                                    speeds when performing system scans.
                                                for novices or first time users is not a good
                                                                                                    When you run your first full system scan
                                                thing.
                                                                                                    you’ll find the Norton Insight scan takes
                                                Installation                                        some time, but this is a one-time operation
                                                  Installation is straightforward. You insert       and all subsequent scans are very much
  As a long-time user of Symantec products                                                          quicker. This feature is a useful and inno-
from the days when Peter Norton was one         the CD into a drive. It auto runs bringing up
                                                the box, with the license agreement. Tick the       vative part of the NIS 2009 package.
of the ‘kings’ of software utilities (Peter
Norton sold his company to Symantec in          ‘I accept’ box and type in the product key       Virus and Trojan Detection
1990). However, his name lives on in the        when prompted. The program suggests                 I have a couple of files that I know are very
Symantec range of security utilities which      where it should be installed or you can of       ‘iffy’ one of which I know contains a ‘Trojan’
are still sold to this day.                     course choose your own location, should you      and should be detected by a good Anti-Virus
                                                so wish. I chose the default location and        package. Norton did well and detected the
  A couple of years ago, I reviewed an          within a couple of minutes I was up and
earlier version of Norton Internet Security                                                      infected file as shown in the screen shot on the
                                                running. Which in my book is very fast in-       next page. It also detected tracking cookies,
(NIS) and was reasonably happy with its         deed.
capabilities although I commented at the                                                         but as these are part of most user’s normal
time that NIS’s competitors, in particular        With the installation complete, the pro-       everyday browsing and of low risk, I ticked
McAfee, had the edge with better function-      gram launches the main interface. Here the       the box for tracking cookies to be ignored by
ality and was less of a hit on the computer’s   options for the basic control of the software    the program. However if you are paranoid you
processes. I got the impression that like a     are shown. To access help for the various        can let Norton advise you whether you want to
geriatric human, NIS performed slower and       options, its only necessary to hover the         remove these cookies, ignore them or to alert
slower every year as each new version was       mouse over an information icon, for easy         you each time they are detected.
launched. My feeling was that each time a       access to an extensive help section.
                                                                                                 Secure Firewall
new or upgraded version was launched the        In Use
updates had just been bolted on to an al-                                                           The firewall seemed to work fine. I logged
                                                  As mentioned in the last issue of ROM          on to the Gibson Research Centre testing site
ready aging core.
                                                Norton Internet Security 2009 and Norton         (GRC.com) because they have the ability to
  This meant that NIS was getting a reputa-     AntiVirus 2009 have been designed with           send probing messages to your computer to
tion as an aging and creaking utility that      what Symantec term a “zero-impact” per-          assess whether your firewall is blocking prob-
wasn’t keeping up with its competitors and      formance goal, with over 300 improvements        ing attacks or not. In each case, the Norton
needed a seriously make-over to slim down       that span nearly every aspect of the product,    firewall blocked all attempts by GRC to ac-
and speed up what should have been a            from the scanning engine to the user inter-      cess the computer. So, I think one can say that
cracker of a program. I wasn’t the only one     face. So I was interested to see how these       this does in fact, work and works well. See the
who commented on these failings as other        improvements worked in practice. We know         screen-shot on the next page.
computer magazine reviewers had observed        the installation was quick as mentioned
similar problems in their reviews which                                                             All these new features/items give the im-
                                                above.                                           pression that they work very well, although
clearly showed that things were not all rosy
                                                The Other new Features:                          how one evaluates the “Silent Mode” as being
with NIS.
                                                                                                 in use was very hard to determine as it’s
  Well Symantec must have been listening         Simplified user interface. As can be seen     ‘silent’! but the functionality of all the features
because they have just released the 2009           from the screen shots the new UI pro-         both new and old seem much quicker and in
version of NIS with claims that it is a much       vides easier access to detailed configura-    use the whole package just appears slicker and
improved latest version of NIS in the form         tion settings and the ability to track de-    more sprightly than the features of the earlier
of Norton Internet Security 2009.                  tection and performance status.               versions it replaces or upgrades.
Documentation                                    Silent mode — suspends alerts and up-
                                                   dates automatically to avoid interrupting     Conclusion
  Assuming you’ve purchased the jewel-             or slowing activities such as games,            Norton Internet Security 2009 is a consider-
case boxed version the first thing that            movies or presentations.                      able improvement over its predecessors. Sy-
strikes you when you open the case is the is                                                     mantec has at last got its act together with the
the lack of documentation because all that’s     Norton Identity Safe — keeps your iden-
there apart from a CD is a single printed          tity safer than ever when you buy, bank,                                   (Continued on page 7)


Page 6                                                                                           ROM — December 2008 — January 2009
(Continued from page 6)                       Pricing and Availability                       free trial. So I strongly recommend you use
result that NIS 2009 is leaner, quicker and     The boxed full version is currently avail-   Symantec’s 15 day free trial first! You are not
smarter. For a home computer user NIS         able from Amazon.co.uk for only £24.97         committed and if at the end of the trial period
2009 delivers what it promises, which         (which is half price). An upgrade from pre-    you find it suits you, you can go ahead and
makes it a recommended product in my          vious versions is available from Amazon        buy it there and then using your credit card or
book.                                         too, but bizarrely its being sold at £39.13!   from one of the high Street or Internet dealers.
  As a final thought the NIS 2009 licence       If not convinced whether you should use        Further information here: www.norton.com.
permits installation on up to three com-      NIS 2009 or not, like all good software NIS
puters in a home environment.                 2009 is available as a downloadable 15-day




                 LiveUpdate checking for updates                        NIS 2009 overview with System & Norton Usage shown on the left.




                                                                      NIS 2009 Firewall is working exceedingly well — from GRC’s Shields UP!
                                                                      test site




 Settings shows a comprehensive overview of what’s happening




                                                                                     Norton AntiVirus detects a nasty Trojan




                  Norton Insight in action                       Norton AntiVirus background scan (Left). Want to use Identity Safe? (Right).

ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                                   Page 7
Nero 9 Suite
Reviewed by Laurence Fenn

Introduction
   The Nero Suite has grown in the last few
years from just the CD/DVD burning pro-
gram to playing, importing, and manipulat-
ing video and audio, including HD. A lite
version was usually included whenever you
bought a CD/DVD writer, but this has been
renamed as the Essentials version. The full
program comes on a DVD and takes over
3GB of hard disc space. I had tremendous
problems with the installation of the soft-
ware. I had version 7 on the machine I was
using to review the software and had to
remove that before trying to install version                                                                      Nero Music Grabber
9. The installation constantly failed at 17%
and so I downloaded the update (9.0.4.4c at                                                         download them. This has always frustrated me
the time). I say update, but it includes all                                                        and I don’t know of any other software manu-
the programs, yet was only 370Mb in size.                                                           facturer that does not include help files with
It also requires you to uninstall any previ-                                                        their program.
ous version being installing the new one.         15 minutes to install. When I went to the            The new features mentioned in the re-
After half an hour it had only done 15%,          Nero Control Centre, where you can check          viewer’s guide sound great, but are tricky to
and 23% by the full hour. It was nearly four      the versions of the software and find up-         find in the software itself. The ability to save
hours until it reached 100%. At the end of        dates, the BackItUp program was not in-           audio tracks from videos direct to MP3 to be
the install I clicked on the exit button and it   cluded, and I couldn’t find any links to the      included in your music library is a case in
took 4 minutes before the window disap-           program on the Start Menu. Downloading            point. You have to run Nero Vision and load
peared.                                           and running the latest update (or new version     the video file with the audio you want to save.
                                                  4.0.38.0.c) installed the program. The            Then you have to choose to edit the video, and
   Usually at the end of the install you get
                                                  backup program cannot lock a partition be-        a speaker icon will become active. This is the
the opportunity to associate file types with
                                                  ing used by another program, so you cannot        Music Grabber function, which then scans the
the program, so you can double click on a
                                                  backup your system drive. It cannot lock a        video for music. Any music found can be
file in Windows Explorer to launch the file
                                                  system partition used by a Windows OS             saved as a WAV or MP3 file, but with no
in a particular program. As I already have a
                                                  either, so if you only have one hard disc with    options on the format or bit rate. The MP3 bit
suitable audio player/editor, graphics edi-
                                                  one drive letter, as several users do, that       rate is set when you rip an audio CD using
tor/viewer I normally unclick all the
                                                  means you can never back it up using this         SmartStart, but the options are just Low, Me-
choices. This screen has been removed
                                                  software.                                         dium or High, with no actual figures. I later
from the installation process, so Nero takes
over playing all your video files, audio files                                                      discovered that the High setting is 192kpbs.
and pictures. I later discovered that the file                                                         On the subject of ripping CDs, the audio CD
associations for avi, wav, bmp, and jpg to                                                          ripper uses the GraceNotes database to get
name a few had been overtaken, and when                                                             cover art, artist, album and track names.
you uninstall the software (which took over                                                         Whilst it did detect an imported CD of Yellow
an hour) the associations are not returned. I                                                       Magic Orchestra, an electronics group from
had to spend ten minutes re-associating the                                                         the 80s, it took 12 and a half minutes to rip the
file types and cleaning up the remains of                                                           9 tracks to mp3 files. Media Player 11 (which
the program (which were still left after                                                            uses a different database but still found the
using Nero’s clean up tool available from                                                           album) took six minutes to rip at the same bit
their web site).                                                                                    rate. NeroShowTime shows a small picture of
   Nero 9 tries to install a browser toolbar,                                                       the cover it has downloaded when you play
                                                                Nero StartSmart                     the files but it does not read the embedded
Ask.com and despite clicking to unselect
the option it was still installed. This may be                                                      pictures in mp3 files (or indeed embed them
                                                     The Nero StartSmart application launch         itself). Music is played fine but there are no
due to the buggy version of the software
                                                  centre has had a little revamp with new en-       visualisations. Media Player has many visuali-
but as I was using an update this should
                                                  tries for playing files (audio and video), as     sations and can display the art
have been fixed. Several autoplay entries
                                                  well as for the new AutoBackup background
were also wrong, with RESOURCE_ID                                                                      Ad Spotter boasts that you can watch pre-
                                                  backup function. Certain requirements for
being displayed instead of the program                                                              recorded shows without the commercials, and
                                                  this part of the suite are not checked when
name.                                                                                               the review notes give the impression that you
                                                  you install as NeroStart needs Microsoft .Net
   Apart from removing ‘Ultra’ from the           Framework 3.0. Only after running the pro-        can switch this feature on and just watch the
title, the while-you-wait animation which         gram and trying to play some files did a          video without the ads. What you have to do is
appears every time you launch a program           message pop up and tell me this. This is a        again load the footage into Nero Vision,
now has Bezier waves, and the BackItUp            50MB from Microsoft and maybe included            choose to edit the video and click on the Ad
software is a separate, optional install, in-                                                       Spotter icon. It can then detect the commer-
                                                  on the DVD, but not in the update files.
cluded on the disc. When I tried to install                                                         cials in the video recording. They are divided
                                                     The help files are still not included in the   into individual clips so you then delete them
this program and chose the custom install
                                                  program. Links are made to what look like         and re-save the video without the adverts.
option, I got items marked
                                                  pdf manuals, but these are one page files
IDS_UNIT_APP_NAME listed and it took                                                                                            (Continued on page 9)
                                                  saying you need to go to the web site to

Page 8                                                                                              ROM — December 2008 — January 2009
(Continued from page 8)
Using a short recording from a commercial
channel it detected all the adverts individu-
ally, along with the channel logo and the
‘sponsored by’ clip at the beginning and
end of the commercial break. Deleting all
of them and rejoining the video seems to be
a lot of work and I’m sure it would be eas-
ier to fast forward through them. On one of
my old VHS machines there is an advert



                                                                                          Nero ShowTime


                                                 graphics program you already have on           on my PC it wouldn’t work if the software
                                                 your PC.                                       was installed. No details of what is included in
                                                   A new feature is Nero Live, TV-              the updates are given so if it was released I
                                                 watching software, which turns your PC         wouldn’t know it was included in the update
                                                 into a DVR. To use Nero Live, your PC          before downloading it.
                                                 requires a TV tuner, whether in the form         Previous versions of Nero had many of the
                                                 of an add-in card or the simpler USB type.     features of Nero 9 in some form, but you
                                                 The guide says it can support up to four       could choose to not install them. The whole
                                                 tuners, which is a bit excessive as I doubt    process took a few minutes and you could
               Nero Ad Spotter                   anyone would have more than one. A             make sure that your file associations were not
                                                 Windows Vista sidebar gadget is available      changed. The new version does not install
spotter feature, and it just fast forwards       for mini-TV display, but has not been          properly, takes far too long and mucks up your
through the ads when it finds them.              released. Searching the Nero website           PC even after being uninstalled. I would not
  Photosnap is a simple photo-editing tool       eventually uncovered this message: “In an      recommend this software to anyone, whether
that allows non-technical users to perform       effort to provide customers with reliable      they had a previous version or not. The docu-
the most common retouching tasks – crop-         applications and features, Nero will pro-      mentation is not included with the program
ping, fixing red eye, and so on – with a         vide the Nero Live Gadget feature to Nero      and the web site doesn’t give many details as
couple of clicks. I tried it with a simply       9 customers with the next FREE version         to what the updates fix (and the updates do
picture of my niece’s dog, who had red eye       update in November. Please check the           come quite often).
and it was fiddly trying to select the area on   following website regularly for next free
the picture. It didn’t remove the red eye but    update coming soon.” To date I have seen       Pricing and Availability
made it green and I think if you are serious     nothing of this program, not even a              Amazon.co.uk for £33.97 inc VAT and free
about fixing your pictures you would use a       screenshot and as I don’t have a TV tuner      delivery.



New From Doro
by Tony Hawes

  The Swedish firm Doro is a new name to
                                                 with general appeal: their HandleEasy           Adjustable handset and speakerphone
                                                 328gsm mobile phone and wt96 pro high-              volume
me. But it turns out that Doro AB, to give it
                                                 performance Walkie-talkie/pmr.
full Swedish title is a large electronics                                                          50 Phonebook Memories
group whose principle activities are to de-      Doro HandleEasy 328gsm                            Key lock
velop, manufacture and market communi-           Mobile Phone                                      Call timer
cations equipment, such as telephone in-
struments, cordless telephones,                     key Features:                                Ear hook compatible
switchboards, telephone answering ma-               Unlocked to work on any network           Specifications
chines and other equipment. The Group               Slim Design                                  Display: Transflective Negative LCD
operates in three main product segments:
Home Electronics, Care Electronics and              Soft touch coating                           Tri Band GSM 900/1800/1900
Business Electronics. Home Electronics              Big Buttons                                  100 Memory phone Book
consists of home telephones, baby monitors          4 Direct Memories                            SMS Memory Capacity: 50
and walkie-talkies, Care Electronics com-        
prises phones, remote controls, ring-tone
                                                      Large, easy to read display (white on a      Caller ID Memory: 15
                                                      black background)
amplifiers to help senior citizens, and Busi-                                                      Battery: Li-ion 3.7V 700 mAh
                                                    User-friendly keypad large, clear rub-
ness Electronics serves professional users.
                                                      berized buttons                              Standby Time: up to 200 Hrs
The Group operates in Sweden, Norway,
Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom,               Built-in speakerphone                        Talk Time: up to 140 Min
Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and               Receive SMS text messages                    Size: 135 x 58 x 16 mm
Poland.
                                                    15 Position combined caller ID/redial        Internal Antenna
  Members will recall that at the November            log                                          Backlit Keypad
meeting of the Group we handed out a bro-                                                       
chure listing the full range of Doro’s prod-
                                                    9 Polyphonic ring tones                        Keypad Lock
ucts available on the UK market. Since then         Vibrating alert                                                     (Continued on page 10)
I’ve been looking at two of their products          Backlit keypad and display
ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                                     Page 9
(Continued from page 9)                            work.
 Weight: 111g                                    In use
   This phone is aimed at the elderly and /          I simply charged it up for the recom-
or those with physical problems and is             mended 24-hour first charge, lifted out the
listed in the Doro catalogue under the             battery, inserted my VirginMedia SIM card
‘Doro Care’ range created by Doro for just         replaced the battery and switched it on. It
                                                                    worked first time and
                                                                    logged me into Virgin. My
                                                                    sim card was read and all
                                                                    my phone-book entries
                                                                    were there, all that was
                                                                    necessary to make a call
                                                                    was to press the menu
                                                                    button, scroll the up or         scriber fees required.
                                                                    down button to the re-
                                                                    quired name and number             Opening the box there was one immediate
                                                                    and press the connect but-       disappointment in that the rechargeable NiMH
                                                                                                     AA batteries supplied were of only 600 mA
                                                                    ton. It was easy.
                                                                                                     capacity. Given that when you want to pur-
                                                                    Entering names and num-          chase AA rechargeable batteries for your bat-
                                                                    bers into the four large A,      tery driven electronic devices, you’ll be of-
                                                                    B, C and D buttons was           fered batteries with a capacity of around 2000-
The Doro HandleEasy 328gsm with supplied earphone mic (left) simple, for the not particu-
                                                                                                     2500 mA, so to supply small-capacity 600 mA
and carry strap (right). Display shows phonebook entries.            larly dextrous, these large     rechargeables is a little mean.
                                                                     buttons are an absolute
                                                                     boon when needing to call         As the specification says: This professional
                                                                     the most important num-
                                                                     bers in your life.
                                                                     Retrieving missed calls
                                                                     and was simplicity, as was
                                                                     scrolling though the last
                                                                     15-dialled numbers to re-
                                                                     make a call.
                                                                     It comes with a plug-in
                                                                     earphone mic so conversa-
                                                                     tions can be made without
                                                                     having to hold the phone
                                                                     to your ear all the time. It
The Doro HandleEasy 328gsm compared with a current Sony Erics-       has a large capacity battery
son mobile and (right) four one-touch keys with Home number          and in normal use I would       Box Contents: 2 Handsets, 2 Charger pods, 2
                                                                     expect it to run for three to   headsets, 8 rechargeable NiMH AA batteries,
that segment of the market.                                                                          Manual
                                                   four days without needing to be recharged.
   Fundamentally the Doro HandleEasy is
                                                                                                                            Functions
an easy to use mobile phone for when you           Conclusion
simply want to make and receive calls                Pros: The Doro Handle Easy 328 is one           Water-resistant               Key tone
which has had all the non essential and            of the most basic and easy to use mobile          Rubberized grip               Automatic squelch
unnecessary regular mobile phone func-             phones available and is ideal for the gran-
tions stripped out to ensure the phone is as                                                         Auto channel scan             5 calling tones
                                                   nies or granddads in your family who find
simple as possible to use.                         the modern mini-mobiles with all their bells      Vibrating alert               Monitor mode
   With its distinctive big buttons is a           and whistles so loved by their teenage ad-        8 Selectable channels         3 VOX settings
scaled-down mobile phone that’s easy to            herents far too intimidating and difficult to
                                                                                                     38 sub codes                  Roger beep
hold and simple to use. It’s been designed         use. For the advanced in years the large
for people who just want a phone to make           buttons and display are a joy to use.             83 DCS codes                  Backlit LCD display
and receive phone calls, who prefer mobile           Cons: It’s not able to sends SMS mes-           Channel memory                Auto power save
phones with few functions and that are easy        sages. At £99 or so it’s very expensive.
to use. Doro’s Handle Easy is however not                                                            Channel lock                  Low battery indicator
completely lacking features, but provides          Pricing and Availability                          Dual channel monitor          Headset outlet
the most important and relevant ones.                Various outlets at £99.99 inc VAT.              8 volume control levels       Headset.
   It has four direct memory buttons labelled
A to D and a large keypad and display to
                                                   DORO WT96 PRO HIGH-                               Detachable belt clip          Battery charger

make dialling easier, a white on black             PERFORMANCE WALKIE-                               Rechargeable NiMH batter-
                                                                                                     ies
screen for better clarity when reading the         TALKIE/PMR
display and contrasting colours to enable            The second item from Doro is the wt96           Range of up to 14 km depending on topographical
the buttons to be more clearly defined. It                                                           environment.
                                                   pro from their Walkie-talkie range.
also comes with an easily activated speak-
erphone for added convenience and a vi-              The Two Way Radio WT96 ,professional            pmr offers free, long-range communication for
brating ringer to alert the hard of hearing of     pmr offers free, long-range communication         demanding environments. The water-resistant
incoming calls. It can receive incoming            for demanding environments. The water-            case features a durable, rubberized grip, and
SMS text messages, but can’t send them.            resistant case features a durable, rubberized     there is a vibrating signal for use in noisy
It’s also unlocked so will work on any net-        grip, and there is a vibrating signal for use                                  (Continued on page 11)
                                                   in noisy environments. No license or sub-

Page 10                                                                                              ROM — December 2008 — January 2009
(Continued from page 10)                         channel and type must be used on both
environments. No licence or subscriber fees      handsets. This is simple: press the receive
required.                                        CTCSS key, Select the desired sub-
                                                 channel (CTCSS 0-38) and press the press
In Use                                           to talk button to confirm.
   I charged up the batteries, scanned all the
available channels and sub-channels to           Other Self-explanatory Fea-
locate any transmitting channels. Fleet, or      tures:
at least my house which is about a mile           Voice Control (VOX). Transmission
from the town centre was an oasis of quiet-           is activated by voice or other sounds
ness because there was nothing to be heard.           without using the PTT button.
I selected channel number 1 on both hand-
sets and with my wife listening out in our          Call Melody. Call tone to alert a lis-
ground-floor kitchen I went for a walk in             tener that you are about to talk. Five
the local area. Topographically my local              different melodies are available.
area is flat, with open spaces and houses all       Vibrator. Can be used together with or
around, so it was a sort of ‘normal’ test             instead of a call tone.
environment.                                        Monitor function. Useful in weak
   Signals were ‘loud and clear’ up to                signal areas to locate any other signals
around 200-yards, but as I walked further             being transmitted on the active chan-
away with more and more houses between                nel.
the handset I was carrying and the one              Roger Beep. When activated a beep
manned by my wife in the kitchen, the                 tone is sent when you release the PTT            The versatile charging possibilities
signal deteriorated badly. Driving my car a           button to remind the other person that
couple of miles south to the top of Folly             you have finished transmitting.
Hill which is about 600ft above sea level, I
was audible to my wife and vice-versa and
                                                    Dual channel monitoring. Enables you       CTCSS — What is it?
                                                      to listen to a second channel whilst         Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System or
it was possible to chat to each other, but
                                                      communicating on the main channel.         CTCSS is a circuit that is used to reduce the
remember this is not a ‘regular’ conversa-
tion mode and only one can talk at a time.       Conclusion                                      annoyance of listening to other users on a
However being higher also meant that I             Having used Motorola handsets in a            shared two-way radio communications chan-
was receiving RT traffic (interference)          previous work environment I was im-             nel. Where more than one user group is on the
from the surrounding area. I was picking up      pressed with the Doro wt96 pro. It had          same channel, (called co-channel users,)
conversations, orders etc from a depot in        some features not available with the Mo-        CTCSS filters out other users if they are using
Farnborough or Aldershot which is about          torola kit I’d used professionally before       a different CTCSS tone or no CTCSS.
three miles away, which I reckon is good.        and the Doro has my thumbs-up.                    Instead of turning on the receive audio for
As to extreme range: whilst I was on the                                                         any signal, the two-way radio receiver’s audio
top of Folly Hill I heard someone talking        Pricing and Availability                        turns on only in the presence of a signal AND
about leaf-clearing in Basingstoke, which is       A supplier on Amazon.co.uk has it listed      the correct tone. This is akin to the use of a
twelve miles away as the crow flies, which       at £82 inc VAT and delivery.                    lock on a door. A carrier squelch or noise
is very good, but of course once one re-                                                         squelch receiver is unlocked and will let any
turned to ground level in a common subur-                                                        signal in. A receiver with CTCSS locks out all
ban environment range was reduced to just                                                        signals except ones encoded with the correct
a few hundreds of yards maximum.                                                                 tone. CTCSS can be regarded as a form of in-
                                                                                                 band signalling.
Sub-Channels & CTTS
  CTCSS sub-channels can be used for
selective calling within the same channel .
To enable communication , the same sub-



Saving Money with Your Computer
By Andrew Taylor (Ampers)
                                                   There are three basic operating sys-            “Open Source” means, generally, that
  If you have a Windows computer, run-
                                                 tems used on Micro Computers. The               not only is the software free, but the source
ning Windows XP, think carefully before
                                                 Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. Both               code is provided, and you are free to alter
deciding to upgrade to Vista. This may
                                                 OS X and Windows are closed systems             the code, recompile it, and share your new
incur more expense upgrading your hard-
                                                 and the respective companies impose             version with your friends, as long as you do
ware. And, in addition, many companies
                                                 their ideas of how you must work upon           not then charge a fee. It’s called “copyleft”
are refusing to move over to Vista for a
                                                 you. Linux, however, is “Open Source”           and recently a judge upheld the term in law.
lot of other reasons, too numerous and
                                                 and allows you to run your computer               Who uses Linux? There are so many
inappropriate, for this article on saving
                                                 environment the way you want to. In             organisations, I will just mention three.
money. You can find more by Googling
                                                 addition OS X and Windows cost                  Citroen are moving 250 servers and 20,000
“Microsoft Vista” (without the quotes).
                                                 money to buy or to upgrade. You do not          Desktops from Windows to SuSE Linux.
I want to talk here about an-                    realise it but these costs are pro-             The French Government are moving over to
other option for your com-                       grammed into the price of your new
                                                 computer.                                                                 (Continued on page 12)
puter.
ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                                      Page 11
(Continued from page 11)                      To start to prepare for                        make sure you spend at least six months
Linux and recently 70,000 Gendarmes’          Linux......                                    familiarising yourself with these programs
desktops are moving to Ubuntu Linux. It                                                      before installing Linux. This will ensure
                                                Internet Explorer – Download Mozilla
was the Gendarmes who were my inspi-                                                         that once you have loaded Linux, you
                                              Firefox, it’s a better, safer alternative,
ration for this blog as it was they who                                                      won’t even notice you are running a dif-
                                              with thousands of add-ins to make the
used this method to bring all their people                                                   ferent operating system.
                                              browser perform the way you want it to.
over to Linux programs. Then there is the
Spanish Government moving over to
                                              Load this up first and get to know it for a    Just imagine:
                                              few months. You will love it. It’s free.        You will never have to purchase any
Linux and are in the process of moving
500,000 educational PCs over to Ubuntu        Then, and only then...                            more software. {save money}
Linux.                                          Microsoft Office - or whatever other          You will have access to over 18,000
   Apart from Linux being more secure,        word processor you use. Download Open             free Linux programs. {save money}
nothing can be done of a serious nature       Office and use that for a few more months.      You will only need lower specification
without using passwords, and you have         It has a Word Processor, Spreadsheet and           computers. {save money}
to give express permission before any         Presentations programs, and more applica-        I am not going to explain how you load up
software can be loaded. No point in writ-     tions. It’s free. Get to know it as well as
                                                                                             Ubuntu Linux in this blog as you need to
ing deadly malware for Linux, the writer      you know Microsoft Office.
                                                                                             digest and start using the free programs that
would have to find the passwords for          Then, and only then...                         replace your normal Windows programs.
each computer the writer was trying to                                                       But keep my blog in mind as I will write
                                                Outlook - finally, you will need an
infect! In addition, Linux is a perfect                                                      about it soon. If you use Google Reader,
                                              email program that also works on both.
operating system for use on a network as                                                     add my address to the Reader list and you
                                              Download Mozilla Thunderbird. It
it is so much more secure than anything                                                      will see each blog link as a new blog is
                                              handles email and newsgroups. Like
else. I never used Windows without a                                                         written. Use it for news, blogs, websites you
                                              Firefox it also has add-ins to enable you
firewall or anti-virus package. I don’t                                                      visit often – Search within “Amper’s Rants”
                                              to make it run the way you want it to.
bother with either with Linux.                                                               for “Google Reader” (with the quotes) to
                                              And, yes, it is also free.
At this stage I should mention                                                               learn what it is really about.
                                                And do you run Photoshop for your
that Linux can be run on both                 photographs? Download The Gimp it is           To whet your appetite I will tell
a PC and a Mac.                               also free. It is totally different in opera-   you, in simple terms, what you
  I chose Ubuntu Linux as it seems one        tion to Photoshop so you may want to           have to do.
of the easiest to handle for a Windows or     run them both simultaneously until you
                                                                                                Go to the Ubuntu website and download
Mac User – however, in the past I have        feel at ease with it. But it is worth the
                                                                                             the program. Burn it onto a blank CD. Re-
experimented with other flavours includ-      effort as it does almost everything that
                                                                                             start your computer from the CD. Say you
ing SuSE mentioned above.                     Photoshop does and it is improving with
                                                                                             want to install Ubuntu onto your hard disk
                                              each version. Google Picasa version 3 is
  Before I go into how to set up your                                                        at the prompt. Answer a few questions
                                              now available for Linux and is superb for
computer, I would like to mention that                                                       (keyboard, language etc). Click the button,
                                              organising photos and for cropping, re-
there has been a lot of talk about the                                                       go and make a cup of tea, and come back to
                                              touching and exporting via email or to
“Command Line” which frightens peo-                                                          Ubuntu. It will be up and running, the Inter-
                                              their web depository or to photo compa-
ple. I have been using Ubuntu for six                                                        net should be available, no disks to add to
                                              nies to print proper photos for you. In
months now and I can assure you that                                                         it. WiFi and Bluetooth run out of the box. I
                                              addition, it allows you to change your
most people never have to use the com-                                                       will spell this out in full detail in a future
                                              picture by adding coloured tones, sepia,
mand line. Ubuntu is graphical, like Win-     or black and white. Also you can               article.
dows. Did you know Windows also has a         sharpen, put in a changeable soft focus           Firefox and Open Office will be pre-
command line? To see it in Windows,           lens effect and much more.                     loaded in your new Linux system, and you
press the start button and you should see                                                    can download Thunderbird with one or two
the “Run” button at around the middle on        Before I go on, let me mention the
                                                                                             clicks. That’s all there is to it. Copy your
the right. Press this and in the box type:    Adobe CS suite. Now over £2000 with
                                                                                             data over from a saved disk and you are all
cmd. The black Command box will open          VAT. In Linux you can use The Gimp
                                                                                             ready to go. You did save your data, didn’t
in a window (type exit to close the win-      instead of Photoshop, Scribus instead of
                                                                                             you?
dow). But you never use it, right? Of         In-Design and Inkscape instead of Illus-
course, this is usually used, like the com-   trator. Apart from The Gimp, these pro-
mand line in Linux, by the system ad-         grams are no way near as good as their
ministrator or one of your more geekish       Adobe counterparts; but for home users
friends.                                      who want to produce their Christmas
                                              newsletters, manipulate their digital pho-
  The trick for a successful move to          tographs, or produce local club posters,
Linux is simple, download the applica-        they are more than suitable.
tions programs that work, and look, the
same and are free with both Linux and           This article is aimed at home users
Windows. Use these in Windows first –         needing to save money in the on-coming
until you are familiar with them. Only        bad times ahead, so it doesn’t apply to
then should you download Linux. If you        graphic professionals anyway.
commit yourself to using Linux today,           Once you are happy with your Open
you will only actually download the           Source programs in Windows, it is then
operating system after at least a six         the time to move over to Linux and the
months period of familiarising yourself       Linux versions. Your data from your
with the following programs.                  Windows programs will immediately
                                              work with the Linux editions. But do

Page 12                                                                                      ROM — December 2008 — January 2009
Logitech Z5 Speakers
Continued from page 5
                                                 trumpet concerto, however the Coronation        Traditional Versus Omni direc-
(Continued from page 5)
                                                 Ode “Land of Hope and Glory” example was        tional Loudspeakers
    gate and enjoy your entertainment op-        surprisingly good, but of course not as good
    tions from across the room.                  as through a quality amplifier and dedicated      Most speakers are designed to radiate sound
                                                                                                 in a fixed direction. As shown in Figure 1
In Use                                           HiFi speakers — sadly as with most things,
                                                 when it comes to audio bigger is normally       (next page), traditional speakers optimize
  To use the supplied remote control it’s                                                        sound for a sweet spot located directly in front
necessary to install a small file that allows    better. Nevertheless the Z5’s are very lis-
                                                 tenable and I didn’t suffer audio fatigue as    of the speakers. In other words, the sweet spot
the remote to access your laptop. As the                                                         is limited to a constrained sound field that fans
product description says these are small         so often happens when listening to music
                                                 you like through small speakers.                outward in one direction. If you’re outside the
Omni directional stereo speakers powered                                                         sweet spot, you’ll hear unbalanced sound due
from your computer’s USB connection.             System Requirements                             to loudspeaker directionality.
Normally when listening to a stereo signal
from two speakers the best results are ob-        Windows-based PC with Windows                  Directionality is frequency dependent. When
tained when one sits in front of the speakers       98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000,              music is played through a loudspeaker, many
equidistant from the two (the sweet spot),          Windows XP, Windows Vista or Mac             frequencies occur at the same time. Because
but as the Z5’s are Omni directional the            computer with Mac OS X (10.3.9 or            these frequencies radiate differently, the per-
stereo experience can be obtained from              higher)                                      ceived tonal balance changes when you move
                                                                                                 around the loudspeaker. For example, when
almost anywhere in the room.                      USB port and CD-ROM drive
                                                                                                 you’re in front of a directional loudspeaker,
  I think those present were pleasantly          Product Specifications                          the bass, midrange and treble frequencies are
surprised and impressed by the sound that
these new speakers gave out. (Logitech            Dimensions: (L x W x H): 8.4 x 8.4 x         usually balanced. But if you move into a loca-
                                                    25.4 cm.                                     tion to the side or back of the loudspeaker,
have kindly supplied some background to                                                          then the treble and midrange frequencies can
these speakers which follows).                    Weight: 1.53 kg (weight of both satel-       drop out. However, you’ll hear this imbalance
  For my demonstration I chose a wide               lites).                                      even when you’re in the sweet spot because
selection of music by playing extracts from      Technical Specifications                        the unbalanced sound (radiating at the side
CDs and a DVD. The extracts featured the                                                         and behind the loudspeaker) is reflected back
following tracks / samples.
                                                  Total power: 2 watts RMS
                                                                                                 toward you by the walls and furniture in your
1. Jazz: The Jacques Loussier Trio’s fa-
                                                  System THD: less than 0.05% THD,             room.
    mous recording of Bach’s Air on the G           before clipping
                                                                                                   Logitech Audio Labs’ Omni directional
    String from the album “Play Bach 2”.          Signal-to-noise ratio: >70 dB                speakers differ from traditional speakers. De-
    This recording was used in the Hamlet         Frequency response: 70 Hz - 20 kHz           signed to radiate sound more uniformly over a
    cigar advertisements for over 35 years.                                                      wider range of frequencies and angles, Logi-
                                                 Pricing and Availability                        tech’s Omni directional speakers create a
2. Vocal 1: Katherine Jenkins singing Pie
    Jesu from her new album “Sacred                Logitech Z-5 Omni directional stereo          broad sweet spot that is not dependent on a
    Arias”.                                      speakers from Amazon.co.uk for around £52       fixed listening position. However, the true
                                                 inc VAT and delivery.                           hallmark of Omni directional speakers is the
3. Vocal 2: Elena Kats-Chernin singing
    “Eliza’s Aria” from the “Wild Swans”         LOGITECH’S OMNI-                                increased sound quality that comes from to-
    ballet. “Eliza’s Aria” is the quirky tune                                                    nally balanced direct and reflected sound.
    that features in the Lloyds TSB adver-
                                                 DIRECTIONAL TECH BRIEF
                                                                                                 The Science Behind the Broad
    tising campaign.                             How Logitech’s Omni direc-
                                                                                                 Sweet Spot
4. Instrumental: Alison Balsom playing           tional Speakers Make Any
    the first movement of Hummel’s Trum-                                                           As long as people have been designing ob-
                                                 Spot in Your Room a Sweet                       jects to transfer sound from one location to
    pet Concerto from her new album
                                                 Spot                                            another, there have been attempts to under-
    “Haydn and Hummel Trumpet Concer-
    tos”.                                           You don’t sit in one spot when you’re        stand how sound travels through space.
                                                 listening to music from your computer or        Though the range of human hearing is fairly
5. Orchestral/Choral: Elgar “Coronation                                                          wide, the properties of a sound wave compli-
                                                 your iPod. Shouldn’t your speakers produce
    Ode 1902 – Land of Hope and Glory”                                                           cate loudspeaker design.
                                                 great sound no matter where you are in your
    finale. An awesome and hair-raising
                                                 room? Unfortunately, many speakers don’t.         As an example, consider your living room.
    performance of ‘Land of Hope and
                                                 In fact, most of today’s speakers for the PC    Imagine that you’re listening to Beethoven’s
    Glory’ in its ‘Coronation Ode’ setting.
                                                 or the iPod are designed to deliver the high-   Fifth Symphony. The range of sound – from
    Sonically far superior to the version
                                                 est-quality sound immediately in front of the   the very low-range frequencies of the bass
    sung annually at the Last Night of the
                                                 speakers. If you move from what audiophiles     cello to the very high-range frequencies of the
    Proms.
                                                 call the sweet spot on the couch to the im-     piccolo – is radiated through your room in a
6. DVD: From Walt Disney’s “Fantasia             promptu dance floor, the sound you hear can     multiplicity of ways. You hear the sound gen-
    2000” movie. Camille Saint-Saens             easily become distorted and you might find      erated by movement of the loudspeaker driver.
    “Carnival of the Animals” (finale).          yourself out of step.                           The driver moves the air molecules that are
  I could find little to fault these speakers,      The Logitech Z-5 and Logitech Pure-Fi        next to it, which creates a wave that travels
they were easy to set up and in the very         Express Plus Omni directional speakers are      through the air and eventually reaches you.
large hall used for our demonstration I used     designed to transmit sound more consistently
the supplied extension lead to move the                                                            At low frequencies, the wavelength of sound
                                                 over a wider range of space, so you never       is large and the wave wraps around the loud-
speakers well apart for best results — we        miss a beat – no matter where you are in the
were not disappointed . The quality was                                                          speaker enclosure, radiating evenly in all di-
                                                 room.                                           rections. At high frequencies, the wavelength
excellent, as to be expected the mid-range
examples gave best results, particularly the                                                                               (Continued on page 14)

ROM — December 2008 — January 2009                                                                                                      Page 13
(Continued from page 13)                         the frequency transitions from low to high,     including the PC, iPod, digital music players,
of sound is short compared to the size of        the pattern becomes dual-lobed. The dual-       headsets for computers, and the PlayStation,
the loudspeaker, and the wave radiates           lobed pattern covers a much wider range of      Xbox and Wii gaming consoles. Omni direc-
primarily forward. As a result, if you begin     angles than the traditional loudspeaker,        tional speakers represent the next evolution in
listening to the famous four-note motif that     which creates only one lobe (See Figure 2).     speaker design for your PC and iPod – and
opens the Fifth Symphony when you’re                The increased reverberant sound field also   offer you a better way to enjoy the music and
sitting in front of a traditional loudspeaker,   increases the sensation of spaciousness and     videos you love.
the stirring notes of the opening bars will      listener envelopment. By designing loud-
sound rich and articulate. But if you move                                                       References:
                                                 speakers to radiate sound more uniformly,
to the side of your room and listen for the      Logitech delivers great sound to any spot in       Beranek, Leo, “Acoustics and musical quali-
same motif as it occurs throughout the sym-      the room.                                       ties.” JASA 99. 5 (1996): 2647-2652.
phony, the same notes can begin to sound                                                            Kinsler, Lawrence E. et al., Fundamentals of
distorted.                                       Logitech Audio Labs’ and                        Acoustics. 4th ed. Hoboken: John Wiley &
   Logitech’s Omni directional acoustics         Omni directional speakers, the                  Sons, Inc., 2000.
produce evenly distributed sound radiation       Next Evolution of Sound                            Lipshitz, Stanley P. and John Vanderkooy,
in the listening plane using forward- and          After nearly ten years of developing a        “Experiments in Direct/Reverberant Ratio
backward-firing drivers. At low frequen-         robust laboratory and a staff of engineers,     Modification.” Proceedings of the 79th AES
cies, the radiation is Omni directional. As      the Logitech Audio Labs is a significant        Convention (1985)
                                                                        force in the devel-         Toole, Floyd E., “Loudspeakers and Rooms
                                                                        opment of audio          for Sound Reproduction – A Scientific Re-
                                                                        technologies for         view.” JAES 54. 6 (2006): 451-476.
                                                                        many platforms,




Figure 1: Traditional radiation patterns compared to Omni direc-           Figure 2: Intensity plots of polar radiation for the bipole loud-
tional radiation patterns. Traditional loudspeakers are optimized          speaker. On the left is the ideal Omni directional radiation that
for a narrow sweet spot. Omni directional loudspeakers are de-             occurs for low frequencies. On the right is dual lobed radiation
signed to radiate sound more uniformly over a wider range of               pattern for high frequencies. 0° is to the right.
frequencies and angles.




Logitech V550 Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks
                                                 The Logitech V550 Nano Cordless Laser            Logitech’s advanced 2.4 GHz wireless
Product Description — More                       Mouse for Notebooks is that mouse, featur-          technology provides a powerful, reliable
freedom to move around with                      ing the innovative Clip-and-Go dock. Now,           connection with virtually no delays or
your notebook                                    you can clip your mouse to your notebook –          dropouts – even in the busiest wireless
                                                 and you have one less thing to carry.               environments.
  You’re on the move all day – from your
desk to your next meeting and back or from       Key Features                                    System Requirements
your home office to the living room. Would-
                                                  Clip-and-Go dock allows you to clip           Windows-based PC with Windows XP or
n’t it be great if you had a mouse that you
                                                    your mouse to your notebook and go.              Windows Vista or
could just attach to your notebook and go?
                                                               Plug-and-Forget Nano-            Mac computer with Mac OS X (10.3.9 or
                                                              receiver is so small it stays in       later)
                                                              your notebook, so your              USB port
                                                              mouse is always ready to use.
                                                                                                 Product Specifications
                                                               18-month battery life
                                                              gives you more power than           Dimensions (L x W x H): 10 cm x 5.8 cm
                                                              ever before. Plus, the mouse           x 3.4 cm
                                                              automatically turns off when        Weight: 69 grams without receiver
                                                              docked to your notebook.            71 grams with receiver
                                                               Hyper-fast scrolling lets        120 grams with receiver and 2 AA batter-
                                                              you fly through long docu-             ies.
                                                              ments and Web pages. One
                                                              spin and you’ll never go back
                                                              to an ordinary scroll wheel.         Review to Follow.


Page 14                                                                                          ROM — December 2008 — January 2009

				
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