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Sydney PC User Group Incorporated
Members helping Members for over 25 Years
Visitors are always welcome

1st Floor
Sydney Mechanics'
School of Arts
280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Sydney PCUG's Blog

14 - 19 January 2013
  • Tuesdays Seniors SIG
  • Genealogy SIG
  • Web Design SIG

 7 Zip



Happy New Year Everyone,
We start the new year with three interesting meetings.Details are below: 
Tuesday 8 January - Programming -  N. Hoffman - 5:30pm - 8:30pm
At the December meeting Christopher introduced us to Netduino, an open source microcontroller platform with shields, similar to Arduino.  Simple projects can be made on both systems, but the Netduino is better for advanced projects as it is faster and has more memory, and it uses the more powerful Visual C# .NET programming language. A detailed comparison of the two can be seen at " ".
Andrew showed a proximity detector he made, based on Microchip's application note AN1202. A PIC is programmed to charge and discharge the capacitor formed by a pad on a circuit board. The nearby presence of a person’s finger introduces additional capacitance causing a frequency change, detected by the PIC. It can be built using most PIC chips, he said. For his circuit he used an 8-Pin PIC12F683. It needs only a small amount of code, and as it uses just one output and one input it is easy to add to a design requiring proximity sensing.
We also looked at the Ossie motor, a very high efficiency pulse motor circuit. By using a couple of diodes it recharges its battery by recovering the counter emf energy generated by the motor, enabling it to run for weeks. For anyone who wants to build one the circuit diagram and full construction details can be found by googling "the ossie motor by jl naudin".
Members of the group will demonstrate some new microprocessor applications and programming examples at Tuesday's meeting. Visitors are always welcome.
                                                                                                                              Neville Hoffman
Friday 11 January - Seniors - 9:30am - 12:30pm
At this meeting the group will spend a short time looking at some more features in Windows 8 and preparing the club's computer to make it ready for the installation of a proper version of the new operating system.
The group will then move on to a practical exercise which will exercise the minds of those present with a problem they may all encounter at one time or another. One rather clogged notebook computer running Vista will be examined to see how it can be refreshed to stage where it will operate efficiently with sufficient space to run other programs. If that fails, then it is back to the factory settings for the notebook!
A question and answer session will also be available to assist members with any computer problems.
Friday 11 January - Communications -  J. Lucke - 12:30pm - 3:30pm
On 3 December this year, all areas of Sydney will switch to digital-only TV with their analogue TV signals being switched off. With this important date in mind, John Lucke will explore and discuss how we should prepare for this event. He will also consider if the forthcoming National Broadband Network may influence our television viewing. There may even be time to discuss your favourite sources for listening to radio and watching TV via the internet.
All this will follow the usual question and answer session, general discussion and coffee break.
John Mathews

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