Members helping Members for over 23 Years

Welcome to 2010 and the first of our main meetings for this year.

We began this year with Acronis. Simon Howe, the Counrtry Manager, and Sergey Zimin, their Senior Systems Engineer, come came to demonstrate the Acronis PC Backup and Recovery software. > More

New Smartphone SIG

Friends, this is to introduce a NEW SIG -- the Smartphone SIG

The Smart Phone SIG will explore the capabilities of mobile phones with soft/hard keyboards that connect to the internet, some having the power of a PC (800MHz) from the year 2000.

We will use a set of work-in-progress criteria to compare these devices eg. ease of use, reliability, speed, storage, power of operating system, number of applications (office, camera, video, GPS, map navigation, music, calendar, internet browsing, email), hardware features, price, plans from communications vendors.

The SIG will look at how phones have become so powerful (technologies developed in last 5-10 years), invite Vendors to supply new phones for trial, and will have a segment inviting members to talk about their own phone, explaining why they chose it, and the best and worst features.

The SmartPhone SIG will commence on Friday 19 March 2010 - 6pm - 8pm - 1st floor, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.

I'll be there and I hope you will be too.

The Committee would like to gauge the number of members interested in attending. This will only take a few seconds to acknowledge, just click here insert ones name and click send, done and finished, your Committee thanks you for your input.

Best wishes,


Best wishes to all our members.

christmas holly

2009 has been another good year and 2010 can be even better. We're doing well financially and enjoying great presentations at the main meetings. I'd like to see some new SIGs starting up, if the interest is there. My suggestion is a Smart Phone SIG. There are more and more of these phones coming out with built-in keyboards, which open up lots of possibilities

Do you have any thoughts on other new SIGs you'd like to see, or any other ways of adding interest or enjoyment?

On behalf of the committee I wish all our members a happy and safe festive season

Warren Wyllie
SPCUG President

December - Main Meeting

Considering it's closeness to Christmas, a surprising number of members turned up to our last main meeting for 2009. We started with a quick review of Robert's current favourite websites followed by an informative questions and answers session. Alex then gave an interesting review of the Windows 7 operating system that he has been trialing for some months now. From the numerous versions on offer, he explained varions selection options, depending on member's needs and whether to do an upgrade or go for a new installation. Alex also bought along some items which he generously donated as raffle prizes.Party time

Then it was time to party!
Bill Parry had set up a nice selection of hot and cold nibblies plus a variety of fine wines for member's enjoyment. This was a great opportunity for all to fraternize with friends and to offer their good wishes for the festive season.

November Main meeting

David Hall was welcomed back this month to demonstrate Norton Internet Security 2010.
Read the review

GIMP 2.6 User Manual now available

GIMP ManualThe GIMP documentation team has been working hard and is proud to announce the availability of the first release of the user manual for GIMP 2.6.

The release is split into several files that provide pre-built HTML per language. Because of a major change in how the manual is translated, most translations are work-in-progress and may contain untranslated strings. Fortunately, the English version of this powerful free imaging program is one of the first available. You can find the releases on our FTP server. The very comprehensive GIMP 2.6 manual can also be viewed online.

Norton Presentation + Party Time at November Main Meeting

NibbliesHere are some good reasons for attending our November 24 Main meeting.
David Hall from Symantec will showcase the Norton Internet Security 2010, which is now available - and talk to us about Norton 360 Version 4 - which is currently in beta.

Our end of year party is on again allowing time to catch up with all our good friends while enjoying drinks and nibblies.

Also in time for Xmas, we will be presenting our first $20 multi-store voucher as the FREE door prize just for being there. Don't miss this one!

Windows7 Presentation

Windows7John ShortlandNick Hodge from Microsoft spoke of the many improvements included in the recently released Windows 7 operating system at our October Main meeting. As usual, Nick came armed with a box of Microsoft 'goodies' which he donated as raffle prizes. Read the full story and meet more of the evening's lucky prize winners.

Track down your stolen laptop with "Prey"

Prey Tracking SoftwarePrey is a lightweight application for tracking your stolen laptop. It runs in Windows and *NIX systems as well (Mac, Linux). It is licenced by the GPLv3 which means you can do just about anything with it. Learn how prey can help you.

Our website passes the WAVE test

Wave logoWAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page.
Our complete website was recently tested and after a few minor adjustments now passes this rigorous test. Aimed at improving internet access for people with disabilities, the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool is available as an add-on for the Firefox browser.

Internet Explorer 8 now includes "Web Developer"

While similar tools were previously available as plug-ins for Firefox and Opera, the Web Developer tool now incorporated in the new Internet Explorer 8 will certainly be welcomed by web designers. Opened by function-key F12, the program reveals a raft of options for viewing page layouts, image information, CSS styles, etc. See further details on our Web Design page.   Note: It seems our close attention to code validation has eliminated the IE7 / IE8 compatibility issues reported by some sites.

Site Search Test

Site search facilities are ideal for recalling topics like - top new software releases, solutions to computer problems or internet security issues, recently reported by our members. We have installed two search boxes on the right, each returning a different display format. Box #1 should return a link to every instance of your query with words of four or more letters residing on our server, while box #2 will display only those found by Google search-bots.

Try both - perhaps with a search for "security" or your name and tell us your preference and comments with an entry in our Guestbook. Please enjoy and share your search research.

Our Guestbook is back!

GuestbookMembers will be pleased to know our Guestbook is back in operation. Though still in its simple form, members can now leave messages which may be viewed by all. Click on the Guestbook link above from any page to view the current massages, or follow the simple instructions to leave your own message. Why not try it now?

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