HAL-PC Monthly eBulletin - February 2008

Welcome to the February 2008 edition of the HAL-PC/HALNet monthly eBulletin. If you wish to stop receiving these bulletins, send an email to e-bulletin-off@hal-pc.org. This month: HALNet ADSL, Online Questionnaire, Coming Events, Winter General Meeting Presentation, Clear Lake, SIG News, Class Listing, Volunteer of the Month, Magazine.


Want the speed and convenience of an always-on broadband connection without the hassles of foreign call centers or notoriously poor customer service? HALNet has an ADSL plan for every user! Upgrade your connection now - call 713-993-3300 and ask for the ADSL tech to see if your phone line qualifies for ADSL.


We're looking for your input as we seek to grow HAL-PC. Please take a few minutes to fill out our brief online survey!


VHS to DVD Basics 101 -- VHS to DVD Conversion
Saturday, February 2 - 1:00 - 3:30 pm
Save those VHS moments before they become a part of history! VHS tapes don't last forever, and degrade with every play. Robert DuVernay will lead you through the process of preserving your VHS content to DVD.
Roulette tableVolunteer Party
Our HAL-PC volunteers are invited to attend the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Party on Saturday, February 23 from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm at HAL-PC Headquarters. Our theme for 2008 is Casino Night! Join us for great food, fine fellowship and FUN!! Please RSVP by emailing the volunteer coordinator by February 15. See you there!


The PowerPoint presentation and list of resources used by Ron Gore, speaker at our Winter General Meeting, are available online.


Digital Photography SIG - Saturday, February 16, 9:30 am - Harry House, HAL-PC member, "All About Scanning Old 35 mm Slides"

General Computer SIG - Saturday, February 23 - 9:30 am. Janice Benton, City of Houston-IT Dept., "Plans for WiFi Access Across the City of Houston"

Computer Investing SIG - Friday, February 1 - 1:00 pm: Steve Morehouse, SIG Leader, "Recap of 2007 & Goals for 2008"

Camcorder & Video SIG - Saturday, February 2 - 9:30 am: Jim McClure, HAL-PC member, "Sharing Your Videos on Houston Media Source Channel 17"


NEW SIG -- ROBOTICS! This is a golden opportunity for those with an interest in robotics or many of its components such as electro-mechanical design and control, artificial intelligence, mapping, software design, and other specialties from a rather long list. One of the interesting aspects of robotics is the challenge of the many different disciplines required for a functional robot. Join us Saturday and discover if your interests have a home with other hobbyists.

The following Special Interest Groups have specific programs posted for their upcoming meetings. Please refer to the SIG Calendar for a complete listing of HAL-PC SIG meeting dates and times. If you are interested in starting a Special Interest Group that is not currently on our calendar, contact the Vice President for SIGS

See the SIG web page for up-to-the-minute program notes.

MULTI MEDIA SIG: Saturday, February 2 -- 9:30 am :
Joint meeting with the Camcorder & Digital Video SIG at Clear Lake. Jim McClure will talk about "Sharing Your Videos on Houston Media Source Channel 17". Jim will share how he put his videos on Comcast Channel 17 - the city-sponsored Houston Media Source channel. Jim also took their classes and used their equipment for free, creating movies like "The Texas Mile", a documentary about really fast cars. If time allows, we will also discuss soundtracks for video, including Digital Juice's royalty free "Stack Traxx" layered music DVD's.

BEGINNING ACCESS: Monday, February 4 -- 6:00 pm
Introduction to MS Access data normalization, tables, queries, forms, and reports. Please email the SIG leader if you plan to attend.

BEGINNING VISUAL FOX PRO: Tuesday, February 8 -- 6:30 pm
Ed Hardin: Hide sensitive files with Alternate Data Streams: Almost every small business and individual PC user has some sensitive or private files to keep away from prying eyes. If you're running a modern version of Windows, you can use a little-known feature called Alternate Data Streams to hide your confidential files inside other files or folders. Ed has been resolving problems that programmers are having with the introduction of Vista. Ed's bulk mail program ran into problems when customers installed on Vista. In working out the problems he has discovered a number of other things. He will be presenting on Data Streams this month, but will answer other questions.

ADVANCED VISUAL FOX PRO: Tuesday, February 8 -- 7:30 pm
Rich Monroe will show his Session Tracker: Track the number of users that are online and screen us usage. This is a program from rich that can track a number of items of information that you need to get while your program is running.

DATABASE & GUI DESIGN SIG: Saturday, February 9 -- 9:00 am
This month, we are going to be doing hands-on work with the new version of Visual Studio, 2008. We will start looking at designing web and Windows forms with XAML and see how it differs from using HTML. I will be giving everyone a copy of a Virtual Machine that can be run on a notebook or desktop. So, you will need to have your machine there. You will need 20gb free on what ever drive you want to copy it to. Also, please have VM Player from VMware already loaded so you can run the VM.

STOCK MARKET: Saturday, February 9 -- 2:00 pm
Our focus in this group is personal finance and fundamental analysis and investing, not technical analysis or trading. Although the US economy is currently approaching a potential recession and major indexes have declined since October, ValueLine forecasts a 70% higher potential for their 1,700 stock index by 2011. The first couple quarters of 2008 provide the best opportunity in six years to prepare. Please email the SIG leader if you plan to attend.

DIGITAL IMAGING SIG: Saturday, February 16 -- 1:00 pm
We had a great turnout for the beginning of our series on photographing children. We had 7 "models" come and we got some great photos. February's meeting will be a continuation of this theme. We are going to be looking at shooting indoors in the atrium area at the HAL offices. We will be looking at lighting and how to get the best we can. March's meeting will be the final one in the series. We will go outside and look at how to find the best lighting and best backgrounds for shooting. Remember, as always, to bring your camera. These are hands-on workshops because you cannot learn it without doing it.

HOUSTON APPLICATION SYSTEMS GROUP: Thursday, February 21 -- 5:30 pm
Peter Dang, IBM: "Why i for JD Edwards" Peter Dang is an IBM Certified Consulting I/T/ Specialist in the IBM Advanced Technical Support Organization. Peter currently focuses on providing technical support for ISVs such as Oracle, JDE, and SAP in Performance Tuning, Capacity Planning and Sizing, WebSphere, and Business Intelligence on the System i (AS/400 or iSeries). Peter has over 18 years with IBM, and has overall 27 years experience in Information Technology. In those years, Peter has worked primarily on IBM System/38, AS/400, iSeries, and System i. Peter has performed various technical support responsibilities: AS/400 Languages and Utilities, Project Management; Application design; Database design; Architecture and design; Data warehouse Planning; BI tools; LPAR configuration; Server Consolidation; Customer support; Migration; development languages (RPG/400, ILE RPG, COBOL/400, ILE COBOL, and SQL). Peter also does skill transfer to ISVs and speaks at ISV User Conferences and has authored multiple IBM white papers.

WEB DESIGN: Tuesday, February 26 -- 7:00 pm
We will continue our discussion on basic techniques for creating professional and captivating websites. We will discuss what constitutes "good design" and the design process by walking through the steps that professional designers use to develop great websites. Typography and imagery will be our main focus this session.

LINUX WORKSHOP: Wednesdays -- 6:00 pm
Installations & hands-on problem solving every Wednesday except when HAL is closed. This is an informal meeting where knowledgable HLUG members help each other & beginners one on one. Dinner after at Biba's West Grey 9:30pm.

Upcoming Classes - HAL-PC Headquarters

Map To Facility

Check the Class Calendar for the latest additions to the schedule


February's HAL-PC Volunteer of the Month is Claudia Ludwig. She currently leads the Basic Internet SIG and is instrumental in the Build or Buy a Computer SIG. Claudia once again stepped forward to assist at the General Meeting, greeting members, handling sign-ins and door prize registration and helping with the drawing! Thanks, Claudia - for all you do for HAL.


Look for informative articles in the HAL-PC Magazine online
If you did receive your Winter edition of the printed magazine, please phone the office! You may need to update your address information, or renew your HAL-PC membership!