HAL-PC Monthly eBulletin - November 2008

Welcome to the November 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: Amazon.com Associates Program, Email Authentication, Coming Events, Clear Lake, SIG News, Magazine.


The holiday gift giving season is upon us. If you use the search box on the HAL home page to get to the Amazon.com website, 6% of every purchase you make during that session will go directly to HAL-PC! It's that easy! Select books, CDs, DVDs, and a myriad of other products and support HAL-PC at the same time!


HALNet support is receiving questions from some users who are having difficulty receiving email. Please be sure you have authentication turned on in your email program. Most email clients have this setting correct by default, but Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express do not. We have provided instructions on setting these programs up correctly in the Support section of our HAL-PC website. You can find them here for Outlook and here for Outlook Express


Basics 101 -- Basics of Digital Devices
Saturday, November 1 - 1:00 - 3:30 pm
Review the Basics before you buy that Digital 'thing' ~ before you go Christmas shopping, lets review some basics. Learn the facts / options you need to understand before you PAY! Scanners / Cameras / DVD burners ... new toys! Join Robert duVernay for another informative Saturday afternoon - as always, no registration fee!

Emergency Backup Power - or "Take a Hike, Ike!"
Wednesday, November 12 - 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Remember Ike? No power? No TV! This class is all about emergency power for the non-technical person. What you need to know to select the best backup power source for you, what questions to ask (and potential answers) and what to look for. There's more than running to Lowe's or Home Depot or ?? to buy a "generator" and plug it in. Bob Schwartz makes knowing the specifics palatable and understandable! The handout contains lots of specific information that is necessary to understand your unique situation. Print the handout and bring with you. Just hang in there and Bob will take you by the hand so for the next "Ike" you'll have power! PS: Doors open at 6 pm - first 64 to grab a chair are in class. Sorry, but #65 will have to wait until the next class - Fire Marshall's orders! Download the Handout Here!


Due to difficulties area residents are still facing in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, all SIGs have been canceled until after the first of the year.


The following Special Interest Groups have provided program notes 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.

COMPUTER INVESTING SIG: Fridays -- 10:00 am:
Our Friday AM investment sig will continue to meet Friday at 10am. Our goal continues to offer programs to help investors deal with a difficult market using and demonstrating programs designed for the individual to assess and make thoughtful decisions. We use four different programs to accomplish this and they are demonstrated on a regular basis. We also maintain a refined market web site that is open to all.

MULTI MEDIA SIG: Saturday, November 1 -- 10:00 am
We have discussed computer animations using programs like “Poser” for human figures and “Vue” for creation of environments for the figures to inhabit - terrains, cities, etc. While these offer built-in figures, landscapes, and some props, it is still necessary to import other props - vehicles, buildings, etc. Also, motions have to be defined using drawn paths, motion capture files from actual people, etc. Finally, the whole sequence has to be rendered - this can take days for a complicated scene. Another way is to use computer games to create movies, called “machinima”. All the elements - figures, terrains, skies, buildings, vehicles - are already there, and the software can generate high frame rates (30+ fps). The only requirement is to “capture" these animations as a video file in real time. Enter a utility program titled “FRAPS” (frames per second), which can easily capture 30 fps for most games. We can look at some of my experiments using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, Driv3r, and Emergency 3. Other popular games used for machinima include The Sims 2, Half Life 2, Halo 2, and many others.

DATABASE & GUI DESIGN: Saturday, November 8 -- 9:00 am
Joe Rich will be doing a beginner level presentation on WPF. He will also have the generic web site that I have been finishing up for you. We will be taking the web site and converting it to WPF in both Windows Forms and browser based so we can get into the WPF framework and see what all can be done with it.

VISUAL FOX PRO: Tuesday, November 11 -- 6:30 pm
Rich Monroe: Building a Framework with Classes continued. We look forward to seeing you there and hope you can join us at Ninfa's after the meeting.

GENEALOGY: Thursday, November 13 -- 7:00 pm
Until the end of the year our SIG will be covering "back to basics" for genealogical research. This is the perfect time to join us if you are just trying to get started or if you feel you aren't accomplishing what you wish.

DIGITAL IMAGING: Saturday, November 15 -- 1:00 pm
Phil is going to be doing another presentation for us. He will go further into the depths of macro photography for us and also show more on the chroma-key background usage. Bring your cameras. He will take photos you do during the session and show you how you can use chroma-key with your cameras and not just the expensive ones like his and mine.

The Web Design SIG will not meet during November and December. Enjoy your holidays and we will see you next year!

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. You don't have to attend the meeting to come eat with us.


Look for informative articles in the HAL-PC Magazine online
If you do not receive your Fall edition of the printed magazine, please phone the office! You may need to update your address information, or renew your HAL-PC membership!