Main Monthly Meeting - October 2004

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This Month's 16 Bits
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Home Automation and Introducing Linux


Monday 25 October 2004

7:30 PM

Manning Clarke Centre, Theatre 3

Australian National University

The PC Users Group Free Monthly Main Meeting will be held on Monday 25 October at 7.30pm in Manning Clark Theatre 3 at the Australian National University. Visitors welcome. Enquiries or phone 6253 4911. This month we will have 2 speakers:

1. Home Automation - Chris Barrett

Did you marvel, as a kid, at the goings-on of George Jetson and the rest of the Jetsons? Chris Barrett did and has spent the last year working to automate numerous aspects of his house. Chris will be speaking about his DIY automated house, and some of the technology behind it such as X10, 1-wire, infrared and, at the heart of it all, a computer running an open-source package called Misterhouse that is written entirely in Perl.

Some of the features that have been incorporated include:
- Lights that turn on when you enter the room;
- A computer that reads out the weather forecast for the day each morning and the caller ID information of people calling his house, and reminds him when it's rubbish collection day;
- Computer-controlled heating;
- A computer that sends him an email when someone rings the doorbell and no-one answers the door;
- Announcements when the front or back doors have been left open for too long; and
- The ability to control and monitor aspects of the house via the Internet.

Download the presentation.

2. Introducing Linux - Rod Peters

It's difficult to pick up a computer magazine or visit an IT news site without having something about Linux splashed across the cover or home page. What is Linux, why all the fuss and why would anyone bother with it? Linux is a complete replacement for the operating system and productivity software on a PC (or Macintosh). Its principal advantages are lower cost, and relative immunity to viruses and other malware.

When Linux emerged during the early 90’s, it did not make much of a splash (remember Windows 286 ?). Over the past five years Linux has been made much easier for beginners to use, and good quality applications have become available for just about every purpose; yet many people remain reluctant to try it. Their main apprehensions are the amount of re-learning that might be required and the risk that installing another operating system on their computer might cause malfunction.

Rod Peters will demonstrate the Linux user interface and address the issues associated with migrating to Linux, as well as the prospective costs. Rod is a retired IT Manager who has conducted an introductory Linux course for PCUG and co-ordinated our own Linux Learner's SIG for three years.

Does this year's virus plague bug you ? Do you put off upgrading your applications and operating system because of the cost ? Does your computer's old software hang up or crash ? Come along and find out how painless trying the latest releases of Linux can be.

Download the presentation.

Previous Meetings


27 September   Annual General Meeting - Election Results
30 August   Cheaper, More Accessible Software - Open Source Software
26 July   NET PROFIT: Investing on the Internet
28 June   Genealogy: Sleuthing the Past
31 May   The PCUG Air Show
19 April   What you Need to Know about Viruses


Last Updated on 17/05/2005

PC Users Group (ACT) Inc
27 Mulley Street
Holder  ACT  2611
(02) 6287 2922


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