Main Monthly Meeting: September 2010

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Thursday, 9 September 2010
(7pm for a 7.30pm start)

Christmas Lights & Sound
presented by Allan Hepworth

  • Allan puts a lot of effort in decorating his house for the Christmas Season.
  • He has myriads of little lights which create a festive spectacle and it is a quite a job stringing them all together to create the shapes he wants.
  • This year he is combining the visual effect with audio.
  • He has some interesting software and hardware to synchronise the traditional melodies with the various sets of lights and their colours and effects.
  • Before he starts this time-consuming exercise in patience, Allan will show us his setup and explain how the software works to give a very effective streetscape display.
  • At the presentation, Allan will discuss what problems he has run into when trying to create his display and his recommendation on what not to do.
  • He will bring to the presentation one of his light controllers with a few different lights to demonstrate how itís all put together as well as a practical demonstration of the software, both sequencing and playback.
  • You will also be able to see his latest acquisition item which is new to the market. An audio-visual treat.
  • Allan uses software and hardware manufactured in the United States by Light-O-Rama.
  • Warning! Allan says house decorating at Christmas time can be addictive.

Summary of the Meeting and Invitation to Members
The September 2010 MMM was presented by Allan Hepworth. His topic was Christmas Lights. Allan has a real passion when it comes to decorating his property with lights at Christmas Time. He started like most people with the single string of fairy lights in the window but in keeping with his profession, he has gone "hi-tech" in more recent years. Allan's house and garden now sport the latest in the technology of house decorations. Besides the traditional fairy lights, the Dunlop house is festooned with bright strings of LEDs, cascades of synchronised lights simulating movement and floodlights. This year Allan will have a 6 metre tree in the front yard and he will display the latest technology - a string of LEDs each of which can be programmed for any colour with fading as well as switching effects. The show is connected to a central controller produced by Lightorama. It is driven by a software programme on the PC which is very sophisticated and allows the operation to be synchronised to music. It takes hours to write the programme. Some exciting features are built in to give you a good start. For instance, tools recognise the beat in the music and suggest a suitable pattern.
Traditionally the lights are ready by 1st December but work on installing, programming and testing starts now. To enhance his show and to minimise disturbance to the neighbours, Allan operates sound through a short-range FM transmitter. Visitors can listen to the music on their car radio while watching the lights. "Decorating your house at Christmas can be as cheap or as expensive as you want" says Allan. "In my case I like the latest in technology but it can be costly." Allan says it helps having an electrician in the family to ensure all the wiring is done safely and efficiently. He also warns that this can be an addictive hobby.
Members are invited to visit Cashion Circuit Dunlop from 1 December and enjoy the light show while listening to traditional festive melodies.

The Main Monthly Meeting of the PC Users Group (ACT) Incorporated will be held at the Grant Cameron Community Centre Conference Room, 27 Mulley Street HOLDER ACT 2611. Doors open at 7:00 PM for a commencement at 7:30 PM.


 The monthly meetings are free. Members, friends and the public are invited to attend. Don’t rush home after the meeting! Stay for coffee, tea, biscuits and good company. It’s all free! Renew acquaintances, meet new people and ask those questions you didn’t get a chance to ask at the meeting! Membership inquiries are welcomed! Email inquiries to or phone 02-6287-2922.

Previous Meetings


August 2010

"Members' Applications and Utilities Demonstrations" moderated by Mike Dinn
July 2010

"Picasa" with Mike Boesen
Link to PDF slides used at the presentation.

June 2010

postponed until July
May 2010

"Gadget Night" with Mike Dinn
Link to PDF slides used at the presentation.

April 2010

"Medalling in Defence: demonstrating database applications which facilitate the dispatch of medals being issued" with Peter Barker
March 2010

"Moving Pictures - an Introduction to Digital Video" with Leonard Low
(click on link to access powerpoint slides with some web-links used to illustrate points during the presentation)
February 2010

Link to PDF slides used at the presentation.


November 2009

"Cyberspace and Crime" with John Broome. Link to PDF slides used at the presentation.
October 2009

PCUG AGM & Presentation from Deafness Resource Centre with Jack White
September 2009

"Online Resources and Family History Programs" with Julie Hesse
(Computer Manager of the Heraldry and Genealogy Society)
August 2009

'Aspects of Photography when Holidaying - Contrasting the Fundamentals of Digital and Film Photography (Jeff Colwell)
July 2009

"Playing with Fire" presented by David and Linda (Rathgeber) Nicholls, joint authors of a book on the Macromedia Fireworks 4 software. Please click here to access the link to the tutorials online used at the presentation, along with other interesting tutorials.
June 2009

Zen and the Art of Databases, with Peter Barker.
May 2009

(no presentation this month)
April 2009

Backing Up Drives and Data Using Acronis True Image, with Mike Boesen and Terry Bibo. Please click here to access post meeting information about the presentation.
March 2009

Windows7, with Andrew Miles
February 2009

Wild Beasts Captured on African Safari, with Graham Paul.

November 2008

"Johnny boy's Walkabout Blog"  with John Evans
October 2008

1. "Getting to places google can't find - the hidden web revealed" with Eleanor Whelan. Follow-up notes from presentation (pdf file)
3. PCUG Volunteer of the Year for 2008 awared to Muriel Bromley Marsh
September 2008

August 2008

The Silicon Kid  (Matthew Purcel)
July 2008

No Meeting
June 2008

Healthy Computer Practices (Janine Robertson) & Access Database (Philip Veerman)
May 2008

ABC Radio Interactive Website
April 2008

March 2008

Audacity Sample Workshop, with Basil McMillan.
mmm info brochure (pdf)

Basil's presentation notes: (ppt 1.8MB) (pdf 938k)
Overview of PCUG Training, with Ann Byrne.
February 2008

Digital Imaging with Jeff Colwell

November 2007

Finn Blucher from Novell, presented
October 2007

PCUG AGM & 'Your Questions Answered' Q&A Panel
September 2007

Microsoft Office 2007 (Denise Holehouse, a Solution Specialist  with Microsoft Australia)
August 2007

Linux Open SUSE 10.2 (Chris Gacesa)  Presentation  Notes (PDF File) 1.56Mb download
July 2007

Microsoft VISTA (Derek Moir)     Presentation Notes (PDF File) 772k download
June 2007

Apollo and the ACT (John Saxon & Mike Dinn)  John's Presentation Notes (PDF File) 4Mb download  Mike's Presentation Notes (PDF File) 4Mb download
May 2007

Norton 360 All-In-One Security (David Hall & Natalie Conor)
April 2007
  Vista - cancelled with apologies due to illness. Presentation to be rescheduled
March 2007
  Preventative Maintenance for Windows PCs (Mike Boesen)
November 2006
  A Use for a Pentium100 (Rod Peters) and Security for YOUR PC (Terry Bibo)
October 2006
  Special General Meeting and Annual General Meeting. Meeting Outline. Minutes from Meetings
September 2006
   PICASA (with Mike Boesen) Mike has put the notes on his site, so that anyone can access the pdf file directly from this page:
August 2006

July 2006

Q&A Session, SIG Info, Training Overview
June 2006

VOIP (Voice Over IP) and Fileserver with Mathew Smith (from IBM)
May 2006

Microsoft Australia enlightened us about VISTA
April 2006

The PANDORA Archive
March 2006
  Electronic voting and counting for ACT Legislative Assembly election
February 2006
  Home PC Security in a Windows XP environment - Andrew Miles of Microsoft
PDF of Andrew's Presentation
November 2005
  Flight Simulator
October 2005
  Annual General Meeting
September 2005
  Free Software - From A to Z
August 2005
  The Silicon Kid
July 2005
  Voice Recognition Software & PICASA2
June 2005
  Digital Photography
May 2005
  PC Checkup - How To Keep Ypour PC Healthy
April 2005
  Backups and Spyware Destroyers
March 2005
  Why Is Linux and Open Source Software Rapidly Gaining a Huge Following in Personal Computing?
February 2005
  Free Software Development Methology


  Trials of an Editor - David Kidd editor of Australian PC Authority
October   Home Automation and Introducing Linux
September   Annual General Meeting - Election Results
August   Cheaper, More Accessible Software - Open Source Software
July   NET PROFIT: Investing on the Internet
June   Genealogy: Sleuthing the Past
May   The PCUG Air Show
April   What you Need to Know about Viruses


Last Updated on 19 September 2010

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


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