Monthly Main Meeting Highlights

March 2010
Software, Gadgets and Good Advice

Tonight Alex was along to present a very eclectic range of interesting matters including the trial version of Microsoft Office 2010, software to give us back the classic Office Menus and Diskeeper disk optimising technology.
We started with a lively Q and A session, which included a discussion of various email problems. In answer Alex described the use of Gmail, that is Google mail

and Hotmail the Microsoft alternative. Hotmail is now called Windows Live mail and is part of Windows Live.

Alex has his e-mail re-directed to his G-Mail which enables him to track his mail anywhere. He suggested that one way to have permanent e-mail address was to buy a domain name account just for e-mail. Then it won’t matter if you change your service provider your e-mail address remains the same.

Several web hosting companies were suggested including GoDaddy, John Symonds favourite, Jumba and WedCity, our own web host provider.
GoDaddy provides both cheap domain names and web hosting

as do Jumba

and WebCity

you can find list of some of the other cheap web hosting companies here:

some of which offer free domain names for the life of your contract.
Please note we are not recommending any service, this is just a list of those mentioned at the meeting.


Next Alex talked us through three of his gadgets.
First was the Samsung portable hard drive

Alex pointed out just how cheap portable hard drives are becoming and the huge increase in storage capacity. He recommended we buy two and back up our backups.
He noted that the Samsung 320 GB version was $79 and the 500GB version was $99 at TX Computing.
See the TX Computers latest PDF Price list at:

Next came, the Varta Solar Battery Charger.

The charger comes with a USB adapter and various mobile phone connections.
It charges two AA batteries giving about two hours to a mobile phone.
See the press release
and the details
This was followed by the Netcom 3G Travel Router.

This portable modem allows you to connect your network to your portable wireless provider using your USB wireless modem.
I can see a use for that if you have run out of bandwidth at home.
Alex also spoke of an even smaller router, into which you simply place the modems’ SIM card.


In software Alex demonstrated the new Office 2010.

Office 2010 now gives us an editable ribbon menu. You can download a trial version which runs out in October.
He also compared Office to the online Office produces such as Google Office and Windows Live. WIndows live only has document file shares at this point.

And for those of you who don’t like the un-editable Office 2007 ribbon there is software that allows you to have the classic menus back.

It’s from Add-In-tools. Here are the prices
In searching for this I also found some free classic menu add -ins for Office 2007

The Raffle.

Alex provided heaps of goodies from Google to Intel.
Which including several “Blue Men” USB sticks from Intel.

The main winners were

John Symonds,

Brian Mcdonald,

Clare Wagemans,

Peter Collard,

James Hill,

Warren Wylie

and John Cook


Those of us able to stay after 8 got to see Diskeeper.
Diskeeper is a software utility for hard drives to help keep them at optimum performance.
To quote from their site
(It) Prevents most fragmentation before it is created and increases system speed and efficiency for all home computers and laptops. Give your home PC faster-than-new speed and reliability without any additional effort on your part. Simply install Disk keeper 2010. That’s it!

Defragging Solid State Drives.

Now here’s something I was not aware of, you don’t defrag solid state drives (SSD). My Dell Mini 9 has a 14 G SSD after a year if was full. Thinking I was doing the right think I deleted all the temporary files and defragged the disk. That may not be a good idea as,
A) It may not be necessary, and
B) it limits the life of the disk.

One other member defragged his daughters SSD and on reboot found he had lost the drive.
Intel had this to say

Do I need to defragment my Intel® Mainstream Solid-State Drives (using Windows* Disk Defragmenter* or similar program)?

No. SSD devices, unlike traditional HDDs, see no performance benefit from traditional HDD defragmentation tools. Using these tools simply adds unnecessary wear to the SSD. It is recommended that you disable any automatic or scheduled defragmentation utilities for your Intel SSD. See below
However Diskeeper appears to have a different view as seen in the following video.
Mick Materte, Produce Manager from Diskeeper believe we should defrag using the right technology see

Disc keeper has the HyperFast SSD Optimiser which is designed to keep your SDD working as optimum performance
See their page on Disk keeper HyperFast SSD Optimiser
or the PDF on the technology

I think the question of defragging an SSD drive may be a good Q and A for next month.

That problem aside, Diskeeper works in the back ground to maintain your hard drive in optimum performance. It is a real set and forget, program. Diskeeper claims to eliminate up to 85% of defragmentation problems.
The cost is from $40 to $70 for the professional version with HyperFast for SSDs.
For the prices page see:
Alex recommends the Professional version

You can download a thirty-day trial at

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