Monthly Main Meeting Highlights

Welcome to the October 2013 Main Meeting

Tonight Alex gave us our first look at the new Leap Motion hands free device and a summary of the new Windows 8.1.

Window 8.1 logo       Leap Motion Logo

The first item of note was the return of the start button to the desktop and the appearance of some interesting features that look to integrate the desktop and the touch screen experience.

Start button screen shot

The start button can be set to boot to either the desktop or the modern UI screen, formerly called metro.

Task bar sreen shot

The start button can be customised to suit your needs by using the navigation “Taskbar and navigation properties” to set defaults such as “go to desktop” on start.

Start screen tutorial

You can now have your open applications included in your desktop. Another innovation is to have your open apps tiled together with up to four on view.

How we can view the titles in the modern UI has been revamped. Windows 8.1 now gives us up to four sizes of title to choose from and

New size for titles

we can rearrange the tiles in a variety of orders such as “most used” or “name”

Screen shot showing the app arranged by name Scrren shot showing apps arranged by most used

You can also access all the apps by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This gives us a look at all the apps loaded on the computer.

Some of the criticisms of Windows 8.1 included the persistence of Microsoft to continue to remove features which have proven so popular with users. While the start button has made a comeback in the desktop it is still basically only a link to the Modern UI. It is not the same functional button it was in earlier versions of Windows. To get that level of functionality you will still need add-on programs like Classic Shell.

There is a growth industry in add-ons. One add-on Alex showed was ModernMix by Stardock. This app will allow you to run Modern UI apps on your desktop.

screen shot of Modern Mix

He then showed us some of the new tablets coming on the market running Windows 8.1.

The Lenovo Miix 2

Lenovo Miix 2

and the new Dell Venue tablets

Dell Venue

Alex’s recommended that if you had Windows 8 then upgrading was a good idea but if you are satisfied with Windows 7 then maybe not.

Windows 8.1 in Detail  

After the break Alex demonstrated the new Leap Motion Controller.

Leap Motion Device

It’s a Touch free motion controller and drawing tool. It brings the capabilities of such devices as Wii and Xbox to the PC.

It’s a small rectangle box

Leap Motion device

This device reads your finger motion and translate it into actions.

Alex demonstrating the leap Motion Device

As Alex was showing, with just a wave of your hand you can create drawings, play games or even command the computer.

Leap Motion drawing

The software has a learning module which learns to recognise your hand movements.

Leap Motion hand recognition

The learning module gives instruction to help you learn how to use the device.

Leap Motion learning instructions    Alex using the Leap Motion to draw

Here Alex is attempting to draw.

Drawing with Leap Motion

Alex then demonstrated some games that use hand gestures to control postion.

Playing games using hand gestures     Alex playing a game using gestures

The website has some interesting games designed to test your abilities to manipulate the airspace.

Leap Motion Web Site

Here is a link to the app store

You can also use the Leap Motion to command your computer.

Menu comands by gesture    Menus displayed using gestures

You can find the Leap Motion at Dick Smith for $129

The Raffle

Tonight, thanks to Alex and Norton, we had a range of goodies including hand receivers for your mobile phone, a tablet keyboard and a Norton 360 5 device licence.

Our winners tonight









Bruce with the door prize              Bruce

And Bruce who took home both the door prize and hand phone  .



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