Hobbyists Computer Club

Monday, July 21, 2008


Next SIG meeting is Aug 18 See you then

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


All current computers have a chip in them that combines a real-time clock with some nonvolatile RAM memory. This chip is often referred to as the CMOS or CMOS RAM chip and is designed to run off a battery for several years.

The clock enables software to read the date and time and preserves the date and time data even when the system is powered off or unplugged.

The other portion of the chip stores basic system configuration information which is read every time the computer is powered on. The battery preserves the information and powers the clock.

Symptoms that indicate that the battery is about to fail include having to reset the clock on your PC every time you reboot the system and problems during the system’s boot, such as drive-detection difficulties. If you experience problems such as these, you should make note of your system’s CMOS settings and replace the battery as soon as possible.

When you replace a battery, in most cases the existing data stored remains intact for several minutes so purchase the battery in advance and make the battery swap quickly.

When you replace a PC battery, be sure you get the polarity correct; otherwise, you may damage the CMOS chip.

After replacing a battery, power up the system and use the Setup program to check the date and time setting and any other data that was stored in the NVRAM.

Most systems have the setup program built right into the ROM BIOS software. These built-in setup programs are activated by a key sequence usually entered during boot-up. The key is generally shown on the screen during the beginning phase of the boot-up sequence and indicates which key to press to enter the BIOS Setup.
Most likely one of the following keystrokes will be used to enter the BIOS Setup:
Del , F2, Ctrl+Alt+Esc, F1, Ctrl+Alt+S. F10

It is a good idea to record your BIOS settings in advance for future reference.

—In the BIOS Setup main screen, you’ll usually find a main menu allowing access to other menus and submenus offering various sections or screens and instructions as to navigating thru the BIOS screens.
—Record all the settings.
—The setup program has several pages of information, so record the information on each page.
—Most systems do return to the default BIOS settings if the CMOS battery is removed, but you may lose any customized settings.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Who hasn’t heard or said “someday we will be able to see each other on the phone as we talk?” Well ‘someday’ is here, and it’s not only affordable, it can be free.

It’s called Webcams.

The most obvious use of a webcam is when it’s linked with your telephone and you’re talking with your kids of grandkids, but you can use it to monitor remotely or promote something. How about
· keeping an eye on your house while you’re out of town
· checking on the baby sitter to make sure everything is OK
· finding out what your dog does in the back yard all day.
· observing your new grandchild during nap time.
· advertise product
· demonstrate how to do something
· participate in a meeting without being present
· or just to have some fun

Webcams, like most things, range from simple to complex. If you understand the essence of a simple Webcam setup, increasing the complexity is only a matter of adding functionality through software, custom code and/or equipment connections.

A simple Webcam setup consists of a digital camera attached to your computer, typically through the USB port. The camera part of the Webcam setup is just a digital camera -- there's really nothing special going on there.

The "Webcam" nature of the camera comes with the software. Webcam software "grabs a frame" from the digital camera at a preset interval (for example, the software might grab a still image from the camera once every 30 seconds) and transfers it to another location for viewing.
If you're interested in using your Webcam for continuous viewing like a movie (called ‘streaming’), you need a Webcam system with a high frame rate (the number of pictures the software can grab and transfer in one second.) For streaming video, you need a minimum rate of at least 15 frames per second (fps), and 30 fps is ideal. To achieve high frame rates, you need a high-speed Internet connection.

Once the cam captures a frame, the software broadcasts the image over your Internet connection.

So if your children and grandchildren live far away and you don't see them often, then you will be interested in our presentation on WEB Cam’s; Thursday January 10 at 10 AM here in the Church. The presentation will include a LIVE demenstration.

These handy devices attached to your computer and using a free software program, such as Skype or AOL Messenger you can view and talk to your family. The best part is it doesn’t cost for the phone call, it's free.

Welcome our new members at the meeting.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Seasons Greetings

For all beliefs, religions and philosophies this is the season for uniting in brotherhood and love. Wishing all a joyous, healthy and happy seasons greeting from each of us to one and another.

and may all this ice melt from our driveways, walkways and sidewalks!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


For information on toy recalls go to cpsc.gov

Drop off your old computer at a participating Goodwill store. This free program reuses or recycles electronics, helps the environment and puts people to work. For more details go to www.reconnectpartnership.com


In addition to computer classes offered at the Ridgewood and Upper Saddle River Libraries computer skill classes are available at the Northwest Bergen Regional Senior Center located at 46-50 Center Street, Midland Park (201-445-5690)

In January they will be offering Introduction to the Computer, Navigating the Internet, Photo workshop, e-mail, Microsoft Word 1 and 2, and computer anatomy.

Depending on the subject, courses will run for 5, 6 or 8 weeks with a suggested lump sum donation at the rate of $5.00 times the number of sessions per course. Classes are limited to eight students so early pre-registration is advisable.