Chairman's Report 2009

JAVEA COMPUTER CLUB - CHAIRMAN'S REPORT 2009

Looking back over the Minutes, 2009 was quietly successful, with a programme of interesting workshops and talks and no major disasters, save for one incident of flooding. However this time it was through the ceiling not as a result of the rains. The new drainage of Avenida Tamarits seems to be working, though the car park is still susceptible to large quantities of mud. I hope this has not engulfed potential Club members, since overall membership declined over 2009, from 537 to 414. This follows a downward trend which has become established over the past few years. However attendances have been holding up remarkably well. Tuesdays are up, especially when there are workshops; Thursdays gently plod along as usual, and Mondays have a very spiky attendance (due to the weather perhaps?). In the forum after this formal meeting we shall have the opportunity to comment on these figures.

We did not purchase much in the way of equipment in 2009 - just the tiny EEbox PC, a few screens and another router to enable load balancing for the Club's Internet Network. (Thanks to Andreas Wernli for being our resident guru in configuring this set-up so successfully). We did (after a great deal of discussion) buy some rather elegant fold away room dividers. Having failed to find a local source, these were imported from UK. Our thanks to Carole Outram for her help in shipping them over. They have proved to be a great asset in sectioning off part of the room for workshops, and to to protect others from the enthusiasm of the Video Editing Group. One small innovation is that sound from presentation computers can now be routed through our mixer so that it can be combined with microphone audio and heard through the ceiling speakers.

Our weekly programme has shifted emphasis. These days Tuesdays are the most popular, with Special Interest Groups, help for beginners and a series of highly successful practical workshops covering topics such as Backing up, Windows 7, Genealogy, Wiki Websites, Excel, MP3 Music, Paintshop Pro, E-bay, Word, Open Office, E-mails, Google, and Picasa.

Thursdays try to disseminate general and technical knowledge about computing, so we covered Collabroative computing; the desirability (or not) of having Vista, VOIP; Social Networking; New hardware; Smartphones; Firefox add-ons; Viral Marketing; Satellite TV; IT in the music industry; Cool websites; Browsers compared; Computers in the Near Future and Nano Technology.

Our thanks to all tutors and speakers for the time and effort they put into preparing and delivering their presentations.

We also held two computer fairs. As in previous years these were well attended both by members and participating local businesses. I think all agree that these are useful events and help to make and maintain personal contact between the Club and local computer shops.

The web site has changed its appearance. Gone is the old Club logo! (a portent of things to come?) This has been replaced by a rat-like mouse …or is it a mouse-like rat? Thanks mainly to Morris for ringing in the changes of the new design. A static website is a dead one, but our collaborative site is kept alive and up to date through the efforts of Reg, Mike, Peter, SIGs and group leaders.

We continue with the Microsoft Action Pack subscription - which this year gave us 10 licenses for Windows 7 - So we decided to dump Vista on the Club Computers, and our PCs are now either XP (for the diehards) or Windows 7. We also have licenses for Office 2003 and 2007. Hopefully Office 2010 will be out before our subscription expires in July this year.

The Club's charity for this year has been the Alzheimer's day care centre in Javea. We collected over €1500, primarily through the efforts of the hardware group (members express their appreciation for help by making donations); a raffle for a copy of Windows 7 (kindly donated by Vic) and a raffle at our Christmas Party.

Which brings me on to social events. This year we had two treasure hunts. Thanks to Scotty and Morris for organising the events and dreaming up the clues. We also had a D.I.Y., "bring a dish and a bottle" Christmas party. Our thanks to Tessa Deacon for organising such a varied and tasty menu!

As usual I would like to thank the non-committee regular helpers: On the cash desk: Carol Jardine, Jaqui Bayliss, Cynthia Cutts and Elaine Wareham. Thanks also to everyone who has helped another member or been kind to a newbie. These small things make the Club a friendly place to be.

My thanks to my hardworking Committee - Reg Cutts, Ann Jones, Richard Wareham, Win Jones, Peter Bayliss, Morris Gray, Mike Easter, Mervyn Hayes, John Jardine, Ron Moss, Vic Tattersall, Rob Westlands, Huw Griffith, Keith Scott, Fredrik Wengelin and Diane Wynne. Thank you.

Ann, Fredrik, Huw, Diane and Win are not standing for re-election this year. Your service and support over the past several years has been invaluable and all of you have left your mark on the Club in one way or another. We hear that Win is undergoing hospital treatment in the UK and we send her our very best wishes.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has served with me on the Computer Club Committee over the twelve years of my Chairmanship, and indeed the 19 years I have been on the Committee. I have really enjoyed helping to develop and nurture the Javea Computer Club, and appreciate everyone's enthusiastic contributions.

I shall do my best to keep out of the incoming Committee's hair and wish them good luck and a lot of fun (or should it be good fun and a lot of luck?). I hope I will be allowed to continue to contribute through giving the occasional presentation, and I'll be around to help troubleshoot those inevitable glitches which personal computers delight in throwing at us.

Chris Betterton-Jones - February 2010

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