Main Line Commodore User Group


October 2012 Issue 365





Starting in 2013, hard copies of the newsletter will NOT be mailed. Along with this change, dues will be reduced to $10 per year.

In 2013 & beyond, the newsletter will only be distributed as a PDF file and will be sent via email thru the club's email system.

When you renew your membership and pay your dues this year, PLEASE make sure you have a registered email address with the club as this is the only way you will be able to receive a copy of the monthly newsletter.



For the past few years we've had at least one presentation that focused on Internet TV. Along those lines, we'll have a presentation on the setup of Plex as software for a Home Theatre PC.

Plex is a fork of the XBMC (X-Box Media Center) as was Boxee. Boxee for the PC is no longer supported, but the last couple of versions can still be downloaded from the Internet.

Plex is unique when compared to XBMC & Boxee in that the most recent versions have separate software for client & server, thus providing greater flexibility and reduced footprint when the client is integrated is integrated into smart TV's, mobile devices, and other hardware.

John D will walk us through the installation & configuration of Plex on Windows and provide a demo of some of Plex's capabilities.


1) Club membership entitles you to receive a hard copy of the newsletter and access to our email list server, which is run for the benefit of our members. Please do not hesitate to post club and computer related notices and problems to it. If we can’t solve your problem remotely, we can be alerted to it ahead of the monthly meeting where more hands-on may help resolve your problem.

2) A few of the regular attendees usually partake of lunch at the Campus Corner Restaurant near the intersection of Routes 30 and 320 just off the Villanova University campus. So, after the meeting, why not join us? It’s an opportunity to get more help and to discuss our common interests.


Attendance: 9 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, September 8th.

Main Meeting Q&A: We began last month’s meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

John D -

Rich T -Layton F -Ed C -

Main Meeting Program:
The main meeting presentation topic was "Motion in Rasberry Pi" and was presented by Peter W.

Peter gave us an overview of his summer vacation project. His project was to turn a Rasberry Pi into a time lapse photo recorder and in turn, turn the photos into time-lapse movies.

Peter described his motivation for the project, what it took in terms of effort, the general cost of the project, and the research required along the way.

The presentation show notes as an HTML web page can be found at:

This section contains web links & other info related to some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

Most of the extensions enable the user to download versions of the video in different resolutions & file formats other than just Flash. Just see the picture below.

RASBERRY PI (Model B = $35)


What’s a Raspberry Pi? The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.


Where can I buy one? You can buy the Raspberry Pi through Premier Farnell/Element 14 and RS Components. Both distributors sell all over the world. In the USA:


    How much will it cost? The Model A will cost $25 and the Model B $35, plus local taxes.

    What will I get when I buy one? A Raspberry Pi. Leads, a power supply or SD cards are not included but can be purchased at the same time from Farnell and RS. You will be able to buy preloaded SD cards too. The first batch (February 2012) will not have a case.



    The BIOS
    For the purpose of booting up the computer, the BIOS is used for three main functions:

  • Providing a set of machine code subroutines that can be called by the operating system and whose function is to access the hardware components of the computer such as hard disk.
  • Initiating the boot sequence after a hardware Reset.
  • Allowing changes to the low level setup options.

    The BIOS code is burned onto a Flash EPROM memory chip which is installed on the motherboard of the computer. It is not possible to modify the BIOS code. However, the BIOS code can usually be upgraded by obtaining the latest BIOS code from the company that wrote the code, or better still from the company that manufactured the motherboard.

    When a Reset / Start is issued, components on the motherboard wait until the voltage is steady. During this time, they hold a Reset signal to the CPU to prevent it executing code. When the power supply indicates that it is steady, the Reset signal on the CPU is turned off, which allows the CPU to begin executing code. The first instruction is a jump instruction to the main part of BIOS code which could be "anywhere" else. As well as testing and initializing the hardware in the Power On Self Test (POST), the BIOS initiates the boot sequence from the hard disk (or whatever device is specified in the BIOS setup).

    The computer power-on self-test (POST) tests the computer to make sure it meets the necessary system requirements and that all hardware is working properly before starting the remainder of the boot process. If the computer passes the POST the computer will have a single beep (with some computer BIOS manufacturers it may beep twice) as the computer starts and the computer will continue to start normally. However, if the computer fails the POST, the computer will either not beep at all or will generate a beep code, which tells the user the source of the problem.

    In summary, the following happens when the PC is switched on and the power is steady:

  • ROM BIOS (BIOS) initiates Power On Self Test (POST).
  • The BIOS determines the "boot device" - normally a hard disk.
  • The BIOS loads the contents of the first physical sector of the hard disk into memory (the MBR) to location 7C00 through to 7DFF.
  • The BIOS instructs the CPU to execute the MBR code by issuing a jmp to location 7C00.

    DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOM Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110.

    Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper level of the 2-level parking building adjacent to the St. Augustine Center, on the Ithan Avenue side of the building. NOTE: maps on our web page -

     MLCUG Meetings Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
       October 13                      October 17
       November 10                     November 14
       December 8                      December 12
    EDITOR: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211 Produced with HP-P6267C: 2.5GHz 4-Core Q8300, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Brother HL-5370DW laser printer, CD-RW/DVD±R/RW drive, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS, MS Office XP, Bullzip PDF Printer software
    MLCUG LISTSERV:	for members only...
    PUBLICITY:              Position OPEN!
    VILLANOVA SPONSOR:      Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy
    PRESIDENT: John Deker      610-828-7897	
    V.PRESIDENT: Al Gottlieb   215-793-9725
    TREASURER/SEC: John Deker  610-828-7897	
    WEBMASTER: Peter Whinnery  610-284-5234	
    DATABASE: Layton Fireng    610-688-2080
    AT LARGE:  Tom Johnson     610-896-2434	
    AT LARGE:  Wendy Emery     215-765-3328
    AT LARGE: Nelson Schrock   610-834-0117
    AT LARGE: John Murphy      610-935-4398