December 18, 2010 Meeting, Presentation, Oscilloscope Demo, Glynn Gillette, Presenter

Although this overview of the December club meeting is very late, I thought, better late than never. This meeting was our holiday celebration and many people brought delicious baked goods, cookies, deviled eggs, and fruit for all to enjoy, and this was in addition to our usual bagels and coffee. What a wonderful treat for all to share. Thanks to all who brought something and to those who set up the treats and cleaned up afterwards.

First, please note that upcoming meetings in 2011 will be held in the auditorium at the Hunterdon Medical Center as we have in the past.

A discussion took place about eReaders to find out what our members thought and what experiences they had with digital readers. Some commented that although paper books are easier to use, the Kindle was good to have. It has good visibility and portability and can connect through WiFi to Amazon free. EBooks can be purchased on Amazon and downloaded to the Kindle.

The iPad allows connection to the internet and has better legibility. The Kindle is smaller and lighter and a wide variety of books are available for it and some are free.

There are two distinctive readers at this time. One is a computer screen that is backlit and has graphics; the second is electronic paper with no backlight and is in black and white.

There is software to convert eBooks from one reader to another.

eBooks are available at the county library that can be downloaded, converted, and sent to your Kindle or eReader.

A member also discussed a problem he had when paying bills on line. When trying to pay his bills on line he found that his bank account had been closed. After investigating into the problem with his bank he found that electronic payments and deposits don’t count as activity on the account. His account was noted as dormant and it became inactive and his electronic bill payments did not go through.   He found that deposits over $1 were required to be made to the account on a regular basis to keep it active on bank records. Once that was done, his account was reinstated and he was able to continue paying bills on line. His experience was helpful to all of us to make us aware that we need to understand our bank’s requirements as we use internet transactions more and more.

Presentation: A Fun Voice and Vision Oscilloscope Demo, by Glynn Gillette

Glynn has been kind enough to share his broad knowledge of electricity and his past experiences with the club. This time he brought in an oscilloscope to show us and to explain its use. Much of his talk was about Tesla who worked with Thomas Edison. Tesla worked on the development of alternating current against the wishes of Edison who preferred direct current. It became a big disagreement between the two as to which was better, AC or DC.

The oscilloscope is a testing instrument that is used to diagnose problems in telephone switching systems, relay systems, and electronic systems. It traces out the voltage and displays it on a screen. With the use of this oscilloscope, problems in the electrical relay could be found and corrected. Thank you to Glynn who explained the background and history of Tesla and his work with alternating electrical current and described how the oscilloscope works.  He brought one from home to show us and to demonstrate how it is used.