The questions covered were "If you only want to buy a laptop or a tablet, which should you choose?" (assumption that everyone needs a phone - but not necessarily a smartphone. Although….), and "If you have both a desktop and a tablet, what would you use each for?"
We had a look at the technical characteristics of both and then discussed how you would decide. You can see the slides backing up the discussion here.
The question giving rise to this topic was "Before I pick a language to learn, how do they compare, ease of use vs. functionality". The presentation starts by considering why we have computing languages in the first place, then we cover some concepts and a few of the early programming languages developed and still going strong. The presentation finishes off by looking at a few of the most popular languages today.
Click here to view a pdf of the presentation.
Given that we had just completed the first and main part of our Beacon implementation, we talked through the system selection and implementation, and also gave a demonstration of Beacon using the demo system as well as seeing the way we have linked the website to the operational Beacon system. You can see a pdf of the presentation by clicking cc_20231207_beacon.pdf.
We took a journey through the development of Artificial Intelligence. We thought about a definition of artificial intelligence and the development objectives as well as looking at the nature of both Symbolic and Neural Network based AI. We had the underpinning techniques and examples of multi-layer perceptrons, Backprop training techniques, deep learning, Large Language Models and Generative AI (all at a high level of course).
The presentation - in PDF format of course - is available by clicking here. Unfortunately the video of DeepMind learning Breakout does work after exporting to PDF - but just search for DeepMind & Breakout and you will find the YouTube video.
Our topic of the day was how to do interesting things with Spreadsheets. We had a very quick and brief introduction to spreadsheets which is in the linked presentation. Then some of our members demonstrated their use of spreadsheets including
We had our periodic brainstorm on topics for future meetings and voted on which topics should take priority. The list of all the topics is shown below with the votes in brackets:
Our topic of the day was the use of PDFs. We covered some history and definition of the PDF format/standard, the "normal" use of PDFs, and then how PDFs could be amended with the wide availability of PDF tools. The presentation - in PDF format of course - is available by clicking here.
This Month's topic was http or Internet Cookies. We covered the what Cookies are intended to do, different types of Cookies and how they work. We went into additional detail on tracking Cookies and then Cookie handling by different browsers. A copy of the presentation in pdf format can be seen here
This Month's topic was USB sticks. We covered what a USB device is, what a USB stick can be used for, its evolution and significant variants. We also covered some interesting uses and common problems. A copy of the presentation in pdf format can be seen here.
This month's topic was Password Managers. We covered typical risks to passwords, internet security, VPNs
Multi-factor authentication and Passkeys before looking at Password manager functionality and available systems. A copy of the presentation in pdf format can be seen here.
This month's topic was email. We covered how email works, email addressing, what is sent across the internet, client server options, We also looked at choices of email systems and finally how to spot a fake email. A copy of the presentation in pdf format can be seen here.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.