Attending (17): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, A.J. Amato, Geoff Brewer, Jim Butterworth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Dick Drumm, Stewart Wagner, Carole Spencer, Rommel Tolentino.
Guests (3): Rotarian Richard Hodge, speaker Paul Iannon, guest Willie Widbee.
PROGRAM: “Advances In Home Technology”
Roberto Martinez introduced Paul Iannon, representing Hippo’s Home Entertainment in Stuyvesant Plaza.
Paul is a veteran of more than 30 years in the field, as a marketing representative, in sales, and as a consultant. He began his talk by running through a litany of major advances made in home entertainment technology in recent years, with a focus on recorded music.
“Today,” Paul said, “is the best time for music ever.” He cited as an example a comparison between an acquaintance’s collection of 7,000 vinyl recordings kept in a huge climate-controlled space to a smart phone he displayed, noting “In this little device I can access 17 million songs.”
He also spoke about the “network” most of us can access — any combination of smart phones, iPads, laptop computers, etc. This network, he pointed out, can serve us with better access to information from virtually anywhere to such services as NetFlix, iTunes, Sirius Satellite Radio and more. Compare this to such providers as Time Warner Cable which uses modems that are not state of the art yet cost much more than competing services with better equipment.
Paul said we can upgrade our home service by purchasing better-quality routers than those provided by cable companies, although he cautioned against buying cut-rate routers which would do little to improve reception quality. And, he said the term “wireless router” is a misnomer, since some wiring is required, but that what he referred to as a “stable router” would be a better investment by providing equal quality building-wide.
He advised reeducating ourselves on how to use all of our “network” devices, through which we can access more music, movies and programming, “talk” to our household appliances, home security systems and banking transactions, among other possibilities.
During a Q&A session, Terry Brewer suggested considering a “how-to” training session as a Rotary-sponsored event that would help people achieve some of the things Paul said are possible.
• President Bill Dowd welcomed the guests.
• Ray Hannan shared with attendees that his daughter, stationed with the U.S. Air Force in South Korea, has been selected as “Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for the Pacific Region.”
• Bill announced that Debbie Brown has volunteered to take over the duties of menu planning and dinner meeting reservations from him as of July 1. He reminded us a volunteer still is needed to handle the program planning duties.
• The club will purchase three (3) ShelterBoxes this year, two from the club treasury and one courtesy of a $1,000 contribution by Bill and April. Bill asked anyone who wishes to purchase a ShelterBox or contribute toward the $1,000-per-box cost to please contact treasurer Murray Forth right away because our contribution will be sent in within a few days.
• Richard Hodge, fellow Rotarian and a member of the Gift of Life Board, greeted the club and spoke about the April 14 multi-club meeting being planned for the Fairways at Halfmoon. The event will be hosted by District Governor Dave Hennel, and the cost is just $15 per person, It is planed as a social get-together with what Rich termed “a big surprise” at the conclusion. Bill and Murray said they will attend, and Bill asked others to come forward, especially since Dave Hennel has attended a number of our club’s events. Rich also said he is working with Bill to arrange a date to make a presentation on our recent GOL child as well as the district’s latest medical mission.
• Murray read an update from Boy Scout Troop 41, outlining its activities for the past year, thanking our club for its ongoing financial support, and requesting underwriting of a camping scholarship. Bill said the club will continue to support the troop financially. (See separate posting on this website about the Scouts’ report.)
• Terry Brewer reminded members of the Blue Star Mothers’ annual Blue Jean Ball, scheduled for April 18. Reservation deadline is April 11, and anyone interested should contact Debbie Rodriguez. Reservations are $20 each. Terry said he will propose during his presidential year that the club provide some support to the Blue Star Mothers organization as a way to serve veterans in the community.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 9, at Quigley’s. The program will be on the University at Albany’s efforts in community engagement.