Please note this is the fourth Wednesday aand not as previously advertised. This is because Peter will be away on the original date.
ICENI COMPUTER CLUB 2016
7.30 p.m. Wednesday 27th April 2016
Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE
1. Apologies for Absence
2. Minutes of the last meeting
3. Matters arising
4. Chairman's Report
5. Treasurer's Report
6. Election of Officers and Committee
This is not quite ready for issue yet. I've been a bit busy lately and I need to get the AGM details out. I will complete this and issue it initially via email and later be inserted into the archived newsletter.
Michael started the evening with some utilities he uses on Windows and kicked off with Veeam Endpoint Backup, a free tool for backing up and restoring Windows PCs.
Veeam started out in Enterprise/Business with support for backing up VMWare based virtual environments then expanded to support Microsoft's HyperV hypervisor. The Enterprise products can be used in a "free" mode if you're happy to initiate manual backups of Virtual Machines / Environments but in order to have regular scheduled backups they require a paid upgrade to the full product. Licensing for this is on a per core basis but this is aimed at Business use with prices to match.
More recently Veeam have released the free Endpoint Backup tool aimed at standard Windows PCs rather than server based virtual environments. Like many backup products this can back up with full image or file level backups to another drive internally, a USB drive or even to a network share on another machine. In this way it is quite similar to products such as Acronis that we have have previously looked at, but is a free product.
The Endpoint Backup product can also create a restore CD/DVD or USB stick to enable booting a machine and restore a backup in the event of a catastrophic failure or restoring to a replacement machine. This image creation was quite clever as it allowed you to include any needed drivers such as for networking.
For a free product it seemed very sophisticated and well worth a look if you're a Windows user.
Michael's second utility was called WinDirStat, a free utility for showing disk usage as a tree-map. Similar utilities are available for most operating systems on computers and tablets/smart-phones and can be hugely useful in finding what is hogging storage space.
Michael also showed us CPU-Z, a free Windows utility for giving system information such as spec of CPUs and memory modules, which can be useful when planning upgrades and purchasing compatible components.
Finally we looked at HWMonitor which showed a lot of useful information inlcuding the wear level / health of the battery, the number of charge cycles and more.
Gareth showed Plex Media Server that he runs on his NAS at home. This allows you to catalogue media files such as TV shows and Movies, home movies etc and downloads metadata including synopses, online reviews and thumbnail images from the web to enrich the user experience.
Plex allows you to connect and watch or even sync content to your mobile device with apps available for both Android and iOS, and also has a web client so you can watch content in any web browser on a PC.
Plex is free to use within your home network but requires a paid for Plex Pass subscription if you wish to be able to access the content securely on your mobile device when out and about.
One issue with Plex is that it relies on a strict file naming convention in order to identify episodes and series of shows and if this isn't adhered to fails to add and catalogue the content. To work around this Gareth showed a free utility called FileBot which accesses online databases such as imdb.org and thetvdb.com and renames media files into a suitable format for you. FileBot is a Java based app and runs on Windows, OSX and Linux. Rounding out the evening Gareth briefly introduced a new Operating System called RemixOS. This is based on the Android mobile OS typically used on phones and tablet devices but with a full windowing user interface aimed at desktop use.
RemixOS has been around for about a year shipping on a tablet device and a small box to turn a TV into a computer but recently they released a beta of RemixOS for PC allowing you to run from a USB stick and hopefully soon install to hard drive.
Gareth showed a video of the RemixOS desktop in use running Android applications designed for phone running both full screen and windowed with multiple applications multitasking. It was quite impressive to see these applications seamlessly adapt to the larger screen size and with a few exceptions the vast majority of Android apps available in the Google Play Store "just work".
We did download the RemixOS for PC beta install to quickly try on Michael's laptop but had issues booting the USB stick and unfortunately ran out of time. We will revisit this properly at a future meeting when the PC version as matured a little more.
|ICENI Future programme 2016/2017|
|April 27th||AGM + MS Office 2016 and OpenOffice/Libre Office||All|
|May 18th||Cloud + Security|
|July 20th||Ubuntu - Installing from USB stick|
|August 17th||Summer Social Evening - Treble Tile , West Bergholt
|September 21st||Windows 10 hints and tips||All|
|October 19th||Remix OS|
|November 16th||Slide/Video Evening|
|December 21st||Gadgets and Party Evening||All|
|January 18th||Winter Social Evening - The Shepherd , Langham TBA||All|
|February 15th||Arduino/Raspberry Pi||All|
|March 15th||Mac Evening||Peter et al|
|April 19th||AGM + IoT||All|
|May 17th||RISCOS Update - New Impression||All|
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website.
Membership fee currently £10, visitors free.
We are continuing our publicity for EAUG events , however their website has not been updated for a year now. So if you wish to know information please phone one of their contacts.
Meetings are at the Great Baddow Village Hall, on the second Tuesday of the month
opening at 7:30 p.m. for a start at 7:45 - 8:00 p.m.
For directions see below (note the new web addresses)
http://www.eaug.org.uk or 'phone one of the contacts on
Drinks usually available.
See the Membership page of the website for more information:
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)