At our next meeting we will take a hands-on look at the Android based RemixOS from Chinese developers Jide. Android was initially launched in 2007 for Smartphones, moving into the Tablet space in 2012 with the launch of the Nexus 7. Android has a rich app ecosystem with the PlayStore yet till now was limited the full-screen one-application-at-a-time nature of the phone/tablet devices.
RemixOS is an attempt to bring Android and its app store to the desktop, with a full windowed desktop environment and multitasking.
In fact the meeting became largely a review of the latest major upgrade to Windows 10 since Michael considered this to be more important than Hints and Tips.
Microsoft declared when Windows 10 was issued that it would be the last version of Windows. However this does not stop them from issuing major upgrades annually and bugfixes along the way. The latest annual one is version 1607 and is being rolled out slowly as it includes all the operating system.
One of the first things to notice is that the start screen has changed which is one way to tell if your machine has been updated. Peter's PC had not changed yet. (It has now!). One thing both Michael and Gareth were excited about was the implementation of a Bash shell which allowed Linux to be run on Windows 10. The following is a list of new features which have been implemented in the latest update:-
You can have multiple desktops and the task view pane lets you switch between them.
They have now introduced several new themes including the dark screen.
The Activation Centre is a system to reactivate licences, a bit like the hardware profile of old, but going further so if you change the motherboard with a retail licence you can recover your licence (an OEM licence already allowed this.) and it just makes it a bit easier users and for MS too.
Now Edge will allow browser extensions which is just catching up with all the other browsers. You can download them and you can also import them from Chrome with a conversion tool.
Cortana hello - "Hey Cortana" has been enhanced. Michael admitted he turned this off in the earlier version, Peter did not like it either and had disabled his. It is very annoying having it pop up all the time. MS have added a much more intrusive version with this upgrade and made it more difficult to turn it off.
It can now connect to your WiFi and mobile phone, although this doesn't work with the iPhone.
A Skype Preview is incorporated into Windows 10 and can be used with Android and IOS devices.
You can play games on holiday etc. A clever feature if you buy one copy to put on your XBox you can then access it anywhere.
An icon in the bottom right corner of the task bar, it looks like a speech mark button, it gives access to alerts and notifications. This makes it more friendly than having to go into settings. They have also updated the calendar.
This will give a breakdown of power usage per application, so you can choose what to close down if you have limited power left.
You can request the update if you don't want to wait for it. It now includes "Find my device".
Versions are now codenamed as
Threshold 1 (First version of Windows 10 August 2015)
Threshold 2 ( November 2015 update)
Redstone 1 this current update (August 2016) and the next will be
You can now mount iPods without needing iTunes.
There is a special developer mode which switches on various specialized customisable features for the way you work. You can also submit your own software to the Store.
More Windows 10 features
Michael likes the task manager which has a lot of useful resource and usage information. It tells you data usage in last 30 days.
It also has a mobile hotspot functionality which Michael shared with Gareth and Gareth did a speed test through BT Openzone. Using the mobile hotspot no further authorisation is required. Petty impressive and very useful in those situations where you are having internet access restricted to one or two devices only when in a hotel or resort.
In co-operation with Canonicals Microsoft have added the Bash Shell to Windows and Gareth was very pleased to be able to get Ubuntu running on the Desktop.
Hints and Tips
Peter wanted to see file sizes in his File Manager view, apparently it is in the details section of View.
The Quick Access directory means you can Pin applications by using a Right click and choosing the "Pin to Quick Access" option. It keeps adding things by itself too and adds shortcuts to the "recent files" list.
Peter wanted to add a new folder - at the C:\ drive, but was in the "Quick Access" area but couldn't because he hadn't realised this is a short cut reference and not a real folder. To do this you must go to "This PC" and choose Users and then you can add new folders.
Peter also had "Hidden Files " turned on ; they are best turned off unless you really need them.
Peter was also wrestling with Sharing files and Sync in Libre Office and kept getting multiple copies of files some of which declared with a "File does not exist" message when you tried to open them. I still don't quite get this one.
You can hide the search box in Cortana, R-Click Cortana re-enable if it has been disabled (Peter) then click on "Hide " to hide the search box.
Peter was using Slim Drivers with a speedup tool and Avira Anti-Virus also with a speedup tool. He will give up on the Slim drivers speedup tool when the licence expires. He found his Toshiba laptop to be very quick and responsive although thought the sound output was not very loud on Skype calls. The Machine is very quiet and doesn't even warm up.Fast, silent and does not even warm up.
It was suggested he could expand the SSD size or use an external USB drive if needing extra space.
Peter had tried to set up a database file for storing details of his photos. He found most of his photos were grouped by events. Often he passed links to friends from dropbox so that they could share them but needed a check on when and whether shared them. Sometimes removing photos or links from Dropbox. As a record he had started a spreadsheet in Libre Office but with copies on several computers and anted these to be synced between them via dropbox in a similar way to his use of the encrypted database Enpass. However the syncing did not work and the files would not update. Michael suggested a better way was to create a link to a copy in Dropbox and then generate a shortcut to Dropbox which could be copied to each machine. We did this and it works quite well.
Altogether an interesting evening thanks Michael.
|ICENI Future programme 2016/2017|
|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 years 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.
Their website has not been updated since 2011
"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.)