As we are in lockdown all of our meetings will be online until further notice. I hope you are all keeping safe and well and will be able to join us online. Contact Gareth ( or to firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you don't think you are on our meeting list of participants for online meetings if you are interested in joining in; since he is sending out the links prior to each meeting.
We shall still meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.
This is now a traditional meeting in our programme at this time of year and generally includes holiday photos and people's general interests. Since this year we have probably had few if any holidays it should be interesting to see what comes up. "Slide" means still photos since few people actually produce slides any more. This will also be the first time we have tried this with online screen sharing which might produce a few problems.
This began with Michael's review of the changes in Windows 10 which had now been released on 19 October. It would have been called 2009, 2 digits for the year and 2 for the month, but it is now called 20H2. He had quickly downloaded and installed it so he could show it to us tonight. Steve said that Microsoft had recently released the Edge Browser for Linux as well. With the release of 20H2 version of Windows 10 there was now also support for the Chromium Edge browser. The splash screen has now a caption saying "You've got the latest update". You are now able to change modes ( light or dark) and colours. It now keeps tabs on your website tabs and you can move between them with Alt + Tab.
There is a Microsoft 10 Tips page these include Support for setting up a channel for Teams, multifactor identification. There seem to be the same privacy settings. The default is to send everything back to Microsoft; which Steve finds very annoying as it resets whenever there is an update.
Internet Explorer is now deprecated in favour of Edge. The start menu is only shown in the light mode. If you use the "Your Phone" feature it will automatically add the phone Icon to the path file. Not something he uses. They have finally updated the XBox and it will automatically have the sign in on your task bar as well. That is really all the main changes in 20H2 but there were changes on the previous version 2004 which he wanted to talk about.
Using Windows Update Assistant when resetting your PC, if disposing of it will now come up with a cloud download from Microsoft option so you can get a clean reinstall instead of just a local reinstall. Sounds like a great feature.
There is an update to the Linux subsystem, which improves the performance, which Gareth will speak about later. MS have now made improvements to their Cortana system and decoupled it from the Windows updates so that it may be updated when necessary. The Windows search apps have changed to be more generic than Cortana and can search One Drive as well. Michael prefers Firefox anyway. For some tablets which have low memory the suggest adding a memory stick of 32GB.
There are improvements to Bluetooth pairing to make it faster. They have given more support for emojis including the Japanese ones.
There are enhancements to the Pen and Ink app if you have a device using this.
The task application now shows the type of drive in your machine.
You can now enable passwordless signing but you need "Windows Hello" set up using PIN, Face or Fingerprint set up. There is a set of AntiVirus settings under security with options for Sandbox and Firewall.
They are also pushing MS Edge as "The browser". Bookmarks are renamed as "Favourites" although you can still use Google and Firefox. Otherwise why not use Chrome rather than Edge? Sign is for the MS account not Google.
There are still Extensions with quite a few options like Amazon Assistant , Evernote Web Clipper, DuckDuckGo and even Wonderwoman 1984! To name a few. Steve thought something integrating with Office 360 might be more appropriate. Left as an exercise for the reader.[Ed.] Bitwarden - Free Password manager was considered good.
Paul thought that they had reduced the time available for a Restore to an earlier version had now been reduced to 10 days. Paul was able to change it to up to a month for the restore point.
Previous versions assumed compressed but still take about 20 GB of space.
Steve recommended Dism++ utility based on CBS as very powerful.
Windows on ARM.
As an aside Gareth mentioned that Ubuntu 20-10 release day was the next day. Called "Groovy Gorilla".
Gareth is joining the meeting tonight on a Lenovo C630, which is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 powered ARM64 laptop running Windows on ARM. He picked this up relatively cheaply when Lenovo announced the End of Life for the product and sold off the remaining stock. One of the early WoA machines, this is essentially a mobile phone CPU powered laptop, but with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. It is quite a nice little machine with up to 17 hours of battery life.
The machine can be run as a tablet by detaching the Keyboard.
He showed it running MS Edge with data in the 'About' screen. A system on a chip with shared graphics. Build numbers taken from Chromium although there is no actual Chrome release for Windows ARM. Google still haven't released one although it has been written.
Peter wondered why they were being sold of cheaply if it was the next thing. This generation had been out for some years but many of the laptops were very underpowered however Windows itself was quite snappy with X86 emulation from native ARM code in a similar way to the changes Apple are making.
MS are now on the third generation of the hardware and this Qualcomm machine is 2nd generation. A lot of stuff still does not work; getting accelerated graphics and sound takes a long time to get to work. Also the WiFi. It has BIOS and secure Boot which you have to turn off to get Linux to load.
When Gareth first got it Firefox was not officially available for ARM butt later a Beta release was available v. 82.0. which works quite well including full screen video. He got an insiders build of Visual Studio. 32 bit files are emulated. There is no 64 bit emulation on ARM so Photoshop won't run. Word 365 now runs. Although MS are pushing Surface Pro X on ARM much of the code is still Intel Code in background as they still haven't released a Windows build of their own Office suite. Chrome browser was terrible though.
Open VPN client 'Viscosity' works quite well. The MS store is still 32bit. It will let you download and install apps irrespective of how well it will run.
Gareth will also mention Windows Subsystem for Linux, WSLhort. This is Linux shell support built into recent Windows builds with Linux distributions e.g. Ubuntu available from the Windows Store.
Task Manager shows it has a mid performance SSD with 8 cores and a 4G SIM slot. Michael said that Intel would be releasing next year processors which would have both fast and slow cores. 11th Gen. He did not know how it was going to be designed.
It is the only machine on which he runs windows at the moment.
WSL Windows subsystem for Linux run Ubuntu 2004 a bit like running WINE. You can run a bash terminal and install package manager. WSL2 uses a full VM in background with a full kernel. You can install a pretty standard install. He showed an IRC chat window running on X apps.
It can be quite useful if developing and running on Linux environments. Paul had tried WSL2 and found it worked quite well.
You can open Windows inside the Linux shell. It does not replace a full Linux machine but is quite useful if you need to write code and deploy Linux environments. They are trying to do more enterprise features so that users can download whatever images they want and take snapshots etc.
ASUS had produced machines with the virtualisation enabled- overcoming the BIOS limitation. Many people were annoyed with Lenovo for not enabling it.
There is not much managing these. Gareth bought a tool called RaftWSL but it did not work on ARM but he complained and got it fixed.
Pengwin for WSL was another Linux Tool mentioned. You can do a snapshot to try something out and then rollback if it does not work. It is quite nice to create an environment and have it install into Windows in WSL2 and take a snapshot and convert back to WSL1 again. There is a bug because it does not choose to use the faster cores. Users are hoping this will be fixed soon.
The Gaming market used to driving the chip makers to get faster, but was considered a bit static at the moment. However AMD have 5nm geometry and CMS2 -Apple chips.
Steve mentioned that there was a RISCOS Virtual Conference in London (Rougol?) that weekend.
Peter now had his NAS but had not turned it on yet as he was installing a CAT 6 cable first. He was having problems fitting connectors on the CAT 6 cable but was practising fitting connectors on a short piece of cable first. He had a cutting and crimping kit and had bought different fittings. More on this later.
This was a very interesting but complex evening.
Since all our other meetings are being held online for the foreseeable future there is no reason why we can't have a meeting in January as travelling in bad weather is not an issue. So we would have to find another meeting topic. Any ideas?
The meetings in the current programme may change dependent on future trends. If anyone would like to present a talk please let us know and we can slot them in. Most talks are open anyway with no defined speaker so feel free to join in.
|ICENI Future programme 2019/2020|
|November 18th||Slide and Video Evening||All|
|December 16th||Gadgets and Party Evening||All|
|January 20th||Winter Social Evening or a Topic probably.
|February 17th||Family Tree software||All|
|March 17th||XML and Json||All|
|April 21st||A Retro Evening||All|
|May 19th||AGM - and extras||All|
MEETINGS WILL NOW BE HELD ONLINE BUT STILL ON THE THIRD WEDNESDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. FURTHER DETAILS TO FOLLOW.
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. http://icenicomputerclub.org.uk
Membership fee currently £15, visitors free.
"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.)