Coronavirus Impact Covid-19.
Although we are no longer in full lockdown there are still uncertainties and restrictions. So for the present we are continuing to hold our meetings online.
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. Just follow the link and follow on-screen instructions.
There is nothing to download or install. We still meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. via Jitsi.org Video conferencing. If using a Mac IOS the Safari Browser works correctly for screen sharing your own screen, but this doesn't work for Firefox.
We have not visited this topic for some time now and I know not all of you are involved in either of these, but they are an important and interesting software area. At the moment Peter hopes to talk about ON1 RAW photo editing software and Video editing software.
As there was no defined topic for this meeting I shall take the opportunity to correct some omissions I made following both the photo evening and the Gadgets evening.
I must apologise sincerely to Duncan because he was kind enough to provide me with copy and photos for the Newsletter via email, which I either missed or forgot about when I eventually started the Newsletter. The emails would have saved me quite some work and be more detailed than mine.
I thought it was an enjoyable meeting last night, but no doubt you
would appreciate my report on my contribution to save you some typing!
Duncan commented that because of the restrictions during the year he
had not got very far from home for much of the year so his first
picture was of a lectern constructed out of scrap material to help him
record video presentations. He had taken pictures of spring flowers,
but in May he had the "drains up" in a literal way when Anglian Water
excavated a large hole outside his back gate. However in August he
spent a week on a campsite on the bank of Coniston Water and visited a
steam boat rally on Windermere as well as a number of sites associated
with the novels of Arthur Ransome. He closed with a view of the
Women's cycle race passing his front door.
Duncan's presentation had been put together using LibreOffice Impress
which he commented loaded all images at their original resolution,
meaning that a large number of images could slow down the computer. He
found a compression option under the "tools" menu and wondered what it
did. Since then he has tried it on the presentation and found that the
original 227.6 Mb could be reduced to as low as 2.3 Mb but with a
visible reduction in quality. There are several different quality
settings for the compression and so this could be a useful technique
to try out.
Peter, I thought you might like me to write up the "gadgets" I showed at the
Iceni meeting this last week. I've taken photographs, which have all
been scaled down to save my bandwidth to you and yours when sending
out the final newsletter.
The meeting commenced with general chat, during which the subject of
tanks came up. Duncan then produced an extra item, a clockwork model
tank, bearing the text "CHAR d'ASSAUT St CHAMOND 1916" which turned out to be a real type of French made armoured gun.
The following web links (one in French) give more information
including links to film of the real thing, and a very similar model to
the one Duncan owns.
Last month, Duncan showed some pictures from a week camping in the
Lake District. One of the problems with camping is the lack of a mains
He showed a battery for his Sony SLR camera, together with the
mains-only charger. He next showed an alternative, Chinese made,
charger which also used the mains (with alternative pins for travel to
different countries) but had the option of a 12V car supply. This
proved impractical because it would only work when the car engine was
He saw an offer, also on Amazon, of a "Power Trust" charger complete
with two Sony-compatible batteries, for about half the price of just
one official battery. This worked satisfactorily from a USB socket,
although it gets warm in use, and the batteries do not last as long as
the rating printed on the label suggests they should. The problem then was
to find an adequate 5v supply on a campsite.
He then showed a collection of USB power packs. There was a free one
from Screwfix (about half a phone charge) a 5200 mAH one from ASDA
(about one phone charge) a JUICE5 from Tesco (15,000 mAH, not quite 5
charges) with a pointless carry bag, and an unbranded Power bank that
seems heavy and fragile but advertises 30,000 mAH. These proved more
than adequate for the week away.
Duncan's final gadget was a "Standing Ring Light", At £19.99 from The
Range not at B&M as stated in my original writeup [Ed.]
Designed for use with a smart phone, it came with a phone holder
in the centre of the light which runs off USB and via the
controller on the cable can be given 8 different levels of brightness
and several different colour temperatures. The tripod is full height,
lightweight, but adequate for the task.
Thank You Duncan.
The online Chat from January 19th 2022
Various topics were aired
IP v4 and IP v6 - when is IP v6 coming?
This provoked a long discussion. The short answer is that IPv6 has been "out there" for 20 years but not many companies have taken it up. One problem with running out of IPv4 addresses was that commercial companies acquired huge banks of addresses but did not put them to use and were just sitting on them. IPv6 was designed to have so much space that there would be millions of addresses per square metre of the earth's surface.
[Note that the 4 and 6 are version numbers and not extra fields like 255.255.255.255.255.255 ( 6 octets of HEX) on top of Ipv4 which had confused me. Ed. ]
It is thought that IPv6 includes the MAC addresses of hardware. Peter also thought there must be a problem with reusing MAC addresses for old equipment. Duncan thought that the MAC address being presented might make it less secure against hackers.
Whatever happened to IPv5? Apparently IPv5 used 32 bit addressing allowing 4 billion addresses but it would have suffered the same fate as IPv4 but it was abandoned in 2011 in favour of IPv6 which had been started in 1990 . IPv6 has 8 four character HEX numbers giving 128bits and giving 3.4x1038 for example XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX where each X can be 0 - 9 or a - f. Apparently there are a lot of zeroes in most numbers and there is a way to abbreviate the numbers then. If all numbers in a character set are zero it can be replaced with :: only. Note the colon separator like MAC addresses now. I knew you'd want to know that. Ed]
There was also some discusssion of DHCP and fixed IP addresses in local networks. There was also talk about using VPNs for added security. Paul had years ago used a firewall which showed him how much unauthorised traffic was going back to Microsoft from his then Win95 machine, which he resented on a metered connection, and so he had to block MS.
Duncan had a support issue on his ARMX6 and it would not start without powering down and up again perhaps 10 or 20 times so discovering he was enrolled to receive support he requested this from RComp and was advised to check the voltage on the PSU which was ok. He was told to use Wireless Mouse and Keyboard because it saves a heavy load on start up. When he changed this the problem went away. Paul mentioned the ARM X6 mailing list was useful for lots of tips on problems and Andrew Rawnsley was quite active there.
Peter asked if there was a market for Iyonix ( vintage 2006- 2007) wondering what do do with his. Paul said RiscOS open latest development version was still available for Iyonix. See RiscOS Open website. [ Tungsten stable version 5.28 and Tungsten beta version 5.29 both available with a softload version. Ed.]
Paul said RiscOS developments took over from Castle and they work closely with Risc OS Open who do all the development work for them and are currently working on Risc OS Direct. Risc OS6 died and much of that work was put back into Risc OS Open. Most of the proprietary code has been rewritten. Steve Reville did presentations at Shows and online Videos. Andrew Rawnsley did many of these too. Raspberry Pi used Risc OS Open. Paul said that Risc OS would always lag behind Raspberry PI OS because they would not always hear of the upgrades in time. Raspberry PI 4 and Raspberry PI 400 can all run Risc OS now.
Peter said printing from Risc OS was also difficult now that his Epson Stylus Photo 700 would no longer work. He had not been able to print from Virtual Acorn. Peter was recommended to run a network printer. It should be possible to see the printer from Risc OS with his Vonex connection to the hub.
There was also a discussion about unhelpful help desks and even a poem from Duncan and a nostalgic review of pirate radio stations Radio Caroline, Atlantic 252 and Laser 552.
Gavin from Archive had asked Gareth if he could tweet our meetings. This might be ok for the next two meetings. Some of our meetings would be more suitable than others, so maybe we should indicate more suitable meetings to Gavin. We are due a Committee meeting soon to iron out a future programme.
We also had some more chat about 3D printing. Peter had not mastered his yet but Gareth was more successful with real time adjustments. Duncan had seen an alternative ruby laser driven printer working with liquids.
Peter had purchased vacuum bags with silica gel and humidity indicators dry storage of filament.
There was also some discussion on the dangers of handling mercury and the leakage from mercury delay lines used in early computers (EDSAC) and school experiments years ago!
Paul had also seen a programme on TV about Lyons and their pioneering use commercially of Leo Computers.
The computing museum in Cambridge is well worth a visit.
[Apologies for running off near the end of the meeting for a comfort break - thanks for waiting. Ed.]
Michael asked about Bourne Vale Club and Peter had contacted them some months ago and they were back in operation. The Management had changed and Martin was no longer there. We could consider a meeting at Bourne Vale if everyone agreed although we were all quite happy meeting online.
I have noticed further online warnings of the Qlocker software targeting the vulnerability of QNAP NAS with internet access to Ransomware attacks. For more information see Bleepingcomputer.com
We are due to have a Committee meeting to define our future programme so if anyone would like to present a talk or suggest a topic to be covered please let us know. As always there is scope for adjustments as we go through the year and we are hoping the Covid restrictions will have eased and we can have Social Evenings. If anyone has a favourite restaurant suitable for our Social Evening please let us know.
Also once the restrictions allow in-person meetings it has been suggested that we alternate our meetings between online and in-person as it has been quite convenient for several of us to avoid going out but still attend a meeting. Gareth suggests this may need a decision at the AGM.
|ICENI Future programme 2022|
|February 16th||Photo and Video Editing||All|
|March 16th||Home Networking and Network Storage||All|
|April 20th||Apps and App Stores||All|
|May 18th||AGM + 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.)