Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 17th June - Computer Surgery

Due to a number of people being away on holiday this month we've decided to postpone the Ubuntu Phone topic till later in the year. We've taken this decision as Paul, Michael, Duncan and John all expressed their interest in the topic and unfortunately were going to miss it.

Our June meeting will therefore be a Computer Surgery, brought forward from later in the year. Peter will be demonstrating a number of pieces of diagnostic software he uses on his PC and Mac, and discussing his recent hard drive woes.

Gareth will bring along the HP Microserver he is beginning to build up as a new Ubuntu based home NAS, and also discuss the recent DIY SSD storage upgrade on his MacBook Air.

As ever at the Computer Surgery evening if you've recently upgraded/repaired your PC, or have an issue you think the group can help with do bring it along and tell us all about it.

Our Last Meeting: Wednesday 20th May - Social Media

At our last meeting we revisited the topic of social media, starting with a show of hands on who had a Facebook or Twitter account. A reasonable number of us had used or use Facebook, but much lower for Twitter.

For our demonstrations we started with Twitter, initially looking at Greater Anglia's feed at www.twitter.com/greateranglia. It was immediately clear that Twitter would like you to sign up for account with a pop up appearing regularly prompting you to sign up or sign in, although on this particular feed we were able to close this and continue viewing the feed.

The Greater Anglia feed is used by the Company to publish information on delays and emergency maintenance and has proved useful on a number of occasions to Gareth on his commute. Indeed we could see on the page that 54000 people were following the feed.

Twitter provides 2 main methods of referencing and aggregating content. For instance posts on the Greater Anglia feed refer to Network Rail and it's feed directly using @networkrail, while they can also aggregate with others on content using hashtags, for instance #industrial action, quite timely given the threatened strikes on the railways at the time.

Both the above @ and # references appeared as clickable links, allowing you to link to other people/organisations or to find aggregated posts by others featuring a given hashtag.

Anne commented that perhaps we should have a club Twitter feed, allowing us to quickly update on meetings, particularly if we have to make last minute changes.

Michael suggested we search for RISCOS which returned the feed for RISCOS Code run by Martin Hansen, @RISCOScode providing RISC OS news. RISC OS Open Ltd are also on Twitter, @risc_os and seem to be actively updating on developments with the Open Source RISC OS ecosystem.

Anne asked about SnapChat where messages essentially self destruct after 15 seconds. This initially had 3rd party apps to save out messages and work around this built in time limit, but the company cracked down on this and now even detect you grabbing a screenshot and inform the sender.

WhatsApp is a messaging app that seems to be gaining popularity, allowing messaging and photos, videos etc. to be sent from both mobiles and web browser to individuals or as wider group conversation. This is popular as it allows you to send messages and images from your mobile using your data allowance without paying SMS/MMS charges. It is very similar to Apple's iMessage service but is cross platform and available for both iOS, Android and desktops/laptops using web browser. As both Gareth and Michael have WhatsApp accounts we were able to demonstrate live message sending with text, images and even a short audio clip.

Google+ is similar to Facebook in certain areas, allowing you to view friends activities etc. on a similar view to the wall but also offering messaging and the Hangouts service which can be used for free multi-way video conferencing for up to 10 people with desktop sharing etc. This service is free for anyone with a Google account e.g. for mail. Gareth personally doesn't use the social aspect of
the service but uses Hangouts quite extensively both personally and at work.

Facebook is probably the current de-facto for sharing updates, photos, videos etc. with friends and contacts. Facebook revolves around a News Feed aggregating updates from your friends and posts you are tagged in, together with your own 'Wall' containing your own content.

Friends can be tagged in posts and photos which then appear in their notifications and timeline. This is one of the main strengths of Facebook for keeping in touch with others but can make your news feed very noisy if you have friends posting frequently. It is possible to remove individuals from appearing in your news feed while being able to visit their wall and remain in contact.

There has been a lot in the news about privacy on services such as Facebook and it is important to understand the privacy settings. It is possible to make all posts public, but a sensible default is that posts are only visible to your friends, together with friends of friends. Privacy can be further locked down if required, and you can even create you own groups of contacts for this.

Facebook is quite sophisticated at recommended people you may know, allowing you to find family, friend, even school, university and company contacts. In this way it is almost the modern day Friends Reunited.

Facebook also allows you to create events and invite people. By default such events are private and you can toggle invited people only, or allow those people to invite others. It is also possible to create completely open events but this must be used carefully having made the news in the past!

Anne asked about groups in Facebook which can be created for common interest groups and can be public or private, and be either invite only by the group admin or allow members to also invite others.

This was a very packed evening and in some ways only touched the surface of the topic but was enjoyable and it seemed everyone both contributes and got something from it.

ICENI Future programme

Following our Committee meeting we now have the new programme for 2015/2016. As usual meeting may be swapped around or changed as circumstances dictate. There were a few other topics considered for example software used by Radio Amateurs, Model Railways and Machine language translation. All of these need a bit more research before being included.

ICENI Future programme 2015/2016
June 17th Computer Surgery Gareth & Peter
July 15th Networking
- HDMI over Cat 6 and CCTV
August 26th Summer Social Evening
- Wooden Fender, Colchester
( Provisionally Booked\)
September 16th The Ubuntu Phone and its development Gareth
October 21st Arduino - Raspberry Pi
Peter. Duncan and John
November 18th Slide / Video Evening All
December 16th Gadgets and Party Evening All
January 20th Winter Social Evening - Venue TBA All
February 17th Free Software All
March 16th Accounting Software Peter et al
April 20th AGM +MS Office 2016 and
OpenOffice/Libre Office
May 18th Programming All

Meetings are now on the Third Wednesday of the month unless otherwise stated.

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 http://www.eaug.org.uk/ppl.htm

Drinks usually available.

See the Membership page of the website for more information:


Special Notice - Insurance

"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.)

Our Website and Email

Our website has had to be moved since BT is no longer giving free hosting to customers and Peter was running the old website on his account. So Gareth has been fortunate to register a web address of our own and has generously hosted it on his own woolridge domain. All our old website data has been ported to the new site and a redirection placed on the old address. The old site will disappear some time soon.

If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.

I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website.

Our website URL is


Email to: iceni@woolridge.org.uk