Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 15th November 2017
Slide/Video Evening - ALL

This should open it up to everyone to join in. It occurred to me when writing this that no-one uses slides anymore! If some one came along with a slide we would be hard put to project it! So maybe we should call it a Photo and Cine evening or maybe a digital imaging evening instead! I hope you will all come anyway.

Our Last Meeting: Wednesday 18th October 2017 Linux/Ubuntu Update

At this meeting we take a look at the final Beta of Ubuntu 17.10 ("Artful Aardvark") before it is released to the world the tomorrow (19th October 2017).

Artful is a standard 6 monthly development release rather than a Long Term Support (LTS) and it allows Canonical to introduce new features and technologies - and this release is a big one in the form of a new Desktop environment. Not being an LTS version it will still have an 9 month support.

In previous versions and since 2011 Ubuntu has shipped, by default, with the Unity desktop shell but announced earlier this year a shift in focus away from maintaining an independent desktop and a switch to GNOME 3 in the 17.10 release cycle. This was to save development time for Ubuntu although some consider it was a back step in terms of usability.

Gareth used the http://www.itsfoss.com website to introduce us to the new desktop appearance which no longer uses X11 (X.org) but uses the Wayland display server and GNOME 3.26 with dash to dock. It gives more protection with layers of security as a snapshot of the screen would show applications run in private space. X was designed for remote displays and was not designed for modern graphics cards.

It is still possible to switch back to the X version if there is some software which is incompatible with GNOME3. Gareth was surprised that it would easily run on VirtualBox. Gareth will try an install tonight in VirtualBox but had a VirtualBox version from yesterday in case we did not have an internet access. (Which we do have).

GNOME is also used by Fedora and other distributions. The login window is now GNOME. Apps are on the left not the right and menus are in the top bar. 32 bit versions are no longer supported although it is still compiled for 32 bit but you don't get a 32bit image to install. Not sure about ARM32 support yet.

Bluetooth usage is improved but not as easy as on a phone. Linux Support for Intel and new Tablet chips is still not good as most are Windows centric. 21·00

ARM servers with Linux kernels 4.13. and there is support for 4K/HiDPI multi-monitor improvements where you might have a HiRes laptop screen but a lower resolution second screen.

Dot to dash is a plug-in for GNOME.

There have been no changes to File Manager as Ubuntu have always used GNOME for file manager so this will look the same as it always has. A newer LibreOffice 5.4.12. the latest version with Thunderbird for mail.

There is a smart new look to the Software Centre which has been replaced by the GNOME version but refers back to the Ubuntu servers for the Apps including more modern SNAP packages. SNAP is a package manager, Paul still likes to use command prompt and "apt-get". Still ships Firefox by default. Chromium may be available in future. Attempt at installing in VirtualBox from the CD image. The Installer looks the same. Before needed the desktop driver needed to resize the screen but now this happens straight away. "Try" installs from CD image and is not persistent whereas a " Install" saves more files. VirtualBox emulates the CD drive. Wayland does work in VirtualBox but is a bit flickery. Install was O.K. and he went into Firefox and got internet access O.K..

Most Ubuntu users go for the LTS releases and the servers have greater capacity therefore for those releases. There is a Wayland X application which will start up if an App requires X displays.

The new release seems pretty stable. Gareth tried moving back to the X display server to see if the flicker stopped. There is an environment variable which will tell you which server is in use. Mac moved to running on Unix after the Next development when OSX came in. You can no longer run multiuser desktop environments but Wayland is much more secure as there are fewer layers compared to X as the work is done by the Graphics card. There is still Canonical support for multi user systems e.g. in Education but there are less intensive on graphics use.


The configuration has been changed so you edit a file in a different place for Network interfaces. Gareth had not had an opportunity to see how this operates. It may make start up network configuration more straightforward.

A very good presentation from Gareth.



Peter asked about his upgrade of his old Windows PC to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS which had been reasonably successful after a few problems with a dirty DVD drive.

He had used 'lspci' in command prompt to check on his SCSI card on which he wanted to run his scanner and also to get his WiFi card working. He was using a hard wired network currently.

He had previously tried to use his scanner (Nikon Coolscan III ) with his new MacbookPro and VueScan (Hamrick Software) with a USB-SCSI adapter but the scanner did not work except on his very old MacBookPro with an early version as Mac OSX doesn't support SCSI any more.

Paul said there was a Linux version of the VueScan software he could try. It was a binary download.

For the WiFi card he needed to find out the chipset used and look for a driver.

[ Since the meeting I have installed Ndiswrapper and downloaded and installed a driver ( eventually!!) but then discovered that the card would only support WPA and not WPA2 which is not secure enough to be supported by his Hub; so it looks better to buy a newer and faster card anyway. I've learnt a lot! I've not had time to sort out the scanner yet and decided to see if that works before getting a new WiFi card.]

Paul said SCSI means "System Can't See It".


1) John was due to visit the London RISCOS Show (Rougol) and wondered if anyone else needed anything RISCOS related whilst he was there. He had had to replace his Raspberry Pi laptop which had suffered a catastrophic failure, and was now using a laptop PC running Virtual Acorn on Windows 10. A cutdown version of Virtual RiscPC available can run Select 6 and it is now a workable system.

2) John asked Duncan how his X6 was running - whether it runs Variations. John also needs to replace his RiscPC. John said he would take his copy of Variations to the show to see what would run it. He wanted to get something tidier than his Pi with less wires everywhere.


Peter was in a similar position to John and had got Virtual RiscPC thought he needed Pluto and EasiWriter. John said Peter would need the latest version of Hermes or NetFetch as well to connect with secure transfer https. Peter said that he had also had trouble connecting to mail on the RiscPC and for several years could not receive mail but only send mail. However recently even sending had failed although he had some network problems. Duncan said he should ensure that the IP address of the mail server was not hard coded in.

[Since the meeting I have sorted the Network problems and sending works again]


Internet Relay Chat

It was agreed we could cease publicising the IRC channel info on the website as no-one had used it for several years.

ICENI Future programme

ICENI Future programme 2017/2018
November 15th Slide/Video Evening All
December 20th Gadgets and Party Evening All
January 17th Winter Social Evening - The Wooden Fender, Ardleigh (Provisional)
February 21st Arduino/Raspberry Pi / BBC :Microbits All
March 21st Backup systems - Cloud/ CCTV, Acronis All
April 18th AGM - Virtual Reality and secure password storage All
May 16th Computer surgery evening 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.

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 URL is


Email to: iceni@woolridge.org.uk

I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website. If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.