Coronavirus Impact Covid-19.

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 if you don't think you are on our meeting list of participants.

We shall still meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

See email from Gareth with the link for the next meeting.


Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 17th June 2020
Anti-Virus and Context Filters

The effectiveness of AntiVirus software is supported by Context filters to look at logs of AntiVirus events. Email is considered the most likely root for Virus infection and so inspection of email text for common phrases is useful to identify them spam and to remove them to junk. Examination of IP addresses is also very helpful.

Apologies if this explanation is not very good as I don't know anything about this ....yet!


Our Last Meeting : Wednesday 20th May 2020
ICENI COMPUTER CLUB AGM 2020 followed by Cloud Computing

A formal report of the AGM will be given before the next AGM 2021 but the essential result of the AGM is that the club is in good shape for the future and financially secure. We agreed that as currently our meetings are only held online and we are not renting at Bourne Vale we could only pay a reduced subscription of £5 for the time being, to be reviewed later in the year as the lockdown conditions change.

Chairman's Report

Another year has passed for the club, and I like to think we have continued to have some interesting discussions on a whole host of topics, and some light-hearted evenings both socially and at our now annual slideshow and gadgets meetings.

The recent worldwide events with Coronavirus have, for now, brought our in person monthly meetings to a halt, but ever keen to try new formats and technologies I feel we have been successful with the move to online meetings. I must confess having become a Father for the first time in January, being able to attend from home has been a positive out of all this.

We kicked off the year for the club in June 2019 with our AGM and a Computer Surgery. Here Peter introduced his thoughts so far on the various photo management and editing packages he was evaluating on his Mac to replace Aperture, which had been discontinued.

In July we had a Retro Computer evening, something we have not done in a long time, which was thoroughly enjoyable. We saw everything from vintage PCs with 80MB hard drive, through NEXT Step on an emulator and Gareth's Cambridge Z88 vintage A4 size handheld, a much treasured possession as it once belonged to Frank.

August was our Summer Social evening and saw us visit the Crown in Manningtree and while there were a few ordering issues the food was extremely tasty and much conversation was had.

For September, our topic was Home Automation and Nest. Here Peter and Michael both talked about Nest for controlling heating remotely, Gareth and Michael demonstrated Ring doorbells, and Peter showed a Kasa device for remotely controlling a power socket, useful for lamps etc.

In October, our grandly titled meeting was Programming, XML, Web Technologies and Go. A somewhat eclectic but detailed evening, Paul talked about XML and demonstrated using XML based data and a simple PHP script page to show and search US states and timezone data. Gareth showed using software such as MAAS (Metal as a Service) to automate machine deployments and application deployment onto them. He also touched briefly on JSON and YAML as modern structured data formats.

November was our Slide and Video evening, where we come together once a year to show holidays, trips and the like. Michael kicked us off with his trip to China, which was extremely interesting, followed by Gareth's Christmas trip on Mail Rail under London, and his camper van trip to Whitby and Scotland during the summer. Clive showed us work installing overhead projectors at his local church followed by his own Scotland trip to Harris/Lewis. Rounding out the evening Peter presented his trip to Barcelona including Gaudi's Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.

In December we held our annual Gadgets evening, with everything from a laser level unit to laptop cooling trays and an Omnia stove top oven. All complemented with mince pies, pigs in blankets crisps and Stollen bites to keep us fortified.

Unfortunately, we were unable to beat the Coronavirus and hold our January Social Evening due to illness and happy events with Gareth becoming a Father to baby Aidan.

In February we met perhaps for the last time in a while at the Bourne Vale Club for an evening on Chrome OS and Linux Apps. Here Gareth showed off Chrome OS, Google's alternative Operating System where everything exists within the Chrome browser. More recently Google have added Linux support and Gareth demonstrated configuring this and installing some applications, both command line and graphical

With lockdown commencing March saw us hold our first online meeting, and what better topic to choose than Online Video Conferencing. We came together that evening on Google Hangouts and Nextcloud Talk, the latter of which Gareth hosted from home. We also discussed Jitsi, an opensource hosted alternative which we have used in subsequent meetings.

In April Gareth introduced the latest Ubuntu release 20.04 or Focal Fossa. Here we tried Jitsi for the online meeting and ran through what is new in Ubuntu and its various alternative desktop flavours.

This brings us nicely to this evening and the AGM + Cloud Computing. I would like to thank everyone for their continued support to the club, particularly in these trying times and look forward to another year, online for now, and hopefully later in person again. As ever although we met as a Committee recently and put together an agenda of events, if you would like to propose a topic please do let us know!



Treasurer's Report

Since the 2019 AGM the club has had no external visitors. The activity of the accounts has therefore been stable with seven member's subscriptions being paid in and room hire being paid out. The last rent was paid to Bourne Vale in December 2019 which included November, October, September, July, June, May and April. February 2020 is owed with March, April and May's meetings being held remotely due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. We do have an up coming cost of domain renewal which Gareth will confirm but last time it was £11.99 for two years.

The current balance is £122.84 but this does not reflect the true balance as a cheque for £15 is owed for February's rent. The total bank balance once the liability has been paid and money from the cheque been received is understood therefore to be £107.84 with no money held in cash.

I consider the accounts to be in good health considering the current pandemic and feel we should either consider a small membership fee or place membership on hold until we know when we will return to meetings at Bourne Vale.


There is also a spreadsheet which is not included here. [Ed.]


Our Committee were all willing to stand again and has been re-elected unopposed en bloc once more and so the Committee remains :-

Gareth Chairman

Duncan Vice-Chairman

Michael Treasurer

Peter Secretary

This was the first time we had ever had to hold our AGM online and it did allow us to have more of our members in attendance than we usually have in recent years with a record number of seven. it turned out to be quite successful again using the Jitsi .org video-conferencing system. It was suggested by Steve that we could contact the Anglia Linux User Group which he said were quite technical and we might get some visitors to our meetings.

Peter said he could do this and would add a link to our Newsletter list. We might need to subscribe to them if we wanted to post.

Their email is


Following the formal part of our AGM we shall have a discussion about Cloud Computing. This set of technologies and services have become very popular in recent years for businesses both small and large alike looking to run complex services without maintaining physical infrastructure, as well as the hobbyist seeking more than simple web hosting. We'll take a look at the public cloud offerings from big players but look at private cloud technologies that allow business to deploy similar services for their developers but run "in house".

Cloud Computing

The we were using for our conference was one type of Cloud Computing.

Steve began by talking about Sandstorm which is an open source platform for self-hosting web apps. It is a framework with small we apps, file storage, resembles Google docs and Office 360. Sandstorm .io get a cheap private Linux server (at few $ a month ) and installed it with a binary of your server. He chose authentication from github. which is easier. It has lots of apps preinstalled with aWiki, Chat, EtherCalc etc. However it is odd in distinguishing between Apps and Grains. An App is like a program and a Grain is like a document within a program. He had a grain of a spreadsheet. Apps vary on the user with differnet views. Very easy to use once installed. It works quite fast.

he had tried Ubuntu 20-04 but found Lubuntu better and ButterFS (part of Linux) more stable now.(Used by Suse). Can do snapshots and GUIs.

Duncan said he had had problems with his NAS and needed to back it up with an extra large hard drive. Unfortunately it would not recognise it TS453EB. A New holder for the drive is USB3.0 and where his older one is USB2.0 . Windows shows about 6 drives when plugged in to a PC and it was also recognised by host earlier NAS ad a Linux machine. He thought he might have to contact QNAP. Gareth thought he might need to access the kernel.

Backup called Backflows, Duplicity (encrypted) as does Respic and Rklone. [Ed. not sure of spelling here]

BT bucket cheaper but you must access frequently or it gets deleted.

Gareth talked about OpenStack in a SNAP is a microstack in a Snap. Can be used for Windows and MacOS as well as Linux. Launch VM Amazon Red Services on euwest-2a (west London). You can add memory storage and disks. He added Ubuntu 18-04. You can boot from a SSD for speed. Need to generate key pairs for public/private keys. He demo'ed the system running the Amazon services, it is possible to view a satellite ground station.

Also using UKsouth on Microsoft Azure. You can SSH into the system. IBM are also offering systems. He demo'ed several of these systems.

Quite a technical evening.

ICENI Future programme

We have a new programme now and as always the social evenings are open to change. Also the meeting content my change dependent on future trends. If anyone would like to present a talk please let us know and we can slot them in. Many talks are open anyway with no defined speaker so feel free to join in.


ICENI Future programme 2019/2020
June 17th Anti-Virus and Context Filters All
July 15th NAS Evening All
August 19th Summer Social Evening (if this is permitted All
September 16th Raspberry Pi and Home Automation All
October 21st Windows and Windows on ARM All
November 18th Slide and Video Evening All
December 16th Gadgets and Party Evening All
January 20th Winter Social Evening: Suggestions welcome. All
February 17th Family Tree software All
March 17th XML and Json All
April 21st A Retro Evening All
May 19th AGM - and extras 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 £15, 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:

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