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 15th July 2020 - online
NAS Evening.

Our next meeting will review the use of a NAS (Network Attached Storage). Most users have problems with where to back up their files and the NAS is one solution which is in-house but can be more secure with RAID systems than a standalone external drive. There are several suppliers on the market and the most notable of these are Synology and QNAP. I hope during this meeting to cover some of the advantages and disadvantages of each system. We will also cover backing up data from a NAS to an external system. I've still to purchase my system although I think I have decided which to go for.

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

In fact although the title says the meeting is about AntiVirus and Context filters we did not really get into that topic as only a few of us were present so instead we effectively had a surgery evening.

Topics covered were Peter's failed email of the Newsletter to gmail based members, Networking and printing from RISCOS via WiFi and AntiVirus Ad blocking. Also installing Linux on ARM.

Peter was concerned because the email with attached zip file for sending the Newsletter had been blocked for some recipients. (viz. gmail). Duncan had an email failure which said that the message contained a redirected link. The mail failure was put down as a possibly too large, breaking security rules as it included an attachment. I had a look at the info behind this an zip files are not included in the banned list only .exe files. The size was only 800KB and the size should have been ok up to 25MB. I sent a message to everyone affected after the meeting but no-one has replied. I had no trouble sending to my own gmail account. Paul reckoned my version of Pluto/Netfetch could be out of date. Perhaps there was a problem with gmail tonight. One of those mysteries.

He had also bought Lanman 98 but wasn't clear on whether it needed SMB as well to access windows shares. He could not get any info on SMB now. Duncan mentioned Sunfish/Moonfish but when Peter had looked at this before he did not get very far. He would have to spend more time looking into it. There no longer appeared to be a manual for Lanman98, he would probably need to go back to CJE. Duncan mention Netprint which Peter had used in the past. Martin Wuerthner had produced drivers for various printers. Duncan found using postscript was easier.

Duncan had wanted to generate a barcode at one time and Cyrillica had been promising a super and expensive graphics program which would do this which was very secure in that it kept checking when in use that it was a licenced copy with the company website, but when the company went bust it would no longer work and left many people out of pocket.

Duncan had an old RiscPC with battery failure and needed to replace the Real Time Clock battery. CJE supplied a replacement for him. (Peter had done the same in the past.) He then had to use an old monitor to run with 50Hz frame rate.

He eventually found the date set as 1900!

He also dug out an A3000 but it would not reboot. Peter said he also disliked the minute font used at the bottom of the screen after pressing F12.

Duncan also had tried to get an old scanner cleaned. The company who would do this for him had staff on furlough at the moment. Peter had dismantled his Nikon Coollscan III when he got it (secondhand) and cleaned it himself.

Duncan's Nikon 500 took a slide and strip film . Cleaning would be over £200

Vuescan software works very well on his old PC which couldn't be upgraded on Windows but was fine with Ubuntu on it. Vuescan was an amazing company.

On old machines Gareth said that he found software to enable him to run Catalina on a 2008 MacBook. Gareth has an ARM windows laptop which he would eventually test Ubuntu on it, building your own kernel etc. You can use any 32bit apps on it.

We spoke a bit about AntiVirus, software. Gareth said as most of his work was on Mac or Linux he did not use them much. Paul mentioning that one of the first Viruses was in fact written on a Mac. Duncan had Avast. Peter used Avira on the Windows 10 laptop. The mail context filter checked contents for unusual words or text with asterisks for alternate letters etc.

We also mentioned Newsgroups which have more or less disappeared now. Peter gave up when they wanted too charge for them.

Paul said you could access groups through Google. Comp.sys etc.

We all agreed that often the AntiVirus companies tried to sell you upgrades.

Gareth had used Pi-hole which aimed at ad blocking "A black hole for Adverts". We looked at the website. It was designed for Linux and Raspberry Pi use. It uses Black and White lists for DNS lookups. An Open source DNS server. It is a bash script. It shows how many ads are blocked and if you are logged in more details. Duncan working for Royal Mail had a letter for a local clergyman which he wanted to address but could not because the system blocked access to religious sites. Some sites make money and gain support from ask you to turn of adblockers.

Duncan had a small mic to add to his camera and an adapter ; it worked better clipped on not remotely.

Peter had just got his cheap android tablet today and was just finding his way around it. It was indeed an Android 9 and appears to work ok. It appeared to come from Singapore. It has two SIM slots. More later.

Duncan said it was useful to download a map to avoid having to download data as you moved. Peter had to remove 130GB of adspam from his Windows 10 but was not sure if he had deleted anything important. However his Firefox worked really slowly after and he had to reinstall it.

Peter asked which AntiVirus he should use for Android; probably his Avira would be ok if needed at all.

An interesting and diverse 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
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.