Although we are no longer in full lockdown there are still uncertainties and restrictions. So for the present we are continuing to hold out 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. There is nothing to download or install and we still meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. via Jitsi.org Video conferencing.
This would in normal times have been a social evening. Unfortunately this time there are a few complications with a house move, family ties, holidays and a sick child. No one has come up with a good venue for us to meet up and some people are still not keen to meet up yet at all. So once more this will be a Jitsi meeting.
There will be an open topic for those who are able to go on line. Perhaps it can be a summer gadgets evening for those who have got some interesting new acquisitions.
Gareth with send out a link nearer the time and we'll see what develops.
I am grateful for the following reports of the changes proposed by Apple and Microsoft to their respective operating platforms.
Operating System Updates - MacOS Monterey
Gareth ran through an overview of the next version of MacOS called Monterey that is available for developers as a preview. He wasn't running Monterey yet himself as he only has one Mac new enough which is quite critical to him in daily use, so we went through some of the content on the link above.
Facetime receives some updates, notably screen sharing which is a feature you really expect in any such app in 2021. Safari gains a streamlined look around tabs and tab groups, and Notes can now we created from any app - useful if you use the Mac/iOS Notes app across devices. Universal Control allows one
keyboard/mouse to control multiple Macs and iPads - and also allows seamlessly sharing media between them, create a visual in an iPad app with the pencil for instance, and drag it straight into a presentation on the Mac. AirPlay comes to the Mac for the first time, allowing you to play media from your mobile devices on the larger screen - something until now that was only available to an Apple TV device or third party AirPlay 2 receivers. Spatial Audio with Airpods Pro/Max is also coming to M1 equipped Macs with Monterey. Previously this was only available on the iPhone/iPad and was certainly very effective on modern films with a suitably encoded Dolby Atmos soundtrack.
iCloud with now have a new expanded offering, iCloud+ which offers private browser relay and "Hide my Email" allowing you to create throwaway emails when you don't want to give out your main address. The latter being something Gareth has often done for years anyway owning his own domain.
Summing up, Monterey brings hundreds of new features and improvements over Big Sur - but it was Big Sur the year before that was a quantum leap for MacOS and this all feels like a refinement as newer MacOS matures. The full list of new features for those interested are available at https://www.apple.com/uk/macos/monterey-preview/features/
Gareth also quickly demo'ed Parallels Desktop on his M1 Macbook Air running the arm (aarch64) desktop build of Ubuntu. Parallels has good support for Linux now virtualised on the M1 except for missing sound drivers, but networking, mouse / clipboard integrations and shared folders all work well. Despite missing sound we were able to show video running very smoothly and a snappy desktop performance.
Gareth also briefly showed RPCEmu running on the M1 Mac.
This is only available as an Intel compiled application currently, so runs under Rosetta 2 emulation itself - meaning ARM emulating x86 emulating ARM. Despite that the emulated RISCOS environment is again very useable, with the typical Artworks Apple render shown.
Microsoft Windows 10 and beyond...
During the July meeting we discussed the upcoming release of Windows 11 which Microsoft Announced on the 24th of June, which surprised most, after Windows 10 was meant to be the "last version of Windows". The official system requirements for Windows 11 are the most restrictive to date in recent years assuming Microsoft stick with them on release of the OS.
Microsoft have advised the following minimum system requirements:-
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible
64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM: 4 gigabyte (GB)
Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
Note: See below under "More information on storage space to keep Windows 11 up-to-date" for more details.
System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
[Ed. This is implemented by a special chip used to store strong passwords and encryption for the machine. It checks at boot up whether the hard drive has been moved or whether the hardware has been compromised by a virus or malware. With machines after 2016 there is a slot for insertion of the chip in the motherboard if not already fitted which allows a machine to be upgraded. It can be accessed via the BIOS.]
Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9" diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel
Internet connection and Microsoft accounts: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.
Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. Windows 10 in S mode is a version of Windows 10 that's streamlined for security and performance, while providing a familiar windows experience. Increased security is achieved by limiting applications to those on the Microsoft Store and requires Microsoft Edge for browsing.
Learn more about S mode here. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-in-s-mode-faq-851057d6-1ee9-b9e5-c30b-93baebeebc85
For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.
The changes which will affect most users are the requirements for TPM 2.0 and that Home versions of Windows will force users to use a Microsoft account with no offline setup option, so while Microsoft are providing free upgrades to Windows 11 for Windows 10 users, most users with PCs over 4 years old will require new hardware to meet the TPM 2.0 requirement.
Windows 11 moves the start menu to the middle of the screen by default similar to a Mac however there is an option to move it back to its traditional left corner.
Other considerations are that Windows 11 will remove Internet Explorer 11, OneNote for Windows 10, Paint 3D and Skype.
Feature updates will move to every 12 months rather than the current 6 month cycle with windows 10.
The current release date is set to be October / November so just in time for the Christmas season.
While Windows 11 has been announced let's not forget Windows 10 which Microsoft will continue to release a feature update for also. So the OS hasn't been completely forgotten, but by the time Microsoft release windows 11 it will only be just over 3 years until Windows 10 support will end in January 2025.
If anyone would like to present a talk 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 the social functions. 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 2021/2022|
|August 18th||Jitsi meeting Open Topic perhaps new gadgets.||All|
|September 15th||Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Microbit||All|
|November 17th||Slides and Video||All|
|December 15th||Gadgets and Party||All|
|January 19th||Social Evening||All|
|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.)