Coronavirus Impact Covid-19.

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 ) 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 Video conferencing.


Our Next meeting Wednesday 20th October 2021
An update on Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Microbit and other such systems.

I am interested to see what progress has been made on these important areas of computing which we have not visited for a while. I know Raspberry Pi has now the RPI400 to begin with.

Our Last meeting Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Virtualisation Steve and Gareth

We were joined by Laura, Steve and Sue's daughter.

Steve began by saying that Virtualisation was running programs on another computer as if they were normal programs. He started with Virtual Box. v 6.1 owned by Oracle. It has the advantage that it runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. He said it was a bit odd and was awkward to use and to know where to click on screen. It also had an Oracle VM VirtualBox extension Pack which had better USB support so you could use pass through and run a webcam in a VM running Windows 10 on top of Linux. The downside is that it is not free software, although free for personal use, but Oracle search companies to find business use and that is costly.

He preferred QEMU/kvm which emulates a whole range of CPUs the most popular is an Intel or AMD style 64 bit . It is quite small and it can emulate many. He showed two machines running in the Virtual Machine Manager one debiantesting and one Windows 10. He was able to click on the Windows 10 and start up a Windows 10 session and it is fully graphical and can be made full screen. Unfortunately he had lost his password so could not demonstrate logging in.

There is a Ubuntu snap called SoSueMe, which is a joke, and is a bit cheeky as it allows MacOS to run on QEMU which is probably breaking the Apple licence terms.

There is confusing terminology also it is also called KVM which enables monitor sharing normally but has been used for processors here. Sometimes the virtualisation is disabled by default. qcow2 is a compressed disk image. the graphical toolkit (gtk) is disabled so it only uses text mode.

It is better with FreeBSD and Copy and Paste will also work between the host and VM system using Virtual I/O and forwarding port 2222 running in text mode all the time with FreeBSD. Performance is quite good suffering only a 5% speed drop.

Mac support is also available but Steve has not used it much.

Gareth then said he did not use QEMU much in his work, Canonical were using some virtualisation.

He added more memory to his QNAP NAS recently and put a few VMs on that. The virtualisation station on QNAP is QEMU and building a web browser and VNC.

We lost bandwidth on the links shortly after this as Gareth tried to screen share. Turning off cameras did not help.

Paul suggested we could buy our own cloud server and run our own Jitsi server.

He said it did not require much power as he had used a test version on a Raspberry Pi. An interesting suggestion I thought.{Ed]

We all had to log off and back in again.

Now Gareth was able to screen share and showed his virtualisation Station 3 on his NAS which showed how you can create machines and shows what resources are used. You can migrate VMs between multiple NASs if you have them.

He had added extra RAM to his NAS as purchased it only had 2 GB now has 64 GB from old AMD APU chips but still useful. Which meant he can use his NAS for when he needed to leave something running for a long time, where he used to use on older laptop as a server.

He had also bought a new MacBook air (M1). He showed Parallels running on it and showed a Windows 10 installation running on the VM on the Mac M1.

It was pretty slow at loading though but once running it was pretty good. Although described as Windows 10 it was in fact an evaluation copy of Windows 11! The integration on parallels works very well.

Windows with WSL ( Windows Subsystem for Linux) 2 can run graphics where WSL 1 can't.

However it was recently reported by Paul that hackers are trying to get malware onto machines with WSL as a bypass for AntiVirus checkers.

Gareth then tried installing Ubuntu on the Win 11 environment but this failed as it does not have Hyper-V. Hyper-V is Microsoft's system to produce hardware virtualisation addding disc drives and CD drives etc.

WSL 1 almost imitated WINE the other way around.

WSL 2 is a hidden Hyper VM.

Gareth did various demonstrations, some successful ( !), which I haven't included here. It got pretty complex but in conclusion the use of Virtualisation has become very useful and well supported.

Gareth also showed RiscOS running on the Mac M1 using the X86 RPCEmu running under Rosetta.

Other Comments

Gareth mentioned that the next update of Ubuntu would be out soon but it was not an LTS (Long Term Support -5years) release.

Peter said he did not get the same screen size since he had to use Safari with Jitsi since Firefox had a problem with screen sharing facilities.

Paul said Brave Browser runs well on MacOS and claims to stop websites from tracking your activities. Steve said that Apple will not allow other browsers but you can have a theme so in fact Brave is in fact Safari in other clothing.

Paul said he did not want an iPhone because he did not want to pay another company to write a program he could write himself. You can add non-approved software to a Mac but the iPhone is locked down more.

There was also some discussion on photo printing as Peter was having problems with formatting and print size on his set up. Most people seemed to prefer to get photos printed at print shops.

There was also some talk of ships, planes, canals, kindles and other

e-readers, lost memory cards and and lost and found spectacle lenses!

On the whole an interesting and useful meeting.


ICENI Future programme

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
October 20th An update on 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


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.