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 our 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. Just follow the link and follow on-screen instructions.

There is nothing to download or install. We still meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. via Video conferencing. If using a Mac IOS the Safari Browser works correctly for screen sharing your own screen, but this doesn't work for Firefox.


Our Next Meeting Wednesday 17th November 2021
Still Photograph and Video evening - All

A slight rename here as no-one now produces slides. This is your chance to tell us about what photography you have been up to. This is usually quite a relaxed evening and it is quite interesting to see where people have visited.

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

It just goes to show how difficult it is to get time to indulge in some of these systems that despite lockdowns and restricted travel most of us have not been able to devote time to them.

Nevertheless there was more of discussion of Raspberry Pi systems than Arduino and no further action on Microbits.

Peter was trying the Brave browser since Paul had recommended it as being fast and secure but it was performing oddly for Peter. This may have contributed to the difficulties with starting the recording this evening so I won't try it for the next meeting.

Peter was still unable to get a correctly generated PDF on Easiwriter and found it easier to pass it over to the Mac and use the print to file PDF there. Steve mentioned Googledocs as a good way to generate a PDF but it does need a modern browser so not for RISCOS.

Ovation pro is another possibility which was mentioned.


Peter showed two books he had for this system.

1) The Arduino Cookbook by Michael Margolis from O'Reilly 2nd Edition 2012.

2) Make: Getting started with Arduino by Massimo Banzi Co-Founder of Arduino and Michael Shiloh from the Open Source Electronics Prototyping Platform. 3rd Edition 2015.

Both are very practical and well written although they are both a bit old now.

Peter was still keen to progress with his Arduino project when he had time.

No -one else was using Arduino. Peter had demonstrated the Microbit device previously but there was no further current work on it.

On the other hand Several people had been using various versions of the Raspberry Pi. Paul using a RPI Zero as a print server driven solely by the USB input power.

Duncan was running his Jitsi session from his lounge and using a TV as HDMI monitor and was driving it from his RPi 400. So showing it is possible to use it for Jitsi.

Steve said he couldn't demonstrate it but had been using an Amiga emulator which runs on the RPi 400 and it runs very faster than his i5 laptop. He is running PiMiga distribution which is amiberry software burnt onto a small SD card; has thousands of games which can run from it (some dodgy!) downloaded from a YouTube channel. You do need an official ROM which he had bought Amiga 3.2 and you can still update it. There are some legal issues. It is a great games machine. It has a basic web browser.

This can run a 68000 emulation of the Amiga on Raspberry Pi 3/4 and Pi400, it runs OS3.2 and it was a very popular machine at the time the Archimedes was current. The source code is legally in the hands of those issuing updates but it is written in Assembler so it is not too easy to develop. The issue with the BBC also was that it had co-operative multitasking, which meant if one program did not pass back control and you had to reboot.

It gives colour multimedia but there is no memory protection.

See for purchase

He also mentioned the Google Pix New phone which is ARM based which looks good. It took him 2 hrs to try and order one.

Peter said his wife's Pad had stopped being able to browse since it could no longer received system updates and there was now no browser which supported it. Steve said he thought this was because the security certificates could not be updated. So Peter might be looking for a modern replacement. Sue said there was a website listing estimated trade-in values.

Paul had tried a 2 node RPi cluster from CubeNetti which was extremely complicated.

We could not see anything yet as he had not done anything and was trying to understand what CubeNetti was all about as he had come from TrueCluster.

Archive Magazine were going to produce a series of articles on RaspberryPi networks and automation but it hasn't been issued yet. Gavin was going over to Ovation for production of the Magazine since for OS wordprocessors Ovation was the best supported.

Paul used a PiZero as a print server and he has SMB on it so can accept several file formats and uses CUPS ( Apple) for printing. He also uses a Pi Adafruit TFT 2.8 " 240 x 320 touch screen available from the RPiStore in Cambridge it runs from the GPIO output. PiMoroni was also a good place to purchase small screens.

[Also noted the Pi4 16GB unit was up in price. ]

There is an RPi400 Official Manual Beginners Guide designed for complete beginners it uses Scratch and Python and a camera module. It has a standard Pi keyboard and an HDMI Output ( the HDMI0 near to the SD card).

ArsTechnica is also good site for News.

Duncan was trying a rosetta page

We also spoke about older languages like Fortran, Algol COBOL and Pascal. Peter asked about reverse engineering of assembly code to a higher level language. Easier with older compilers.

Paul gave the following link for the Kubenetti work for clustering and load distribution. for cubeff

His two nodes are a worker and a master. It shows 10 pods (containers). His second node is a Pi3 which is a bit under powered so most is running on the master. These systems tend to be used on large systems and are designed to make systems more resilient. With TrueCluster (HP but now ceased) all machines had to be identical and have shared storage. It allows resources to be expanded as required and is used to manage websites with variable loads. Kubenetti was written Google as Open Source software originally.

Odds and Ends

BT 21CN project will produce a completely digital network with no land lines.

Paul says: The assumption is now that everyone is expected to have a mobile phone and photo ID. It is quite worrying for anyone who is not computer literate.

Apropos of security discussions - Paul said Johnny Cash had a song about some-one who built a Cadillac by stealing parts one piece at a time

Sue said it is now possible to obtain a new version of the European Health card.

An unusual evening but quite interesting.


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. If anyone has a favourite restaurant for our social evening please let us know.

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
November 17th Slides ( Still Photographs ) and Video All
December 15th Gadgets and Party All
January 19th Social Evening TBA 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

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I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website.