Editorial April 2021
17th April 2021
Casting, not in the theatrical sense
19th May 2021

Dennis Parsons

Coronavirus Discussion & Comments

 

The use of QR codes for “checking in” to many businesses and venues for COVID tracking purposes, including Melb PC for those physically attending our premises for meetings, raised some discussion around the difficulty of scanning the codes and deficiencies in the system.

 

The necessity of having a smart phone with a data plan to use the QR code systems was raised as an issue because, despite it being a legal requirement, venues often aren’t providing assistance to check in using alternative means.

 

Most of us have found that the Services Victoria app works well and is easy to use, although some with older phones found they have trouble scanning the QR codes probably due to the camera resolution struggling with the density of the code and less than steady hands.

 

Some venues are using third party QR code providers instead and these seem more problematic to use, including requesting more identifying information than is necessary. It’s worth noting that from May 28th Services Victoria issued QR codes will be the only ones permitted so the problems with others are more or less a moot point.

 

It’s interesting to note some phones will automatically scan a QR code when the camera app is activated while others require manual activation of the Services Victoria app or QR code scanner app.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1188817999233024>

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1198419224838144>

 

 

 

Computer Help

 

Di’s posting of: “A friend’s son who works in computers has put off once again, her upgrade -from XP 🤔.Looking it up, it was released 19 years ago…” raised a few eyebrows among our regular readers. Support for consumer users ceased in 2014 so you really wouldn’t want to take it online. Fair enough if you have some ancient piece of software or hardware that requires WinXP but air gap it! I continued using WinXP at work for 18 months after that but we were paying MS for the extra support.

 

Our collective jaws hit the floor when we were informed a nameless government department still uses Win2000, thankfully for a specific purpose and not as their routine system. Hopefully network access is really locked down as it’s very definitely out of any form of support, paid or otherwise.

 

The discussion moved on to utilising aged hardware by running Linux on it – Merv noted that 32-bit support has ceased for many distributions because he was contemplating dusting off a 15 year old box and installing Linux and was wondering what his options were. We thought 32-bit would still be supported for some time by the specialist distributions aimed at running on low spec systems. 64-bit would be suitable for most systems under 10 years old but almost certainly not for a 15 year old one!

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1183679787130880>

Windows 10

 

It’s that time of year again – the next Win10 update, the May 2021 or 21H1 Update, is upon us. Malcolm noted it will only be a minor update if your system is up-to-date and running 20H2. Stewart mentioned his ASUS laptop was stuck on 1902 – Windows was refusing to update to a newer version due to potential problems with Conexant audio drivers causing a blue screen during the update. Bizarrely his wife’s laptop which is exactly the same model had updated and was running 20H2.

 

A bit of Googling came up with a possible work-around – changing the problem Conextant driver to a generic MS one, installing the update and letting Windows do it’s thing. The end result was that after several hours of updating Windows was running 20H2, the Conexant driver was reinstated and everything was working as before. It should be noted the time taken to update isn’t unusual when jumping versions.

 

It’s certainly a nifty trick that would probably work in other circumstances, but use at your own risk. As they say, your mileage may vary.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1186641020911616>

 

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