Yammer Highlights February 2020

Dennis Parsons

Computer Help


The following is a fantastic example of what Melb PC is all about – members helping each other solve problems, computer related or not, and demonstrates how useful Yammer is in facilitating this.


Frank had an old Betamax tape he wished to convert to digital format, assuming it was still playable. Various solutions were suggested – finding a working player from somewhere and using a video grabber, approaching the Video Production SIG, engaging a commercial service (one charged $65 per tape) and then someone suggested Roger Wragg might be able to help. Roger chipped in that he had a Betamax player and offered to copy the tape.


The tape was duly dispatched and while it unfortunately turned out to not be in the best of condition, enough of the recording was recovered to make it worthwhile.


A big thumbs up to Roger Wragg!





Security, Scams and Phishing


Bill sought help with a possible serious security breach – his wife received an e-mail that mentioned the password she uses for her password manager. They were demanding payment of $850 in Bitcoin and claimed a remote access tool had been installed on the computer via an out of date browser.


Obviously the prospect of having your password manager compromised is quite a scary thing if genuine, as they effectively have the keys to the kingdom. And of course that’s what the scammers are relying on, that you’ll be scared enough cough up the money.


The computer had been displaying signs of a potential malware infection, becoming sluggish and difficult to use, so clearly a real worry. Bill had thrown various anti-malware and anti-virus programs at it and was in the process of using a USB based bootable rescue disk to scan the system with Windows not running.


Fingers crossed it turns out to just be an attempted scam rather than an actual attack.





NBN Questions and Comments


A number of members are considering giving installing the NBN a miss and opting for a wireless broadband connection instead. Speeds considerably faster than the 100Mbps maximum currently offered by the NBN are possible now with 4G and with 5G starting to become available in some areas around Melbourne even higher speeds will be possible.


John was asking about 5G as he is lucky enough to be living in an area already covered by Optus, who are offering it with unlimited data for the same price as their NBN plan. They provide a phone app which gives an indication of likely 5G reception, noting it will be subject to the vagaries of attenuation by anything intruding on the line-of-sight to the tower.


And that’s a very big consideration because the higher frequencies used are more readily absorbed by walls and vegetation than those for 4G – 5G has shorter range and is more subject to blocking by walls.


Several members posted their 4G connection speeds, as reported by the Netflix speed testing app – speeds ranged from an impressive 260Mbps down to a rather pedestrian 23Mbps,  nicely demonstrating the problem presented for potential users of wireless broadband. It could be fantastic in the right situation but could also be quite unsuitable as a replacement for a wired connection.