Your Committee For 2021
2nd February 2021
Book Review
11th February 2021

Dennis Parsons

Computer Help

 

In these days of COVID online meetings are ubiquitous and if you wish to fully participate a functioning camera and microphone are a necessity. Unfortunately for Arthur he’s had a problem using the webcam he has attached to an older desktop for Zoom meetings – the camera works well but he just can’t get the microphone to work.

 

We made all the usual suggestions – toggling the mute button in Zoom (we got to see a lovely pic of Roger indicating where it was) & using the inbuilt test functions of Zoom that can be used to check that sound and microphone are working, as well as adjusting levels. Still no luck.

 

Arthur himself made the next suggestion of contacting iHelp and using TeamViewer to allow remote access of his computer.

 

Jan mentioned she was still unable to use the inbuilt microphone on her laptop with Skype – Lenovo had been unable to resolve the issue despite months of attempts to make it work.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=997690414858240>

 

 

Technology News

 

Now we all know that many cyclists are tech mad, looking for that last fraction of a percent in efficiency, even if they are a mamil (middle aged man in Lycra). This one is for you!

 

A new chain type, known as Dual Engagement, has been developed that claims to reduce friction and wear by preventing the link from moving when engaged on a tooth. It’s not actually in production yet so you’ll just have to wait.

 

Greg mentioned another type of “chain” that he uses on his bike – a carbon fibre reinforced toothed belt. Quiet and very low maintenance but you won’t be racing down Beach Road as they’re only suitable for use with hub gears, not derailleurs.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=966775578902528>

 

 

Windows 10

 

Have a yearning for the good old days of the early 90s? If so, then maybe you’d like to try the Windows File Manager (as seen in Windows 3.x and Windows NT). Microsoft has released the version used with Windows NT4 as open source so it’s the real deal, not just a knock-off.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1004924966313984>

 

 

NBN Questions and Comments

 

Having been given the 3 months notice for termination of his Optus cable connection John bit the bullet and decided an Optus 5G connection was preferable to NBN HFC – they offered incentives and the call of higher speeds in the future if desired was tempting.

 

He reports it was very easy to set up and is happy with the 100MBps down and 12-13MBps up he is receiving – the speeds are limited by the plan he has chosen, not the technology.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1041671501021184>

 

 

You’d think that 5G was 5G regardless of whether it was via a mobile phone or a modem but apparently not. Greg had recently purchased a 5G phone and was getting very good data speeds at home (300-600MBps) so thought he’d like having that for home Internet as well and made enquiries. The answer was “no”! Turns out there are different settings in the tower for mobile phones and fixed wireless and the tower he was connecting to was good for mobile but weak for fixed wireless. He’s going to wait and see if Optus comes to the party and makes the appropriate adjustments to their equipment.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1035360987611136>

 

 

Phones

 

With 5G still being in its early days not all 5G capable phones are created equal when it comes to the frequency bands supported. The n78 band is used by all three networks, while in addition Telstra uses n5, Optus n40 and Vodafone n28. To get the best 5G coverage you either need to carefully choose the phone to match the network you intend using, which potentially limits your options if you later decide to change providers, or buy a phone that cover all bands.

 

An iPhone 12 covers everything but is more than a little costly. High price doesn’t guarantee anything as the Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G don’t have all bands. Cheaper options are available that have all three network specific bands, such as the Samsung A42, Oppo Reno4 Z 5G or the Nokia 8.3.

 

So if you’re in the market for a 5G phone it will pay to do your homework to reduce the chance of being disappointed.

 

< https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1026473169272832>

 

 

Security, Scams and Phishing

 

We had a classic example of one compromised e-mail account leading to more. A number of Yammer users reported receiving an e-mail from another Melb PC member purporting to be a document to sign. Fortunately for most of us it was seen as clearly dodgy and treated as such. I deliberately clicked to see what it was attempting to achieve – it presented a fake Office 365 login page prompting you to provide your credentials, which of course would have been collected & used to access your account and send further e-mails.

 

We were the third generation – we’d received it from a second generation recipient who had been caught out by a similar e-mail from another member. There may have been additional generations but I don’t know that.

 

We all know we shouldn’t simply click away on links in e-mails but if it resembles something  we’re expecting to receive it’s all too easy to fall for it.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=1033739428429824>

 

 

 

Using Google Workspace

 

John was puzzled as to why when he was composing an e-mail using the Gmail web interface  only some of the fonts seemed to work when he selected them. The others could be selected but didn’t actually change. He was using his Linux computer so checked on a Win10 one only to discover it worked as expected.

 

That provided the clue – the missing fonts are MS proprietary ones so aren’t open source and aren’t installed by default on most Linux systems. This can be easily remedied by installing an MS font package using you favourite package manager (you may need to enable the appropriate repository) or they can be manually added. Even Comic Sans if you’re feeling lonely.

 

<https://www.yammer.com/melbpc.org.au/#/Threads/show?threadId=990933750030336>

 

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