PC Update

Yammer Highlights October 2019

Dennis Parsons

Chit Chat

One good thing about Yammer is members read a wide variety of news media from around the world and post links to interesting and very topical articles that many of us would not otherwise see. Bruce posted a link to an article from the UK Independent detailing India’s plan to cancel a number of coal fired power stations in favour of solar. The discussion of course lead directly to the rationale of the Adani coal mine in Queensland and subsidies for related infrastructure such as railways as well as the coal itself. It was also noted that coal mines are closing in the US as the price of energy derived from renewables makes coal noncompetitive.


Computer Help

Many of us use a single WiFi router, often supplied by our Internet provider, to provide adequate coverage over our entire house. For others coverage can be a problem with the signal being weak or even non-existent in some areas depending on the location of the router, and the shape and construction of the house, with intervening brick walls and reception on upper floors presenting particular problems.

A question was asked about the efficacy of various means of extending the coverage of the WiFi signal. A mesh network possibly using multiple nodes was considered to be the superior solution to provide widespread uniform coverage but was also more expensive due to the number of devices potentially required.

Roger had run an ethernet cable (courtesy of Kev, our resident cabler) out to his man cave (aka his music room) to provide an island of coverage via a second WiFi router. Julie had recently installed a WiFi extender (courtesy of a suggestion by Dave our resident iHelp team member) that relays the WiFi signal to improve the coverage in her “U” shaped house and posted “heat” maps she’d created to show the “before and after” coverage. Peter had acquired a new WiFi router that provided a stronger signal, which in combination with additional Ethernet cabling reduced the traffic load on his WiFi network eliminating the need for any additional WiFi sources.

The message? There is more than one way to skin the WiFi cat, which is better depends on the particular physical characteristics of your home and WiFi needs.


NBN Questions and Comments

Yammer continues to be a good source of information for members contemplating the move to NBN – personal member experience, knowledge and expertise continue to be an excellent resource for those uncertain of what the NBN future may hold for them.

A number of members who currently have Telstra or Optus cable and are happy with the speed and service are facing the move to NBN with a degree of trepidation as they don’t see much advantage and some significant disadvantages. Most are understandably keen to retain their cable service for as long as possible but have been warned not to leave it too late or they risk disconnection. NBN will provide a considerable improvement in upload speed, but for many users this isn’t greatly significant – great if you’re uploading a lot of photos or backing up large files to the cloud but of little advantage for general Internet use where media consumption means it is heavily weighted in favour of download speed.

Stewart is one such member – Telstra recently increased his download speed to 100Mbps at no extra cost and he’s found the only way to keep it if he remains with Telstra when he moves to NBN is to pay more, something he quite understandably isn’t pleased with. Roger suggested looking at other providers who are very competitive – he originally remained with Telstra on the grounds that their service had been good and he didn’t want the complication of changing providers and moving to the NBN at the same time, but has since changed.



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