2019 Newsletter: 46/66 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meeting This Week:

Penrith Group - Saturday Sep 7th - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The meeting normally starts with a Q&A session around the table to enable members to share problems, advice and computer tips.

The group will then discuss any further technology or computer topics of interest.

Meetings Next Week:

Programming - Tuesday Sep 10th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Friday Forum - Friday Sep 13th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon
Communications - Friday Sep 13th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

63 2019/09/07 - 14:00-17:00 - 07 Sep, Saturday - Penrith Group
64 2019/09/10 - 17:30-20:30 - 10 Sep, Tuesday - Programming
65 2019/09/13 - 09:30-12:30 - 13 Sep, Friday - Friday Forum
66 2019/09/13 - 12:30-15:30 - 13 Sep, Friday - Communications
67 2019/09/17 - 09:30-12:30 - 17 Sep, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
68 2019/09/21 - 13:30-16:30 - 21 Sep, Saturday - Web Design
69 2019/09/24 - 17:30-20:30 - 24 Sep, Tuesday - Main Meeting
70 2019/09/27 - 09:30-12:30 - 27 Sep, Friday - Digital Photography

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Tech News:

“Out of Stock CPU”:

Just searching for a desktop computer the other day. I clicked on a few custom variations (different CPU, more RAM, adding a DVD, etc) and then went to the Checkout.

At the final second it says "Your quantity exceeds stock on hand. The maximum quantity that can be added is 0."


Out of stock, so recommends '0' items
About to check out

Wouldn't it have been nicer to get a pop-up message when I first selected the custom CPU saying that there are none in stock?


“All the Useless Windows 10 Features Microsoft Should Remove”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN | @chrisbhoffman | AUGUST 26, 2019, 6:40AM EDT.

It's 2019, and Windows 10 has too many useless and annoying features. Don't get me wrong: Windows 10 has gotten better and, overall, I love it compared to Windows 8. But some things just need to go.

The People Icon Without Any People

The My People feature lives on Windows 10's taskbar by default. Click it, and you can chat with people on a variety of different services. You can even pin your favorite contacts to the taskbar and have one-click access to your favorite people!

That's how it's supposed to work. In reality, My People has integrated with very few services: In the default Windows installation, it only works with Mail and Skype. You might expect that People would be integrated with other Microsoft applications like Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, Yammer, and Xbox Live Chat, but you'd be wrong. It doesn't even work with the SMS features built into the Your Phone application. Does Facebook's Windows 10 app integrate with it? Of course not.

Microsoft hasn't even adopted My People for its services, so it's unsurprising that only a handful of apps have integrated with it. The list of available apps for My People in the Store is tiny and extremely sad. Microsoft needs to get rid of this feature. Thankfully, Windows 10 users can disable the People icon until then.

The 3D Objects Folder No One Uses

I don't know about you, but I'm sick of seeing the '3D Objects' folder under This PC in File Explorer. How many Windows 10 users actually use this folder? Is it really that important?

The 3D Objects folder was added to Windows 10 as part of Microsoft's 3D obsession back in the Creators Update days, when Windows 10 also received features like Paint 3D, Mixed Reality (actually just virtual reality) headsets, and 3D printer support. Microsoft talked up the idea of converting Minecraft worlds to 3D models and then printing them.

Those features are cool, I guess, but they're not important to most PC users. At least you can easily uninstall apps like Paint 3D. You have to use a registry hack to hide the 3D Objects folder.

Thanks to telemetry, Microsoft has to know how many people use this feature — and it can't be many. Microsoft said it removed the Start button from Windows 8 because of low usage, but the 3D Objects folder sticks around?

Microsoft Edge's Horrible News Feed

Microsoft Edge's new tab page is a mess. By default, it shows as news feed full of clickbait articles about the world's wealthiest celebrities, credit card offers, shopping advertisements, and dental implant information.

You can hide the news feed, but it's full of junk, and I wish Microsoft would remove it entirely. No such luck, though: The news feed is already part of the New Tab page in the new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge. Ouch.

All the Ads. So, So Many Ads…

Bing Search That Gets in the Way…

The Messy Timeline…

S Mode, Which Would Have Cost You $50 to Escape…

Candy Crush Saga (You Knew It Was Coming)…

Technically Gone: That Ad-Filled Solitaire Game…

Read more »

“The RAVPower 500GB Mini SSD Is a Small Encrypted Powerhouse”:

See the ReviewGeek article by ANDREW HEINZMAN | @andrew_andrew__ | AUGUST 29, 2019, 9:00AM EDT.

RAVPower's new 500 GB Mini SSD offers a glimpse into the future of SSDs. It's small, cheap for its specs, and it even comes with encryption software. For $80, it's one of the best future-ready external drives on the market.

On its own, the RAVPower SSD is a wonderfully fast and affordable storage device. There aren't too many external SSDs in the $80 price range that offer 500 GB of storage and decently fast 540 MBps data transfer rates.

And really, that's the device's big selling point. It's pretty fast, super small (7.2" × 5.1") [ '3.9 x 1.2 x 0.4 inch' on Amazon — Ed. ], and very cheap. The fact that it comes with encryption software and is powered by a USB-C cable (it comes with two USB-C cables) is just icing on the cake. You can use the RAVPower SSD with any USB-C compatible device, including the iPad Pro. And of course, you can connect the SSD to a computer via USB-C to USB-A cable.

The RAVPower 500 GB Mini SSD
RAVPower's 500 GB Mini SSD

Considering Size and Speed, It's a Future-Ready External SSD

Solid-state drives get cheaper every year, and the market will probably be saturated with less expensive, faster options than the RAVPower SSD in the next year or two. But if you're looking to buy a future-ready external drive right now, then this one's a great option.

The RAVPower SSD has a decent data transfer rate of 540 MBps. That's about half the speed of some $130+ external SSDs, but it's more than enough speed for an SSD of this capacity.

A little math tells you that 540 MBps is equal to 0.54 Gbps, or 32.4 GB per minute. That means you could fill the entirety of this 500 GB SSD in about 15 minutes.

For a tiny $80 SSD with a future-ready USB-C, that's not too bad. You could easily get a few years of use out of this drive before you find a cheaper, faster, smaller alternative. And even then, this drive probably won't feel too outdated due to its forward-thinking design and encryption options.

Encryption Is Useful, but It Ain't for Everyone

RAVPower's decision to include encryption software with this SSD is interesting. It's a niche feature that may be useful while traveling, or while digitizing and storing personal documents.

And thankfully, this encryption software is quick, easy to use, and stored in a partition of the SSD. Every time you plug the SSD into a Mac or Windows computer, you're presented with a File Explorer window containing the encryption software. This gives you the option to encrypt or decrypt the drive with a password and ensures that its contents are hidden from prying eyes (the software even hides the drive's capacity, which is neat.)

Read more »

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Fun Facts:

“The Ten Game on Trains”:

Everybody loves playing the fun Ten Game.

Just take the four digits of your train carriage number.

See if you can get to 10 just by adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. Oh, and brackets are OK too.

Some examples: 2384 ⇒ (2 + 3) × 8 / 4 ⇒ 5 × 2 = 10 or 2563 ⇒ (2 + 5) + (6 - 3) ⇒ 7 + 3 = 10. Easy huh?

Lots of combinations are possible with 4-digits. However, some are obviously impossible — like 2000 for example.

Others are ridiculously easy: 1234 ⇒ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10.

Some look absolutely crazy, but turn out to be possible after all.

Here's one: 1158. Give it a try. It really is possible.

Hover to reveal


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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

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