2019 Newsletter: 53/66 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Oct 22nd - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

October 22 Main Meeting - Special Guest: HMD Global, the home of Nokia Smartphones

The last quarter of 2019 is upon us, and soon we'll be in an entirely new decade! We still have our November 26 meeting to go, but in October, our special guest presenter is Mitchell Senior, the National Training Manager at HMD Global, who will be showcasing a range of Nokia's newest Android smartphones for 2019, all of which will be updated and working for people well into the 2020s.

Nokia's Android devices are the quickest behind Google's own Pixel smartphones to get the latest Android OS updates, and with an up-to-date set of smartphones in an impressively affordable and capable range from stores like JB HiFi and others, Nokia makes owning the latest technology easy and inexpensive.

You'll learn about the newest models, their features and benefits, what makes Nokia different to other brands out there, how to activate and use some of the accessibility features that make modern smartphones easier to use and more!

Mitchell is generously bringing along a Nokia 7.2 for the raffle prize, valued at $549, with the winner to enjoy a smooth, up-to-date experience!

So, to learn why you, your friends and family should upgrade an older smartphone to an affordable new model, and to understand why, in a sea of competitive models out there, that Nokia is a great choice, make sure you're there on Tuesday night!

We'll also take a look at the latest Microsoft Surface devices and announcements, as well as looking at the new dual-screen Microsoft Neo and Duo devices that have planned to arrive in "Holiday 2020", as well as other gadgets, gizmos and other tech news.

See you on Tuesday 22 October!



Digital Photography - Friday Oct 25th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

Hear about all the newest digital photography topics.

And, of course, there will be the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meeting Next Week:

Penrith Group - Saturday Nov 2nd - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

71 2019/10/05 - 14:00-17:00 - 05 Oct, Saturday - Penrith Group
72 2019/10/08 - 17:30-20:30 - 08 Oct, Tuesday - Programming
73 2019/10/11 - 09:30-12:30 - 11 Oct, Friday - Friday Forum
74 2019/10/11 - 12:30-15:30 - 11 Oct, Friday - Communications
75 2019/10/15 - 09:30-12:30 - 15 Oct, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
76 2019/10/19 - 13:30-16:30 - 19 Oct, Saturday - Web Design
77 2019/10/22 - 17:30-20:30 - 22 Oct, Tuesday - Main Meeting
78 2019/10/25 - 09:30-12:30 - 25 Oct, Friday - Digital Photography

79 2019/11/02 - 14:00-17:00 - 02 Nov, Saturday - Penrith Group


Tech News:

“Highly recommended Podcasts from TWiT.tv”:

See the host site at This Week in Tech featuring Leo Laporte and team.


“Since 2005, the TWiT.tv podcast network with Leo Laporte has provided tech news, commentary, help, how-to, and perspective on the latest trends in technology from seasoned experts and journalists.

Our flagship show This Week in Tech is the #1 ranked technology podcast. Check out our other top-ranked podcasts covering every angle of technology and remember to subscribe, so you don't miss an episode.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


There are about 22 shows produced each week covering many aspects of computing, mobile phones, operating systems and tech companies. They offer in-depth discussion and analysis with each episode being up to 2 hours long.

The top few that we recommend are:

This Week in Tech

Security Now

Windows Weekly and

This Week in Google

Give them a try.


“New life for old or dead computers”:

Referred by Ron Cox: See the xtra-pc website.

*** This is NOT an endorsement of this product — please send feedback if you've used any of these items ***

It seems to be a USB memory stick that you boot up with to speed up your computer. It runs on a version of Linux.

Watch the 3:31 minute video on their website. — Ed.

Choose Your Xtra-PC USB:

Xtra-PC is available in three different versions, so you can choose the one that's perfect for you.

Xtra-PC Turbo 16
was $49.99

Xtra-PC Turbo 16 gives you blazing speed for surfing the internet, watching videos, downloads, and gaming. Xtra-PC Turbo's compact size is perfect for laptops and desktops. Turbo 16 has 16GB of storage.

• Affordable
• Compact USB stick
• 16GB of storage

Xtra-PC Turbo 32
was $119.99

Xtra-PC Turbo 32 gives more speed and storage than the Xtra-PC Turbo 16, giving you more blazing speed for surfing the internet, watching videos, downloads, and gaming. Xtra-PC Turbo's compact size is perfect for laptops and desktops. Turbo 32 has 32GB of storage. Turbo 32 is the answer for a full transformation of your laptop or desktop.

• Faster than Turbo 16
• 2X the storage of Turbo 16
• Tiny size USB stick

Xtra-PC Pro
was $159.99

Xtra-PC Pro gives you speed, large storage capacity, and FileRez software. With 64GB of storage, Xtra-PC Pro provides all the storage you need for photos, files, music, and movies. And with fast speed, Xtra-PC Pro is the best value for a full transformation of your old, outdated, slow computer. Xtra-PC Pro comes in a larger form factor so it's less likely to be misplaced.

Xtra-PC Pro now includes FileRez software that allows you to find and retrieve all the critical files from your old Windows PC (even if it has crashed). All the photos, documents, music, videos from your old PC can be rescued!

• Larger USB stick
• 64GB storage
• FileRez software included

Shipping and handling in USA is $7.99 per order.
Shipping and handling for International orders is $12.99 per order.

Sounds pretty good — Ed.

“How Chrome's "Tab Freezing" Will Save CPU and Battery”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN | @chrisbhoffman | OCTOBER 16, 2019, 6:40AM EDT.

Google is working on a new "Tab Freeze" feature for Chrome, which will pause (freeze) tabs you're not using. That means lower CPU usage, a faster browser, and longer battery life on a laptop or convertible.

The Problem: Too Many Tabs

If you only had a single tab open at all times, Chrome would only need to render one web page at once. But you probably have more. Even while you're not using them, each tab you have open in Chrome contains an open web page. That web page uses system memory. Any scripts and other active content on it continue running, too, which means the web page can use CPU resources in the background.

In some ways, this is good: Even if you switch tabs, a tab can continue playing audio or updating itself in the background. When you switch back to it, you don't need to wait for the web page to reload — it's instant.

But it can be bad. If you have a large number of tabs open — or even just a small number of tabs containing heavy web pages — they can use a lot of system resources, filling up your memory, taking up CPU cycles, making Chrome less responsive, and draining your battery. That's why Chrome's engineers created Tab Discarding and, now, Tab Freezing. They're related features, but do different things in different situations.

How Tab Discarding Saves Your RAM

Tab Discarding was added back in 2015. This is a "memory-saving" feature, as Google puts it. In short, if your computer is low on memory, Chrome will automatically "discard" the contents of "uninteresting" tabs. Chrome won't automatically discard a tab if you're interacting with it, but that background tab you haven't interacted with in hours is a prime target.

When a tab's contents are discarded, it's removed from your system's memory, and the state is saved to disk. Nothing changes in Chrome's interface — the tab appears on your tab bar and looks normal. But, when you click it and switch to it, you'll see Chrome take a moment to quickly reload the page and get you back to where you were.

This slight delay is why Chrome only discards tab when your system's memory is "running pretty low." It's good to use your RAM for caching. But automatically discarding a tab and quickly reopening it is better than forcing Chrome's users to bookmark and close tabs manually.

When a tab is discarded, its process actually vanishes from Chrome's built-in Task Manager, and you won't see its memory used by Chrome anymore. When you click it to reload it, it starts up again.

Read more »

“Microsoft Now Enables Windows 10 Tamper Protection By Default”:

See the BleepingComputer article by Lawrence Abrams | October 14, 2019 12:01 PM.

Microsoft has announced today that the Windows 10 Tamper Protection security feature is now officially generally available for the Enterprise and consumers. Along with this announcement, Microsoft will be enabling this security feature on all Windows 10 devices by default.

Tamper Protection is a security feature that was introduced in Windows 10 version 1903, otherwise known as the May 2019 Update. When enabled, Tamper Protection prevents Windows Security and Windows Defender settings from being changed by programs, Windows command line tools, Registry changes, or group policies.

Instead, users must modify security settings directly through the Windows 10 user interface or via Microsoft enterprise management software such as Intune.

If Tamper Protection is not currently enabled on your Windows 10 device, Microsoft has told BleepingComputer that they will be rolling out this change to all Windows 10 users. It may take a few days, though, before it becomes enabled automatically for everyone.

If you do not want to wait, you can enable it now, by following these instructions.

Tamper Protection is an important tool to prevent security bypasses

With the Windows Defender becoming a reliable antivirus solution and further security enhancements being added to Windows 10, malware has increasingly made efforts to bypass it.

This is done by attempting to turn off or reduce the functionality of Windows Defender through PowerShell commands, group policies, or Registry modifications.

For example, over the past 4 months we have seen TrickBot, GootKit, and the Nodersok Trojans make a concerted effort to bypass Windows Defender in order to remain resident on an infected computer or to bypass its protections.

With Tamper Protection enabled, though, these attempts to change Windows Defender or Windows Security settings will be ignored or simply reset.

As Windows Defender automatically turns on when a third-party antivirus software is removed, it is even more important to enable Tamper Protection so that Windows Defender can adequately protect you.

Consumers use the Windows Security settings

For consumers, Tamper Protection is managed under the Virus & Threat Protection settings in Windows Security.

To access this, you would open the Windows 10 settings, click on Windows Security, then Virus & Threat Protection, and then click on Manage Settings under Virus and Threat protection settings.

Scroll down and you will see an option titled Tamper Protection, which you should enable as seen below.

Read more »

Fun Facts:

“The Square == Triangle Number”:

This problem can be rewritten in terms of the Pell Equation (x2 - 2y2 = 1), the first solution being x=3 and y=2.

We need x to be odd and y even; setting x = 2m+1 and y = 2n gives m = 1 and n = 1. So we get the 1st square number (1) = the 1st triangle number (1).

The next solution to the Pell Equation is x=17 and y=12. This leads to m=8 and n=6, thus producing the 6th square 62 and the 8th triangle number 8·9/2 (both = 36).

Next is x=99 and y=70. This leads to m=49 and n=35, giving the 35th square 352 = 1225 and the 49th triangle number 49·50/2 = 1225.

You can find more in-depth information in the Wikipedia article on the Pell Equation.

Apologies for the unexpected math depth involved in this little problem :-)


Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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