2020 Newsletter: 10/89 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meeting This Week:

Penrith Group - Saturday Mar 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 Mar 10th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Friday Forum - Friday Mar 13th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon
Communications - Friday Mar 13th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

15 2020/03/07 — 14:00-17:00 — 07 Mar, Saturday — Penrith Group
16 2020/03/10 — 17:30-20:30 — 10 Mar, Tuesday — Programming SIG, L1 Woolley Room
17 2020/03/13 — 09:30-12:30 — 13 Mar, Friday — Friday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
18 2020/03/13 — 12:30-15:30 — 13 Mar, Friday — Communications, L1 Woolley Room
19 2020/03/17 — 09:30-12:30 — 17 Mar, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
20 2020/03/21 — 13:30-16:30 — 21 Mar, Saturday — Web Design, L1 Woolley Room
21 2020/03/24 — 17:30-20:30 — 24 Mar, Tuesday — AGM + Main Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room
22 2020/03/27 — 09:30-12:30 — 27 Mar, Friday — [ Digital Photography, L1 Woolley Room ]


Tech News:

“RIP Live Tiles: Windows 10 is getting a new Start Menu”:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See Tom's Guide article by Henry T. Casey | Wed, 22 February 2020.

It's time for Windows 10's Live Tiles to bite the dust as Windows 10 lines up a new Start Menu.

Windows 10, since its inception, has been filled with Live Tiles — dozens of squares in the Windows 10 Start Menu that auto-populate with news and information — and they're about to die. Or at least that's what a new report tells us.

This early Windows 10 Start Menu obituary comes from Windows Latest, which claims that "Microsoft is planning to replace live tiles with icons" citing people close to the software's development. We first saw Windows without Live Tiles in Windows 10X, the variant of Windows used by the two-screen Surface Neo.

As someone who always removes the Live Tiles whenever I use a PC or test a laptop, I'm more than ready for this change to the Start Menu. These info-heavy micro-windows first appeared in the Windows Phone OS, and were designed for at-a-glance information delivery — which isn't exactly why you open the Start Menu.

When will Live Tiles disappear?

Windows Latest's source claims the change is expected to occur after Windows 10 20H2, which is scheduled to drop this fall between October and November 2020.

We first saw signs of this icon-heavy version of the Windows 10 Start Menu last July, when photos of a Start Menu with really-big icons and no Live Tiles first leaked. And then the images of new Windows icons were published on the Italian tech blog Aggiornamenti Lumia. In that post, the Start Menu appeared sans Live Tiles, with new icons (many of which had color-matching backgrounds.)

We've known Microsoft was redesigning Windows icons since last December, when Jon Friedman, corporate VP of design and research, posted a blog on Medium detailing its plans to makeover "over 100 icons with new colors, materials, and finishes."

Read more »

“How to Reset Your Windows PIN If You Forget It”:

See the How-To Geek article by JOEL CORNELL FEBRUARY 25, 2020, 11:23AM EDT.

A good password or PIN is difficult to crack but can be difficult to remember. If you forgot or lost your Windows login PIN, you won't be able to retrieve it, but you can change it. Here's how.

Resetting Your Windows PIN When Not Signed In

Assuming you've already added a PIN to your Microsoft account, that PIN will make logging into devices much faster. If you've been locked out of your Windows PC for any reason, start by going to the login screen and clicking the "I Forgot My PIN" link.

Enter the password for your Microsoft account. You can then input an existing account security code or have Microsoft send a new code via email.

Input the security code and click "Verify." Enter your new PIN twice. You've now reset your PIN; use this new one when logging in to this device.

Resetting Your Windows PIN When Already Signed In

If you happen to have access to your Windows device, but still want to reset your PIN, start by opening the Start menu and then clicking the Settings gear.

In the Windows Settings popup, click "Accounts." Then, click Sign-In Options > Windows Hello PIN > I Forgot My PIN.

Enter your Microsoft password and then enter your new PIN twice to complete the change.

If you ever find yourself tired of entering your PIN, or if you want to change how you access your Windows devices, check out our guide on How to Remove Your PIN and Other Sign-In Options from Windows 10.

Read more »

Fun Facts:

“Find the values of this Complex Expression”:

Last week's puzzler:

Let i be the "imaginary" square root of minus 1.

What are the values of √i + 1/√i?

Don't forget that complex square roots have a ± value just like real square roots.

You'll be surprised at the answers, because the expression actually does have real values.


Let x = √i + 1/√i .

Then square both sides: x2 = i + 2 × √i /√i + 1 / i .

i cancels with √i and 1 / i simplifies to - i .

That leaves x2 = 2 which has solutions x = ± √2 .



“How far away is the Horizon?”:

See the Mathspace article by Jake Horder | 03 Jan 2017.

Imagine you're at the beach, standing on the shoreline (lucky you!).

Off in the distance you see a ship on its way out to sea. Slowly it appears to get smaller and smaller, until it drops over the horizon and out of sight.

How far away does the ship get before it starts to disappear? In other words, how far away is the horizon? Take a guess… 6km, 10km? More? Maybe less?

The good news is, we can work it out!

Picture a line, starting from your eyes and going straight all the way to the horizon. We'll call the length of this line d. Once we know what d is in terms of numbers, we will know the answer to our question!

A triangle - from the Earth's centre to your eye level, then out to the hprizon, back to the Earth's centre
What is the distance to the horizon?

So which measurements do we need to find 'd'?

Imagine a second line, also starting from your eyes, but going straight down, through the ground, all the way to the centre of the Earth.

The length of this line will be your height, h, plus the radius of the Earth, r.

We're going to need one more line — this one starts at the end of the first line (at the horizon) and goes to the centre of the Earth, so its length is also r. This gives us a right-angled triangle, as shown above in Figure 1.


1. Your height (we're using 1.5 m in our worked example below).

2. The radius of the Earth — You can find this by searching the web. It's 6,371 km (or 6,371,000 m).

Now for the calculation

We know that the lengths of the sides of a right angle triangle are related by Pythagoras' Theorem. So we have:

(r + h)2 = r2 + d2

And by rearranging to solve for d, we get:

d = √2rh + h^2

Everyone knows their height, and the internet knows the radius of the Earth, so everything on the right-hand side is ready to go. Let's try it out.

Suppose you're 1.5 m tall, and standing at sea level — this means you're about 6,371 km, or 6,371,000 m, from the center of the Earth.


d = √2 × 6371000 × 1.5 + 1.5^2 = 4371.8419…

So the horizon is 4,371.8 m or 4.4 km away!

Try putting your own height in the formula to find out how far away the horizon is for you.

What else can you solve?

The distance to the horizon changes as we change our height above the surface of the Earth. How far away would the horizon be if we were standing atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge (h = 134 m), or at the summit of Mt Everest (h = 8,848 m)? What if we were orbiting in the International Space Station (h = 40,000 m)?

We can also see that the distance depends on the radius of the Earth. In fact, this formula would be suitable for any spherical object. How far away is the horizon if you're standing on the Moon (r = 1,737 km), or on Mars (r = 3,390 km), Jupiter (r = 69,911 km), or the Sun (r = 695,700 km)?

So there we have it… Who'd have thought geometry could come in so handy at the beach?


Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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