2021 Newsletter: 35/121 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week

Web Design - Saturday, 17 Apr - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm *** THIS MEETING IS ON TODAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 17 ***

Hi Everyone,

Our Web Design meeting is returning Face to Face on Saturday the 17th, at 2 pm.

Now, I will try and run it as a Zoom meeting at the same time for anyone who can't make it to SMSA. I have been experimenting with a wireless phone camera for the Zoom meeting to see everyone in the room.

This month I thought we could have a look at Pseudo-elements. It's a method in CSS to allow us to style a part of the selected element. For example, we could use it to style the first line or first letter in a paragraph.

We can also have before and after elements which allow us to insert content before or after an element.

— Steve South

Tuesday Forum - Tuesday, 20 Apr - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

We'll have the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Digital Photography - Friday, 23 Apr - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

The Sydney PC User Group is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Digital Photography Meeting

Time: Apr 23, 2021, 10:00 am Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join the Zoom Meeting at:


Meeting ID: 835 7352 9283

Passcode: 598740

Choose a "before and now" photo of a person, place or event and email them by Apr 20 to johnlucke12@­gmail.com for reminiscing and comment.

The Meeting topics include:

  • Steve will show us how to edit and add audio to your videos.
  • Learn how to blend multiple photos into an eye-catching collage.
  • Q & A Forum.
  • Over to you for general discussion.

Collage example
Pet collage

I am hoping to see you there.

— John Lucke

Meeting Next Week

Main Meeting - Tuesday, 27 Apr - TBA

Meeting by Alex via Zoom.

Schedule of Current & Upcoming Meetings †

24 2021/04/03 — 14:00-17:00 — 03 Apr, Sat — Penrith Group
25 2021/04/09 — 10:00-12:30 — 09 Apr, Fri — Friday Forum, L1 Carmichael Room
26 2021/04/09 — 12:30-15:30 — 09 Apr, Fri — Communications, L1 Woolley Room
27 2021/04/13 — 17:30-20:30 — 13 Apr, Tue — Programming, L1 Woolley Room or via Jitsi
28 2021/04/17 — 13:30-16:30 — 17 Apr, Sat — Web Design, L1 Woolley Room or via Zoom
29 2021/04/20 — 09:30-12:30 — 20 Apr, Tue — Tuesday Group, L1 Woolley Room
30 2021/04/23 — 09:30-12:30 — 23 Apr, Fri — Digital Photography, L1 Woolley Room or via Zoom
31 2021/04/27 — 17:30-20:30 — 27 Apr, Tue — MAIN Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room or via Zoom

† As decided after assessing the Members' wishes (on resumption of face-to-face meetings) via the latest Online Survey.


Tech News:

Re: Last week's article referred by Jeff Garland: Warning on Keyboard/Language choice.

After setting your choice of Keyboard and Language, sometimes it changes by itself!

Well, not really.

Microsoft warns you about the possibility of "apparent" changes.

See the 2016 article on Microsoft's answers page.

What really happens is that you inadvertently hit one or more of these key combinations:

Windows Key + Space key = Changes language/keyboard pairs.
Alt + Shift = Change Language.
Ctrl + Shift = Changes keyboard.

It's so easy to do, so why isn't there a "lock choice" option like "Lock the taskbar"?

— Ed.

Optus reaches blistering 10 Gbps aggregated throughput on live 5G site in Brisbane.

See the iTWire article by Alex Zaharov-Reutt Thursday, 08 April 2021 at 00:16 am.

Poking fun at Telstra by stating, "You don't need Australia's fastest 5G… until you do", Optus aggregated its 5G spectrum bands of 3500Mhz and 28Ghz (mmWave) on top of existing 5G spectrum bands to deliver "unprecedented bandwidth and speed."

Optus, together with technology partner Nokia, has claimed: "a new 5G record achieving 10Gbps aggregated throughput on a live 5G site in Strathpine, Brisbane further strengthening its ambition to deliver Australia's fastest 5G."

Through the use of its "unique spectrum assets," Optus says the 10Gbps throughput "was achieved by aggregating Optus' 5G spectrum bands of 3500Mhz and 28Ghz (mmWave) on top of existing 4G spectrum band layers. This aggregation will deliver unprecedented bandwidth and speed, giving customers a glimpse of what they can expect once mmWave is available commercially."

Lambo Kanagaratnam, Optus Managing Director Networks, said: Today's accomplishment is another 5G milestone for Optus as we push hard to deliver our customers with Australia's fastest 5G network. We already know that 5G is fast but what we see here is the innovative use of spectrum layers to deliver a single site with over 10Gbps throughput.

"This is a fantastic demonstration of how mmWave spectrum, integrated into existing 5G and 4G sites, can significantly boost overall site capacity — which will be a gamechanger for our customers."

"In addition to an increase in total site throughput, this test has demonstrated a significant increase in single-user peak speed. We are currently seeing commercial single-user peak speeds of around 1-2Gbps on our existing 5G sites, but once the 5G mmWave layer is added, we expect to see peak speeds closer to 4Gbps."

"This additional capacity and faster per user speed will be incredibly important for our Enterprise customers, paving the way for a range of low-latency and ultra-high bandwidth services not available today."

Optus says increased 5G site capacity "will also ensure that customers in densely populated areas or locations where there is a large network demand, will be able to access the network without compromising the performance of their applications."

"For example, without the added mmWave layer, average peak site capacity is around 3Gbps, which would typically support around 75 individual 4K video streams simultaneously per 5G site. Adding the mmWave spectrum layer and increasing site capacity to 10Gbps has the potential to support around 250 4K video streams per 5G site — an uplift of more than 230 per cent."

"The 10Gbps recorded was a consolidated speed across multiple users by harnessing the full capability of such a high capacity network."

Anna Wills, Head of Oceania at Nokia, said, "This is another milestone in developing 5G services and demonstrates the confidence operators have in our 5G solutions. Today's achievement with Optus shows the potential of mmWave deployments, particularly when connectivity and capacity are so crucial. We're proud of our long-standing relationship with Optus and the great strides we continue to make together in this new era of connectivity."

Optus reminds us that it currently has "more than 1200 5G sites covering over 830,000 households in Australia."

Read More »

Five new Windows 10 tricks you'll wish you knew before now.

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the FOX News article by Kim Komando | 11 April 2021.

I've got five clever tricks to use with your PC.

1. See clipboard history.

If you're like me, you copy and paste text and images all day long. It isn't very pleasant when you accidentally copy over your previous selection. That's where Clipboard history comes in. You can store up to 25 entries so you can go back and grab your recent selections.

To enable Clipboard history:

  • Click Start > Settings (the gear icon) > System
  • Click Clipboard, then toggle "Clipboard history" on

Once you've turned history on, hit Windows + V to bring up a list of items you've copied. A window will pop up, starting with the most recent item. You can click any of them to copy again.

Want to wipe out your Clipboard history? Use the steps above to navigate to your Clipboard settings, and choose Clear under "Clear clipboard data."

To delete or pin a single item, click the three dots next to it in the Clipboard history pop-up.

2. Easier web browsing.

If you're on a desktop, here's a great trick you'll use all the time. Hover over a URL with your mouse and tap your mouse wheel. This opens up the link in a new tab.

You can also right-click and select "Open link in a new tab," but why do that when this way is so simple?

One more tab trick: If you accidentally close a tab, you can get it back with a few keystrokes instead of navigating your browser menu. Hit Ctrl + Shift + T.

Become a keyboard shortcut pro with this list of essential Windows 10 shortcuts.

3. Screen share without third-party apps.

Do you have someone in your life who needs tech help from time to time? Or maybe you need a guide to help you update your broken drivers or fix some other issue.

Try Quick Assist. It's super simple to use, and you don't need to download a thing.

Type "quick assist" into your taskbar. You'll see two options: Get assistance or Give assistance. Follow the on-screen instructions to remote in to help.

A word of warning: Only allow this type of access to someone you trust.

4. Upgrade your file manager.

Let's be honest. Navigating through files has never been very easy in Windows 10. Here's a solution you may like: Files, a third-party file explorer you can download for free from the Microsoft Store.

Files is, well, what the built-in File Explorer should be. It looks fresh and modern, it's easy to navigate, and you can customize it to fit your needs. It syncs well with OneDrive, too.

Tap or click here for a direct download link.

5. Organize your windows the tech pro way.

Have you heard of PowerToys? Think of this as Microsoft's testing zone. PowerToys are utilities you can add on that extend what your PC can do. They're not traditional download and install applications. Tap or click here for the instructions to install PowerToys.

There are a handful of great add-ons, but one I like most is Fancy Zones. If you're someone who keeps multiple windows and programs open, it's a must.

With FancyZones, you can set up a grid layout to your liking, and then your open Windows can quickly snap into place. Drag a window into one of your zones, and it will be resized and repositioned automatically into position. To install it, follow the directions above to enable PowerToys, then follow these steps.

Some reader comments:

Mr.Steady — My favourite Windows 10 trick: Stick with Windows 7.

deepthought — You can fix Windows by installing Ubuntu.

JasonSims — Windows 7 till the end of time, baby.

Talaysia — Linux till the end of time. Okay, FreeBSD, too.

Mr.Gee — Still use XP on an old Dell laptop.

Read More »

Fun Facts:

Do you use the Windows cURL command?

It literally means Client URL, which allows you to download files from a given URL just using the command line.

It has been part of Windows since 2019:

Directory of C:\Windows\System32

Sat-07-Dec-2019 07:09 PM 421,376 curl.exe

For example, if the website you are looking at has a CSS file you'd like to examine, you could either look at the source code of the web page and read the lines of code at the top of the document, then click on the CSS filename you want and then right-click on the result in the browser and say "Save As".

What a rigmarole!

If you know the full URL address, the quickest way is to say:

curl <full URL address> -o output-file

This command will save the file to "output-file" instead of just displaying it on the screen.

There is a website with the name "example.com" set up by iana.org (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) to use as an example website.

So if we wanted to save its home page text to a file called example.html, we could say:

curl https://example.com/index.html -o example.html

When we display that page, we see the following information:

Home page of example.com

Here's an interesting question: Why are there slashes in URLs?

See the 2009 BBC news article explaining the use of slashes.

Berners-Lee 'sorry' for slashes.

The forward slashes at the beginning of internet addresses have long annoyed net users and now the man behind them has apologised for using them.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, has confessed that the // in a web address were actually "unnecessary".

He told the Times newspaper that he could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes.

"There you go, it seemed like a good idea at the time," he said.

He admitted that when he devised the web, almost 20 years ago, he had no idea that the forward slashes in every web address would cause "so much hassle".

His light-hearted apology even had a green angle as he accepted that having to add // to every address had wasted time, printing and paper.

Sir Tim is currently director of the World Wide Web Consortium and he is also working with the UK government to help open up access to government data.

Read More »

There are many other reasons for downloading specific files from time to time. I use it to download tables of numerical results to see if there have been any recent additions.

And if you have ten (or 100) tables to download, the last thing you want to do is browse to each of them and save the source code manually.

Just put a sequence of "curl" commands into a batch file — the easy way to do it.

Please don't flood the site with hundreds of requests (at the speed of light); otherwise, their anti-spam or anti-virus alerts might be triggered and your requests blocked. You could always put a couple of seconds delay between each request (use "timeout 2", for example).

Curl and timeout are both interesting Windows commands.

For help with them, try "curl --help | more" and "timeout /?" respectively.

— Ed.

Meeting Location & Disclaimer

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

Link to — Sydney PC & Technology User Group
All Meetings, unless explicitly stated above, are held on the
1st Floor, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.
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