2021 Newsletter: 62/121 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

SMSA Temporary Closure

Member Information:

Please note that in the latest email from SMSA, they have advised that they will be closed until 12 July 2021.

Therefore, the Friday Forum, as detailed below, scheduled for 9 July 2021, will not be available to our members.

— Ron Ferguson,

Dear All,

Following the latest NSW Public Health Order and Greater Sydney Lockdown, the SMSA building and Venue Hire services are CLOSED from Friday, 25 June until Monday, 12 July. (*)

All venue hire and events due to be held during this time have been cancelled without penalty.


(*) Subject to change under Service NSW guidelines. Any changes that affect this closure will be communicated by email.

Meeting TODAY

Penrith Group - Saturday, 3 Jul - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm at the Penrith City Library

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

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

— Jeff Garland

Meeting This Week

Friday Forum - Friday, 9 Jul - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

We'll have the usual Q&A and other discussions. [ SMSA CLOSED, see above. ]

— Tim Kelly

Meetings Next Week

Programming - Tuesday, 13 Jul - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

Hi Team,

We will be running this meeting face-to-face or using Jitsi; details later by email.

See the Progsig Meeting Reports:


The next meeting is on Tuesday 13th July 2021, at 6 pm.


— Steve OBrien

Web Design - Saturday, 17 Jul - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm

We will be running this meeting face-to-face or using Zoom; details later by email.

— Steve South

Schedule of Current & Upcoming Meetings ‡

48 2021/06/05 — 14:00-17:00 — 03 Jul, Sat — Penrith Group, Penrith City Library
49 2021/07/09 — 10:00-12:30 — 09 Jul, Fri — Friday Forum, L1 Carmichael Room
51 2021/07/13 — 17:30-20:30 — 13 Jul, Tue — Programming, L1 Woolley Room or via Jitsi
52 2021/07/17 — 13:30-16:30 — 17 Jul, Sat — Web Design, L1 Woolley Room or via Zoom
53 2021/07/20 — 09:30-12:30 — 20 Jul, Tue — Tuesday Group, L1 Woolley Room
54 2021/07/23 — 09:30-12:30 — 23 Jul, Fri — Digital Photography via Zoom
55 2021/07/27 — 17:30-20:30 — 27 Jul, Tue — MAIN Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room or via Zoom

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

Tech News:

Here are eleven things you need to know about Windows 11

See the SiliconRepublic article by Sarah Harford | 25 June 2021.

With Windows 11, Microsoft is giving its interface a facelift, focusing on remote work and calling out rival app stores.

In the week that Microsoft became a $2trn company, the tech giant unveiled its next-generation operating system.

At a virtual event yesterday (24 June), Windows 11 was revealed. It comes six years after the launch of Windows 10, which Microsoft is ending support for in 2025.

Here are all the key details.

It has a 'fresh, sleeker' interface.

The first thing you might notice about Windows 11 is its interface, with rounded corners, new animations and fresh icons.

Forrester analyst JP Gownder described it as a fresh, sleeker user interface that aims to simplify the user experience. He said that part aesthetic refresh and part user experience redesign, the Windows 11 interface will rise or fall on usability.

The start menu has been revamped.

Along with the search function and the taskbar, the start menu has been moved to the middle of the screen in Windows 11. Panos Panay, chief product officer for Windows, said this switch aims to make it easier to find what you need quickly.

Start utilises the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device, he added.

Remote work is front and centre.

After the last year threw us all into the world of remote and hybrid work, Windows 11 focuses on keeping people connected. Microsoft Teams will be integrated directly into the taskbar, and users will be able to text, chat, voice, or video call contacts across Windows, Android or iOS.

Windows 11 should improve distributed work by integrating with Microsoft Teams, making it easier to contact people right from the start menu, said Forrester's Gownder. This innovation is well-timed for the Covid world, which has re-established the centrality of the PC to the future of work and digital life.

Microsoft Store is opening up…

A significant change is that the Microsoft Store is being opened to any app, allowing space for competitors to get in on the action. The company said major third-party apps would be added to the store, including Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva.

Android apps are also being brought to Windows for the first time, and Microsoft said it would reveal more details on this in the coming months.

…And making a statement.

App developers will also be able to use alternative payment systems in the Microsoft Store, which means they can keep 100pc of their revenue and avoid Microsoft taking a 15pc cut on transactions.

This change is a significant departure from the commissions taken by competitors Google and Apple — the latter, in particular, has faced scrutiny over its App Store policies from major developers and regulators.

There's a focus on multitasking.

Microsoft has added 'snap layouts' that move apps to set parts of the screen to help with multitasking. There are also snap groups that remember where a collection of apps were on your screen so you can pop them back in the same place.

You can also create and customise separate desktops — such as one for work, one for school, one for gaming — similar to on a Mac.

There are also widgets.

As well as plenty of new app developments, Microsoft is repackaging its widgets feature with a new personalised feed powered by AI, according to Panay.

These widgets will give users a curated view of news, weather and notifications.

Gaming gets a boost.

Microsoft is taking cues from its Xbox business and bringing some of its features to Windows 11, including the Auto HDR system, which automatically improves the lighting and colours of games.

Windows 11 will be able to load new games faster with DirectStorage technology, and the Xbox app will be built into the operating system allowing for easy access to Game Pass for PC.

It should be quicker.

Gaming aside, Windows 11 will be faster and more power-efficient than its predecessor. So laptop batteries will last longer than those on devices running Windows 10, and the operating system will start up quicker.

It's familiar territory for Windows 10 users.

While there are plenty of changes, tweaks and updates, Windows 11 is built on the same core codebase as Windows 10, and Microsoft said the experience would be familiar for users.

These user-friendly nods to the past are a double-edged sword, though, said Gownder. They're great for continuity of experience, but they make you wonder what the 11 stands for. Is this more of an admittedly feature-rich Windows 10 update than a full-version release?

You may be able to get it for free.

If you're already a Windows 10 user, Microsoft said it would be free to upgrade to Windows 11. If your PC meets the minimum requirements for the next-gen system, you will be able to upgrade in the same way you usually do a regular update.

An exact launch date hasn't been revealed yet, but Microsoft said it would be out before Christmas.

Read More »

Did you know you can Share Gmail Accounts?

As the owner of a Gmail account, say in Business or privately, you can "delegate" use of that account to other users.

The delegate can have any email address, not necessarily a Gmail account.

See this 2m34s YouTube video showing Gmail delegation.

Delegates can read and reply to emails in your Inbox but cannot change any settings or passwords.

This procedure sounds perfect for Business use, where a Head of Section may give access to others in the company to allow for absence or other contingencies.

Here is the procedure (from support . google . com):

To add or remove a delegate:

  • On your computer, open Gmail.
  • In the top right, click the Gear-wheel Settings icon.
  • Click the Accounts and Import or Accounts tab.
  • In the "Grant access to your account" section, click Add another account.
  • Enter the email address of the person you want to add.
  • Click Next Step.

You can add up to 10 delegates. If you're using Gmail through your work, school, or other organization, you can add up to 1000 delegates within your organization.

The person you added will get an email asking them to confirm. It may take up to 24 hours for you to see them as a delegate after they confirm.

Note: The invitation expires after a week.

See the full story on the Gmail Help page "Delegate and collaborate on email".

Only the owner of the account can give access to others. You cannot get access by yourself.

— Ed.

Fun Facts:

The MagPi July Issue 107, 2021

See Raspberry Pi's official monthly magazine, the MagPi Issue 107.

Issue highlights:

  • Become a Raspberry Pi genius. Gain a deeper understanding of Raspberry Pi and learn essential maintenance techniques.
  • Make a weather watcher. Use Raspberry Pi and an e-ink display to tap into a Weather API and build an always-on weather watcher.
  • Recreate the Mars helicopter. One maker has used NASA's F prime open-source operating system (being used to control Ingenuity on Mars) with an off-the-shelf drone.
  • Brilliant handheld projects. Discover these 'big builds' that you can make in a small space.
  • Add vinyl decals to your arcade machine. KG's incredible arcade machine starts to take shape with the artwork attached. Learn to make an arcade machine that looks as good as it plays.
  • See the review of Marty the Robot v2. This is the two-legged walking robot controlled by a Raspberry Pi.
  • Make a Pico temperature gauge. Use the microcontroller to measure and log data temperature.
  • 10 Amazing Raspberry Pi displays. Give your Raspberry Pi some screen estate with our guide to the best displays.
  • Learn Linux with Raspberry Pi. It's time to forget macOS and Windows. Discover the joy of Linux as your primary operating system.
  • Win! THine Camera Extension Kits. Use your HQ Camera up to 20 metres away with this cable extender.

Download the 100-page PDF file of Issue 107. This is a "Before you download…" page. It suggests contributing to "Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd". You can bypass this request by clicking on "No thanks, take me to the free PDF".

On this same page, you can also Subscribe to their Monthly Newsletter.

Read More »

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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