Hello and Welcome,
2021 NSW Local Government elections — POSTPONED until December
Original Date: Saturday 4 September 2021. [ TODAY ]
Voting is compulsory.
The NSW Local Government elections have been postponed until 4 December 2021.
See the NSW Government Gazette No 347 of Saturday 24 July 2021.
NSW Motto: Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites; "Newly risen, how brightly you shine"
New Date Set for Our 2020/21 AGM
Regarding the continued lockdown due to COVID and in discussion with our group's committee, it has been decided to defer our AGM until Tuesday, 23 November 2021.
— Ron Ferguson
SMSA Closure and Future Hire
I hope you have all been keeping well over the past few weeks.
In adherence with the current Greater Sydney Lockdown and Stay-at-Home orders, we regretfully confirm that the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts will remain closed until further notice.
All events and Venue Hire due to take place during September have been cancelled. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss rescheduling your event.
We are now heading towards November and December when your groups are usually making plans to celebrate the end of the year together. Right now, those plans are uncertain, but we remain hopeful and will do all we can to accommodate these events. I will continue to communicate with you on our reopening and any regulations in connection to that.
Looking forward, we have opened our 2022 bookings early so that you can plan for next year. Please get in touch if you'd like to start making tentative bookings. Our current Venue Hire rates will remain unchanged until 31 December 2022.
SMSA staff continue to work from home during the lockdown, and I can still be contacted via email or on 02 9262 7300 from Monday - Thursday.
The SMSA encourages everyone to regularly check the list of hotspot locations and alerts on the NSW Health website and follow their advice.
I appreciate your continued patience and cooperation while we navigate the current circumstances. We look forward to welcoming you back to the SMSA post lockdown.
Venue & Building Services Coordinator
Meeting TODAYPenrith Group - Saturday, 4 Sep - 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 WeekFriday Forum - Friday, 10 Sep - 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 WeekProgramming - Tuesday, 14 Sep - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Web Design - Saturday, 18 Sep - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm
We will be running this meeting using Jitsi; details later by email.
See the Progsig Meeting Reports:
The next meeting is on Tuesday 14th September 2021, at 6 pm.
— Steve OBrien
Our Web Design meeting is next Saturday the 18th at 2 pm via Zoom; details later by email.
Hope to see you all there,
— Steve South
Schedule of Current & Upcoming Meetings ‡
64 2021/09/04 — 14:00-17:00 — 04 Sep, Sat — Penrith Group, Penrith City Library
65 2021/09/10 — 10:00-12:30 — 10 Sep, Fri — Friday Forum, L1 Carmichael Room Cancelled
67 2021/09/14 — 17:30-20:30 — 14 Sep, Tue — Programming via Jitsi
68 2021/09/18 — 13:30-16:30 — 18 Sep, Sat — Web Design via Zoom
69 2021/09/21 — 09:30-12:30 — 21 Sep, Tue — Tuesday Group, L1 Woolley Room Cancelled
70 2021/09/24 — 09:30-12:30 — 24 Sep, Fri — Digital Photography via Zoom
71 2021/09/28 — 17:30-20:30 — 28 Sep, Tue — MAIN Meeting via Zoom
‡ As decided after assessing the Members' wishes (resumption of face-to-face meetings) via the latest Online Survey.
ASCCA's Online Training for September 2021
From: "ASCCA, Jean Martin" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 23 August 2021 at 12:03:19 AEST
Online Classes — September 2021
ASCCA is now calling for expressions of interest in our online classes.
Read or download a one-page PDF of September's Online Course Program.
It lists the topics, dates and times. It also contains a yellow highlighted link to a form where you can submit your requested classes.
If we can offer you a place in the class/es you request, an email confirmation will be sent in early September. More detailed information about how to join the particular class will follow later.
Now that we have had to go back to charging fees for more advanced classes, we will, of course, reintroduce a discounted cost for members of the ASCCA Network of Clubs.
File & Folder Management — Monday, 6th September (FREE)
Android Basics — Monday, 13th September (FREE)
Understand & Organise Photos — Monday, 20th September (SMALL FEE)
Microsoft 365 (previously called Office 365 but extended) — Monday, 27th September (SMALL FEE)
PS: "We use Microsoft Teams for the sessions. Windows users can download this app or, like Zoom, simply use a browser.
Apple users need to download Microsoft Teams from their App Store.
Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association
Phone: 0434 857 222
Copyright © 2021 ASCCA — Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, All rights reserved.
Microsoft Backs Down: Windows 11 Will Run on Any PC
See the How-To Geek article by DAVE LECLAIR | @davegleclair | AUG 27, 2021, 1:40 pm EDT.
One of the most significant sticking points with Windows 11 is the strict system requirements. However, Microsoft has just announced that any PC can install the Windows 11 ISO, opening up the new OS to just about anyone who wants to install it.
Windows 11 Running on Older PCs
Microsoft is mostly sticking to the original Windows 11 system requirements, though the company did add a few more processors to the list of supported models. However, the firm told The Verge that it would only enforce restrictions when upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 — a fresh installation with a Windows 11 ISO would have no such restrictions.
Of course, there's no guarantee that Windows 11 will run well on older PCs since Microsoft is optimizing it for newer, more powerful computers. However, at least you'll be able to try for yourself to see whether it'll work. Microsoft also said it intends for this workaround to be used by businesses that wanted to evaluate Windows 11, not so much by regular users. The company doesn't even plan to advertise this method to consumers.
You'll still need to have a 64-bit 1GHz processor with two or more cores, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage to even think about running Windows 11, but at least your PC won't have to fall into Microsoft's stricter list of supported CPUs.
Of course, many more casual PC users will run the Windows 11 upgrade process, be told they can't install the OS, and never think about downloading an ISO to install Windows 11. But for those willing to go through that extra layer, it's nice to see that Microsoft has backed off and relaxed its stance.
Other Processors Getting Full Windows 11 Approval
Microsoft also announced that some other processors are getting Windows 11 support. The Intel Core X-series, Xeon W-series, and select devices running the Intel Core 7820HQ chips. While these aren't a ton of new processors, any additional computers getting the easy Windows 11 upgrade path is a good thing.
Some Windows 11 PCs Won't Get Security Updates, According to Microsoft
See the How-To Geek article by DAVE LECLAIR | @davegleclair | AUG 30, 2021, 9:33 am EDT.
We recently found out that Microsoft would allow anyone to download the Windows 11 ISO and install it, even if their PC didn't meet the requirements. However, there's a significant catch, as the company may withhold security updates from PCs that update this way.
Seriously? Microsoft Won't Update Some PCs?
If you go through the Windows 10 to Windows 11 upgrade process with a PC that meets all requirements, you'll get updates like usual. But if you're a PC user who wants to upgrade to Windows 11 on a PC that doesn't meet Microsoft's stringent upgrade requirements, the company might withhold updates.
This isn't just Windows 11 feature updates, though. According to The Verge, Microsoft might hold security updates back from PCs that don't meet the system requirements.
This applies to driver updates, too. Imagine going back to the old days of manually updating drivers for each hardware component of your PC. It sounds terrible, and it's enough reason to make many want to stick with Windows 10, mainly since it'll be supported until 2025.
For whatever reason, Microsoft didn't reveal this critical piece of information when it first announced that it wouldn't prevent users from installing Windows 11. Naturally, we were extremely excited by that bit of information, but the revelation that updates might be withheld takes a bit of wind out of our sails.
Will Microsoft Really Do This?
We'll have to wait and see if Microsoft withholds essential security updates from Windows 11 users just because they have an older CPU. The amount of security issues that pop up constantly is terrifying, and the idea of running a PC without receiving updates that prevent them is not a pleasant one.
Hopefully, Microsoft realizes that allowing users to install an OS that won't receive critical security updates is a bad idea. It either doesn't allow Windows 11 installations on PCs without new hardware or keeps those PCs updated. The current plan of leaving ISO installers on an island seems like an awful way to go.
Samsung TV Block Feature Prompts Debate
See the Infopackets article by John Lister on August 27, 2021, at 12:08 pm EDT.
Samsung is to disable televisions stolen from its warehouses remotely. It appears to be the first time it's activated the security measure.
"TV Block" hasn't attracted much attention before, but Samsung says it is installed on all its televisions. It hasn't been confirmed if this is only in South Africa, where the feature has now been triggered, or on all sets worldwide.
The activation followed looting during unrest in South Africa last month. A Samsung warehouse was among the locations ransacked.
Internet Connection Used For Block
The TV Block feature works because Samsung's Smart TV sets have an Internet connection to operate video streaming apps. Whenever such a set connects to the Internet, TV Block checks the serial number against a database of stolen TV sets.
If the serial numbers match, the feature blocks all functionality on the television. This doesn't simply mean blocking smart features such as apps but instead stops the television from operating at all.
Home Burglaries Not Covered
Samsung says that in the event of a customer's set being blocked after a misidentification, the customer should contact the retailer from which they bought it. They'll need to provide proof of purchase and a valid TV license (a legal requirement to watch television in South Africa). The retailer will then contact Samsung for validation, with a reply promised within 48 hours.
According to Samsung, the idea of the feature is to deter both the original looting and people buying the stolen sets. However, at the moment, the company is only activating it for TV sets stolen from the warehouse. It isn't triggering the block on sets stolen from retailers in looting, or indeed on sets burgled from people's houses. (Source: samsung.com)
Response to the announcement appears to be mixed. While some support the deterrent measures, others are concerned that the TV Block exists in the first place. One fear is that Samsung could change its policies and find other reasons to disable functionality. Another is that hackers could find a security loophole and then disable televisions themselves, either to create mischief or as part of an extortion scam. (Source: theregister.com)
Grammarly is Garbage, and Here's Why
"Grammar is one of those fun topics that people either absolutely love or absolutely hate."
This is the opening line of a rant about Grammarly by Zoe Bee, an English teacher and professional writer, in a YouTube video entitled "Grammarly is Garbage, and Here's Why".
I must admit that I do like/hate Grammarly. It corrects spelling mistakes and suggests fixes to obvious grammatical errors. But it is also over-zealous in suggesting that passive-voice text be changed to active-voice — Ed.
Watch the 16m48s YouTube video and see what you make of it.
I'm sure you, too, will either love it or hate it.
The comments after the video are also quite well worth a look.
Here are a few examples:
As someone contracted by Grammarly to proofread for them and train their AI, I think this video is spot-on. The program is really only useful in limited contexts because language is so complex and fluid, and it's for sure false advertising to make it seem like you can use it for all kinds of writing and become a better writer in general. You need a lot more than an AI program pointing out grammar mistakes to become a better writer.
I use Grammarly to make sure my emails to my boss are as aggressive and patronising as humanly possible.
Grammarly: Consider your tone: Aggressive.
Me: Perfect. :)
Personally, I've felt that Grammarly is best used with discretion; I've always found it evident that it's not going to be perfect all the time since that's just the nature of AI. I've always considered Grammarly's corrections to be more like suggestions, and I've always made use of the ignore button if I like my way better.
It's a free add-on to most browsers, although there is also a paid version.
Meeting Location & Disclaimer
~ 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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