SIG-Computing meeting notes 8-Jan-2017

Our Batteries Plus presentation again had to be rescheduled.  Our best wishes to our presenter as he recovers from illness.  Thank you to Sharan Kalwani on his excellent presentation on High Performance Computing in the automotive industry!

Great interview by Professor Dave Farber on Big Data and a rebuild of The Internet for improved security:

Windows 10 Creator Edition Clinic?  Please let Jeff know if you are interested in a late March (after the new version comes out) with sessions to help with upgrading or a fresh install of Windows 10!

Discussion on filtering of Internet content for young adults/children?  Any recommended software packages?  OpenDNS will not be enough as pointed out by Brian.  Needs to be a client program.  If you have any recommendations, please continue the discussion at

Windows 10 Dedicated Sessions

Sharan Kalwani is organizing a Windows 10 Dedicated Session for SEMCO Members.  Sharan has an exciting program in development!

The February 2017 class is now full.

Additional date added:  Sunday, 26-March-2017!

Please see this attached flyer for more details, and let your family, friends, and colleagues know!

Windows 10 Flyer updated March 2017

Q & A

Discussion on blue screens/crashes/instability after upgrading memory:

Possible faulty memory
Possible BIOS upgrade needed
Motherboard and chipset may have limitations
Stability restored by reducing one bank from 8GB to 4GB

Mike discussed the NES Mini being an emulated system, and thus, people have figured out how to run more classic software on them:

Thank you for the great discussion!

Notes from 11-Dec-2016 SIG-Computing Meeting

Thank you for those that attended during our bad weather today!  Great turnout and discussion!

Thank you to Gene Barlow for presenting backup and partitioning to us, and offering discounts on Acronis products to SEMCO members!

Richard Jackson linked this very disturbing article about the poor state of security products in the marketplace and ease of penetrations:

A couple members have experienced the recently reported new Windows 10 WiFi problem in the Anniversary Edition.  Connection just cuts out.  If it happens to you before the expected patch (which may come Tuesday 13-Dec-2016!) search for cmd.exe, right click it, choose Run As Administrator, and run this command:   ipconfig /renew
This is not a permanent fix 🙁

The holidays are a great time to remind family and friends to practice safe computing practices:  Install an ad blocker and selectively use it, use a password wallet, and regularly back up important information.

Windows 10 Dedicated Session in February 2017

Sharan Kalwani is organizing a Windows 10 Dedicated Session for SEMCO Members.  Sharan has an exciting program in development!


Please provide feedback to Sharan and the SEMCO Board:

Have a wonderful holiday season,


Notes from 20-Nov-2016 SEMCO SIG-Computing meeting

Thank you to Richard Tapaninen from Micro Center for the great presentation today!  Micro Center’s web site is and the local store is at 32800 Concord Drive, Madison Heights, MI 48071.


  • Thank you for your patience with this meeting rescheduling!  We had to change out a large UPS system last weekend due to a factory defect.  Nearly 40,000 pounds of equipment had to be moved in two days.
  • Latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build replaces Windows Command Prompt with PowerShell by default!  Microsoft asks for feedback as some add-ins rely on cmd.exe’s syntax, but if this moves forward, those should change quickly to PowerShell syntax.
  • Xamarin/Microsoft released first version of Visual Studio for Mac!  Not full featured compared to Windows.  Updated Visual Studio Code for Linux.
  • Container-hosted SQL Server for Linux preview was released last week!  Easy installation, and is fully compatible with Azure’s SQL Services.  Great way to quickly install SQL Server and get familiar with it on any platform that can run Docker.
  • New Apple MacBook Pro laptops are out – Micro Center has theirs already on display.  Jeff skipping this generation J
  • Several China-based Android device manufacturers have been exposed using insecure over-the-air update mechanisms.

Windows 10 Dedicated Session in January 2017?

Sharan Kalwani is organizing a Windows 10 Dedicated Session for SEMCO Members.  Tentatively, this would happen in January 2017.

Interested?  Any specifics you would like covered?

Please provide feedback to Sharan and the SEMCO Board:


SIG-Computing notes for 11-Sep-2016

Thank you for the great meeting today!  These are the notes:

Intel could delay 7nm to 2022, 10nm is already delayed:

New cross-platform malware for Linux, Mac, Windows (sheesh!):

Google may be on the verge of a massive speech synthesis improvement with AI-developed WaveNet!

Intel could delay 7nm to 2022, 10nm is already delayed:

New cross-platform malware for Linux, Mac, Windows (sheesh!):

Google may be on the verge of a massive speech synthesis improvement with AI-developed WaveNet!

Other links that came up during the meeting today (great discussion, thank you all!):


Malware mitigation without having to boot up into Windows:

Avira Rescue CD:

AVG Rescue CD:

Looking up unknown phone numbers:

Stopping robo callers and other annoying callers (not all carriers are supported):

Turning off WhatsApp marketing involvement with Facebook (please do this before the end of September 2016 if you are concerned!):

Free DNS service to help block malware and fix ISP name look up problems:

Add ons to web browsers (including some mobile / tablet ones) to block unwanted ads:

Thank you again for providing these great links during the discussion!


Notes from 10-July-2016 SIG-Computing News

Thank you to Bill Buchanan for the great presentation on ProShow Gold 7.0!  He will provide his presentation.
Update: Bill could not say anything last Sunday during his ProShow presentation due to confidentiality agreement with Photodex, but Photodex just released Version 8 on July 19. Also as promised he was able to get us a 15% discount promo for SouthEastern Michigan Computer Club. See the following:
Promo Code: NWX9Q3DM
Discount: 15%
The code is good for our ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer, and ProShow Web software. This code also works for upgrades. Members/attendees can redeem their discount by entering the code in the “Discount Code” area when they are ready to check out.

The notes from today’s news portion are below.  Have a super week, and please keep the discussion going!

Read more

SIG-Computing and SIG-Linux Meeting notes from 8-May-2016

Thank you for the great meeting today!  Please keep the discussion going!

SIG-Computing:  Windows Subsystem for Linux, and intro to Google Apps

Windows 10 pricing will be $119 for Home edition after July 29, 2016.  Install fest recommended in late June 2016 – email

May “Patch Tuesday” patches expose the ”Get Windows 10” program again in Windows 7 and 8.1!  If you wish to prevent upgrades, check out Steve Gibson’s website:

Mike recommended

Web site maintainers, please patch OpenSSL and ImageMagick

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and away from computers, to interact with people more.  Great time to take more pictures.  Protect electronics from very hot temperatures and direct sunlight.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is out and will be covered at SIG-Linux today (4PM).  Please be careful upgrading.  Kevin O’Brien and some others have had trouble with the initial release.  I suggest waiting for the 16.04.01 release in a few days.

New Nvidia Pascal GPU’s released. AMD Polaris coming end of May.

Windows 10 – Windows Subsystem for Linux

Windows NT heritage

A real subsystem with its own process tree

Limitations – as a subsystem there are barriers.  Currently at least, file exchange may be awkward due to Linux v Windows carriage control, difference on allowed file names, and strong Windows file locking (Linux processes can access files while they are in use, in Windows that is more challenging), but Canonical and Microsoft have worked hard on these issues so far!

sudo apt-get install emacs     — It works!  Native Linux Emacs working on Windows!

ssh myusername@myhostname     — very good, some terminal emulation glitches in the preview, but promising!

sftp mysername@myhostname:myfile /home/jeff/stuff/        — wow!  Had to install PuTTY to do this in the past, and it was a bit slow.  WSL version is fast and can handle huge files!

rsync    — yay!  Works on Windows paths under /mnt/c  !

SEMCO’s Google Apps for NonProfits

Transitioning our email service to it

No advertisements

Data protection serivce level agreement is stronger than the consumer service

YouTube, Google Drive (Sheets/Docs/Keep, etc.)

The No-No of

  • None of us may use for any commercial use!
  • Do not run a home business using Google Apps for NonProfits!
  • Do not use it for consulting!
  • With this said, though, it is no problem to apply what you learn using to your own site!

Groups may help us if Yahoo! Groups declines with the sale of Yahoo!

Having a email address is a lot better than!

Excellent collaboration facilities allow us to work together to create presentations, documentations, and yes, A SEMCO NEWSLETTER!

SIG-Linux: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

ZFS – controversial licensing, but great to have stability in a scalable file system for Linux!  The other alternatives are still very limited, but ZFS is very mature.

ZFS has awareness of solid state disks, may use them for caching or regular storage, with or without regular hard drives.

Improvements in the GUI

Updated packages

5 YEAR support lifetime!

Upgrade will be supported soon, but please do not upgrade right away.  Please wait for the upcoming sub-release.

ZFS Demo in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:

sudo zpool create testpool sdb sdc sdd –f    # this will wipe disks, no redundancy!

sudo zpool list

RAIDz data redundancy (can handle loss of 1 drive, z2=2 lost, z3=3)

sudo zpool create testpool raidz sdb sdc sdd –f

sudo zpool status; sudo zpool list

sudo zpool add testpool spare sde  # add spare drive

sudo zpool autoreplace=on testpool  # allow auto use of spare drive

sudo zfs create testpool/jeff1  # Look, no partitioning needed!

sudo zfs list

sudo zfs set quota=5g testpool/jeff1  # you may resize this later!

sudo zfs set mountpoint=/home/jeff/jeff1 testpool/jeff1

# automatically mounts the file system, check ”mount”!

Other ZFS commands are available to export file systems via NFS, add/remove drives from pools, export and import, and do snapshots!


This is a promising release!  Please visit for other new features and to download it!




May 8, 2016 – SIG-Computing: Windows 10 Subsystem for Linux and Google Apps, SIG-Linux: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

General Announcements

Mike Bader, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 1:30 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering


Topic: Windows 10 Subsystem for Linux and Google Apps:

SIG-Computing Chairman Jeff Marraccini will present Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in Windows 10: a look at the bash shell and the utilities available in the recent Insider Preview builds of Microsoft Windows 10. We will examine the WSL and discuss Canonical’s contribution to the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone release. Impacts of what bash and its related utilities in Windows 10 bring to the marketplace and our individual usage of Windows will also be discussed. Canonical and Microsoft have worked hard on this: what are they seeking to accomplish?

We will also take a quick look at SEMCO’s Google Apps for NonProfits site. SEMCO members may take advantage of this new service to gain an email address, work on documents with other SEMCO members, family, and friends, and take advantage of an advertisement-free Google environment with strong data privacy protections.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation and during the social period before the SIG-Linux meeting. Snacks available during the social period.
When: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 1:45 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering


Topic: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:

SIG-Computing Chairman Jeff Marraccini will perform a brief demonstration of the recent Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Linux distribution.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and related distributions (KUbuntu, LUbuntu, etc.) have been released in April 2016. This release includes the Zettabyte File System (ZFS) with the controversial license conflicts. Some have called for Canonical to be sanctioned, others hail ZFS as the definitive throwing down of the gauntlet between the various open source distribution licenses. We look at Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from both home and server viewpoints. Please do not upgrade just yet, though, there are some issues with this initial release on some hardware.

All are welcome.

When: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 4:00 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering
Free Wi-Fi available.

James A. Fortune’s PowerShell notes – SIG-Computing – March 2016 meeting –

Our thanks to James A. Fortune for his March 2016 presentation!

James has provided a copy of this presentation file at:

The supplemental notes and documents are at:



SIG-Computing Meeting Notes from 13-Mar-2016 meeting

Thank you for the great meeting! Notes are below.  Please see the very bottom for items we talked about during the meeting.

SEMCO Members:  you should have received your account information via email.  If not, please see an officer.  Thank you!

Android N preview is out!

RemixOS for PC beta (Windows or dual boot):

Watch out for some new malware spreading from Microsoft!  *sigh*  Some SEMCO members have reported that their Windows 7 systems started installing Windows 10 because they did not cancel the dialog in time.  See to block if needed.

Reminder to disconnect backup drives when not in active use.  Leaving them connected may result in them being damaged if you get malware or worse, ”ransomware”.  If possible, rotate backup media (2-3 hard drives).  Had report of that happening to a local Windows 7 user early this month!

Windows 10 Upgrade and “phone home lock down” clinic in April, May, or June before free upgrades end?  Would involve bringing your systems, AFTER you back them up.  Evening or weekend, and we could do it a couple times. Interested?

Apple’s next event is March 21.  New iPhone, iPads?  Day after that is their next time in front of court with the FBI v. Apple iPhone unlock case.  March will be an interesting month!

Ditto tool discussed today (very nice clipboard manager for Windows, might come in handy during tax time):

Windows 10 install clinic April, May, or June, any preferences?  We can run it 2-3 times before Microsoft withdraws the free upgrades in July 2016 if useful.  Please discuss at

Before attending the Windows 10 install clinic:

Must backup your computer first, and keep the backup at home

Backup possibilities:


Acorns TrueImage

Windows 7 built-in Backup utility (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System)

Windows 8.1 – Settings -> Backup, then very small at the bottom of the window, choose Windows 7 Image Backup

Contact SEMCO via if you need help with backup.

Bring your Windows 7, 8.1, or Windows 10 product key.

Getting product keys from an existing Windows 7/8.1/10 system:

PowerShell demonstration from James A. Fortune has a nice PowerShell example called “get-windows-product-key”

System Information Wizard (SIW) – thanks Ed Zaremba!

Belarc Advisor

Product Key

Magic Jellybean