Chairman's Message June 2014

Chairman James KalasseryOur Board of Directors had deliberated on the bylaws of ICUFR which were in force since 1998. The world has changed so much since then, and so have the ICUFR. The Board members felt that by making a few changes in the way ICUFR Board is constituted and working, we can draw more talents to improve the activities of ICUFR substantially and make it one of the most active Fellowships in Rotary. Accordingly, the details of the amendments approved by the Board were circulated and voted upon.

The voting for the bylaws amendments ended on 28th June midnight GMT/UTC. 204 votes were polled (200 Yes and 4 No), which is more than the 2/3rd majority of members voting. Therefore, the amendments have been approved by the members and have come into force soon thereafter. The full text of the bylaws incorporating the amendments is available in the Downloads page of our membership website.

The Maine Event - ICUFR Conference 2014

The Maine EventICUFR member and PRID Dan Mooers has offered to host the 2014 ICUFR conference in Portland, Maine.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Fireside Inn and Suites, 81 Riverside Street, Portland, Maine (which is the headquarters for the conference) for the weekend of Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Conference attendees will receive a rate of $99 per night for a king bed room. Because it is a rate only for the ICUFR Conference, reservations can be made, for the $99 guaranteed rate, by calling the hotel directly at 207-774-5601 and tell the reservations clerk you are attending the 'Rotary Computer Users Fellowship Conference'.

The Inn is conveniently located at the primary Portland-Westbrook turnpike exit.   The hotel has an airport shuttle, free parking, of course, and a restaurant.   Dan’s district uses the hotel once or twice a year for Training Assemblies, Foundation Seminars and the manager is a former Rotarian so we can expect a warm welcome.

A free local web server on your PC

XAMPP LogoWeb sites have moved on from a collection of pages to complex systems that store pieces of web text in a database, organise graphics in separate folders, and serve up pages on demand with scripts and programming tags. These content management systems (CMS) have matured into off-the-shelf packages and there are a number of free, community supported packages that you can download and try for yourself.

The problem is finding a web server to try them out on. Typically they need a fully configured Apache server, MySQL database and the PHP programming system. Rather surprisingly you don’t need to rent an internet server. This article will help you set up a free, local web server on your PC or laptop using a package called XAMPP that you can use to try out Joomla and similar CMS web sites.

You don’t need any technical knowledge to set it up so let’s get started. Go to - http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html and click on the version for your machine. XAMPP is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris. It provides a full web server installation in a single directory that will serve pages for you to browse with your usual web browser. It is the ideal way to develop and test a web site at home. It is designed for ease of use with minimal hassle – so there are no passwords. Do NOT use it as a live system on the net!

Rooting my Galaxy Note

A couple of times spam has appeared in the calendar of my mobile phone – a Galaxy Note running Android ‘Jelly Bean’. This was unexpected as I thought that app was private for my use only. Looking on the web I soon discovered that calendars are shared with your business colleagues, family and apparently the whole world. But that was not what I wanted.

The Superuser AppWhen you install an app you are asked to allow it access to various functions on your phone. The calendar app comes preinstalled on the Note and I found that it could ‘add or remove accounts, Google mail, use accounts on the device, add or modify calendar events and send emails to guests without owner’s knowledge, read calendar events plus confidential information, read your contacts, and read your text messages’.

I like the Note’s calendar (S-Planner) but I certainly didn’t want it to do anything that required such wide ranging access. I’ve no idea how the spam was inserted into my calendar but it was pretty clear that if I wanted to stop it happening again I needed to restrict those permissions. However this is an app that comes preinstalled and you are not allowed to alter what it can do or even uninstall it .. unless you ‘root’ your phone.

The Benefits Of Desktop Virtualisation

This article is about desktop virtualisation - running your own personal cloud computing environment at home. I've found it easier to describe how to do it than to explain why you would want to. It may help if I set out my problems and how virtualisation has solved them.

Old PCs under the deskOver the years computers accumulated under my desk at home. A Windows Home Server (WHS) streamed music around the house and backed up my home network. It had recovered my wife's PC following a hard disk failure so that box was essential. A Linux system backed up the ICUFR and other web sites on my internet server and ran an IMAP mail server. My old office laptop running XP had Quickbooks, Garmin maps and a few other applications that I needed from time to time. And finally there was my main machine - originally XP but now upgraded to Windows 7.

All three PC's and the laptop were wired into a 4 port KVM switch which let me switch the keyboard, mouse and monitor between them. At least two and usually three were always on. They kept my electricity bills high, contributed to global warming and were very noisy.

This fellowship is not an agency of, or controlled by Rotary International.
We gratefully acknowledge Rtn Tord Elfwendahl's creation of our new logo and his other graphics used on this site.