November 2013 Issue 378

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As of August the club officially announced its support for Linux Mint with Mate desktop as the Linux distro of choice for Linux newbies.

In September's presentation we walked thru the basic installation of this distro from a Live DVD.

For November we will talk about Linux Mint software management - what are packages and package managers, how to keep Linux Mint and its installed applications up-to-date, how to install both curated and not curated new software, how to remove software, and how to clean your system of supporting software that is no longer needed. We'll walk thru the GUI apps that are available for doing these tasks as well as how to do some of the same tasks from a CLI (Command Line Interface).



12 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, October 12th. One of the 12 attendees was a virtual attendee via Google+ Hangout video chat.

Main Meeting Q&A:
We began last month's meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

John D -

Ed C -

Peter W -

Bill D -

Rich T -

Layton F -

Bill B -

Don W -

Main Meeting Program:
The main meeting presentation topic was "HD Radio" and was presented by John M.

John first cleared up a common misconception. HD does not stand for High Definition, but stands for Hybrid Digitalization. This means that both an anologue and digital signal are transmitted by the radio station on the same carrier frequency. He noted that HD radio quality is equivalent to better quality MP3 files.

He also noted that HD Radio like OTA digital TV can include sub-channels or secondary channels with the inclusion of meta data. Secondary channels are often free of advertising.

John gave us a brief history of HD radio and HD radio receivers. He used the Crutchfield and web sites to show currently available HD radio receivers for car and home.

To find what HD radio stations are available in your area, John again used the web site.

For demonstration purposes John used 3 different HD radio tuners / receivers - a Sangean HDT-1, an Insignia NS-HDRAD, and an Insignia NS-HD01A to see if we could hear the difference between analogue and digital radio.


This section contains web links & other info related to the club or some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.


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At today's meeting Rich noted a discrepancy in the recent Gizmo article concerning Win7 Disk Cleanup utility & WinSXS where the article implied that WinSXS could be reduced in size, but that doesn't seem to be happening. What is obvious is that Disk Cleanup does seem to remove something since "Windows Update Cleanup" does not appear again once it is cleaned from the system at least until new Windows updates are installed.

A better measure of the Disk Cleanup utility would be to monitor if disk free space increased after it's use.

All that said, here are some references to WinSXS. Please note the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it" which are words of wisdom. Still, if you insist on playing with the WinSXS size issue, be sure to create a backup of your system first!

It's noteworthy that when I cleaned WinSXS a little over a year ago it was 6.7GB after executing the cleanup command in the Microsoft link above, but today it is 11.9GB! WOW!



Google updated its Terms of Service on October 11, 2013 and I received the following notification the next day:

We are updating the Google Terms of Service. The new Terms will go live on November 11, 2013 and you can read them here.

Because many of you are allergic to legalese, here’s a plain English summary for your convenience.

We’ve made three changes:

The following is Google's explanation from its Shared Endorsements setting web page:

Google makes it easy for you to get great recommendations from your friends. For example, when you visit the Google Play music store, you may see that a friend has +1'd a new album by your favorite artist. When you search for a restaurant, you may see an ad including a 5-star review by another friend.

We call these shared endorsements. Here's what you need to know:

Setting: Shared Endorsements in Ads

This setting below allows you to limit the use of your name and photo in shared endorsements in ads. It applies only to actions that Google displays within ads. Changing this setting does not impact how your name and photo might look in a shared endorsement that is not in an ad — for example, when you share a music recommendation that is displayed in the Play Store. You can limit the visibility of activity outside of ads by deleting the activity or changing its visibility settings.


(a Google Docs publicly curated spreadsheet)

A comparison of digital video boxes

Set Top Boxes

With the news about Google's Chromecast and the ongoing revisions of the AppleTV, there’s still quite a bit of interest in set top boxes that provide you with a way of playing digital video on your television. Though Apple and Google are among the big players in this market, there’s a huge number of other options to choose from, depending upon your interests and needs.

Years ago Veronica Belmont of Revision3's Tekzilla (here's the alternate Youtube video link) was the originator of this Google Docs spreadsheet detailing the specs and capabilities of many set top boxes currently available and coming soon.

With so many different companies releasing products in this market, it’s nice to be able to compare all possible options in one place. Since the spreadsheet is freely editable, it has been continually updated as new products have been released.


Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center (SAC) at Villanova University. These monthly sessions normally meet in Room 110.

VU Map

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper deck of the 2-level parking garage adjacent to the St. Augustine Center on the Ithan Avenue side of the building. (Click for link to Google Map)

NOTE: additional map & direction links on our website home page -

MLCUG Meetings Schedule Steering Committee Meetings
November 9 November 13
December 14 December 18
January 11 January 15


Editor: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211
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