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Member postings for Peter G. Shaw

Here is a list of all the postings Peter G. Shaw has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Phone Caller ID does not work
04/05/2021 09:14:09

I have caller display. I also have a set of landline telephones which I have programmed to display the names of all the people who may wish to telephone us. The result is that international calls, calls showing just a number and no name, and calls showing number withheld are treated as spam and not answered. The telephones that we use are made by Panasonic but I imagine that there will be others giving the same facility.

As far as organisations, eg doctors, go, there is apparently an argument over privacy, however, my local area health authority appears to have got over this by using a single number from our nearest city, even though said city is 27 miles away. The result is, that as long as all the different sections use that number, all we get is a display showing "NHS" or similar. Unfortunately, not all health boards are sufficiently clued up about it, eg, our local cancer group has recently been taken over by a health authority 90 miles away, and they come up as number withheld or equivalent.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: My new computer
03/05/2021 14:26:06


You are quite correct, the option to use a local mode when setting up was not so much hidden, as not explained. In fact that was what I used when I realised.

I'm also well aware that Microsoft is a business and exists to make money for its shareholders. I do have some sympathy with them because in their early days illicit copying was rife, but that doesn't make their current practices acceptable. Of course, I don't use state-of-the art programs, the existing programs being satisfactory for my modest use. Fair enough, I may be missing out, but in reality I doubt if I use anything like the full capability of my existing programs so why bother updating just to obtain an additional functionality which I may never use.


I quite agree over WINE being transparent to the user. As is DOSemu. As I mentioned, I use a 32bit Windows CAD program via WINE, and a DOS based database via DOSemu. In the CAD instance, I can open any CAD file simply by clicking on it, or, if creating a new file, by clicking an icon in the Panel. The DOS based database is a little different in that I can only open it by clicking on the appropriate icon in the Panel whereupon an 80 column by 50 line window appears and initially shows all the database files available. Selecting whichever file is required then opens that file. Saving data follows normal practice for both file types. To put it bluntly, in effect I use them as if they were native Linux programs.


Peter G. Shaw

03/05/2021 11:01:03

I fail to see how using an operating system (Windows 10) has anything to do with age related content. An OS is required to make the machine work. Any age related content is additional to the OS, for without the OS, one cannot access anything.

Of course I will give false information. Since I am not legally required to use their OS, and am only doing what I have done in case of a warranty problem whereby the machine has to go back to the supplier. And that is the only, repeat only, reason that I have retained W10 capability.

When all said and done, suppose this was my 14 year old grandaughter. Is there anything in the OS and the supplied programs that she should not be able to see? If there is, then I suggest that Microsoft is at fault in allowing such stuff to be available. And what's to stop her using any old DOB? Absolutely nothing.

I might point out that W10 has been activated - with incorrect, fraudulent if you like, information. And I don't care. If they, or anyone else doesn't like it, tough, tough, tough. If you wish to allow these American firms to know all about you, that's your choice, just don't expect me to comply. Frankly, as far as I am concerned, the more I see of the American way of life, the more I realise just how bad it it actually is. And yes, I will go out of my way to avoid them.

As regards Talk Talk. I never signed up to them in the first place: the email address was originally by an outfit called which eventually became, taken overby perhaps, Tiscali, which in turn appears to have been taken over by Talk Talk. Regardless of what they, or anyone else thinks I simply don't care about it, and haven't used it for a long time, years in fact. Hence if Talk Talk do decide to cut me off, I won't be bothered, and I'll get rid of Microsoft at the same time.

I would also point out that the only laptops that I could easily (note that word "easily" find which did not have Windows attached to it were ones by Lenovo, which, if you look back at my original post, I didn't want because of the Chinese connection. Which does rather suggest that I didn't have much choice in the matter.

Thankyou Frances for backing me up.


Peter G. Shaw

03/05/2021 09:25:14

re Linux etc.

Readers may remember that ever since Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP, I have used Linux all the time, specifically Linux Mint with the Mate desktop, the only snag being that the various upgrades (v.13 - 17 - 18 - 19) all caused the computer to become slower and slower which is why I had to upgrade the laptops. Over the years I have ended up using Wine, now v.6, to run a Win32 CAD program and DOSemu to run a DOS based database, all other requirements being met by the usual Linux, or more correctly Open Source, programs.

It may be of interest to know that these two laptops came with Windows 10 Home so the first thing was to remove Windows and install Linux. However, with them being new machines I thought that for possibly warranty reasons I had better create a re-installation copy of Windows before deleting it, something that the operating instructions recommend anyway. And that was where the "fun" started.

As soon as I powered up the laptop, I was straight into Windows setup which has to be completed before I can create the re-installation copy. Which is fair enough, but what is NOT acceptable was the requirement to put in my date of birth, my telephone number, an email address, and then to enter a code sent to the telephone number, and to have to accept an impossibly long set of rules & conditions. In contrast. Linux asks for my name AND NOTHING ELSE. Why do they want DOB? What on earth has it got to do with Microsoft? Similarly, telephone number & email address. When I go and buy a car or indeed anything else (well, perhaps address for TV's but that is a legal requirement anyway), I don't get asked these intrusive questions so why should Microsoft?

I did give a false DOB, and a false telephone number, and a redundant email address supplied by TalkTalk (who, by the way have threatened to delete that address unless I sign up for one of their expensive options), and so far I have received two emails from Microsoft about my Microsoft Account, which I don't want anyway, being ready for me.

Thankfully, I am well on the way to eliminating Microsoft from these machines. Incidently, although I detest this intrusiveness, in fact I don't actually dislike the way Windows XP and Windows 2000 operated. Indeed, when I finish setting up the machines, they will be similar to XP with a Start button, and a menu etc, a method of working which suits me very well indeed.


Peter G. Shaw

01/05/2021 21:47:55

The man I mentioned, possibly my wife's grandfather, is quite an interesting story. And it's also a good example of being able to ask the right questions.

It all started within the last 10 years. I had long been aware that my father-in-law officially didn't have a father, his mother being single at the time. My brother-in-law said that he thought the missing man was an Arthur Forrest, a painter and decorator who emigrated to America. Talking to my wife, I eventually asked the crucial question: "Who was the man that you called Grandad Jones?" "Oh, he was my grandmother's husband and is not our real grandfather" So from that I started looking at marriage records between a spinster, Jane Copley, and Grandad Jones, only there wasn't one. Turn it round and ask the question who was Jones married to, and the answer came back, Jane Forrest. Which immediately started the old bells ringing. It turned out that Grandmother had two children out of wedlock, neither of whom have a father shown, and that in 1933 she married Richard Forrest 5 weeks after Forrest's first wife died. Forrest himself died 2 years later leaving the widow free to marry Harry Jones.

Of course, since the surname was the same I immediately started looking into Forrest's family, and discovered that he was knocking about Bradford at the time of the two conceptions (1912 & 1914); he was single, possibly a bit of a "lad" as in 1911 he was shown as visiting a woman who he later married in 1916; he'd been in prison three times (with hard labour), had joined the Army in 1915; discharged as unfit for further service in 1918, and as far as I can tell, lived with a Jane Forrest from 1924 to 1931. Given that it's not illegal to use another name as long as it is not for nefarious purposes, it is my belief that Jane Forrest was actually my wifes's grandmother.

I was able to trace his family back through the 1800's and discovered that two branches of his ancestors originated from just south of Lancaster around 1800 or so, whilst another branch originated from around Knaresborough. Given that one of the Lancaster branches appear in various church records, yet in the 1841 Census appear in Bradford, one does wonder how they got to Bradford.

I also discovered that Richard was the second child in that family to bear the name Richard, the first having died at 3 days old. And that exactly the same thing occurred in one of his ancestors back around 1800.

All in all, quite fascinating really. And quite time consuming. As far as generations are concerned, I think we are talking either four or five (without calling up Ancestry and looking at the family tree, I can't be certain).

Peter G. Shaw

ps. Genealogical research sometimes throws up some fascinating facts, eg, it seems that my maternal grandparents were never married. Why? Because grandfather was already married to another woman. Not only that, but he had a son with this woman. Furthermore, it became quite obvious that our mother knew all about this, yet we, her three children, were never told anything, not even a hint about it. Of course, Grandfather was an adulterer, whilst mother, technically at least, was a bastard, ie illegitimate as her parents were not married at the time of her birth.

Thread: My new computer
01/05/2021 14:59:11


FWIW, there was a very suitable Lenovo laptop which until I discovered they were Chinese owned, I was all lined up to buy, especially as they were being sold with only FreeDOS as an OS.

Obviously it's too late now, but had I realised that Dynabook were made in China, then I might well have thought differently. Anyway, too late now to worry; currently I'm in the process of installing Linux Mint v 20.1 with the Mate desktop on the first of the two machines.

Peter G. Shaw

30/04/2021 22:01:15

Hello one & all,

Some of you may remember that over the last few months I have been asking questions about the poor performance of my laptops. Essentially, it appeared that they were obsolete, outdated, and generally past it. And so started the great replacement laptop hunt.

Now, over the decades, I have come to realise that in order to make a good decision, I can only rely on my own research. Indeed, I have only ever come across one honest salesman, and a car salesman at that. I have also discovered that names such as “Jolly Green Giant” (apologies if there is such a name) generally signify something with a short life, whereas a recognized long-standing name generally will perform better. No doubt someone will tell me I’m talking rubbish, and I may well be, but names such Advent, Asus don’t do much for me, whereas Toshiba, IBM etc seem to be rather better. Names such as HP I regard as perhaps “middlin” and best avoided if at all possible. Names such as Lenovo are completely unknown to me, whilst Medion I associate with Aldi.

What I found was that Toshiba have sold their laptop division to Sharp who in turn are marketing them as Dynabook, whilst Lenovo owns IBM and, although German in origin, Medion. Not only that but Lenovo is owned by the Chinese. From a purely personal point of view, I don’t wish to support the Chinese especially after Huawei and Covid 19. I’ve no reason for it, just a feeling of disquiet hence Lenovo is out.

Someone suggested re-furbished, and I did indeed look at them, that is, until I discovered that some of the re-furbished items were themselves five or six years old. So they were out. Ultimately, I realised that I was going to have to increase my spend limits and thus I eventually hit upon the Dynabook Satellite Pro C50-H-108, 256 Gb SSD, I5, 8GB RAM, 15.6 in screen. I now have two, one for use as my main computer, with the other for use as a backup computer and for carting around the countryside. Interestingly, there is a sticker on the bottom describing it as a Toshiba! And another one saying "Made in China" - so much for avoiding Chinese stuff.


Peter G. Shaw

30/04/2021 21:27:55


FWIW, my daughter-in-law is American. She & hubby, my son, live in the north of England along with their 6 year old daughter.

Now, I can't say whether or not she has a strong American accent for the very simple reason we've known her for about 20 years and thus are used to her. Not only that, but she attended an English university so I rather suspect that her accent has probably been modified somewhat.

Interestingly though, their daughter occasionally pronounces words in the American way, eg a few years ago she said something like Grandad's got his "kemera" out. Checking with her mother and she did indeed pronounce camera as "kemera". Exagerated somewhat, but you get the gist of it.


Strangely, once I get back into research mode, I can find it quite fascinating looking up old records. And especially trying to decypher what has been written. Scribes of yesteryear didn't seem to pay too much attention to clear, careful writing! I can't think why not !!!

As far as the fees are concerned, I found them reasonably clear, the main problem being my own inability to remember to cancel in good time. Which suggests that I really ought to devise some sort of aide memoire for these practices.

Regards to one and all,

Peter G. Shaw

30/04/2021 11:46:12

I use & (ie the UK versions) off and on, most usually during the winter months when it is too cold to use the garage/workshop. I have used the Ancestry £5 per month once and didn't have any difficulty cancelling the subscription, and have just cancelled both long term subscriptions because I simply don't have time now to do anything.

I think that it is worth remembering that whilst records may be available elsewhere, it is not always easy finding them, nor is it easy finding just what is available. Yes, a lot do appear to have been computerised, but just who is doing the necessary copying? And here is where the likes of Ancestry and FMP come to the fore. It is also worth remembering that someone has to pay for all this copying, but of course, if you wish to travel to wherever the records are held, then copy them yourself, then fair enough. For me, the ability to see the records as published by Ancestry & FMP outways the costs of having to do it myself. For example, I have traced a man who may be, (and can never be proved), my wife's grandfather. This involved researching census records for Bradford, Knaresboro, and Lancaster, then researching Electoral Roll records for Bradford. Plus searching Church records for places I have never heard of, and of course, I don't know where the originals are held, eg some of the records for Bradford appear to come under West Riding/West Yorkshire.

Yes, it does seem expensive, but I really do think the convenience makes it worthwhile.

Yes, there are other sources available - FreeBMD, Family Search etc. One can even find information via the General Registry Office but at a price. For me, I found that FreeBMD is effectively a work in progress, and it doesn't show all the information that is available whilst Family Search, (the Mormon site,) frankly throws up far too much American based stuff which is of absolutely no interest to me.

I notice that the OP mentions If you are in the UK, then the correct site is Could this be a part of the problem?


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: B&D workmate
25/04/2021 17:27:34

Mine is a WM400, bought sometime in the '70's from either House of Holland or Argos, can't remember which. I've repainted it, added tape on the bottom of the legs to make the plastic feet a tighter fit, replaced two of the hinges with bolts (I seem to recall having make a pair of tubes or similar for the bolts to work), added a piece of 1/4inch wood, Ramin possibly, on the inside of the jaws and repaired one of the handles, the casting broke! And still it does all it's supposed to do.

I've bought various add-ons, the arms for holding large sheets, the steel bracket to convert it to a portable saw bench, the special bracket to allow the use of a tool tray on the rear of the rear jaw.

It's been used for just about anything I could cram into, or on, it: holding an old file whilst cutting it up, holding parts of tree branches whilst using a chainsaw, cutting smaller branches & scrap wood using the portable saw attachment, and right now it is being used as an extra table with a piece of plywood on top of the jaws and bits & pieces stored on top. In short, it's been one of the most useful pieces of equipment I've ever bought.

Mention has been made of "knock-offs", ie copies made by other than B&D. My daughter has a "knock-off", the design of which is so poor that the folding arms for the legs stick out rather than lay parallel to the legs as mine does. In other words, B&D may be more expensive, but it is proper engineered product.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Bearing tolerances
15/04/2021 09:11:43


That's very true, and is more or less what I've done. But I do like to check, check & check again whilst drawing it, and it was whilst checking to see if the bearing OD was similar to its housing ID (I expected it to be a push fit) when I found the discrepancies, and then one thing led to another, and another, and another... etc.

And of course, I have now learned something, ie that the bearing can be +0 to - (a few microns) in size. Plus the suggestion that if the housing has worn to the extent that it appears to have, then there is the possibility (probability?) that the bearing OD will have worn, but worn smoothly such that there are no signs of wear.


Peter G. shaw

14/04/2021 15:10:27


Your observations were indeed quite reasonable seeing as how I did not mention the breakage in the first message. Mea culpa, and all that. This has been something of a failing of mine in not explaining things properly over the last half century or more. That, and assuming that people know what I'm talking about. So sorry, and all that.

I think that probably what happened was that I was so "hung up" on the bearing OD tolerances that I didn't relate the complete story.


Peter G. Shaw

14/04/2021 14:46:53

A lot of questions, so here are the answers:


I looked at that website, but didn't find that particular table. I suspect probably because I was somewhat bamboozled by all the different tables, tolerances, etc and I ended up going round in circles, Thanks anyway - that certainly would seem to suggest that this particular bearing might just be within tolerance.


Interesting reference which I didn't find before. or maybe I did, but ignored it. As above to JasonB, I do have a tendency to go round in circles, especially when I'm trying to discover information about which I have never had any training.

To everyone else.

What has happened is that a cast iron hub has broken right at the point where the inner edge of the bearing housing occurs. Which also happens to coincide with the narrowest diameter of a V on a PolyV drive. The bearing make appears to be XMCXV and the type is 6000RS. As mentioned in my original post, there is definite wear on the inner diameter so the bearing will have to be replaced. I haven't yet checked, but I do wonder if there may be matching wear on the axle on which the bearing sits. When all said and done, for wear to occur on the bearing ID, that suggests that the ID has been moving on it's shaft.

Now, the shaft, or axle, is actually inside, along the centre line, of a hollow hub. Think, if you like, of a bicycle wheel where the shaft/axle is stationary, but the hub of the wheel rotates around, but is clear of, the axle. This diameter is of the order of 22 mm whilst the axle/shaft is obviously 10mm to suit the bearing ID. My thoughts are to make a replacement, or perhaps I should say addon, hub which will carry grooves for the Poly V drive, carry the bearing housing for a new bearing, and which has a longish hollow spigot to fit inside what is left of the original hub, and glued in place possibly using JB Weld, that is once the broken bits have been removed. I'm also thinking of possibly slightly increasing the diameter of the Poly V bearings in order to slightly increase the thickness of material at the break point. Ok, this will result in a slight loss of gearing, but that will not matter in this situation.

However, the first thing I have to do is to draw the existing, hence measuring the bearing and what's left of the broken hub. From that, I can then move on to modifying the drawing to show the result of any proposed increase.

It may, of course, be a total failure, but it is already that, ie I have nothing to lose in attempting a repair, and even if it is a failure, I will have learned something, because as I keep saying, I'm into model engineering for self education by experimentation. I've also been somewhat circumspect in that I haven't said what it is that I am attempting to repair - the reason being that I have thoughts about submitting it as a project to MEW if the repair proves successful.

Regards, and thanks for all the thoughts.

Peter G. Shaw

13/04/2021 15:11:22

I am in the process of attempting to repair an article, initially by creating a drawing both of the broken part. In doing so, I have come across a 6000RS bearing, nominally 26 x 10 x 8, whch is a very sloppy fit in it's housing. I suspect the sloppiness is because the housing itself, made of cast iron, appears to have been worn away, measuring 26.5mm, but on measuring the bearing I find that the measured OD is 25.98/25.985 and the measured thickness is 7.96/7.97mm. I have used two micrometers and two dial calipers, thus taking four measurements for the diameter and the thickness, and all four devices show similar readings.

It seems to me that this bearing is undersize in both dimensions, but having attempted, and failed, to find specified tolerances, I wonder what other people think. Is it possible that the bearing has itself been worn down, but I can't see any obvious wear marks?

I will be replacing the bearing anyway since the ID does show some damage, and I may have to replace the axle as well but that has yet to be determined, so really this is of academic interest only.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: New car - or is it a wheeled computer?
26/03/2021 09:43:16

No Kiwi Bloke, it's not you. And you are not stupid. Modern vehicles are a right load of nonsense.

I first came across this perhaps 20 years ago when my Austin Montego developed a fault - it would start misfiring with all the attendant jerkiness. That vehicle was user maintainable - just, but thankfully no diagnostics were available. It turned out to be the wiring to the crankshaft sensor that was broken. No vehicle that I owned before then had ever had such a thing fitted.

The next time I came across this was a Ford Focus diesel which developed stuttering under hard acceleration. Local garage couldn't find it, so sent it to a main dealer for a £75 electronic diagnosis, the result being a collapsed fuel filter. I maintain that prior to then, the garage would have found that in time honoured fashion using a bit of logic and thinking.

Mind you, as an aside, that car was arguably the worst car I have ever owned. In 58K miles and starting from 27K I had three sets of tyres, duff fuel filter, new clutch, reconditioned engine, and some sort of exhaust gas analyser (not too sure of that last one). But that's nothing to do with the gist of this thread.

For the last almost 8 years/100K miles I have been running a Toyota Avensis 1.8vvt petrol estate. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, other than normal wear and tear has failed. It achieves overall 38.5mpg as against the 42 & 45 mpg of the two previous diesels. Tyre life is satisfactory at around 30K per set. And it tows our caravan satisfactorily. True it does have some superfluous controls, eg the switch to lock the passengers windows which only works on the one electrically operated window, the other two being manual. What am I going to do in the future, assuming there is a future for caravanners? Haven't a clue. The only suitable Toyota appears to be the RAV4 hybrid. It does make me wonder if I should try and find another petrol Avensis and put it away somewhere.

Despondently yours,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Computer Update
23/03/2021 10:22:41

Interestingly, since submitting the above, I've been looking around for Lenovo problems myself, and have indeed found that there are/have been various problems with this model, so much so that I'm now rapidly turning off this model.

Should have researched before posting, not after!

Peter G. Shaw

23/03/2021 09:34:58

A few months ago I was asking about modern computers to replace my existing aged machines. I am now in a position financially to be able to do so, and have found these as sold by Laptops Direct:

Lenovo V145 AMD A6-9225 8Gb 256Gb SSD 15.6” FHD.

Includes DVD/RW, 1 x USB2, 2 x USB3, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet Gigabit

OS = FreeDOS, ie no Windows.

I don’t want Windows, as I intend to use Linux Mint.

Usage: General home/office stuff – internet browsing with occasional upload/download, email with occasional upload/download, occasional 2D CAD, occasional usage of LibreOffice Wordpro & Calc, DOS based database (requires use of an intermediary program), occasional use of Gimp photo editing s/w, printing, scanning.

Does anyone know anything about these machines, specifically any problems with loading/running Linux?


Peter G. Shaw

Mods, I've messed up on the title line. Can you correct it please? Should be "computer" not "compter"

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 23/03/2021 09:36:25

Thread: Covid
18/03/2021 21:28:41

The problem is, as far as I can see, all we are getting is the same tired old mantra repeated as often as it can be broadcast and after a while I certainly found it somewhat boring. Now that does not mean that I am pretending that it isn't happening, just that I don't want it thrust into my eyes and ears ad nauseam. It's quite obvious that Covid 19 hasn't finished with us, witness the continental countries, but all I want is to know about changes that affect us, not repeats, repeats, repeats.

As far as analysing something, the Covid -19 stats in this instance, I do not have the ability to be able to analyse it properly: that, after all, is the province of those highly paid people paid by us, the tax-payer.

Finally, one thing that always concerns me is the number of people claiming to know better than those paid experts. If those "know-alls" are so clever, why aren't they offering their services to HMG?


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Advice on Heat Treating
17/03/2021 11:33:17

Tubal Cain (T.D. Walshaw) in one of his books, Workshop Practice Series No.1 on Heating Tempering etc suggests that one could boil the parts in water: this would achieve some grain refinement, achieve some minor tempering and presumably reduce the brittleness.

Another idea would be to heat in a tray of sand until the items achieve the same colour as the sand.

I should point out that I haven't tried either idea - they are "parked" pending a suitable opportunity to try them.

Also, as Mick suggests, you can stick them in the oven! Again Tubal Cain has some pertinent remarks as to the best time to do it, eg when the household cook is making scones, roast beef, or whatever!

Peter G. Shaw


Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 17/03/2021 11:34:31

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 17/03/2021 11:36:16

Thread: Running MS DOS programs on Windows 10
12/03/2021 18:25:28

I also have a DOS based database program which I run on Linux. I have tried DOSBox and found it unusable. However, DOSEmu was found to be very good, the major problem being that it is abandonware. There is, though, an attempt to update & improve DOSEmu, called unsurprisingly DOSEmu2. I have not tried this so cannot comment any further.

Good luck,

Peter G. Shaw

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