Articles

Here are several miscellaneous computer related articles, opinions and essays by fellow TTCS members. If you wish to contribute an article, email us at [email protected]

Note : Any opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily that of the TTCS.


 

Trinidad and Tobago Tech Groups and Email lists

ICT-related Laws and Policies in Trinidad and Tobago

Computer Suppliers in Trinidad and Tobago

All Purpose Windows troubleshooting and upgrading USB or DVD drive

History of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) in Trinidad and Tobago

Rules for the TTCS discussion list

Trinidad and Tobago Wi-Fi hotspots

History of the Society of Computer Users (SCU) from 1990 to 1996

Interview with the TTNIC administrator

Windows XP Service Pack 2

Year 2000

 

 

 

 

#ICANN64 public meeting from March 9-14 2019 – how you can participate in the discussions

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN )  will be having its 64th public meeting from Saturday March 9 to March 14 2019 in Kobe, Japan. However, you can listen in and participate remotely.

What is ICANN?

What is ICANN?

As the name implies, ICANN helps coordinate the assignment and management of Internet numbering resources (such as IP addresses) and domain names (forming a system called the Domain Name System or DNS). The DNS maps domain names to IP addresses.

ICANN also defines and implements policies for how the “Names and Numbers” of the Internet are assigned. ICANN coordinates policy development related to the DNS by bringing a variety of stakeholders (ranging from governments, technical, business, civil society) organised in various groups to develop and advise on such DNS policies. This volunteer-based group of diverse stakeholders is called the ICANN community.

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) is an member of the ICANN At-Large Community since 2006, which represents the interests of Internet end users in ICANN policies and activities.

Important links to learn and follow #ICANN64

Some important links to help you learn more and follow the #ICANN64 meeting :

  • ICANN64 Full Meeting Schedule – this table (you will have to scroll down a lot) shows the various meetings happening in various rooms at the same time. All times listed are local to Kobe, Japan. The time in Kobe Japan is 13 hours ahead of that of Trinidad and Tobago. So when looking at the ICANN64 schedule, you’ll need to subtract 13 hours to get the time of the meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. This means that the meetings on Monday Morning for example will take place on Sunday night in Trinidad and Tobago. If you visit the schedule on your iOS or Android device, you can install the ICANN Meeting App to follow the schedule on your mobile / tablet device. Or search for “ICANN” in your app stores.
  • At-Large Meeting Agenda Workspace – lists the very busy schedule and detailed agendas of the meetings of the At-Large Community.
  • Pre-ICANN64 Policy Report (PDF) – This report provides a high-level overview of the planned work and activities of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (including At-Large) at ICANN64.
  • ICANNwiki Quickguide to ICANN64 (PDF) – another useful quicksheet guide to ICANN64 from ICANNwiki
  • Twitter search for #ICANN64 – search Twitter using the hashtag #ICANN64

How to listen and participate online in #ICANN64 meeting

When you select a meeting on the ICANN64 Full Meeting Schedule , you will see something like this :

You will see on the left under the short description are several grey buttons:

  • Live Video – via Livestream –
  • Scribe – Closed Captioning – shows the live transcribed text during the meeting – great when you want to scroll back quickly to catch what was said or you can’t listen to audio.
  • Adobe Connect – a web conferencing tool ICANN uses for its online conference calls and F2F public meetings. Adobe Connect allows participants (either face to face or remotely)  to
    • instant message each other
    • review the meeting agenda and documents
    • follow presentations and raise their hands in order to make comments.
  • English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Japanese – the audio of the meeting – the presence of muliple languages is done by interpreters in the room allowing different language participants to understand each other (and to be understood by other participants)

Note that not all meetings will have so many different language options, but all would have at least the audio stream and the Adobe Connect “room”

Installing the Adobe Connect app

It is recommended to download the standalone Adobe Connect application for Windows or Mac

  • Download Adobe Connect Meeting Application for Windows : http://www.adobe.com/go/Connectsetup
  • Download Adobe Connect Meeting Application for MacOS : http://www.adobe.com/go/ConnectSetupMac

Adobe Connect app is also available on mobile / tablet devices running iOS and Android.

Currently, as the TTCS’ At-Large representative (Dev Anand Teelucksingh), I have continued to be involved in various At-Large activities. I do want to encourage anyone with a interest and a desire to learn more about ICANN policy issues and how to get involved, email me at [email protected] and I’ll try my best to help.

Last chance! Register for free to attend the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum 2019 on Friday January 25 2019 #TTIGF2019

https://ttigf2019.igf.tt/

Only a few seats remain for you to register for free, to attend the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum 2019 (TTIGF 2019)

TTIGF 2019 (http://ttigf2019.igf.tt/) will be held on Friday 25th January 2019 from 9am to 5pm at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, Trinidad with online participation available for those unable to attend at the venue.

Now in its third year, the TTIGF is hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG), of which the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society is a member.

With the overall theme of “The Internet of Trust”, TTIGF 2019’s agenda features three panel sessions with selected experts and respected professionals:

  • Caribbean Data Protection Regulations (CDPR)
  • Cultural Factors in the Caribbean affecting Trust & Privacy for Digital Security
  • Using Technology to Increase Trust in Public Institutions

TTIGF 2019 will also have an open forum session where all stakeholders (including online participants) can share comments, questions, solutions and best practices on internet governance locally, regionally and globally.

If you plan to attend (in person or remotely), please register for TTIGF2019 . Registration is FREE. There is no charge to attend TTIGF 2019, but space is limited!

Register for free to attend the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum 2019 on Friday January 25 2019

Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum 2019 (http://ttigf2019.igf.tt/)

Register for free, to attend the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum 2019 (TTIGF 2019) !

TTIGF 2019 (http://ttigf2019.igf.tt/) will be held on Friday 25th January 2019 from 9am to 5pm at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, Trinidad with online participation available for those unable to attend at the venue.

Now in its third year, the TTIGF is hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG), of which the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society is a member.

With the overall theme of “The Internet of Trust”, TTIGF 2019’s agenda features three panel sessions with selected experts and respected professionals:

  • Caribbean Data Protection Regulations (CDPR)
  • Cultural Factors in the Caribbean affecting Trust & Privacy for Digital Security
  • Using Technology to Increase Trust in Public Institutions

TTIGF 2019 will also have an open forum session where all stakeholders (including online participants) can share comments, questions, solutions and best practices on internet governance locally, regionally and globally.

If you plan to attend (in person or remotely), please register for TTIGF2019 . Registration is FREE. There is no charge to attend TTIGF 2019, but space is limited!

TTCS final comments on TATT’s Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society has submitted its comments on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)’s Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; local TTCS copy ;  1034K)

Read / View TTCS comments on Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 285K)

 

TTCS F2F meeting on Saturday October 13 2018 from 1pm – finishing response to TATT’s discussion paper on proposed regulations for Internet users in Trinidad and Tobago

excerpt from TATT’s discussion paper on net neutrality

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) will be having a F2F meeting on Saturday October 13 2018 from 1pm at Engineering Consultants, 112A Edward Street (corner of Oxford and Edward Streets), Port of Spain.

At this meeting, we will be working to finish the TTCS’ response (Google doc ; no account required to comment) to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s proposed Internet regulations for Trinidad and Tobago.

Please RSVP to [email protected] if you are attending this meeting.

 

 

TTCS conference call on Friday October 12 2018 at 8pm on TATT’s proposed Internet regulations for Trinidad and Tobago

Excerpt from TATT’s discussion paper on net neutrality and OTT services in Trinidad and Tobago

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) will will be having a conference call on Friday October 12 2018 at 8pm to develop the TTCS comments (Google doc ; no account needed to comment) to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s proposed Internet regulations for Trinidad and Tobago

Conference call details on how to join can be found on our conference call page

Call for Topics for the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum 2019!

Save the date! The third annual Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum (TTIGF ; http://igf.tt/) will be held on Friday 25th January 2019 from 9am to 5pm at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, Trinidad with online participation available for those unable to attend at the venue.

TTIGF 2019 is hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG), of which the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society is a member.

The Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group has begun enthusiastically preparing for the TTIGF 2019, carded for January 25th, 2019.

We invite your contributions to craft the TTIGF 2019 agenda topics. Share your thoughts by filling out the form at https://goo.gl/forms/Se2S2SemnKXpGuEU2

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago proposed guiding principles and policy recommendations on net neutrality and OTT services in Trinidad and Tobago. – please read and comment before October 12 2018

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)’s Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 63 pages ; 1034K) is out for public comments until October 12 2018.

About Net Neutrality

What is Net Neutrality? From Wikipedia: Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

About Over the Top Services (OTT)

OTT refers to “services that a customer may use which rides on top of a network to which the customer is connected” (CANTO, 2014) – which covers anything that is sent and received over the Internet from webpages to email to Voice over IP (VoIP) and video chat services (like Skype, Whatsapp, Google Duo), Messaging services (like Whatsapp, Apple iMessage, Google Allo) to video and audio streaming (like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook Video).

About TATT’s discussion paper on net neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago

In TATT’s discussion paper, TATT proposes several guiding principles and policy recommendations for Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago. These proposed principles and recomendations WILL impact current and future Internet users and businesses in Trinidad and Tobago in how we use the Internet. Please therefore read the discussion paper and contribute to the TTCS response to the discussion paper (Google doc, no login needed) before October 12 2018 by following the links below, and read about TATT’s proposed principles and recommendations for Net Neutrality and OTT Services.

TATT proposed Guiding Principles for Net Neturality

Principle 1: Reasonable Traffic Management

  1. The Authority recognises that well-functioning broadband networks require operators to manage their networks reasonably.
  2. Traffic management techniques that are reasonable and serve to address specific needs should be allowed.

Principle 2: No Unreasonable Discrimination

  1. The Authority proposes net neutrality rules that specifically prohibit network operators from intentionally downgrading and/or blocking lawful content, applications and/or services.
  2. Discriminatory practices may be allowed for societal issues such as: bridging the digital divide, public safety, emergency situations, law enforcement and national security issues, and child pornography.

Principle 3: Encouraging Investment

  1. Net neutrality policy decisions should ensure that market opportunities and investment prospects are not unduly disrupted.
  2. Net neutrality policy decisions should encourage a climate of regulatory certainty that incentivises investment, e.g., through sector stability and the expectation of reasonable rates of return on investment opportunities.

Principle 4: Transparency

  1. Network operators should disclose their network practices inclusive of traffic management practices and application-specific behaviour.
  2. The disclosure of traffic management information that is commercially sensitive in nature, or which may compromise the security of a network, should be exempted from the principle of transparency.

Principle 5: Promoting Local Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  1. Any policy framework on net neutrality should be guided by the stimulation of local innovation and entrepreneurship.

TATT’s proposed policy recommendations for net neutrality

On Blocking and Throttling

  1. An ISP should not prevent (through blocking) end users from freely accessing and/or providing lawful information, content, services and applications.
  2. Subject to the principle of reasonable traffic management, an ISP should not intentionally restrict, alter, degrade or impair specific content, services or applications.

On Paid Prioritisation and Zero-Rated Pricing

  1. The Authority proposes penalising harmful and proven offences as opposed to the absolute banning of paid prioritisation and zero-rating practices.
  2. Each case should be evaluated on its individual merit and regulatory action would only be warranted where there is violation of one or more of the guiding principles.

View / Download
Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago
(PDF ; 1034K)

TATT’s proposed regulation of OTT Services

Classification 1: Functionally Equivalent OTT Services

  1. OTTs which are functionally equivalent to traditional services and use numbering resources to connect to the PSTN [Public Switch Telephone Network] should be regulated in the same manner as traditional telecommunications services.
  2. Amendments to the Authority’s Authorisation Framework will be required to reflect classification 1 OTT services.

Classification 2: Other OTT Services

  1. The Authority may consider taking a light-handed regulatory approach to OTT services not requiring numbering or spectrum resources.
  2. Amendments to the Authority’s Authorisation Framework will be required to reflect classification 2 OTT services.
  3. General regulatory controls should be applied to these services. These include, inter alia, cybersecurity, data protection, child pornography, intellectual property rights, national security and privacy controls.

 

 

Some Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society website updates…..and a look back at 20 years online.

Not accurate depiction of new web host (screenshot of the TTCS website in 1999)

Over the past few weeks, the TTCS has transitioned to a new web host. One of the key benefits and goals was to implement https:// ( Read from Google why https:// is important) instead of http:// throughout the site.

A challenge to implement https:// throughout was a large number of passive mixed content affecting (350+ links) according to https://www.missingpadlock.com/, due to content (images, documents) still being served from ttcs.wordpress.com when we were using wordpress.com as a blog off the static ttcsweb.org website from around 2007 to 2010/11. Also (over 600 crawl errors were detected due to broken links from web content spanning 20+ years online with links from ttcsweb.org.

So over the past three  weeks, a lot of post re-editing was done to ensure that the online website history of the TTCS from 1995 to now is now fully within our  WordPress CMS. In going through this excercise, I thought I’ll share some history of how the TTCS was “on the web” since 1997.

History of TTCS online

1997-1999

We used http://www.opus.co.tt/ttcs/ thanks to Opus Networx. We started with a two versions of the site, a framed and non framed version.

1999

Around 1999, we eliminated the framed version in favour of the non framed version.

Internet Archive link of opus.co.tt/ttcs from April 2009

1999 – ttcsweb.org used

At the end of 1999, we decided on getting ttcsweb.org which was donated by Opus Networx. The first design went like this :

Internet Archive link of ttcsweb.org circa Sept 2000

end of 2000 – redesign of ttcsweb.org

Using more colour schemes! This was still using tables for layout

Internet Archive link of ttcsweb.org circa 2000

2002 – redesign of ttcsweb.org

The redesign of the main page went live on April 6th, 2002 used CSS instead of HTML tables or Javascript for layout.

2003

In October 2003, the site was redesigned again

Internet Archive Link of ttcsweb.org in 2003

This core design which validated as HTML v4.01 strict stayed with ttcsweb.org until 2011. We started paying for web hosting around 2005 and still do to this day

All of these previous versions were static HTML files, meaning no content management system like WordPress or Drupal was used. Just creating and editing HTML files directly and using FTP to upload to the web server.

Notepad was the key editor used to edit the html files up to 1998-1999 under Windows 3.x, but in the Win98SE days from 1998 to 2002, a editor called xEdit was used with provided syntax highlighting and the ability to edit multiple files via a tabbed notebook UI. Under Windows XP, Programmer’s Notepad was used and around 2010 or so, used Notepad++.

Around 2004, a program called a HTML preprecessor called PPWIZARD was used to generate the html files from text files around 2004 which aided in reusing code snippets throughout the site.

We experimented with blogger in 2004 in preparation for a 2004 tech meeting, but didn’t continue using it.

In 2006, a wiki at Pbwiki was created to allow for members to collaborate on content and in 2007 a “blog” at wordpress.com (ttcs.wordpress.com) was added at to allow for easier posting and subscribing to updates.

Which helped somewhat but then this created challenges of having content scattered over multiple platforms and that TTCS content was not under one domain name. The website had been designed without concepts of mobile or responsive web design so a redesign again was needed.

Hence the moves to move content to WordPress from 2011 first under cs.tt and now ttcs.tt. This was indeed a laborious process, especially for the static files which required manual creation of category posts and pages to be created and copy and paste. And copy and paste. And copy and paste. And editing. And editing. 🙂

As part of the migration to the new host for ttcs.tt, we’ve removed the ttcs.wordpress.com, pbwiki content and the static files from ttcsweb.org so that all of the content will be findable under ttcs.tt. http://ttcsweb.org/ and http://cs.tt redirects to ttcs.tt.

Having said that, we are using the default theme. Anyone wishing to help come up with a improved theme, please contact the TTCS at [email protected] .

(Update : 27 Sept 2016 – expanded discussion of text editors used to code the website and expanded on what PPWIZARD did. )