We started the meeting with a major digression…Windows 11 minus the crud. For a fresh install, it’s as easy as selecting “English/World” instead of “English/US”. After the installation has completed, change to location preferences to United States. Most of the unwanted apps have not been installed.
For existing Windows 11 hosts (including fresh installs) there is a script by Chris Titus that can do amazing things, such as removing crud, disabling Bing, and removing Edge. Be sure to see this video before running, since it has warnings about several options. My advice is to not “uninstall” Edge, but install Firefox and then “remove” Edge. To run the script, simply run “irm christitus.com/win | iex” in powershell.
We then gained our senses and started discussing android devices without anything from Google. Richard suggested GrapheneOS which works on some, but not all, android devices. We also talked about non-Google map software including Here WeGo, Waze, and OpenStreetMap.
Dennis introduced the main topic, which was about possible options for the group, including membership levels, collecting funds, and getting a Virtual Private Server to host Jitsi, the website, and email services. We immediately focused on Jitsi. The main complaints with the free service from jit.si were privacy and quality. Upon some searching, Pat found the 8×8 hosting service which offers jitsi at no cost for up to 25 users. Since this looks like a great option, we’ll get more info to decide if this is worth trying.
We then returned to the idea of paying for a VPS. We really don’t have a compelling reason to do this. Carl has (and will continue) to host the website and email services, in part because of the extra work that would be involved. We also remembered that a couple of years ago we decided for various reasons that we are better off without formal organization or funds or appointed positions. We didn’t really decide anything for now.
There wasn’t enough time to talk about a topic for next time. Undoubtedly we will talk using 8×8 services, although suggestions for separate topic would be great!