I just read this op-ed piece in the Jan 2011 QST Magazine (p. 82). Hilarious–and so true! KL7AJ begins with:

I have, at last, identified the one glaring difference between my generation of Amateur Radio experimenters and the current batch of 2 meter obsessed appliance operators.

In our day, it was our job to create emergencies. The new EmComm oriented hams are intent on “fixing” emergencies.

Although I didn’t become a ham until I was in my late thirties, I was an experimenter by the time I was ten. My parents detected the “mad scientist” gene in me at an early age, and foolishly nurtured my tendencies by giving me a chemistry set. Remember, this was back in the 60’s, when chemistry sets hadn’t yet had all the fun extracted from them by product liability lawyers. Mine had an alcohol lamp, glass test tubes, and plastic bottles of a variety of chemicals whose names I couldn’t even pronounce–the potential for both fun and disaster was thrillingly high.

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I confess to a general loathing of antivirus software. For many years I ran Norton Antivirus on all my computers, gritting my teeth and forking over the subscription payment every year while wondering if it was worth it. And, over those years, Norton forced me to upgrade periodically or I wouldn’t continue to receive antivirus signature updates. Every upgrade was more bloated than the last and further degraded the performance of my computer. Norton and McAfee were in such a race for market share that their products were increasingly stuffed with “features” that I neither needed nor wanted. And never during this time did Norton ever report finding or protecting me from a virus. Was all this virus business just a bunch of hooey?

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I gotta say that my iPod Nano (4G) is really growing on me, much more so than I would have expected. I bought it last April, not long before my wife and I spent a week on a cruise ship in the western Caribbean. I hardly used it on the cruise, but now I use it every morning on my half-hour commute to work, plugged in to my car stereo and playing podcasts of Car Talk, Fresh Air, and Science Friday from NPR. I use it occasionally in my office if I need to drown out the office noise, and also when I ‘m jogging–the Nike + iPod Sport Kit is a cute little wireless pedometer that links with the iPod to help you collect data from your runs, and anyone who knows me knows I’m all about collecting data.  I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use my iPod.

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