On 15 Dec 2009, AMSAT China launched a new amateur radio satellite, now designated as Hope Oscar (HO) 68. This satellite not only has a V/U FM repeater but also a V/U linear transponder for SSB and CW as well as a packet BBS system. This one should be great fun to work. Here’s a Youtube video giving the details:
Now I really need to get crackin’ on that backyard satellite antenna–maybe W4RNL‘s turnstile antenna (from the Aug 2000 QST), or W6NBC‘s quadrifilar helix antenna (from the Oct 2009 QST). Or maybe it’s time to concoct that servo-driven crossed yagi for auto-tracking the satellite…
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?
So, a few days ago I received a note from Steve announcing the opening of his new GoatWare shop on Cafe Press. Now you, too, can have your own “Old Goats Rule!” t-shirt, water bottle, or coffee mug! And if you’ve never seen the goats before, check them out on Steve’s Youtube channel.
I was getting ready to order a batch of coffee beans from my favorite coffee roaster, The Unseen Bean up the road from me in Boulder, Colorado. The owner and roaster is a visually-impaired man named Gerry Leary, whom I met a year or two ago when he came to visit with students at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (I’m on the board there). Really an impressive guy.
So I’m perusing his web site, deciding what to order, and I stumbled upon a roast called Contester’s Blend. The logo on the bag shows a dog wearing a radio headset! He also offers a blend called Kilowatt Dark Roast. I came to find out that Gerry’s a ham (WB6IVF) and he’s sold his coffees at Dayton.
Now, I’m no Starbucks snob, but the coffee I’ve gotten from the Unseen Bean has been pretty tasty stuff. If you enjoy fine coffee and you’re inclined to support a visually-impaired small business owner who’s friendly to hams, check out his web site.
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.
As promised in my previous post, I gave Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Netbook Remix a test drive on my MSI Wind U100 last night. The results were promising yet disappointing. Karmic Koala is clearly not ready for the MSI Wind, but I’m crossing my fingers that the situation will change soon.
Had I done a little research beforehand, I’d have discovered this in advance. The release notes mention two separate issues: one with USB, and the other with the screen flickering. Indeed, I experienced the screen flickering, which was enough (in my opinion) to render this version unusable. Hopefully that’ll be fixed soon.
The release of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is old news, I know. And after one of my previous posts, you might think I wouldn’t care. But one of my previous Ubuntu installations left behind a few files that, by Windows XP standards, had invalid filenames (I’m to blame for that, not Ubuntu) and couldn’t be deleted. So I grabbed the latest Ubuntu iso, burned it to a DVD, and booted from the Ubuntu Live CD (it’s a way to run Ubuntu without actually installing it) to see if I could delete them that way. I was impressed with what I saw.
Being a techie kind of a guy, you’d think I’d be more abreast of the latest in computer hardware and gadgets. But up until a few months ago, I was pathetically unaware of the new class of computer hardware known as the netbook.
Netbooks first popped up on my radar screen when I stumbled upon an article describing how somebody was successfully running Mac OS X on theirs. That was (and still is) intriguing to me–OS X is supposed to be pretty slick, but I’ve always been put off by the Mac price tag. But I digress.
If you were expecting to land on one of my other web sites (like one of my blogs, or my Digital Setting Circles web site), you might be a bit surprised at having been thrust into unfamiliar territory. But, rest assured, you’ve arrived in the right place. In one of my seemingly-endless fits of dorkery, I decided to consolidate all my web content back in one place. And this is the place. Hopefully, your arrival is the result of being smoothly redirected.