Posted by: GW7AAV | January 10, 2010

Otherwise occupied

Just a quick note to all my readers who think I have forgotten about my blog. I have had some new toys to play with a photo and film scanner, a new netbook and a new desktop. I have spent most of my free time scanning old photos, deleting unwanted programs from the netbook and setting up the desktop PC. I now have most of the programs I want installed and running using Windows 7 and have even found new drivers for my 10 year old and obsolete touch pad. Big problem is the PC has no serial ports and the data cables for my Yaesu FT-817, 857 and Icom IC-706 are all RS-232 as are the programming cables for my Kenwood, Icom, Standard and Wouxun hand portable rigs. Neither my full size laptop or the netbook has anything other than USB ports either. On the plus side I am up and running on Skype and Echolink for the first time in a while, which has proved useful already. Windows 7 has been a bit of a learning curve but it has proved to be very stable and I am liking it more and more as I use it. Being able to use the full graphics capability of my 24″ wide screen at last has been a pleasure as my old graphics card would not cope with wide screens I had text as big as your fist since my 24″ CRT monitor went bang.

I have been finding a new use for Skype by having a number of different accounts I can connect to the main PC in the shack and wander around the house with the netbook and monitor all my radios. I really must look in to the remote operating set-ups I have seen that appear to use Ham Radio Deluxe and some form of VOIP to control. I could probably just leave a rig on VOX with the microphone by the speaker and it would work, sort of, but with up to ten radios on at any one time I think I might have problems as I don’t want to be an inadvertent repeater.

I have always had lots of computers. At one time we had six Commodore 64s, before that two Vic20s, then three or four Amigas. There are thirty two devices shown as registered on my router not including printers. I was sat there the other day with my Internet enabled mobile phone, my PDA, my netbook, my laptop and my new desktop and I realised just how much the Internet has become an essential part of every day life. Having said that I am trying to cut down and I am trying to squeeze the contents of four PCs on to one. It should be an easy task with today’s massive storage capacities, but one PC has eight hard drives with from 20 to 120 gigabytes on each while the others have 320 gb each and one has two removable drive bays with six 120 gb drives and another two internal drives. Surely I don’t need all that storage, but I know as soon as I delete something I will want it.

The weather has been awful unless you want to take pretty pictures of the snow so I have stayed inside and played with the computers. I hoped lots of others would have been shack bound but the radio has been quite quiet on all frequencies all week. There were no SOTA stations at all in my log today, which is unusual for a Saturday. So I am hoping there are more people out braving the cold tomorrow.

I just saw the time, it is tomorrow already. Goodnight!

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