Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Over the last decade or so there has been an every increasing blend of not only computers and radio but the two hobbies of computers and ham radio. Part of what has caused this is the explosion of the Internet and the World Wide Web.
If you don’t own a computer, and yes Virginia there are still a few out there that don’t, then you are probably not concerned with the Internet or the web. If you own a computer but don’t have access to the Internet you also fit into a very small percentage of the population these days. If you fall into either of these categories you are missing a great deal of what transpires in the amateur radio community. I do not want to enter into the debate of whether the Internet is killing ham radio or hams should be talking to each other over the airwaves not exchanging email.
The fact is that hams have always been at the forefront of technology and willing to learn new things. There is no way you can do that without being involved with computers and the net. So if we do get around to that debate I would rather talk about why you should be using computer, the Internet, the World Wide Web and email rather than why you currently do not. Besides, it really is a lot of fun! Try it and you will find out.
One of the ways that you can become involved and learn in the process is to set up your own web page. If you are a ham you have an edge because Al Waller, K3TKJ, wanted to learn about Linux and so set up a web server solely for amateur radio. If you are a licensed amateur radio operator Al will provide you with space to build your very own web page and will do it for FREE! Remember my previous posting about hams being a cheap bunch? This is something that every ham should take advantage of and a large number of them have as existence of the site has spread by way of word of mouth.
If you would like to learn more about “QSL.net” check out there web site. http://www.qsl.net There you will be able to learn how to create your very own home page and trust me it is not that hard. You can see my first feeble attempts at HTML by visiting my page on QSL. http://www.qsl.net/wa3fkg I am currently working on learning more about HTML and revamping my page. I will let you know when to check out new additions.
So you say you don’t have Internet access at home and you can’t use computers at work for personal use? Not a problem. Just shuffle on down to your local library where you will find computers connected to the Internet courtesy of its inventor Al Gore. You pay an extra tax on your phone bill to support them you might as well take advantage of it.
Say you don’t have an email address? This is not a problem either. When you get to the library before you start working on your web site go to http://www.hotmail.com or any number of other sites that offer free email accounts. Establish an email account for your self and you have taken the first step. I suggest you pick firstname.lastname@example.org or which ever service you choose. Don’t have a phone you say. All right, you got me. If you don’t have a telephone you are a lost cause and I give up. If you have gotten this far you must be interested. So when you set up your web page drop me a note and let me know so I can check out all of your neat content especially the scanner stuff.