Thursday, June 23, 2005

NewCom system cutover 

NewCom the dispatch center for most of the North Hills will cutover to their new physical location in the Allegheny County EOC at 06:30 on 24-June-2005. This is one of the regions larger dispatch centers that is now being folded into the county center which will become a single point of contact for public safety answering of 911 calls and radio dispatching. Should be interesting.

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Rediscovering the Linux Journal web site 

I have been a subscriber to Linux Journal for about three years now and find it a useful information source for my Linux pursuits. I used to visit their web site at least every few days and wander around to see what if anything was new. As the web grew and information overflow crept in I found myself visiting their web site less often though I still received the magazine in the mail each month.

Well a while back I got a reminder in snail mail that my subscription was about to expire and I needed to fill out this little card and send it back to them pronto if I didn't want to miss any issues of the magazine. I promptly tucked that away in a safe place making a mental note to either send them the card or get on line and renew over the web. Last night I ran across that card again and decided my next project should be a hardware add on for my Palm Pilot that will extend the business end of a Taser and give me a swift jolt when items on my “to do” list reach a certain limit beyond their due date. But that is another story.

I decided I should get on the web site and renew while I was thinking about it. Going to my book marks in Mozilla I brought up the Linux Journal site and to my surprise it has been completely reworked. It used to be just a way to showcase the magazine and that was fine with me. Now it looks more like a portal. Lots of articles to read and a number of good links and some news letters that look worth while.

I have renewed my subscription and while a number of the articles that are between the covers each month are above my meager Linux skills I still manage to get quite a bit from each issue. If you are looking into Linux and you are a “magazine person” this is a good place to start.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Never look a gift horse in the mouth 

Well today I moved my Yaesu FT-2800M from one car to another and was grouching about it while getting ready to leave for work. My lovely room mate Linda said "Why don't you just buy another radio for this car?". God bless her little heart I knew I married that woman for a reason!

I got side tracked with a project this evening putting indexing tabs in one of my Bibles and did not get the time on line that I thought I would to check out different rigs so I'm still in the evaluation mode. I did however spend a little time on eHam reading product reviews. This is in my opinion a great example of “open source” information and eHam is to be commended for providing the service. Much the same as at Amazon customers can write their own product reviews so you get to hear the good, the bad and the ugly about any number of amateur radio related items from people who are actually using them out in the real world. Oh, I'm sure now and again you get some biased opinions from someone who got a lemon or feels they were treated badly by the manufacturer of the product. Also you will have someone who writes a glowing review because his brother in law owns a shop that sells that brand. For the most part however those are easy to pick out especially when there are a large number of reviews.

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I have become a fan of Yaesu radios currently owning a VX-7R and an FT-2800M. I spoke with Gene at KJI Electronics earlier in the day out in New Jersey and he has convinced me to also look at Kenwood. I have it narrowed down to the Yaesu FT-7800R, FT-8800R or the equivalent Kenwood models. I own an Icom IC-2350H and like it a lot but I am not as impressed with Icom's current crop of VHF/UHF radios even though Icom has always been my first choice in the past. I won't be ordering until after the Fourth of July holiday so I have some time to ponder my decision and drool over the catalogs and web sites. It will also give me time to consider how far I can push my luck with the “secretary of finance” since she DID suggest that I buy another radio and look at HF through UHF mobiles like the FT-897D. You only live once right?

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New Yahoo discussion group for Westmoreland County 

K3SAM has started a Yahoo discussion group for the new Westmoreland County 800 mHz digital trunked radio system. For those of you that have followed his posting on Hamblog you are aware of the wealth of information there, so this group should be worth joining. Follow this link YAHOO GROUPS to find out more if you are not already registered and subscribed to one or more of the entries available on this site.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Sunday nights scanner net 

Well I just found out there was no scanner net this evening. Sorry about that folks! Joe, KR3P, and I are going to start alternating as net control station and I thought Joe was taking the net this evening. Even so I was going to check in and make a few comments. Turns out there was some event going on that Joe was participating in and he didn't get home until well after net time.

Now I know all of this because Linda heard Joe asking on 09 if we had a net and what all was said. I was preoccupied with trying to get some new devices hooked up and when I looked at the clock it was 09:30 PM and I grabbed the HT, switched on 09 and heard silence. So I just figured it was a short net this evening and I went back to the problem I was fighting at the time. Hope all of you had a very happy Father's Day and hope to hear you next week on the scanner net.

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