Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another key goes silent 

I am sad to report that the Pittsburgh area has lost another amateur radio operator.

William T. Keifner, N3XFE, died Wednesday, October 12, 2005 after a long
illness. Bill was a member of North Hills ARC, BreezeShooters and Salvation
Army SATERN team, he is survived by his wife Noreen, one son, and two

Funeral arrangements by the Thomas-Little Funeral Home,
5000 Noblestown Rd.,
Oakdale, PA, 15071,
phone 724-693-2800.

Visitation is Thursday, October 13, 2005 for 12-4 PM and 7-9 PM. Services
10 AM, Friday, October 13, 2005 at the funeral home.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SuSe version 10.0 is now available 

I have been using SuSe 9.3 for about six or eight months now and have been very happy with it. It is not completely without fault but all in all very stable and is the main operating system in my ham station at this time. I am typing this blog entry on an old Dell laptop loaded with 9.3 which is no barn burner where speed is concerned but I think is a little faster than using Windows XP. I will update to SuSe 10.0 soon based on the good things I am hearing about it. If you would like to read more on SuSe check out the story below.

From Tuxmachines.org "Do you waddle the waddle?"
About SUSE Linux 10.0

The long awaited SUSE Linux 10.0 was finally released Thursday, October 6 as planned and listed in the roadmap. I don't know how many downloads they've clocked as of yet, but within minutes of the story breaking the OpenSUSE site and it's download mirrors had slowed to a crawl. There is a lot of interest in this release as evidenced by the large number of reads of my articles during the development cycle. The whole world was excited as I by Novell's decision to provide a free very close sibling to their enterprise product under the gpl and organizing a team to develop it. Up until that point SUSE interested me about as much as going to the dentist. They have my attention now!

Follow this link for the complete story.

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Police Call King Calls It Quits 

From Wired News :

02:00 AM Oct. 11, 2005 PT
It was the best day amid the worst years of Gene Hughes' life. He was 13 years old and seeking escape from the loneliness of a Los Angeles foster home by playing with an AM radio his uncle had mailed him. Tuning around the dial, he picked up something different from the dance hall music and campy radio dramas that normally spilled from the tinny speaker -- something unexpectedly genuine. "I suddenly heard strange voices, women broadcasting addresses and numeric codes," he recalls.
He quickly figured out that he'd somehow tuned into Los Angeles Police Department dispatchers crisply directing the city's black-and-white police cars to real robberies, domestic disturbances and traffic accidents throughout the City of Angels.

Follow this link for the complete article at Wired News.

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Monday, October 10, 2005

The 34th Pittsburgh SBE Regional Broadcast Expo 

The 34th Pittsburgh SBE Regional Broadcast Expo

Coming Thursday October 20

Location Pittsburgh Radisson Hotel - Greentree, PA 101 Radisson Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15205

"Riding the Explosion"

10,000 square feet of radio, television, video and audio equipment and accessories for you to see, try out and ask questions about. Technical Papers and Exhibits are all Free! And you don't have to travel across the country to get to it

Follow this LINK for their web site with additional details.

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Getting a rig repaired 

I had an email today from a local ham who was looking for somewhere to get a rig repaired. Those who are old enough will remember the glory days of amateur radio in Pittsburgh when there were three large distributors of ham equipment in the Pittsburgh area. I was in sixth and seventh grades in school then and loved going down to one of those stores and looking at the rows of Halllicrafters, National, Hammarlund, E.F. Johnson and R. L. Drake equipment. And then there was always the Collins S Line. Even then I could walk up, turn the tuning knob and feel the smoothness of the other controls on the Collins gear and without being told you knew that you were touching equipment that was of the highest quality that would last for decades if not a lifetime.

Then you could stop by Olsen's Electronics and look at the six and ten meter transceivers and general coverage receivers that they sold which were actually in your price range. While there you picked up a few parts for the latest project that you were building and the latest catalog so you could continue to build your “wish list” once back home. If you had time and were making the rounds you stopped in at Lafayette Radio and Electronics which was very similar to Olsen's just a little upscale. They sold more high end audio equipment but also had a line of amateur radio gear some of which was only available through the catalog.

Sad to say those days are long gone and Pittsburgh currently has no major amateur radio store in town. What we do have is Whiteside Electronics. Located on Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills Jack has been in business much longer than I care to remember and in my amateur radio careerer has changed locations only once. He used to be located in a much smaller building on Fransktown Road next to a new car dealer. I believe that building now houses equipment for a cell site. Anyway, Jack does equipment repair and sells new and used equipment. I haven't been up to see him in quite a while so I can't tell you what he currently has on the shelves but if you stop in tell him I said “Hello” and that I mentioned him on my blog.

Whiteside Electronics
6415 Saltsburg Road
Penn Hills, PA 15235-2071
Phone: (412)793-6667

While on the subject this is a question that comes up every so often. I know there are a number of hams out there that will do equipment repair as a sideline and have the needed test gear for the job. If you know of such a person drop me a note and perhaps we can get a list compiled of local resources when someone is looking for this type of service. If you know of some one that would like to be listed send me their contact information in EMAIL.

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