Saturday, December 16, 2006

FCC to remove Morse Code requirement from amateur licenses 

Well the FCC dropped the bomb that everyone knew was coming. The Morse Code requirement will be dropped for all classes of amateur radio licenses in the United States. This will become effective thirty days from the time the report and order is published.

I'll have more to say on this topic latter but for now lets all take a moment and note a passing change in history.

Follow this link for the complete story.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Linux upgrade in the shack 

Well I have upgraded the main system in the ham shack to SuSe version 10.1 and I have to say that so far I am impressed. I have been trying out some other distributions of Linux over the last month or so and while all have impressed me SuSe is still my first choice.

I have installed and tested Ubuntu both the desk top and the server. This is a distribution that is gaining a lot of ground in the open source community at a very rapid pace. I did not use the server version as extensively as I did the desk top so I still have a lot to lean about it.

The other distribution that I have tried is Fedora Core 6 on both a laptop and a desktop. I found it somewhat more sluggish than either SuSe or Ubuntu. I think this was a result of the video drivers not being as good at those supplied with the other two. I like Fedora and got my feet wet in the Linux world with Red Hat starting about about version 5 and continuing on through version 9 at which point Red Hat forked went commercial with their Enterprise edition latter releasing the code to the open source community for the Fedora project which remain a completely free distribution.

I have come to the conclusion that “free” is not nearly as important as “reasonable” and stable. I purchased version 10.1 of SuSe although I could have downloaded it for free from the Open SuSe project web site. I recently set up a computer for a friend of the family using Open SuSe 10.1 and have no worries about licensing or upgrades or patches from Microsoft. The more I read about Vista, Microsoft's new version of Windows, the more I am convinced that they are going to force the industry and end users to move to Vista in the next few years and they are going to very stringent with licensing when they do. You will no longer be able to “borrow” a copy of Windows from work or your neighbor when you want to upgrade. Only time will prove this theory out though.

Until then I continue to enjoy the benefits of Linux in the ham shack and live with the few limitations that I have encountered with it. I'll let you know how I like 10.1 after I have had a chance to wring it out a little more.

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