24 Feb 2011

Return of Linux

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I have been Missing my Linux badly, after all I had been using it 100% over the previous 4 years and my experience with it had been very good, I am a USER not a programmer and yes there was a bit of a learning curve but I had previously "Dabbled" with it in the 90's - all down to Rob G3RCE who introduced me to "Packet Radio" and of course computing, those were pioneering days with the Computer/Radio Fusion, sadly the whole AX25 Packet network collapsed round these parts and for a brief time I was using Linux to forward onto the TCP/IP network, but that too became unreliable ( some stations would drop out periodically or go qrt)  so  for me the Linux seed had been well and truely sown and did run it again in 2000.
So - I have decided to re-install, this time on a USB drive, the reason being - I can keep my existing Win7 (Happily appears quite stable) so why break it...  and also I'll be able to boot the new Laptop (When I get it)  or should I say "Netbook".
I remembered getting into a discussion with one of those "Tekkie" guys at one of the high street retailers here in the UK and he mentioned about a program called UNETBOOTIN which is basically an installer, It's quite clever - It gives you a selection of the Linux images (or distro's) from which to choose, you then select which version you want, it then connects direct to the download site - downloads the image and then asks you to insert your usb drive (if it's not already) Formats it (WARNING: BE CAREFUL HERE - DONT NUKE YOUR C:\ DRIVE) I've been there !  then asks for confirmation of installation to this drive (Double Check). . . .! Done.
The installation went quite quickly without hitch, and my main machine booted up from the usb drive first time (After making the necessary adjustments in the Bios)   Great . . Linux Ubuntu 10.10  it was good to have it running again and from the usb drive its still faster than Win7, Boots faster - closes much much quicker, Firefox is quicker, it responds quicker and has that familiar "Feel", I love it and some of those everyday editors and note-takers are still available (And free), no licensing issues - Fantastic ! I am a very happy Bunny today and cannot wait to try it out on the Netbook I've not decided on yet  ;-)
By the way here's the Link to unetbootin


Screenshot_003 Feb. 24, 2011 06.30

16 Feb 2011

Let the Action begin?

I have been totally “Inactive” for the last four or five days, I have had other business to attend to during this week, I also had big plans to start working my way through some old family photo’s and start scanning and cataloguing those only to find my Epson 3940 scanner had died (how thoughtless!) I tried most everything to get something out of it but was only getting a blur, if at all – so had to rush out and get a new scanner, to be honest I dont use it THAT much but it’s one of those handy things to have (More on that another time).

The aging laptop showed further signs of losing it when the mousepad started behaving erratically (Cursor kept pnging back to lower left or right hand corner of the screen – as if on elastic)  It was about to hit the Bit Bucket when I had a moments inspiration, lets see if another live Linux distro might work – (Enter Mepis – Antix 8.5)  It worked AND it detected the PCMIA card right out of the box – AND an added bonus its quicker than Ubuntu Xfce   It runs IceWM/Rox window manager – not bad for a 12 yr old laptop.

To my main point – I was amazed last night, the first time I’d switched the radio on for a few days and logged in to find the Solar Flux had hit 113 (Highest since 2005)  and that there had been a Massive X Class flare – the strongest for 4 years apparently the source (Sunspot1158) IS still growing – maybe now we can expect elevated conditions – (Dont forget to check VHF as well)…?

As I said -  Let the Action Begin

Will be monitoring  -  Happy Listening.

4 Feb 2011

Operating procedures

Whilst we are on the subject of procedures and practices  I stumbled on a 68 page document that outlines “Just a Few” of them, whilst many of them are just plain common sense that one might apply daily anyway – there are many that quite a few of us might still learn from – I have to admit after quickly scanning through it I found some interesting points that prompted me to print it off to peruse at my leisure, still – worth a look though.
Its from the IARU “Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur! edition 3 June 2010
Link Here

On a lighter note, which type of CW operating style do you adopt when using a “Hand Pump"?”

Screenshot_002 Feb. 04, 2011 13.51
TAPPER                  -----   I could name a few others but not here Winking smile

Working “DX” should be fun


DX chasers Read-ME


Today I decided to have a full crack at some Wspr’ing on 20m, mainly inspired by Paul PC4T’s recent excellent results using his end fed – I have been very impressed with the results he seems to  have achieved  and always amazes me with his reports despite the very poor conditions of late – I have been watching the Solar Flux dropping daily and frequencies above 10Mhz have been sparsely populated and the higher bands have been closed after about 16:00.

So was very surprised to find I had been reported by the following  using the end fed up 10m with 5w.