Jim's GAZETTE #120


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Jim's GAZETTE
Newsletter #120
20 April 2002

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any and all interested
parties, or to reproduce it in
any publication. All we ask is that you give credit where it is due.

SHORT NOTES: We are sneaking up on the 1St Annual PSK31 KONTEST. This
monumental undertaking is sponsored by the Colorado QRP Club and runs
the six hours from 1900Z 11 May to 0100Z 12 May. The exchange is not exactly
straightforward. Call is 'CQ PSKontest de <callsign> Pse K. The answer
is RST, state/province/country, first name, CQC membership number OR power
output, rig. Score 2 points for a CQC member, 1 point for others.
Total=QSO points times states/provinces/countries times number of first names
(count one for each letter of the alphabet-26 max). Have fun and go to
www.cqc.org/contests/psk3102.htm for more details.

For those who may have made the contact, the complete VP6DI log is now
posted. Find it at www.iijnet.or.jp/ja1bk/vp6di/search.html. Late word
informs
us that the site has been hacked and the database destroyed. Worry not! Only
the database on the website has been lost and the information is safe and
sound and will soon be available on line.

'Insurance' contacts remain a DX fact of life. They also remain controversial
simply because each such occasion removes one opportunity from a finite
number of potential contacts. And, all too often, it does seem the gal/guy
with the big power and antenna array makes the second contact while the
peanut
whistle, complete with dipole and 100 watts, struggles to make the first one
before the end of the show. True or not, it remains the popular scenario. Hi!
The CY0 group reported that 20% of all contacts from one particular country
were dupes. Bill K2NJ reports on a W8 call that works the same DX station
four times a day just to show the world he can do it! And, then goes on to
say, 'Somewhere in the middle ground between one and being a pig there is a
right number.'

From my observation post, if the DX stations dislike dupes so much, why don't
they let the software take care of the offenders? If N2HOS works a
DXpedition today on 20M and then tries again tomorrow in the same mode on the
same band, I can't believe that the operator is ignorant of the dupe.
Why not simply refuse to reply to my call? But that doesn't seem to happen.
Any comments?

In Mid-March, the FCC alerted me to the fact that, effective 12/31/01 I would
need to use CORES to communicate with them online. This includes logging
into ULS or ASR! CORES is the acronym for Commission Registration System, a
remarkably simple way to renew one's license. After several paragraphs
of other information and many references to a password, the letter finally
got to it on the second page. Security concerns meant that the password would
arrive in a second letter. One month later, no password. Time is not of the
essence for I renewed my license last August, but I would still like to have
the
magic word that allows me into their website inner workings. If you are going
to be up for renewal soon, better get your entry set up now!

Acronyms will be the death of me yet. In the last newsletter I referred to
the PMBO's of the world as the Pactor Mail Boxes, as listed in the ZS5S
monthly
summary. Life ain't that simple. Joost ZS5S pointed out the variations on the
theme. CMBO's are CLASSIC PACTOR MBO's, and they come in two
configurations. Some 'do,' and some 'don't'-accept Email traffic, that is.
Then, and only then, do we get to the PMBO's which form the Winlink-2000
Pactor
MBO list. All of these provide Radio-Email service. Understand? Thanks to
Joost for maintaining this complex list, and distributing it regularly.

I confess to all that the MAC has now wormed its way back into my life. My
first computer, way back in 1981 was a super powerful (128kb RAM) Apple II,
Plus. Weren't those floppy disks fun! Three years later, as I recall, the
MAC's entered the scene and I stood in line to get one of the first to arrive
in
Florida. I loved the look, feel and design of the MAC but, lo and behold,
none of my clients shared such a view. And there was no serious thought given
to
cross platform operation in those days. So, I switched in 1987, reluctantly,
but completely. (The lack of ham software for the MAC had a little something
to
do with it, as well).

The MAC notebooks caught my eye a year or so ago, but I was just a looker, a
tire kicker and had no intent to buy. Then came the iBook and I could resist
no longer. The new OS-X operating system (based on Unix) is something, I
said, that I must know about and use. If I don't, I said, my education would
be
sadly deficient. Can't have that! The XYL understood. Hi!

The machine arrived, packaged like a jewel from Tiffany's. After an hour or
so of playing around, sampling the menu's, of being surprised at the amount
and variety of software included in the package, and pleased with the website
and their impressive real-time support, I finally closed it. But, as I did, I
began to realize what was going on here. It was the appeal of MAC's
'non-Microsoftness' nudging me into liking the iBook a lot! Oh, yes, you can
buy MS
Office for the MAC, but it's not necessary. Apple Works converts the MS Word
and Excel files. And, if I want I can run Virtual Windows, or network with
them. MAC already shares the Router from the Internet connection, can
exchange files via Email or Zip disks, and perform most every task as a
stand-alone, all without any help from MS! I really do appreciate the
freedom.

Now, if I can stumble on some MAC soundcard software for PSK31 and so forth,
the invasion of the MAC might be more complete. Perhaps you are a MAC
user or know of one who has found the required stuff. Please drop me a note!

Don AA5AU earned his stripes the other day. The ARRL informed him of not one
but two incredible events in a single letter. They casually mentioned that
he had made the Honor Roll on CW (who cares?) and, oh yes, on RTTY as well!
Gee, Don, has that ever happened before?

Don recited the RTTY facts: the first contact was made 18 years and 7 months
ago with EA7BBK. The last on February 21, 2002 logged PW0T. While this
is a major achievement, I hasten to note that Don only rates 9th place in the
GAZETTE rankings. How could that be? Well, the GAZETTE operates under a
unique set of rules. Every country ever worked counts and can't be removed
from the total. Thus, N3UN and W5ZPA sit there with a league-leading score
of 335! Don a mere 328. Hi! (But it sure beats the devil out of my 225!).

Seriously, we offer congratulations to Don who does much for this hobby of
ours and deserves every bit of the applause heard around the RTTY circuit.
Maybe, just maybe, he can now get more into duck hunting! Maybe he can find
time for a little bit of RTTY contesting. Nah, that'll never happen because
duck hunting is too much fun.

73 de Jim N2HOS

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