Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On Older Rigs

Recently, I had a QSO with GP0STH, Ron, on Guernsey Island. Nice to have that new country! He gave me an unsolicited "great audio" report. Now, that was interesting...

I had just resuscitated my 30 year old Kenwood TS-520S to see how well the old rig was running. The Orion was sitting quietly on my desk.

The funny thing is that the Orion is well-known for great audio, and my Kenwood and its stock MC-50 microphone is not. But the Kenwood is the one that got that report. And its market value is about 1/15th of the Orion's!

Of course the Orion Rx is a lot better in difficult conditions, but on that day on that band (20 M), the '520 got the credit.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Among the kernel developers

Along with a number of other Linux users, I noticed that my Keyspan 49W 4-port USB serial converter stopped working when Fedora Core 5 updated to kernel version 2.6.18 late last October. Ever since then, I have not been able to update to the latest kernels. So, I reported the bug to Fedora's bugzilla (#21300), and sat back to see what would happen.

The bug percolated through the Fedora and Linux kernel support channels. At the end of December, I got word that the bug was probably found and a patch was put out for testing and inclusion into the Linux kernel. (I realize that if I really needed to use the latest kernels, I could apply the patch and compile driver for myself, but the fact is I don't need it that badly.)

Now it's March, and the patch has still not found its way into the mainstream kernel, as far as I can tell. I did not know what to expect from the process, but it does seem that progress is being made.

This post is really about my latest interesting discovery on this subject: a colloquy among the kernel guys about the progress of the patch. It gives a little insight to how things happen in the kernel world.

I do appreciate that people are working on "my" problem!

[Note added 3/16/07. The latest Fedora update included kernel 2.6.20-1.2300.fc5, which seems to incorporate the Keyspan patch.]