Monday, February 25, 2008


At the prompting of some church associates, I have launched into yet another Internet domain: This is a "social networking" site, made popular as a gathering place for young people, typically of university age.

There appears to be room for some of us senior citizens, too. There are groups for amateur radio, politics, religion, and other areas of life.

Yale Alumni and student hams: Note that we have a W1YU Group. (You will need to be a member of the "Yale Network" to join. For that you will need a * email address, which alumni can get from the AYA:, specifically, here.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse, 2008

It's not ham radio, but it's a once in a few years opportunity. The clouds that earlier threatened our viewing here in Connecticut finally cleared away to reveal the total eclipse. Temperature was 25 F, pretty cold on a clear night! So here's my shot from about 10:30 PM EST, about the center of totality: (Click for full resolution!)

That was on a tripod of course. Before that, I tried hand-held. Interesting, but not great art:

Both taken with a Nikon CoolPix 8700, 8 Mpel, 4 second exposure, "fine" resolution. 71.2 mm focal length, f/4.2. Again, if you click on the photo, you should be rewarded with a higher resolution view.

Monday, February 18, 2008

QRZPY - A program for access

Here's an old-fashioned (CLI-based!) but useful Python program that lets you create mailing labels and examine and dump records from the XML database. ( account required.)

The program is developed for Linux and other Unix-like environments, but could readily be adapted for other operating systems.

For mailing labels, qrzpy supports 3 x 10 standard stick-on label stock for your LaserWriter or other printer. Alas, the address data may sometimes overflow the space available (see photo), but such exceptions are reported to the user.

Like most of my Python adventures, it's about the journey of discovering how to do things and perhaps to help others figure out Python programming -- as much as it is the final product.

See my software page for further details.