Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dayton Debate

Interesting discussion about the Dayton Hamvention -- the awful state of the facilities vs the heroic work of the Dayton Area Club who put it on, etc. -- over at K9ZW's blog.

I went through the "shame how shabby the facilities are" phase last year, I think. This year, I was feeling more mellow. I enjoyed the whole experience.

There would be a lot to be said for moving to a "professional" conference center, as I understand they have at Friedrichshaven show. I was speaking with a German ham at Dayton, and asked him to compare with the German show. He said the physical side of things was much better, but that they did not have nearly the same attendance from vendors. And, of course it would be a lot more expensive to attend.

So maybe we need to hop over to DL-land next year.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Security on Debian & Ubuntu

Thanks to Ben N1WBV for a reminder to update SSH keys for Debian (and Ubuntu) Linux systems. This is a nasty bug, because lots of systems will be slow to get the word. It's not just a matter of updating files, as most bug fixes are. As I understand it, you have to regenerate your keys and even worry about keys stored in known_hosts files on destination systems.

For various reasons, I'm now running Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora systems (all flavors of Linux) at my location, along with a couple of instances of Windows XP. Some day (when I really retire), I think I should dump it all in favor of Mac OS...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fedora-Debian-iMac QSOs

Finally! My mother's old iMac has found a new life on my operating desk. After a number of false starts with Ubuntu and Fedora, I installed extra RAM and Debian's PowerPC Linux, which is now running as an X Terminal against my Fedora-based main computer. This allows me to see my logs and digimode displays on the same desk with the radio, making things a lot more convenient. As a Macintosh, the computer only ran MacOS 8.6, which was nearly unusable for modern Internet work.

I celebrated on 20 meters, working 3D2A (my first Fiji) and then K9QS/0 (the latter with 3.4 Watts output).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dayton, 2008

Lots of people report on the Dayton Hamvention. Why should I be different? I have a set of photos over on my Flickr area. That new SteppIR "Dream Beam" really dominated the Hamvention skyline!

Each year (this was my fourth), the experience has been different. Still the same masses of people, indoor vendors, flea market people, and seminars. People say that vendors and attendees have shrunk a bit. It wasn't obvious to me.

I like to "shop around" at different dinners and social occasions. This year, the ARRL reception was very good (for Diamond Club "gold" donors -- take the plunge!). I tried out the QCWA dinner -- good film about the Wright brothers, but not much amateur radio content. The food was disappointing. The next day was the Contest Dinner, which was something else again. I have stayed away from contesting activity, preferring the quieter type of QSO (I'm keen on SKN), but these folks were very interesting. I sat at a random table, full of folks who go to exotic places for the big contests. Lots of energy, spirited discussion. The food was a couple of notches better than the previous night, but it was definitely still for the steak & potatoes crowd. And I won a nice door prize. Maybe I'll check out some contests!

Photo troubles!

Some photos from earlier postings seem to have vanished. I hope I can sort this out quickly.

Update: Some photos from before 2007 got lost in a server shuffle. I think I've restored them all now. Blogger's photo archive is a lot easier to use than what I had in those old days -- having to put photos on a private server.

So no one reported this...?