April 2005


Ham Radio26 Apr 2005 10:48 am

To introduce a new category, I present a post on an oft-discussed facet of amateur radio: EchoLink.

I overheard someone at work the other day mentioning how neat it is and how it can be a good way to get young people interested in ham radio. The way he described it sounds exactly like the instant messengers I’ve been using for, oh, 7 years now? As a young person, if someone used that to try to get me interested in ham radio, I’d probably tell them that I’m already using something that doesn’t require me to take a test and get a license to use and that all my friends are using already. EchoLink is cool in principle, but the method some people are using to promote it just doesn’t seem to hold much value to me.

So you want to get kids interested in ham radio, but you’re going to mention to them something that’s very very similar to something they’ve already been using for a while? Give me a break. Show them something that’s really cool(TM) and that would grab their interest and not let it go. Sadly, I don’t think EchoLink is going to do that. An IRLP-equipped repeater, however, might. If I tell someone I can talk to someone on the other side of the world with my handheld through the local repeater, they might go “Cool!” and inquire a little further into it. But if I tell them that I can use my computer to talk to the same person without using a radio at all, well, it just doesn’t hold the same kind of impact, as they’ve probably been doing that for a while already.

But, of course, why just limit these VoIP-based ham solutions to the method to get a kid to “catch the bug.” Why not use HF like has been done before? When I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot talking to someone in Russia using nothing more than 100W and a relatively inefficient antenna… well, that’s just undeniably cool.

So you want to get kids involved in ham radio? Stop trying to merge it with the ‘net and mimic their beloved IM and actually do something. After all, you can do voice (and even video!) chat in AIM now. So what’s the big deal with EchoLink?

Don’t even get me started on the attitudes a lot of the “elder statesmen” of ham radio have with regards to kids getting involved in the hobby. I don’t know about you, but if some old fart told me to get off “his” repeater because I was born 5 seconds after him, well, I’d probably be left with a really bad taste in my mouth about ham radio. For the record, I’ve met some young hams who are far and away more knowledgable and active in the hobby than the previously mentioned “elder statesmen” who do nothing but sit around all day on their favorite frequency and talk about their gallstones and other afflictions. I don’t know, but that’s not interesting at all to me. But, it’s not my problem.

And people wonder why I don’t get on the air much… >_>

Embedded16 Apr 2005 01:13 am

Would someone like to explain to me how PalmOne’s new Tungsten E2 got by me? Really, I’m satisfied with the Treo, but wow that thing looks cool. Now if it only had a thumb-board instead of Graffiti 2. Then I might sell my Treo and get one.

But, for now. I sleep. (z_z).。o○zzz…

Site Updates15 Apr 2005 09:26 pm

Well, in addition to having to rip the hotswap enclosure out, the mobo on the server died. So I had to replace that tonight. Fun times indeed.

Server (and all hosted sites) is back up. That is all.

Anime10 Apr 2005 03:47 pm

So a couple of new anime series started this weekend: Speed Grapher and Tsubasa Chronicle.

First up is Speed Grapher. It’s… interesting, to say the least. It’s about a photographer and takes place in modern-day Tokyo (at least from what I can tell so far). That’s all I really know so far, as I couldn’t make it through the raw entirely (Koyasu Takehito as a character that looks like Voldo is disturbing in itself @_@).

Moving right along to Tsubasa Chronicle. It’s another massive crossover from CLAMP (the main characters are redone versions of Sakura and Syaoran from Cardcaptor Sakura, probably around 16 as opposed to grade-school) and seems to be pretty decent so far. I really dig the opening song, the single of which is coming out on my birthday, so I might add that to my existing CDJapan order. The ending song is a Maaya song, so it gets the thumbs-up by default. Kajiura Yuki is doing the soundtrack for the series, so we’re in for a good soundtrack, if anything. The only really thing I don’t like about the series so far is that they didn’t get the original voice actors for their roles (Tange Sakura isn’t playing Sakura, etc), so it kinda messes with me. But I’m sure I’ll get used to it over time.

And we now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Personal06 Apr 2005 03:13 pm

I went to KFC for lunch today and found something wonderful.

The Mega Jug, their really really huge size drink. For comparison, here’s it next to a 16-oz drink cup from QuikTrip.

It’s a half gallon. And only $0.10 more than the large, and about twice the size!
And it’s got a handle!

Personal06 Apr 2005 01:58 am

So, it would seem that I got linked for my post about MomoCon the other day. Very cool. A big どぞよろしく~ to the people that found me through that link. Very cool stuff, this blogging.

Gaming06 Apr 2005 01:07 am

So, yeah. I’m sure anyone who’s so much as seen the FFXI boards over at Allakhazam, or knows someone who has, has seen in a post or been linked this URL: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~dokihara/meetingagain-en.swf. It’s a Flash animation from the viewpoint of a Japanese player who’d played the game from the first release in Japan, back in 2002. It details the story of his closely-knit group of friends and the LS they started from an impromptu set party in Valkurm Dunes. Now, I know this probably means nothing to people who don’t play FFXI or play it but not at the level I did (not player level, but… I’m not sure how to describe it… probably how much your LS meant to you?), but I think it finally hit me tonight after I rewatched it for the Nth time.

I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes realizing what I literally threw away because of a huge misunderstanding a month or so ago. I’m not sure what brought this on… probably that the linkshell’s site is starting to show signs of activity again, even if it’s just one person. Although I spent the last month happier because I quit in a fuss of huge frustration (both in-game and offline), right now I wonder if I should have quit to begin with… the LS I was in is mostly down to just me, as it seems everyone’s either moved on to a new LS or quit. Now, I know several people in the LS that I was friends with (and/or looked up to very highly) are returning soonish, I can’t be sure how much time I can devote to the game right now, what with this new job and all. Although I’m sure things will start settling down soon, and I hope the FFXI Windower gets back to where it was before (i.e. you don’t have to have the window in focus for the gamepad to work) so I can actually play it while working on other stuff in a second monitor (though real EXP parties will be left to the house where I can devote 100%, or as close as possible, of my attention to the game and the insanity that is Red Mage – EXP Party Mode), I’ll probably just play on the weekends (if that… looks like Sunday might be FFXI Day for me for a bit). Which will be fine for me… I think.

Anyway… as I was saying, the Flash I linked there details the story of the player… thing is, his LS fell apart too. I’m not going to go into great detail, as it really needs to be watched to get the emotion behind it. I guess my story as a player is that I’ve been playing the game for over a year and the highest level I’ve attained is 42 on my Red Mage, and a lot of that was me being incredibly lazy and trying out various ways to make money in the game and whatnot. I sit with about 30,000 gil to my name and 700 XP from RDM43. I know, I know, I’m sure someone out there is saying “Josh, just throw your seek flag up during NA primetime and you’ll get a party,” but I don’t want that. I don’t want that until I can be sure I can play the job again the way it was supposed to, not to mention that I don’t have enough for even 2 of the “needed” spells for the run to RDM50 (which is my next goal, and I can use that to make loads of gil). So I’m trying the solo thing. And working fairly well with it. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the huge nukes, nor do I have a lot of really really high defense or +attack gear yet, so I’ve been kinda fighting near Jeuno zoneline instead of going off to solo some insane mob somewhere. Not that I could now anyway, but I think I proved my point. But, the real reason is that I’m waiting on a friend to get his Paladin up to PLD43 so we can XP together again. I suppose I can just try the crafting thing, or I’ll take up his offer to float me a loan for my scrolls until I can get up to 50…

But, then again, it’s not like I have a ton of time right now anyway. I’m going to try to make it home earlier the rest of the week (I miss seeing my parents in the evening… and I can only live off so much fast food before either a) money runs out, or b) I get violently ill from eating too much), so I might have some time to at least muck around with FFXI on the PS2 so I can work on stuff on the PC at the same time (basically doing the same as the dual-head setup, just not quite, hehe). I guess waiting for my PLD friend to catch up with me (his PLD is L37, where our mid-30s static left off when it died a premature death and I got impatient and XPed without them) will give me time to try my hand at some of the real money-making methods (actually leveling Smithing, maybe working on leveling Fishing, or just farming stuff with area nukes) instead of just slumming it like I basically have been for the last 42 levels on RDM and the few I have on other jobs.

And, there’s always the comedy “Level your sub, you lazy bastard” option of taking my Black Mage up to the same as my RDM and doing some Orb Battles for lots of cash. Of course, it’s L26, so I’m set until RDM52. But, of course, BLM is fun. Especially when you have one as trigger-happy as mine, hehe. Ah well. I’m sure I’ll manage one way or another.

Personal04 Apr 2005 02:36 pm

So, first day of the new job is going fairly well. Will update further tonight when done. Waiting for stuff to transfer ‘cross the network right now.

Hmm, seems like w.bloggar’s text-entry field doesn’t quite like the Japanese IME… Will have to mess with this later.

But, for now, back to work.

Personal03 Apr 2005 01:48 pm
Halberd
You preferred a weapon with 49% power over speed and 30% range over melee.
You use a Halberd.

Possibly the most versatile polearm ever made, the Halberd is an elegant mix of spear and staff, remaining relatively light while having an effective cutting edge and stabbing point. Your enemies will never get near you; your personal space will be as unreachable as a faraway land.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 68% on power
You scored higher than 38% on range

Link: The What’s Your Signature Weapon Test written by inurashii on Ok Cupid

Hmm. Maybe I should switch to DRG in FFXI after all. ;)

Personal02 Apr 2005 07:05 pm

Hmm. Seems like I can use hblogger on my Treo to post wirelessly over GPRS.

This definitely has potential.

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