Here is some of the golf ball sized hail that started coming down at the house!
Got my new dual 24in widescreen monitors this year!!
Tomorrow morning my family and I will be heading to Orlando so I can attend the DevConnections Developer Conference being held next week.
We are going down a few days early so we can site see and maybe go to Disney World or Sea World.
Keep an eye out I’ll probably have some pictures and maybe some video to post after we get back!
I will be posting travel/trip/conference news in real time, so if you follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook freind that’s where you’ll get the most up to date info!
January 21st 2009 marked my 10 years in Amateur Radio!
I wanted to post this then but it’s been very busy.
I can’t believe it’s flown by already. My interest in Amateur Radio started years before. I had got a police scanner for Christmas one year. Before I had a list of stuff to program i hit search just to see what i could hear. The first thing it picked up was the 145.350 KX4I repeater in Tuscaloosa, of coarse at the time i had not clue what it was. I just hear people chit chatting on there. Over the next few months i continued to listen and learned quite a bit from the hams that talked on that repeater.
I found other repeaters to listen to over time time and had a great time. I also found out I had a relative who was a Ham and I got up with him to find out more about the hobby. Leland Hartley WR4O, came to visit and he showed me his 2 meter radio. He had a custom mic on it that was a an old style Telephone handle that had a PTT on the hand grip. I was fascinated.
I still didn’t get my license right away. I don’t really remember any specific reason that made me start wanting my license after so many years of listening.
It wasn’t until I had completed a year of college. I had just finished a fall semester of 1998 and was going to have a few weeks off when I started studying for the Technician (entry level) class. At the time there were 6 license classes. A month later after talking with some other Radio operators I was ready to take the test. One Friday night the Tuscaloosa Amateur Radio club was giving a test session so I drove up to some church just before the Northport bridge on HWY 69. I got to meet some of the Hams that I heard on my scanner over the past few years. The test was easy because i was really prepared! I think I only missed one or two questions. Over the next week I checked qrz.com to see if my license had been granted. I don’t remember exactly when but it finally showed up and my callsign was KG4BQK. I ended up getting a mobile radio the Yaesu FT-2500M which I’m still using but for APRS now. I had a lot of fun programming in the repeaters i used to listen to and getting to finally join in on what everyone was talking about. One of my favorite things to do was check into the AICN link net. At this time the AICN was a link system that covered the entire state of Alabama. The system is no longer around at least in that form.
When I graduated college in 2001 and was on a 5 month job search, I took the opportunity to upgrade. The license classes had changed so now there were only 3 licence classes. I got my General and Extra almost back to back. Studying for 5 WPM morse code was a difficult thing for me. I was very opposed to having to know such an archaic means of communication just to get a higher license class. What funny is once i got into it i really enjoyed morse code. I easily passed the code portion and the question pools weren’t that difficult either. I got a yaesu FT-100D for HF communications. At a ham fest I got a paddle and I used CW a few times on the air. I ended up applying for my current callsign KV4S because I wanted a short callsign to reflect all my hard work!
The rest is history! The next couple years i got interested in SKYWARN and now I’m active with the ALERT group in Birmingham. They assist the National Weather Service in getting storm reports from spotters in the field.
Russell Thomas, KV4S
In the recent months Iâ€™ve noticed an Amateur Radio explosion on the Internet. Itâ€™s not the same as weâ€™ve seen before with the QRZ forums or eHam.net or even Echolink. Those are great services and are still around today, but new sites like Twitter.com, 73s.org, HamBrief.tv are on the forefront of this new interactivity.
Twitter.com is a free â€œsocial networkingâ€ and â€œmicro-bloggingâ€ service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Some even call it â€œmicro-messagingâ€ which is more the way I think of it.
Based on â€œFollowingâ€ principle, you follow people you know or find interesting and then people follow you.
1. keep up with friends
2. news aggregation/discovery
3. blog integration
4. Conversations; with the use of @ followed by user name.
How you interact:
3. Mobile (Web/Clients)
Web is where it began, use the web to create your account customize your profile page. Use it to keep up with your friends.
Desktop clients bring you Twitter as a program you install on your pc.
Twitter clients, there are more twitter clients out there than you can shake a stick at. I personally think TweetDeck is the best out there. Has follower grouping,Â easily see your replies and direct messages in separate columns, TwitScoop so you can see common words all users are talking about (great way to see breaking news), and even a custom twitter search column.
Similar to the Desktop if you have a smartphone you can get on twitterâ€™s mobile website or install Twitter clients. Some of the better mobile clients have a nice feature that I donâ€™t see on desktop apps and that is that you start with your last update and move through the timeline instead of having to find your last update and going from there.
From your twitter profile you can configure twitter to interact with your cell phone via SMS.Â I usually enable this for very important people I follow! Using 40404 you can post updates to twitter via sms.
73s.org created by a fellow Ham Chris Matthieu, N7ICE.
Hams can create an account, customize a profile.
1. You can post status updates (short like twitter).
2. Blog post
3. QSO log entries
5. Post videoâ€™s
6. Built in forum
HamBrief.tv created by fellow Ham Chris Matthieu, N7ICE.
Chris host a short Web program about various topics on Amateur Radio. Sometimes he gets demo radios from manufactures that he un-boxes and shows on this site.
Thatâ€™s it (at least all I can ramble on about).
I hope to demo some of this at the next ALERT meeting hope to see you there!
Russell Thomas, KV4S
Thanks to Twitter I have 2 more sites to add to the list:
Both sites appear to give you blogs, classifieds, photo’s, events, and polls ect.
Since I just heard about them. I don’t have many details. As I work with the site I’ll post more details.