ON5ZO in the R.A.I.N.

R.A.I.N. or Radio-Activity Is Nonexistent. That also means nothing to report here. I did my third and final presentation on the N1MM contest software yesterday. It was hosted by Belgium’s biggest club KTK. I didn’t do the headcount but I guess 20 is an acceptable ballpark figure. Which is about the same audience as the two previous evenings. Anyhow there are no other bookings and I plan to keep it that way. I have a new presentation coming up next week that is about contesting in general. But I think it’ll be “a one time only“ event.

The huge ON5ZO radio flame is only smouldering ashes for the moment. There is a lot of work in the garden I want to complete before the summer holidays. And there is also some real work to be done, the kind that pays the bills. Two weeks ago the WX was bad and I had some free time so I picked up the Big Project a/k/a UBA log checking software. Due to family circumstances the project was put to halt for about 4 months. I had to blow the dust of and find my way through the code again. I wrote some more routines, especially for cross checking a QSO between two logs. That seems to be working fine. Now I need to find a way to look for bad calls versus uniques and NIL. So the project will keep me busy for some more time. I knew in advance that it would take a long time to reach the goal and that even after that, the program will have to mature.

I also have some antenna pots boiling on the stove. I need to redo the 80/160m vertical in time for IARU in 3 weeks. What? Only 3 weeks left? Oh my! And I need to redo the 10/15/20 second antenna for SO2R. I hope to finish all this in due time. I have all parts ready but I need to put it all together.

There is another thing I’m working on. That is: find a new way to write blogs. I have been very happy with this free Windows Live Spaces blog for almost three years. But two weeks ago the service was down a couple of times without any communication. But what’s worse is that last week Microsoft took away a valuable service. They killed the statistics feature. That allowed me to see how many visitors read my writings and how they end up here. But from one day to the next, that feature was gone. It wasn’t announced before, it wasn’t announced afterwards. I did some googling and found that MANY users are not happy with this decision and the lack of communication about it. True: it’s a free service so I can’t complain. True: it’s Microsoft so we can expect just about anything. I have never been a member of the MS-bashers club but this time I am not amused. It got me wondering: what if they pull the plug on this free service? What if they start charging money? There isn’t even a way to export or save all the messages I posted here in the past. Google told me there are some ways but I couldn’t make them work. So I invested some time into a) trying to save all my postings and b) looking for a way to keep blogging but in an environment I control myself. It’ll cost me some, but so be it. But it’s another thing on the to do list that keeps me out of the shack.

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