After trying to blog all my projects, interests, thoughts and ideas yet constantly running out of time, I am going to stop blogging. I will use this excellent Atom based server for something else online and let the people at archive.org keep the amiga600.net blog immortalised. A static site of info, requiring less maintenance and suchlike might be something I will consider.
Right now, life for me is chaotic and I am constantly feeling rushed and under pressure. The decision not to blog has lifted some of the pressure, however small as I try to streamline my life before modern living gets the better of me.
Thanks for reading! I will do something else with this domain and server soon – more than likely research and/or testing.
I am really pleased with how the Trustpilot reviews have been going for Buyaparcel. We have all been working hard to make customer satisfaction a top priority so we can achieve repeat custom and spread confidence around the Internet that our service is second to none. So far, we are top of the Tools, Garden and Bathroom subcategories and we are 2nd in the main category, Home and Garden. We are not content with that, we are determined to be the best. In 2012 we are improving our physical and IT systems further and we are confident we will be a household name for Tools, Plumbing, Gardening, Bathroom Gifts and anything for the home. If you want to take a look at our progress so far, please check out our Trustpilot profile page here.
I like to use YouTube as a huge music player and I used to try and avoid the official videos because of all the adverts. Now I see even the unofficial uploads have adverts! Technically a lot of the videos could be removed by the copyright holder and whilst I don’t believe that is in anyone’s interest, I think it is a real cheek monetising your YouTube account if you have content on there that is so obviously not yours and at the same time is likely to get you lots of ad clicks through the thousands, sometimes millions of hits to the popular videos. The copyright holders should certainly come for those people for all the lost advertising clicks!
I don’t want to see music taken off YouTube, but I think people who upload it should go under the radar a little bit and don’t be so sneaky trying to earn a few bucks from someone else’s hard work.
I have modified my Yaesu FT-817, replacing the stock 2.2KHz Murata ceramic filter with a Collins 2.3KHz mechanical filter.I did this so I could use a better filter on SSB but still allowing me to use the Yaesu YF-122C CW filter in the optional filter slot.
The better noise shape and punchy selectivity is immediately noticeable when you turn the radio on after fitting the mechanical filter. According to the report I read on the W4RT site, the filter is also advantageous in transmit, effectively adding a few dB to the signal without touching the radio’s output power, although I haven’t proved that for myself.
I did all I could to ensure no internal interference was created when using fly leads to get from the 817′s main PCB to the Collins filter, such as keeping them as short as possible and creating some screening from copper wire strands and insulation tape, and it seems to have worked – with the antenna unplugged I am not picking up any unwanted noise caused by RF pick-up from within the chassis.
Care has to be taken to do this mod, as there are lots of tiny SMDs right next to where you need to remove/replace the filter. This mod is reversible simply by de-soldering the fly leads and refitting the Murata CFJ455K ceramic filter. For those who prefer something a little more polished, W4RT do a One Board Filter (OBF) solution which is a little daughter board that houses both the SSB and CW filters – although some delicate work is needed with this solution too. If you are not sure, ask your dealer if they fit – W4RT electronics themselves do offer a fitting service.
It seems to me that politicians (the incumbent governments) in the developed world over burden themselves with issues that should fall beyond their remit. When we are in recession or at least there are problems with the economy, we seem to expect our governments to find us a solution to this.
I am not sure that’s what they are there to do. As I see it, political establishments should collect taxes to pay directly or indirectly into public services such as roads, healthcare, welfare state, policing, defence and so on. If one sector is not performing such as finance, tourism or energy, then why should the politicians be propping up companies or trying to use taxpayer money to help something that isn’t in the public domain.
If individual’s savings are at stake from a doomed bank or a failing power company would put lives at risk when the lights “go out”, then perhaps public services and what is offered by government needs re-evaluating. Banks with no risk run by government – but perhaps not as rewarding a package as with doing your banking with a private institution (a pay-off for the lower risk).
If unemployment is up and a country is borrowing to support the welfare state on one side and the ailing industry or industries on the other, all of a sudden public services are compromised. The effect occurring now or in the future when the deficit must eventually be cut. Would it not be better to offer a level of public services based on a political party’s manifesto assurances and do no more, no less – unless the people vote for more to be paid in to get more out? It may seem a cruel and sterile way of looking at the public sector – but like all financial systems, you have to pay for what you have bought eventually, so why borrow today only to have to pay back tomorrow?
Governments with no more borrowing – an interesting thought.
Continuing on the holiday theme from my last post, I want to raise an issue that I think should be of concern to a good many people. Whilst in Cyprus recently, I stayed in a very nice hotel and just paid for breakfast as I wanted to explore different foods and different establishments to offer these delights. My thinking being, if the hotel food wasn’t good, I wouldn’t have pre-paid for it and feel obliged to eat the food for the remainder of the holiday – or pay more money to eat elsewhere.
This I thought was sensible – although I noticed fairly quickly that others staying at the hotel were certainly all inclusive and would stay in the confines of the hotel grounds for much or all of their holiday. Not for me and my partner, so each lunch and dinner time we would go out looking for something new to try. When we looked around we did see a number of food and drink businesses that were boarded up, or in any case certainly not open. When discussing this with some of the still open businesses, I assumed it was a sign of the state of the economy, but this is not the whole picture – I was told that the major factor of the struggle to stay afloat (with some already drowned) was the all inclusive deals that are now encouraging people to only eat at their hotel.
Being the capitalist, I could of course think “so what, its survival of the fittest”, and all the other management speak clichés. But what if all these small businesses closed down? What would happen to the area around the hotels? There would be an ugly, unkempt area which will make the hotels not a nice place to stay because of the lack of investment and maintenance around it. I am sure no one wants that. From searching the Internet on this issue, I find it is not just Cyprus but other destinations that rely on tourism. Dialogue between the travel companies, the hotels, these hard working restaurants and bars and their governments needs to be established to bring back some equilibrium before the situation deteriorates further, which would not benefit any party involved.
I am sure all inclusive is of much benefit to lots of people, especially families who don’t want to have runaway or unknown costs added to their holiday or have all the fun and excitement needed in the resort complex. As such I can’t see the tour operators abolishing the all inclusive package any time soon, but I did have an idea that could encourage some balance back into this market. How about instead of the all inclusive meals only being available at the hotel restaurant, how about giving people vouchers when they book their all inclusive holiday for each of the qualifying meals? When mealtime arrives, they can choose to eat at the hotel, or they can venture out and use the vouchers for that days’ breakfast, lunch or dinner at any participating establishment. The outlets who take part in this scheme can offer an all inclusive scheme menu if their standard menu has meals that exceed the face value of the vouchers – redeemed by the business from the issuing travel agent.
The situation as it is today is an appalling state of affairs and, as little as I can do personally, I am going to send a letter to the major UK package holiday companies with this information, imploring them to take action before it’s too late. If you also think this situation is a travesty, please kindly do the same.
I was recently on holiday. When visiting a new place it is easy to stay in, eat at or visit a really horrid place if you have not been before. You might ask friends or relatives who have been previously, but this is not always possible if you don’t know someone who has been where you are planning to go (or they don’t share your tastes/budget). So, like so many things in modern life, we can turn to the Internet. Sites like TripAdvisor, reviews on travel company sites and blogs etc. are all tools in the arsenal of picking high quality, good value or interesting places when away.
Use these tools and you will have a better holiday than chance would have, do no research and prepare to be caught out!
To all shams, scams and lazy establishments, be it hotels, restaurants or attractions; no longer are you free to quietly rip people off at best and at worst, endanger their well-being. The outspoken traveller will bring you down – I certainly spent my hard-earned cash in places my fellow wanderers gave rave reviews to, and avoided the nasties like the plague.
I don’t own one but I hear it on good authority if you own an iPhone, there is no way to change the message tone, as standard – i.e. you need to download something, or “jailbreak” the phone. Given that Apple are pretty cute when it comes to these gizmos and they are on their 4th incarnation, I cannot believe a basic phone function such as customisable SMS tones has been left out of the features list unintentionally.
Have you ever seen the film the Lawnmower man? When Jobe downloads his brain into the information superhighway, his birth cry was the sound of every telephone on the planet ringing – perhaps Steve Jobs saw this and thought he needed to do something similar. If the message tone was customisable “easy-peasy” no doubt the majority of people would change theirs and so when out-and-about, the people wouldn’t know it was an iPhone from any other smartphone.
Of course it could be they just didn’t think it was important to the users – by a quick crawl of the forums – it is!
I recently purchased a Yaesu FTDX-9000D radio and the matching SP-9000 speaker (currently testing it for a review later). The radio is obviously a considerable investment, and not being used for most of its life (unfortunately!), I needed something to protect it from dust and any minor shack based incident.
I dismissed the idea of an old sheet or a plastic bag rather quickly. I want the shack to look the business – when in use or not. So I took to the Internet, as I was sure someone must make something more purpose made. I was not disappointed.
Searching for radio dust covers, the first result unsurprisingly was www.radiodustcovers.com a website owned by Stan W6ON. The site showed previous work, and looking at the price of them, they were excellent value. I emailed Stan who was away taking a hard earned break but he told me if I placed my order he would get onto making and sending my covers on his return. So, after discussing what colour I wanted, I placed the order.
Well, I have to say the service was amazing! Even though Stan happened to be away when I initially placed the order and he’s in the USA, I’m in the UK, the delivery was within a few weeks! If I had caught Stan on a normal week and lived in America, I am sure it would have been a matter of days.
The quality of these dust covers is amazing. They fit like a glove and the embroidered logo is exceptionally sharp and bright. The material and stitching is reassuring to the feel and I can tell these covers will be around as long as the equipment it protects. To confirm my opinion, at the time of writing there are 149 reviews going back to 2003. Every single one gives a glowing 5 out of 5 and mentions great communication, fast delivery and superb products. If you want to take care of your ham radio equipment I would certainly check out radiodustcovers.com
Check out my Photo Album for shack photos.