10/20/13

Command & Control

Via: Uncrate

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If you’ve ever wondered about the lengths our government goes to keep us safe from the stockpile of nuclear weapons at its disposal, you owe it to yourself to check out Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety ($17). This hard-hitting bit of well-researched investigative journalism delves into the secretive world of America’s nuclear arsenal, exploring the risks of nuclear weapons, and the near miss of one almost-catastrophic accident. It reads like a taut political thriller, exploring the delicate balance between the use of these weapons of mass destruction to keep us safe, and the inherent conflict that arises from their very existence.

05/6/13

Why you should upgrade to General Class – by kb6nu.com

Re-posted from kb6nu.com

Why you should upgrade to General Class

While getting a Tech license is no small feat, one of the first things you should do as a Technician is to start studying for the General Class license. Oh, I can hear the complaints and excuses already. “I’m never going to get on HF, so why should I get my General?” “I only care about emcomm and public-service communications, so why should I bother?” “I just don’t have the time right now to study for the General Class exam.”

Well, if you ask me, all of that is just hooey. If you don’t upgrade to General (and steadfastly refuse to learn code), then it’s a certainty that you’ll never operate on the HF bands. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why deny yourself that capability before you even try it?

Similarly, saying that all you intend to do with your ham radio license is to participate with your local CERT or SkyWarn group is fine and dandy, but public-service and emergency communications do take place on HF as well as on VHF/UHF. Why limit your usefulness as an emergency communicator by not having HF privileges?

And, if you don’t have time now, when will you have time? It’s a matter of priorities, and while the material on the General Class exam is more difficult than the material on the Tech exam, it shouldn’t take you all that much more time to study for the General Class test than it did for the Technician Class test. Not only that, waiting is only going to make it that much harder to start studying again when you do decide to do it.

Resources

One excuse that you can’t make is that there aren’t any resource available. There are more than you could ever use. My favorite, of course, is The No-Nonsense General Class License Study Guide. It’s my favorite because I wrote it! A PDF version is available for free from my website. E-book versions are available for $7.99 from Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Another resource is the ARRL General Class License Manual. When you buy this book, you also get practice exam software. This Windows software allows you to take randomly-generated practice exams using questions from the actual examination question pool.

Also popular is the General Class Manual by Gordon West, WB6NOA. “Gordo,” as he is known in the ham world, has been around a long time and does a great job explaining the answers and highlighting keywords. This study is also available as anaudio book.

There are many more resources out there. To find them, simply Google “amateur radio general class license study guide.”

There really is no excuse not to upgrade. Once you do, you’ll be more knowledgeable about our great hobby, be a more effective communicator, and have a lot more fun with amateur radio.

05/26/12

The Kindle Touch…

kindle-touchFor years now I’ve been a pretty loyal Amazon customer, for good reason. Amazon.com is a very useful web-store. They have very reasonable prices, a lot of times better than in store prices. The Prime service Amazon has is great, and for me just keeps getting better. Basically it’s like a VIP card for Amazon. You will get $3.99 next day shipping and free 2-day shipping on any products in an Amazon warehouse and now some outside stores are Prime certified and offer the same. And there’s more to Amazon as well.

Also for years now I have been coveting myself a e-reader. Sony started for me, but truthfully I’ve always hated Sony so I didn’t get one. Then a few years ago Amazon started offering there own design e-reader. The Kindle. By now there’s been many Kindle’s. And among models different versions and trim levels. This has been a long road for me. See it started out that they were out of my budget range. But then around Kindle 3 they brought it down to the sub 150 range I believe. And inherently that’s not a lot of money. But I’ve always worried and felt in my gut that I would get it and not use it. And I don’t want that to happen for a gadget that does cost that much. Well last week I boiled over. Amazon now has Kindle models sub 100 bucks. So I went to Office Depot and bought myself a Kindle Touch they had on sale for the price of the regular Kindle.

Now that I have my Kindle Touch I realize that I wish I’d done it long ago because I don’t think I can live without it anymore! I’ll go a review after I’ve had it a little longer.

Specifically what I have:
Amazon Kindle Touch Wifi w. ads

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