Some free time

Having some free time can be a dangerous thing. J


My website is back up—sorta. As previously stated, I had NetSol  cancel the web package I recently purchased because of recurring technical issues. The intent was to start over once the refund hit my checking account, which NetSol said might be seven days. That left me with a week where I basically had nothing to lose by tinkering. Since I already had the option for DNS-forwarding in place, I decided to switch it back on and take one more whack at setting up the website on Nemesis, one of my local brood of Windows XP boxes. It was a knock-down-drag-out affair that consumed much of the weekend, but I seem to have prevailed.


I’m using WAMP5, by the way, which is a canned installation of all the basic things that my website needs, Apache 2, PHP 5, and MySQL 5.2. Personally, I still find Apache to be extremely dense, probably because of its Unix heritage. PHP and MySQL aren’t bad, especially since I sometimes did DBA tasks during my Shell career. However, Apache is about as human-friendly as Forth was. Both promise extreme power, if you can hang with the nigh vertical learning curve! J


Yet, I did get far enough up that mountain to get my website up. The counters don’t work, simply because I haven’t researched the necessary replacements. I still face the same bandwidth limitations I mentioned last week. Then again, my website has never been a traffic magnet. L Maybe I’ll defer migrating back to NetSol until there’s a need. The main problem I’m grappling with is backing up Nemesis. That’s over 230 GB, and DL.TV is quite right to call backing up high-capacity hard-drives a nightmare. The best solution is Network Accessible Storage, essentially a headless (that means no keyboard or monitor) PC on the network with honking huge hard-drives. The industry makes a slew of them, all out of my budget until maybe Dell comes up with something. On the other hand, I don’t need another box when I have a low-end 1.2 Gigahertz PC gathering dust. All it needs is the honking huge hard-drive, and prices there keep falling. Of course, then I’ll need to change out my wireless equipment in order to move all that data in a reasonable amount of time.


Sigh. It never ends, people. :/



My website is down temporarily. I really didn’t have the bandwidth to host it myself. I moved it back to NetSol a few weeks ago, but the package got porked somehow. I finally called them today and had them cancel the package. I’ll have to start over when the refund is processed into my checking account. Yes, I know there are other hosting services, but NetSol has my domain registration. Besides, their phone reps do seem to understand English.


I have a new phone number, 281-968-0747, good everywhere as long as my laptop is open. J Yup, it’s a VoIP number. Skype, in fact. But, who can argue with $14 for a year of unlimited calls? Getting a SkypeIn number was a bit more, to receive calls. The nice part about all of this is that my laptop can be a telephone wherever I have Internet connectivity. The importance of that is I can finally accurately send DTMF tones (Touch-Tones for the un-initiated). That’s a seemingly tiny little thing that’s critical in our modern life. You cannot navigate automated call centers without DTMF.

RE: [HoustonScan] FCC Eliminates Morse Code Requirement

Please confirm this email. I have awaited this moment for 30 flippin’ years!
From: [] On Behalf Of Chris Boone
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 9:02 PM
Subject: [HoustonScan] FCC Eliminates Morse Code Requirement
December 15, 2006 Chelsea Fallon: (202) 418-7991
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
adopted a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Order) that
modifies the rules for the Amateur Radio Service by revising the examination
requirements for obtaining a General Class or Amateur Extra Class amateur
radio operator license and revising the operating privileges for Technician
Class licensees. In addition, the Order resolves a petition filed by the
American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL) for partial reconsideration of an
FCC Order on amateur service rules released on October 10, 2006.
The current amateur service operator license structure contains three
classes of amateur radio operator licenses: Technician Class, General
Class, and Amateur Extra Class. General Class and Amateur Extra Class
licensees are permitted to operate in Amateur bands below 30 MHz, while the
introductory Technician Class licensees are only permitted to operate in
bands above 30 MHz. Prior to today’s action, the FCC, in accordance with
international radio regulations, required applicants for General Class and
Amateur Extra Class operator licenses to pass a five words-per-minute Morse
code examination.
Today’s Order eliminates that requirement for General and Amateur Extra
licensees. This change reflects revisions to international radio
regulations made at the International Telecommunication Union’s 2003 World
Radio Conference (WRC-03), which authorized each country to determine
whether to require that individuals demonstrate Morse code proficiency in
order to qualify for an amateur radio license with transmitting privileges
on frequencies below 30 MHz. This change eliminates an unnecessary
regulatory burden that may discourage current amateur radio operators from
advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of
amateur radio.
Today’s Order also revises the operating privileges for Technician Class
licensees by eliminating a disparity in the operating privileges for the
Technician Class and Technician Plus Class licensees. Technician Class
licensees are authorized operating privileges on all amateur frequencies
above 30 MHz. The Technician Plus Class license, which is an operator
license class that existed prior the FCC’s simplification of the amateur
license structure in 1999 and was grandfathered after that time, authorized
operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz, as well as
frequency segments in four HF bands (below 30 MHz) after the successful
completion of a Morse code examination. With today’s elimination of the
Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that the disparity between
the operating privileges of Technician Class licensees and Technician Plus
Class licensees should not be retained. Therefore, the FCC, in today’s
action, afforded Technician and Technician Plus licensees identical
operating privileges.
Finally, today’s Order resolved a petition filed by the ARRL for partial
reconsideration of an FCC Order released on October 10, 2006 (FCC 06-149).
In this Order, the FCC authorized amateur stations to transmit voice
communications on additional frequencies in certain amateur service bands,
including the 75 meter (m) band, which is authorized only for certain
wideband voice and image communications. The ARRL argued that the 75 m band
should not have been expanded below 3635 kHz, in order to protect
automatically controlled digital stations operating in the 3620-3635 kHz
portion of the 80 m band. The FCC concluded that these stations can be
protected by providing alternate spectrum in the 3585-3600 kHz frequency
Action by the Commission on December 15, 2006, by Report and Order and Order
on Reconsideration. Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps, Adelstein,
Tate, and McDowell.
For additional information, contact William Cross at (202) 418-0691 or
WT Docket Nos. 04-140 and 05-235.
– FCC –
News and other information about the Federal Communications Commission is
available at
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