It’s part of modern ham radio!


In today's modern radio shack, unlike in yesteryear, a PC is a connected part of the overall setup. It can simply be for sending and receiving QSL cards all the way to station automation and control. In my station, my PC is involved in QSLing, digital modes, logging, radio control and contesting. For this reason, it's important for the average ham to have more than a basic knowledge of computers. A few years ago while looking for some specific PC information I stumbled across a web page called "Askwoody"

 This site has endless gems regarding computing. The site is a bit limited unless you register. A simple donation is asked for full access to a wealth of information on the site. One aspect I took advantage of right off the get-go was Windows patching or MS-Defcon as the site calls it. You are advised when to install Windows monthly patches, basically once Microsoft irons out the glitches. The site guided me to a program that stops Windows from automatically updating. I can update when I want to and when the Ask Woody site recommends it's safe to do so. 

They have user forums on more topics than you can imagine. Here are some of the takeaways I found at Ask Woody.

- When upgrading my PC there was a wealth of information on how-to, recommendations on processors, hard drives and ram. Recommendations are not based on the fastest and newest but what overall was the wisest upgrade for your system requirements? 

- The importance of backing up and recommended (free) very easy-to-use backup programs. 

- Recommended maintenance that you should be doing to your PC. With very easy-to-follow advice, links, free programs and user forums for advice. 

- becoming knowledgeable regarding your router, internet connection and firewall. 

These are just very few of the gems I have found on the site. PCs have become a part of our hobby and I don't want to become a computer wiz but not PC illiterate either. This is one of the sites that can make my PC adventure a bit more comfortable and gain some knowledge. 

I encourage you to take the site for a spin and see what you think? 

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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