Posts Tagged ‘Blog’
Shortwave Broadcasting is Dead
Who among us didn’t get baptized in ham radio via shortwave listening? A special committee on the future of shortwave broadcasting paints a grim picture. “While there is still a critical need for shortwave in key countries, it is a medium of marginal and continuously declining impact in most markets.” The report said that even in countries where shortwave radio enjoys significant usage levels, “audiences will migrate to other platforms as they become more accessible.”
QRP Blog Ends Syndication
W2LJ decided to end the syndication of his ham radio blog on AmateurRadio.com, a popular blog aggregator. I don’t know how long his posts had been picked up and re-broadcast there, but it’s been available for quite some time. His explanation was guarded, though he did write that it was a decision he’s been mulling “since this past Easter”. He also mentioned that not all his musings are about ham radio, some of them detail his religious beliefs and that may have played a factor.
Larry says his blog will remain open for business.
This is likely related to the new association with RF Concepts and the assessment of the need for multiple leaders as a result of the merger. Or Wharton found a better gig. Or maybe TenTec really is going belly-up. Hard to say as the situation there seems anything but predictable…
I was enormously pleased to see a new post from my fellow blogger Roger, G3XBM Roger is recovering from a severe stroke and facing difficulties I can only imagine. I’m sure I’m not the only one missing his posts about QRP projects nd accounts of his low power activities. Get well soon, Roger.
My operation to remove my gall bladder was successful. Now I’m supposed to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity for a few months. No more five mile walks for a bit. It looks as if I will be logging more time in front of the computer and radio for a while.
The operation to migrate this blog to a new generation Blogger template has also been completed. Comments are now working again, but I’m not happy with the header graphic. I had to go with what I could make given my absence of artistic skills, rather than what I would like to have done. So there may well be some more changes in that area to come.
I had hoped to use a smart looking template from a free templates site. But at first I couldn’t find how to load it into Blogger. So I started off with one of the standard Blogger templates. As I was customising that I accidentally stumbled across the option to load a template from an XML file. Working in Blogger is like being in a maze, remembering seeing the tool I wanted but going round in circles until I located it again.
The problem with the custom template was that I found it contained some things I didn’t want, and the Blogger visual design tools didn’t allow me to remove them. It would probably have been necessary to edit the XML, but that is a step beyond my expertise. So in the end I went back to the modified Blogger template. I’m happy with the layout now, and commenting works again which was the reason I was forced to change. In fact I now have Google+ commenting which if you haven’t tried it is much better. But I’d still like to find something more radio-themed for the header graphic.
Due to the problem with commenting I am reluctantly moving this blog to a new template. This will probably take a few days – especially as I will be going to hospital on Tuesday – because a lot of trial and error will be involved (more error than trial I dare say.)
Please bear with me while I make changes, try different graphics and so on. Normal service will be restored as soon as possible!
Nothing blogworthy has happened at G4ILO in the last few days. My mind has been preoccupied with two other things: frustration at still being without a driving license and anxiety about my forthcoming gall bladder operation. As a nurse said yesterday during my pre-operation assessment, a gall bladder op is nothing compared to the surgery I have had for my brain tumour. The difference is with the brain tumour everything happened very quickly so I didn’t have time to do much thinking about it.
I haven’t been completely inactive on the radio in the time since my last post. Most days when I haven’t been going to a medical appointment I have turned on my 2 metre and 30 metre APRS gateways. Most days I have also set my K3 to monitor the WSPR frequencies on 10 metres. There have been some signs of Sporadic-E activity, such as the presence of Russian taxi operators on the 10m WSPR frequency. A few days ago DXmaps showed a small but intense Sporadic-E opening on 6 metres. My 10m signals have frequently been spotted by 4X1RF and have also reached Argentina and the Philippines. I hope that things will soon perk up and motivate me to do something worth writing about again.
Blogger tells me that this blog contains 999 posts, which must make this one the one-thousandth. When I started blogging almost four years ago back in February 2009 I had no idea that it would go on for so long.
Of course, the events of 18 months ago gave me every reason to believe I would never achieve such a total. Fortunately fate, having given me a metaphorical kick in the crotch, decided to smile on me after all and so I have defied the doctors’ predictions. Slowly but surely I have been going from strength to strength, so that I think I have a fighting chance of going on for at least another 1,000.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers, especially those who comment or email, without whom the whole business of blogging would be a waste of time. I am particularly grateful to the many who sent messages of encouragement which were a great morale booster to both Olga and myself during a difficult time.
I hope you will all keep reading this as well as my “brain tumour blog” One Foot in the Grave, which is rapidly approaching a milestone of its own. I hope I will keep on “beating the bastard” and carry on blogging (and hamming) for years to come.
For the last few months I have been getting more and more irritated by the captcha word verification required to comment on certain blogs. The captchas Blogger used to use were perfectly adequate, in my opinion. But Blogger insists on “improving” its user interface. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it I say.
The latest two-part captchas Blogger uses seem designed to keep out the good guys and allow in the bad. The statement “Please prove you’re not a robot” seems ironic, as only a robot could decipher the letters. This morning, on a blog I won’t mention, I had to refresh the captcha three times before getting one that contained only recognizable letters.
Of course if Blogger’s captchas were annoying me they were also annoying you, my readers. So I decided to disable word verification on both G4ILO’s Blog and One Foot in the Grave. At the same time, I have enabled moderation for comments to posts more than 2 days old. Most of the valid comments are made within that time period anyway. If a comment is made later than that then a further small delay until I approve it will hardly be noticed. Hopefully this will result in an increase in valid comments and fewer spammy ones. But if I find too many spammers are taking advantage of the two day window of opportunity I’ll turn moderation on for all comments. If any internet lowlifes are reading this, don’t even think about it.
For the benefit of anyone who arrives here looking for a way to turn off word verification, here’s how. First, make sure you are using the old Blogger interface (I’d switched back to it already as I could never find anything in the new one.) Then, under Manage Blogs, click on Settings for your blog. Then click on Comments in the row of tabs along the top. The settings you need are on that page.