Cretan Blog-September 2014

Greetings again from a very quiet Crete and with the XYL in the UK for about 10 days, the QTH is very quiet. While she is away the inside of the house is being repainted. We chose this time as the paint fumes tend to upset her Asthma and with her being down in Cornwall, we think she should be far enough away.

So, did any of you write to Mr Murchie, RSGB Chairman about that article in RadComic?

I must confess to letting rip at his stupid suggestions but must say that I did get a decent reply from him. Not that he commented on all my points but at least he did reply, which is more than can be said of some.

He made the comment that: “What are the three things that you personally believe the Board should be concentrating on?” He asks this at all Club meetings he attends and says that when asked this, a person in the audience will respond with a comment only to be shouted down by someone else who takes an opposite view or who has different priorities.

At the time of writing this (mid-August), I am still formulating my answer but it will probably be along the lines of the current Licence structure, ‘RSGB Board Secrecy’, the RSGB being hijacked by the CDXC/IOTA mob and being unable to download RadComic anymore. If we could do this, our subscriptions could be halved which is probably why they won’t do it!

Errant laptop
You may remember that last month the old laptop played up and refused to let me on t’internet. This all started when the mouse started to do its own thing and not respond to my demands.

It would appear that my downloading of HRD, in order to try JT65 has caused severe problems to my laptop and that even after deleting said bloatware, it still leaves lots of nasties on your pc. (You may laugh now, but remember this when you finally see the light and delete this crap software from your machine)

At the time of writing this, using the XYL’s machine, the laptop has been out of commission for several weeks now and all because of bloody HRD. The ‘Robin Hood’ Gang were excellent in trying to get me to do this and to try that but I am afraid that it was all far too complicated for me.

Later in the month…..
So over the past few weeks I have realised that all this computer stuff is now way beyond me and I can no longer understand it all. I do not need the hassle and so I have given up all thoughts of JT65, EME or even trying to send CW from the keyboard in a contest.

I will continue to use my old XP machine for RTTY and the odd PSK QSO until it dies and then I will quit the Data Modes as it is all getting far too difficult for a normal person to understand this computer stuff.. Then it will be ‘Back to Basics’ CW for me . . .

In late August, I tracked down a computer Guru in Aghios and with the aid of a pinch of curry powder, a few old chicken bones and a bit of Voodoo, he managed to get my Win 7 machine working again.

I am not computer-literate and do not know what the chap did but was spent about an hour removing stuff that HRD left behind and then he removed Internet Explorer. He reloaded a ‘clean’ copy of this and we were back in business. He also put on the machine something called ‘Godzilla Firefox’ and this is new to me and I am told to use it as it is better than what I had before.

However, all my pdf files come up as something totally different. I cannot save images and every time I try to get to my Yahoo email, it asks me for my password – not Yahoo, but this Firefox thing, it won’t let me into some radio sites I use, won’t allow me to ‘bookmark’ anything and is generally so difficult to use that I wonder why anyone would recommend it unless they are being paid to.

When the XYL returns and we have finished with all our visitors I will get the Guru down in town to take this Godzilla thing off as it seems to be more trouble than it is worth . . . or has it been designed just to drive me totally up the wall?

Summer visitors….
As it is Summer we are getting visitors. Some friends of the XYL’s from her old work and some friends from northern Italy. We also had a visit again from Serge, UA9CSA and his beautiful XYL Irini,

Now, I do not know what the baggage allowance is on Russian airlines, but it must be more than the 15 kilos allowed by Thomas Cook or even the 23 kilos allowed by Aegean because Serge arrived with presents that must have used up the allowance of one suitcase at least!

We can now offer you a choice of Brandy from Kazakhstan, Vodka from Siberia or how about the Raki equivalent from Georgia called ‘Ya Ya’? These have been sampled and all can be highly recommended! (Of course with the XYL away, more sampling than usual has been taking place!)

Meanwhile we can also offer you chocolate from Kazakhstan (makes Belgian chocolate seem like Cadbury’s (Sri JJ)) or how about some strong Russian tea and all brewed in an authentic porcelain Russian tea-pot along with some bone china tea cups? I’m afraid the Russian chocolate whirls from Moscow fell victim to our greed and therefore cannot be offered. I am also the proud owner of an official Ural Contest Group T-shirt and will name them as my ‘contest club’ in contests from now on.

How can we ever thank him enough? Serge also brought some old copies of RadComic, circa 1990, and I will ‘review’ these next time. Thank You very much Serge! Spasibo!

Wouxon battery life
Got a Wouxun? How long does the battery last? With intermittent use, the odd call, but mostly listening, the little thing seems to last about 2 days before just stopping. Even with it turned off and just sitting on the desk, after 4 or 5 days the battery is dead and needs charging. Is this normal with the 1700mAh battery?

September RadCom
September RadComic arrived and was of little interest. Question: W&S are advertising Mosley antennas again but why pay 375 quid for a vertical when you can get a Hustler equivalent for around 200 notes?  (Oh, and why the auto-ATU fitted to the one in the picture on Page 4?) The ‘revue’ of the BHI module thing is so padded out to fill space that it is embarrassing. The stupid diagrams take up more space than the actual brochure written revue. And as it is September, they are advertising the 2015 Yearbook where you can get all the up-to-date info on things like QSL Managers. Shame then that on the following page from the advert is a notice that two have already stepped down! Why do they print the thing so early? And worst of all? They are now advertising HRD in the ruddy magazine! (Page 43) Who in their right mind would go out and buy this bloatware?

VK6 visitor
Just prior to the XYL departing for foreign climes, she had an email from one of my Nephews out in VK6. Seems he is visiting us in a few weeks as well! So off now to stock up the fridge with beer. Well, you know how these Aussies drink!

As someone once said: ‘The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana’.



Dick SV0XBN/9

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