Pinned toot

I am no longer on and I will try my best to keep away from some of the people on that server who have taken upon themselves the mantle of upholding the principles of Free Software! I am also observing that mastodon is not so different from twitter when it comes to sane discourse. That is expected - people can't be different when they type on a different browser tab.

I will be mostly tooting my (mis)adventures with amateur radio here and not much about anything else.

Pinned toot

Thank you @M0YNG.

Hello everyone - I am Ramakrishnan. My callsign is VU3RDD and I live in Bangalore, India. I am interested in homebrew electronics and I mostly operate HF/CW at the moment. I have inverted V antenna for 40 and 20m bands.

I do computer programming for a living and work on low level software, cryptography and network protocols..

I have another account but i thought of separating the radio/electronics toots into a separate account.

In short, very disappointed with Dell XPS13. The RAM is also soldered and cannot be upgraded.

I have never had a good laptop ever since I had a previous work Thinkpad laptop. I usually work from home on a Desktop computer which I really like. But I would like a good laptop for occasional travel.

If I can sell off this Dell one and an old Apple Macbook air (which works perfectly after 6 years!), I would buy a second hand x230 with more RAM and SSD.

I have this 2015 version of Dell XPS13 (which came with Windows 10) that I use now as my radio shack computer (I had GNU/Linux on it, but now I have Windows 10 on it again).

I am very disappointed with the laptop. It has a strange hissing noise with audio (sometime, not always). It does not power on (while on hibernate/sleep) sometimes. Sometimes while powering on, it gives a long beep (not really a clean beep, it is some strange sound that my 10 year old daughter used to be scared about)..

Some more progress on building a HPSDR based station. Ordered a Hammond box for the filters. Ordered a few PCBs from JLCPCB for the receive filter. This is the first time I am ordering a PCB from them. Next up is the ordering of parts for the Rx filter. Going to be a lot of fun when everything arrives.

Correction: macos fuse stopped being free software 2 years ago. The change in the license is this:

"...redistributions bundled with commercial software are not allowed without specific prior written permission..."

(Thanks @irl for the correction)

So fuse for macos is not free software anymore and it is going to be difficult to fork and make a free version because of Apple's kernel module certification process..

The interesting thing is that the developer used his rights under the BSD license and decided to keep the changes with himself!

A good time to remember the four freedoms that the so called "viral" copyleft gives a user:

Yes, copyleft licenses are good for you, the user.

I would like to initiate a fund to hire a programmer to keep an eye on Sinhala input support in GNU/Linux. This person's job will be to keep an eye on four main distributions and make sure Sinhala support is in tact when they make a new release. Please RT / share your thoughts.

"One small way to get our independence and agency back from exploitative platforms is to build personal websites to share on instead. It’s a step to taking back control, and building a web that neither relies upon, nor feeds, the harms of Big Tech."

Great post by @laura

Looks like everything I knew about solder flux has been wrong. Just found a bizarre problem in a board that I soldered 10 years ago and fixed it just by cleaning up the solidified solder flux on the board with alcohol.

The problem was this: The board was transmitting "dits" because there was a low resistance path from the dit line to the ground via flux.. Had a hunch that it could be a low resistance path from the line to ground via the flux which can conduct. And looks like that was true!

Got my HPSDR boards out. Setup PowerSDR (on windows, unfortunately!) and could listen in to a lot of 40m and 80m chatter. The noise reduction algorithms are so good! Next, setup a T/R switch, build a 20W amplifier and hook up the Tx. That would easily take me a few weekends. I badly need a 20m antenna now. It seem to be getting very active here! Heard russia, ukraine, poland and a few south east asian stations..

Enjoying reading Brian Kernighan's "Unix: A history and a memoir". Living in that era and in that lab must have been great fun!

Made my first FT8 contacts today! Worked a station in Washington State from Maryland! Magical

Archivists are trying to make sure a ‘Pirate Bay of Science’ never goes down. A new project aims to make LibGen, which hosts 33 terabytes of scientific papers and books, much more stable.

I support @irl on Patreon to increase diversity in amateur radio software and so should you!

There have been great updates on the patreon so far this month. Whats stopping you?

Today is #InternationalDayofDisabilities and I'd like to show off my hearing aids once again.

Without them I'm a poorly concentrated, tired and grumpy person. With them I can talk and work for hours, I can listen and be in noisy environments without getting exhausted.

Hearing loss is an invisible disability. You can't tell that I'm hearing impaired from looking at me, because my hearing aids are often hidden by my hair or simply hard to spot behind my ears. That also makes it harder to have my needs met. Even with hearing aids I need that people look at me and speak clearly when they're talking to me.

I often feel like I'm an imposter when I call myself disabled, but the alternative is to pretend I have a normal hearing and stop functioning in everyday life. I'm beyond happy and grateful that I live in a country where I get hearing aids for free and where I have rights both as a disabled student and in the workplace.

And here are my tiny, wonderful hearing aids 💞

good post about how nerd communities' mass-adoption of the closed and proprietary Discord platform will inevitably lead to the long-term loss of (or loss of access to) mountains of special-interest group knowledge and community history

"TLDR; It is not a very future-proof way of knowledge-building & archiving at all."

see also:

On sleep, human factors, and things that are known to improve performance more than technology choices:

I really miss my old wordpress based amateur radio blog. For all its warts, it was a lot easier to write stuff and publish.

Weekend got washed out with many domestic duties, but caught up a bit with CQ WW contest on saturday morning. Didn't make a single contact with my QRP rig despite several attempts. :-(

Heard a lot of local big guns. Some almost made it to a DXCC, just over the weekend.. That was awesome!

It somehow didn't occur to me to tune into 80m band for which I have a good antenna. Instead I was S&P on 40m with a terrible antenna and that didn't work out at all.

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