DX Computer Help

by Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

           If you use your computer a lot, like I do, you are bound to eventually get into trouble with spy-ware, viruses, ad-ware, malaware, and Delaware, and Trojan horses that worm in between your conflicting software and invite even more bugs.   I think that I have experienced most of the junk that it may be possible to collect, as I freely browse the Internet looking at any diverse sites that my curiosity drives me to.  I had McAfee protecting me but it expired and so I got Norton but it too expired. Then I bought ViRobot from HAURI and it was unable to fix some of the bad stuff that its scanner recognized, even with the most recent updates from South Korea. I kept getting flags and windows that said I was infected.  Unwittingly, I let other fix-it web doctors also free scan for the culprits.  When I refused to pay for their promised fixes, I was rewarded with even more viruses.  As time went on I lived with the warnings…but eventually my computer slowed down and I was unable to turn it off automatically.  This made me believe that it was possible for spies to enter my computer when I wasn’t even using it and get into my O.S. as well as any private data.  Finally the whole system could not operate normally.  It would freeze after a few minutes of operation and could not be shut down even with Ctrl-Alt-Delete.  What a revolting development!  How was I to get my E-mail or to put together this newsletter or to download cents-off grocery coupons if I didn’t get this all quickly repaired?  My attempts at repair were hindered by the fact that remnants of security shields in hidden files were actually blocking me from taking control and getting a new firewall.  I reached the point of giving up when I couldn’t even boot up a start menu.  It turned out that I had no way to get my PC running again on my own, so I had to call Dell Support’s 800 telephone number.  After several machine operated queries I finally convinced a machine that I was not asking for a laptop battery replacement and I got transferred to India to speak with a female voice who called herself Marcella.  I had to find the Express Service Code for my PC and Marcella informed me…not to worry…but although I still had a hardware warrantee I had no software coverage. 

 

          It would cost me over $200 to buy a year of software coverage.  I said I didn’t need a year of coverage.  I only wanted to get my computer running once.  Then I was offered a promise of a complete solution to my troubles for $99.00 plus tax.  I accepted this and was transferred to a guy who opened by saying, “My name is Harry. Not to worry.  Thank you Sir.”   Harry got me to click F8 three times as my system was powered up.  He had me click on some stuff that opened up my system so that he could download software and when it was loaded he was able to network with my PC and see what I was seeing and actually operate, as well as download fixes.  Years ago I had no high speed internet connection and only one telephone line.  The problems that I was experiencing at that time had to be solved by mailing me a diagnostic disc and a driver disc.  I don’t know what Harry would have done if I was still using a dial-up modem.  He went through my files removing anything that looked suspicious, but asking me what it was first.  I had to explain what Hellschreiber was. He even went on a Google search to find out what some other stuff was that we both weren’t sure about.  He then gave me control so that I could operate myself, talking me in and out of program files that only I could operate.  Then back again under his control, I was given another security suite that is FREE.  It was one of the ones that had been offered to me before, but that I was afraid would generate more troubles. I‘ll tell you how to get it free in the “Internet Link of the Month for Internerds”, without calling VU DX.  My PC is now back to top speed and under full control. It had taken Harry more than 3 hours to work with me, including the time it takes to scan my gigantic hard drive.   I was amazed at how Harry worked with me.  He managed to say “Thank you Sir”, each time that I struck the prompted keys or clicked display buttons, and he only took one short break, which he said was to get a glass of water.   Yep…Now I know why Kipling said that Gunga Din was a better man than he was.     

          The following picture of the Microsoft Employee of the Month was e-mailed to me by an old friend.  It shows a Microsoft Help Center senior technician.  This has helped me to picture what Harry might look like. This man’s real name is Mujibar.  He now calls himself Marvin; a handle that is better understood here. You may have spoken to this guy once or twice if your MS OS was conflicting with some new application or you weren’t sure which update package could fix a problem without disabling something or creating other trouble.   The text that came with this picture tells how Mujibar was hired.   I’ll type it here now…

          The personal manager said, “Mujibar, you have passed all of the tests except one.  Unless you pass it you can not qualify for the job.”   Mujibar said, “I am ready. Thank you Sir.”   The manager said,“Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green.”   Mujibar thought for a few minutes and again said, “I am ready. Thank you Sir.”   The manager said, “Go ahead.”    Mujibar said, “The telephone goes green green green, and I pink it up, and say, ‘Yellow this is Marvin.’”                                                                                                                 

 


DX  COMPUTER   HELP

  
Mujibar got the job and he now works as a technician at the MS Call Center for Computer Problems. You probably may be speaking to him some day if you haven’t already had the opportunity.  He also moonlights (or daylights) at the Dell Support Center with Tom, Dick and Harry in the same time zone.       

 

PRESIDENT’S PAGE

BY

KE2LJ

 

     We were really saddened in early September when GARC member Dan (W2NDP) died suddenly of a stroke at his house near Tampa. Dan and XYL Ellen were both Grummies years ago, before they moved south. Dan was an avid DXer, and formed a DX Club there. He made many of us LIDXA people honorary members of his new Club a few years ago. He subsequently became a QSL card checker for the area. Dan was very good friends with Marty, NN2C. They used to speak on the phone almost every day, and sometimes more than once. Dan and Marty went to Dayton with me two years ago. We all had a pretty good time.

  I was in Florida a few weeks ago doing some work on my retirement house, and I was able to attend a meeting of that DX Club. It was right after Danny had passed away, and his radio friends were all pretty sad. The meeting had a grim overtone.

  Of course, Marty was much closer to Dan than I, and  he was much more shaken up by Dan’s passing than most of us who knew Dan. So, it was a little bit more than ironic that Marty dies suddenly on September 30th, just a few weeks after Dan. Marty had been ailing slightly for a few months. In fact, his doctor had told him to take it easy, and he dropped out of our Dayton trip in May to avoid the stress. I had to go alone, and Marty was upset about that. He had some bypasses done many years ago, and I suppose there were underlying cardiac problems that I didn’t know about. He was 84 when he died. As we all get on in years, we recount the passings of many Hams who were prominent in our Club. George (W2CJN) and Dave (W2ZVJ) were among them.  Marty was a past President, and certainly ranks up there with the best of them. He always had a sense of humor, and was an avid DXer and IOTA chaser. He was on the bands almost every day of his life. Many of us attended his wake last week, and his family is doing well. I suppose we’ll be involved in the disposition of his equipment in the coming months.

 Our next order of business is that we have an election coming up. We’ll have 3 Board positions up for grabs, as well and the regular Executive positions. I think we have pretty good leadership now, and would like to see these folks get re-elected. But, new blood with new ideas can always be helpful as well.

 Bill, N2SFT intends to retire from UL in November. That means we will not be having our meetings there after he leaves. Jack is currently trying to find us a permanent meeting place in the area. So watch our web site for news about where the meetings will be. We try to stay in the area because all our regular members are comfortable with the distance to travel. If we move too far in any direction, we will lose people, and we can’t have that.

 We also have to figure out what to do with Club management after I retire to Florida next summer. We have a lot of challenges to deal with between now and then.

 I hope to see you all at the October meeting at UL.

-Pat KE2LJ

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 9/20/2006

 Karen KC2OPX, secretary.

 

                                          The meeting was called to order by Pat at 5:45 PM.

 

TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV       REPEATERS Gordon, KB2UB

 Finances continue to be in good shape.                The 146.745 repeater was down on 9/7  but Ed, WB2EAV, got it going again. It was good the following week.

 

VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP                               NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE

There were no applicants this month.                    On 9/7 the 146.745 was down, 145.33 was good.

The VE session was cancelled.                              Both repeaters were OK the following week.

                                                                               Sunday Morning net has been poor; some members could not be copied.                                                                

NEW BUSINESS

Bill Savage, N2SFT, plans to retire from UL on 10/30/06.  We will be looking for another meeting place for 2007. 

It was suggested that the GARC plan to visit the Cradle of Aviation as a group at some future time.  

 

PROGRAM

John Caruso was the scheduled speaker.  The F-14 is still on display at Calverton and bricks are available for your name sake.

 

The meeting was adjoined at 7:00 PM.

 

GARC NETS:

40 Meters: 7.289 MHz at 7:30 AM EST Sundays.

2 Meters (via repeaters): 146.745 MHz  (-.600)at 8:30 PM EST Thursdays.

                                           145.330 MHz (- .600) at 9:00 PM EST Thursdays.

[Tone for both repeaters is 136.5 Hz]         (ARES/RACES) Mondays

                                          

MEETINGS

General Meetings of the GARC are held on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 5:30 PM.   The meetings are usually held at the Underwriters Lab, 1285 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY.  Driving directions and maps can be obtained from http://www.mapquest.com   It is suggested that the GARC Web Site be checked to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting.

 

GARC WEB SITE

The web site of the GARC can be found at http://www.qsl.net/wa2lqo/  Webmaster is Pat Masterson, KE2LJ.  Pictures of GARC activities, archives of newsletters, roster of members, and other information about the GARC may be found there.                                                                                                              Page 5 

SILENT KEY

We note with sadness the passing of our beloved member and past President Martin P. Miller, NN2C on September 30th      at 84 . .Most of you have  probably read of Marty’s passing elsewhere by now.  Marty was probably the most active ham in the GARC.  He was President of the Long Island DX Association, past President of Chapter 81 of QCWA, a life member of the IEEE, a member of IOTA.  Marty was a veteran of WW2 and Korea.  He was, for many years, an active VE, who excelled in giving applicants their CW tests.   Marty brought us many tapes of DX expeditions and aided us in presentations.   Marty was a friend to us all.  He certainly will be missed.                                                                                  

SPECIAL EVENT REMINDER

By Gordon Sammis, KB2UB

On 28 October hams who are members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be participating in a one day Radio Special Event to celebrate the 67th Anniversary of the Auxiliary.  Ham stations will set up at Coast Guard stations and vessels where such facilities are available.  Locally a group of Auxiliary Amateurs, including KB2UB will be operating from the grounds of Jones Beach Coast Guard Station.  The event will be  conducted on the popular HF Amateur frequencies, using call sign K2G.  A QSL card has been prepared for this site and the QSL manager will be KA2HHO.  The event coincides with the International Search and Rescue Competition (ISAR) taking place between Canadian and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary units.  There will be a special amateur station at the Virginia event with the call sign N4I.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

INTERNET LINK OF THE MONTH FOR INTERNERDS

 

This month I’ll give you a link to a security, anti-virus suite called AVG Free.  If you are using another security suite and it works OK for you, by all means stay with what you have, but if you have run into trouble with McAfee, Norton, ViRobot or whatever then AVG Free is for you.   I am not the only one who has experienced problems that were cleared by AVG.  There was a thread on QRZ rag chew, where others recommended it.  Before you install it you must remove all other security programs.  Once it is installed it will automatically be updated and when you scan for troubles it will not just identify bugs, it will automatically fix them.  The address is:    http://free.grisft.com/doc/2/ing/us/tpl/v5

This program is absolutely free for non-profit home computer users.  There is also a program for professional users that must be paid for, but I don’t know how it can be any better than the free program.

 

PUZZLE

 

Here is another cryptogram:    PIS   GFP   KO   QWAWZM   QWSD   QSDD  WZ  SQWBWZGPWZM   KYF

 

 PFKYTQSD   PIGZ   WZ   MFKHWZM   HWPI   PISB.    –TSFZGFE   B.   TGFYNI-- 

 

Solution to September’s Cryptogram:  AN INTELLECTUAL IS SOMEONE WHO CAN LISTEN TO THE WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE AND NOT THINK OF THE LONE RANGER.  –UNKNOWN—

 

Sorry I made an error in encoding WILLIAM as WINNIAM.  I must beta test all cryptograms in the future.

Most puzzle solvers recognize “Unknown” as a known probability.  I’ll not make it so easy in the future.

 

 

                                                                                                                              Page 6


GARC VE EXAMS

 

We are continuing to proctor exams for all classes of ham licenses on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 5:00 PM.

 

The present exams are:-

Element 1: 5 WPM CW

Element 2: Technician

Element 3: General

Element 4: Amateur Extra Class

 

The fee for 2006 is $14.00 for all exams taken in one sitting.

 

Applicants for upgrades should bring their present license and a photocopy of it and know their FRN number.

 

New, first time applicants should be aware that their Social Security number will be required on their application form, unless they register with the FCC for an FRN.

 

All applicants should bring picture ID such as drivers licenses.

 

Until further notice exams will be given at:-

Briarcliffe College

1055 Stewart Avenue

Room: Long Beach #5

Bethpage, NY

Briarcliffe in Bethpage is located in a building that was formerly part of the Grumman complex.

 

It is recommended that all applicants contact W2ILP to confirm the location, which is subject to change.

 

For any information e-mail:-

W2ilp@optonline.net

or phone-

(631) 499-2214

 

Study material is available at the web sites of the ARRL

http://www.arrl.org

or W5YI

http://www.w5yi.org

All VECs use the same Q &A pools.

 

Since the beginning of the VE program the GARC has provided opportunities to take the ham exams monthly, during all 12 months of every year.

 

Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP and the GARC VE team.

                                 

 

CQ de WA2LQO

October 2006

 VOL.  79, NO.  10

 

EDITOR

Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP

(631) 499-2214

w2ilp@optonline.net

 

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

PAT MASTERSON, KE2LJ

BOB WEXELBAUM

And all the members of GARC (we hope!)

 

CQ de WA2LQO is published monthly by the Grumman Amateur Radio Club for its members and friends. Send articles and amateur equipment advertisements to:

KE2LJ or W2ILP

 

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS

If you want to submit articles or amateur equipment ads via e-mail do the following:

1. For submission direct to editor call him at above number to set up a transfer.

2. For e-mail transfer:

Internet Address

bat@grumman.com

 

 
EDITORIAL

 

                I had noted the passing of Marty Miller, NN2C, elsewhere.  I can’t stop thinking of him.   The last time I saw Marty was at the September GARC meeting.   We shook hands, and remembered our long friendship.  I’ll always fondly remember Marty, who was a friend to all hams and who worked with our GARC VE team for many years.

                Jim Kearny, WB2QDT, phoned me.  He needed to get his address changed on his ham license.  Jim is a Grumman retiree, who was formally a Secretary of the GARC.  I took care of getting the address change through.  Jim now lives in Summit, New York.  He had upgraded to General class at one of our VE sessions some time ago and now he says that he will be getting HF gear and antennas at his new QTH.   Maybe he will show up on the 40 meter WAG net.

                We usually fold and stamp these newsletters at our board meetings.  There was no board meeting in September, because Pat was out of town.  We owe our thanks to Jack Cottrell, WA2PYK, who folded, stamped and mailed the newsletters for us.

 

73,

W2ILP (I License People)

 

 

 

  

 

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 2006

 

President                Pat Masterson              KE2LJ            V01-01    516-346-7125

Vice President       Gordon Sammis            KB2UB          Retiree     631-666-7463

Secretary               Karen Cefalo                KC2OPX    
Treasurer               Ed Gellender                  WB2EAV       X02-14    516-575-0013

1Yr Board Member    Zack Zilavy             WB2PUE        Retiree     631-667-4628
1YrBoard Member     Dave Ledo               AB2EF

1Yr Board Member   Bob Christen            W2FPF          

2 Yr Board Member   Bob Wexelbaum     W2ILP           Retiree     631-499-2214

2 Yr Board Member    Jack Cottrell           WA2PYK       Retiree     516-249-0979

Trustee WA2LQO        Ray Schubnel          W2DKM        Retiree

 

STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN

 

Meeting Programs       Contact a Board Member

FCC Exam Coord.      Bob Wexelbaum     W2ILP    Retiree         631-499-2214

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Fifty Two Years 1944 -2006

P.O. Box 0644

Bethpage, NY 11714-0644

 

 

 

                                                                                                        FIRST CLASS

                                                                           DO  NOT DELAY

                                 TECHNICAL BITS                

 

The signals that come out of microphones, video cameras or sensing transducers are analog signals.    Analog signals may be audio or video waveforms but they may also be DC or AC voltages which represent any values that we want them to represent.  In the case of AC analogs both the phase and the amplitude may be useful as they can be analogous to a range and a bearing, for example.  Digital computers depend on converting analog signals to digital signals.  Modern computer technology has made it possible to flexibly design systems that can rapidly control and modify analog information.  The inputs of computers however are analog in nature, except for pulse inputs from Geiger counters and so they are usually converted to digital form so that they may be digitally processed.  Early computer used entirely analog techniques.  They were used for fire control systems, automated machinery, ballistic computers, flight simulators and many mechanically driven devices.  They did well at these tasks because the vectors of changing control could be modeled by voltages and the voltage amplification could be made analogous to desired rates of change and then finally used to drive motors.  A system of analog amplification and driven motors is called a servo system.  In its simplest form it can just use an analog voltage as a remote position control, but analog computer techniques allow for much more sophisticated control aside from simple follow-up control.  The gains of what are called operational amplifiers can be very accurately established by fixed feedback resistors.  The rates of change can also be determined by resistor-capacitor networks.  Feedback systems can compare the positions of servo driven devices to any analog or analog comparison by hunting for a null, which is actually a zero voltage condition.  More sophisticated analog computers began to use digital techniques as part of their systems.  These were actually considered to be hybrid computers.  Digital switching could be used to extend the voltage ranges of analog amplifiers.  Digital switching could be used to share the same analog hardware with different functions by electronically switching.  This is known as multiplexing.  In the days of vacuum tubes a single operational amplifier (OP AMP) required several vacuum tubes plus a vibrating chopper for stabilization.  Such an OP AMP can be replaced by a single device that is no larger than a single transistor (for example the uA706).

In fact many OP AMPS can now be combined in a single integrated chip.  Today most computer processing is digital, but analog to digital input devices and digital to analog output devices must be utilized.