Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hodge podge post

Necessarily a hodge podge of a post again to catch up on a couple of topics. Anybody excited about the new Apple iPhone? Sure got lots of press (including the problems getting their wi-fi to work at the debut event!), and early adopters are saying it gives Apple a good year's lead over anybody else out there.

Radio laments that it does not include an FM tuner, much less a digital radio capability. The fact that a cloud-computing hookup to iTunes is imminent further gives broadcasters the shakes. The time is coming when, if your only goal is to listen to the songs you want to hear, all you need is a telephone. A telephone that can be hooked to your computer, your home audio system, or your car stereo. And you can either buy or "rent" the songs. How can radio trump this? By touting "the biggest variety of your favorites?" Bigger variety than, well, infinity?

I still wonder how long the exclusivity with iPhone and ATT will last. ATT's customer service continues to be about as popular as BP. I think the continued pushing of the envelope by iPhone is only shoving other manufacturers to do more and more.

How much longer do we continue to call these things "telephones?"

Another topic: considerable debate in amateur radio circles about whether the guys who use Morse code decoders to receive and interpret CW, and keyboards instead of "bugs" or paddles to send it, are really "doing Morse code." An article in the latest ARRL Contest Bulletin points out that the very first Morse code was actually "read" on a machine before it occurred to anyone that the human being was capable of hearing and interpreting the dots and dashes.

That revelation does not settle the controversy, of course. I say, what does it matter. I enjoy the mode very much, primarily because it enables us to make contacts that might not otherwise be made.

Oh, and it is fun!

Don Keith N4KC (website update in the works...standby!)


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Decoder/keyboard ops are "using" cw just as with any digital mode.

Those of us who pound the brass and copy to paper or head are "doing" cw.

Does the distinction matter? Not really. To the individual it may. I like to listen to music but I also learned how to play a guitar so I could make it myself. Same with code. I use the digital modes with my computer but for cw I enjoy all the aspects of Morse code. The instruments, history and my own steady improvements of the required skills.

So it don't matter really but I know which way is more cool!

Don Keith N4KC said...

Well, Recumbent, I agree. Another reason...and the primary reason I have not done any digital modes since I did RTTY with an old Model 19 back in the ' that I spend about 12 hours a day on a keyboard now. I'm more than happy to do ham radio some other way!

Don N4KC

wa5mlf said...

Concerning the new iPhone, there are some critics. For one, see the article 10 reasons not to buy Apple's new iPhone 4G by Matt Warman. Of course, there are plenty of other smart phones out there and on the way that present the same concerns to radio broadcasting.

Don Keith N4KC said...

Yes, even Apple is prone to criticism. I still think the best thing about the iPhone...and many other technogical that it will drive other manufacturers to develop even more advanced gear.

Thanks for the post, John, and greetings from the beach. Obviously won't make lunch this week, so tell everybody I said, "Hello."


Don N4KC (new design coming soon!)