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Comment: Re:Be careful... (Score 1) 89

by Nate B. (#42596897) Attached to: Codec2 Project Asks FCC To Modernize Regulations

Please, don't "work" on your son. The last thing he needs is to think that he's obligated to participate in dad's hobby. If/when he shows an interest then guide but don't press him. Pressing can only leave a bad impression of amateur radio on him if he clearly is not interested. Enjoy your participation in the hobby and perhaps he'll find it interesting in its own right. If so, great, if not, don't let your ego get bruised.

Also, amateur radio appeals to those interested in radio for radio's sake and experimenting with technologies on top of that. Comparing it to commercial telecom services really does amateur radio a disservice. The two aren't even in the same universe. Let's get away from repeating the mistake of comparing amateur radio to commercial services.

Comment: Re:Gnome (Score 2) 212

by Nate B. (#36903984) Attached to: KDE 4.7.0 Released

Perhaps it's not as prevalent but it does exist in KDE as well. Mind that I was dedicated KDE user after 3.4 hooked me. I stuck with it until 4.4.something, or about a year ago on Debian. I installed a second video card and KDE4 lost its mind and barfed widgets, apps, and desktop backgrounds everywhere. I dumped it in short order, tried GNOME which coped better with the setup only by a matter of degree. I then gave XFCE4 a spin and it handles my Zaphod heads independent desktops like a champ. Session restoration does what I expect by putting apps back on the screen/desktop I prefer them and doesn't bork backgrounds or panels either.

The download/installation footprint of KDE these days makes it a non-starter to see if things have improved with respect to handling independent desktops. If it's working for someone else, that's great. I'm not going back.

Comment: Re:Holding back? (Score 1) 460

by Nate B. (#36784982) Attached to: Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

Do you have a link to make this claimed "Plug in USB speakers and have audio come out" actually work? I'm not trolling as I'd really like to know. I nearly tore my hair out trying to find one bit of documentation on doing just that as all I found was post after post on removing PA and then writing a ~/.asoundrc to make the USB speakers work which is what I did. But if you have a link to any sort of documentation (and don't point me to the PA site as it is as useless as tits on a boar hog for end user docs) please do post it.

Thus far I have to agree with those arguing against PA as I've simply been unable to achieve any of PAs claimed benefits/features.

Comment: Re:Holding back? (Score 1) 460

by Nate B. (#36784902) Attached to: Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

Some months back I decided to install PA on my Debian laptop so I could plug my USB Logitech speakers in and have them work. It didn't. (I was frustrated as KDE has a nice GUI to set sound device ordering but I don't use KDE any longer, opting for XFCE) I spent all manner of time reading FAQs and using my Googlefu, all to no avail. Seems that what does not exist in the PA universe is a sane bit of documentation for the end user on how to configure and use the POS. I wound up with a simple hack to ~/.asoundrc that lets me use the speakers. It is inelegant and it works.

I'd really like to use its claimed features but it only seems useful as the volume slider on a Ubuntu desktop. Any use case beyond that violates GNOME HID or some such nonsense.

Comment: Re:No problem! (Score 2) 571

by Nate B. (#34729762) Attached to: Our Lazy Solar Dynamo — Hello Dalton Minimum?

Are you arguing that there was never any concern about a near-future ice age back in the '70s? If you are, then you may wish to re-examine your facts as it was there, in full scare-force as the warming scare has been ongoing for the past decade. While I was in elementary school (3rd or 4th grade in the early '70s) we were shown a series of films that portended the coming ice age and that where I live right now would be under a glacier in 40 years or so time, i.e. right now (there is only a dusting of snow although the temp is -12C ATM)! The propaganda was out there even then and there is no denying that fact.

Comment: Re:depends on where the repeater is (Score 1) 376

by Nate B. (#33042976) Attached to: Amateur Radio In the Backcountry?

Perhaps, but not wise, IMHO. Some years ago there was a case in California where a hiker got into hot water for transmitting on the local sheriff's frequency to report a legitimate emergency. The FCC did nothing to defend the radio amateur for using any means at his disposal during an emergency. Since then my advice is that radio amateurs do not have carte blanche access to the frequencies of other radio services even during a legitimate emergency.

In short, transmitting outside the amateur radio bands opens one up to any legal actions from all entities up to and including the FCC.

Comment: At the end of the day (Score 2, Insightful) 626

by Nate B. (#26094037) Attached to: Followup To "When Teachers Are Obstacles To Linux"

Ignorance is the most expensive commodity in the USA today. And we pay for that ignorance on a daily basis.

Hopefully Ken has been able to push the frontiers of ignorance back just a little. Sometimes it requires a jolt to get that moment moving and I think that both Ken and Karen have learned a lot about jumping to conclusions. Here's hoping that Karen will now become an ally to Ken and his project.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 2, Insightful) 1601

by Nate B. (#25703571) Attached to: Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign

This is a good example of how journalists should be providing
a lot of useful information, so much so that there's enough
real information there to allow the audience to make up their
own mind and counteract whatever bias might be obvious in those
presenting it.

Exactly. Had the media been doing their constitutional duty rather than merely cheerleading the outcome during the primaries would have been decidedly different for both parties. For McCain the cheerleading had been going on since 2000 and for Obama since his convention speech in 2004. But since the media has gravitated toward large top-down government, these are the candidates they promote, and why there really was no choice between the major party candidates in this election.

Comment: Model rockets? (Score 1) 785

by Nate B. (#25694009) Attached to: Of childhood "building" toys, my favorite is ...

No one else got into model rockets? I was introduced to them at age ten and couldn't get enough. For about five years they were my complete and total passion. It sucked when I'd lose one, though.

My painting skills stank since I didn't have the patience for the detail. Now I would understand the joy of the construction process, but then I wanted to see them fly and put them together a bit too quickly quite often. A new Estes catalog would hold my interest for weeks on end.

Comment: Re:Erector set! (Score 1) 785

by Nate B. (#25693991) Attached to: Of childhood "building" toys, my favorite is ...

Oh yeah, I had the electric motor that came with a bum connection. It finally quit and I got a second unit from the company. So I took the motor out of the first unit and would couple them together to get more than the standard three speeds. I had super slow or super fast or sometimes somewhere in between. I also had the motor for the tinker toy set and it was more finicky.

We also had race car sets and board games and card games along with all manner of other stuff now since forgotten.

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.