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Comment Re:This is news? (Score 1) 224

And, sadly, most of the interference issues would not be solved by installing a filter on the antenna,

That wouldn't help at all because the issue is the TV being desensitized by a signal that is out-of-band for TV, but in-band for Ham radio. You cannot filter out the signal that you're trying to transmit, as that defeats the purpose.

If the signal that is interfering with the TV is coming in the antenna connection, then installing a filter on that connection is exactly how you'd solve the problem.

Again -- absolutely not. I'm going to try to clarify this for you one last time.

This is a case where the Ham is transmitting on a ham band (not on a TV band), but the proximity between the Ham and the neighbor's TV antenna means that the neighbor's TV, which lacks an input filter to initially reject the Ham band, is desensitized by the powerful signal, and as such isn't able to receive the weaker broacast TV signal. The effect the neighbor sees is "I can't see my channel", but it's neither the Ham's nor the neighbor's fault as to why that is. It's also perfectly legal for the Ham to be transmitting, because the Ham is not transmitting outside of the Ham band, and is thus not interfering.

This cannot be filtered at the Ham antenna. The filtering has to be done at the neighbor's TV.

Yes, you'd filter out the signal that the ham is transmitting whether it is direct interference (the most common) or desense.

Absolutely not.

Comment Re:Consider it a (technology) life lesson (Score 1) 467

Don't buy hardware that can be bricked by flashing the BIOS.

Unfair statement; this was a situation where firmware came out later, and also almost all hardware (video cards, hard disks, network cards, motherboards, etc) has flashable firmware. Even if you have a backup of the BIOS, that cannot always save you -- like a backup of a video BIOS when the videocard can't work because it's BIOS is borked so that the screen is always black.

Comment Re:Flashed hundreds of devices - no problems. (Score 4, Insightful) 467

It's you. I've flashed firmwares of hundreds of devices - motherboards, phones, video cards, embedded systems, routers, etc, and I have never once had one of them brick.

That's not a fair statement, because the specific devices and firmware versions have not yet been stated, so your statement is completely based on an assumption based solely on your experiences, which may nor may not have any relevance to this hardware in question. Thus what you're doing is known as "blaming the victim".

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 1) 224

There's one catch, though: modern TVs lack an input filter that they're supposed to have by design which would normally reject non-TV frequencies,

If they are lacking the filter, then they were designed that way. Those devices are FCC approved and certificated, and if they were designed and tested for compliance with the filter but are being built without it, they are in violation of federal law (47CFR15) and can be confiscated and destroyed.

Designed and tested with the filter, shipped without it because they're expected to be connected to Cable, AFAIK. As for confiscation/destruction, I don't think that's realistic, regardless of whether that's what's "on paper".

In those cases filtering needs to be added back to the TV to isolate it from the Ham transmissions -- it's my understandnig that this filter can be provided by the TV manufacturer upon request.

Since it is not really part of the design, and the manual for the TV clearly states that this device must accept interference (as part of the Part 15 Class B conformance statement), probably not. I think you can find commercial filters to use in this case, but the TV owner is stuck paying for them. And good operating practice says that the ham is not going to touch the TV to try to fix it, otherwise he becomes liable for any perceived failures of that TV. "Hey, the day after you installed your filter to stop your interference, the TV stopped working altogether, and I'm suing you, you basterd."

And, sadly, most of the interference issues would not be solved by installing a filter on the antenna,

That wouldn't help at all because the issue is the TV being desensitized by a signal that is out-of-band for TV, but in-band for Ham radio. You cannot filter out the signal that you're trying to transmit, as that defeats the purpose.

since a lot of the interference issues comes from modern, cheap ass plastic housings on the low price consumer equipment. You can't stop an interfering signal that is leaking into the electronics through the side of the TV by installing a filter on the antenna lead. You need to install shielding on the TV itself.

Well, no, not in this case -- remember, we're talking about TVs receiving broadcast TV that are the problem -- the signal causing the TV a problem is coming from the TV antenna, and (generally) not from "leakage". You've got the right idea, though -- that the receiver needs to be isolated from the desensitizing signal. Some filtering between the TV antenna and the TV is all that's required to reduce the mount of the Ham transmission gets to the TV's receiver. The TV's receiver is in a separate RF enclosure, so the fact that the back of the TV is plastic isn't a problem and is thus (usually) a Red Herring here.

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 4, Interesting) 224

> That is a serious infringement of Liberty, IMHO.

Your liberty does not include the right to spray your rf all over my land.

Actually in most places, it does, at least for Ham Radio operators, CB, Family Radio systems, wireless intercoms,and Wifi. However as you mentioned, these liberties also come with the restriction that the transmission not interfere with other frequencies -- thus we can give you our RF, but you should never notice.

There's one catch, though: modern TVs lack an input filter that they're supposed to have by design which would normally reject non-TV frequencies, because they're suppposed to be tolerant of out-of-band signals. TV manufacturers got permission not to ship this filter, because most TVs are hooked up to Cable where it isn't needed. However in the cases where a neighbor of a Ham is receiving broadcast TV, the TV can be desensed due to the lack of the filter and the close proximity of the transmitting Ham station. In those cases filtering needs to be added back to the TV to isolate it from the Ham transmissions -- it's my understandnig that this filter can be provided by the TV manufacturer upon request.

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 5, Interesting) 224

I've visited the GBT while it was under construction at the NRAO; there's another interesting feature of the site due to the location being surrounded by mountains -- which is that thunder from lightning strikes take a long time to dissipate, because they reverberate between the mountains. It's reallly something to listen to -- the rumble after the initial thunderclap lasts for about 20 to 30 seconds. :-) Somehow it's like a symphony to the soul.

Comment Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

I started with Slackware as well


You're right. I should have mentioned apt/dpkg (Ubuntu) vs. yum/rpm (Fedora) and zypper/rpm (OpenSuSE) but the core RPM tool seems more robust when you need to trace down why an app isn't starting up (dependency problems) or determine whether files have been tampered with.

Well, sort of. Debian has a tool 'debsums' to check package checksums and thus installed package integrity. (You'll likely want to run 'debsums -s' to report only errors.) However this isn't installed by default, nor is it commonly discussed or advertised, whereas the equivalent for rpm, 'rpm -Va', typically is. So it's not that there isn't a tool to do the same job, it's just that it's not as well known. Likewise with dependencies; if one uses 'atptitude' you can get both forward and reverse dependency lists, and with 'deborphan' you can find orphaned packages that can be removed. [As you can probably tell, I'm more comfortable with these tools than with the RPM counterparts.]

Although leaving Ubuntu coincides with buying a faster machine, it seems zypper/rpm is much faster than apt/dpkg, which could take hours to install (NOT including initial downloading). zypper/rpm has various options for how updates are performed (one file at a time, in small batches or after fully downloaded) among other options.

I don't personally see major speed improvements in RPM (yum/rpm on Fedora) over DEB; and if install speed were important, Arch is clearly fastest from what I've seen. ;-) If zypper/rpm on OpenSuSE is faster than DEB I wouldn't doubt it, but that wouldn't be a motivator (for me) to switch distros.

Comment Re:Secure boot (Score 1) 458

Thanks very much for at least sympathizing, you'd be surprised how many people don't!

:-( Yeah... it's a lot easier to "explain away" issues than actually try to help with them. From the point of view of the person "helping", it "solves" the problem. I see this kind of thinking a lot on LUG mailing lists -- it's frustrating.

I did ask for help getting things running in the #freebsd channel but once I admitted I had made the "mistake" of buying a Windows PC with UEFI the most helpful answer I got was to "buy another computer," but in...less polite terms.

Most hardware these says comes with UEFI (or soon will), but more to the point you cannot guarantee that you will be able to know whether the hardware comes with UEFI or not. And regardless, you own that hardware now, so telling you to buy new hardware isn't reasonable. I forget if FreeBSD requires a different solution than the Grub2 shim, but hopefully there's a solution for it soon too.

I personally wish that I hadn't learned about UEFI in this manner but I'm glad that I know better now at least -- but there are still plenty of us out there who would like to try other options!

I read about it before running into install trouble because of it, but all that does is remove the surprise factor. ;-)

Comment Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

Took me a bit to figure out that LMDE = Linux Mint Debian.
During the "top 25 distribution" tryouts I had I tried it, and admittedly I like LMDE more than the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint. However as jimshatt pointed out, that will not solve the social problems that Debian has, because both Mint and Ubuntu want packages to go through Debian first... so as a package maintainer you end up being in exactly the same position as you were before.

Comment Re:Secure boot (Score 1) 458

Couldn't get it to boot...unfortunately I'm one of those charlatans that made the fatal mistake of buying a computer with UEFI and no way to turn secure boot off (HP p6-2142), I can't get it to boot anything other than Windows 7, Ubuntu or Fedora. And I was hoping to use FreeBSD...

:-( Secure boot is a nightmare. On top of some UEFI bioses not having the option to disable it, another option is required to enable "legacy boot" mode; where "legacy" in this case means "anything other than Windows 8". Some bioses allow disabling Secure Boot, yet still don't have a "legacy boot" option. :-/

What I'm really dissappointed by is that some manufacturers (Lenovo, for one) don't seem to include anything about UEFI bios settings in their documentation for laptops they sell. I recently had to do an install on a Lenovo P500, and on this box getting into the UEFI bios requires pressing a separate tiny button on the side of the laptop while the laptop is off. See the text on Page 20 and the diagram on Page 5 of the following document (which doesn't ship with the laptop):

Matthew Garrett has a signed "shim" for Grub which the other distributions which will let them boot even when the "secure boot" option is enabled; so OpenSuSE will have this solved soon. Hopefully Debian soon will as well.

Comment Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

After using SuSE for years, then Ubuntu for years, then a very brief love affair with Fedora 17 KDE (mainly, delta RPM updates), I returned to OpenSuSE after 10 years away and probably will never switch away again. As far as integrated admin tools and the installer, OpenSuSE's have always been exceptional.

I started with Slackware, then switched to Debian in late 1999 and have been using it since. However I recently tried a bunch of distros, one of which was OpenSuSE (12.1) with KDE4 and I was surprised at how much I liked it. If I ever switch away from Debian, OpenSuSE would be one of my top choices. I also liked Arch (super-fast package installs, but there's no graphical installer) and Vector Linux (based on Slackware but with package management). I also liked Fedora 17, but for obvious reasons I don't currently consider it a condender. :-/

Also, my reason for switching from DEB to RPM-based distro was it seems Debian's core package management tools haven't seemed to evolve much in years while RPM appears to have improved quite a bit.

Concerning RPM-based distros I'm assuming you're referring to the improvements via YUM rather than RPM internals. (Correct me if this isn't the case.) Debian has actually improved on some of the DEB packaging tools; it isn't obvious because the development of DEB tools starts from the source package side first. I mostly like the Debian packaging system -- it's still the best package management system that I know of -- except that it's a bit complicated to create source packages, especially if you want to use Git while doing so. If I were to complain about Debian and reasoning for leaving it, it would be more along the lines of social problems within the Debian community rather than technical issues.

Comment Re:What puts me off (Score 3, Informative) 252

She uses 'I was like', 'they were like' an awful lot. That, to me, is not the sign of an intelligent person.

She speaks informally, but I don't think that denotes anything about her intelligence.

I've met her in person; she's previously spoken about Debian at NYLUG and spoke during DebConf10. During her speeches at DebConf10 she used a bunch of 'lolcats' pictures in the slides; it wasn't just to be cute, it was for effect and to hold everybody's attention, and it worked. I believe this is a matter of choosing her presentation and her words to fit her audience.

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