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Comment Try something a little more useable OpenSuSE (Score 1) 573

I have been using OpenSuSE for almost 20 years now (well is was just plain SuSE back when I started) and it is the most consistent and useable distro' I have ever used and I have used Slackware, Yggdrasil, Redhat, Mandrake, Debian and Ubuntu and always kept coming back to stable, consistent SuSE. Others will have their opinions but you really should give it a try. Between the wonderful YAST for configuring things (you don't need the command line for most of what it will do for you) and the fact that it just plain works on all my hardware (that includes wireless, HDMI, sound and SATA) you really can't go wrong. They have many repo's for installing software to support proprietary things like WMA files and others. You have the option of a network install (very small install cd then all the packages are downloaded from online repo's) or can download a DVD image for most non-proprietary packages. You have the option of many different desktop managers (KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, and others) that all have great default configurations out of the box. Try it, and don't listen to the nay-sayers who will whine about the supposed things with Novell and Microsoft, OpenSuSE is independent of that stuff...

Comment ASMAT and Amateur Radio! (Score 3, Informative) 117

You will find much information on AMSAT ( , JAMSAT ( or AMSAT-UK ( for some of the amateur organizations around the world, they have been around for decades and have a wealth of experience and can use any offered help! Also get your amateur radio license and then you can access the existing birds that are up there, ARRL (American Radio Relay League) or RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) or other organizations are a good place to start. I can't seem to get links to work on /. so will have to leave it up to you to google the above acronyms to find out more. I have built my share of down-converters and donated my share of money to get some of the satellites into orbit, it is extremely expensive to get something into orbit, not so hard building it in comparison, most of the expense is just getting it out of the gravity well and orbiting. In fact if you go to the UK AMSAT web site they have a bit on the latest cubesat on there now :)

Submission + - Network+ Cert Boot camps, worthy, worthless? 1

Audrey23 writes: Been in the RF/Telecom industry since 1980, they are now telling us we need some sort of certification to show we know 'networking', I'm being told by my supervisor that I should attend a 'boot camp', so my question is, which certification 'mill' would you suggest for a week long 'cram and ram' session to get me ready to pass the Network+ cert?
As they are requiring this cert by the end of the year the pressure is on and I know I'll just be studying for the test, I still am wondering which training vendor is best for getting me ready to pass the exam?


Comment Re:Actually. . . (Score 1) 189

Modulation methods are for the most part very complex in modern cellular phones and so to say that they only contain components in the lower portion of the audio spectrum is just being ignorant, is this what you were meaning? Power levels in the range of +35dbm at frequencies above about 30MHz will cause small amounts of heating and if the RF is concentrated into a small area (like the end of a piece of unterminated feedline) will cause intense heating to occur. That heating is directly related to power level, frequency used and dielectric properties of the item being exposed to the RF energy. That is why microwave ovens works so well, because the frequency being used (2450MHz) happens to excite water molecules well and so quickly heats the food in the transmitter 'cavity' in this case the microwave oven, also the oven is emitting an order of magnitude more power. The average cellphone emits only about +22dbm (150 milliwatts, .15 watts) whereas a microwave oven emits about +62dbm (1500 watts). As far as the 'self calming', it mostly has to do with my basic understanding of radio electronics and RF field strength through personal experimentation and also theory gleaned from education and text books, it is very well documented and should be clear to anyone who will take the time to educate themselves about radio frequency energy. As I have been involved in the industry for well over 35 years (I am only 50) and have had no adverse health issues, I would say that I can feel some level of 'calm' in my knowledge of the possible health effects from exposure to low level and high level RF energy. But with that said, I treat my whole life with a healthy dose of skepticism and am open to reasoned research that can prove that I should totally eliminate all the electronics that is around me, the jury is still out imho...

Comment Re:Actually. . . (Score 1) 189

Well, actually you might be confused, I did not say that non-ionizing radiation is safe. but AT THE POWER LEVELS AND DUTY CYCLES BEING USED it is safe. Yes, as a matter of fact you can get burned with non-ionizing radiation, I have many long term RF burns on my fingers to prove it (I work with radio frequency transmitters as a hobby and as a professional). But only with much higher orders of magnitude power levels and "on time" (duty cycle) RF radiation can be dangerous, but it gets more complicated than can be explained here. Also the frequencies and modulation techniques that are being used with modern mobile phones by their nature (very low power and duty cycle) cause them to be much less a threat than (again) exposure to the sun which is a much broader spectrum and higher duty cycle. Also you seem to confuse extremely low frequency energy "1Hz to 500Hz range" with the much much higher frequency (800 to 1900MHz) that Cellular and PCS phones use. There may be certain effects from the very low field strengths emitted by mobile phones but it really is minute. I actually tend to be concerned about the exposure we get to high level EMF from power lines myself but I don't have enough information to feel informed. Finally I try not to be scared by science but instead keep an open mind and realize that there is allot I don't know but also quite a bit I do know and can learn, I will consider what you have shown above but will keep in mind what I do know...

Comment Radiation yes, but non-ionizing radiation folks... (Score 5, Informative) 189

Folks please don't get wound up about 'radiation' from a wireless device, remember that it is only 'heating' radiation, not ionizing radiation All it is going to do is warm your skin near where the phone is, or very slow cook for you microwave oven enthusiasts... Ionizing radiation like gamma rays are quite another story and will cause DNA damage, but are a wholly different type of 'radiation'. You will get more damage from standing out in the sun every day then you will from the weak signal that is emitted from your mobile. Now the fact that most mobile phones these days do not have a very efficient antenna is quite the reason that so many of them have such bad SAR values, if people could just stand having a little 'duckie' antenna sticking out of the top of the phone then we would have more efficient emission of the signal and a better SAR value. But that is not sexy and so we won't see any more antenna's like we did when cellphones first came out and so instead the phone body itself is the antenna and a good portion of the emitted signal is absorbed by the hand and head, its just the way it works... The best thing is to educate yourself and make your own decisions

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Geek travel to London from US, tips? 3

Audrey23 writes: I am traveling to London from Washington state for two weeks in December for pleasure (use it or lose it vacation scenario) and was wondering if I should bother bringing my laptop?
I know that I would have to change the region code on my wireless amongst other things and the power cord would have to be changed for a UK outlet.
Would I be better off not bringing my laptop and just using Internet kiosks (do they exist in London) or would having my laptop be a better choice to keep in touch, off-load my digital images etc?
I plan on hitting the British Museum but was wondering what geeky things to do that are in London that might be worth going to and any tips hints on overseas travel for geeks?
I travel quite a bit in the states but this will be my first trip overseas and want to make the best of my stay in merry old England.
What words of advice do you travel seasoned geeks have for me?

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