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Comment ..... sooooooo l33+ (Score 1) 404

Y'know.. I remember a day when we had to have an actual understanding of network protocols, operating systems and applications... and write our own "tools" to exploit system weaknesses "for fun".

Apparently these days all you need to be cool is a freshest copy of MetaSploit and no life.... and if m'Sploit can't get you in, just DoS the target and claim responsibility for being so skilled.

Shouldn't you kids be outside playing?

Comment Re:NVIS, HF, repeaters, etc. (Score 1) 376

For the OP's intended use, HF just isn't as practical as a combination as a VHF/UHF HT and a SPOT type device.

First there's the weight / bulk issue... even an 817 with battery, antenna, microphone. etc , as small as it may be, is a few pounds (about as heavy as 5 or 6 HT's).. that's a considerable amount of weight for most hikers .. and a fair amount of space in a daypack.

Then there's frequency.. where in the vast HF spectrum would he call where someone who can actually help *might* be listening to hear him? During the day 20 meters is generally open and with a modest antenna and a few watts it's easy to make a contact hundreds or thousands of miles away. In the early morning or late evening 75/80 meters might open up, but a small antenna and a few watts won't do much there.

And what if he needs help on a Saturday afternoon when there's half a dozen QSO Parties going on and the bands are full of over-processed kilowatts shouting "Contest Contest" and "You're 59.. gimme your call again... again? again?"

Don't get me wrong... I'm a big fan of mobile / portable HF and I play with both regularly, but it really doesn't sound like the right choice for a mountain hiker's first application of ham radio. Perhaps once he gets "the fever" he might choose to spend the extra money and carry the extra hardware for those mountain-top DXpeditions :)

Comment Disaster defense in depth... (Score 1) 376

1) Talk to someone in a local ham club. They will let you know what kind of VHF/UHF repeater coverage there is in the areas you're interested in hiking. They can also help you with test study material and direct you towards the Volunteer Examiners near you. Go ahead and get at least a Technician class license. The test is relatively easy and the exam is less that 20 bucks.

2) Get yourself a basic hand-held VHF/UHF radio. You can find them used for cheap money or you can spend the bucks on a new one. There's a Chinese dual-bander that very popular, FCC approved for commercial use (if that's of any use to you) and can be had for under $125.00 delivered to your door with battery, desk charger, antenna, etc. The quality is actually pretty good.. in fact I own more two of them (in addition to several other brands)

3) Go ahead and get yourself a SPOT satellite locator and pack that along as well

Now... if you find yourself in trouble and you're within range of an amateur radio repeater, then you can call for help that way.
If you're not able to reach a repeater, then send for help using your SPOT device with a pre-programmed message that includes a simplex (non-repeater) frequency on which you will be listening. Now when the SAR teams, which quite often include hams, get near you (or fly over you) you can communicate directly with the folks that are coming to help.

If nothing else, getting a ham radio license will introduce you to a wonderful hobby that can involve anything from casual conversations with other hams in your area (or around the world) to participation in emergency communications with a local ARES team. There are on-air contests if you're interested in things like that, or you can just use it when you're hiking. What you do with it is up to you.

I've been a ham for 30 years, I'm the Emergency Coordinator for my counties ARES / RACES / CERT team working directly with county & state EMA, I'm a volunteer examiner and have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of new hams get started. I've spoken with hams in more than 150 countries from my SUV just while commuting to and from the office. I've met some of my dearest friends through ham radio and I wouldn't trade it for anything.... so don't pay any attention to those who would tell you it's a waste of time, because they apparently just don't get it.

Cheers and best of luck to you.

Comment In other news.... (Score 1) 190

... LucasFilms has issued a Cease and Desist order against all criminals, past, present and future, to prevent the unlawful acquisition of monetary gains while portraying characters that are the intellectual property of George Lucas.
  George has also contacted the NY criminal demanding royalties for this recent public performance...


Submission + - The 5 Strangest Materials

MattSparkes writes: "This article describes 5 bizarre materials with strange properties. There are liquids you can walk on, liquids that will escape containers by creeping up the sides, and magnetic liquids that can easily show you the shape of magnetic fields."

Submission + - IBM's Power6 processor will exceed 5Ghz

Jordin Normisky writes: IBM's Power6 processor will be able to exceed 5 gigahertz in a high-performance mode, and the second-generation Cell Broadband Engine processor from IBM, Sony and Toshiba will run at 6GHz. The chip's clock will tick at a rate "over 5GHz in high-performance applications". In addition, the chip "consumes under 100 watts in power-sensitive applications," a power range comparable to mainstream 95-watt AMD Opteron chips and 80-watt Intel Xeon chips.

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