It’s That Time Of Year Again!
With Gustav Hurricane Ike rapidly approaching the Texas coastline, ham radio operators and the ARRL Gulf states leaders are hard at work preparing for the onslaught of monster storms.
To help prepare for these imminent dangers to the US, the ARRL offers on line ham radio Emergency Communications courses. Among other courses available in September, the ARRL is offering the following:
- Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001)
- Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002)
- Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003R2)
Other September 5th courses include:
- Technician License Course (EC-010)
- Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006)
- Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009)
- Analog Electronics (EC-012)
- Digital Electronics (EC-013)
And on September 19th:
- Antenna Modeling (EC-004);
- HF Digital Communications (EC-005);
- VHF/UHF — Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008)
- Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011).
If anyone has the chance to take one or more of these courses, why not commentabout your experience with the course material.
Browsing the Internet with Stumble always turns up someting new to think about, try or check out. Last night’s Stumbling turned up an article about the PC vs Mac controversy again.
The article went on to compare a Dell Inspiron 518 with Vista Home against an IMac with OS X and was based on a very reasonable hardware/price comparison. What peaked my interest in the article was the price difference. I thought it was worth mentioning here because there are people who do need a bit of guidance with home PC purchases. Without going into a lot of detail the Inspiron offered a better graphics card, twice the CPU power (Quad Core on the PC vs Dual Core on the IMac) and 2Gb of additional memory for about $450 less. That is a substantial savings for budget minded folks. The price difference is based on the article at the time it was written.
Of course anyone who is a die hard Mac fan will tell you that OS X is a hell of an uplift from Windows Vista. As an IT professional who works on enterprise class systems, I can tell you that OS X runs circles around Windows Vista in terms of reliability and features. To reinforce that fact, I asked one of our corporate Windows desktop guys about their plans to roll out Vista across our 1500+ PC’s. He nearly choked on his coffee. After nearly requiring the Heimlich maneuver, he told me that people have been buying PC’s and formatting the hard drive and reverting back to XP service pack 3. For some time as a joke, I have been calling Vista, Microsoft’s XP service pack 4.
The bottom line is that if you are on a somewhat tight budget for a computer, or only want to run Windows-centric applications, then purchasing a Dell Inspiron or any other comparitive system is a very solid selection. However, if you want to take advantage of the outstanding engineering, design, stability and features of an IMac and can squeeze it out of your budget, I would highly recommend this superior engineering masterpiece.