Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 10 June 2009 This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham System <http://handiham.org> . Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx You can also listen to the content online: Listen to an MP3 audio stream: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ Welcome to Handiham World! Handiham History: The new guy Younger-looking Pat in W0ZSW ham shack. Image: Pat, WA0TDA, in the W0ZSW ham shack, circa 1991. Now that I look at it, I look pretty dorky with those big glasses, but they were the style back then. No excuses for that goofy smile, though! That ancient terminal in the background was probably for packet radio. Black & white image scanned by George, N0SBU. Back in the early 1990's, Bruce Humphrys, K0HR, the Handiham Manager, left Courage Center to run another non-profit. I was in the market for a part-time job, having spent a couple of years at home with our newborn son. My wife Susie spotted an ad in the newspaper (of all places) for this odd-sounding job as Handiham Manager at the Courage Center. Did I want to apply? Well, I did apply and was interviewed by Bruce himself. I ended up taking the job, and went to full time a couple of years later. As the new guy at Handiham headquarters, I needed to learn pretty much everything. Thankfully, Sister Alverna O'Laughlin, WA0SGJ, and Maureen Pranghofer, KF0I, were good at their respective jobs as Education Coordinator and Student Coordinator, and they helped me figure things out. When George started the Handiham History project, I got to thinking about how the headquarters offices have changed over the years. When that dorky photo was taken back in 1991, Jane Rova was our Handiham secretary, and her desk had our one and only piece of high-tech office equipment: an IBM Selectric typewriter. We communicated by postal mail and telephone, and that was pretty much it. Today, the volume of postal mail has shrunk to a trickle, having been replaced with email. While we still use the telephone a lot, email has even replaced a lot of what used to be done by phone. The website has been online since the late 1990's, and it has grown into a colossus that serves up Handiham audio and news on demand, replacing thousands of tape cassettes that used to travel to our members by mail. The website has made it possible to publish a weekly edition of Handiham World instead of a four times per year paper edition, which is how it was in 1991. Even better, the new technology makes everything more accessible and immediate for our members! People often ask me what those staff members from the early days are doing today. Jane is retired, as is Sister Alverna. Sister lives in her Franciscan community at Assisi Heights, in Rochester, MN. Interestingly enough, that is where she lived when Handihams first started and where she became one of the first volunteers back in 1967. She still holds her original call, WA0SJG. Of course her Novice call, WN0SGJ, was modified to change the "N" to an "A" when she earned General. She currently holds an Advanced ticket. Maureen, KF0I, now operates her own business, which does custom professional Brailling. She lives a few blocks from Courage Center, and holds her Extra ticket. As far as I know, Bruce is still working at a non-profit that provides water and simple technologies to people in Africa. Big table in George's basement, filled with handiham history stuff. Image: The N0SBU basement table, filled with Handiham history stuff. Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Hugo, George LaValle, N0SBU, has spread out lots of Handiham photos, old newsletters, and memorabilia out on a big table in his basement. As George sorts through everything, he is writing some stories and re-writing some of the text in old Handiham documents for inclusion in our weekly e-letter. We will have much more later on. You can write to George care of wa0tda@xxxxxxxx if you want to add to the Handiham history. Please put Handiham History in the subject line. Patrick Tice, WA0TDA wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Avery's QTH: My radical proposal Avery's QTH: My radical proposal Image: Avery at the microphone of the Collins S-Line donated by K7UGA. Welcome to my humble QTH. This is Avery, K0HLA, and I found myself thinking this week about some of the operating practices we are hearing on the bands these days. What I came up with is a radical proposal, and it is short and sweet. Are you ready? I think we should propose a new FCC requirement that a person be licensed for a certain period of time before they can even take the next class of license test. Far too many people get their licenses and then have no experience with operating or how things work in the real world. For example, if you had to hold General for two years before you could even take the Extra exam, we would give people who are new to the HF bands a chance to gain some valuable on the air experience. Tell me what you think! I am serious about this and want to start a dialog. Should there be a waiting period before upgrades to Extra? How about General? If so, why? So, until next time, 73 es DX de K0HLA Avery You can reach me Monday & Wednesday until 1:30 PM at: 763-520-0515 or email me at: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/484%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/484> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/484> to friend _____ Accessible right out of the box That's the way it should be - accessible right out of the box! Let me explain. First off, I'd like to thank alert reader Ken, KB3LLA, for locating the information on the Apple iPhone's accessibility features. When I say "accessible right out of the box", I mean that the iPhone 3G S is ready for use by a person who cannot see the screen. That's right: It has a built-in screenreader, VoiceOver, the same screen reader found on Mac computers. The Apple website says: "Making a revolutionary mobile phone means making it easy for everyone to use. That's why iPhone 3G S comes standard with accessibility features that help people with disabilities experience all that iPhone has to offer." Is that cool or what? Apple definitely goes down on my list of "good guys" who do the right thing by making their products accessible. They are doing it the right way, which is to assume that the iPhone's accessibility should be available without special, expensive optional hardware or software. The iPhone 3G S earns Apple our kudos! There is more about this phone's accessibility feature on the Apple website: http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-3g-s/accessibility.html Do you own this phone and have a comment to share? Email Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx . By wa0tda at 06/09/2009 - 18:05 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/483%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/483> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/483> to friend _____ Soundproof books Blind news: Soundproof books The DAISY Consortium website is reporting that Amazon is making more e-books "soundproof" on its Kindle e-book reader. If the term "soundproof" sounds ominous to you, it's because it just might be, depending on whether you are a blind consumer who depends on having accessible books or an author who feels that the consumer should pay for access to an audio book. The term "soundproof" was coined by George Kerscher, International Project Manager of the DAISY Consortium, and Jim Fruchterman of Benetech in a 2002 article in First Monday. For an excellent background on this issue, read the article, The Soundproof Book: Exploration of Rights conflict and Access to Commercial EBooks for People with Disabilities: http://tinyurl.com/lbm9cn You may find this list of soundproof books from the KEI Blog website useful: http://tinyurl.com/r36k3y Interestingly enough, you will find dead authors listed there, so it's rather difficult to imagine that they took an active part in turning off the sound for books like Isaac Asimov's "I Robot", Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations", or Marx's "Communist Manifesto". It would seem that either the publisher specified that the sound be toggled off, or that is somehow a default setting. In any case, if you want to read "The Wealth of Nations", you are probably better off getting it for free on the Internet at http://www.adamsmith.org, since the book, published in 1776, is in the public domain anyway. You can read the short Daisy Consortium news item here: http://www.daisy.org/news/news_item.php?NewsId=569 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/482%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/482> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/482> to friend In case you are wondering, at Handihams we continue to make any of the materials we produce as accessible as possible. _____ Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset Please join us and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit: When: Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM) GMT: Thursday morning at 00:30 Z Where: 145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul) Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) WIRES system number 1427 Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member, and the net is relaxed, friendly, and informal. By the way, our Net Manager Howard, KE7KNN, reminds us that we need net control stations for the Wednesday evening net and for the Monday through Saturday morning net. If you are in the Twin Cities, all you need is a radio that can get on the 145.45 N0BVE repeater, and if you live outside the RF area, you can still be net control via EchoLink, IRLP, or WIRES. _____ Stem cells delivered via contact lens restores vision In this Australian study, three patients who were blind in one eye had their vision restored through the use of stem cells delivered in an unusual way - by a contact lens! Sight in the blind eye was restored in less than a month. The patients had corneal damage blindness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYDSPFuWFDM <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYDSPFuWFDM&feature=player_embedded> &feature=player_embedded More from the University of New South Wales: http://www.unsw.edu.au/index.html . By wa0tda at 06/05/2009 - 12:59 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/481%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/481> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/481> to friend _____ This week at Headquarters: . The Friday audio lectures return this week. The Extra Class topic will be op-amps. Audio will be posted on Friday. . There is an error in E2C05 in the Extra Class question pool modified for DAISY on the Handiham website. The corrected question should read: E2C05 Which of the following frequencies would generally be acceptable for U.S. stations to work other U.S. stations in a phone contest? A. 5405 kHz B. 14.310 MHz C. 50.050 MHz D. 146.52 MHz The correct answer is B. If any of you Extras out there got it wrong, better go back and review! . Minnesota Radio Camp application forms are online! The sooner we hear from you, the better -- if you are planning to join us at this summer's session. One of the summer camps that had been held at Courage North in previous years has been canceled, which means that people who could not get into that session may want to apply for the Radio Camp. Incidentally, you can e-mail us with your ideas for projects and topics at the upcoming Minnesota Radio Camp session. Thanks for all your ideas so far! The waterfront at Lake George Join us this August at Minnesota Radio Camp. Download the camp application package, which contains information pages and the forms you need to apply for camp. Camp starts on Sunday, August 16, and finishes on Sunday, August 23. It's a week of extraordinary fun, during which you can earn your ham radio license or just get on the air. And it can cost as little as $240 for the week. There are two choices for formats, either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. * Download Word Forms <http://handiham.org/manuals/forms/mncamp/word/> * Download PDF Forms <http://handiham.org/manuals/forms/mncamp/pdf/> * Not sure? <http://www.handiham.org/node/358> Take a photo tour! Having trouble downloading or have questions about Radio Camp or Handihams? Just email Pat, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx, anytime. . The Handiham website will be updated daily, usually multiple times a day as news breaks. * In Operating Skills: * The June issue of Worldradio digest audio has been completed for our blind members by Bob, N1BLF, and is posted. * Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the June "Doctor is in" column from QST for our blind members. * The June, 2009 issues of QST & CQ magazines are in audio digest for our blind members. * Login to the <http://handiham.org/user> member section of the Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The QST, CQ, and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob Zeida, N1BLF. * Tape deliveries are in the mail for June. Thanks to George, N0SBU, and Avery, K0HLA, and to our readers, Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, and Bob Zeida, N1BLF. Don't forget to return those mailers so we can send July out as soon as it's ready. * Stay in touch! Be sure to send Nancy your change of address, phone number changes, or email address changes so that we can continue to stay in touch with you. You may either email Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call her toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact us. Reminder: Handiham renewals are now on a monthly schedule - Please renew or join, as we need you to keep our program strong! You will have several choices when you renew: * Join at the usual $10 annual dues level for one year. * Join for three years at $30. * Lifetime membership is $100. * If you can't afford the dues, request a sponsored membership for the year. * Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our activities. * Discontinue your membership. Please return your renewal form as soon as possible. Your support is critical! Please help. The Courage Handiham System depends on the support of people like you, who want to share the fun and friendship of ham radio with others. Please help us provide services to people with disabilities. We would really appreciate it if you would remember us in your estate plans. If you need a planning kit, please call. If you are wondering whether a gift of stock can be given to Handihams, the answer is yes! Please call Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or email: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ask for a free DVD about the Handiham System. It's perfect for your club program, too! The video tells your club about how we got started, the Radio Camps, and working with hams who have disabilities. Call 1-866-426-3442 toll-free. DONATE USED HAM GEAR 1-866-426-3442 toll-free Help us get new hams on the air. FREE! Get the Handiham E-Letter by email every Wednesday, and stay up-to-date with ham radio news. * You may listen in audio to the E-Letter at www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> . Email us to subscribe: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> : . Beginner . General . Extra . Operating Skills _____ That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handi-ham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ARRL </p /> <p>diamond logo ARRL is the premier organization supporting amateur radio worldwide. Please contact Handihams for help joining the ARRL. We will be happy to help you fill out the paperwork! The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is available to everyone free of charge. Please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address. . By wa0tda at 06/10/2009 - 19:24 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/485%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/485> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/485> to friend _____ Courage Center Handiham System 3915 Golden Valley Road Golden Valley, MN 55422 E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442) FAX:(763) 520-0577 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! We look forward to hearing from you soon.