Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 18 February 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 This issue is being delivered in plain text, but is available in HTML with graphics and photos. You can get the HTML version online at the following link: 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! Echolink screenshotI have heard from net manager Howard, KE7KNN, and the move of the Handiham Monday night EchoLink net is official -- we will be making the change beginning the first week in March. Frankly, I'm a bit relieved. Monday nights were just not good for me, because my own local radio club has a 2 m net at the same time. I had tried flipping back and forth between the two nets, checking into one and then checking into the other. This never seemed like a good way to operate. I always felt that I was never really giving either net my full attention. But that's just me. Monday night is apparently a fairly busy night for others as well. Since Monday is the start of the traditional work and school week, it may very well be that family matters simply have to take priority over amateur radio. We think we will have better luck with Wednesday night net activities. By Wednesday, most people have gotten their week pretty well planned out. It may be easier to take a few minutes out of a Wednesday evening, so we hope to hear more of you checking in. Since the 7:00 PM start time might have caused a conflict with the CNIB net, which starts at 6:30 PM USA Central Time and sometimes lasts longer than 30 minutes, we are also moving our start time by a half hour to 7:30 PM Minnesota time. That means the Universal Time start would be Thursday mornings at 01:30 GMT. The other details about the net remain the same: * The Handiham EchoLink net is still the same friendly gathering open to everyone. * It is still a great place to learn about getting on the air and how to participate in nets. * There is a net control station to keep things organized, but unlike many other nets, we invite new net controls to step up to the plate and take over! * There is a Net Manager, Howard, KE7KNN, who will be glad to hear that you want to participate, either as a station checking in, or as a net control station. * The net is still on the same repeaters and nodes as the ones we use for the daily EchoLink net. * In the Twin Cities you can use the N0BVE repeater system, 145.450 MHz, negative offset, no tone. * You can connect via nodes 89680 or 267582 on EchoLink. * IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) * Yaesu WIRES system number 1427 * And there are other ways as well, so feel free to connect as you see fit. The one exception is that we ask you not to connect to N0BVE via IRLP, since that dumps off all the EchoLink users. The first Wednesday of each month the net has a theme of "learning", so don't miss the opportunity to be a better net participant or control station. If you are shy, just listen in. We'd love to hear you check in though! Patrick Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Avery's QTH Avery's QTH Welcome once again to my humble QTH: I just had a minor panic session here. You see, I was in the process of attempting to answer some emails I received after joining Facebook. The problem was I could not find my password for Facebook. Seems to me I had this same problem with SKYPE, The Handiham Remote base and several other applications. I was told by several computer knowledgeable people that it is not a very good idea to use the same password for every application. That sure seems like a sensible idea to me, because someone would be able to get into all a person's accounts with just finding out the one password. I had been keeping all my passwords in a pocket-sized notebook about a half inch thick (which worked out quite well until recently) when I was going into too many new places on the web and just putting the password down on any piece of paper that was handy with the good intentions of transferring them to my little password book. Lesson learned. Do it right away. Don't wait until later. It's too easy to misplace the paper and forget the password. Also, make a back up just in case something happens to the original password book. Because it is made of paper, it could have many things happen that would make it unusable. Oh No! Don't keep passwords in a secret file on your computer. It is too easy for a hacker to find if they break into it. Anyway, after going through every scrap of paper I could find several times still no password. Well, I thought most web sites have a place to get back a password if something like this happens so I will check it out. Sure enough, they did have a way to get a new password if the other one is lost or forgotten. OH BOY! That would mean going though most of the process all over again and waiting for the new password to come. I didn't really want to wait since I had a "TON" of messages to respond to. I shut down everything and really gave some thought to the possible solutions. What might I have used as a password for this? I was very lucky in that all of a sudden it registered with me like a lightning flash out of the blue. I had it and now I could answer all my emails. You better believe I have brought my password books up-to-date. Some people may use a tape recorder or some new fangled digital device to record their passwords instead of notebooks, which is fine as long as no one else has access to them. Now why did I mention this security thing with the passwords? Two words: Homeland Security. Did you know that President Bush signed into law a bill that made all Amateur Radio Operators part of Homeland Security? (It doesn't matter what class of license a person holds). The reason is because of Katrina and 9-11. Amateur Radio got the information passed when all else failed. There are many things we can do to help with Homeland Security. Some are for our own protection. A good one is not to mention on the air that you will be out of town before you go or you could come back to a cleaned out home. After you are back it is too late for someone to take advantage of you. Look out for anything abnormal going on around you. Is that person out at 2:00 in the morning really delivering the early edition of the newspaper or are they scouting the neighborhood to find easy places to break into? Take part in as many of the emergency classes and emergency training exercises as possible. Learn how to run a net under very stressful circumstances. An emergency is not time to find out you don't have the skills to handle it. Please, please know that it is often times more important to just be listening and to be there if you are called. You are only wasting time and tying up the frequency if you don't have the necessary information net control is looking for. Summer is a good time to get experience because there are many city and town festivals where Amateurs take part. Not only are they fun but the learning experience is different every time. What? A contest to find out who checks into the most web sites and has the most passwords, NAW! Don't think so. In so doing, we could be giving away some information that might make it easier for some hacker. So, until next time 73 es DX de K0HLA Avery You can reach me at: 763-520-0515 Monday & Wednesday until 2:00 PM Minneapolis / St. Paul time or avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/351%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ Guy shaking fist at dead computerWebsite outage The Handiham website experienced a brief outage this morning. It lasted about an hour and only the Drupal main site was affected. The Remote Base, the member site, the manuals section, and the audio all remained online. The problem has now been resolved and we apologize for any inconvenience. The site's SQL database had temporarily become unavailable. _____ Found online: VirtualBox computerSo what the heck is it? Says Wikipedia: VirtualBox is an x86 virtualization software package, originally created by German software company innotek, now developed by Sun Microsystems as part of its Sun xVM virtualization platform. It is installed on an existing host operating system; within this application, additional operating systems, each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its own virtual environment. Still don't know what it is? Well, the short answer is that VirtualBox is a way to run another operating system, like Windows Vista or XP on a computer that runs Linux. I found out about this software, which is free for home users, through a Lockergnome newsletter mailing. It works the other way around too, so you could run Linux from Windows. I really want to try this system, and to begin testing ham radio applications within it. If there are any other alpha geeks out there who want to join me in testing and trading information, here are the places you need to visit: Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualBox VirtualBox project home page: http://www.virtualbox.org/ I would like to test the beta release of the new Windows 7 with VirtualBox, so we could find out if applications like the W4MQ Remote Base software and EchoLink will continue to run as expected. Although I have a beta release of this upcoming version of Windows, I have no desire to make my main computers guinea pigs. With VirtualBox, I think I would be able to manage testing quite easily without ruining my current Vista installation. By the way, if you want to check out Lockergnome, which is a true computer geek website, you'll find it here: http://www.lockergnome.com/ _____ KNFB Mobile ReaderListen: KNFB Mobile Reader is featured on Tek Talk Audio In this online audio Tek Talk event, Jim Gashel, Vice President of Business Development for knfb Reading Technology, Inc. and Michael Hingson, WB6NHM, Director of National Sales for the National Federation of the Blind, demonstrated their superior Mobile Reader product line for the blind and people with learning disabilities - featuring the first cell phone that reads and translates. The knfb Reader Mobile is a major advancement in print access for the blind. The software, delivered on a multifunction cell phone, allows the user to snap pictures of any printed material and have it read aloud immediately. The first of its kind, the pocket-sized device allows individuals to have print analyzed and read aloud in real time and in real life situations. WB6NHM has also presented a program at Handiham California Radio Camp, volunteering in the Operating Skills area. Hear the archived audio: http://www.accessibleworld.org/content/knfb-reader-mobile-was-featured-tek-t alk-jim-gashel-and-michael-hingson _____ Macros make life easier Dick, WA0CAF, found this great web resource on using macros, which are shortcut keys for those who don't use a computer mouse to navigate, and those of us who have discovered that oftentimes the keyboard is mightier than the mouse: http://www.cantoraccess.com/resources/faq_macros.shtml If you are interested in learning what macros can do and how to write them yourself, this is the place to go. _____ This week at Headquarters: . N0SBU reaches 1,000 hour volunteer milestone N0SBU reaches 1,000 hour volunteer milestone Congratulations to George LaValle, N0SBU, for racking up 1,000 hours of volunteer work for Courage Center's Handiham System. George does our 4-track tape conversions, volunteers at Minnesota Radio Camp, and manages his pack of Pound Puppies! Another thing George does is faithfully record his volunteer hours, either in person at Courage Center's Volunteer Department, or by emailing Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the number of hours he wants recorded for each project. Thanks to George and to all of our wonderful volunteers! * Remote Base Access! Handiham Members wanting Remote Base access please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx Include your SKYPE name, as SKYPE is used for the audio to and from the transceiver. We are starting to compile a user list. Please do not ask for access unless you are a Handiham member and have at least a General Class license. We also need to remind our would-be users that this is a project that will require you to be computer-savvy, have high-speed Internet access, and to be able to figure things out without much help from us. We do have some help pages online in the members section of the website. Look for the Remote Base link after you log in to the website. We are continuing to develop the help pages with input from you. Please email us with suggestions. * Instruction pages for the W0EQO Remote base have been updated, including how to get SKYPE. Log in to the members only section and <http://handiham.org/user> follow the Remote Base link. * Request for General class lectures: George, N0SBU, has completed putting the website General lectures onto 4-track tapes for members without Internet access. Contact Nancy at HQ for details. <http://handiham.org/user> * New in Operating Skills: * Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the "Doctor is in" column from QST for our blind members. * Just in! Volunteer Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the March 2009 QST audio digest for our blind members. * February audio is also posted. QST, CQ, & WORLDRADIO audio digests are available for our members. Login to the member section of the <http://handiham.org/user> Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The QST, CQ, and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob Zeida, N1BLF. * 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. * Rustic sign says Courage NorthRadio Camp dates for 2009 are set: * Arrive on Sunday, August 16 and depart on Sunday, August 23, 2009. Minnesota Radio Camp will be at Courage North, deep in the pines of northern Minnesota's beautiful lake country. * Once again, campers earning their first license, the Technician, at Radio Camp will get new handheld radios to start them off on their ham radio careers! * It's like a vacation! Those of you who have enjoyed a Handiham Radio Camp at Courage North before know what a beautiful place it is, located on a pristine lake with plenty of lakeside activities, woodland trails, comfortable housing, great food and fellowship, and of course plenty of ham radio fun. * Radios galore! This year we will have our Kenwood TS-480 remote base station operational at the camp, as well as an EchoLink node so that you can stay in touch with your ham radio friends with a handheld radio. We will have several other stations available, including the popular Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver and the new Kenwood TM-V71A blind-accessible dual band radio. Courage North has high-speed Internet access. You can come to camp to take one of the licensing classes for Technician, General, or Extra, or you can take a class in operating skills or an Extra Class seminar, which covers some of the more advanced news and technology in amateur radio today. There is always time for fun at camp, and we always take some side trips to places like Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. If you would like us to send you an application packet, please e-mail Nancy at: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx As soon as the application forms are printed, we will send you one. We hope you can join us for Minnesota Radio Camp 2009. The Handiham Radio Club will also meet at Courage North during Radio Camp week. This year there will be bus transportation as well as airline transportation to Bemidji. We also have plenty of free parking and pick up for free at the bus station and airport. * Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> time & date set: <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session Set An open VE (Volunteer Examination) session for ham radio licensing has been scheduled for the last full day of Handiham Radio Camp on Saturday August 22, 2009. The session is sponsored by the Paul Bunyan Amateur Radio Club & Courage Center's Handiham System. Walk-in's are welcome. If you have been studying for your amateur radio license, you are welcome to join us at Camp Courage North, Lake George, MN to take your exam. Place - Courage North Dining Hall Time of session - 9:00 AM Walk-ins accepted - Advance notice is helpful, but not required. o Read more on the <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Handiham website: <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> http://www.handiham.org/node/335 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: jerry.kloss@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 02/18/2009 - 17:42 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/353%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ 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.