I worked Olivia for the first time last night, replying to a CQ on 40m just around midnight CST, then answering a call after signing with the first station. I had a pretty good idea how this mode operates from several QSOs I've monitored on 20m, but didn't realize that there are calling channels and other protocols that are followed. Tnx to VE7NBQ for pointing me to the HF Link web site for more info on this.
The best thing about Olivia is that it looks to be a true ragchewing mode, unlike PSK31 which is one boring macro-centric QSO after the next. Olivia trades speed for damn near 100% perfect error-free print so you actually have the time to type ahead on the fly; this facilitates the all-but-forgotten conversation, long since replaced by fast callsign/RST exchanges and the aforementioned QSO by Macro -- perhaps we should we call such exchanges QSMs instead of QSOs since most of the people you work on PSK simply repeat everything they've already sent to the station before you. I've seen none of that on Olivia; it's clearly the digital mode of choice for hams who have something to say.
So now I've conquered two of the 'new' modes. However, I have yet to conquer the needlessly complex operating system known to many as Windows, but known to me affectionately as "this f--king third rate piece of s--t so-called operating system." Call me a Mac bigot, but I'm a Mac bigot for a reason. I honestly spend about 6 minutes a year troubleshooting Mac OS X, and that's in a bad year. With Windows, there's some issue or another to deal with every other time I turn it on -- loss of sound card settings, inability to see the K3 on the COM port assigned to my USB adapter, vanishing drivers, application lockups just as a DX station is returning my CQ... all this has happened to me in the course of the one week, and this is a fairly new PC that had a fresh installation of WinXP put on it before it entered the shack.
Now I understand that some people actually like tinkering with their computers. God bless them, they're entitled to treat their computer as a hobby. I, however, have no more desire to tinker with my PC than I have to tinker with my electric toothbrush, power drill or vacuum cleaner -- they're tools, nothing more. I just want the damn things to work when I turn 'em on. The computer is a tool for me, not a hobby. I've lived through the dark ages of both DOS and Mac OS 6 through 9 (and, to be fair, Mac OS X 10.0), I've had enough of the constant man-vs-machine struggle to get the damned computer to do what I want. Sticking with Macs all these years has finally paid dividends, OS X 10.5 has been bulletproof for me, as has 10.3 and 10.4 before it; Microsoft, on the other hand, has merely replaced the IRQ headaches of DOS with the driver and DLL headaches of their "modern" OS.
There's one genius on the QRZ forums with a sig line that says "Macs are toys, Get a PC!" Whatever. This is the 21st century, the OS wars are over and the winner is... The Internet. I don't care what OS I'm running anymore, and neither do most people as long as it works. Except for a couple of ham radio apps that I like, my Mac can do anything my PC can do, and it does it elegantly, effortlessly, and without the constant headaches.
Unfortunately, with HRD and DM780 I have found logging and digital mode software that does everything I want. Plus, I'll eventually use some sort of contest logging program for which the choices for Mac are virtually nonexistent. Therefore I must deal with Windoze much as I've done for years at work. Lucky me.
Maybe Windoze 7 will be better. LOL!
Long-path QSO with YL - Long-path QSOs are noteworthy for me in that I don’t have many of them that I am able to verify via antenna rotation. I need to work on exploring other pro...
1 day ago