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Surfin’: The 500 Club

08/13/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ considers the previous 499 installments of Surfin’. 

When I was a kid, I remember The Kid hitting his 500th home run. That was a real big deal back then, because Theodore Samuel Williams was only the fourth player to become a member of the exclusive 500 club, joining Babe Ruth (with 714 home runs), Jimmie Foxx (521) and Mel Ott (511).

Today, the 500 club has 25 members, which was inconceivable to me back in 1960 when Teddy Ballgame hit his 500th dinger. Similarly, it was inconceivable to me when I began writing Surfin’ nine and-a-half years ago that I would pen 500 editions of this column. But this is it! You are reading the 500th installment of Surfin’!

A lot of bits have flowed through the Wi-Fi bridge during the past 499 installments. Some of the Web sites I wrote about have disappeared from the face of the net, but the majority is still chugging along providing value to their users. For example, the very first Web site I wrote about, the antenna special page at hard-core-dx.com (hcdx), is still up and running.

I am a poor prognosticator when it comes to predicting what you readers will like. Naturally, I hope everything I write will be a hit, but sometimes I am surprised what ends up going over the fence and becomes a home run!

The most popular Surfin’ -- based on reader feedback -- was “Manuals for Nothin’ and Searches for Free.” That installment discussed the FCC Web page that allows you to access gratis manuals and other information that radio manufacturers have to file with that administrative body. Such divergent topics as Linux and ham radio in the entertainment fields have also been popular subject matter in this column. So go figure!

Anyway, thank you to all my loyal readers, with a special shout out to those who sent me suggestions that became new installments of Surfin’ (keep those cards and letters coming). Also, thank you, Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, my editor, who has been repairing my mangled words for the last 220 installments.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor note (updated from December 2000): Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, of downtown Wolcott, Connecticut, is an ARRL Life Member and an incessant contributor to QST, QEX, and the ARRL Web site (998 pieces in 30 years), not to mention the author of five ARRL books and contributor to a bevy of other ARRL titles. First licensed in 1969 as WN1LOU, he upgraded to WA1LOU in 1971. Stan began using computers with Amateur Radio in 1978 when he bought a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I computer and wrote BASIC programs to dupe contests and calculate antenna bearings. A virtual beach boy, Stan has been surfing the radio dials as long as he can remember, however, instead of surfing all over Manhattan and down Doheny Way, he now surfs the Internet searching for that perfect page. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



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