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Surfin’: Got Updates?


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, your old -- but young at heart – Surfin’ conductor provides updates to past episodes the column.

Parts Proliferating at RadioShack?

Regarding my mention that RadioShack was back in the parts business, providing bits and pieces for hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers, Rick Herndon, K5FNI, wrote: “I'm not sure they’ve really gone back to selling ‘tons o’ parts.’ I surely couldn’t see any difference in the store I visited last week in Calallen, Texas. The components are still packed away in that little case with the sliding drawers, as they have been for the last few years. They have not returned to wall presentation or even multiple drawer units that I could see. Have you visited a store since you wrote your blog post and checked this out?”

It seems to be the same around here. Has anyone noticed any real improvements in their local RadioShack parts business?

My Steve Jobs Story

I need to correct one thing in the column I wrote about my experience with Steve Jobs: The Mac that had display issues was a 17-inch Powerbook G4 1.67 GHz “Aluminum” model, not a MacBook Pro.

I have owned so many Macs over the years that I can’t remember exactly what I owned when. But a reader jogged my memory when he asked for specifics concerning the problem, so I carefully researched the issue, and now the truth can be told.

It seems that a batch of 17-inch Powerbooks manufactured in Shanghai in April 2005 had defective screens that began breaking down 12-18 months after their date of manufacture. The defect was the appearance of one-pixel-wide vertical lines on the screen.

One line showed up on my screen in the fall of 2006 and over the months, it multiplied to more than 100 lines. The lines did not pose a problem using text-based applications, but they did make graphic-based applications very hard on my eyes, so much so that I stopped using my Mac for those applications.

Home for Old QSLs

I have mentioned Bob Green, W8JYZ, and his website, QSL Cards from the Past, a few times in the past, most recently two years ago.

Bob wrote recently, “Just a quick note to say my old QSL cards collection total has just passed the 35,000 mark and is growing every day. I received an e-mail from Ted Walker, KJ7V. He found my website and asked if he could send a number of old QSL collections he was holding from SK club members as a donation to my collection. I was happy to tell him to please send them along at his convenience. Someone a while back called my website the ‘old QSL cards clearing house.’ It seems like it is getting to that point. It is still my goal to continue to save as many old QSL cards as possible and try and get them back into the hands of the people they mean the most to [via the website].”

In that regard, if you have a collection of QSL cards from a deceased ham, don’t discard them. Instead, send them to Bob and he will give them a good home.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, likes old QSL cards. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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