Why does this stuff happen just when I am about six feet deep
in (a) discourse analysis & freshman comp or (b) putting up the
rest of the tower? I mean, c'mon guys, is there no sanity here?
As much as I love CW (and looking back over about three decades
of logs I can see just how much cw I do love), I have to say it:
progress is gonna eat up all the old nostalgia stuff. Digital
mode stuff (which I do not and cannot operate beyond this terminal
and the phone lines... leading to another argument) is gonna become
more popular and more people are gonna wanna get on the air and
call their own private CQs, just like they do now on SSB and/or
CW. You've heard 'em. Admit it.
One minute you hear dead air and you send a ?. You hear nothing.
You do it again. And again. ? ? ? Finally, you call
CQ. And running QSK, you know what's up between the Qs and the Cs.
And damn if there doesn't appear a little squeak of a signal not
more than, say, 300 Hz off your dial, calling CQ. And he's weak.
And he signs /QRP. ANd you wonder if he's deef or just another
egocentric ignoramus who just can't stand it not getting his own
personal CQ answered. It happens. You've heard 'em. Admit it.
SO you think digital is any different? Well, it ain't. City phone
books fill up with BBS phone numbers 'cause some computer head
can't stand not having his own little digital kingdom. Ham bands
fill up with CQs which no one answers 'cause everyone's too busy
So digital, like SSB or phone or AM or FM or PacTor or PackRat
or RTTY or RATT or whatever the hell it is, is gonna get popular
and CW will look like SKN. Nostalgia.
Of course, I figure by that time I will be so deep into QRPp
on 30m or maybe 10m that it won't make any difference. After all,
by the next maxima (around 2001, eh?), I'll be 55. Another cycle
later I'll be 66. As the family's actuarial table goes, that's
gonna be close to getting damn codgerly. You won't want me on the
air for the one when I'm 77. Presuming I make it that far. I mean,
look at what a pain in the neck I am now, with my doom and gloom
and gloop and all.
Sad fact is, all of us QRP loonies and the QCWA and the Morsum
Magnificat gang ain't jack-ought sierra-five to all the money in
the digital sales business. And you know my philosophy on that.
You don't? Well, hell, lemme give it to you: "It's better to
study linguistics and loose than to go into marketing." It's on
my car, right across that damn center of the window brake light.
When I stop, you gotta read it.
This does not mean that I am gonna lay here and let digital
users walk over me. So what if they can't seem to figure that it's
just as easy to sign up for net access and use the phone lines
than to try to make it work with the ionosphere. (After all, look
at the military: they did that digital [ok, RTTY and SITOR] stuff
for years, bounding crap off the ionosphere before finally gettin
smart and putting up spy boxes with data transponders in 'em.)
No, I'm gonna take my medication, sit down at the key and try
like hell to be heard through their "znrk--znrk--znrk-znrk--znrk-znrk"
garbage. And lest we forget: Baudot at any rate and any level
still takes up a hell of a lot more space than a little CW signal
at a reasonable clip. And a lot less power too. You need juice
to run the computer what makes the znrks. All I need is the rig's
power requirements, an antenna and a key. All the software's in
my head. All the interface is in my fingers and ears. It's so
simple. Even a boot could do it.
(Ah, yes: flame shields at maximum... and remember, as long as
my medication holds out, you can say anything you want. Betcha
run out of air before I run out of pills.)
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