Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A half baked idea

I'm not talking about brownies in this case, though in many cases that's all the more cooking brownies need sometimes.

If I we're going to have some say in the design of a new amateur radio transceiver, I think I would do a few things that none of the manufacturers seem to be doing.
1) flash memory - I have a micro SD card from my GPS receiver that holds 2GB of data and cost under $30. 100 memory slots? I think not... how about a 1000 memory slots and memory to, say, record the last hour or so of communications...
2) XML based configuration - It doesn't take much computing power to parse or create an XML, so why not have the whole radio's configuration stored as an XML file. Watchguard firewalls use an XML based configuration, and they have at least as much to store, and arguable much complex combinations of data to store in the XML file
3) USB - Serial ports? Really? I don't disagree that there aren't reasons for a serial port on a radio, but why must we bound to a serial port for configuration.
4) Keypads - most radios these days have dtmf keypads, why not make them available for text input, for labeling the memory slots.

I doubt anyone is going to read this and a tiny fraction of those folks will be HAM radio operators, but if you are and you have a clue as to what I am talking about, leave a comment!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Where do they get these guys from, anyway?

My wife and I had just finished dinner and were doing a little channel surfing the other night when we came across the new "game" show "Amnesia", a game show take on "This is your Life". The first contestant was a guy named Chris, we missed the opening of the show so we didn't catch his last name. Almost instantly I felt I had seen him somewhere else. At first I wrote it off to simply remembering him from the promos for the show, but as the show went on I became convinced that we had seen him on the fourth episode of Feasting on Asphalt with Alton Brown. We popped in the DVD and sure enough! Detective Chris Cognac. We don't have cable so we don't get to watch FoodTV very often, so I had no idea that Chris has been a judge on Iron Chef America, has his own show on FoodTV, and is a food columnist for a small newspaper in Los Angeles.

So all this brings up the question, is Amnesia going to be a game show for celebrities, or did they just get Chris for the first show because they could count on him for being a good showman?