2016-08-21

Puff the fractal dragon

An ancient hackers' song, discovered on an old floppy disk:


No plain fanfold paper could hold that fractal Puff --
He grew so fast no plotting pack could shrink him far enough.
Compiles and simulations grew so quickly tame
And swapped out all their data space when Puff pushed his stack frame.

CHORUS:
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.

Puff, he grew so quickly, while others moved like snails
And mini-Puffs would perch themselves on his gigantic tail.
All the student hackers loved that fractal Puff
But DCS did not like Puff, and finally said, "Enough!"

CHORUS:
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.

Puff used more resources than DCS could spare.
The operator killed Puff's job -- he didn't seem to care.
A gloom fell on the hackers; it seemed to be the end,
But Puff trapped the exception, and grew from naught again!

CHORUS:
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.


   

2016-08-20

NASA releases research papers to the public



NASA published the following announcement, effectivley giving free public access to NASA research papers: 

NASA PubSpace

NASA is using PMC to permanently preserve and provide easy public access to the peer-reviewed papers resulting from NASA-funded research. Beginning with research funded in 2016, all NASA-funded authors and co-authors (both civil servant and non-civil servant) will be required to deposit copies of their peer-reviewed scientific publications and associated data into NASA’s publication repository called NASA PubSpace. This exlcudes patents, publications that contain material governed by personal privacy, export control, proprietary restrictions, or national security law or regulations. NASA PubSpace is part of PubMed Central (PMC) which is managed by the NIH.

You can now search NASA related articles archived in PMC at NASA PubSpace. PubSpace will be fully functional Fall of 2016.

Already over 800 recent research articles, published within 2016, have been uploaded in PDF format to the site, which uses the infrastructure of the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

2016-08-02

IOTA programme introduces paperless QSLs !

At last! The RSGB Islands on the Air (IOTA) programme shall implement paperless QSL credits, in cooperation with Clublog ! Last month Roger G3KMA published the following press release on the IOTA site:


One of the first actions of Islands on the Air (IOTA) Ltd., the new managers of the programme, has been to expand the application routes on IOTA’s existing software system to include Club Log QSO Matches. This is intended as the first step to the introduction of a much broader system of Paperless QSLing that is scheduled to be launched in the late Spring of 2017. Only a relatively small number of IOTA operations have been added at this time, mainly ones from islands which satisfy the criterion of one DXCC entity equals just one IOTA. This action was intended to provide a test run on how Club Log QSO matching would work in due course on the new IT system. Even so, modest as this approach is, more than 10,000 QSO matches were obtained in the first week, and the first IOTA 100 Island applications have been received using this option exclusively. As with all new IT enhancements there were a number of bugs and queries raised which have now been resolved. Finally, to make use of this additional feature, sign in to the IOTA website and go to https://www.rsgbiota.org/mycredits/ and click on Club Log QSO Matches. Bear in mind, this is not the full-blown system envisaged for introduction next year. We will expand the list of accepted operations over the coming weeks and months but, much as we would like to do more, it will be mainly in the area of recent operations from the rarer IOTA groups and, of course, ones that have uploaded logs to Club Log and indicated that they do not wish to delay or block IOTA QSO matching.

G3KMA, 10 Jul 2016

Today I applied for an account on the RSGB IOTA site and wait for the passord from my local checkpoint.


In the meatime I spent a few hours in a holiday style IOTA contest operation as SV1XV/P from Lesvos Island, EU-049. Propagation was not great, and I notices short skip conditions, like working 5B4AIF on 28 MHz in mid-summer, indicative of a Sporadic E openning. Many thanks to Alex SV8QG for the support and logistics for this operation.

2016-07-10

IARU HF contest



HF propagation is deteriorating, however during the recent IARU-HF contest we enjoyed good Es openings on 28 MHz. 

I had 51 QSOs on 14 and 28 MHz and worked some intersting callsigns:
  • EU1A on 28 MHz - still need EU on 10m
  • Z60A (SHRAK) on 14 MHz SSB and CW
  • ET3AA on 14 MHz SSB
  • ZB2TT on 14 MHz CW
  • J77HQ (DARCI) on 14 MHz CW

At the same time there were sporadic E openings on 50 MHz,  with the longest paths in the E-W direction (EA7HG and EA8DBM). These should be attributed to double hop Es.

2016-05-08

50 MHz Sporadic E season

Locator squares worked (yellow) and confirmed (orange) on 50 MHz in 2016

In early May 2016 we had a few weak Es openings on 50 MHz  to the North and Northwest. This year's map is still white but I hope to fill it in.