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#282 August 1, 2022 from Don Crowder
First words:

Greetings friends! Welcome to another edition of the web's
least significant monthly publication. Not that I mind being
insignificant mind you. it just means I don't have to answer
to producers, publishers or advertisers. I have neither
employer nor employees and if I want to take a nap at my
desk or spend the afternoon bingeing on youtube videos it's
all good.  I can do as I please. :)

Let's get started . . .


Contact me:

Don on...



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A time or two I've been told that I have eclectic tastes in
music. I'll let you be the judge of that. Here are the
musical youtube channels I subscribe to.

By now, most of us have discovered that digital TV lets us
get a lot of extra channels on our TV sets.  For example,
here in Albuquerque, with an inexpensive digital TV antenna
we're able to get about 50 broadcast channels. Sure, there
are quite a few repeats and we don't actually watch any of
them (we mostly watch free content available via our Roku
device) but it is impressive that so many channels are
available.  It's about to become even more impressive though
with the advent of what's being called NEXTGEN TV.

I remember 'back in the day' when I augmented the income
from my day job by working evenings in a CB radio shop.
That was in the CB boom days (late 1970s) when just about
everyone on the road had a CB in their car. These days, I
have a brand new CB transceiver, still in its original box,
in storage. Somehow I never got around to installing in my
van, but there are still lots of folks out there who use
CB radios.

The 'step up' from CB radio is Amateur (also called Ham)
radio and it used to be a pretty big deal because you had
to learn Morse Code to get a Ham radio license but that's
no longer true. You do have to know quite a bit about radio
technology but you can get a Technician class license
without having to learn Morse Code.

When I was a pre-teen, a lot of my friends were into
making their own crystal radio sets. They pick up AM
broadcasts and don't require batteries. Very cool.
Here's a simple version.
And here's on that's a little more sophisticated.
Of course you can buy crystal radio kits but, ironically
enough, they cost more than a DIY kit for building a
battery powered AM/FM radio (which is great IF you have
some basic soldering skills and a soldering iron).

I think the single most significant technological change in
our world was cellular radio and, more specifically, the
'Smartphone'.  A smartphone is just a tiny, hand held
computer. My Samsung Galaxy J2 sells new for under $50.
The one I'm actually using was bought refurbished for $15.
I keep in touch with my family and friends better than ever,
mostly with text messages, I'm not afraid to go anywhere in
Albuquerque because Google maps will take me anywhere I need
to go, I can check my email if I need to, or search the web
(though I mostly prefer to do these things on my desktop
machine) and all for what adds up to less than $10 a month.
Yes, I know, most folks pay a lot more than that for their
smartphone and for monthly service but I'm decidedly NOT
most folks. Contact me for details if you're curious about
how I do it. This isn't a commercial publication so I don't
want to provide free advertising for anyone but I'll answer
questions in an email.

I really dislike pcmag pages because you just get started
reading the article when it's suddenly covered up by a full
page ad and you have to click on 'Not Now' to get back to
reading the article, but, that being said. here's some
useful info for google drive users (and if you have a
google account, you have access to google drive, whether
you use it or not)

I know a lot of people who have gmail accounts who not only
don't use any of the other services available to anyone who
has a gmail account, they aren't even aware that these
services exist. Google Drive gives you a great place to
upload files that are too large to be attached to an email
and share them with friends and family. Google Voice let's
you make free long distance calls to anywhere in the US or
Canada (which matters if your cellphone provider charges
you by the minute). Google Calendar can text or email you
reminders of birthdays and appointments while Google Docs,
Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Google Sites can be used
collaboratively in real time.  More importantly, some
email provider's reputations, deserved or not, can
affect how you're viewed by others.  For example, a
a hotmail address suggests that your loyalties lie with
Microsoft and some folks will be wary of you for having
it. A yahoo address can imply that you're inexperienced
or are a redneck. A gmail address, on the other hand,
implies that you are a knowledgeable, possibly experienced
'netizen" so even if you don't use any of the many
services provided by Google, you'll be taken more
seriously for having a gmail address. Before you get all
worked up about it, I'm not suggesting that there's
anything wrong with using yahoo or hotmail as your email
provider. I'm talking about reputations, and, as I said,
whether they're deserved or not. In fact, there are a few
people who are actually suspicious of gmail addresses so
'your mileage may vary'.  :)

This is quite explosive (it's about a supernova).

Nerdy Windows 11 stuff. [theregister dot com]

When my kids were little, on long drives in the car we'd
pass the time by playing the Alphabet game.  Beginning with
the letter 'A' you had to find a sign (or license plate)
with that letter on it.  You were allowed only one letter
per sign and at least one other person had to acknowledge
that the letter was where you said it was or it didn't
count. There wasn't a 'winner' as such, we'd just all cheer
when we got to 'Z' and, if it was a long trip, we'd start
over again. It was a great game with no board, no cards and
no keeping score. There are other games that can be played
without cards or a board.

Another game we played indoors, when the weather was bad
outdoors, was Hide the Penny.  It begins with one person.
the hider, who has a penny. Everyone else must leave the
room while the penny is hidden. The rules are simple.
The penny must not be concealed.  It must be clearly
visible if only from one certain spot. The hider calls
everyone back into the room to search for the penny and
whomever finds it is the new hider. I found some other
indoor games that kids might enjoy.


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Last words:

This issue is long on talk and short on substance. It
just works out that way sometimes.  :)

See you next time.

Don Crowder
Sunday, July 31, 2022,  11:05 PM (MDT/MST)
Albuquerque, New Mexico


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