September 2008

Conflicting Messages

Well, today I was in town… getting some bits and pieces I’d need for my final year project at university.  Among those things I needed, was a bottle of acetone, so I could clean off the etch-resistant ink used in the PCB making process.

I popped into the hardware store, and quickly located what I was after… but as I was grabbing it, I immediately noticed the following.

Acetone suggested uses and warning messages.

Acetone suggested uses and warning messages. (click to enlarge)

Yep, that’s right… they recommend its use as a nail polish remover… but then (wisely) advise to avoid skin contact.  Yep… that’s well thought out.  Guess I’ll just detach the nails from my hands before I set to work. 😉

A week of firsts…

Well… this week for me has been a week of firsts for me.

Last Sunday, I managed to make contact with Jason ZL2FT on the North Island of New Zealand.  We were communicating using SSB on 40m — this is the first time I’ve successfully heard and contacted an overseas station.

Okay, New Zealand isn’t exactly a great distance away, but it’s a great start. 🙂

Tuesday, I was listening on 40m, when Rolf DK2MH came crackling in from Germany.  I didn’t try to make contact this time, but there was an abundance of stations trying to work him locally — mostly eastern VK.

Today, I made my first PSK31 contact … once again, on 40m.  I chatted with Laurie VK3AMA for a few minutes.  Nice to be able to put all the theory I had learned at uni regarding PSK to practical use.  I was using BPSK31, and transmitting up to 80W at one point.  (Overkill I know, I did trim it back a little.)

Guess now it’s time to actually get some work done. 😉

20m here I come!

The WIA sent me a very welcome letter today.  As of today, I now have a Standard amateur radio license which entitles me to…

  • Power: 100W PEP for SSB and CW (I’ll have to check for FM)
  • Bands: 80m, 40m, 20m*, 15m, 10m, 6m*, 2m, 70cm, 23cm (* new bands)
  • Digital Modes! (timely too … we’re studying various digital modes at university)

If you wish to catch up… the new callsign is VK4MSL.  And yes, it’s kinda hard now to not say FSJL when you’ve been so used to saying it the last few months. 😉

I’ve got some ideas that I’d like to try with digital modes, and also at some point I’d like to do some SSTV too… Priority at this time still is with my university studies, but I’ll be hitting up 20m and doing a bit of digital work in the coming months.

Firefox 3.0.1 on MIPS

Hi all…

Firefox 3.0.1 showing the Acid2 test on MIPS (click to enlarge)

Firefox 3.0.1 showing the Acid2 test on MIPS (click to enlarge)

I’ve been rather busy and thus haven’t had much time for Gentoo work, but today I managed to get some patches together that allow Firefox 3.0.1 to build and run on MIPS.

The ebuild is as yet, unkeyworded, as I wish to do some further testing.  I have successfully compiled it on little-endian MIPS, and it mostly seems to work okay.  It mostly passes the Acid2 test with some slight errors, but unfortunately, crashes part way through the Acid3 test — this I’ll investigate when I have the time.  It also crashes on my blog so your mileage may vary.

No testing has been done on big-endian MIPS at this stage, as my O2 is down for the short term (need to build a new kernel and get X running) so I’d appreciate feedback from users on this matter.