New Format?

In time, I may move away from the current WordPress format of this site. Alternatively, I may just add a new site such as or which you can also browse. I actually do like the WordPress for blogs (and page navigation actually) but I think I can get a bit more mileage using HTML/CSS. I can do more modern things like imbedding PHP and JS scripts. This opens up many avenues for cooler things 🙂

And, by keeping a local copy and FTP’ing the whole site (or just single files) I think I can manage the whole shebang a bit easier. WordPress has done me well I cannot deny that. It’s actually very easy to configure a website with it. BUT, it’s maybe not quite as flexible as I’d like.

So, if this page comes up looking well, different, do not fear as all the content will still be there. Possibly in a slightly different way but ya, still there.

Olympic Hockey

I’m not generally that interested in sports but being a Canadian, I’ve taken a shine to hockey in in the last couple or four years. Believe it or not but yours truly actually played hockey in his younger days. Just house league of course but I was a (not that great) right winger. So, nowadays I watch Stanley Cup playoff games and Olympic hockey. It’s fun and a great excuse to have a beer or two 🙂 I AM CANADIAN!

Anyhow, the women’s hockey team did awesome this time around and everyone was very proud. I must say that the women’s U.S. team played an amazing game but alas, there can only be one winner. Since the US-CANADA men’s hockey game was today, I also watched it. And believe it or not, you can thank ham radio for that. Yes, I was pretty sure the game was tomorrow but it was all the buzz on the COMSONT 40 meter net this morning and with a flurry of googling, it was determined that the game was today at noon. Close call!

Excellent game played by all but in the end it was the Canadians that took it home. Again kudos to the US team for another excellent performance. Let’s face it, any game that ends with a score of 1 – 0 wasn’t an easy win and surely could have gone either way.

Now it’s Canada vs. Sweden for the gold and US vs. Finland for the bronze. Good luck Canada! Good luck America!


PHP The Final(ish) Frontier

Ok, I have to say that the .NET framework has me stumped. And in the end, it’s maybe not what I want to do anyway. Let’s face it, 90% of the population “lives” in a browser (you’re reading this in a browser right now). So I think I’ll direct my dubious talents to another “language” called “PHP”. It’s been around for a while, makes web pages dynamic and it’s supported by GoDaddy who is hosting this website. Yep. And after some trial and error (like over an hours worth!) I finally got a local web server called WampServer running on my local machine. MicroSoft did NOT make that easy. Stupid SQL Reporting Service… Now I can use NetBeans (an IDE platform) to wright and test PHP scripts. Yay!

So. You may see some changes here at good ol’ because you like change correct? And I want to use this site to experiment and test stuff and just generally have a good time. Gotta make good use of that $60/year for web hosting and WordPress 🙂 Ya, it’s not that expensive to have a website by the way. That’s why I don’t mind at all posting some COMSONT stuff on here. It costs peanuts really and it’s no big deal to me. I enjoy doing it 🙂



Rant on MS

So. I’m trying to learn C# (and .NET in general). Do you know how much information there is on learning .NET/C#? A LOT! Do you know how much GOOD information there is? None that’s how much.

For instance, I go to Microsoft and check out their example programs. Up until now I’ve been looking at snippets and partial projects. Nice! You can download a WHOLE PROJECT and load it up in Visual Studio to see how the whole project goes together. All the namespaces, classes and stuff. Now we’re cookin’ with gas! So, I do that and run it. “Cannot find reference to… yadda”. Seriously? So after some poking around, I realize that this sample depends heavily on a THIRD PARTY library. Oh really. So, I follow the download link and try to download it but now I have to register at this THIRD PARTY website to download the file. Fine. I’ll do it.

File downloaded, and FINALLY added as a reference to the project (though the instructions were less than adequate). Ok, COMPILE/RUN. Oh lookie, two windows are opening just like on the example webpage! OOOOPs. Error. Hmm. Try again. COMPILE/RUN. Ok, now no errors. The two windows come up. It’s supposed to communicate messages between the two windows. Try the program out as per the website instructions. IT DOESN’T WORK!

  • 90 minutes WASTED
  • learned NOTHING
  • frustrated muchly
  • mad == yes

I guess what I’m saying here is, if you’re going to provide examples for your own product, please be sure they WORK. Many at Microsoft don’t work or they “sort of work” but are out of date… already. And now, I’m not buying a book written a year ago as it will be WAY out of date and virtually useless.

Thanks for letting me rant 🙂



It’s been quite a challenge but I do believe I will now be switching from VB6 to C#. Ya, there may be better languages – and I may use them too – but I’m starting to get my head around C#. In fact, I’m going to do a rewrite of my IRC client software in C# just because. C++ certainly has its pros (and cons) but C# is so VB-like I just can’r resist the idea. C# does things that are extremely difficult (or impossible) to do in VB6. And I’m also liking the .NET approach where I can keep track of stuff on the web and work from either my desktop (preferred) or laptop.

I was going to delve into Ruby a bit more but it looks like GoDaddy won’t actually support that on my website. Looks like they ONLY support PHP which I’ll also learn. I guess.


No, not at (had ya goin’ eh?) but at and possibly but at this writing it’s not confirmed. Seems the current webmaster at the .net would like to step down and of course yours truly offered to step up. Don’t know how this will pan out as I sent an email to the current webmaster and it was returned – mailbox full – so who knows. Possibly he’s had soooo many offers…




So in future I *may* have some work to do combining these two sites. Different: hosting, development software and philosophy. Not to mention the fact that rarely do people want to give up control. Of anything. Ever. Just getting usernames, passwords and other login information I’m sure will be a full time job in itself. La la la.

Should be an interesting challenge 😉

Completed PSU!

After “a while” some club power supplies are done – and in my case, operational. (See it working here) Oh man, these things works great! 40A (52A surge?) no hum, buzz or fluctuations of any sort. And they certainly look awesome as well 🙂 Hmm, now for the next project…

Many thanks to VE3LFD (and everyone else too!) for all the fantastic help. It was quite a learning experience and I’m really glad we did this project.

CKARC Wednesday Night Net

Well well. The Chatham-Kent Amateur Radio Club had an excellent turnout for Wednesday, Feb 12 with 13 check-ins (including yours truly). Even got one check-in from a ham in an 18-wheeler driving down the 401 hiway. Nice 🙂 I had to take over net control due to technical issues at VE3DBA’a QTH. Meh, I don’t mind doing it but, I hope VE3DBA can resolve his radio issues.

VE3MUN sure had a long list of items for the swap-and-shop. He’ll be posting them soon on the CKARC website. Seems VE3DBA was put in charge of an estate sale and there’s quite a bit of odds and ends as well as some fairly decent equipment. Go here for more details as they become available.

to C or not to C

Yes, I was bored with VB6. Not only that, it’s not really supported anymore. Nor is it portable between operating systems. I thought I’d try C++ as I happen to have a C++Dev environment loaded on my computer. I had actually forgotten I even had this. So, I did a little research and asked a few friends what else I could work with. “C++ is the devil” was the first thing I realized. Ruby was suggested and it looks very nice. C# was also suggested so I looked into that as well.

The verdict? Ruby looks/is good (especially for WEB work) but you can’t *really* compile it to .exe format. You sort of can but it’s awkward. You might see some results of Ruby on this website if I can run it here. Haven’t quite figured that one out yet. C# on the other hand, can be compiled, it’s free from MS (more or less) and it’s a modern day object oriented language. So, I installed SharpDevelop 4.4 (and all the associated packages) and away I went.

I like it. C# is a .NET environment (VB6 isn’t really but I get the concept) and the designer aspect is much like VB6 so that also went well. There’s many tutorials and such on the web so I’m now in reading/learning mode… See Ya!

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