So, a few days ago, I managed to cobble together a crude parody of an “antenna”, based on (of all things) a slinky, several miscellaneous lengths of wire, and a fair amount of “trial and error”.
Result? Somewhat improved short-wave reception (to the point where I can now detect amateur radio activity on 75 meters — morse code, sideband voice, some digital modes which I honestly don’t remember the names of (there are so many digital modes now, it’s crazy) — really impressive, compared to previous attempts.
Was also listening to the “voice of Turkey”:
Another thing that I’ve been thinking about is: What is the best way to destroy Micro$oft?
Quite Frankly, I was never actually worried that Micro$oft would achieve any sort of “monopoly” – whether over so-called “desktop” computing, or over any other area of IT (“information technology”). Unix/Linux was already firmly entrenched by the time Micro$oft (more or less inadvertently) stumbled into “prominence” via their DOS/Windows operating systems. Having said that, there is absolutely no excuse for them to even continue to exist — other than the (regrettable) fact that far too many people simply tolerate whatever Operating System/application software happens to already infest the physical hardware they buy. The fault for Micro$oft’s (wholly unwarranted) market “prominence” is with the OEMS — “Original equipment manufacturers”. (IE: corporations which specialize in cranking out “mass produced” pre-bundled “computer systems”.
These are typically “targeted” toward those who are less tech-savvy — because “eye candy” and purportedly “intuitive” interfaces are seductive (in that they tacitly promise that the user won’t actually have to know what they’re doing — or ever bother to learn anything).
Thankfully, this tactic has pretty much stopped “working”, in that so-called “smart phones” now enable “non-geeks” to get away with knowing even less about the technologies they use — while still providing the “cutesy” eye-candy they seem to love.
Now, here’s the interesting part:
- Unix/Linux are “still” overwhelmingly dominant everywhere other than the (so-called) “desktop”. (IE: where it actually matters)
- Apple/Android are overwhelmingly dominant among “mobile” devices. Android is essentially a heavily-hacked Linux kernel, and Iphone OS is…well, NOT a Micro$oft “product” — which, despite everything else about it, is at least something of a plus.)
- Windows 10 is “still” only barely tolerated by the vast majority of its own victims (er, I mean “users”).
So, yeah: the fundamental issue is: How to ‘steer” what Eric S. Raymond describes as the “Aunt Tillie” demogrpahic AWAY from Micro$oft’s junk (and any hardware vendor dumb enough to perpetrate that junk-ware on their customers).
Let’s be honest: those who are even marginally tech-savvy/privacy-conscious already know why Micro$oft (and — to a lesser extent — Appe) are problematic.
However, they also know about the myriad of methods to mitigate such problems:
- “geeks” typically have more than one device — they aren’t restricted to a single desktop/laptop/tablet. Given the fact that Micro$oft has failed miserably at “dominating” any hardware form-factor other than desktop/laptop computers, chances are good that a significant proportion of the “geek” population have both Micro$oft-encrusted hardware of some sort and one of the better alternatives (such as, for example an Android tablet/phone.)
- EVEN IF they haven’t “sworn off” micro$oft completely, they are still the ones most likely to complain about Micro$oft’s tactics, disdain for their own users’ privacy concerns, etc. — and to spend time figuring out ways to “work around” such things.
No, the real issue is: How do you “steer” the less tech-savvy AWAY from Micro$oft, and the OEMs who are effectively their “pushers”?
Thankfully, there are indications that some OEMs are “defecting” — at least in terms of the “mobile” sector:
(The good thing about this is: even ONE hardware vendor not giving a shit about the infamous “victimized by Micro$oft” sticker is a genuinely wonderful thing)
So, that’s another of my potential projects: Figuring out a way to “steer” people away from Micro$oft/OEMs who act as their “pushers”.