To promote and explore the hobby of amateur radio. Providing quality training for all amateurs and in all aspect of the hobby.
Sun, 08/04/2012 - 13:37 --

         We know how some of you are, hanging on to your computers until they give up their last gasp, or where you just can't get anything to run on them any more. Anyway, here's advance notice for you. If you've Service Pack 3 XP then the clock is starting for it to no longer being supported. Of course if you never connect it to the net, it just runs the programs you want and you don't mind it will make no difference. However if you do have it on line, then on the 8th April 2014 there will be no more updates. Well if your machine couldn't take SP3 it could be a problem now.
        Of course we do know you don't have to retire you computer. You can go for a lightweight operating system. For those who go back a few years will remember Microsoft Basic and writing things with a heady amount of maybe 48k of available memory. We've become accustomed to just bloating things out haven't we?
        Then there is a something to really stir the blood. There is the Raspberry Pi and others such as the Beagleboard. It's supposed to encourage people to dabble in computing and not just be users and consumers. What's more it won't run Windows, there are a couple of specific Linux distributions that are downloadable to make a bootable SD card to run on it. Unlike convention computers, if you mess it up, you can just blank off the SD card and try again. Great for messing about! Hopefully I get my hands on one shortly though I expect a few support calls from Dave M6TUR.
        They also include some Python packages to play with, so you can have a dabble at programming in the old fashioned way, very old school. Yes  - not just teaching the next generation how to use propriatory office applications.
        Possibly those with older systems that are struggling with their current Windows might like to download and burn the disk image. These will be bootable and load into memory without altering the existing setup. Also kind of useful for getting rid of various bits of malware - you boot into a non Windows OS and then wander round killing off the bad bits without having them running of course. Knoppix   seems to be the most usable for this. For those who want to make the leap into the land of the Penguin there are other lightweights about such as Puppy, Lubuntu and Tiny Core (and more).
        Maybe some will disagree, argue about some lack of driver support etc but you get what you pay for. That is they're free, mind you what do you expect? You might have to do some work yourself.