Making some progress

5-FEB-2010: Well the Facebook experiment is moving forward nicely. This application appears to be "the place" to be for social interaction with family and friends. I have managed to setup several groups and pull people together with common interests. The first was the "Chudek & Czudek – THE Rodina" group. I have rounded up over 30 Facebook users who carry this family surname or are blood related. Every so often I’ll use the search tool to see if more people with our name sign up. I then send them an invitation to participate.

The second group I created was for the original Marketing Technologies team at Target, Mervyn’s, and Dayton’s/Marshall Fields. I guessing more than half of all the people employed in our group at one time or another have signed into this group. I have posted some photos from the different team outings.

In the Ham Radio arena I hooked up with my long lost friend, Dave Barnard who was a friend in the early 1960’s. He’s living in San Diego, CA at the moment and we have exchanged notes about the 40+ years that we grew up together, apart.

I have been learning advanced Excel skills and have created some tools for the radio community. This allows operators to analyze their logbooks after contests and view charts and graphs regarding their performance during different contests. Some of these Excel workbooks have become pretty complex.

I was ask to help create a station/operator scheduling tool for the team that will be activating the Descheho Island, about 40 miles NW of Puerto Rico starting 7-Feb-2009 and going for 2 weeks. This is a major DXpedition that will have 10 full time stations on the air and two teams of operators. Scheduling a event like this has been done manually in the past. I’ll be anxious to hear the feedback whether this new tool was a help for this task.

This weekend (7-Feb-2009) is the Minnesota QSO Party. It’s a 10 hour event where all 87 counties will be activated by fixed and mobile HF stations. The goal is to try and log every county during the contest. I built another Excel tool to help the mobile stations plan their activities and avoid excessive duplication of effort in some of the counties. There will be about a dozen mobile stations who plan to visit 10 to 20 counties each. The highly populated counties will be activated by fixed stations. Mobile stations can redirect their effort to the sparsley populated areas of the state. All of this planning comes together in the Excel workbook designed for this purpose.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of the computer lately. And about a month ago the main backup drive with all our digital photos died. I’m working to resurrect that disk drive to retrieve the photos and movies. When this is accomplished, all this information will be copied to DVDs to avoid this kind of trouble in the future. I will also implement a basic RAID solution so if there is another drive failure in the future the data will be safer.

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