Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Handiham World for 21 January 2009

Welcome to Handiham World!

WorldRadio Online first issue is ready to read!

WorldRadio Online first issue is ready to read! Front cover screenshot.

It is a banner day in ham radio publishing. A long-time print journal has made the transition to that great printing press in the clouds, the Internet.

The February 2009 issue of WorldRadio Online was uploaded late on Tuesday, and is available for downloading and viewing. Currently it is available only at the main CQ Amateur Radio website, but will also be available at the entire CQ family of websites soon. We are pleased to note that the "With the Handihams" column appears on page 26 in this maiden issue. With this publication, CQ Communications, Inc. joins the other major amateur radio publisher, ARRL, in offering significant online content.

Although Bob Zeida, N1BLF, will continue to read selected portions of WorldRadio for our monthly magazine digest that serves our Handiham members who cannot read regular print, we are pleased to note that the online version has a number of very useful accessibility features for people with disabilities.

The format is Adobe PDF with embedded, searchable text. This is the industry standard, and beside providing the useful search feature that allows users to easily locate key words anywhere in the entire publication, it also allows blind users with screenreaders to access the embedded text and read the articles. Since some of the advertisements also carry embedded text, blind users will have access to them for the first time. In reviewing the ads, we noticed that they are hyperlinked to the advertisers' websites.

For those of us in the bifocal stage of life, you can enlarge the print on your computer screen. This can definitely make life easier when you are enjoying the columnists you know and love, like Krusty Ol' Kurt and his Aerials column and you don't have to strain to see the fine print.

Then there is the color. Long ago in the late 1970's, when Don, W0DN, and I began advertising our funky new Butternut antenna in the ham magazines, there was no color to be found on the pages of the ham radio publications. Yes, QST and CQ readers enjoy a splash of color these days, but WorldRadio never changed its newsprint textured paper and black and white format. That has changed, and the new look adds pizzazz!