Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Handiham World for 29 April 2009

Welcome to Handiham World!

Last time we had a great piece by Trippy Brown, WD8OEP, on the virtual ham radio simulation that uses the CQ100 software interface by VE3EFC. I got to thinking about virtual experiences again when I saw a commercial for the Microsoft X-Box gaming system advertising a virtual fishing game. Fishing! With a game console! It is interesting to see what kinds of experiences can be virtualized, isn't it?

One thing that all of these virtual screen experiences are doing is taking the place of the real activities on which people used to spend their time. For example, I have seen reports that indicate that real hunting, fishing, and even golfing are all suffering from lack of participation. Does that mean that these games are actually causing a drop in participation in real activities? Or is it simply a response to a lack of time and money to actually go fish, hunt, or play golf?

Are we right to ask whether something like virtual ham radio will detract from the real thing?

Well, it's always good to have questions like that or we would be bored. One difference that I can see between the CQ100 system and a plain old video game is that the communication is still real, even though it is not over the air. Another significant difference is the requirement for a valid ham radio license for access to the system.

Take a few minutes tonight at 7:30 PM Central Daylight Time to join us and discuss this topic on the Wednesday evening Handiham net. (That works out to Thursday morning at 00:30 hours GMT.) There's nothing like a topic to keep a net interesting! The net is on the usual EchoLink frequency and node, 145.450 MHz in the Twin Cities or node 89680. See you there, and bring your opinion with you to share!

Patrick Tice

Handiham Manager