The Charm of Old School

The Charm of Old School

Today I visited the shack of OM VU2JN and helped him with configuring his Debian GNU/Linux. This is third time I am meeting him, even though we have corresponded for some time . I am pretty impressed with his shack and his old school methods. He is around 70 and still one of the finest geek I have ever met. He has a triple boot machine which runs dos, widows98 and Debian GNU Linux. His hardware is Pentium 233 with 64mb ram. Some of the programs he uses reminded me of my own early adventures with computers,especially of digger . I am sure of one thing, he is more comfortable with command line than GUI . I installed echolink under wine and introduced him to icewm.
He has a lot of homebrew equipment lying around, I have promised him to help him further.
Also , I found out that he has good interests in classical music. I have given him my entire music collection.
He presented me a copy of MS Subbalakshmi’s classic movie “Meera”.

Journey to the Hiranges

I am just back from a long journey to the high ranges of kerala. In fact Idukki is my home district, even though I am away from there for a long time now. My destination was a place called “Chempakapara” and my plan was to attend the marriage of one of my cousins. I started out in the early on 10th February and reached Thodupuzha around 11 am. Visited my uncle. He gave me two of his latest books.
I left his place around 2pm. The upward journey from Moolamattom to Kulamavu is exciting. There are 12 U turns on the way. I was a frequent traveller on this route during 1997-1998, while I was working in Model Polytechnic Painavu.
You can see a lot of surrounding places as you climb up. It is seen that there are some new tourist resorts on the way.
Once you reach Kulamavu, the bus crosses the Dam and enters into the forest. The bus journey through the forest is really refreshing. I was looking for wild elephants, but I could not spot any. The summer is slowly coming and some of the trees are showing signs of it.
I reached a place called Karimpan at around 3.30pm. Then, the further journey was on a Jeep. The jeep moved through narrow and dusty roads for about an hour. Many of the passengers were looking at me. It seems most of the people know each other and a stranger is easily spotted. The journey on the Jeep was really exciting. The driving was rough and many times the vehicle was passing through the edges for huge gorges. I reached my destination at about 5pm. I had to walk for about 15 minutes.
My cousins place is really good, located on a hill and surrounded by greenery it was real fun to stay there. Several of my relatives were present. There was a small liqueur party too. Locally brewed stuff was served along with beef and tapioca. I tried to tune my VHF handy. I thought Kodaikanal was very near, but I could not hear any stations.
Asha , whose marriage was to take place the next day, was brimming with joy. Ponmudi , where the marriage was to take place was some 20 kilometers away. The marriage party started around 10 am on 11th February. There were around 10 Jeeps in the party. The trip to Ponmudi was also interesting. We crossed Chinnar and travelled through numerous hair pin turns.
The marriage was a routine affair, except for a beautiful song sung in Anantha Bhairavi. ( I am hearing it for the first time in a church). After lunch I caught a bus to Adimali and reached my home at Thodupuzha around 6pm.
The journey to Idukki was really refreshing. I think I will revisit the places again.

Electronics forum

My ham radio licence has definitely rekindled my interest in electronics. While searching for some information I have come across the following forums.


All of then are invaluable resource to home brewers. Electronics lab forum has some excellent howtos and construction ideas. They also have a resources forum where you can find some of the best books, provided you dont mind reading some pirated books 🙂 .

The following link has some common data sheets. I have made a local copy of this archive for easy reference.

My First Contact on air

Finally I got my ham license on 7th November 2005. I checked into the trivand\rum City VHF net at 9.30 pm using the equipment kindly spared by VU2SXA. There\ were 4 people on the net: VU3BHU the net controller, vu2csb vu2lbm and myself.\ They were all excited about getting a new member to the community.
I am trying to configure echolink on wine. Also I am planning to buy a junk \VHF receiver.