Happiness is download speed > 200mbps

Xfinity / Comcast Modem upgrade




This is not a commercial for Comcast.  That said, their service in my area is simply outstanding. My previous  level with ComCast was set at 25 mbps DOWN and 5 mbps up.  And the service always exceeded that level. My new service level is 200mbps Down/12Mbps Up. The install was easy.



First Speed Test after upgraded modem


I run a Gig-E network in the house. Often 4 simultaneous video streams to the flat screen in my shack as well as drive a Mac, a PC. Other devices include  3 iPads and 2 iPhones.  At the base level service (25dwn/6up) I would occasionally get a video stutter on the streams. Not anymore!

I can now run those multiple video streams in bound and stream my web cam with audio output from my rig with flawless performance. No complaints!

Excellent 5 min video. Joe Ragan. Rolling Stone and Jann Wenner


Interview with “Sticky Fingers” author on the “messy” story of Rolling Stone Magazine.

Watched this fun, intelligent, smart and witty author discuss the journey of writing his book (“Sticky Fingers) about Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone. Wenner cooperated with author Joe Hagan for 4 years, turning over his entire archives and memorabilia.  That co-operation ended with the publication of “Sticky Fingers”.  Wenner didn’t feel the story was reverential of himself.  From the “Recode Review

In 1967, Jann Wenner loaded himself into a slingshot and fired himself across the next half-century of pop culture. In the new book “Sticky Fingers,” biographer Joe Hagan chronicles how Wenner created Rolling Stone magazine and became the gatekeeper of rock music — and eventually, all pop culture.


Jann Wenner didn’t see the internet coming. And Joe Hagan says that critical “miss” is a “Shakespearean moment”   See: “How Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner built and lost a rock-and-roll empire”

   Get the book: “Sticky Fingers”


I subscribed to Rolling Stone in college. It was a “must read”if you were into music and issues of the day.  Jann Wenner assembled a stable of amazing writers.. Joe Eszterhas,  Ben Fong-Torres, former Presidential Speech Writer Richard N Goodwin, Cameron Crowe, New Journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe, and the inventor of “Gonzo Journalism” Hunter S. Thompson among others. Best selling books came from this talented group. They didn’t just “write” — to “read” their pieces was to “vicariously” live the story!  They covered the Patty Hearst and Charlie Manson story in detail. Vietnam and the My Lai Massacre. Russell Means and the American Indian Movement. Rolling Stone fronted Hunter S Thompson on the road in the 1972 Presidential Campaign.  They did serious work.  My best friend was a guitarist in a rock band and I was working as a sound crew go-fer on Austin City Limits. Our daily lives in some way connected to the Rolling Stone ethos. Remember the column called “Random Notes”??  You felt like you’d read secret encrypted messages! Because  it was in Rolling Stone!!!   Ha!

“At one time,” Hagan writes, picking up a copy of Rolling Stone was “like holding a piece of hot shrapnel from the cultural explosion of the 1960s while it still glowed with feeling and meaning.”


HST:  “When the going get’s weird, the “weird” turn pro”

I went to see Rolling Stone contributor and Gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson speak at the University of Texas, Austin campus.  In the audience, we sat on plush red theater seats of the still brand new and pristine  LBJ  Presidential library.  Thompson had a bottle of “Wild Turkey” and a single glass on the speaker’s podium. He draped a white towel around his neck!!!  That was Thompson’s “speaking outfit”.  Yet Thompson was not frivolous.  He corresponded with  LBJ during his Presidency.

Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard N Goodwin

Doris Kearns & Richard N Goodwin

I got in a question from the audience.  I  asked Thompson about the editorial process of  Rolling Stone magazine. I noted that his fellow writer and Rolling Stone Washington DC bureau chief,  Richard N. Goodwin was reportedly in a messy editorial dispute with Jann Wenner.  Thompson paused and said that “was the most intelligent question I’ve been asked on this road trip!”  In that setting, amidst that audience, I felt like Thompson had reached out and touched me on the head! Ha!   (Hunter S Thompson you may recall ate a .45 pistol and committed suicide in 2005. Controversy over his exit “rages on” even today.)  Richard N. Goodwin would later marry distinguished Presidential historian Doris Kearns. 

Jann Wenner and his magazine chronicled the most stupefying decade of my life.

1967-1977.       “And so it goes….”


wa4d media profile

wa4d media consumption

News comes from many sources.  This is my current profile.  The NYTimes, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal are a daily must-read.  When I start looking at a site frequently, I step up and pay the subscription.  Journalism is not free. Reporters, producers, artists, photographers, and musicians deserve to be paid for their work.  Pay for online media just as you once paid for the paper in a vending machine. It’s the right thing to do.

Footnote: I subscribe to CQ and QST but seldom do I find anything of interest in either publication.  Hams will get more value from WIRED  magazine.

QSTmodified WiredCovermodifiedCQCovermodified

Keep Scrolling Down

CW: The defining mode of Ham Radio



Amidst the zillions of exchanges online, on the air and personal discourse, Hams have debated the merits and/or relevance of CW for decades. I’m guessing it began in the 60’s as single sideband emerged as the dominant phone mode and the spectrum efficiency wars began with the old school AMers. (I fondly recall the insults that flew between the slop bucket crowd and the AM enthusiasts!) From there it simmered and then flashed again as talk began of reducing and/or outright elimination of Morse as a part of licensing criteria by the FCC and endorsed by the ARRL. Of course, in the end, it faded away as a requirement and we are left with a completely optional choice for the new Ham radio operator. To learn Morse Code.  Or not.


Morse Code is largely irrelevant in 2017 as a critical mode of information exchange.  World maritime authorities turned their back on CW some years ago, as a vital requirement. Despite the Morse code’s gripping historical beginnings and moments of consequence (think the “Titanic” incident and WW I and WWII), it has been displaced by far more sophisticated methods and tools. But to the hobbyist it’s relevance is more than a mere technical operating choice. To many long-time hams, the mode reflects the essence of Amateur radio. Those first moments of CW recognition cutting through the crackle and interpreting the message are the “magic” that many old-timers speak of. I would argue that it is also a reflection of the accomplishment and discipline required to learn the mode. Some Hams tell us the mode is dead!   Yet I would offer, that those who never learn this first mode of our hobby have missed a rewarding experience.


 The heritage and soul of the hobby have been shaped by Morse Code.  ( I was going to conclude with a final sentence: “CW literacy still matters in the 21st century”)  But then who am I kidding? It doesn’t matter. But I still revere the mode.


mike whatley. wa4d.       Learn Morse Code ARRL.Org.      W1AW Code Practice Schedule

.Radio Top Level Domain is here!

Radio URL break out



Most Hams don’t have a personal Web address.  But if you’ve ever thought of claiming your call sign domain— there’s an even better reason to claim it now.  Instead of being wa4d.net. or arrl.org you can now register for  your call .Radio   There is a new internet extension reserved for the Radio Community. ” .radio is a new top-level domain (like .com or .net) which is exclusively dedicated to radio stations, web radios, radio professionals, companies selling radio goods and services and radio amateurs.

Radio url graphic

Learn about the .radio extension–Click on image below. or GO to www.nic.radio.

Radio TDL site

“Thanks Dawg…. But I really just want to get this done as quickly as possible”

Then go Directly to register.radio 

The .radio people say: “Specific to radio: this extension will become quickly a high-value internet space for commercial websites, your mail system and other internet applications.”

Yes the ARRL knows about this too.  Click on the LOGO.


Please Scroll DOWN

« Older Entries