CONTENTS

Return to Archives

Managing Change for Myself - Bryce Layman

KWHD Goes DTV ONLY Full Time

The March 2003 Meeting

Chapter 48 To Host CBNT Training Seminar In May

Certificaton Exam Session Dates Announced For 2003

Chapters Can "Broadcast" Meetings

Ennes Workshop Set For NAB Convention

SBE Members Save On Pre-Pub Orders Of New Handbook For Radio Operators

SBE Schedule During NAB2003

Recall Alert: APC Issues Safety Recall For UPS Models

Message From Mike Snyder

Clay's Corner

The End User

PDX Radio Waves

Humor

Etc.

 

March, 2003

Return to table of contents

Managing Change for Myself

Bryce Layman

For those of you who know me (and others I have not yet met) my position as General Manager of Teleport Denver was eliminated as part of corporate downsizing in January 2003. My article, Managing Change in the Broadcast Industry had been posted on this SBE site in December 2002.

While only slightly prophetic (I knew there was a strong possibility my job may be eliminated) the article discussed changes and ways to cope with them for those left behind and for those who have been laid off or downsized, free market enabled, etc. I thought it might be insightful to see how I fared under my own advice since I had been laid off.

Yes, the shock of change is strong. Even when you know it may be coming. The current job market is frustrating right now at best. Most of the companies I have communicated with since I received layoff notice are waiting for the economy to rebound before starting expansion projects or filling those open positions again. However, there are several broadcast, satellite and cable companies across the country who still need people to "make the doughnuts" every day. Even Denver TV affiliates and cable companies have open jobs listed on their web sites.

I followed Roberta Chinsky Matuson's "Bouncing Back After Being Laid Off" advice from my previous article and I took some time off to "grieve". It was harder than I thought to "let go" of the old job. I was still thinking about unfinished work projects, facility growth plans and February's budget four weeks after I was laid off.

I did call everyone I could in the first few days after receiving notice and emailed the rest before the month ended. Then I spent time with my family. Then I spent time doing those "honey-do" projects around the house. Now I'm spending time looking for a job.

Exercise? Yes I did and I still do. I didn't spend any money on it either. Like Ms. Matuson said in her article, I just set some goals (bicycling is my thing) and have been working towards them. It is hard to get up in the morning and work out so I'm still sleeping a little later than I used to. However, I am not wearing a bathrobe and slippers around the house. I get up, get dressed, exercise and get on with life, daily.

As for how I got here, I don't reflect too much. I was laid off so a corporation could show they had more money on the books, plain and simple. It's not personal. I am looking into other associated lines of work but my primary job-seeking focus is still on broadcast operations management.

My previous employer offered career-counseling services and I have taken full advantage of them. The results are a powerful new resume, insight into improved management of networking and new tactics in negotiating my future compensation. I agree with James C. Gonyea's "Job Hunting Ideas That Really Work" article I mentioned in my December story. The career-counseling services I mentioned taught us how to research and identify employers we would like to work for and how to contact them and ask for an opportunity to visit and discuss employment. It also opened me up to a whole new network of people to commune or commiserate with, most from the major cable, satellite and insurance players in the region. If a counseling service was not offered to you, I highly recommend you contact one. They are listed under Career & Vocational Counseling in the yellow pages.

I had already started a career plan and kept track of all calls, contacts and sent or posted resumes and replies in Excel. Plus, I've built a list of URL's that I just double-click on while online to search about 85 websites weekly and log what I find. The to-do list is still on my PC like it was at the previous job. I check my list each morning (OK, almost every morning.) and I follow my plan for networking and calls. I'll be contacting a state employment agency.

I continue to read trade magazines, management, business and self-improvement books and I log onto a series of Internet sites weekly. In my previous story, I said to check the Internet daily for new jobs but have since learned about once a week works best. As I suggested my resume is posted on SBE's site along with many others. I recently traveled to a satellite industry trade show where I handed out business cards and made several contacts. I volunteer in my community and plan to make it to an SBE meeting in the near future.

As for me, how am "I" doing? "Retirement suits you," my wife jokes. I am well. To quote the previous article, I am "accentuating the positive". My attitude is good. I sleep well, eat well (too well) and enjoy the time I've been given with my family. I feel less rushed, more creative. My only nagging worry is the lack of a salary. I realize that worry will grow larger if I don't continue to work on finding a job, so I keep on working that job-to-find-a-job. Somehow I've found a little balance to this great upset in life, between one job and another. I know I'll land OK and am seeing myself progress toward that goal daily. And that is good.

black line

Return to table of contents

KWHD goes DTV ONLY Full Time

In a strange twist of events involving the perfect snow storm of the century, the early arrival of the Thales DTV transmitter package, the warm weather that allowed the Dielectric antenna to be mounted early. Well, long story short, the DTV stuff worked pretty good (the picture is Doug Garlinger, Le Sea DE and Ron Vincent, KWHD 53/DTV 42 CE at Fred Baumgartner's home testing the DTV image). The external heat exchanger didn't survive the storm so well, so the analog side of KWHD has been missing since the storm. By time you read this, the custom stuff should be installed and ready for the analog to return.

Denver cable is taking the KWHD DTV feed, converting it to analog and feeding the cable systems. Echostar gets it's feeds from the CMC, and there too, Ron loaned a DTV receiver, and they are up and running. Direct TV... Well lets just say they aren't quite as cooperative.

So... KWHD becomes the first Denver station to go all Digital transmission... Which of course makes sense, given the HD in the KWHD call sign.

black line

Return to table of contents

The March 2003 Meeting

Robert Whiting
Chair, SBE Chapter 48

Linc Reed-Nickerson of Rohde & Schwarz gave an informative talk with members of SBE Chapter 48 and Rocky Mtn. SMPTE Section.

Meeting Host: Linc Reed-Nickerson of Rohde & Schwarz

Our first attempt for this meeting had to be put on hold due to, how did Fred Baumgartner put it? "FOX's... Storm of the Century -- Live!" But one week later, and after the 35 inches of snow had melted, we were finally able to have Linc Reed-Nickerson of Rohde & Schwarz make it out from Washington State. On behalf of our combined SBE Chapter and Rocky Mountain SMPTE Section, I wanted to extend many thanks to Linc for giving a very informative discussion on testing, measurement, and monitoring of ATSC (8VSB) Transmission. We had about 30 folks show up that night. Linc explained measurement theory and practical applications in both basic and technical terms. Also explained and demonstrated, was a HTML based system that can be set up to monitor single and or multiple transmission sites.

The meeting was most informative and very educational. So, many thanks to Linc for being able to make it!

black line

Return to table of contents

Chapter 48 To Host CBNT Training Seminar In May

TOPIC: All Day Seminar - SBE Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT)

GREAT NEWS! If you are interested in learning about computer networking as it is related to the broadcast environment, we have the class for you! We are setting up this wonderful opportunity for you to become certified with the SBE "Broadcast Networking Certification" class!

This class is designed for broadcast professionals having a basic familiarity with networks and networking systems as used in a broadcast facility. Upon successful completion of the class and the exam given, you will given the Broadcast Networking Technologist Certification by the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

The class will start promptly at 8:00 AM. Food and refreshments will be provided.

DATE: Saturday May 10th, 2003

TIME: 8 AM to Approximately 6 PM (All Day Event)

LOCATION: Comcast Media Center - 4100 E. Dry Creek Road, Littleton CO 80122

COST: $50 for SBE Members / $110 for non-SBE members (make check payable to SBE).

If you are interested in attending this class or would like more information, please contact Robert Whiting prior to May 1, 2003.

Robert Whiting, Chair SBE 48
Comcast Media Center
4100 E. Dry Creek Road
Littleton, CO 80122
303-486-3817 Direct
303-901-5682 Cell
303-486-3891 FAX
robert_whiting@cable.comcast.com

black line

Return to table of contents

Certificaton Exam Session Dates Announced For 2003

The SBE National Certification Committee has announced exam session dates for 2003. Check the list below for the exam period that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certification Chair or contact Linda Baun, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or lbaun@sbe.org.

2003 Exam Dates

Location

Application Deadline

June 6-16, 2003

Local Chapters

April 25, 2003

August 15-25, 2003

Local Chapters

June 13, 2003

November 7-17, 2003

Local Chapters

September 26, 2003

black line

Return to table of contents

Chapters Can "Broadcast" Meetings

SBE chapters will have the opportunity to stream chapter meetings or other chapter events for free, thanks to Tieline of America and BnetRadio. Tieline of America has made available to SBE chapters, through BnetRadio, free access to one of their POTS Codecs units for the purpose of streaming SBE meetings and related events. Thanks to BnetRadio studios in Houston, some SBE events will be carried live and all will be archived for others to access on demand.

Tieline General Manager, Kevin Webb, has made a permanent loan to BnetRadio of this unit for this purpose. BnetRadio's Dave Biondi will ship the remote unit to you prior to your event. You will need a phone line to hook it to and you provide the manpower for the "remote". After the event, you ship the unit Back to BnetRadio. If you already have a Tieline unit available from a station in your area, you can just call the event in without the shipping hassle.

Other SBE events are in the works using the Tieline POTS Codecs unit. A US wide SBE meeting that would include the folks at SBE HQ and elected officers, anchored out of the BNet Studios, is a possibility. Calls would be accepted with questions and comments from around the country. Pending sponsors for phone lines, BNetRadio will be at NAB2003, streaming the SBE Emergency Alert System session again and also the SBE Membership Meeting (anyone interested in helping with the phone line cost should give Dave Biondi a call at 713-926-2209 as soon as possible).

If your SBE chapter would like to use the Tieline POTS Codecs for a future meeting, contact Dave Biondi at the number above. Just give him enough time to get your program scheduled and ship the unit to you.

Thanks again to Kevin at TieLine and Dave at BnetRadio for making this technology available to SBE chapters.

black line

Return to table of contents

Ennes Workshop Set For NAB Convention

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust, in cooperation with the Society of Broadcast Engineers, will present an Ennes Workshop during NAB 2003 in Las Vegas, April 5 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm in Room N111 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year's workshop will cover today's most compelling broadcast technology and operational issues.

Organizing this year's Ennes Workshop is Frederick M. Baumgartner, CPBE, Director of Engineering, Comcast Media Center in Littleton, Colorado. Baumgartner is a Trustee of the Ennes Trust and a past member of the national Board of Directors and Fellow of SBE.

Participants can apply for SBE recertification credit following the Workshop. To attend the Ennes Workshop, you must be registered for the full NAB Convention. Go to www.nab.org to find information about convention registration. SBE members can register at the discounted "Partner" rate. The following is the list of topics and presenters for the day.

black line

Return to table of contents

SBE Members Save On Pre-Pub Orders Of New Handbook For Radio Operators

SBE is offering a discount to SBE members through March 31st who order the new SBE Handbook for Radio Operators using the special pre-publication order form that appears in the March issue of The SBE SIGNAL. Members save $5 off the regular price of $42 for each book (plus $3 shipping). For orders of five or more copies, call the Certification Department at the SBE National Office for special pricing at (317) 846-9000.

This new handbook is designed to help radio board operators learn more about the broadcasting business from both the technical and business side. The handbook covers such topics as FCC rules, technical layout of a typical station and the general responsibilities of a radio operator. An overview of station management and professional etiquette is included along with chapters on station logs, the Emergency Alert System, safety requirements and operational procedures for trouble situations. It will be helpful to anyone, those brand new to radio or the seasoned veteran, who pulls a shift behind the console.

SBE has developed a new certification program and exam, which will be available when the book is released at the end of March. The Handbook will include sample questions to help users prepare for the optional test.

black line

Return to table of contents

SBE Schedule During NAB2003

SBE will exhibit during NAB Week, Monday through Wednesday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Thursday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, in Lobby Booth 21 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The booth is located in the lobby area across from Central Exhibit Hall #4 and next to the entrance to the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference rooms N109 and N111.

The NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference is co-presented by SBE. Check out the NAB web site, www.nab.org, for a complete rundown of papers.

SBE Meeting Schedule at NAB2003

Saturday, April 5

Certification Committee Meeting
6:30 pm to 11:00 pm, Royal Salon, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

Sunday, April 6

Board of Directors Meeting
8:30 am to 12:00 pm, Continental Salon, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

National Tower Consortium Meeting
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Ballroom G, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

Monday, April 7

Frequency Coordinators Meeting
10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Conference Rooms 1-3, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

Emergency Alert System (EAS) Meeting
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, N242, Las Vegas Convention Center

Tuesday, April 8

SBE Certification Exams
9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Club Salon, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

SBE/NFL Game Day Coordinators Meeting
9:00 am to 11:30 am, Grand Salon, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

Ennes Educational Foundation Trust Meeting
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Board Room, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

2GHz Transition Group Meeting
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Grand Salon, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel

SBE Membership Meeting
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, N239/241, Las Vegas Convention Center (note room change)

Thursday, April 9

Engineering Friendly Documentation (EFD) Meeting
1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, N242, Las Vegas Convention Center

black line

Return to table of contents

Recall Alert: APC Issues Safety Recall For UPS Models

For full information, go to this address:

http://www.apc.com/rely/index.cfm?ISOCountryCode=us

black line

Return to table of contents

Message From Mike Snyder

In case you hadn't noticed, reversing the trend that sees Californians running out to Denver, Mike has headed to the land of fruits and nuts. Here's a bit of an update he sent back this way...

I can't make it to NAB this year. Our group will be in the middle of installing our DTV transmitters. Mine arrived this week; see attached picture-me and my assistant, Chuck Crowder. I had planned on attending the Harold Ennes seminars on April 5th.

Sorry I'm going to miss it this year. I debated about going over for just the day, but my regional CE isn't going either. We'll all be doing DTV installs; which should be fun in and of themselves. I got approval for a new analog rig and antenna as well. That will happen in the May/June timeframe. Well...I did say I wanted to learn RF!!

Great newsletter this month. The party for John looked like it was a great time. Thanks for keeping me on the list. I'm keeping busy and enjoying things here. The local chapter has a bunch of good, knowledgeable folks. Most of them meet weekly for a Ham Radio lunch. I went to the first one today. Sarah was teasing me about being a geek. I told her to be nice or I'd start watching sports. Hope you're doing good. Say hi to Rob Whiting for me. Take care.

Later,

Mike Snyder
Chief Engineer
KGPE-TV 47
Fresno, CA 93726

black line

Return to table of contents

Clay's Corner

Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources
March 2003 Issue

By Clay Freinwald

Early Saturday morning Feb 1st our industry was pressed into action as a result of the loss of the shuttle Columbia in a tragic accident. Within a very short time news crews were speeding to East Texas and familiar news anchors were on the air. I could not help but note that I had just retrieved the Saturday morning newspaper when this took place; suddenly everything in there was very old news. This was likely the least read edition in some time as our industry was explaining to the world what happened. It's interesting that Shuttle activity had become routine to the point of being a back-page item in the paper and a 'maybe mention' on the air. We need to remember the families of these folks in our prayers.

Another item that's still generating news is the effort of KRKO to create a new array and increase power in Everett. According to press reports the owners of the station have spent over 1 megabucks on this project and have yet to build anything. The problem appears to be the classic NIMBY. It reminds me very much of the battles that used to rage in King County some years back where nearby residents were busy tossing in roadblocks to broadcast stations. The main 'handle' they used was NIER. This argument was shot full of holes when Vashon gained another 50,000 watt station and no one objected. The argument is towers. No one likes the way they look. In the cellular industry they have been able to get around this one by having towers that look like cactus or fir trees. Pretty hard to do when your site is in the middle of a valley and they need to be 200 to 350 feet tall. The recent situation in New Hampshire may provide some hope of this project gaining a green light... time will tell.

The situation with the satellite broadcaster continues to be interesting. XM recently got an infusion of money to keep going to their hoped-for breakeven point next year. Meanwhile, Sirius has been going through the same pains, but apparently with less customers. I have to wonder how long we will have two of these providers. I did note that local Sunday newspaper inserts have vendors selling XM radios for the home as this provider moves beyond the car radio.

A recent NAB Radio TechCheck contained an interesting item about what they called a 'GNU Kind of Radio'. What they are talking about is a radio whose internal works are in software. It's hard to believe that code writers have moved into this traditional analog world. Software modules now can do a variety of things, including modulate and demod FM, transmit and receive ATSC DTV, be a cell phone or a GPS receiver. For some time you have been able to buy software receivers. Seems like electronics is rapidly becoming a term that means something that plugs into a computer that you operate with a keyboard and mouse. Just like Sound Cards have become the way much of our audio is handled these days... and Video Card dealing with video... make way for RF cards.

A number of local Radio types had a recent opportunity to do some more testing at Cougar mountain of the IBOC HD Radio system. The fog is starting to lift as to what this is going to amount to in terms of installation. Entercom is working toward installing the system on all five of its local FM stations this year. The company that is ahead of the game locally is Infinity as they already have an installed system on their 106.1 facility at West Tiger. If you really want to know about IBOC talk to Arne Skoog, as he is ahead of most of us. It's interesting how a number of engineers around the country are very much against this new system of radio broadcasting... however, it appears that their's is a losing cause.

NPR has other ideas. Presently the Ibiquity system operates in such a way that when and if the digital information drops out, receivers will 'blend' to their analog counterpart. This is one of the reasons for the delay introduced in the analog signal so that when the receiver blends, your radio goes to analog 'in time'. NPR is looking into using the digital transmission path for a second programming medium. The question is: will this work? Testing is to find out. NPR calls this their 'Tomorrow Radio Project' . Many broadcasters feel that the quality improvement alone is not enough to drive consumer demand for new receivers. Perhaps this is a variable determined by one's location. From what I have heard, the performance of IBOC in the canyons of big cities may be enough to convince many that FM has been outclassed.

According to Ibiquity the number of stations opting to install this new technology is greater than they projected. Reports are that Ibiquity told the CES that some 300 stations will be broadcasting HD by the end of this year. Does this mean that HD Radio will be a success? Time will tell. In the meantime the only receivers out there are prototypes produced by Ibiquity. Looks like by the time radios are on the shelves, there will be something to listen to... then let the game begin.

Oh, Yes. John Pavlica, Jr. submitted a motion to the FCC to dismiss the authorization of IBOC.

Did you know that the transistor is now 56 years old?

Remember Andy Thompson? For several years his hat was hanging at the old KAYO on 4th Ave... for the last several he has been in Yakima. Got a recent email from Andy stating that he is retiring from radio where most recently he has been the DE of the Clear Channel Yakima cluster of stations. Perhaps to spend more time as W7CXA... congrats Andy... we envy you!

Time to mark your calendars again. The date is March 8th for the annual Mike and Key Club Flea Market at the Puyallup Fair Grounds. This annual event has long been a place for a number of broadcasters to meet and chat. I still have some old tubes, etc., from the Paul Crittenden estate that I will be looking for a good home for.

Speaking of Calendar marking - NAB this year is April 5- 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I will be busy as usual: SBE and EAS functions will keep me on the run. Hope to see you there for the greatest show on _____!

So how many Radio and TV stations are there now? If you count in all the translators, there are 26,319 in the U.S. No wonder the FCC has a time keeping track of things! The FCC did do us all a favor recently by creating a link between ULS and CDBS. If you recall a while back the Commish was doing a survey of BAS operations. Now (Keep your fingers crossed) they have broadcast licenses and stations' BAS licenses together.

An article in the paper recently caught my eye. In this day and age of science breakthroughs there is one thing that science has yet to explain... and, according to this piece, has no idea of what it even is. The subject is GRAVITY. You'd think that we'd know a lot more about something that has been around for so long and impacts everything. I love the quote: Gravity "It doesn't act in a way that science can explain." Apparently some folks at U-Dub are trying to get some answers. Seems that the folks that fly UFO's have mastered this one... now if we can just get them to tell us how to do it.

From the 'how come' department. Why do we say something is 'Out of whack?'. What's a whack anyway. And why don't we ever say 'Look I got it BACK IN WHACK?' (Thanks, Dwight.)

How about NextWave? This outfit bid on some FCC licenses, did not pay for them, the FCC confiscated the licenses and then sold them to Verizon and some others. The matter went to the Supreme Court and the Court told the FCC to give back the unused licenses to NextWave. Not often the FCC's decisions are reversed...

The FCC continues to look into ownership rules. The matter of radio's consolidation has certainly been a hot topic. The Senate Commerce Committee is also in the act. It appears that some are bothered by the size of Clear Channel. With some 2,000 filings of comments on the matter you can be assured that the FCC will be doing something... the question is what? Guess time will tell.

If you are like me, you find yourself having way too much time in traffic on the freeways. There is an up-side to all of this... time to read the fine print on license plate frames and bumper stickers. This one is a variation on the now classic: It read 'COMPOST HAPPENS'.

Did you catch the announcement by Microsoft of their new wristwatch? Looks like they have picked up where Seiko left off. The wrist device will give you the time, news, sports, weather, appointment calendar and (of course) instant messages. Interesting that this will all work on FM SCA's. They call the device SPOT.

The latest Radio ratings shows KIRO-AM maintaining a slim overall lead over KMPS. KOMO's new news format has not caught on as that station's numbers actually went down. Interesting that KJR AM and FM are tied. Lower on the the list are showings from out-of-market stations from Olympia and Eatonville... while KKMO with its Latino format is making a showing. Gone are the days when the #1 station has a double digit share... with 31 stations on the 'list' there is no shortage of selection. One station is making a move to become even more of a factor in local radio: that's KAYO. The station's 99.3 signal may become stronger as a result of their recent filing of an application to increase power and change antenna pattern at their Capital Peak facility SW of Olympia. I find it interesting that the call letters KAYO are associated with country music in this area, recalling 'Country-KAYO'....AM 1150 whose tower graced 4th Ave South in Seattle for many years. The tower and building were razed several years ago and with it went a lot of interesting history of broadcasting in Seattle... but that's another story.

Dropped by my local drug counter the other day and was greeted by an employee named... KARI. I asked her if she knew that there was a radio station with her name on it... she did not.

Recall my talking about DRM, the digital radio system? Was at Hatfield and Dawson the other day and Steve Lockwood was eager to show me his recently modified receiver. A little circuit board in the HF receiver connected to a computer running some special software and voila... you have a DRM receiver. Unfortunately due to the noise level we were unable to hear anything. If you are curious about DRM, check out their web site - http://www.drm.org/indexduez.htm.

Well it happened again... another world-wide virus. In this case, apparently, the folks in Redmond had the preventative on the street before the critter struck... unfortunately some did not install it. With that in mind I would like to leave you with a virus warning for those that were born before 1960... it's called the >Senile Virus<... here are some of the symptoms -

1. Causes you to send the same email twice.
2. Caused you to send bland email.
3. Causes you to send to the wrong person.
4. Causes you to send back to the person who sent it to you .
5. Causes you to forget to attach the attachment.
6. Causes you to hit 'SEND' before you've finished the

Thanks, Jim Hatfield, for this vital information.

That's it for this month, see you next time, between the yellow sheets.

Clay, K7CR, CPBE
clayscorner@sbe16.org

The above comments and opinions are those of Clay Freinwald. They are not the opinion of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc., or Seattle Chapter 16, Inc.

black line

Return to table of contents

The End User


by Rich Petschke
Vice Chairman, SBE Chap. 16

At last month's Seattle Home Show, LG Electronics was demonstrating its 'Internet Refrigerator' - a side-by-side model with a built-in TFT LCD display. This modern marvel, can surf the 'net, act as an active message center, display your digital pictures (no more magnets!) and even track the expiration dates of your food'. Now THAT's high-tech! If I had one of these - I'd never worry about my sour cream going bad again.

Which reminds me: Exactly what happens when 'sour cream goes bad'. Does it really 'go good'? I can see it now - a new reality TV show - 'When Bad Sour Cream Goes Good'. But I digress.

SmarTec Industries has introduced the MouseCaster - a mouse with a built-in FM Radio. It connects to the PS/2 port and to the line or microphone input of your sound card. According to SmartTec's website (http://www.mousecaster.com), the $25 MouseCaster comes with tuner software enabling preset settings for 28 stations, a timer recorder, and even an alarm clock. The 'End User' has ordered one of these - look for a review in the near future.

You may have heard of Dell's decision earlier this year to stop including floppy drives as standard equipment in its high-end desktop computers. Although seldom used, 'booting from a floppy' is still used as a primary method of troubleshooting some PC problems. Another issue is no BIOS support for booting from USB plug-in key storage products - but manufacturers are working to add this in the near future. I still frequently use the floppy drive, as it's an easy way to transfer small files. It remains to be seen if the industry will follow Dell's lead.

Speaking of the BIOS - that antiquated remnant of the original IBM PC could also be going the way of standard-equipment floppy drives. The original designers of the IBM PC BIOS never envisioned it would last this long - they thought that 250,000 machines would see it through to the end of its life. Now Intel is working on a standard called the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) - essentially, a tiny operating system that would be stored on a protected area of the hard disk or on a USB storage device. EFI would be coded in a high-level programming interface (like C++), rather than the assembly-language used for the BIOS. This would enable more useful diagnostics, self-configuration programs, and ways to sort out problems even if the operating system has died.

Finally this month - you've probably received one of those 'business proposal' spam e-mail messages, asking you for help in getting money out of another country into the United States. I get two or three of these proposals a week - I guess I should feel honored so many people are seeking out my assistance. Lev Epshteyn, a Brooklyn, NY resident has created a 'business reply generator' - you fill in the name of the e-mail sender, the name of the person needing assistance, the country and the amount of money to transfer. The generator creates a very-lengthy reply message which is quite hilarious - and you could even send it back to the solicitor, giving them a dose of their own medicine. The business reply generator is at http://www.flooble.com/fun/reply.php

Questions, suggestions or comments? Send 'em to enduser@sbe16.org. Till next month....all the best!

The above comments and opinions are those of Rich Petschke.They are not the opinion of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc., or Seattle Chapter 16, Inc.

black line

Return to table of contents

PDX Radio Waves

by Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Inc., Portland
mike@brownbroadcast.com

In with the old and out with the new. 103.7 KXPC Lebanon has filed with the Commission for a 500 watt booster at the same tower (and antenna location) currently occupied by 105.1 KRSK ("Rosey 105") Molalla. The booster would fill out the north end of the 60 dBu coverage of their new CP for the main transmitter, which is set some 3700 feet up Crabtree Mountain, (about halfway between Lebanon and Detroit Lake). This move is an obvious play at serving Portland. Indeed, their company name, "Portland Radio LLC", tells the story. Frustrated earlier after being blindsided by the move of 2nd adjacent 104.1 KFIS Scappoose to the Stonehenge Tower, this will be about the best they can do. The FCC 60 dBu contour would extend to about Oregon City, but the actual coverage (in car radios at least) should be viable throughout much of the metro area.

Our hearts go out to Water Cooled Newsletter Redactor, Patti Randles, whose mother passed away in February at the age of 83. Our thoughts are with you, Patti. [May we all be playing golf as well as Patti's mother did at 80 years old. - ed.].

The FCC, on the shortest legally-possible prior notice, opened up a five-day filing window for new and major-change translators in the non-reserved band, from March 10-14. It also has told this writer that, contrary to popular assumption, translators CAN rebroadcast LPFM stations. But there still cannot be any ownership link between the LPFM and the translator station.

The massive snow and ice storms that have pummeled the East have brought down a number of communications towers. Perhaps the most dramatic failure was in West Virginia, where the 1500 foot tower of KVAH-TV completely collapsed. See http://www.wvah.com/newsroom/wvahtower.shtml .

black line

Return to table of contents

Humor

Which of the following statements are true?
(Answers at the end of the newsletter.)

1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

2. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a bellybutton.

4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.

5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart!

6. Only seven (7) per cent of the population are lefties.

7. 40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

8. Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until they are 2-6 years old.

9. The average person over fifty will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

10. The toothbrush was invented in 1414.

11. The average housefly lives for one month.

12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than the rest of the day.

16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

17. The reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water.

18. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.

19. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie".

20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

21. In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.

22. Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same airplane just in case there is a crash.

23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins.

26. If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.

black line

black line

How Taxes Work....

They understand this stuff in South Dakota. Shouldn't they be able to understand it in Washington D.C.?

A straightforward look at taxes from an Accounting Professor at The University of South Dakota:

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing;
The fifth would pay $1;
The sixth would pay $3;
The seventh $7;
The eighth $12;
The ninth $18;
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement until one day, the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a Tax Cut).

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.00. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free.

But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?" The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man (who was paying $1) and the sixth man (who was paying $3) would end up being PAID to eat their meal.

So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man paid nothing;
The sixth pitched in $2;
The seventh paid $5;
The eighth paid $9;
The ninth paid $12;
Leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59.

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man, but he, (pointing to the tenth) got $7!". "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man, "I only saved a dollar too........It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!".

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man, "Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2?." "The wealthy get all the breaks!".

Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" So, the nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered a little late what was very important. They were FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS short of paying the bill! Imagine that!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

Where would that leave the rest? Unfortunately, most taxing authorities anywhere cannot seem to grasp this rather straight-forward logic!

T. Davies
Professor of Accounting & Chair,
Division of Accounting and Business Law
The University of South Dakota School of Business

black line

Colorado Happy Hour

black line

Which of the following statements are true?
Answers:

All of the statements are true.

black line

Return to table of contents

Etc.

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris
  (303)756-4843
   bharris4@ix.netcom.com

Garneth M. Harris
  (303)756-4843

Newsletter archives are available online.
Visit www.smpte-sbe48.org/oldnews for an index of newsletter back issues.
Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Societies, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE and SMPTE Newsletter is published approximately twelve times per year. It is prepared with a combination of text and graphic data. Submission deadline is 10 days before the last day of each month. Other SBE or SMPTE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.