Category Archives: Technical

Tools used to build this site.

This site is built using a number of tools. Amazingly, most of the software tools are free/GPL/Open Source. I am very happy with this arrangement and can comfortably reccommend any of these products and services.

  • My hosting service is, and I am generally very happy with them. The same account hosts,, and, and I have also parked and here too.
  • The Content Management System (CMS) is WordPress 2.1. I have also used a number of add-ins:
  • The theme, which will vary depending on my mood, is identified at the bottom of the page. I will usually modify the theme with my own header photo(s).
  • ItunesSpy plugin for WordPress. This accepts information from ItunesWatcher3. ItunesWatcher3 sits in the system tray of my Vista machine and reports to my server when ever I play a song in Itunes. The ItunesSpy plugin takes that information and displays it in the side margin, along with links to the album on Amazon. Sweet.
  • Now Reading Plugin for WordPress allows me share my reading list. I just type the name of my book and the plugin gets all the info including cover from Amazon, similar to Itunesspy.
  • WP-Print, which may or may not be visible to you right now depending on the theme in use, is used on and allows a text-only print view for posts or pages. I currently only use it on the Recipes and Directions posts.
  • WordPress Widgets. This plugin makes the side column much easier to configure.
  • The Photo Album on is hosted on my own Windows XP ‘server’ in my basement, which may be upgraded to Windows Server 2003 if I get some free time. My home network is at (Santoro backwards…) I needed a separate domain name due the the fact that I use Dynamic DNS and 1&1 doesn’t support it. does a nice job of handling that DNS for free.
  • The Photo album uses Gallery2 software to generate album pages and thumbnails on-the-fly. This is an incredible piece of software.

<post moved from my old tech blog>

End of an Era: FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes

Making the time to learn morse code was always a problem for me and I was therefore never able to upgrade to the “General Class” Amateur Radio License. That license is the one you need to work the world effectively. Well, it looks like my lucky year.

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End of an Era: FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes

NEWINGTON, CT, In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission today adopted, but hasn’t yet released, the long-awaited Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235, the “Morse code”

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