Nov 27, 2013

Nov - 13 2013 | By

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– They're tagged with #Zentech.
– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.
– Editor's comments are delimited by < >

Zentech is scheduled to air on 12-11-13 but probably not on Christmas day.

Glenn's phone call quality was terrible on this show. I hope I didn't mishear anything.

The show was not particularly information dense, so the notes will be a tad sparse. Hey, it's Thanksgiving eve, what do you expect.


Dave "Buzz" Barnett, KVMR's chief engineer, was the guest host. Glenn called in from the Bay Area. We didn't hear from Paul.


Glenn said Apple is having difficulties filling orders for the iPhone 5S, the newest model, and has told the manufacturer to increase its production. They have an overstock of the 5C model.

An on-going issue for Apple users is getting the KVMR Flea Market webpage to display correctly. Glenn restated the solution he found when this was brought up during the 10-23-13 show — use the Firefox browser. He said he'll continue to work on the problem to pinpoint the exact cause.

Glenn helped a friend explore the possibility of using a SIM card from a TracPhone, which is not a smartphone, in one that is smart — like an AT&T or T-Mobile smartphone. He also suggested trying the SIM card in any unlocked, off-contract smartphone — a used phone, for instance. And if you're going to get an older iPhone, make it the 3G or older model.

Dave was looking at some tech news and noted that Microsoft is preparing to kill Windows RT. Glenn said RT isn't able to run standard Windows applications <unless they are compiled for RT>, and Microsoft is moving on to Windows 8.1.

Win81 can be made to look more like Win7, which is closer to WinXP that Glenn is familiar with. Dave concurred and said he likes the older shortcuts available to WinXP — like WindowsKey + E to launch the file explorer. Dave said some of them are not available in Win8.

As on the last show, Glenn said that Samsung & Intel are collaborating on a Linux based operating system for mobile phones.

Dave said that most webservers run on the Linux operating system. When you install Windows, it brings with it all kinds of services. With Linux you can install with a rich set of services & programs, or install a minimal system for a specific purpose — like a database server, for example. As a result, Linux tends to be more efficient, have less overhead and be more secure.

Dave said that the Android operating system on the smartphones, though widely used, is still owned by Google, and developing an alternate open source Linux-based OS is good hedge, in case it's needed.

A few years ago there was an open source project called OpenMoco that was an attempt to build a universal, SIM card-enabled smartphone with Linux. He didn't know what happened to it; he thought they had "trouble finding the hardware". There were a few prototypes spotted in the Far East but he doesn't know more about it.

Glenn said Best Buy is going to have a "doorbuster" deal on Friday (he thought Friday) on a 32" or possibly 42" LCD TV for $99. It's not a smart TV, the kind you can hookup to the internet, Glenn said.

Glenn mentioned that KVMR has 2 broadcast studios — A & B. Studio B was meant to be a backup in case there's trouble with studio A and it's now used for training. Glenn likes B because it's more user friendly.

Dave said studio B is set up better to use KVMR's digital library and is being used for archiving many of KVMR's recordings (some 16,000 CDs) into the Flac format. Unlike the MP3 format, Flac (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a high quality recording — it doesn't lose any quality from compression, it's lossless.

Glenn wondered about the details of the new building that KVMR is moving to, which will be across the street. Dave said it will have an upgraded operating system with most of the hardware that's in studio B.

Dave said the phone interface will be different. The Axia brand phone interface for the operator will be the same, but behind the scene it's different. The current system "takes the audio in the board and translates it to a standard copper phone line pair". <It's analog, I guess> The new facility will use VOIP with something called Asterisk.

Dave said that recently the FCC had a filing window close for low power FM stations (LPFM). Any established non-profit organization not involved in broadcasting was able to apply. Low power stations transmit at under 100 watts and typically have a coverage area of 2 to 4 miles. He said about 2800 have applied. One such station is KFOK at 95.1 in Georgetown.

Glenn brought up the subject of HD radio. KVMR has the ability to broadcast in HD, and he wondered what the channel designations are. Dave said that 89.5-1 is a digital copy of their analog signal.
– On an HD radio, if you tune in to 89.5 (analog) it will switch to HD channel 89.5-1, if the signal is strong enough. HD is normally a weaker signal with a smaller coverage.
– If the signal is strong enough and you then dial in 89.5-2 you will hear classical music from a service called Classical 24.
– KVMR has the ability to use channels 89.5-3 & 89.5-4 but the bandwidth of HD radio is 96Kbits in total. 2 channels will be 48Kbits each, 3 channels 32Kbits and 4 channels will be 24Kbits each. KVMR has decided not to broadcast more than 2 channels because the quality would be too low.

Jerry <maybe it was Gary> called wanting to know the peak allowed wattage of a LPFM station and what can be done to extend the coverage.
– The limit is 100 watts if the antenna is no higher than 10 meters above average terrain. The taller the antenna the lower the allowed power.
– You can extend the range by using a translator. It will receive the primary frequency (89.5) and rebroadcast at a different frequency to cover a new area (like 104.7 for KVMR's Woodland translator).
– There is a fine of about $10,000 if the allowed wattage is exceeded.

Thanks to all the listeners & subscribers. To become a member please visit the KVMR website.

The Flea Market will NOT broadcast tomorrow. Glenn didn't know what will take its place. It will be on the following week.

At the very end, someone called in to complain about the poor quality of today's audio.
– The quality problem was with Glenn's cell phone call.

Last updated 8:23 PM 11/27/2013

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