I served as President of the Huntsville PC Users Group from 2004 thru 2007. I have served as president of several hobby organizations. The HPCUG was a pretty easy job due to the fact that they have a very strong core of responsible hard working members. Click here to access the HPCUG WebPages.
My home computer system consist of 3 home made AMD based desk top PCs and one Asus X52F laptop all running Windows 7 except one which is a dual boot W7 or W8. I also have one reasonably reliable Acer Aspire 5100 laptop. It works pretty well but the external monitor port stopped working so I could no longer use it for PowerPoint. I use the laptops primarily for PowerPoint presentations.
The Acer came with Vista which I have nothing good to say about. It came with no software loaded. When I attempted to install Vista, I got a note to call Microsoft (µsoft), and gave me a phone number that actually worked. They asked for the product code that is on the bottom of the computer. They gave me another code to replace it. That worked fine until I had an occasion where I needed to reload Vista. I had misplaced the new product code and of course the one that came with the computer no longer worked. I had no choice at that point but to buy W7 or load one of my extra copies of XP, I loaded W7.
I have since been told that the problem with the product code number was related to some manufacturers using more copies than they were paying µsoft for. I suppose issuing a new number kept Microsoft records straight but is was a problem for me the user.
All computers are networked using a Netgear WGR614 wireless Router.
One of the towers was used to run my ham radio station. I purchased a software defined ham radio and decided that I needed a faster machine. It still did the job but I was in a bigger hurry than it was so I upgraded. The new Ham shack computer was built for me by DTM Computing and is a whizzer. It is an Asus M5A97R2.0 with a 6 core AMD processor with a solid state "C" drive. I added a second 23 inch monitor. I now display the Software Defined Radio on monitor one and all of my digital ham radio programs on monitor two. That really works slick. I can run my satellite tracking program, MulitPSK, and HDSSTV (easy PAL) all at the same time and display them on the bigger monitor and see them all at the same time and still have room for more. The dual boot is working well but once I used W8, I really like it and maybe didn't need dual boot. All of the programs are inter connected within the computer using Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) which further adds to the speed of operation. The "C" drive is pretty big so that so far, dual boot is not penalizing me at all.
Before I retired the old ham radio computer I had to reformat the Hard drive and had planned to continue using XPpro thinking it was more compatible with my ham radio software. When I tried to reload XP, I got another "call µsoft" screen. It was on a weekend and the phone number connected me to someone in India that spoke a different English than I so I had a lot of difficulty understanding. I finally gleaned after several attempts that he was telling me that I had to get a new product code from µsoft and that it had to come from a state side phone number and that number was not available on weekends. With such poor service, I choose to load W7 instead.
Digital ham radio programs normally require an interface circuit between the computer and the radio. Since the SDR (radio) and the digital programs are all inside the computer I connect them using VAC so there is no need for interface boxes. Width VAC a click of the mouse changes digital programs. This works better because it is all digital ie.. no A to D and or D to A.
I like messing with computers and software. I am not that good at it but I beat my way through. When I get too hung up, I call on my friend and owner of DTM Computing, Sam, and he bails me out.
Last updated 5/5/13 brf