[CQ-Contest] Contesting with X-BOX ???

K6VVA - Contester dx35 at hilding.com
Thu Nov 3 12:32:54 EST 2005

Tomorrow is the day...I meet with the Program Manager for one of 
MicroSoft's X-BOX devices.  It could be a moment of "Destiny" for the 
future of "Contesting" :-)  Although he is in the hardware area, this may 
be a prelude to getting routed to his peers in the software division as we 
discussed on the phone.

In August, 1956, my family moved from a town of 310 people in Eastern 
Washington State to San Jose, CA.  This was a move of "Destiny" as there 
turned out to be 3 hams on the same city block.  "Coincidence"?  Nope... 
"Destiny" !!!  I got my Novice ticket in January, 1957.

I presently live about 4 miles outside a smaller community in Southern 
Silicon Valley.  The X-Box Program Manager (does a lot of Telecommuting and 
many trips to China) lives about 1 mile down the road closer into 
town.  "Coincidence"?  Nope... "Destiny" !!!  Hopefully.

It has become quite obvious that the future of "Contesting" may depend 
heavily on the recruitment of YOUNG ops from the X-Box, PlayStation, et.al. 
gamer ranks.  Since the average age of *serious* contesters appears to be 
over 40 or 50, this should be of interest to the X-Box folks, because the 
market would not be limited to teens.  And especially, since the older 
parent contesters likely have the $$$ to buy an X-Box Contesting 
unit/program for their teenage kids who may not necessarily be turned on to 
"Ham Radio" at the moment, but are turned on to gaming.

I'll be taking my notebook computer with WriteLog, TRlog, Morse Runner 
(live CW demo), the Jay Leno CW vs. Text Message video & some other 
goodies....a mini "Dog & Pony Show" to hopefully stir some interest in the 

Yeah, I know, many will say "Bah, Hum-Bug".

REALITY CHECK:  The essence of "Contesting"...the competitiveness and 
operation can be done *without* a radio whether you believe it or 
not.  Morse Runner, the TRlog Simulator, etc. demonstrate that any of us 
can "Contest" without only our computers at any time...by ourselves.  Not 
as much fun, of course as the real deal.

Widening the Vision, picture a bunch of Single Op X-Box Contesters hooked 
together "Real-Time" with other a multitude of other X-Box Contesters 
World-Wide via some monster "Central Contesting Computer".  So am I trying 
to do away with the Ham Radio part?  Not at all.  But exactly how many 
COMPETITIVE teenagers do you know who have an extra $100,000 or more to 
build a real Contest Super-Station right now???  IMHO, first hook 'em into 
the "Art Form of Contesting", and maybe enough young Bill Gates types will 
go on to make sufficient $$$ to build *real* Ham Radio Contesting 
SuperStations so we can work 'em on-air :-)

Assuming tomorrow's meeting doesn't get delayed or changed, if you have any 
comments or suggestions to add to the discussion mix down the road out here 
tomorrow, please feel free to email 'em to me at:

	xtremecontesting at xgenesis.com  (or) thefutureisnow at xgenesis.com

Remember, "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained" !!!

FYI & 73...

Rick, K6VVA

P.S. CU "on-air" in real ham radio contest...the ARRL SS this weekend !!!

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