[WriteLog] Re ZL1DD post

Scot Herrick scot at k9jy.com
Tue Nov 2 22:25:07 EST 2004


For many of you out there who are looking for single radio contesting
information, I created a 'WriteLog Lite' section of my K9JY web pages. It
allows users to set up the program once overall and then make adjustments
for each individual contest as it come up. This section was added as
feedback from users who did not want to deal with all the options within
WriteLog and did specific types of contesting.

For those of you who don't like looking at computer screens, I've even
placed the items in Acrobat Reader (most of the site now has this feature)
so that a user can download the entire file and print them out so that they
have the equivalent of a manual, screen prints included.

Whether you use the WriteLog Lite section of the web pages, or go for all
the options of the program using the Universal Setup of the program, my
intent is to have users be able to get the program working the way they want
it to work. Though mine is not the official WriteLog web site, 60,000 hits
have happened on the site and many people have found it useful.

I've incorporated scores of suggestions from users about what to have in the
site and how to present it. I've been told it's too folksy by engineers
(that's my style, so I'm not going to change it), too technical for
non-computer users (I'm not going to teach people how to use their computers
or try and explain Windows), and not technical enough by hard core
contesters who are looking for every edge they can find. But, on balance, I
think it hits the middle ground pretty well.

There is also an obvious disconnect on what I have for setting up networking
on the site and the actual practice of doing it. I have a new approach to
explain how to set up networking, but it probably won't be in there before
the end of the year given my day (and half my night) job. But the changes
are the direct result of specific feedback from users, a very important
component in the information presented on the site.

While I don't think either of the emails below were directed specifically at
me, I thought it useful to again point out the resource available to all
contesters from the K9JY site, specifically highlight WriteLog Lite as a new
section that addresses some of what is written here, and to ask all of you
to continue to provide specific feedback on the site as that is how life
gets better. 

Scot, K9JY

PS I qualify for AARP membership, so a tech wizard I am not...

Scot Herrick
See K9JY's WriteLog User Support Site at:

-----Original Message-----
From: writelog-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:writelog-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Phil Krichbaum
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 13:59
To: 'Writelog'
Cc: 'GMC'
Subject: [WriteLog] Re ZL1DD post

Quoted from ZL1DD post:
So this is the guts of my evaluation: Writelog is an excellent piece of work
as a programme, but the job is less than half done in that what
documentation there is scattered over a number of sites and has been put
together by talented amateurs. But the fact remains that what I have paid
for does not hack it. Instruction manuals, help programmes etc are a
critical part of even relatively primitive devices and Writelog is pathetic
in this respect. About 0.5 out of 10 in my opinion.

	Like Barry I am in my middle 60s and did not use a computer in my
professional life and am an appliance operator with them. In my past life I
was a CPA or Chartered Accountant (before computers were widely used in the
field) but gave that up to become a ski instructor and 4WD guide plus build
houses etc rather than sit in an office cubical looking at a computer
	When operating a ham radio, as I've been doing for nearly 50 years,
things are intuitively obvious. However when something goes wrong with a
program like Writelog, nothing is intuitively obvious as to how to solve the
problem as I don't have the 20 or 30 years experience working with computers
on a daily basis. If something goes wrong I'm sunk until one of my techie
friends can straighten it out. A thousand monkeys banging on keyboards would
have trouble replicating some of the messes I've made by hitting the wrong
key at the wrong time and of course I have no clue what I did to start the
whole process. I agree with Barry that the documentation is woefully
inadequate and poorly organized which is typical of computer techie or
engineer written instructions. Fortunately there are a few of those types
that can write a manual or instructions that us computer illiterate seniors
can understand but they are few and far between.
	 A year ago after futzing around for about two weeks I finally got
the DVK
going and used it in a few SSB contests. The needed information was
scattered all over the web site, not in one area under a title like DVK with
step by step instructions like I would expect. I made careful notes on my
setup (some 5 or 6 pages worth) and am now unable to replicate it working
again. In the CQWW SSB last weekend I was at TI5X and unable to use the DVK
because of some audio feedback problem that I never solved. (I was still
using the same computer that had previously worked). I could record and send
fine but could not receive because of what seemed to be a feedback thing. I
was able to record the F keys on the fly as I am still using 10.47 and 98SE
and afraid to upgrade to 10.48, XP etc after seeing all the problems some
people have. Unfortunately I've seen very few of these problems solved and
newer versions seem to have more undocumented "features". I'm glad I'd taken
my MFJ DVK along "just in case" to Costa Rica.
	I've also been involved in several MS and M2 operations with WL and
has ever worked properly as far as the networking. There is no obvious way
to set up for multi-op. CT was way superior in this area. We want to do a M2
but use a third computer and station to chase mults and direct band changes
but no clue if this is possible and I just saw a post that someone had tried
something similar last weekend and WL may have acted like they were a MM
instead of M2 which is what I was afraid of. It would be nice that when you
opened a new log you could choose the class you intend to operate, be it SO,
MS, MM M2 etc.
	I do like the program but am frustrated that I am unable to use many
these really nice features because the difficult task to initiate them.
Unfortunately I can't make up for my lack of computer techie knowledge in
the time I've got left to enjoy this hobby.
	73 Phil N0KE

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