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Howdy, folks! We have a humdinger of a column for you this month! First, a new book that will surely knock your socks off. Next, a computer program that will give you time to read more books and spend less time at the radio. What a deal!

THIS IS THE BBC ?!?!?!?!

Luigi Sadowski sends us a review of a new book that will surely undermine the hero worship we all feel for BBC news readers. But, didn't we always suspect that things weren't quite what they seemed at the beeb? Take it away, Luigi...

&qutoJust out from Reynoldsburg DX University Press is Dr. Pamela Amboy's latest book, A History of Social Deviance Amoung BBC News Readers: 1945- 1989. Although this book is obviously aimed at DX sociologists, even the average DXer will gain a better appreciation of what really goes on behind the scenes at the Beeb by reading it. The 672 pages are divided into seventeen chapters, arranged chronologically, to fully cover the post-war and Cold War eras. The chronological arrangement allows the reader to easily see the rise and fall of various forms of social deviance at the BBC over the years. In fact, the final chapter extrapolates on what forms of social deviance are most likely amoung BBC news readers in the next decade. The author cautions that these predictions must remain, at best, tentative due to the sudden end of the Cold War.

The highlight is a 76 page appendix of charts and graphs summarizing the book's major premises and findings in statistical form. Many of these can be purchased from the author in 24x36 inch poster size for a nominal fee. It is thoroughly indexed and has an excellent bibliography. The book's only drawback, in my view, is that it would be more fun at parties if some descriptive grainy black and white photos were included. Order your copy from U-Mart today for just $44.95, hard cover."

My check's in the mail already!

GET OUT THE PC!!!

Now, from paper to floppy disk - a brand new computer program for the DXer from CompuDX - PC-Listlogger! Yes!!!, as the name implies, this is the perfect program for the DXer who prefers to spend time with his IBM compatible instead of his DX receiver. With judicious use of the program, you can continue to contribute to all your favorite DX bulletins even if you haven't turned on a receiver in months! PC-Listlogger is completely menu driven, and so easy to use that it's advertised on WLIQ!!

PC-Listlogger contains all of the most current DXlists, including the FISH, WRTH, PWBR, and randomly chosen frequencies, stations, and schedules from various DX club bulletins. This is combined with the program's in-depth understanding of how SW propagation works.

The initial set-up menu allows you to set default receivers, antennas, and your latitude and longitude. The default settings can be easily bypassed, for example, if you take your computer on vacation or to the family cabin. After loading the program, you are asked to input the date and time range for the loggings to be made, e.g. May 17, 1991 from 0952-1137 UTC. Optionally, you may also indicate specific frequency ranges or geographic regions to be logged. If you don't, the program will choose these for you. Next, you will be asked to type in the latest A and K indices (no, you don't have to tune in WWV - dial them up by telephone at (303) 497-5000! Finally, you will be asked to choose a level of experience: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, or Senior DXer.

One of the most useful features in truly personalizing your loggings is the options menu. In the default mode, no loggings will overlap and the will range from 10 to 30 minutes in length. However, you can vary these from a minimum of 1 minute to a maximum of 120 minutes. Also, if you've checked the 'multiple VFO/memories receiver' box in the original set-up menu, some loggings will even overlap, as if you were switching back and forth between VFOs and memories.

My favorite feature in the Options Menu is the Personalize Loggings submenu. With this, you can instruct the program to add appropriate personal comments on either randomly chosen loggings, or specific ones you have chosen yourself. These comments vary according to the level of experience which you have indicated. An example from the Novice mode would be "Wow! I never thought I could hear Italy on the radio! I was so excited that I ordered a pizza to celebrate!" Another example, from the Senior DXer mode, is "Although this station is located in the central department of Pasco, the announcer clearly spoke with an accent from southern Cuzco department. This concurs with Muir's theories on the migratory patterns of Peruvian radio announcers."

Loggings can be printed out in a variety of formats, e.g. by frequency, country, time, etc, consistent to the various DX publications that you may contribute to. PC-Listlogger also keeps tabs over which stations you have logged and IDed with the program. A station might be logged as tentative the first time, and then IDed a few days later - or maybe even a year or two later. It can also be programmed to make loggings over a period of several days (up to 45 days). Certain stations will then be treated as "cumulative" logs, with a little bit of detail added over several days. Very realistic!!

Finally, the program is thoroughly documented in a 243 page manual with lots of charts and diagrams. Also included is an 8x12 cardboard chart summarizing the major commands for quick reference. The manual even includes step-by-step instructions of how to use PC-Listlogger to advance from novice to Senior DXer in just four years without turning on a radio! If you have trouble, help from CompuDX is just a phonecall away at 1-800 LIST LOG.

How good is PC-Listlogger? For a hefty honorarium from CompuDX, I've been giving a prototype of the program a "dry run" for almost a year now. Every logging I've submitted to DX publications in that time has been generated by PC-Listlogger - and no one has called me on a one of them!!!! Now, that's what I can "user-friendly", HI!! HI!! (In fact, now you know how I find the time to read all the books that I review in this column.) I expect to keep using PC-Listlogger for a long time. Now, if CompuDX could just come up with a program that generated loggings AND stuffed them into envelopes and mailed them. Then I could stay active in the hobby for years without even thinking about it!

Whoops ... looks like the bookstore's closing. See you next month with a review of Harry Exeter's latest book So Your Washed Your Shortwave Radio.

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The above article appeared in the 1991 edition of BLANDX, the DX bulletin parody magazine. More information about BLANDX is available from Don Moore.

What were once vices are now good DXing habits. (BLANDX 1990)

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This website is maintained by Don Moore,
Association of North American Radio Clubs
DXer of the Year for 1995
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