Monday, May 02, 2016

Post 3 of 3 for University of Phoenix COMM/218

Using Social Media During a Speech or Presentation

     I've mentioned in more than one post during this course that I like to ad-lib.  Asking questions during some of my talks, and then tailoring the speech to the answers is one way that you can create a targeted speech, but you have to be prepared to ad-lib.  One thing that I want to try, but have not yet, is to use social media in a speech to drive that ad-lib content.  Here are some thoughts on what that might look like.

    Some of the larger IT conventions like South by Southwest, CIS, and others are starting to feature live media slideshows embedded in their talks.  The way you actually do this is to set up the photo feeds in a webpage, and then embed the webpage into your presentation.  You can set this up in a slide on your main presentation, or as a second screen depending on whether you want to visit this stream during the course of your talk, or have it live the whole time.  You can then stop and comment on interesting photos as they come up.  Depending on the situation you may need someone to filter the contents first.  Overdrive Interactive has a nice write up on this here.

     Another way to use social media in a presentation is to have a live Twitter or Facebook feed running either while you are talking or at a pre-determined point in the presentation (like during the Q&A session).  This way you can draw attention to relevant posts, and even answer question live that arrive via social media.  I've also seen this done as a ticker running along the top or bottom of the screen,

     This is nothing new really, but I think we'll see it more and more as time goes on.  I predict that the tools to do this will be built right in to presentation software.  In the meantime, here are some instructions on how to do it.

Post 2 of 3 for University of Phoenix COMM/218

Holographic Presentations?   Yes Please!

     Although I realize that the bulk of the heavy lifting in making a presentation interesting is in the presenter's own skills, visual effects can go a long way to enhancing those abilities and making the audience pay attention, and retain information.  During our 5 weeks of class, it has been mentioned that over-using graphics and making presentations too busy can have a negative effect on the audience.  Holographic technology however, is currently so new, impressive, and eye-catching that I believe it would tip the scales and make the audience sit up and notice.

     The idea of having holographic images displayed as part of a presentation is becoming reality.  It is still frightfully expensive, but new technologies like this eventually become mainstream.  The first LCD projectors for presentations were also frightfully expensive, and now they are very affordable and better quality than the originals.  Holographic projectors will eventually be just as obtainable.

     You are starting to see these displays at trade shows, and they are getting more impressive every year.  The advantages are great, other than the gee whiz effect itself.  When talking about mechanical things, the ability to show an item in 3D is much better than trying to get the audience to imagine an object in a real application.  Also, you can project over your audience, bringing the image closer to people in a large presentation.  It also makes for some really entertaining interaction with the speaker.

     This isn't science fiction anymore.  Don't believe me?  Hop in a time machine and show someone from 20 years ago an iPhone.

     There is a nice collection of posts, and tradeshow pictures at the Holographic Trade Show Exhibits Blog.

Post 1 of 3 for University of Phoenix COMM/218

The Future of Interactive Presentations

     As a top level support tech at a large medical institute, I get called to some high level meetings
every now and then for technical issues during presentations.  Recently I've noticed when getting called to meetings involving the board of directors, or various committees and panels, that they are using polling software for voting now.  This same polling back end has shown up in the Post-Doctoral orientations that I speak at too for getting statistics on the demographic makeup of our audience.
Courtesy PEXELS

     I see this as the future of many of the talks we give as the percentage of attendees with smartphones approaches 100%.  There are a few companies building integration into smartphones through apps.  One such company I found is Sendsteps (  With Sendstep's product, the voting and commenting can be done over Twitter, SMS, or via a website.  The advantage of using a third party app in this way is obvious: Remote users can easily participate in the interaction wherever they are.

     In the previously mentioned Post-Doctoral orientation, the polls were on education, areas of expertise, nationality, current institutional status, and other relevant demographics.  The results were then displayed as color pie graphs on the big screen.  With voting the results are displayed either once the voting is complete, usually by the moderator confirming a successful vote in the voting software, or as a live tally showing growing numbers for each choice.

    As devices evolve, I think the way we use them for interaction in presentations will evolve with them.  We may only be scratching the surface of what's to come.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

HRU 2016

Here is the information for my two forums this year at Ham Radio University on Jan 10 at Briarcliffe College.

Link to the Youtube video of the SDR presentation:  SDR presentation is at 1:51

Links for the LINUX forum:

Great source of RTL-SDR Dongle info, and SDR in general including SDR# and plugins:

Distros mentioned:  Mint, Puppy, Ubuntu, CentOS, Slackware, Debian, TinyCore, LXLE
Mint is my favorite.  Puppy or LXLE for older systems.

Pen Drive Linux:

Ham Radio Linux info:

Neil’s Pages:

Skywave Linux (Linux with SDR libraries already loaded):

Links for the SDR forum:

W9OY - How SDR Works:

DH1TW - Do you understand SDR?:

Great source of RTL-SDR Dongle info, and SDR in general including SDR# and plugins:

Skywave Linux (Linux with SDR libraries already loaded):


HDSDR (used in demo):

Google "linrad" for beginners info and info on getting RTL-SDR dongles to work in LINRAD.

NooElec store on Amazon:

SOFT66 Radios:

Alinco DJ-X11 (a handheld wideband receiver with SDR capability) :

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Windows 10 Presentation (LIMARC October 14, 2015)

Windows 10 Key Info
From LIMARC Presentation 10/14/2015 

-Link to presentation:

-PC World HowTo:

-If the upgrade icon doesn’t appear:

-Use the Windows 10 Compatibility Checker:

-Crucial BX 100 SSD ($79.99 on Amazon Today):

-The Verge, Windows 10 Review:

-Microcenter Windows Tablets:

Neil Goldstein, W2NDG

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Radio Kit Guide

Welcome to

Some time ago, I attempted to research sources for kits on the Internet, only to find out that there wasn't a one-stop-website for Ham Radio kit suppliers.

I decided to put together a good list of sources for kits that are currently available. Many of these are for
Etherkit CRX1 Receiver

QRP operation, but a few are full-featured professional transceivers (Elecraft, DZ). On the beginners side there are a few sources that stand out: Hendricks has a great assortment of kits, including some SSB QRP equipment. QRPme offers the inexpensive, easy-to-build tuna-can products, and I would like to make special mention

Monday, May 04, 2015


Some of you might remember me talking about the return of Heathkit.

There has been a lot of mystery surrounding the status of Heathkit, as they popped up a couple of years ago and announced that they were returning.  There was a survey posted online for a long time asking people what they wanted to see from a new Heathkit.  The new Heathkit management hosted a Q and A session on Reddit speaking more about their plans to return.  Then, nothing.  No announcements, no news.  There was brief mention in December when the folks at Adafruit (a company that supports the MAKER community) were briefly in touch with the new Heathkit, and were told that things are still progressing, and there will be no information on what the products will be until they are ready.  All through this, I have been skeptical, as many people would be, since we have heard this story before.

Now, there are changes over at  They are clearly gearing up for products, and support.  They have even started an eBay store where they are selling parts, and some classic equipment.

Cross your fingers.

--Neil W2NDG

Friday, March 13, 2015

Larkfield ARC and LIMARC meeting presentation Handout

Here are the links from the handout:

Heathkit FAQ

Quicksilver (soldering iron, tools)

The Ham QRP DIY Kit Shack

Bitx kits from India


Clifford Wareham



Peaberry SDR

Mikes Electronic Parts (AM chips and Fahnestock clips

Evil Mad Scientist

Great list of remaining surplus suppliers


Peebles Originals (Crystal and Regen kits)

Here are a few more useful links:

I was talking about the 3-lead AM radio chips, and also a source for Fahnestock clips and other AM radio parts.  It turns out that it's the same guy:

Mikes Electronic Parts

This is the site that has the giant 555 IC timer kit that we saw at the meeting:

One man's obsession with crystal radios.  Worth a look!

Great list of remaining surplus suppliers:

Just found this site which has archives of Elementary Electronics, Popular Electronics, Radio Electronics, etc etc.  Great resource!

Here's another interesting kit source I forgot about that I need to add.  Peebles Originals.  They make a nice line of Crystal and Transistor radio kits:

Unfortunately I was not able to find the generic p-boxes, but you can still build the designs on a regular perf board.

 Be sure to send anything new you find that is not on the website to me.

Neil Goldstein W2NDG

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Alternative Operating Systems. LIMARC Presentation from January 14, 2015

Alternative Operating Systems
Limarc Pre-Meeting presentation
January 14, 2015


Atheos (Syllable)
MorphOS  For OLD PowerMacs


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Linux For Ham Radio - Ham Radio University Forum - HRU 2015

Welcome to all HRU attendees, and visitors to this website.  I would like to thank HRU for inviting me to be a presenter this year, and also to everyone who attended my forum.  Here are the notes I promised, as well as a link to the presentation.  This subject really requires more than the 45 minutes we had.  I had wanted to demonstrate my RTL-SDR dongle running in Linux, and to spend a little time explaining the best way to set it up.

If any metro-area Ham Radio clubs would like me to do this presentation for them, please contact me at: W2NDG(AT)ARRL(DOT)NET.

First of all, lets look at some of the main subjects from the presentation.

Here is a link to the small presentation