What real users are saying about Windows 10

The Control Panel. Yes, the Control Panel. How is it possible for a final, shipped product (8, 8.1, and now 10) to have multiple versions of a single app (the Control Panel) where some options are in one version and other options are in the other? And the UIs of each are completely different.

At least the Control Panel vs Change PC Settings options are now no longer shown together in the same pop open Charms menu as they were in 8.x. I suppose at least in 8.x they put one at the top of the menu and the other at the bottom of the menu, like there was some discussion to keep them far apart because, oh I don’t know, because having two different links to two different Control Panels in the same menu might be confusing to users.

Anyway, so the bizarre charms menu is gone. The Metro Change PC Settings app from 8.1 is replaced with a new app in 10 with some snazzy looking icons. But wait.. the Windows 7 style Control Panel is still in Windows 10? With the the previous Windows 7 UI style? Wait, what? So there’s still 2 different Control Panels in 10? Microsoft please, get your design teams in the same room!

More other bizarre observations and pet peevs in this post over at The Register.

Windows 10 – is it ready?

Only a day away from Windows 10 starting to rollout on July 29th, and people are wondering whether it’s really ready for release or not, or as The Register puts it, Microsoft are still playing ‘whack-a-mole’ with bugs before the actual release: “A number of nagging bugs have cropped up in the last few days that have some Windows 10 testers scratching their heads at just how an OS this raw can be considered production-ready.”

But if we’re prepared to accept’s Microsoft’s concept of ‘Windows as a Service’, this is all perfectly ok, because you’ll be getting a continual stream of Windows Updates to patch all the issues after the first release is pushed out. I’m not sure how this differs from any other Microsoft release of any prior release of Windows, but ok then, if you say so.

So your release forecast for tomorrow is: extremely buggy, with a very good chance of patches released later in the day.

Configuring rtl_fm and Direwolf for decoding Amateur Radio Packet on the Raspberry Pi

rtl_fm is one of the utilities from the rtl_sdr package for using a TV dongle as an SDR. Head over here if you need more info on this.

Direwolf is a soundcard based packet modem.

According to the Direwolf docs, it supports using rtl_fm as an input, so I thought I would take a look at look at getting these running together.

I’ve used rtl_sdr and rtl_tcp on my Pi before, but not rtl_fm, so first to get this working.

To playback the stream from rtl_fm you need to pipe into into some audio app. This is the same way that direwolf is going to read the stream too. Following the suggestion here on the rtl_sdr page, this command works fine for a local broadcast radio station on 96.9MHz:

rtl_fm -f 96.9M -M wbfm -s 200000 -r 48000 | play -r 48000 -t s16 -L -c 1  -

I’m not sure what all these options are, but the key options seem to be -s for the sample rate, and -r for the resolution. The -r value needs to match on the rtl_fm side and on the play side.

Now to get direwolf installed on Raspbian:

– per the userguide, first install libasound-dev:

[code]sudo apt-get install libasound-dev[/code]

– download the source zip from: https://home.comcast.net/~wb2osz/site/?/page/Download/

– unzip and cd into the direwolf folder

– make with:

[code]make -f Makefile.linux

make install-conf

make install_rpi[/code]

At this point I have rtl_fm on the Pi working as it should, and direwolf working great when decoding audio input from a 2m radio input via a USB soundcard. Combining the two though is giving me issues.

I don’t thing I’m able to get a strong enough received signal on 2m on the RTL stick even with an external 1/4wave 2m antenna.

This is the combination of commands, rtl_fm, piping into Direwolf:

[code]rtl_fm -f 145048467 -M fm -s 200000 -r 32000 -g 35 | direwolf -n 1 -r 32000 -b 16 -t 0 -[/code]

I’ve allowed for the tuning offset ppm on this RTL card, but maybe I’ve calculated this wrong?

Anyway, since Direwolf by itself on the Pi is working well and what I needed for a small packet project was to be able to decode packet on the Pi, I’ll be putting rtl_fm on hold for the time being and playing with Direwolf by itself.