NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

As we enter storm season in the US, and storms ‘seem’ to get more intense each year… particularly for those of us that live in tornado territory, it’s often advised to get a “Weather Radio”.

I’d heard about these for years, but never really looked into them… with my communications background, they prove quite interesting. There are over 1000 stations in the US and coverage is pretty good (excellent in my area). Obviously you need a special receiver to receive the broadcasts, VHF requencies are below…


META Tag ‘MSThemeCompatible’

Okay, so this one’s a little old, and I just found it while looking at some of Microsoft Update’s HTML source, it appears to be relevant for MSIE6 and newer and may be responsible for some interesting styling and behaviour of form components.

A quick search for it turns up lots of discussions about other browers such as Firefox being effected if the value is not defined… as such it’s likely a good idea to define it in your pages to be sure.

An old MSDN entry reads…

When running on Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6 and the content displayed in it sports a look and feel that matches the Windows XP platform. You can opt to have your HTML content not take on the same look as the operating system for elements such as buttons and scroll bars, by adding the following META tag:
<meta http-equiv="MSThemeCompatible" content="no" />

Setting this will disable theme support for the document. Some background on this, Windows XP (MSIE6) allows for the use of themes for the operating system to change the general color scheme of many elements.
As such, many HTML components (such as SELECT dropdowns, BUTTONS and INPUT fields ‘MAY’ also be effected if you don’t explicitly prevent it in your code.

There was some support for this in Mozilla Firefox builds for Windows, as such, while I’d normally recommend using a conditional comment, I’m torn in this case.


Personalized Internet Radio

While many terrestrial radio stations “stream” their content to make it available to anyone with an Internet connection, sometimes it’s still “just radio”.

For a true ‘net’ user, it’s often better to make the whole thing personalized and interactive, not to mention…. commercial free!

There are several popular services available for this, here are a few that I’m familiar with:

All of the above are free (for now), though the RIAA is trying to change yet another “good thing” and may make this impossible for these companies to support in the future.

Happy listening!

Citizens Band (CB) Radio

Before there were cellphones or a (public) Internet for chatting, there was CB Radio. I spent a lot of time on these things in my teens and early twenties.
I grew up with my father having a CB in his car for some of our long road-trips, mostly between Maryland and Wisconsin. Back then (apx. 1975) you needed a license for the radio itself (an old Sears model), i think his was KBKI-7971.

When I was in high-school in Adak Alaska, and there not being much to do, the CB became a way for us kids to figure out where the parties were… usually out in the tundra in abandoned WW2 cabins.

Returning to the lower-48… in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, I occasionally hung out with a few of the locals but never became a pivotal part of their clique. I joined the Navy in 1989 and was sent to Groton CT for submarine school that fall.

The following winter/spring, I quickly became associated with the group in Groton/New London named Midnite Modulation, and spent nearly all of my non-work time with this crew.

I left CT in December of 1990, and spent the next 4 years in Hawaii…. there was not much radio activity out there to speak of.   I returned to CT several times over the years, notably Nov. 1991 (for a few weeks of school) and four short visits in 1995-96 after I was out of the Navy and in college. I passed through on my way between Boston and NYC in 2004 (i think), but unfortunately had no radio to do a ‘shout out’ for any of the old crew.

The old group has spread to the corners of the globe, but is now assembling once again online at

White Knight – out!