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Archive for June 2009

Radio Shack history – catalogs and TV commercials going back to 1939/1976

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Radio Shack started in 1921 in Boston, Mass., by London-born Bostonian brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann. These brothers wanted to provide amateur and ham radio equipment to the public. At the time, this technology was cutting-edge and the field was wide open. To pursue their interests, the brothers opened a retail store (a block from the site of the Boston Massacre).  William Halligan, one of Deutschmann’s first employees and later the founder of Hallicrafters, suggested the name, “Radio Shack”.

The brothers thought the name was fitting since their store would supply the equipment for ship’s radio officers, as well as ham radio operators. But it wasn’t until 1939 that Radio Shack introduced its first catalog when it entered the high-fidelity music equipment market…

Read the rest of the history, view the catalogs going back to 1939,  and check out the videos at the links below

Main site –

Written by frrl

June 28, 2009 at 3:53 am

SWAY: The irresistible pull of irrational behavior

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SWAY: The irresistible pull of irrational behavior


The Twenty Dollar Bill Auction

Related article:
How to Auction off an Ordinary Twenty Dollar Bill for Fun and Profit

If you auctioned off a twenty dollar bill as I suggested – then good for you.  If you didn’t there is still time.  Do this with your friends.  This auction will elicit behavior and provide an insight into your friends personality that you can’t get any other way with such clarity.

The twenty dollar bill auction is cited in the book:

SWAY: the irresistible pull of irrational behavior by Ori Brrafman & Rom Brafman

According to the authors, the auction originates in a negotiations class at Harvard Business School.

The Three Phases of Bidding

According to the analysis there are three phases of the auction

1. The $2 phase. In this phase there is a good deal of optimism as the bidders see a real bargain.  When the bidding starts at $2 for a twenty dollar bill, this looks like a great deal.  This is the start of the entrapment into the momentum and logic of the auction.

2. The $12-$16 phase. This is where the bidders get an idea of where this auction is heading.  This is also where a consideration of loss sets in.  If one bidder bids $16 and another bids $17 then the $16 bidder has to bid $18 in order not to lose $16.  If the $16 bidder does not bid $18 then the $16 bidder will look like a sucker for paying $16 for nothing (see the bidding rules in our previous posting).

3. The $20+ phase. At this phase it’s all about loss.  No matter who wins the bid for the $20 bill both the highest bidder and the second highest bidder will suffer a loss. The contest is now about the reduction of loss.   As time goes on for the two bidders, it is no longer about winning – it’s about continuing your bidding to reduce the loss which only gets bigger and bigger as time goes on.

Irrational behavior – The convergence of loss aversion and commitment

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

June 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Advice from another VE, Briggs Longbothum, AB2NJ

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On how to pass the Amateur Radio exams

Join the club…

One more thing: Keep in mind that this study method is designed to teach you how to pass the exam only. Whether or not you learn anything is up to you.

Get yourself a fresh, unmarked, and printed copy of the question pool for the written test elements you need. You can print this off the internet or go buy a study guide that contains the current question pool. You can easily find such guides at Radio Shack or you can order from the ARRL, Gordon West, etc.

Make sure you have the appropriate correct answer list too.

FIRST: Read the very first question, think and understand precisely what it is that the question asks for
SECOND: Look up the correct answer letter (a, b, c, or d) and put a check mark next to that answer amongst the other choices.
THIRD: Read that correct answer and ONLY THAT CORRECT ANSWER!
FOURTH: It is so important and critical to your success that it bears repeating

FIFTH: Do the same thing with the second question and so on until you have read all of the questions in the entire pool and designated their correct answers.

Read the entire study guide –

Did anyone ever use this technique to get a college degree?  Or, perhaps a high school diploma?

Written by frrl

June 27, 2009 at 3:54 am

How much oversight does the ARRL exercise over its ARRL Sections?

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How much oversight does the ARRL exercise over its ARRL Sections?

While reading the open forums on I came across a thread that would cause one to stop and think about the future of Amateur Radio.  ( )

KY5U posted this in the Talk and Opinions forum

ARRL Official says memorize only the answers

From a 2008 study slide presentation by an Arizona ARRL Asst. Section Manager:Study ONLY The Test, Learn The Rest of HAM Radio LATER !
Study ONLY the CORRECT answers. Don’t try to learn the theory.
MINIMIZE The Things You Need To Learn…………MEMORIZE. (Page 5)


This is what is on the title page of the presentation

Presented By:
Rick Paquette W7RAP
ARRL Assistant Section Manager (AZ)
ARRL VE Liaison

Asking the significant questions

There are two questions that come to mind.

  1. How much oversight does the ARRL exercise over the ARRL Sections?
  2. Are we heading toward a decline in competency of Amateur Radio operators?

The Concept and Strategy for Licensing

Lets step back a a bit and review “incentive licensing”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

June 24, 2009 at 4:13 am

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Good Advice from the AZ ARRL Section

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Don’t learn the theory – study only the answers.

I found this on and could not pass its up.

Some helpful advice from the ARRL Assistant Section Manager.
(From page 5 of the presentation included below)

Study ONLY The Test, Learn The Rest of HAM Radio LATER !
Study ONLY the CORRECT answers. Don’t try to learn the theory.
MINIMIZE The Things You Need To Learn…………MEMORIZE.
FOCUS ONLY On The Test Material. Avoid other Books, Magazines etc.

Presented By:
Rick Paquette W7RAP
ARRL Assistant Section Manager (AZ)
ARRL VE Liaison

Written by frrl

June 23, 2009 at 3:56 am

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Leaving Friends Behind – the problem of personal irrelevancy

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Social Evolution in progress…

From Ed Yourdon. Quote:

And so it is today with social networks. It doesn’t matter which ones you belong to; the point is that, to increasing degree over the next few years, if you adamantly and noisily refuse to participate in any of them, an entire generation of people who do use these networks will conclude: you’re irrelevant.

They won’t bother trying to convince you or persuade you; they won’t object, protest, march, or complain loudly. They’ll simply ignore you. It’s okay with them — and if it’s okay with you, then everyone is happy. But if you wonder why fewer and fewer people are paying attention to you, there’s a reason …

I began to notice this a few weeks ago when I started sending out Dopplr invitations to friends and business colleagues — mostly of my own middle-aged generation — whom I would enjoy meeting up with while on out-of-town trips. Thus far, roughly one-third of the people I’ve invited to join Dopplr (which, of course, is free) have accepted; but two-thirds have simply ignored the invitation.

One of them said to me, in person, “I don’t know what this is, and I don’t know why I would want to use such a service — and besides, it looks too complicated.” To which my response is simply a shrug: you’ve just become irrelevant.

As a result, I find myself slowly building a new network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances … and slowly leaving behind a much larger network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances I’ve built up over the past 40 years of my adult life.

It’s not that I dislike any of my old friends and colleagues … but it’s almost as if they’ve consciously chosen not to have an email address, not to have a cell phone, and not to have a fax number. Hey, that’s fine; Western Union and the Pony Express are out of business, but if I have to write a snail-mail letter to communicate with my old friends, I guess I can do it once or twice a year. But in the meantime, there’s a younger generation that’s learning how to communicate, collaborate, share ideas, and keep track of each other’s travel plans, and day-to-day activities through a variety of new networks.

Avoid personal irrelevancy – get with the program –

Written by frrl

June 17, 2009 at 3:57 am

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How to Auction off an Ordinary Twenty Dollar Bill for Fun and Profit

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How to Auction off an Ordinary Twenty Dollar Bill
for Fun and Profit

twentyDollarAuction_logoIt’s June 2009 and in the Midwest of the United States where this blog is being written it’s time for patio parties, picnic’s, pool parties, barbecues, and a lot of other outdoor activities.

If you have a nice friendly neighborhood party on the deck or patio with a fire pit going, you might want to try this… well… sort of… party game

It’s really not a game at all – it’s some serious business as you will discover.   You could make some money, get entertained, and learn something about human behavior all at the same time.  What a deal.

Auction off a twenty dollar bill


Why not auction off a twenty dollar bill at your party?

Pull a twenty dollar bill out of your pocket.

Auction it off  according to these simple rules

  1. Bids are in one dollar increments
  2. Highest bidder wins
  3. The second-place bidder has to pay his/her bid and get nothing.

“You can observe a lot by watching ” – Yogi Berra

twentyDollarAuction_logoTableThis is no ordinary auction.  I am not going to tell you what might happen.  It is highly likely that you are going to make a profit on this auction.

This is really a game of strategy, negotiation, commitment, and loss aversion.

Give it a try.  What you learn from observing the behavior during this auction is going to give you some insight into the thinking and behavior of your friends and neighbors that you probably could not get any other way.

Warning – you might see some very bizarre behavior during this auction.

Think through what might happen.  At the time of this writing, the highest documented bid for an ordinary twenty dollar bill was $204.

What can you learn from this acution?  Stay tuned for an upcoming posting on this site and watch how it can be applied to organizational behavior.  Best if you try this acution for yourself in advance – before we post the analysis and how it can be observed in an organizational context.

Written by frrl

June 14, 2009 at 4:45 am

Posted in Commentary and Opinion

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