Updated at 18:48 on 30th March 2015.
Firstly I must make clear here that I am not an I.T. or other sort of "computer person", as I only use these things as tools and have very little idea of what goes on in the world of information technology and associated computer systems. Whilst that is the case, I do design, construct and program various computer-type items, such as controllers, signal processors, and such-like which are often based upon microprocessor chip families and require programming to intimately control the hardware - usually in Assembler. The Intranet that I have implemented and integrated here at home and of course also into the radio "shack" also required some limited networking / computer / software skills but these are only gone into as far as neccesity dictates.
A number of you have asked about file sharing in a home network and a few are running either Linux or Windows or both: some folk have had some problems getting this running, so I've put together a quick introduction to Linux <> Windows file sharing in this page here (fileshare.html) which shows some of the details of getting it running: *NOTE* this is a 'quick and simple' way of implementing it although I've covered a few different situations - I recommend you choose the bits of that page that you need, and also enable the security features you require such as SELinux and firewall(s) since what I show is very 'open' just to keep the content simple and focussed.
As in general for my other (e.g. desktop, software development) requirements needing computers, I try to avoid using Windows(c)-based systems in favour of LINUX-based systems, (see the desktop below - I do like a large top display for easier handling of various desk-based activities) :-
for which I have a preference for the Fedora distributions. Due to the usage of certain media-based applications however, there remain a couple of Windows(c) systems forming part of the radio and ATV station. What you see in the snapshots below are largely windows[tm]-based systems but that is even as I write this now changing, as more facilities and packages are becoming practicable for both media production and amateur radio in general for the Linux environment - music to my ears.
That said, my use of computer systems in the radio station makes for the easy application of such facilities as SSTV (Slow-Scan TeleVision) and RTTY (Radio TeleTYpe) communications (see a system below):-
which allow contact more or less world-wide of images and the printed word, together with the use of (sometimes subscribed-to) facilities such as propagation forecasts, solar activity reporting / information, and the command and control of other various facilities for the station.
My A.T.V. activities and the associated digital photo processing and video production activities (as in the system shot below):-
also require a separate facility and working area with freedom to run heavily demanding things without affecting performance on the desktop or anywhere else.
Because of the parallel demands I make of these facilities, more than one computer is dedicated to the radio station: I also (e.g.) require more or less instant access do such things as electronic device data, sometimes during a 'QSO' (= radio contact), component suppliers and prices, and also general oversight of the situation in the radio station at any time sometimes via the use of a portable hand-held system with a dedicated interface to these facilities.
Suffice to say that I am of the opinion that a computer, on-line, in a radio amateur's 'shack', can be of great use and in my own case is a necessity. It is also helpful here at PA2TG to make use of more portable computer systems when in certain situations or in awkward positions, and a few of these (shown here):-
in the form of "tablets" or "ipaq's" are persent and also integrated such as to be
interoperable and interconnected on the local intranet.
An exception to all of this "P.C. environment" are the dedicated computers as mentioned above, designed and built by myself which are used inside certain control units such as the antenna tower erection unit and the security-monitoring system, which are usually based around the Motorola series of microprocessors such as the M68000 family and it's variants and peripheral chips together with my own logic designs.
That's it as far as the computer aspect is concerned.
You can E-mail the author of these pages (Trevor Gale) by using this link, or by sending mail to firstname.lastname@example.org on the Dutch Internet service provider XS4ALL.