Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Tale of Two Logs

This comes from right out of the "Stupid Department"; but I am facing a dilemma. The dilemma involves which computer logging program to use. I know, I know, this is not "important, matter-of-life-and-death" stuff; but when you spend a lot of time on the air; you consequently end up spending a lot of time using a logging program.

Since 1992, I have been using Log-EQF and more recently, its Windows variant Win-EQF. It's a very nice program; and I have met the author, Tom Dandrea at the Dayton Hamvention. He's a super nice guy who has written a superb logging program. It's nice and easy to use. It does everything I want it to do; and it fits like a comfortable slipper or loafer. Most importantly, I can attach to each QSO a rather long comment field. I alos use my log as kind of an "Amateur Radio Journal". Not only do I detail what the QSOs were about; but I might also comment on new equipment, band conditions, out of the ordinary weather - all that kind of stuff.

Recently, I have heard rave reviews and have tried using Scott Davis, N3FJP's ACLog. This is also a superb, very nice logging program. Here's the rub. This program is "sexy". It looks and behaves like a Windows program. It looks like an Excel spreadsheet, actually. Win-EQF, on the other hand, looks like a Unix syle program that was made to work with Windows; not FOR Windows! And ACLog offers a degree of customization that Win-EQF doesn't. I can add fields for NAQCC and SKCC membership numbers, for example. I can order the tab number of the data fields; so I can enter data in the order that I want. It's truly a wonderful program with nothing but glowing reviews from it's users.

So what's the dilemma then? It sounds like ACLog is the runaway winner, right? Not so fast, Bunky! Win-EQF has some things going for it that make me want to stay with it anyway. There's the familiarity issue, for one. It's like an old friend that I really don't have to think about; I just "know" it. It displays all the information, I want for the most part (except for the extra fields). And the fact that there's a bit less customization means there are fewer decisions that I have to conciously make.

What to do ...... what to do. For now, they're both on my computer. I'll use them side by side for a while and see which one I gravitate to.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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