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is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Learn morse and join the Clique

Morse code could once again be making a resurgence but this time with the texting and Twitter generation. This may be old news to some but Toshiba has teamed up with American microprocessor giant Intel to produce Clique, a handheld, thumb-operated device that uses only three keys. Introduced in Japan at the 2008 Microprocessor Forum Japan (MPF Japan) ‘Clique’ is the size and shape of a lollipop or a disconnected, miniature joystick and uses Morse as a means to send texts to social networking sites like Twitter. Unfortunately this is a one way device and users get replies via normal email channels.

Earlier attempts to create a Morse-based device were stymied by the variable length of the Morse characters, which made it hard to adapt to automated circuits. Toshiba’s solution is the three keys: one for the ‘dot,’ one for the ‘dash,’ and a third that acts as a space-bar between letters –- two ‘clicks’ between words.

It is only going to be available in Japan initially and even if it takes off over there I cannot see hoards of teenagers rushing out to buy one, but you never know this could be the next generation of radio amateurs in the making.

I am a bit miffed that hours of scouring the Internet could not uncover a single picture of one.

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