Re: Intel P4 or AMD system for image editing and RAW-conversion?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Allan Mayer, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. Allan Mayer

    Allan Mayer Guest

    In article <>, Roger Halstead
    <> writes:

    >IF you are computer savvy and know how to configure a system, both
    >hard ware and OS then you can build a 3 Gig system in the neighborhood
    >of a $1,000 (give or take a bit depending on the bells and whistles)



    I just did something simmilar, built a 2.5 Ghz box a few months ago.
    But I built it strictly for flight sim's... Still need an ATI 9800 Pro, or
    FX 5900 to finish it off. (mediocre FX 5200 in it now)


    Processor speed is not the bottleneck with digital editing, etc... but
    the motherboard, and ammount and speed of both ram, and hard drives.

    Now what no one has mentioned so far ... is the Intel 865, and 875
    chipset mb's, besides the hyperthreading, allow RAID, which combined
    with two 10,000 rpm hard drives will make much more of a difference
    speed wise for photo editing than a faster processor will !


    Just for a quick speed imporvement, get a 10,000, 8mb buffer hard drive,
    and you will notice the difference right off........

    Processor speed is not a bottleneck with digital editing, throughput,
    and speed thereof that makes the most difference !!
















    Allan
    http://members.aol.com/Thetabat/hello.html

    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
     
    Allan Mayer, Jul 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. Allan Mayer

    Luke Guest


    >
    > Just for a quick speed imporvement, get a 10,000, 8mb buffer hard drive,
    > and you will notice the difference right off........
    >
    > Processor speed is not a bottleneck with digital editing, throughput,
    > and speed thereof that makes the most difference !!
    >
    >


    That is a misguided approximation.

    A 20MB file will take less than a second to read from a standard HD. It will
    take a minute fraction of that to read from memory.

    Are you telling me that there are no image processing operations you could
    do on a 20MB image that would take more than a second to process?

    Many aspects of image processing are massively processor intensive.

    Luke
     
    Luke, Jul 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. Allan Mayer <> wrote:
    >I just did something simmilar, built a 2.5 Ghz box a few months ago.
    >But I built it strictly for flight sim's... Still need an ATI 9800 Pro, or
    >FX 5900 to finish it off. (mediocre FX 5200 in it now)


    Do flight sims actually tax a video system?

    >Now what no one has mentioned so far ... is the Intel 865, and 875
    >chipset mb's, besides the hyperthreading, allow RAID, which combined
    >with two 10,000 rpm hard drives will make much more of a difference
    >speed wise for photo editing than a faster processor will !


    RAID is not exclusively an intel chipset feature. Soyo's Dragon series
    have support for up to 4 drives (mirroring and/or striping) for the
    AMD chips, and I imagine the P4 version as well.

    But as alluded to by Luke, if your photoshop process has resorted to
    using the [striped] swap space, you've lost the war. Fast photo work
    means the entire image is in ram - with a gig it's trivial to have
    numerous 4mp images in memory.
    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
    Jason O'Rourke, Jul 28, 2003
    #3
  4. Allan Mayer

    Allan Mayer Guest

    In article <bg2sjp$1n3n$>,
    (Jason O'Rourke) writes:

    >Do flight sims actually tax a video system?


    They tax the video card heavilly, and the CPU more than anything else

    But yes... to play the latest and greatist, one must have the fastest
    video card available...

    To give you an idea, I have two temp sensors, one on the CPU, one
    on the GPU. When editing photo's the GPU averages a steady 95F,
    same as when just using the system, no more no less. The CPU hovers
    around 105 - 110 F Again right about average.
    Now I start playing IL 2 Forgotten Battles, (fantastic flight simulation !:)
    and the GPU goes up to119 F, and the CPU averages around 120F
    Same with Falcon 4 SP3, and FS 2000, CFS3, and Trophy Hunter 2003
    (didnt think a hunting game could be so CPU/GPU intensive)

    RAM and hard drive speed are the main bottlenecks for photo editing.
    There is no strain on the video card, and very little on the processor.
    But fast RAM, and fast hard drives, and a fast motherboard are what
    is really important for photo editing !

    I have an FIC VI 39L motherboard, 2.54 Ghz processor, 1 GiG DDR 266 ram,
    80Gig WD 5200 rpm HD, 40 Gig Maxtor 7200 rpm HD, FX 5200 video card
    Sound Blaster Extigy, 6.1 speakers, Saitek X 45, and WIn XP Home

































    Allan
    http://members.aol.com/Thetabat/hello.html

    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
     
    Allan Mayer, Jul 28, 2003
    #4
  5. Allan Mayer

    HRosita Guest

    Hi,
    Luke wrote:


    >Are you telling me that there are no image processing operations you could
    >do on a 20MB image that would take more than a second to process?


    Manipulating a 20 MB image takes more than 20 MB.
    You need memory for the operating system, the editing program and that is only
    for a start. If you work with layers, the memory need is doubled immediately.
    And each modification is kept just in case you might want to undo it.
    Pretty soon, you are working with 200 or more MB and a program like Photoshop
    will write part of it to the scratch file. this is where the faster drives
    speed up the process. Also remember that the operating system does not keep the
    entire program in memory, it does what is called a "swap" of less frequently
    used memory to the hard drive.
    And if you are working with a larger file, like for example scans of MF
    negatives that can reach 100 MB or more, the fastest CPU will sit idle while
    the system swaps and Photoshop writes to the scratch file.
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Aug 4, 2003
    #5
  6. On Mon, 4 Aug 2003 15:47:08 +0000 (UTC), "Luke" <>
    wrote:

    >> Pretty soon, you are working with 200 or more MB and a program like

    >Photoshop
    >> will write part of it to the scratch file.

    >
    >Yes memory just does grow quickly but if you are doing batch processing (and
    >that is what the person who asked the question was interested in) photoshop
    >does not need to store any undo steps. Photoshop should not need to use it's
    >own disk cache whilst it is doing batch processing.
    >
    >
    >> Also remember that the operating system does not keep the
    >> entire program in memory, it does what is called a "swap" of less

    >frequently
    >> used memory to the hard drive.


    Ahhh...As Luke says...The Program, or application should be in memory.

    Swap files are used for several things. *Some* programs like Netscape
    will keep a portion in memory to give them the ability to start
    quickly. Another use is with large numbers of data files, or in the
    case of photo editing excess photos will be kept in the swap files.

    Depending on the size of the files you may be able to open 10 files
    quickly in Photoshop, then the rest will load slowly. When you see
    the change from fast to slow you know you have reached the limit of
    files the program is going to keep in memory. (It's not quite that
    simple, but it's close). Generally that is a good indicator, not to
    open so many files and working on concurrent files is where *lots* of
    memory is good. XP will happily use up to a Gig of RAM and more.
    Older systems (and mother boards) may not.

    When Photoshop is running it is not swapping back to disk (or at least
    it shouldn't be), BUT if you open too many files, or open very large
    files that exceed the capacity of your memory, then the data files
    will be swapped back to disk.

    When using Photomerge it will just plain refuse to load beyond it's
    capacity in memory.

    >>

    >
    >if your operating system is swapping out memory assigned to photoshop whilst
    >you are using photoshop either you have your system set up wrong or you do
    >not have enough system memory to do what you are doing properly.
    >
    >Anyway you are missing the point here, in either of these cases the way to
    >improve speed is to buy more memory NOT to buy a faster hard disk.


    Normally the disk I/O is a tiny fraction of the overhead in image
    editing/processing while RAM is a much larger portion. In addition
    the speed in RAM is much faster. Only when you run out of available
    RAM does it slow. OTOH *some* batch processing *may* be I/O bound.
    This would be where small changes are made in a lot of files and the
    change is only a small portion of the time required for the entire
    load, process, and save transactions.

    Again paraphrasing what Luke said, you are most likely to gain the
    most, the easiest, by adding memory and I find that sometimes half a
    Gig is not enough when stitching large panoramas at higher
    definitions.

    Another thing to remember in the field of IDE, EIDE/ATA drives is
    adding a faster drive may not give you any change at all, unless the
    motherboard is capable of taking advantage of the faster drive.

    For instance, if your motherboard only has ATA 66 capability and you
    add an ATA 133, 7500 RPM drive, the board is only going to run at ATA
    66 and *may* not gain anything at all from the faster drive over the
    drives already installed.

    IF OTOH your MB has the capability for ATA 133, is configured for it,
    and you do a *lot* of batch processing with little time spent on the
    images and the I/O has become a much larger portion of the cycle,
    *then* you *may* see an improvement going to a larger and faster ATA
    133 drive which you ordinarily would not see with normal
    transactions.

    You need enough memory to hold the image processing program, the
    images you will be processing and enough spare memory to use as work
    space. (in addition to all the system apps that stay resident in
    memory)

    Roger Halstead (K8RI EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
    N833R World's oldest Debonair? (S# CD-2)

    >
    >Luke
    >
     
    Roger Halstead, Aug 5, 2003
    #6
  7. Allan Mayer

    Guest

    In message <>,
    Roger Halstead <> wrote:

    >Swap files are used for several things. *Some* programs like Netscape
    >will keep a portion in memory to give them the ability to start
    >quickly. Another use is with large numbers of data files, or in the
    >case of photo editing excess photos will be kept in the swap files.
    >
    >Depending on the size of the files you may be able to open 10 files
    >quickly in Photoshop, then the rest will load slowly. When you see
    >the change from fast to slow you know you have reached the limit of
    >files the program is going to keep in memory. (It's not quite that
    >simple, but it's close). Generally that is a good indicator, not to
    >open so many files and working on concurrent files is where *lots* of
    >memory is good. XP will happily use up to a Gig of RAM and more.
    >Older systems (and mother boards) may not.
    >
    >When Photoshop is running it is not swapping back to disk (or at least
    >it shouldn't be), BUT if you open too many files, or open very large
    >files that exceed the capacity of your memory, then the data files
    >will be swapped back to disk.


    You wrote this in reply to a statement about the operating system
    swapping. No one has mentioned the fact that Photoshop uses its own
    swap space, called the scratch disk, and has all the system memory it
    uses marked as part of the "woring set", meaning that it will not be
    swapped out to the system swap space. The only way in which photoshop
    will cause system swapping is by using so much RAM that other programs'
    pages will have to be swapped out.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Aug 5, 2003
    #7
  8. Allan Mayer

    Guest

    In message <>,
    Roger Halstead <> wrote:

    >For instance, if your motherboard only has ATA 66 capability and you
    >add an ATA 133, 7500 RPM drive, the board is only going to run at ATA
    >66 and *may* not gain anything at all from the faster drive over the
    >drives already installed.
    >
    >IF OTOH your MB has the capability for ATA 133, is configured for it,
    >and you do a *lot* of batch processing with little time spent on the
    >images and the I/O has become a much larger portion of the cycle,
    >*then* you *may* see an improvement going to a larger and faster ATA
    >133 drive which you ordinarily would not see with normal
    >transactions.


    You won't see any sustained improvement at all with an ATA133
    controller, unless another fast drive is on the same controller and is
    being accessed at the same time. The fastest ATA drives available are
    only about "ATA55" internally. The hardware buffer will be accessed
    faster, but much of its functionality is redundant with the operating
    system's read-ahead and lazy-write file caching in effect.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Aug 5, 2003
    #8
  9. Allan Mayer

    Luke Guest

    >
    > You wrote this in reply to a statement about the operating system
    > swapping. No one has mentioned the fact that Photoshop uses its own
    > swap space, called the scratch disk, and has all the system memory it
    >


    JPS,
    If you read what HRosita, Roger and I wrote you will find that we each wrote
    about the photoshop "scratch disk". I refered to it as photoshop's own disk
    cache because that is what it is, the term "scratch disk" rather ambiguous
    and I don't realy care what adobe think.

    Anyway apart from that I agree with everything you said.

    Except perhaps to say that since the days of ATA66 hard drives the disks
    themselves have got a lot quicker. Granted the performance has very little
    to do with the interface changes, but the sustained transfer rate for ATA
    disks has pretty much doubled over the past couple of years. This is going
    to offer very little advantage to the average photoshop user though.

    Again I will reiterate this point though: for batch processes the only
    change in ATA hard disk configuration that is likely to have any significant
    effect is having two seperate hard drives, one to store the input to your
    batch job the other to write the output to. This is a fundamental of doing
    video processing on desktop class systems. Batch proccessing of still images
    is a very similar task to processing video in many respects. But even this
    will only benefit you in operations with low processor usage.

    Luke
     
    Luke, Aug 6, 2003
    #9
  10. On Tue, 5 Aug 2003 23:31:44 +0000 (UTC), "Luke" <>
    wrote:

    >>
    >> You wrote this in reply to a statement about the operating system
    >> swapping. No one has mentioned the fact that Photoshop uses its own
    >> swap space, called the scratch disk, and has all the system memory it
    >>

    >
    >JPS,
    >If you read what HRosita, Roger and I wrote you will find that we each wrote
    >about the photoshop "scratch disk". I refered to it as photoshop's own disk
    >cache because that is what it is, the term "scratch disk" rather ambiguous
    >and I don't realy care what adobe think.
    >
    >Anyway apart from that I agree with everything you said.
    >
    >Except perhaps to say that since the days of ATA66 hard drives the disks
    >themselves have got a lot quicker. Granted the performance has very little
    >to do with the interface changes, but the sustained transfer rate for ATA
    >disks has pretty much doubled over the past couple of years. This is going
    >to offer very little advantage to the average photoshop user though.
    >
    >Again I will reiterate this point though: for batch processes the only
    >change in ATA hard disk configuration that is likely to have any significant
    >effect is having two seperate hard drives, one to store the input to your
    >batch job the other to write the output to.


    I was just going to bring that up.
    I have two 160 Gig, 7200 RPM ATA 100 drives with 8 meg cache on one of
    my machines. Each drive is divided into two 80 Gig drives.

    One folder that contains over 47 Gig of photos (in numerous sub
    folders) takes something on the order of three hours to transfer from
    one partition to the other. To transfer from one physical drive to
    the other takes well less than one hour. I haven't actually timed the
    operations down to the minute as I'm organizing the files on that
    system so I can reinstall the OS which is Windows XP Pro.

    In the one case the system can be reading from one drive, processing
    the file(s) and writhing to the second drive.

    In the other, the system has to sequentially read from the drive,
    process the file, and then write back to the same file, or in the case
    of moving it has to read into the cache and then write back into the
    drive. So you have the read, the write, the caching along with the
    associated overhead.

    In the first case all three operations can occur simultaneously, while
    in the second they occur sequentially which really slows the system
    down.

    I didn't do any timing for just moving the directory on the one drive
    as that really doesn't accomplish anything. In that case the files
    are never moved. Only the pointers are changed along with the
    overhead for a bit of book keeping and it would only take a minute or
    so.

    >This is a fundamental of doing
    >video processing on desktop class systems. Batch proccessing of still images
    >is a very similar task to processing video in many respects. But even this
    >will only benefit you in operations with low processor usage.


    When you are talking I/o on the order of milliseconds, or even a
    second or two with processing times of 10 to 20 seconds, or even as
    much as a half minute It gets pretty difficult to make any
    improvements with the I/O that will even be noticed.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
    N833R World's oldest Debonair? (S# CD-2)

    >
    >Luke
    >
     
    Roger Halstead, Aug 7, 2003
    #10
  11. Allan Mayer

    Lionel Guest

    On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 12:56:08 +0000 (UTC), in
    <bgti98$8b$>, "Luke" <>
    said:

    >So tip to everyone out there playing with images:
    >If your file system can handle it (and NTFS can) format your big new disk as
    >one partition unless you have some good reason not to.


    Are there still people out there who put multiple partitions on a newly
    installed drive? I thought that practice had died out in the late 90's.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Aug 7, 2003
    #11
  12. In article <bgtl2t$b27$>, Lionel <> wrote:
    >>So tip to everyone out there playing with images:
    >>If your file system can handle it (and NTFS can) format your big new disk as
    >>one partition unless you have some good reason not to.

    >
    >Are there still people out there who put multiple partitions on a newly
    >installed drive? I thought that practice had died out in the late 90's.


    Thinking went out of style?

    There are numerous reasons for divorcing the OS partition from the rest,
    and the applications from the data. I keep all data on D, the OS and the
    applications on C. I have a ghost image of C that I can revert to if
    one or more of the apps decides to corrupt the system.

    The one partition mentality has infected the solaris world as well, but
    I wonder if the proponents ever had to deal with disk hog users, or
    runaway logfiles.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
    Jason O'Rourke, Aug 7, 2003
    #12
  13. > There are numerous reasons for divorcing the OS partition from the rest,
    > and the applications from the data. I keep all data on D, the OS and the
    > applications on C. I have a ghost image of C that I can revert to if
    > one or more of the apps decides to corrupt the system.


    I've worked on too many computer to count where some yahoo had
    multiple partitions. It just makes a mess out of everything. Some
    programs insist on putting files on "C" whether you want them there or
    not...and then when you save something you have to remember not to put
    them on "C". It's just a pain in the ass.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 7, 2003
    #13
  14. Randall Ainsworth <> wrote:
    >multiple partitions. It just makes a mess out of everything. Some
    >programs insist on putting files on "C" whether you want them there or
    >not...and then when you save something you have to remember not to put
    >them on "C". It's just a pain in the ass.


    The first problem is a difficult one, at best solved by avoiding those
    sort of misbehaving programs. The latter is trivial - if you click on
    save, you have control over where it goes. Or merely move "My Documents"
    to D:\. If you're serious about backups and actually do them, it pays
    off immediately.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
    Jason O'Rourke, Aug 7, 2003
    #14
  15. Allan Mayer

    Luke Guest

    > multiple partitions. It just makes a mess out of everything. Some
    > programs insist on putting files on "C" whether you want them there or
    > not...and then when you save something you have to remember not to put
    > them on "C". It's just a pain in the ass.


    Like Jason said you can change the default installation paths even in
    windows.
     
    Luke, Aug 7, 2003
    #15
  16. Allan Mayer

    Lionel Guest

    On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 09:28:10 -0700, in
    <070820030928101163%>, Randall Ainsworth
    <> said:

    >> Are there still people out there who put multiple partitions on a newly
    >> installed drive? I thought that practice had died out in the late 90's.

    >
    > Yeah, there are still lots of people who believe the crap they read
    >in PC Mag.


    Amazing. No wonder Byte magazine went out of business.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Aug 8, 2003
    #16
  17. Allan Mayer

    Lionel Guest

    On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 18:22:27 +0000 (UTC), in
    <bgu5d3$gqk$>, "Luke" <>
    said:

    >>
    >> Are there still people out there who put multiple partitions on a newly
    >> installed drive? I thought that practice had died out in the late 90's.
    >>

    >
    >It is very useful if you run more than one operating system. Plenty of *nix
    >OS's have troble dealing with NTFS partitions properly.


    <nods> Any time I need to share large partitions between 'nix & MS
    systems, I put the data on the 'nix system & share it with Samba to get
    around that issue. (You can also do it the other way around, but it's
    more work to set up.)

    >Like I said there are speed advantages to keeping the system partition
    >small.
    >
    >Paritioning is also a good way of controling fragmentation by separating
    >dynamic parts of the file system from your larger more static files.


    Yes, I still do that with 'nix systems, but my big 'doze boxen usually
    have a drive dedicated to the OS & swap files, with main storage either
    on another dedicated drive, or on a Samba share on another system.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Aug 8, 2003
    #17
  18. Allan Mayer

    Lionel Guest

    On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 19:26:58 +0000 (UTC), in
    <bgu962$18gc$>, (Jason
    O'Rourke) said:

    >In article <bgtl2t$b27$>, Lionel <> wrote:
    >>>So tip to everyone out there playing with images:
    >>>If your file system can handle it (and NTFS can) format your big new disk as
    >>>one partition unless you have some good reason not to.

    >>
    >>Are there still people out there who put multiple partitions on a newly
    >>installed drive? I thought that practice had died out in the late 90's.

    >
    >Thinking went out of style?


    Hardly. But the traditional reasons for partitioning Windows drives have
    been invalid for many years now. The reasons for partitioning 'nix
    systems are still valid. I still keep /var, /tmp & /boot on separate
    pertitions (or drives) & on multiuser systems, I nearly alway put /home
    on its own drive.

    >There are numerous reasons for divorcing the OS partition from the rest,
    >and the applications from the data. I keep all data on D, the OS and the
    >applications on C.


    So do I. I also have another drive (80GB) that is used for my
    photographic work only. These are all separate drives, not partitions.
    Disks are so cheap now that it's far more convenient to split your
    storage over drives instead of partitions.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Aug 8, 2003
    #18
  19. In article <bgv1oq$5oi$>, Lionel <> wrote:
    >So do I. I also have another drive (80GB) that is used for my
    >photographic work only. These are all separate drives, not partitions.
    >Disks are so cheap now that it's far more convenient to split your
    >storage over drives instead of partitions.


    With each additional drive you increase the power consumption, the
    noise level, the heat inside the case, and most importantly, the
    likelihood of a drive failure. Additional drives should be purchased
    for performance considerations, not to avoid partitioning.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
    Jason O'Rourke, Aug 8, 2003
    #19
  20. On Fri, 8 Aug 2003 11:04:33 +0000 (UTC),
    (Jason O'Rourke) wrote:

    >In article <bgv1oq$5oi$>, Lionel <> wrote:
    >>So do I. I also have another drive (80GB) that is used for my
    >>photographic work only. These are all separate drives, not partitions.
    >>Disks are so cheap now that it's far more convenient to split your
    >>storage over drives instead of partitions.

    >
    >With each additional drive you increase the power consumption, the
    >noise level, the heat inside the case, and most importantly, the
    >likelihood of a drive failure. Additional drives should be purchased
    >for performance considerations, not to avoid partitioning.


    Most PC have a relatively small but reliable power supply. Overload
    it and it will likely get even by taking out the Motherboard and/or
    the CPU when the regulator fails.

    I had a 300 watt PS fail. It took out the motherboard, the video card,
    and two Western Digital 40 Gig Hard drives. The only thing that didn't
    fail was the CPU. Fortunately the data was backed up. Unfortunately
    it takes a long time to reload XP Pro and get all the updates My
    copies are early OEM so it takes over 100 megs of update downloads
    just for the OS. I've started ghosting drive C to a separate HD and
    putting it up on the shelf.

    Drive C gets the OS and most programs. I now do a complete Ghost
    backup of C allows me to restore the whole works in about an hour
    whereas it takes close to two days to install and rebuild drive C.

    I try to use two backup drives. Alternating between backups. That way
    I can always fall back to the previous setup if required.

    Data drives are backed up across the network AND to CDs AND DVDs.
    which theoretically gives me three backups. Usually it seems any
    failure comes just before I'm about to do a backup. But it still
    minimizes data loss.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
    N833R World's oldest Debonair? (S# CD-2)
     
    Roger Halstead, Aug 8, 2003
    #20
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