I generally start at the bottom and learn to do things the old fashioned way first.
For example I learned to drive on a manual transmission. In the long run that proved to be a good choice as over the years I have been handed a lot of different vehicles to drive and have been comfortable with just about all of them.
Come to think about it, I didn't get my first decent car until I was almost forty but that's a different story.
I learned to shot on iron sights and didn't start shooting through a scope until recently.
Right now I am on again-off again learning to send code on my ham rig. I am starting out with an Old School Chinese Army surplus K-4 telegraph key and battling to learn to read code by ear. It is a difficult battle.
There are any number of side-keys, paddles, bugs, benchers out there. In addition to that there are any number of electronic keyers that send perfect code.
In addition to that, if one gets a good signal and the person on the other end is sending computer generated code there are all sorts of readers available.
These make it fairly easy to communicate in code and get started fast.
Still, I am adamant abut starting out the old fashioned way because I am not content simply being able to send and receive computer generated code. I want to become a real telegrapher, as opposed to being a keyer operator.
I think that in the long run it will pay off because when things head south and I have a weak signal or hand generated code I will be able to read it with no problem.
Technology is a great thing and I am not a unibomber type anti-techie. Still, I do believe that learning a skill should entail being able to practice it when technology breaks down.
Anyway, that's the way I look at things.
FWIW my 'O' key is getting sticky.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY