…that may be all I’ll ever have to show for it. Not that it matters to most people but there are some who are intrigued with the mystique of communicating without using smartphones or the Internet.
My college degree is in Engineering/Electronics and one of my hobbies is Amateur (Ham) Radio. I’m one of those old style nerds who likes to spend long hours fiddling with the control knobs and switches of various receivers and transmitters that allow communication around the world and beyond (Amateur Radio has its own satellites orbiting Earth).
From Wikipedia –
A QSL card is a written confirmation of either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. It can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such.
QSL card derived its name from the Q code “QSL”. A Q code message can stand for a statement or a question (when the code is followed by a question mark). In this case, QSL? means “do you confirm receipt of my transmission?” while QSL means “I confirm receipt of your transmission”.
QSL cards vary greatly. Most are routine in that they contain “just the facts” needed to confirm the communication that has taken place (callsign, location, date, time, frequency, mode) but others are intricately designed with additional content ranging from comical, entertaining, educational and even erotic. Traditional printed QSL cards are slowly being replaced by various electronic online methods of confirmation that to me hide the personality. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read a paper(or electronic) logbook but hand them a stack of QSL cards and eventually they will find one that cause them to stop and think about what they are holding.
(And BTW, for those of you in the hobby and familiar with the process, I’ve been a sorter/mailer for the inbound QSL bureau since the mid 1990s)