I got my shortwave/ham radio kit a while back but I haven't done much with it yet. I have been reading through the study book but I haven't done much that would be considered actual studying. I've got a vacation from the college coming up soon, so I plan on it hitting it a bit more in earnest then. I definitely plan on getting my ham license in 2016. What I'm finding out, however, is that it's a little tough to get info about the ham radio hobby. Info that's use-able, that is.
I joined the ARRL thinking that would be a good place to start but most of the geek-speak in the magazine goes right by me. I went to a meeting of a "local" ham club and didn't get a whole lot out of it. Again, not speaking the lingo, much of it was lost on me. A couple of the guys came up to me after the meeting and offered some helpful advice and assistance that had I pursued probably would have helped, but the meeting site is darn near 40 miles away so I can't see me doing that too often. Plus, like Groucho said, I don't want to join any club that would have me as a member.
The internet is full of ham radio stuff and in fact, lots of ham stuff is done with computers these days from what little I can tell. The Silicon Graybeard has a couple of current posts on radios on his blog that shed some light on things. He seems to be very knowledgeable and open to helping people. I could probably contact him for a little advice on getting started if need be. Likewise, I could contact the ARRL. There is another "local" club. They're a little bit closer. When I get my license and ready to get on the air, I'll see about finding a bit of help if need be. In the meantime I'll see if I can figure out how to at least pick up a few signals on the new radio.