Friday, July 8, 2016
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Sunday, April 17, 2016
I know where stuff like this goes, if you ask 1000 ham radio operators their opinion, you get 1000 different opinions. I caution you, the reader, as I know many hams are easily offended by rebellious thoughts or new ideas, i give you this chance to not proceed with reading my diatribe.
It seems rather strange when we consider that the viability of an operating mode is only as good as the volume/benefit of the mode usage. Im sure we all agree on this point.
Nobody here can argue that the heyday of packet has long passed. Swallowed up just like dial-up, due to broadband internet connectivity. I realize, this being a ham radio group, half of the folks will be taken back by this highly offensive yet truthful comment. Because packet is not dead!!!, and there are HUNDREDS of people currently engaged in packet (NON APRS) radio communications, that are not specifically tied to some emergency response service.
So whats going on with packet, why aren't folks jumping on a mode that allows for communication and routing to multiple hosts over the same frequency and includes digipeating onto HF for global communication. What about younger folks, those who might have been a bit too young to remember the heyday? Let me provide some insight that may be beneficial to everyone as a whole.
If 100 hams are interested in packet; truly interested. As in "Seriously wanted to get engaged'.
(For this I again define packet as 'NOT APRS' which people/vendors refer to as APRS and not packet radio)
Half will google it to get more info, find low quality, out of date web pages with erroneous information and move on to something else.
A continuing half will attempt to get something like Direwolf going, perhaps even Soundmodem, maybe make their own din 6 cable as a primary hardware consideration, Find the one packet repeater in their area, discover that its yet another doomsday repeater, reserved for EMCOMM, that never passes anything more than a beacon every 2 minutes, get bored, and move onto something else.
Who ever is left will try to set up some BBS, just to see if they can. If they manage to download a copy of fbbs or something to that effect and get it working for a while, they will eventually get bored, because there are no other users to connect from/to and move on. maybe come back in 6 months and try again. Maybe not.
Those couple of people who are still engaged, will eventually come across BPQ32 in their searches, but not really know exactly what it does, only that it has something to do with packet radio and provides a BBS suite. They will find hundreds of websites providing bad, incomplete, or inconsistent information. BBS, being the catchy phrase, because nobody immediately understands what RMS, WINLINK, or flexnet or other acronyms are.
Consider that the main BPQ32 page. The de-facto page, doesn't REALLY define what it is.......
Eventually that last person will find that the only community in support of information about the project is on a yahoo group. Im that guy.
And yes, while it evident that 100% of the people reading this, use Yahoo groups, email, and perhaps even usenet to collaborate on projects, well , nobody under 50 does that anymore. This is not a BPQ32 problem, this is overall a festering ham radio community problem.
Please note that when I say nobody, i'm referring to the statistical nobody, as in the bottom of the bell curve, not you, the particular person, being the exception, and reading this.
Truth be told, nobody under 50 actually uses email anymore. Not for anything useful, Nobody under 40 spends more than 2 minutes looking at a website with a painful looking background that has spinning globe gifs and annoying associated auto loading music. This also includes web sites that say "latest news" and don't include a date. (this is my age group BTW)
And though it might be unfortunate, nobody under 30 takes anyone seriously who has a web page that looks like a colorful text file and spells out their email address on their web page as a deterrent against spambots. It shows a lack of understanding of technology. Younger people do not want guidance derived from media which demonstrates the lack of understanding of the media used to convey the information they are seeking. Thats life, accept it.
If you find this inflammatory, you are part of the problem, if you find this enlightening, you may be part of the solution.
Believe me, id love to gather around a group of people and say "Hey you should get into, or back into packet because of BPQ32. We have a large 2m repeater group here in Orlando 147.120 (Me, having a vague understanding of the software which carries a belief that BPQ is actually onto something here)
But then they ask, 'Whats BPQ32?', and I say, well, i really don't know for sure , and the documentation is terrible, but there is a support group on yahoo.
and their response, "Yahoo?.... Seriously?"
Ok, you get my point, i'm starting to rant about general ham radio frustration, this is my stop.
Its a shame, ultimately ill just give up on this because there will be no traction, just complaining, that's my prediction anyway. Those with their staunch belief that email on yahoo and 100 non-sensical web pages is the best way forward, will congratulate themselves in defending the status quo against this defiant act of subversion.
For the rest of you thinking" he's right, HAM radios presence on the web is REALLY quite awful' well, this was my attempt to help, so i'll see how many folks join the forum by months end, if the numbers are impressive enough ill reach out to the project owner further.
Carry on, and remember "Rome did not die from without, it died from within"
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Sunday, February 7, 2016
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