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[aprssig] No more "backward thinkers"! DOGOTP!!!

Jim Duncan jdbandman at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 29 17:59:16 UTC 2004

I've been following this thread for a couple of days now. It seems to me 
that I proposed doing EXACTLY the same thing (node linking, etc.) over 
three years ago. Now I'm reading where we should begin thinking toward 
using connected protocol.

In another post I read where the number of APRS stations worldwide is 
estimated at 40,000 with ZERO growth.

Why did packet radio (BBS, network nodes, etc.) die? Simple: The 
Internet. It was no longer necessary to send messages by an outdated, 
ponderous system. The novelty wore off just as the novelty of APRS is 
wearing off.

The underlying cause is the insistence on continuing to operate at 1200 
baud using equipment that is essentially the same as it was TWENTY YEARS 
ago. Is it any wonder why people are staying away or leaving? In 1984 I 
remember my excitement of being able to dial up a BBS at 9600 baud. 
Moreover, as the internet took off and speed increased amateur radio 
continued to tinker with equipment and standards that were the cat's 
pajamas in the 80's but FAILED to keep up with the changing technology.

Once again, we are perceived as a bunch of old farts playing with 
radios, set in our ways, unwilling to move forward. "Hey, it does what I 
want it to do so why bother?" is the general attitude out there.

Now our fearless, self-proclaimed godfather says "let's start doing 
connected protocol" and I can't help but wonder why?

Unless and until we face facts that we MUST bring our technology into 
the 21st century then we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Amateur radio will be dead in 10 years if we don't. APRS will have gone 
the way of the packet BBS system in less time.

Forget old technology, folks. It's time to say that we are done with 
1200 baud, insist that the manufacturers put out equipment that is 
capable of handling higher speeds and wider bandwidths.

My interest in APRS has, quite frankly, waned to a point where I NEVER 
turn on the monitor of the WinAPRS computer. It simply runs to maintain 
the IGate and I literally ignore it except to periodically reset the 
machine, clear out RAM, etc. It's a service to the amateur community and 
I'll continue to do it until such time as it's no longer productive or 

Where I used to religiously have the laptop in the car running WinAPRS 
no matter how far I was driving I rarely connect the laptop except when 
going on an extended trip.

My D-700A is now re-tasked to other services (ATCS monitoring primarily) 
and the all-too-rare voice call (except during storm season).

Why does someone who was a regional proponent and promoter of APRS lose 
interest? APRS and amateur radio have failed to keep up with the times 
(with the exception of the TCP/IP backbone). This is exemplified by the 
insistence of Bob to continue to put out DOS-based software, written in 
QBasic and still compiled in the same way for the past TWELVE years (if 
I understand correctly).  Yes, I understand that learning a new 
programming language is a challenge. What I fail to understand is why 
continuing to write/update software for computers that have long 
out-lived their useful lives and represent less than 1% of the computers 
in homes now is even a factor now?

Come on, folks! Wake up and smell the coffee here before we turn into 
another bastien of sticks in the mud just like the AM'ers of the 60's 
and 70's. It's time to ADVANCE the radio art, not look backward!
Jim Duncan, KU0G

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