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Henk de Groot henk.de.groot at hetnet.nl
Sun Feb 20 15:42:57 UTC 2005

Herb Gerhardt schreef:
> accessible in the winter time due to snow.  From my experience with
> computers, they all crash periodically and need someone to nurture them back
> to life.

I wouldn't recommend to run a Windows system either. We are talking about 
a PC running plain DOS in a ramdisk with very reliable software. In one of 
our systems we had a watchdog that would reboot the system when the 
outgoing traffic would stop for some time. Its very easy to add. In one 
year of continues operation however, the watchdog never activated.

Ask Bob how reliable his PC is when he runs APRSdos and if the APRSdos 
machine ever hangs while running APRSdos. I bet he cannot remember a 
single instance, except maybe while debugging a new APRSdos feature.

A PC with DOS is not much more than a simple control board with a 
primitive bootloader (DOS isn't much more than that). The difference with 
a control board is that PC lay arround everywhere can cost nothing.

I don't see what you have to nurture back to life when the thing boots 
from a floppy that is otherwise idle. There is no filesystem or 
installation te skrew up. Every boot the system starts with a clean copy.

PI1APK is a PC bassed digi that is out in the open. The box containing the 
PC, modem and TRX is exposed to direct sunlight and it must have been very 
hot inside in the summer of 2002, I expect at least 60C (140F) since there 
is no ventilation and no cooling at all in this box to keep it sealed off 
for bugs. Still it did not give a single problem. Also the winter of 
2001-2002 did nog give any problems either (although the equipment inside 
must have kept the inside of the box a bit warm).

I know Windows gave reliability of PC's a bad name, but most PC crashes 
are due to:

1) Bugs in software and drivers
2) Hardware problems with add-ons
3) Harddisk failues

A PC solution would run on a "clean" board, no harddisk and no add-ons. I 
cannot think of a reason why such a solution should be less reliable or 
would hangup.

I like Andre's advice. Just try it on a location you do have access to and 
see how it works. Then, if you gained trust in the solution you can take 
the next step.

Otherwise wait for other solutions to emerge. When we agree in what 
direction to move, I'm sure other solutions will appear.

Kind regards,


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