[aprssig] PSKMail Live CD

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Wed Dec 20 11:12:59 CST 2006

> your own system! (This seems to be exactly what PSKMail did.)  The  
> creators of WinLink have an absolute right to decide who can play in  
> their sandbox. Perhaps they turned your friend down because there  

That's absolutely true, and they have every right to keep the system as
closed as they want.  However, I don't happen to think that attitute is best
for ham radio.  There's too much empire-building already, too many armchair
generals who want to wield whatever power they can get their hands on for
the sake of power itself, not to actually get anything accomplished.  Makes
life difficult for those of us who just want to make things work.  I spent
enough time with ARES, repeater groups, and local clubs to see how that

I think open standards are ham radio's only hope.  And as for the
possibility of having too many PMBOs or IGates in an area - if that's a
problem, then a better approach would be to engineer the system to be smart
enough to adjust automatically.  There's a lot of literature and research
out there today on peer-to-peer networking.  There are some hard problems,
especially in the RF domain, but they're not unsolvable.

> > To make matters worse, they told one of my friends that he could  
> > come online as a backup PMBO and that they would need 
> remote access  
> > to his radio/computer equipment and can bring it up and down at  
> > will. As you can imagine, that went over real well with him as I'm  

That's just a poor (or at least overly simplistic) design.  You can have a
backup mail server on the Internet without having to bring it up or down as
needed - you just set a lower priority MX record for it, and it only gets
used when nothing else is available.

> That is also the Achilles Heel of open source. Unless there is a  
> strong manager and a shared vision, open source projects often look  
> like a bunch of disjointed pieces thrown together. It is the reason  

That goes for ANY software project.  They all need strong central
management, open source or not.  With open source, it tends to be things
like documentation and user interface design that get neglected, usually
because no one has the desire (or skills) to work on that 'boring stuff'.

I'm not a Winlink user, and what I saw when I started looking at it really
turned me off - it's just too closed and proprietary.  Kind of like getting
your email service from AOL rather than a real ISP.  I'd much rather support
an open standards-based system.


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