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[aprssig] The best resolution of --- Xastir.

Curt, WE7U archer at eskimo.com
Fri Jan 6 17:15:41 UTC 2006

On Fri, 6 Jan 2006, Dave Baxter wrote:

> I gave up with Xastir in the end.  It didn't prove to be stable on
> Cygwin, but there again, it was an old version, way behind what is
> currently propagated, with no updated version for the Cygwin environment
> even on the horizon.  Someone said I could have the development sources
> and recompile.  Yeah right.  Have you looked at doing that on Cygwin,
> and all the extra stuff you need to install?  Unless you know it
> (Cygwin/Linux) inside out and sideways, forget it...

Setting up Cygwin to give you a complete compile environment looks
much harder than it is, but I agree that Cygwin's packaging
interface is not as intuitive as it should be.  Once you've gone
through their menus once and figured it out, it's not a big deal
from then on, but that first time is confusing.  Not much the Xastir
project can do about that one though.  It ain't ours.  We also
really appreciate having such a free C development environment
available which makes it so easy to port Unix/Linux apps to Windows.

> But the real show stopper?  As usual, lack of decent map's for the UK
> and EU.  I must have spent hours crawling the web, hitting hundreds of
> dead links to what others are said to have done.  UI-View maps a plenty,
> for Xastir, very little by comparison outside of the US.

You didn't convert your UI-View maps for use with Xastir?  I can't
recall now whether you tried that, but a lot of people are using
UI-View maps with Xastir, on all platforms.

> OK, so it may be possible to roll my own, but I never had much success
> with doing that with UI-View either, ending up with all sorts of
> positioning errors.

Shouldn't be necessary.  There's a Perl script in the Xastir/scripts
directory that will write a .geo file for the .inf file, then you
can index the map in Xastir and you're off and running.  With a
small amount of work we could use UI-View maps directly in Xastir
without having to create the .geo file first.  We've just not
written the code to do that yet.

> The final nail in the coffin, was that I found it very creaky to
> interface to a "Real" TNC (TNC-220 in KISS mode)  Where as, UI-View,
> just does it, and it just works, nine times out of ten, it would lock up
> the TNC, needing power off and battery out to recover it.  It worked a
> little better with the D7, but still had stability issues with the com
> port.

Running any TNC in command-mode is a tricky operation.  We don't
have a specific startup file for a TNC-220, so that's likely where
you ran into difficulty.  Had you put it in KISS mode or created a
command file specific to that model it should have worked well.
Should anyone write one for a TNC-220, send it to us and we'll add
it to the distribution.  Yet another way to contribute to the

> It also had some odd effects on other networking background processes I
> run in Windows(2k)  Since removing Xastir and Cygwin, then doing a clean
> install of Cygwin, I can still use the Cygwin stuff, but the strange
> interactions have gone.  More a Cygwin problem than Xastir I suspect,
> but......

I recall having problems at times with certain Cygin installs, then
doing a Cygwin update a day or a week later and having all of the
problems cleaned up.  They change Cygwin often, sometimes breaking
things temporarily.  Luckily they don't usually break it for long.

> I still use Cygwin by the way, I use that for it's SSH tunnel and run
> VNC over it from this laptop at work, tunnelling through PuTTY, to
> remote manage an Echolink Proxy, and other stuff.  So something good
> came out of it...  As above, had to re-install it all though.

Sounds like you have a stable version of Cygwin now, so perhaps
you'll give Xastir another try later.

I still recommend installing Xastir from sources.  It takes some
effort the first time around to set up the development environment,
but after that it's a breeze to update to the latest any time you

Curt, WE7U.   APRS Client Comparisons: http://www.eskimo.com/~archer
"Lotto:    A tax on people who are bad at math." -- unknown
"Windows:  Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates." -- WE7U
"The world DOES revolve around me:  I picked the coordinate system!"

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