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[aprssig] Ham Radio, Use it or Lose it!

Greenhalgh, Christopher K. cgreenhalgh at studentaffairs.osu.edu
Fri May 23 17:18:19 UTC 2008

> Packet grew 

> because of APRS it

> and grew enough that programming guru's saw enough interest and wrote

> programs to support sound card based modems.

I live in the burbs of a large city, and I was an early
"packateer"...typing away on my IBM 8088 with an MFJ 1278...it was cool,
and it was fun. I saw the use rise, and watched the birth of BBSs.
Then...it came...email. Followed closely by cell phones. And yes, while
the *use* of packet grew because of APRS, the old
network/BBS/keyboard-to-keyboard use, has all but disappeared today.

As GPSRs became more affordable/available, I watched as APRS flourished.
It was the new craze, and it was hot. Everybody wanted in, as the
technology was new, interesting, and fun.

Then...the internet. As its use gain momentum, I watched as more and
more APRS stations where disappearing. Now, over the years, I see a lot
of the stationary APRS stations abandoning RF, to inserting their
location/weather data via the internet. On a side note, it is my
opinion, that this is NOT APRS, and is not in the true spirit of amateur
radio, but that's just me. And no one can argue that the social
technologies haven't impacted our hobby.

I don't know about the others who have left APRS...maybe they're bored.
And while I don't know what the complete answer is, I do know the common
denominator is "fun". If we can make something fun and interesting, it
will succeed, but I also believe everything has a life span. Is APRS at
the end of its life? I don't think so...not anytime soon, but I am
seeing the writing on the wall where I live.

Just my observations and perspective (read $0.02). ;)

73, Chris

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