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[aprssig] Kenwood TH-D7A(G) Retired

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Mon Oct 13 14:17:29 UTC 2008


Warning! Reminiscence and rant of an old timer follows...


That news made me think of this photo:

http://www.aprs.net/ProudOwners.jpg

These are the first three D7's, before there were even called that.  
Kenwood announced it at the Digital Communication Conference in  
Chicago almost exactly 10 years ago. Visual proof that once Bob and I  
could stay in the same room without strangling each other ;-) An  
appropriate photo also because of the recent news about Keith. Besides  
the gift of a prototype from Kenwood, I remember that day well because  
Hurricane Georges was flooding my house at that very moment. I left  
shortly after this photo to drive 36 hours and get home for the first  
of many hurricane cleanups.

I'm not surprised the D7 finally is out of production. It wasn't even  
a new design then, it was originally created for the Japanese version  
of APRS, but never released. Kenwood dusted of the hardware design and  
wrote new software when APRS took off in the US. The sad thing is  
there is no new design to take its place.

The photo makes me think about the pace of innovation then and now.  
APRSdos was only four or five years old then.

Three years earlier Keith released the second APRS client, MacAPRS.

Two years earlier I released the third, javAPRS.

The previous year Dale Heatherington created the first IGate, and I  
had created the APRS IS to link the IGates together.

Earlier that year I had made the IGates two-way, allowing for  
messaging to mobiles.

A couple months after this, Keith and I were driving to Orlando for  
the hamfest, and we got messages on our D7's from one of the Kenwood  
engineers in the photo. They had just set up the first international  
IGate in Tokyo, and this was probably the first international handheld  
to handheld text message.

A year after that findU was born. There are other events I can't place  
exactly like the QSY, APRS+SA, and lots more.

There has not been a pace like that for a while. Mostly there is just  
talk, and when someone points out a problem with something being  
talked about, the one with the idea starts crying about oppression.

Well, guess what? Even back in "the days of the giants" there was  
resistance to new ideas. When Keith wanted to do MacAPRS he had to  
negotiate with Bob. When I released javAPRS out of the blue, Bob came  
at me, I had to convince him that I was not competing with APRSdos  
before he stopped objecting. Bob, Keith, Mark, and Brent got into it  
big time over the rights to Windows clients. I can't tell you how many  
hundreds of nasty cards, letters, and emails I got from hams who were  
convinced that I was killing ham radio by linking it with the  
internet. When I became the first APRS leader to get behind the QSY,  
the outrage was unreal. A few people still on the sig were calling me  
traitor.

The difference then was the innovators stuck with their vision and  
made it happen. They did not use obstacles as an excuse to stop  
trying. They also did not waste much time on the sig trying to  
convince other people about their ideas. They implemented their ideas,  
and the finished product ended the argument.

So those of you with ideas, stop talking about them endlessly. Just  
make it happen. Stop using resistance as an excuse. Just do it.

Steve K4HG








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