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[aprssig] open vs. closed in ham radio

Dick dick at kb7zva.com
Wed Jul 29 18:43:47 UTC 2009

>I'm talking about the general question of
>closed source services being provided to ham radio.

I can apply the general question to two programs being
used by hams. Ui-View and javAPRSSrvr. They are 'free'
and just turns out to be the most successful. Both are
closed source and top of the list in popularity. Ui-View
is still the most used application out there. It never
became obsolete when the author passed away. It was his
wish to keep it closed and free to the community. The
source and program became his legacy. Good stuff.

As we look around, there are many services provided to
hams... not just programs. The cool thing is that people
are willing to donate to us for the asking. 

Without sounding like Andy Rooney, I like things that are
free and plug n' play. They work almost forever. I have a
garage full of broken things that I paid for and refuse to
throw them away. It is a reminder of my own stupidity <g>.

So I guess, if it's free I'll give it a go. We can't beat up 
people for something we didn't pay for. At least, that's what
I think. I guess there's a little hillbilly in all of us <g>.

I also think about this long debate on open vs. closed. I 
suppose it's simply a matter of choice. As long as we
have choice, we are blessed. Sometimes support is
measured not by money, but by those willing to devote
time and energy for a cause. Such passion is rare, as
we are all used to paying so much for so little.

There is no answer to open vs. closed and to suggest
it is a problem is elementary. There is nothing wrong with
closed source services that are being provided to hams,
other than showing a little more respect to the providers.

Dick Stanich, KB7ZVA
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