[aprssig] Replacement for UI-View any one
Bob Burns W9RXR
w9rxr_ at rlburns.net
Fri Jan 22 06:41:43 CST 2010
At 10:06 PM 1/21/2010, Peter Mallett wrote:
>>Ok I am not looking for a fight here , but reality is that we are
>>going to need a WINDOZE APRS program along the lines of UI-View
>>with some improvements sooner than later !!!
>>Is there any-one out there working on something similar and if so I
>>would be interested in hearing from you off list is fine ..
> There is already, it`s called *Xastir* and it is* *under continual
>Either run on a Linux box ( the best ) or Windows / VMWare ( yuk )
I have to disagree (oops, here comes the "fight" <grin>).
I don't discount Xastir's value to the APRS community. It appears to
be a good program. However, we should face some realities.
First, we live in a Windows world. Like or not, the majority of the
computers in U.S. homes and businesses are running Windows. Users are
familiar with Windows. It's easy to find Windows support. And you can
buy a Windows computer almost anywhere. Yes, you will counter that
you can load some version of Linux on just about any Windows
computer, but I will counter that the average computer user doesn't
want to bother with trying to make Linux work.
Second, APRS is viewed by many in the amateur radio world as a
"techie" mode. When I talk to other hams about APRS, some are
interested and want to try it, but many just shut me out because they
don't want to climb the learning curve. Kenwood and Yaesu have helped
raise APRS awareness with their hardware solutions, but as we all
know, that only takes you so far. Eventually, you need to run an APRS
client on a computer to take full advantage of the mode. In order for
APRS to gain more interest among hams, there has to be an easy way into it.
OK, some of you are sitting back there saying "Gee, Bob, you're
talking about dumbing down APRS to the lowest common denominator." I
suppose maybe I am. My fear, though, is that if we don't make APRS
easy, it will eventually die due to lack of interest. Remember 20
years ago when just about every town had somebody running a 1200 baud
Packet BBS? Where did they all go? I write it off to lack of
interest. Do we want the same thing to happen to the APRS digis? I
don't think so.
Enough of my philosophizing. I think we need an answer to Phillip's
question. We need a new APRS client program--one that is easy to set
up for the ARPS newbie while fully implementing all APRS features for
the more experienced user. Initially, I think it should be a Windows
program, but a portable program that can run on MacOS and Linux would
be a real plus. And it should have solid mapping support with zoom
and pan. Yes, Xastir running under VMWare may be a viable answer, but
the instant you mention something like VMWare or Cygnus to a newbie,
they start to turn away. It has to be easy and it has to run in an
environment they are familiar with.
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