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Hi Mike.
> The digital birds are easier to use than RS15, or AO10.  But of course, that is my
> opinion, and varies somewhat from yours.  Your elitist attitude here is akin to
> where the UNIX geeks were with the Internet just a few years ago.  They wanted to
> keep the Internet proprietary and exclusive.  Ain't so, is it?  The Internet has
> expanded into households worldwide.

Mostly because some people realized that money could be made from a
resource that is open and free.  (Kind of like RF spectrum today!)

I don't think the Internet was ever proprietary or exclusive.  If I'm not
mistaken, the protocols used are all open standards, and there were never
any fees for its use.  My first experience with it (back in 1987) was from
the keyboard of a Commodore 64.  (Interestingly enough, that's the same
computer I used to receive and decode signals from the UO-9 and UO-11
digital satellites.)

> I take exception to my chosen venue in the hobby being compared to CB radio.

Exception noted.  However, I fail to see a vast difference between simply
talking to someone on 27 MHz or talking to them on an amateur frequency.

> You state:  "If your only interest is chatting with others, perhaps
> there's really no difference between the two, and maybe a telephone
> is the best tool for the job."
> I counter that if all you want to do is send digital messages to your friends
> halfway around the globe, use the Internet.  It's faster, more efficient, and
> doesn't take resources from a multi-millon dollar amateur satellite.

Well, some might consider that to be an elitist attitude considering that
not all areas of the world have Internet access.  However, ALL areas of
the world are served on a regular basis by Amateur Radio's constellation
of digital communication satellites.  And with amateur satellites, there
is considerably less problems with network hackers, viruses, junk mail,
and advertisements, not to mention all the sex and pornographic material
that appears regularly as spam mail.

The Internet has become a very hostile and unfriendly place.  It's
certainly not like it was when it was populated by only Unix geeks.  :-)

Actually, I never stated that my only interest in digital satellites
was in simply sending messages back and forth to friends around the
world.  To the contrary, I tried to point out that digital satellites
don't just relay information -- they generate it.  Between earth imaging
cameras, radiation counters, and the results of the many scientific
experiments carried on-board these satellites, there's a wealth of
information available that's free for the asking.  And you can't get
that stuff on the Internet!  This is the very information that is used
to design new (and better) satellites.  It's important to our growth,
and we need more of it.

> There are room for both uses of amateur satellites John, and one camp is
> no better than the other.  We are all amateur radio operators, and ANY
> use of the technology is good.

I agree.  Then there shouldn't be any hard feelings if FO-29 should be
placed into Mode JD for a while, right?  :-)

73, de John, KD2BD

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John A. Magliacane, KD2BD -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Internet  : kd2bd@amsat.org          |  Voice : +1.732.224.2948
Satellite : AO-16, LO-19, KO-25      |  Morse : -.-  -..  ..---  -...  -..
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