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Pet Peeve (was: Re: JAWSAT Launch)


I am going to stick my neck out here and probably get hit with more "Stop
being a smartass" comments.  But who cares.

Let me preface this with saying that what I am about to say is not directed
at any one person and not at Bob, who provided this.  I use it as example
only.  Rather I want to blow off steam about an attitude that has begun to
permeate our hobby.  And bothers me and it's frustrating.

It seems to me that folks on this reflector (and on others) like to just
give out webpage URLs instead of real information in response to questions.
Similar attitudes of people can be seen when someone has a question and the
term "RTFM" is used.  No longer do we as individuals want to communicate and
share ourselves with others.  It is easier to just post a URL and say "Go
find it yourself."  I even had once ham send me an e-mail that said in
effect, "Why are you complaining about having to look things up?  I am sure
your professors in college made you do that."  Actually, my professors for
the most part ANSWERED my question.  They didn't just tell me to find it in
a book someplace.

In the same manner, I am quite happy that my elmer in our great hobby didn't
just hand me an ARRL handbook and tell me to read it and then he'd give me
my novice test.  No, he sat down and instructed me, told me how to operate,
what to do, what not to do, etc.  He spent a lot of time answering my
questions, etc.  I doubt I would have become a ham had he given me that type
of answers of "Look it up yourself." that so many hams give out today.

In this particular example, I sent out a question on what MASAT is.  Bob,
here sends me back a URL instead of an answer.  Again, I am not attacking or
flaming Bob here, so please don't take it that way.

> For OPAL, check the webpage:
> ssdl.stanford.edu/opal
> Thanks
> Bob

Well, there are several things.  First of all, how long does it really take
to type in the words: "MASAT is a satellite that is capable of blah blah
blah operation at such and such a frequency.  It is similar to AO-100 now in

That's all I needed to know.  It probably wouldn't take much longer to say
that then to type in "Check the following web URL:

Secondly, I get a lot of this e-mail at work.  To read a quick explanation
doesn't take much time.  But to go look up a webpage DOES.  I have a 28.8
connection and a 4 year old computer.  So I don't have all the horsepower to
download all the graphics and other unnecessary stuff a web page provides.
Am I saying I want someone else to be inefficient (typing in an explanation
will take slightly longer than typing in a URL) so I can be more efficient?
Well, my answer to that is that it make take an extra 20 seconds to type a
good explanation.  Yet it might take me an extra 3 to 5 minutes to boot my
browser, load the webpage and THEN find the link to what I am looking for.
I think asking for 20 seconds of your time vs. 5 minutes of my time is not
asking for too much.

Lastly, if a response is provided rather than just a URL, everyone else can
see it as well.  Otherwise everyone on the list with the same question gets
the answer right away and doesn't have to go to the web page.  So now, if
there are others on the list with the same question (and usually there are),
we have saved not just 5 minutes but five minutes times the number of

Now, I appreciate Bob's info and he was just trying to be helpful.  I
respect that.  He could have (and if he takes offense to this, he may do so)
ignored my question and not said anything.

I just find the trend toward giving a URL and the "find it yourself"
attitude disturbing.  Personally, I am always willing to take the time and
explain something and give a written text in addition to a webpage.  I hope
I can always answer questions people have without just telling them to RTFM.

Someone may say that in the time it has taken me to write this note griping
that I could have gone to the webpage 5 times or more.  Well, perhaps they
are right.  But then I couldn't have vented and I'd still be frustrated.

We are in a hobby of communication.  We don't we all try doing that and
behaving like things were BEFORE the advent of all the technology.  Back
them people talked to each other and shared what they know.  That's what I
thought these e-mail reflectors were all about.  And that's what I thought
our hobby was all about: talking, communicating, sharing information and
knowledge.  Let's get back to good old fashioned elmering and helping folks
out.  Yes, it takes more work on our part, but the appreciation that it
engenders in others is well worth it.

OK, off my soapbox.  Flame away if you wish.  I have tried to write this in
the nicest way possible and just express concerns I have about attitudes.
If I have offended anyone, I feel bad that my feelings offend you.  But this
is what I feel and I stand by it.

Finally, on a positive note, I must say that there are some folks on this
reflector who go the extra mile in elmering and giving info about the birds.
KF4FDJ, K7RR, KK5YY and others are among those who really give great
information and tutiledge.  I publicly wish to thank Mike, KF4FDJ, for all
of the elmering he has given me on the birds.  Mike and I have had a lot of
morning QSOs on AO-10 and I've learned a lot from him.  So, thanks, Mike.  I
am sure I am note the only one out there that you've helped.  We could use
more folks like you.

73 all,

> At 04:19 PM 1/26/00 -0600, Jon Ogden wrote:
>> on 1/26/00 05:23, Dan James at nn0dj@means.net wrote:
>>> MASAT (Miniature Amateur Radio
>>> Satellite),
>> There are people on the will think I am an ignoramus for asking this
>> (believe me, I've got some pretty snooty mail from past questions), but so
>> what.
>> I've not heard much about this satellite.  Does it have another name that
>> has typically been used?  What's it's purpose?
>> 73,
>> Jon
>> KE9NA
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> The Second Amendment is NOT about duck hunting!
>> Jon Ogden
>> jono@enteract.com
>> www.qsl.net/ke9na
>> "A life lived in fear is a life half lived."
>> ----
>> Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
>> To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org

The Second Amendment is NOT about duck hunting!

Jon Ogden


"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org