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RE: An open letter to the Amsat Software authors (witha little political incorrectness!)



Hello everybody,
  
I would like to weigh in on this issue. This is just my humble view on
things, nothing official. (See below)

Ever since Bdale Garbee gave his presentation at the San Diego Annual
Meeting regarding open source code for sat. applications and how AMSAT is
effected, this issue has been on my mind. I haven't thought much of Bdale's
Microsoft-bashing over the years, but I sure thought he was on the right
track with this new theme: AMSAT needs to exhibit LEADERSHIP in this area by
approaching future software resale agreements strictly on an open-source
basis. The deals we have now are basically set, but that doesn't mean that
shouldn't *ask* for the source, specially in the case of The Station, where
the author has retired from supporting it. Want to talk about being
offended? How about the offensive way AMSAT felt it necessary to announce a
disclaimer in advance of Bdale's presentation stating that "this was one
individual's opinion. Sheesh. Get a grip. I've gone to every AMSAT meeting
since Orlando, and that's the first time *that* was done. EVERY one of those
presentations are one person's opinion. 
  
With that said, I clearly support AMSAT exhibiting technical leadership in
the area of amateur satellite software. There are some <very> creative and
dedicated folks out there developing and supporting software; I own most of
it. Please keep up the good work, guys. AMSAT could start a new era by
accepting new donations using one of the existing open source agreements. We
could also help ALL of the developers out documenting standard application
programing interfaces and inter-process communication standards, so that
every new developer could build add-on modules to existing apps, or even new
apps that were plug and play with existing ones.
  
Consider this the opening volley in an effort to fill a void our
organization has had for quite a while: we just can't seem to bridge the gap
between the technically competent sat. users and the policy makers.  And to
put our money where our mouths are, our budding little group of AMSAT
faithful here in Atlanta are prepared to take the lead. 
  
I look forward to a continuing dialog on this subject.
  
Regards,
Steve Diggs, W4EPI
AMSAT Area Coordinator - Atlanta, GA

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Gilchrist
To: Ronald Long; ne1h@ne1h.dyndns.org
Cc: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Sent: 6/20/00 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] An open letter to the Amsat Software authors (with a
little political incorrectness!)

At 07:07 AM 6/20/00 -0400, Ronald Long wrote:

  >The Station was written, as I am sure you know, by vp9mu in Bermuda.
He 
  >was, for a time, enthusiastic and promoted his software on the
amsat-bb. 
  >Then something happened. He more or less disappeared.

There is indeed life outside our hobby.  Paul purchased "this old house"
in 
Bermuda, and while not busy with the day-to-day of his (quite
illustrious) 
career, spends time fixing cisterns and bringing the house up to date.

I have been a user of The Station software for years.  I use it under
both 
Windows 95 and Windows 98.  It works just fine.  Of course I have a wish

list I would like to see Paul implement in the next release, but I am 
perfectly willing to patiently use the software for what it is; the best

analog Doppler correction/tracking software available.

Paul has never made any money on this effort, instead contributing all 
funds garnered to AMSAT NA.

Rest assured Paul is listening.  I'm sure he feels a little offended by
the 
recent dialogue here.

As with all things in life, gather all facts on a subject before you
make 
bold statements that might be injurious to others.

73,  Mike - KF4FDJ
           Mike Gilchrist
           VP Operations
           The Ultimate Connection
           ------------------------------------------->
           23170 Harborview Road
           Charlotte Harbor, FL  33980

<mailto:mike@theultimateconnection.com>mike@theultimateconnection.com
ph:     941-255-7394 -or-
           800-830-7861 x364
fax:    941-629-4452


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