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RE: Re: UO-2 Telemetry Decoder Software



> When Harold Price NK6K was still writing the digital column 
> for QEX a while
> back, several columns got at least partially devoted to 
> talking about this
> issue of operating system choice for the shack, directly or 
> indirectly.  

OK, interesting... :)  

> that hams would want to dedicate a separate machine for the 
> shack, and there 
> was no reason to cripple it with an appliance operating 
> system.  Our hobby 
> has a long history of hacking/tinkering, and we ought to 
> foster that same 
> behavior with regards to software.  Open source platforms are 
> emminently 
> hackable, and therefore, I believe, are a better match to our 
> hobby efforts.

Well, that's one good reason for hams to have a go at Linux.  My own reasons
were initially out of necessity.  A friend and I were looking at setting up
a small hobby ISP (ham internet? ;) ), and we asked around for opinions on
what OS to use.  Needless to say, those in the know said "Linux or BSD", so
we chose Linux, if for no other reason than it was the easier for us to get
hold of at the time.

Anyway, my first experience with Linux was being presented with a server, a
CD of one of the distributions of the time and a request.. "Can you get this
going"? :-)  Took me 2 hours to get it installed, and a few weeks to get it
configured, but by then, I was hooked! :-)  Not bad for someone who
previously hated UN*X :)  Now, it's the opposite!

> I took flak for saying that.  Some people thought I was 
> elitist for assuming
> more than one computer per household.  Some thought it was 

Hmm, I've got how many now?  ANd have to try hard not to accumulate more
through the natural upgrade cycles! :)

> silly to learn more
> than one operating system (I happen to agree with that, by 
> the way... why would
> anyone want to learn Windows? :-).  Some just seemed to be 

I prefer to be multi OS myself.  At one stage, was swapping between DOS,
Win3.1, Win NT, OS/2 and Linux ;) Now, it's mainly NT and Linux.

> afraid of the idea 
> of having sourcecode available... and that included both 
> producers and 
> consumers!

Another favourite feature!  I think some people fear screwing up when
compiling apps, or a kernel, but the truth is that's not often necessary
(for the average user - for me, it's still quite common as I often use
obscure apps), and if it is, the auto configure scripts that are so common
these days make it a walk in the park. :-)

> I invested the energy to pontificate about Open Source ala 
> AMSAT at the recent
> Toronto and San Diego annual meetings, partly to address that 
> fear factor.  
> The feedback I've gotten previously has been mostly positive, 
> but this 
> discussion is the first time I've seen multiple people I 
> didn't personally
> know make it clear in an AMSAT forum that they have separate 
> computers running
> Linux dedicated to their ham radio activity.  That's cool!  :-)

I'm actually the opposite.  I don't have a dedicated ham computer, but
instead a "general purpose LAN", which runs everything.  Both the Windows NT
and the Linux box do interact with the radios, but for different purposes.
Dedication, for me, limits flexibility.  Ham radio has access to both
Windows and Linux for the best that each can provide.

> I'm confident both Windows and Linux are around for the long 
> haul.  My own
> personal frustration accumulated over years of trying to use 
> and develop 
> software for proprietary systems is a large part of why my 
> "other big hobby"
> these days is helping make Debian GNU/Linux (www.debian.org) 
> happen.  If there

Cool! :-)  Know Debian well. :-)

> are capable software folks who want to start or keep writing 
> software for 
> Windows, more power to them!  That's what freedom is all about.  

Unfortunately, I'm not a programmer, so writing for any platform isn't an
option at this stage.
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