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R: Open Source Software: Antiques never die!




----- Original Message ----- 
From: Dan Schultz <n8fgv@AMSAT.Org>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2002 12:13 AM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Open Source Software: Antiques never die!


> Tom's old tracking program is still one of the very few "open source"
> programs, along with G3RUH's excellent "Plan 13"  program, for those who
> want to see how the tracking algorithms actually work and perhaps modify
> the code for customized applications. Do we really want to be "appliance
> operators" in regard to our software, or do we want to know what goes on
> inside the black box? I thought hams were tinkerers.
> 
> It does have some nostalgia value, as a poor college student I couldn't
> afford to buy any kind of home computer (this was before they were
> called personal computers) but I did type the code line by line into the
> university's mainframe and then spent several days looking for a typo
> that was causing the output data to be gibberish. I had to beg for a
> computer account from college administrators who could not understand
> why a student not enrolled in a programming class would need to use a
> computer.
> 
> Anyhow, since a lot of hams are nostalgic about old radios, why not be
> nostalgic about old computer code? It is a significant part of amateur
> satellite history.
> 
> Dan Schultz N8FGV
> 
> 

Dan,

I aegree completely with you.  

Early 1981 i was in contact with Tom by letter and he sent to me
a prototype of  his program written in North Star Basic before it was 
published  in ORBIT  magazine 6 March/April 1981 page 6

Tom's article BASIC ORBIT was an open eye for all of us because 
the program listed in it was the first one using keplerian elements
instead of  nodal ephemeridis or EQX  

Tom's article describes line by line how the program works and
it represent a classic job never antique and never to die for all
"non button pushers" satellite operators.

73" de i8CVS Domenico 


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