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The future of amateur radio adoption... (was:Re: XO\APRS)

Hi folks, I'm new to the list (KD7OFR) and thought I'd introduce  
myself now, even though this is somewhat off-topic. I've been trolling  
for a week or so now on the list.

I own an OLPC/XO but have never used APRS, although I'd like to  
participate in this mapping. I notice that the west coast is  
conspicuously empty. I live in Oakland and work in San Francisco, and  
two of my friends/coworkers own OLPCs as well (one of them is  
scheduled to become a ham soon).

Are there really just that many more active hams on the east coast? It  
seems hard to believe. I'm in my mid-20s and have been licensed since  
I was 19. Is this indicative of a larger social trend within the  
amateur radio community? I work in the tech sector and while there are  
plenty of very technical folks in their mid-20s through their mid-40s,  
none in the software engineering group I work in are licensed amateur  
radio operators, sans one other guy (on a team of over 20), even  
though there seems to be at least a casual interest in it by many  
members of my team. I am of course encouraging them to get licensed  
and emphasizing that getting one's technician ticket isn't exactly  
difficult ;-)

I'm concerned there's not much outreach going on by the most active  
sector of the amateur radio community. Can anyone speak to that?  
Perhaps I'm completely off-base, but from my perspective, there seems  
to be a slight bit of reserved apathy. I myself would love to teach  
teenagers about amateur radio.

I live a few blocks from Oakland Technical High School (http://www.oaklandtech.com 
) and think introducing disadvantaged kids to amateur radio would be a  
great way to emphasize that there's a world outside of the city of  
oakland borders via a very real and tangible activity, while at the  
same time teaching some basic technical skills in the process.  
Communicating with people and objects zooming through space is not  
something one would normally otherwise ever do ;-)

I myself am attempting to start a social event/group which is intended  
to bring together some of t

I hope you will all forgive my meandering first message to the list,  
but I'd love to hear all your thoughts on the matter. Feel free to  
reply off-list if you are uncomfortable with the level of off-topic- 
ness. This subject may even deserve its own mailing list. Anyone else  
interested in the subject? I can host an ML. Are there any  
organizations who teach kids/teenagers/young adults about amateur  
radio in a holistic manner? if so, I'd love to hear about them!

Send me your thoughts,
Alex Perez (KD7OFR)

On Jan 8, 2008, at 8:53 AM, Robert Bruninga wrote:

> OK, the first XO laptops are starting to show on the APRS
> system.  I have added a link to Steve Dimse's FINDU.COM that can
> selectively display them.
> http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/APRS-OLPC.html
> Bob, Wb4APR
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Bob Bruninga [mailto:bruninga@usna.edu]
>> Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2008 10:21 PM
>> To: bruninga@usna.edu; TAPR APRS Mailing List; 'Paul
> Kronenwetter'
>> Cc: amsat-bb@amsat.org
>> Subject: OLPC positions and MESH-ing
>>> In the DC area, I think we have several
>>> Hams with XO's.  Maybe we should schedule
>>> a meeting and show-and-tell so that everyone
>>> can benefit from the fruits of our efforts?
>> Actually, I would like to build a map of all HAMS with OLPC's
>> to help us play and possibly MESH together..  The map will
>> include both your home and work locations which are two
>> places where you might have your OLPC laptop for meshing.  If
>> you are retired, then include any other place you may
> frequent.
>> Just email me your CALL, and LAT/LONGs for both of your
>> locations.   If you have other daily locations you may add
>> them too. ALso indicate how many OLPC's you have.  Here is
>> the preferred format:
>> WB4APR:3909.12N/07629.34Wl Home, with access to 3 OLPC's
>> The LAT/LONG is in DEG and decimal minutes.  The two spaces
>> after the decimal points are for hundredths of minutes.  If
>> you replace them with two spaces, then your position can
>> remain ambiguous to the nearest mile, if you like.  The "l"
>> (lower case L) after the W is the laptop symbol.  Everything
>> after that is free text to describe your OLPC.
>> Those that are into APRS can go ahead and just change your
>> normal APRS station to the LAPTOP symbol for the next week or
>> so, and I can capture your posit that way electronically.
>>> TO make it easy to compute the centroid
>>> of local OLPC's, everyone could beacon
>>> their position on APRS using the LAPTOP
>>> symbol with a note about their OLPC.
>>> Then we can pick the centroid to plan a meeting...
>> Thanks!
>> Bob, WB4APR
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