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Re: Vanishing Hams



To provide a little bit of perspective .. in the late 1800's and early  
1900's, the bleeding-edge techie nerds ran the telegraph systems.   
Most of them were young and very intelligent and highly creative, and  
worked out a lot of very elegant solutions to what at the time were  
fairly serious communication challenges.  And they did it all with  
batteries, code keys, and long runs of wire.

Thomas A. Edison was one of those nerds.  Enough said.  :)

It seems to me that a lot of the ham culture got into the habit of  
thinking of the early tech as good enough to get by, and things like  
CW using Morse that were bleeding-edge tech in the spark and early CW  
era became "traditional" practice over the next several decades, which  
kind of got away from the point of ham radio, "advancing the radio  
art".  (And there are some corners of the ham world that still hold  
onto "tradition" in various ways.)  HF packet, APRS, PSK31, and the  
newer digital modes have "advanced the art" in small increments, but  
there's a lot of room for other sorts of thinking outside the box.   
(Especially with the radios built for PSK31 that are basically  
wideband SSB transceivers .. consider that connecting one of those  
transceivers to a sound card gives you direct software-defined access  
to that segment of spectrum, which is a nearly limitless medium to  
explore, and PSK31 is only one tiny corner of that world, so far.   
That may not be as exciting to the "traditional" folks as it should  
be, by all rights, to the open-source code guys..)  There's a lot of  
unexplored territory out there.

On Jul 17, 2008, at 10:19 AM, D. Mynatt wrote:

> That's right too. The 'nerds' are still with us, just that  
> percentage-wise
> they are fewer. IMHO and in the opinion of others in this  
> discussion, we
> need to get away from rag chewing and into making the hobby a way  
> for new
> information to be shared. Humans need 'newness' and that's what we  
> need to
> spark the younger generation.

"Good, 'cause, you know, we want to report that the country's a lot  
stranger than it was a year ago." -- Toby Ziegler


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