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Re: Internet/Satelite link?

> I agree with David, in all aspects!  And I don't look at the Internet as
> being part of Amateur Radio either even if a radio is involved at both ends
> of a 'landline internet connection'.  

  OK, justify why it's OK to use other intermediate transport mechanisms
like the phone system, for example, when passing NTS traffic, qualifies as
Amateur radio, while using the Internet doesn't.  You can't have one,
without allowing the other.

>I get the impression that those who
> get excited over the internet for amateur radio interactions never built a
> crystal set and don't have any technical hardware background to speak of.

   If that's your impression, then you need to actually meet the people
who are doing the work, because you're completely incorrect.  
On the contrary - the people who are building real networks are showing 
that they have technical skills far in advance of the typical HF
Appliance operators.  The fast network builders have to pretty much build
everything themselves, because they can't just call up HRO and buy
what they need.  Additionally, they need to be able to deal with issues
ranging from setting up routers to knowing how to tap the discriminator
on a VHF rig.  Given a schematic, how many other people could do that?
How often do you hear ops on 20M whining about how much trouble they
have simply soldering a PL-259 to a length of coax?

> You may not want to sit and read 300 names in front of a mike for health &
> safety messages but using a wordprocessing package and packet radio will
> take care of that issue.  

   Poppycock.  The current packet radio net is about as astoundingly
inefficient and unreliable as you can get.  Those 300 names in a 
Microsoft Word file will take hours to hop just three nodes, to
say nothing of the minimal chances that they will even make it to the recipient in the first place.  Even with the various brands of node software out there, 
single machine failures can, and usually do, bring down the entire message 
forwarding system.  Just look at New England over the past few years.
Using a robust TCP/IP system, on the other hand, with 
TRUE dynamic routing changes allows you to deal with all sorts of failures.  
The protocols were designed to deal with massive systemic attacks, after all.

>Also, those that think cell phones and landlines
> will even be operable during a major disaster had better get some RACES
> training.  That internet connection will be the absolutely last thing Ma
> Bell will devote time in bringing back up into operation when the lights go out.

   As I mentioned before, I was regularly exchanging e-mail with people
during the massive ice storms in NNY and Canada this past winter, even
though the phones were out.  As the internet grows, the network carriers
have been performing a substantial amount of work to harden their
equipment and transmission systems.  Obviously, it's working.  Why not
take advantage of it, and enhance it with Amateur Radio to build
a truly useful system?

- Rich