The recent (ongoing) threads on 1/ keying waveshapes and 2/ speech
compression are really encouraging to me for this reason: what might have
been regarded as old topics or issues that have already been decided are
actually very much undecided and open to questioning.
All I ever hear is how CW is a dead mode, too old and too boring to be of
any use, yet... the issue of the perfect keying waveform is still under
debate. That is cool! Doesn't that mean that there's life in the old mode
yet, and areas of discovery still to be made? Add to this the latest product
review in QST... if I didn't know that was supposed to be CW, I would have
thought that it's some new type of pulse modulation. It's that poor. Yes,
Virginia, over one-hundred years after the invention of CW, we still can't
do it right.
As for speech compression, this is a hot topic right now, with all the
renewed interest in "hi-fi" SSB (for lack of a better term). Imagine:
innovation in a mode that is over fifty (50) years old! And we were ready to
write SSB off as *another* one of those antiquated, obsolete modes. Gotta
make room for digital voice and MFSK-15,000,000, you know.
It's the simple stuff that affords lots of experimentation and innovation in
amateur radio, I'm convinced, especially for the common Joe like me, and not
the esoteric state-of-the-art that I don't understand anyway.