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Re: [TenTec] Obsolescence was: Omni 6 Logic Board Failure

To: tentec@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Obsolescence was: Omni 6 Logic Board Failure
From: "Dr. Gerald N. Johnson" <geraldj@weather.net>
Reply-to: geraldj@weather.net, Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 13:36:58 -0600
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
That suggestion came up with the slow updates of the Orions a couple 
years ago, but it appears Tentec is unwilling to open up their source 
code to inspection, scrutiny, or user participation in code revisions. 
Likely part of the limitations are that the controler chip chosen isn't 
very popular and the hardware has been locked into a limited RAM and ROM 
space which makes revisions and updates excruciatingly tough. That 
limited space then tends to require programming in assembler instead of 
higher level languages like C or C++, and few are skilled in assembler, 
fewer want to be skilled in assembler and assembler tends to be 
different for each controller family, if not each controller chip. 
Optimized assembler certainly is different for each chip. My experience 
is that it can take a man year to become half way competent in assembler 
for a particular chip, to know whether it was a good choice or not. When 
I first did that the choices were about 5, now there are thousands to 
choose from. Yet some still have the same op codes as those five I had 
to choose from in 1975 but can address much more memory and run much faster.

On 1/14/2011 11:09 AM, Neal Laugman wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 10:40:52 -0600
> "Dr. Gerald N. Johnson"<geraldj@weather.net>  wrote:
>> I was going to look at the Omni VI control board logic, but unless I
>> commit to doing a lot, the dozen or 16 schematics turned me off.
> Uh - yeah. My solution to the problem is this: Barring any intellectual
> property or licensing issues, release a version of the source code into
> the public domain and let a 3rd party manufacture the solution. This
> happens every so often in the software domain, usually creating quite a
> bit of synergy the OEM can take advantage of in their future product
> development.

Having the vintage source code would certainly expedite a replacement. I 
wonder if it left with a prior code writer and TT doesn't have it to 

Gerald J.
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