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[CQ-Contest] Radio appliances [was: CTU Survey Results]

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Radio appliances [was: CTU Survey Results]
From: "Robert Chudek - K0RC" <k0rc@citlink.net>
Reply-to: Robert Chudek - K0RC <k0rc@pclink.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 12:17:04 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

I respectfully need to take exception to your statement that hams are wrong 
thinking computers should be able to integrate into a hamshack without 
knowledge of their (computers) operation. I believe we DO have the right to 
expect seamless integration. This expectation is what pushes technology 
forward. Are we there yet? Absolutely not! Is it a worthy goal? Absolutely, yes!

Here's an example of what I'm suggesting:

Serial ports... Have your mother try to hook two pieces of gear together using 
serial ports. She will need a knowledge of protocol, speed, connectors, bits, 
parity, null or straight thru cable, etc, etc, etc...

Compare that to USB. She needs to know basically, nothing... She plugs her 
camera, scanner, external disk drive, mouse, or whatever (radio?) into the end 
of the cable and the computer automatically detects the device and sets itself 
up. She can get right to the task at hand (using her new device).

As time passes, our radios will become even more of an "appliance". We should 
expect, better yet, demand the manufacturers accelerate the integration of 
radio and computer technology. USB ports have been available since 1996. Why 
wasn't USB integrated into our radios a long time ago? Hams are supposed to be 
using leading edge technologies (so "they" say). So why do I need a level 
converter and know the serial parameters for my radio? And why is every other 
radio different? And why isn't there a standardized communication protocol, 
similar to ADIF, that will control all radios?

Answer me this... Why?... huh, just why?  :-)

One last shot at this concept... when you go to play a game of baseball you're 
really not interested in how the bats and balls are made. Although it might be 
interesting to some, it is not relevant to the task at hand... playing baseball.


I do realize you are referring to integrating OLD technology and new computers. 
I agree we are in a "transition period" where all the old stuff hasn't found 
its way to the landfill yet. And as frugal as hams are, that may take more than 
a few more decades.

73 de Bob - KØRC in MN

...I'm turning into my father and I can't stop it...


Message: 2
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 11:52:27 -0500
From: "Robert Naumann" <w5ov@w5ov.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CTU Survey Results
To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Message-ID: <000f01c7be5b$b59041e0$0301a8c0@SONYRB42G>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


I presume that you are referring to my comments so I will respond.

My response was to point out that Andy N2NT's summary was correct when he
said TR would not work on a Windows machine. Anyone trying to run TR on a
real Windows (WinNT, 2K, XP, or Vista) machine will NOT have success. If
someone was considering running TR on a new Vista machine, he or she should
know that it will not work.

I think that many wrongly think that they have a right to incorporate a
computer into their ham activities without needing to understand how
computers work. I could go on, but I think that says all that needs be said.


Bob W5OV

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Parry [mailto:BPARRY@RGV.RR.COM] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2007 10:21 AM
To: 'Zack Widup'; cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CTU Survey Results

I think these posts point out some of the problems that a lot of us face
with computer logging, computer interfaces, etc. My son is the in the
software business and, although this certainly doesn't make me an expert, I
have had some insights.

I don't care if Windows 3.1, 98, XP or Vista is or isn't a real Windows OS.
Bob, this doesn't mean that I am trying to put you down, what it does mean
is that many of us want to USE computers not understand the "insides." I
love my computer but my hobby is ham radio. I learned right away that asking
a "knowledgeable computer guy" for instructions was likely to be very
frustrating. The verbal instructions are likely to assume that you know far
more than you know, and are given much too quickly. Sometimes (not always)
there is a little bit of an attitude (this is really simple and if you don't
get it, you are either stupid or you should not have bought the piece of

Unfortunately, some of the hardware that is being sold has those same
attributes. The instructions are unclear, and the computer interfaces with
that equipment are OS dependent, maybe they work with a particular computer
and maybe not.

I realize that writing clear instructions is not a skill that many software
programmers have. The "help" files are good example of that! I have become
very careful about what I buy. The very best piece of software without clear
instructions and support is a waste of money, no matter if it costs $25 or
$2500. When I install a piece of software it should work, I should not have
to make revisions in the registry, or reinstall windows to make it work (I
have had both of these scenarios this month).

Bill, W5VX

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