The Future of CT?

Tony Brock-Fisher
Mon, 30 Oct 1995 15:49:59 -0500

Here are some thoughts about what has occurred with the special
bits in the various ports for controlling stuff from CT, as well
as some possible ideas about the long-term support of CT.

I tested 9.26 before the contest, and found that it no longer
controlled the two-radio bit (bit 0 of LPT2). I also found that
it no longer could key an external DVK by the use of the F1 key.
This is all old news by now.

So I reverted to an older version, 9.20, for the contest. 
I still planned on using two radios, and I wired up a footswitch 
to control my two-radio mike/DVK/headphone control box. About
an hour before the contest, I discovered a bug in 9.20, in that
it wasn't responding at all to updates from radio 1. No band map,
no logging band control, squat. So my choice was either no
radio interface, or push the button on my DVK manually 7000 times
in a weekend. I chose the latter, and re-upgraded to 9.26
at T plus 45 minutes.

(By the way, 9.26 worked perfectly aside from the aforementioned).

It seems that 90 percent of the bugs and fixes are associated with
the moving and allocation of control bits. The myriad of rigs,
rotors, keyers, etc coupled with the limited resources of the
PC are all contributing to the problem.

I would like to suggest to Ken (and his partners) that a future
version of CT be released which allows the user to configure the
mapping of software functions to hardware bits. This mapping
could be specified in a simple text file. Standard text files
for backward compatibilty with previous revs would be shipped
with the release, as well as documentation for 'rolling your own'.
This way, users could control their own interfaces, and software
upgrades could proceed without creating backwards compatibility

This, of course, assumes that some level of interest exists for
supporting CT. I think we all have to commend Ken (and his partners)
for making significant contributions to the state of the contesting
art. But if his circumstances change, we have to recognize that
we got what we paid for when we bought this software for under
a hundred bucks. If we got a working rev, then we really don't
have any right to bitch if later revs are broken.

I'd like to suggest that for the sake of the contesting community,
if Ken (and his partners) don't have an interest in supporting
and continuing CT for the contest community, that they strongly
consider selling the rights and the source code to someone 
or some group who would be interested in taking over the 
project. I'm sure a bunch of hungry, young software enginerds
could be found who have more time than money who would be
chomping at the bit to take over the leadership position in
contesting software. Perhaps make some bucks by putting out
a Mac version too. I know I could find the enginerds (I are one),
and some financing too.

Maybe a bit more than my $.02.

-Tony, K1KP,

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