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Re: Software platforms [was:UO-2 Telemetry Decoder Software]

> > If people want a Windoze program they are more than welcome
> > to write one. Just don't ask me, because I'm not interested,
> > and don't have any Windoze development tools anyway.
> That's one aspect of software economics that doesn't get much attention.
> development tools for Windows are just about completely controlled by
> and are hideously expensive. What you can do with them is largely confined

I recommend Borland C++ Builder as an economical alternative to writing
Windows apps. I find Object Windows a lot easier to use, as a Windows
interface than using the Windows APIs. Since most of us are writing
app-level s/w, not drivers, there are 3rd party alternatives. Borland's
Delphi (basically Object Pascal, based on Apple's original Object Pascal) is
also worth considering, as are some of the various Java development

>I also think the belated (Win 95) availability
>of a built-in TCP/IP stack in the Windows operating systems is a serious
>amateur packet radio faced an uphill struggle in keeping up with data
>technology, with only the hard work of a few pioneers (Hi, Phil!) standing
>in the general gloom of obsolescence.

Speaking of writing drivers, it should be possible to run the
Win98/Win2000[1] TCP/IP implementations on top of existing AX.25 packet TNCs
by implementing an NDIS (network device interface specification) driver for
the TNC. I've always wondered why none of us have thought to have done this
[2]- it would then enable all existing apps to run on top of packet
networks. I recognize that at 1200 bps, many conventional apps designed for
10/100 Mbps Ethernets are going to choke on a 1.2 kbps radio link. OTOH,
this might drive increased interest in 9600 bps, 19.2 kbps and 56 kbps
wireless networks below 900 Mhz, and 1 Mbps and faster above 900 Mhz. It
might also spurn development of relatively easy-to-write high-level apps
that strive to use a radio link efficiently. Hams all too often re-invent
everything from top-to-bottom. We do not have the time or resources to do
that. We need to leverage whatever is already available and lot of comm
technology (h/w and s/w) is now available off-the-shelf.

Spokane, WA

[1] Prior to Win98, or Win98 SE, the TCP/IP stack in Windows was not
"Wireless friendly", meaning that it did not know to deal with wireless
propagation delays, long tx/tx turnarounds, and time-outs suited for faster
networks. The current versions of Windows are said to include a "wireless
TCP/IP" stack that probably allows customization or setting of many TCP/IP
parameters that were previously off-limits to app developers. I'm aware of
the new stack and features but I have not studied them at all.

[2] One reason is that likely requires not only the MS development tools set
but also the Device Driver Kit and/or other specialized development tools.

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