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

"Margaret Leber (K3XS)" wrote:
> I also think the total penetration of that commercial operating system into the
> ham community is a crying shame. I also think the belated (Win 95) availability
> of a built-in TCP/IP stack in the Windows operating systems is a serious reason
> amateur packet radio faced an uphill struggle in keeping up with data networking
> technology, with only the hard work of a few pioneers (Hi, Phil!) standing out
> in the general gloom of obsolescence.

I think it is more the internet that killed packet.  The only really active
packet around here is APRS and DX Cluster.
> Maybe AO-40 will offer an opportunity for us to bootstrap into something a
> little more modern in that department.

I doubt it. Any popular digital stuff will have Win32 versions. Win32 is what
most of the appliance operators run.  I have the impression that any
linux development will be done by people like Bdale and Phil for doing some
experimental stuff with RUDAK.

> That's one aspect of software economics that doesn't get much attention. The
> development tools for Windows are just about completely controlled by Microsoft,
> and are hideously expensive. What you can do with them is largely confined to
> what Redmond wants independant developers (their competition, in many markets)
> to be able to do. And if MS has their way, we shall all be *renting* our
> applications (and the tools to build them) from them. Imagine if Ford had to
> rent their tools from GM...

That is why I went with Borland tools then Watcom.  Watcom was nice as it
supported alot of platforms (Dos, Dos32, Win16, Win32, OS/2, etc...) in
one product.  Look what Microsoft did when they went to Win95, they
brought out another compiler and downplayed the Win16 stuff (still at
version 1.52).  Unfortunely it seems Watcom has retreated to their strength of
SQL databases. I lost track of Borland when they focused more on the windows

I run Win98se, OS/2, and Linux on most of my computers.  Each has strengths
and weaknesses.  I use each for different purposes.

Another point that people do not realize is how hardware vendors pushed
people into the Windows platform.  As an user of OS/2 I realized this early.
Linux users also found out and it took alot of effort of alot of people to
get support for hardware.  Some hardware will never have Linux drivers.
When I buy stuff I look for compatibility with three operating systems.
This really narrows the selection down!

We are going against the mainstream.  It is alot easier to get a computer
with Win32, it is "plug 'n play" after all.  There are alot of little things
that makes it more likely DOS/Windows will be used in the ham shack.
Windows is a 'safer' course to go.  'Everything' is supported and it comes
on the computer picked up at the fleamarket.

73 Eric eac@shore.net
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