It is sometimes very irritating that a very free/open community like the amateur radio community mostly wrote non-free software for Windows in the past few decades (and to some extend still do). Take most of the well known analog filter design tools - they are all .EXE files.

The well-known author of EMRFD book shipped the CD with some very useful software, all binary programs. Someone wrote to him saying that an antivirus software was flagging one of them wrongly, so he took down that program instead of releasing the source code! Today, I was looking at an old paper on crystal filter design which referred to a software whose cost increased to $150 after a favourable review on QST. The author is long dead and with him, the software binaries too!

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@vu3rdd A group of guys I've been doing a net with this summer are really into Winlink for message traffic. "you should try it out!". I've got a hard no on Windows software over here, but recently got Pat to work on Debian which seemingly interops.

@rev_mook @vu3rdd thanks for that! I just installed pat and setup my winlink account in under 5 minutes. Now to figure out how to get the mailboxes into mutt

@kr4dio @vu3rdd

I got Pat setup quickly as well, but I can't seem to hit any local gateways on 2M. I'd really like to get this running with ARDOP on 30M, but the ARDOP modem seems to completely crash my system if some order of operations isn't followed. I've yet to explore more, but have promising results so far. I'm using Direwolf for my AX.25 TNC by the way.

@rev_mook @vu3rdd I just used telnet this afternoon, but I’ll be trying it out on 2m with my mobile rig (ic-706mkiig) this weekend. There’s a gateway a couple of miles away on top of the local hospital, so I think it should work ok.

@kr4dio @vu3rdd

I'm assuming your address is 'callsign' I'll shoot you an email if I can get into a RF gateway. Telnet is cheating, but that's how I was able to setup my account.

What are you using for a TNC?

@rev_mook @vu3rdd call at winlink.ORG, but yes.

I’m using direwolf on FreeBSD (or Linux if I can’t get my bt sound+serial interface to work)

@rev_mook Thanks for the info on Pat. I had only heard of winlink but had never looked it up. Just looked up now and Pat looks super nice! Will study and try it out. Thanks.

@vu3rdd I'm relatively new to the hobby and as a programmer this shocked me. Also the proliferation of nonfree things like P25, DMR and System Fusion. Seems antithetical to the open, maker culture

@xj9 No.

Wine just lets you "run" programs. It does not let you study programs. Just running a binary on Free operating systems does not mean, the programs themselves are free as in freedom.

@xj9 I didn't mean to take a "holier than rms" attitude. Just genuinely surprised that most of the programs that I need are simply closed and not setup for others to fix bugs or improve. That is all.

LB: Every few years, people rediscover that the ham radio community isn't an open source/maker community, like how ARRL presents it.

Making/elmering doesn't end with Yet Another YAGI, a few articles in QST about the same old stuff year over year, and the occasional trap or two.

@vertigo They remind me a lot more of the freeware/shareware community on BBSes. There is certainly a free software movement within amateur radio, though. They mostly seem to be doing SDR.

@freakazoid Yeah; I see the maker component of ham radio as orthogonal to the larger community.


widespread adoption of FOSS seems like such an obvious thing for certain sectors to adopt--education and government in particular--that widespread ongoing use of proprietary software is a continuing affront

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