[aprssig] Future for aprs

Kris Kirby kris at catonic.us
Fri Sep 7 02:19:24 EDT 2012

> Not everyone here lives and breathes APRS.  Some folks have other hobbies.
> I'm not a very active paraglider pilot, but I'm on the local soaring
> association mailing list and I would hope that no one would give me a hard
> time for not being out there flying every weekend, not knowing the ins and
> outs of each site, and needing help repacking my reserve. You can't be an
> expert in everything.

Two things to remember: 

1) It's just a hobby.
2) We're all volunteers, here. 
> > When do we break away from being just users to experimenters
> That's up to you.  Again, not everyone can be an expert, and not 
> everyone *wants* to be an expert in a given field - some people just 
> want to get a job done.

Part of that is limited in law, a lot of it in technology. The cost 
barrier is pretty high; SMT electronics are prevalent to the point where 
incoming college students and hams aren't dealing with thru-hole parts 

Some folks are still doing experimentation. They just found a way for 
someone else to pay for it for them.
> > Has the pioneering dream died In ham radio ?
> Nope, but the demographics are shifting and the focus is changing. 
> That's inevitable.  The Internet, commercial satellites, and cheap 
> cell phones have changed our priorities.  Increasingly complex 
> underlying technologies increase barriers to entry for hobbyists.

Pioneering? Pardon my cynicism, but what have we pioneered recently? 
Cheap near-space travel for balloon payloads? 

> > Have we just become a smart few followed by the mass of consumers ?
> I've been hearing complaints about appliance operators since I got 
> licensed a quarter century ago, and it was an old story then.

I like appliances, they make it easy to do things. Like awk, sed, tr, 
and other UN*X utilities, a process can be cobbled together using 
programs and a flow of information.

Kris Kirby, KE4AHR
Disinformation Analyst

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