[aprssig] WB4APR and the internet

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Thu Feb 10 18:35:18 EST 2022

I hope you all don't mind a little personal reminiscence. In 1996 I announced javAPRS here on the aprssig. I was pleased with myself, I thought others would see the value too. I was rather shocked when Bob, who I had never really talked to, became upset because I had not gotten approval from him. At that point the only other developer was paying him royalties and I wasn't charging, so he could make no money. Sadly that first confrontation set the tone for much of the early years of our relationship. Fortunately we made up eventually.

It is hard to remember, but the mid 90s were a time when the value of the internet was not appreciated. javAPRS initially was hosted on the pages that came with my first ISP account, the kind with a tilda in the URL, www.bridge.net/~sdimse/.... In 1997 I decided I need more for the APRS presence on the internet. There were only six top level domains. .mil, .edu, and .gov were all restricted, aprs.com belonged to a loan company hawking annual percentage rates, so I registered aprs.net and aprs.org. If you never dealt with Network Solutions (the only registrar) in those days count your blessings. Before www.everything, you registered domains by downloading a template via ftp, editing in your info, and emailing it to them. It was never right on the first few attempts, and the error messages were cryptic. Quite the chore.

I decided to use aprs.net for the internet infrastructure I was creating, and offered Bob aprs.org. He was uninterested. It took three more years of tries before he finally decided to accept, and another five or six before I got him to take full control of it and take it off my servers.

I'm reminded of all this because as I was browsing through the aprs.org filestructure I was struck by the amount of data Bob had uploaded - 2.76 GB. I guess saw the benefits of the internet somewhere along the way!

So factor managing 2.76 GB of data if you are contemplating a group to take over aprs.org!

Steve K4HG

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