[aprssig] WB4APR and the internet

Patrick winston at winston1.net
Thu Feb 10 19:12:46 EST 2022

I think anyone who used early domain stuff was scarred by the experience,
and we thank the IP gods that new players came around to make it something
that didn't inflict so much pain, despite that it made it so people who
don't know what they're doing can now break things more easily.

Bob certainly had his passions around APRS, I think most who have even
suggested ideas, changes, improvements, or evolutions have stories about
the experience.  We all certainly have had our moments of being in
contention, and many heated conversations, about the protocol over the
years.  He may have been begrudging about many of the wild ideas we came up
with, but the back and forth was a good exercise to evolve the best ideas
(for all the requirement to keep support for now long dead clients did hold
us back).


On Thu, Feb 10, 2022, 6:36 PM Steve Dimse <steve at dimse.com> wrote:

> 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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