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W0CHP Ham Radio & Tech Musings

Company Emojis Suck

Various software companies are defeating the entire purpose of the emoji concept. What prompted this article, was that Apple and other large software companies, finally implemented the long-awaited Unicode 1F6FB emoji released in Unicode 13.0 – and in seeing the various companies varied implementations, I felt compelled to write this article.

Digital Voice Mode Etiquette

With the advent of multiple digital voice modes, and the onslaught of hotspots, linked and bridged repeaters, cross-mode reflectors, etc., it’s important to remember that operating your digital radio and how its signal propagates to myriad repeaters and networks, is vastly different than plain-old analog operation. Digital voice radio and the interconnected technologies and modes, present new challenges many hams aren’t accustomed to.

Price-Bitching Hams

With the advent of DMR/YSF/D-Star/etc. networks being online and the resulting wonderful hotspots, there has been an onslaught of turnkey, ready-to-use hotspots hitting the market over the past few years. One of the new hot new players in hotspots, is the BridgeCom SkyBridge. The price? Just shy of $300.

That is quite a bit of coin, yes. And the hams out there complaining about the price is absolutely overwhelming.

Freeloading Complainers

I have been intimately involved with Free/Open Source Software (“F/OSS”) for a very long time. Not just as a user, but as an evangelist, architect in massive-scale corporate environments, and most importantly, as a contributor and developer. The fascinating thing to me, is how ham radio and F/OSS are so closely aligned. They both embrace openness, community, camaraderie, experimentation, freedom, hacking, home-brew/DIY, and so much more. Or at least, they used to.