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W0CHP.net

Ham Radio, Tech, Projects & Musings

Modus Operandi -- The Obligatory "About" Page

Table of Contents:


Finger Me

(Yes, that is actual, live finger(1) output from one of my development servers; with network information redacted.)

[chipster@labiamos]$ finger -l chipster@qrm.w0chp.net

Login: chipster       			Name: Chip Cuccio (W0CHP)
Directory: /home/chipster           	Shell: /usr/local/bin/bash
Office Phone: 201-69J-ERKY		Home Phone: 507-FUC-KOFF

Logged on since: Sat May 21 07:09 (CDT) on pts/0, idle 3h:56m:54s, from [redacted]
Logged on since: Fri May 13 10:26 (CDT) on pts/1, idle 5h:09m:12s, from tmux.%0
Logged on since: Fri May 13 10:27 (CDT) on pts/2, idle 5h:09m:09s, from tmux.%1
Logged on since: Thu May 19 17:43 (CDT) on pts/3, idle 4h:08m:31s, from tmux.%7
Logged on since: Fri May 13 10:28 (CDT) on pts/4, idle 3h:56m:54s, from tmux.%3

Mail last read: Sun Feb 13 13:40 2022 (CST)
Mail forwarded to: <go@w.ay>

Project:
  * I have some documented here...
    <https://repo.w0chp.net/Chipster/W0CHP-PiStar-Dash/projects>
    <https://repo.w0chp.net/Chipster/W0CHP-PiStar-Dash/issues/8>
    (I could use some help with these!)

Plan: To work on the things in my .project ;-)

PGP key: You can't have it! >:-)

What They Are Saying

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Love reading your musings. You say what we all want to say…but can’t.

(Nameless prominient ham radio operator and contributor to the hobby)

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Interesting amount of f bombs (sic) on his page

(source)

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

It’s just a bit unprofessional to rant and rave on such a page. Nobody really wants to hear someone rant about something like that while reading on usage and/or considering installing said software.

(source)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It does catch your attention to read it but I’m an old submarine sailor and say it every other word. Doesn’t take from away from the product. Watch his videos. They are very well done.

(source)

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

his language is demoralizing…and now i’ll never use his software. i may email him about his foul mouth and bashing quadnet.

(source: Quadnet TechChat [TG 321] discussion by W4WWM)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Hey dude! Just been reading your website, fucking love it 😂

(Nameless prominent ham on Discord)

Website Maxim

I use this website as a platform to publish my ham radio-related software/projects, as well as to document/journal and communicate my thoughts, experiences and feelings on the state of ham radio, and how it’s evolved (and even devolved) over time. My hope is that the other three or four hams out there that see and feel things the way I do, can relate to my musings.

You see, No critical conversations about ham radio are taking place. I want to have a conversation; or at least motivate other operators, “who get it”, to have the conversation. I know of no other ham operator on the web that publishes articles critical in nature regarding the hobby. They are typically articles catering to the circle-jerking “hams” about the next big vaporware / “neat” thing / product / mode / service / etc., and other various forms of ass-kissery. This site is brutally honest, as I rip apart the hobby, the technologies and the people / “operators”.

As far as many of my musings, some aspects and operators of ham radio are incredible annoyances, and they burn my ass to no end, so here is where I bitch and moan about those annoyances. However, I always try to qualify my bitching. I am simply trying to educate and convey information that I feel would make ham radio and other tech-related communities better, smarter and more vibrant. With pedantry, satire, swearing, brutal honesty and mockery mixed-in.

You’ll find that I have zero sympathy for dumb hams who simply memorize test banks, only to become “appliance operators” who ask dumb fucking questions – all while taking zero initiative to learn a fucking thing. You’ll also learn that I abhor and don’t subscribe to dumb, useless, and closed ham radio services and products; which end up creating even more dumb-ass “hams”, and further fragment and isolate the historically open spirit of the ham radio hobby.

At the same token, some aspects and contributors/operators of ham radio delight me to no end, and I document those experiences here as well. There are a few of them (us), thank God.

My large concern with ham radio since being licensed in the 80’s, is that ham radio has increasingly become more fragmented, proprietary and isolated; mainly due to shitty people and “companies” with “black boxes” trying to make a quick buck. Ironically (and fortunately), none of these ever last nor enjoy the adoption rates they desired; and you’ll find that I frequently mock and tear apart these types of companies/people. These are the types that are defeating the very open and experimental spirit of ham radio, and are creating dumb, appliance-operating hams who are ignorant enough to drink the kool-aid. Not who I am.

This site and my prose may not be for you, and I don’t give a rat’s ass. My goal is to appeal to a very select and specific group of hams, and not the masses of (mostly ignorant) hams. If you (likely) don’t fall into my target audience, go ahead play with your little ham buddies using shitty, Windows-only EchoLink on shitty-ass Windows, and keep calling yourself a “ham operator”.

My hope is that I can enlighten hams, that the Next Big Thing by Company X or Idiot Y in the ham radio market, likely will suck, or already sucks, and I will qualify why that is.

About the Author, W0CHP

I’m Chip; W0CHP. Born and raised in the NYC/NJ area, and migrated to passive-aggressive Minnesota in about 1999; along with my abrasive and confrontational demeanor (which I still possess to this very day).

I use copious amounts of “bad” language in my prose, and I often call spades, spades. I can hurt feelings. However, that’s not my intention. It’s sometimes an undesired outcome of my brutal honesty and abrasively-strong opinions; based on my many years of experience with, observations of, and contributions to, our esoteric little hobby.

I also write a lot of code; much of which is ham radio-related.

(Pictured: Nerdy-ass, late-teenybopper me, in my old ham shack, circa 1993. The photo was featured in the July 1994 issue of Popular Communications magazine. Somehow, I still got lots of hot chicks. On the desk, is my old Tandy 3800HD laptop, running SLS Linux [and later Slackware Linux, fortunately].)

(Pictured: Nerdy-ass, late-teenybopper me, in my old ham shack, circa 1993. The photo was featured in the July 1994 issue of Popular Communications magazine. Somehow, I still got lots of hot chicks. On the desk, is my old Tandy 3800HD laptop, running SLS Linux [and later Slackware Linux, fortunately].)

FGA / Frequently Made Statements / Things Ignorant Hams or “Experts” May Be Thinking

You seem like an asshole.

I sure am…sometimes. But I can qualify my reasons for being an asshole. Other than that, I’m sincerely a nice, happy guy. I also possess the rare skill of being a personable ham operator on the air.

Why the dark website? It’s hard to read.

If you spent the last 40-something years coding and hacking1 all night long in terminal/console sessions as I have, you would likely have a dark website, too. I’ve been “dark mode’ing” since the 70’s…well before it became fashionable with the kiddos on Discord today, and it’s a way of life for me. Fortunately, you can change the site appearance to a light (and bland) theme by clicking the button on the bottom-right of every page.

You mention that you abhor Windows and proprietary software…so how do you program your DMR/etc. radios?

Abhor is an understatement. Anyway, there are many options that I use, all of which are F/OSS. Examples include dmrconfig, QDMR, QDmrconfig, CHIRP, etc. I found them, So can you.

Why Isn’t Your Code on GitHub?

It used to be. But in 2018, Microsoft acquired GitHub (fucking sellouts), and I then very promptly moved my code to my own self-hosted server. I’ve never voluntarily done any business with Microsoft, never owned a single product of theirs - and I never will. That includes “ShitHub”.

What do you do for a living? / Who do you work for? / Are you some kind of [insert tech-related title]?

I work for myself; I own and run my own wildly-successful business (completely unrelated to tech). Before that, I worked in the corporate sector in the disciplines of IT, development, cloud engineering, devops, etc. for 25 years. It was a successful and lucrative run; but I decided to pursue my other passions and dreams, and retired in 2019 to build a business. It took off instantly. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Your Digital Radio Lists are really handy! But what about DMR-Plus Reflectors?

Because the DMR-Plus network sucks ass in its own, many ways; Ergo, the network exposes no public API to make the data available for what I need to make similar lists. At least no APIs that I could easily find.

What annoys you the most?

It’s not a “what”, it’s a “who”: People who don’t take initiative.

Are you happy about anything?

Lots of things. I have an affinity for real hams and hackers who provide wonderful resources to the community. Fortunately, there are many of these fine folks.

Why don’t you have ways to contact you published on your website?

I don’t publish my contact information very deliberately; it filters out the lazy and uninitiated. Wanna talk to me? Use ham radio: namely on XLX493, Module E. Aside from that, the three or four hams out there with some actual fucking aptitude, who see and feel things the way I do, are likely resourceful enough to figure out how to contact me in other ways…and they have. Damn good people! 👍

Why Apache HTTPd vs. nginx?

Two words: mod_event & mod_md. Besides, I know how to tune Apache httpd performance like no other. Apache on my network, is simply a proxy. You are actually not even hitting any of my actual app/web servers. 🖕 😈 Oh. And nginx is overrated in many regards…Change my mind! 💩

Why FreeBSD vs. Linux?

I have actually been using, and developing on/for both platforms, for longer than you can even fathom…and still do. But for externally-facing resources, I prefer FreeBSD and its amazing jail(8) and pf(4) features. My XLX Reflector runs on Debian GNU/Linux, but is fronted/proxied and firewalled by FreeBSD Servers, for example.

Colophon

Only F/OSS is used to create, edit and (self-)host this website. No proprietary or buggy & insecure Microsoft garbage is used to create, manage and present/serve this website; Otherwise, that would suck.

The “Meat”…

The actual web site (and all my other sites/apps) is/are hosted on a cluster of FreeBSD servers in my home using the venerable FreeBSD Jails; with the jails being deployed and managed wih Bastille.

However, you’re not hitting the actual servers…you’re actually viewing this site from a another pair of load-balanced FreeBSD proxy servers (with jails(8)) in my network’s DMZ, running the Apache HTTP Server.

The site is served over a commercial 1Gbit/s synchronous fiber optic connection with another 100 Mbit/s backup and/or H/A commercial connection. Additionally, the two firewalls are also redundant thanks to the wonderful CARP.

The website is written by hand, using the venerable and fucking awesome Vim editor; site and structure generated with Hugo2; deployed with OpenSSH, git, rsync, as well as sundry Bash and GNU Make wrapper scripts.

Presentation-wise, I’m using my own custom-made design (and by no means am I a designer), with some back-end layout generation logic snippets from the Anubis Hugo sub-module. The rendered HTML should be clean, error-free and semantically-correct. The site should respond well with, and adjust to, myriad mobile devices; in the event you’re one of those people who constantly likes to finger-fuck those devices. Lastly, the site will render quite well in ANY browser (although I could not give two shits about any Microsoft-based browser3), and will degrade perfectly in text/console-based browsers and screen readers.

I value my privacy, as well as yours. Ergo, this site is served over an encrypted SSL connection. I use the wonderful Let’s Encrypt to issue and sign my SSL certificates - automatically, by way of the equally-wonderful mod_md. Anyone still using stupid, expensive and non-automated certificate issuers (like GoDaddy, DigiCert, etc.), sucks ass and really needs to get with the fucking times4.


  1. For the ignoramuses and sheeple who read into the shitty media, etc. improperly using the (old) term “hacking/hacker/hack” as if it bears a negative connotation, please allow me (or Wikipedia for that matter) to enlighten you. 

  2. Hugo is fucking awesome. I write tons of code, manage and code various dynamic websites/applications, etc. Sometimes, I just want to write, and this is where Hugo makes me happy…It generates simple, static websites, using Markdown as the content. I like this because I can focus on writing, and then publish. No BS, no slow scripts or databases, no security issues or exploits I need to worry about; It Just Works. And it’s fast-as-hell (especially for the readers). The exceptions to this, are my consummate and dynamic Digital Radio Lists; These lists automatically pull the available talkgroup & reflector data from their respective APIs on-the-fly, and have sorting, searching & downloading capabilities. 

  3. If you’re using a shitty Microsoft-based browser such as Edge or IE, you’re ignorant, and you don’t belong here. I have no mercy for you. Go find and use an Open Source, standards-compliant and secure web browser; and maybe come back another time. 

  4. I can’t even begin to describe how error-prone and insecure this is, based on YEARS of watching “sysadmins” manually request, renew, deploy and revoke SSL certificates (unsuccessfully). Seriously, get a different career already. Leave the sysadmin’ing, etc. to the pros. 

Ver. # c1dc3a3 - Document last updated: 5/20/2022
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